President Uhuru assures on peace in region

President Uhuru Kenyatta after meeting General Thomas Waldhauser (second right) from the US. They are also with Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs Amb. Monica Juma, Chief of Defence Forces General Samson Mwathethe and US Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec. [Samuel Miring’u, Standard]
Kenya remains committed to attainment of peace in Somalia and South Sudan, President Uhuru Kenyatta has said.

Mr Kenyatta, who spoke yesterday when he met the US-Africa Command Commander, General Thomas Waldhauser, in Nairobi said efforts to achieve lasting peace had been negated by lack of capacity and proper military commands.

The political turmoil in South Sudan, said the President, had been made worse by fear and mistrust between supporters of President Salva Kiir and former vice president Riek Machar.

President Kenyatta, however, said hope to restore stability in both countries was not lost and that partner states working towards peace in the region would remain committed to the cause.

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“We shall give it everything we can. But it is not going to be easy,” President Kenyatta said in reference to South Sudan.

“Somalia faces challenges of mistrust and internal politics between the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and regional governments.

“Deteriorating relationships between the TFG and regional governments is of major concern to us. The conflict is a major security threat to Kenya and the entire region,” said Uhuru.

He called for structures to enable TFG to work with the regional governments.

Uhuru said for peace and stability to be restored in Somalia, its leadership must refocus its attention and energies to addressing issues that cause divisions and avoid being drawn into partisan distractions.

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General Waldhauser underscored the need for Somalia to strengthen its leadership structures.

He said instability in the country was partly due to indirect interference from certain Gulf countries.

“We are ready to continue assisting the country as long as the federal government is willing to accept our support,” said Waldhauser.

He called for neutrality from Gulf countries, some of which he said “are extending their differences to Somalia. The differences are playing out in Somalia. We call for their neutrality.”

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