Kenya urges China to back AMISOM task

April 3, 2012 3:22 pm
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The president made the appeal on Tuesday when he held talks with the Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress Hua Jianmin/PPS

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 3 – President Mwai Kibaki has sent out an appeal to China and other friendly nations to support the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

President Kibaki reiterated that Kenya’s specific mission in the proactive military action was to diminish the threats posed by the Al Qaeda-linked Shabaab militants to national security and territorial integrity.

The president made the appeal on Tuesday when he held talks with the Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress Hua Jianmin who paid him a courtesy call.

The president, while commending the Chinese government for funding various infrastructural developments in the country, acknowledged that Kenya has substantially benefited from the financial and technical support extended by China.

Jianmin is in the country to promote communication and cooperation between the Kenya National Assembly and National Peoples’ Congress of China.

The talks were attended by Cabinet Ministers Sam Ongeri (Foreign Affairs) Margret Kamar (Higher Education), Mutula Kilonzo (Education) and Kenya’s Ambassador to UNESCO Mary Khimulu.

The Acting Head of the Public Service and Secretary to the Cabinet Francis Kimemia was also present.

Kenya is among countries whose troops are integrated in the AMISOM peacekeeping mission.

Kenyan soldiers were the latest to join the AMISOM fold last month, having entered there in October to fight Al Shabaab militants who were blamed for a series of attacks and kidnappings in the country.

The Kenyan troops are now fully integrated under the AMISOM and their costs are met by the AU force unlike previously when they were supported by the country’s tax payers.

Military Spokesman Cyrus Oguna recently announced that the Kenyan troops had made tremendous progress in fighting Al Shabaab, having killed many of its members and destroyed their bases deep inside Somalia.

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