, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 31 – Kenya and Somalia now want leaders of the rag tag Al Shabaab militia to be prosecuted at the International Criminal Court (ICC) based at The Hague.
This was announced by Prime Ministers Raila Odinga (Kenya) and Abdiweli Mohammed Ali (Somalia) in a communiqué following a meeting in Nairobi on Monday afternoon.
Foreign Affairs Assistant Minister Richard Onyonka read the joint communiqué that stated that Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government, TFG “will seek ICC assistance in beginning immediate probe into crimes against humanity committed by members of Al Shabaab movement with the aim of seeking indictment as soon as possible.”
The two countries resolved to continue working together in a joint military operation, which the Somali PM said was being conducted by TFG forces with the help of Kenyan defence forces.
“The Al Shabaab threat constitutes a common enemy between Kenya and Somalia and it must be fought jointly together with the help of the international community. The current operation by TFG forces with pursuit of Kenyan forces are in pursuit of a legitimate agenda and that is targeting Al Shabaab targets,” the communiqué reads.
The military operation was launched over two weeks ago when Kenyan troops crossed the border into Somalia in pursuit of the Al Shabaab militants.
“There will be continued sharing of information and intelligence on Al Shabaab activities and the military operation to flush them out,” they agreed.
The two governments have now established a joint high level coordinating committee that will hold periodic meetings in Nairobi and Mogadishu.
Kenya and Somalia will also launch a diplomatic campaign in support of the operation.
“There will be a need to mount joint diplomatic campaigns by both countries to galvanise support for the operations beginning with a joint meeting with select members of the diplomatic corps in Nairobi on Nov 1st 2011, followed by several visits to several select capitals,” reads the communiqué.
Odinga said plans were underway to provide additional African Union troops who would be deployed to the liberated areas in Southern Somalia, as part of efforts of sustaining lasting peace and re establishing authority in those areas.
“We have had a very useful and fruitful deliberation with the delegation from Somalia led by H.E Abdiweli Mohammed Ali. We have been able to share a lot of information between us, because this is as we have said in the past a joint operation between the Kenyan forces and TFG forces in Somalia,” Raila said declaring that “Al Shabaab is a common enemy to all of us and we would like to see that this menace is completely behind us.”
The two leaders said the diplomacy campaign will also seek support from the international community for humanitarian assistance in liberated areas and establish and provide funding for other urgently needed services like, health, education and roads.
The Somalia Prime Minister on his part pledged his government’s commitment in working jointly with the Kenyan forces to root out the Al Shabaab menace.
“There is no daylight between Somalia and Kenya in fighting Al Shabaab. They are a threat to the safety and security of both countries therefore it is necessary for us to have a common strategy against a common enemy,” Abdiweli said.
“We should have a unity of purpose as we should walk in tandem until this threat is eliminated from Somalia and from the Horn of Africa,” he said and warned that “Al Shabaab is not a Somali phenomenon, it is not a regional problem it is a global problem so it is incumbent upon us the international community to face this threat and to make sure that it should be eliminated from the face of the earth.