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We must not lose focus on Somalia, says Kibaki

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 24 – President Mwai Kibaki has underscored the importance of an all-inclusive process in finding a long-term solution to the deteriorating situation in Somalia.

President Kibaki said all stakeholders should also be involved in ending piracy off the Gulf of Aden.

The President was speaking at His Harambee House office during a meeting with former Ghanaian President Jerry Rawlings who paid him a courtesy call.

Former President Rawlings was appointed the African Union (AU) High Representative to Somalia during the last summit of AU Heads of State and Government in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

President Kibaki congratulated him for his appointment as the AU High Representative to Somalia.

The Head of State wished former President Rawlings success as he takes up the challenging task of seeking long-term peace in Somalia and assured him of Kenya\’s total support in this endeavour.

The President expressed concern that the volatile situation in Somalia presents a real danger to regional and international peace and security.

President Kibaki reassured of Kenya\’s support to the IGAD and AU position with regard to the extension of the current Transitional Federal Parliament (TFP) to avoid creating a vacuum in August this year when the mandate of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) expires.

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On his part, former President Rawlings briefed President Kibaki on the progress he has made so far towards the resolving the Somali conflict.

The AU representative to Somalia thanked Kenya for playing a leading role in the search for peace in Somalia.

During the meeting, President Kibaki and the AU envoy agreed that resources should be mobilised to reconstruct Somalia as efforts to ensure peace prevails in all parts of the Horn of Africa country continue.

President Kibaki and former President Rawlings also agreed that resources should be mobilized to equip Amison to effectively deal with the military challenges in Somalia.

Present at the meeting were Foreign Affairs Assistant Minister Richard Onyonka and Acting Permanent Secretary Amb. Patrick Wamoto among others.

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