, p>NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 3 – Visiting British Foreign Secretary William Hague on Friday urged the international community to take advantage of the incursion by the Kenyan military in Somalia to achieve a lasting solution in war-torn nation.
Speaking after holding talks with President Mwai Kibaki, the Prime Minister and other top officials, Hague said Kenya should be supported in the operation intended to foster peace in the Horn of Africa country.
“We have the challenge of working closely together on Somalia, and now we have a moment of opportunity to bring about lasting improvement. It will be very difficult, it is full of danger. We are very appreciative of the role Kenya has played and recognise how Kenya has been in the frontline,” he said.
He also called on the international community to give Kenya the necessary support to help it achieve the goal desired by many countries in fighting terrorism, piracy and other international crimes.
Hague said it was the desire of his government to see an end to the crimes that are a global worry.
Following his visit to Mogadishu on Thursday, Hague said he observed that there was progress in achieving peace and security in the region.
He said calm was slowly returning and people were also going back to their normal lives as he encouraged peace efforts to go on especially now when extensive steps had been made to deal with Al Shabaab militias.
“The security situation has improved… I saw that for myself in Mogadishu. Ninety eight percent of the city is secured by AMISOM forces and TFG forces who have worked with them. There are signs of normal lives and people are going to the shops and moving around, and going to the beach on Friday and so on. But that of course means the challenge is now there to follow up,” Hague asserted.
He announced that the UK would rally for Kenyan forces to be accepted to the African Union Force in Somalia at the United Nations Security Council.
He said his government which has been supporting Kenya will continue to doing so until peace and security is achieved.
Hague further said his government supported the expansion of AMISOM but also called for addressing of humanitarian crises in the security operation missions.
Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula hailed the role played by the UK, saying apart from the financial support in the operation in Somalia; it also had given Kenya a hand in its reforms in the security docket.
“It is important to note that because of the challenges posed to Kenya by Somalia, the UK has been one of the key supporters in our internal security arrangement including support for security reforms enhancing their capacity with equipment, and more particularly the reforms that were undergoing in the police force to make it more responsive to homeland security,” Wetangula asserted.
Hague however would not clearly say if UK will assist KDF capture Kismayu, saying he did not want to speculate on future plans of military operations.
During his meetings in Kenya, Hague also discussed the international conference on Somalia in London later this month. The conference will also discuss ending of the term of Transitional Federal Government in August this year.