Today from Hiiraan Online:  _
Talks on Somalia vital for Kenya’s security

Daily Nation
Wednesday, May 08, 2013

President Kenyatta has joined leaders of many other countries in London at the Somalia Conference 2013 hosted jointly by British Prime Minister David Cameron and Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.

Altogether, about out 50 countries are represented at the conference aimed at salvaging Somalia from the depths of lawlessness, collapsed government, civil strife and terrorist influence.

The British Government had to beat a considerable retreat in inviting the Kenyan President to London after openly declaring disapproval of his election victory while facing charges at the International Criminal Court. However, it was obvious that discussing peace and security in Somalia without Kenya playing a powerful role would be futile.

Kenya is one of the countries that have sent troops into Somalia to take the battle to terrorists that have become a menace to the entire region.

The Kenyan Defence Forces have liberated a large swathe of southern Somalia, including the strategic port city of Kismayu, from al-Shabaab terrorists.

They are part of an AU military effort — including a Ugandan-led continental force now securing the capital Mogadishu, and Ethiopian forces controlling north-western Somalia — that has freed a large chunk of Somalia from al-Shabaab and allowed the government to exercise a degree of authority.

Kenya also played the central role in putting together the transition administration that ran Somalia before giving way to the present government.

Kenya’s national security is intertwined with the situation in Somalia from where terrorists have occasionally launched deadly forays into the country. Any conference on Somalia is, therefore, also a conference on peace and security in Kenya.


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