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Kenya, Somalia Vow to Consolidate Peace

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Kenya and Somalia have agreed to work closely in consolidating peace between the two neighboring countries.

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta who held talks on Tuesday evening with visiting President Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud of Somalia assured the Somali leader that Nairobi will continue to work with his country's leadership to consolidate peace and security in the country.

Kenyatta, underscored the cordial and friendly relations existing between Kenya and Somalia, stressing that the two countries will engage politically on regular basis to deal with emerging issues of mutual interest as well as regional matters.

"The Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC) will soon be launched and implemented for the mutual benefit of the two countries," said the 51-year-old Kenyatta who assumed the country's leadership on Tuesday.

The Kenyan leader said the two governments will work closely to realize sustainable peace in Somalia, the Horn of Africa and the region at large.

He noted that the decision by Kenya to move into Somalia and be part of the African Union peacekeeping force was born out of the realization that a stable Somalia was good for the people of that country, Kenya and the entire region.

He reassured the Somali President that the role of Kenya Defense Forces within AMISOM was only to promote peace and security in the assigned sector.

Kenyatta said the two countries will convene a meeting at Summit level at an appropriate time to deliberate further on matters of mutual benefit including orderly repatriation of Somali refugees hosted by Kenya.

Speaking during the meeting, Somali president assured his host that the Horn of Africa nation wished to see peace and stability restored in his country and the Horn of Africa for the benefit of the entire region.

The Somali president noted that lasting and durable peace and a stable government in Somalia is not only a matter of national interest to the people of Somalia but also Kenya and other neighbours.

In his inaugural speech on Tuesday, Kenyatta said his government was resolute on law breakers warning criminals, cattle rustlers, drug barons and agents of terror who disrupt the peace of the society that they will be met with the full force of the law.

He commended the country's armed forces for devotedly protecting Kenyans from both external and internal security threats assuring that the government will continue to provide them with the necessary support to discharge their noble duties.

President Kenyatta said peace was linked to the security and stability of the region. He said the government deployed the country's armed forces to Somalia because terrorism and piracy affect the country and the region.

He observed that the government in the last two decades has invested immense diplomatic energy and resources in the quest for a stable Somalia and remained committed to the fight against terrorism and eradication of piracy as a central pillar of the government's policy on peace and security.

Kenyatta also pledged to work with, the international community to strengthen its support for Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the AU peace process in Somalia as a stable and prosperous Somalia was in the interest of all nations.

He said the future of Kenya depends not only on National Unity but also on deepening the bonds with countries in East Africa and Africa as a whole.

"It is with this unity that we will prosper and truly deliver on the promise of independence and liberation from our colonial past."


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