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Leaders now call for extension to Amisom mandate


Sunday, December 23, 2012
By FELIX OLICK

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President Kibaki and his Somalia counterpart Hassan Sheikh Mohamud have called for the extension of the mandate of the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom).

The two leaders recommended to UN Security Council to consider extending the mandate of Amisom when it expires on March 7.

The two Heads of State noted that the continued presence of forces in the war-torn country is necessary in helping to continue consolidating peace and security.

They underscored the importance of co-operating in the fight against Al Shabaab and other militant elements whom they said are a threat to national security of both countries. Speaking at State House, where he hosted Mohamud who paid a State visit to Kenya, Kibaki maintained that after 20 years of instability, Somalia has its best chance at peace and prosperity under the new Government.

“Kenya and Somalia will work closely so that we can send out a clear message that negative and destructive forces have no place in the region,” said President Kibaki.

He said the decision to move the Kenya Defence Forces into Somalia was born out of realisation that a stable Somalia was good for Somalia, Kenya and the entire region.

The two leaders acknowledged the situation of Somali refugees who live in crowded conditions in camps in Dadaab and Kakuma in Northern Kenya. They pledged to work with the international community for their orderly return to Somalia to rebuild their lives and participate in the development of their motherland. Mohamud said his country was moving away from anarchy to an era of peace.

He thanked Kibaki for deploying Kenyan troops to rid the country of Al Shabaab menace saying that insecurity in Somalia is a threat to the entire region and the world.

“We are very grateful to Kenya for deploying her troops in Somalia to eliminate the Threat of Al Shabaab and for hosting our refugees in the country,” he said. They also agreed to establish a Joint Border Commission to deal with Security and cross border issues as well as revitalising the Joint Commission for Co-operation (JCC).

They said that JCC should be the principal framework for cooperation in the security, cross border issues, economic cooperation, trade, immigration, education as well as cultural exchanges.



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