PARIS, France, Apr 6 – President Uhuru Kenyatta wants the African Union Mission in Somalia elevated to a UN Mission in order to ensure its sustainability in the face of budget cuts by financing partner: the European Union.
At a meeting with de facto EU leader and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday morning, President Kenyatta said cutting the funding to the troops in Somalia would be a grave mistake.
Instead, he said, the funding needed to be increased to levels commensurate, “with similar UN peace enforcement missions.”
“Kenya’s and the African Union’s position regarding AMISOM is that it needs full support from international partners,” he said.
Germany being the largest budgetary contributor to the EU, President Kenyatta lobbied Merkel on the necessity of the funding level being increased.
“You know it’s a global war. What happens in Somalia affects the rest of the world. All these groups are interconnected whether they’re in Libya or they’re in Somalia, in Yemen, Syria or Belgium they’re all interconnected and they all work together and so should we,” Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed had explained to Capital News.
AMISOM had also been on the agenda when President Kenyatta met with French President Francois Hollande on Monday.
After the meeting, Hollande assured the Kenya people at a press briefing that the French were committed in the fight to quash Al Shabaab having themselves been victims of terror in November, 2015.
Other than security, President Kenyatta’s visit to Europe is also focussed on securing a fairer balance of trade.
The value of German exports to Kenya in 2014 for instance was Sh48 billion while the value of Kenya’s exports to Germany was Sh11 billion.
That being said, it was an improvement from previous years.
“Indeed, the visit in 2015 by Foreign Minister of the Federal Republic of Germany, Dr Frank-Walter Steinmeier to Kenya and the Former President Horst Kohler, whose delegations comprised Chief Executives of leading German Companies, demonstrated the German government’s commitment to growing its volume of trade and investment in Kenya,” President Kenyatta said.
On Thursday President Kenyatta is expected to visit German Renewable Energy Academy RENAC in an effort to grow Kenya’s partnership with Germany in the area of technology transfer.
Already Germany is one of Kenya’s biggest partners in the Education sector through the Goethe Institute in Nairobi which has been in existence since 1963 and through the thousands of scholarships it has awarded Kenyan students over the years.