, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 21 – Kenya and Somalia have stressed the need to revitalise the Joint Commission for Co-operation (JCC) signed between the two countries in September 2005 as the key framework for their bilateral engagements.
In a joint communiqué issued after a bilateral meeting at State House Nairobi, President Mwai Kibaki and Somalia President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud mandated their respective Foreign Affairs Ministers to immediately commence the preparatory work which will culminate in the launch of the JCC.
The two leaders maintained that the Joint Commission for Co-operation will go a long way in enhancing their co-operation in security, cross border issues, economic cooperation, trade, immigration, education as well as cultural exchanges.
They further acknowledged that Kenya and Somalia share a common destiny and hence the importance of enhancing and deepening bilateral ties between the two countries for the mutual benefit of their people.
In communiqué read by Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Ongeri, the two leaders also emphasised the need for regular bilateral consultations on various issues of mutual concern and interest.
On security in the two countries, the two Head of States underscored the importance of co-operating in the fight against Al-Shabaab and other militant elements that are a threat to the national security of both countries.
They agreed to establish a joint permanent border commission to deal with security and other cross-border issues along the common border.
The two leaders noted with appreciation the role of AMISOM in liberating large parts of Somalia from Al Shabaab militants and called on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to consider the extension of the mandate of AMISOM when it expires early next year. They observed that AMISOM could continue helping in the process of consolidation of peace and security in Somalia.
The Heads of State, at the same time, commended the role of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the support it has received from the African Union and the UN Security Council.
In regard to the recent political developments in Somalia which culminated in the installation of a new parliament and government, the presidents congratulated the people of Somalia for this historic milestone.
They underscored the need to co-ordinate and co-operate both at the bilateral, regional and international levels efforts geared towards consolidation of peace and security in Somalia as well as reconstruction of the country and building of new institutions of governance.
The Heads of State further acknowledged the situation of Somali refugees living in crowded conditions at Dadaab and Kakuma camps in Northern Kenya and pledged to work together and also with the international community to come up with modalities for their orderly return to Somalia to rebuild their lives and participate in the development of their motherland.