NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 22 – The United States has pledged support for in support for peace and stability especially in Somalia and South Sudan.
US Secretary of State John Kerry who was in Kenya Monday announced Sh11.8 billion for Somalia refugees and the drought stricken, adding that another Sh2.9 billion would go the United Nations High Commission for Refugees for relocation of Somali refugees from Kenya.
Kerry also pledged Sh14 billion in aid to South Sudan for food, water and medicines for those in need and called for their leaders to fully implement the 2015 peace agreement on the resolution of conflict in that country.
“These are the discussions we have had with other regional leaders this afternoon, we have agreed on items that include supporting Somalia and its government through strengthening their institutions, secure borders as well as sharing information, training security personnel and countering radicalisation,” he stated at a news conference.
He called for deployment of the 4,000-strong regional protection force to South Sudan.
“The force with the presence in Juba itself which is where most of the violence took place, will be able to guarantee access for everybody and that includes people trying to prevent the violence in a bid to have working governance,” he urged.
The protection force is a regional move to help South Sudan get back to peace.
The chiefs of defence forces in the region have been meeting regularly since the violence erupted in South Sudan with the protection force as the main pillar.
Kerry also pledged more support to the Africa Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) so that it has the resources it needs in order to conduct its duties.
“The AMISOM mission goes till 2018, it’s now still 2016, and we believe that in the intervening time before there is any need for a drawdown we have an ability to empower national forces of Somalia which needs to be strengthened in order to have a reduction in force of AMISOM not be negative in its impact,” he added.
The US, Kerry says, has also set aside some Sh2.5 billion to support women and youth initiatives ahead of Kenya’s next year’s General Election.
Earlier, Kerry held discussions with President Uhuru Kenyatta where The President thanked the US Government and the international community for standing with the region in support of the South Sudan peace process.