, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 28 – Kenya and Nigeria have agreed to combine efforts in the fight against terrorism.
Speaking Thursday during a bilateral meeting at State House, Nairobi, President Uhuru Kenyatta and President Muhammadu Buhari said the two countries will cooperate at the multi-lateral and bi-lateral fronts to eliminate terrorism.
President Kenyatta emphasized that peace and security are essential ingredients to sustainable development, saying that was why Kenya continued to be at the forefront in championing for the realization of peace and security in Africa.
He thanked Nigeria for its support to Kenya following the recent attack on AMISOM soldiers from Kenya.
President Buhari and Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud on Wednesday joined President Kenyatta at Moi Barracks in Eldoret for a special memorial service in honour of fallen Kenya Defence Force soldiers.
“Your presence at the memorial service was a great morale booster to us, our soldiers and their families,” President Kenyatta told the Nigerian leader.
President Kenyatta observed that the African Union through AMISOM has made great strides in the stabilization of Somalia, noting that sustainable peace and stability for Somalia means stability and security for the region and beyond.
“I must therefore appreciate Nigeria’s commitment and continued support through the African Union to restore stability in Somalia,” President Kenyatta said.
He urged Nigeria to remain steadfast in supporting the Government of the Federal Republic of Somalia in its national reconciliation and reconstruction efforts.
President Buhari said terrorism should be fought from all fronts, saying no country was immune to the menace.
“This is why the entire global community must work in a concerted manner particularly in areas of sharing intelligence and pooling resources to confront the scourge,” the Nigerian leader said.
To win the war against terrorism, President Buhari said new and versatile strategies must be developed including tackling radicalization and violent extremism which are taking rooting in Africa.
“The extremist narrative and ideology by radical elements and militants in our society must be tackled through counter-narrative that emphasizes education, moderation and tolerance,” the Nigerian leader said.
He commended President Kenyatta and the Government of Kenya for the giant strides made in infrastructure development, healthcare, information technology and education.
“Your strategy for economic diversification is a model many countries admire. Your commitment for inclusive growth in spite of the challenge of terrorism is a clear sign of a strong leadership. Your determination to defeat terrorism whenever it rears its ugly head demonstrates your vision for global peace and security,” President Buhari said.
“Nigeria assures you of support in your ongoing efforts to deal decisively with terrorist organizations. We must all remain resolute in the fight to defeat terrorism.”
The two leaders agreed to promote trade ties between the two countries, saying intra-Africa trade and investment was key to African integration.
President Kenyatta pointed out that a series of high-level engagements between the two countries in the last few years have provided an opportunity for enhanced engagement both at government and private sector level.
“It is imperative that we maintain the momentum for the mutual benefit of our people and countries,” he said.
The meeting was attended by Deputy President William Ruto and Cabinet Secretaries Joseph Nkaissery (Interior), James Macharia (Transport and Infrastructure), Hassan Wario (Sports, Arts and Culture), Henry Rotich (National Treasury), Cleopa Kilonzo Mailu (Health), Raychelle Omamo (Defence) as well as Attorney General Githu Muigai. The Nigerian Delegation included Industry, Trade and Investment Minister Okechkwu Enelama and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Khadija Bukar Ibrahim.