Make Somalia more stable, habitable to stem terror threat
SEE ALSO : Attack on Mali army base kills 11 soldiersHis strategic nous was therefore evident in his efforts over the past few years to improve bilateral relations between our nations, and through this, to strengthen the Somali state. The best way to fill a vacuum is to empower the Somali government to re-assert authority and take a more active role against Al-Shabaab. President Kenyatta identified the election of new Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo in 2017 as an opportunity to kick start bilateral relations and he attended Farmaajo’s inauguration, which led to the Somali leader making his first presidential visit to Nairobi. At the ceremony in Mogadishu, Uhuru signalled that a new era of cooperation was under way assuring his counterpart that Kenya will play a leading role in strengthening Somalia, and calling on regional and international bodies to do the same. Last week, saw a visit to Nairobi from a senior Somali figure, this time Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire, who came to deliver condolence message following the Dusit terror attack. Khaire thanked Uhuru for making Kenya Somalia’s top strategic partner in the transformation of his country, describing him as the “champion in the transformation of Somalia” and requesting him to continue leading the reconstruction efforts.
SEE ALSO :The unseen war - Part 2The implications of this partnership cannot be overstated. Somalia is today back on track economically and growing ever stronger. Crucially, it is gradually filling the vacuum that allowed Al-Shabaab to operate freely, leading to hundreds of Kenyan fatalities. The fact that Kenya was again the victim of terror in recent weeks should not cause us to overlook the important progress being made. Fundamentally, a strong, functioning and economically viable Somali state is the key to a stable and peaceful region. Kenya has recognised this fact, and we are putting steps in place to make it a reality. - The writer is a former Ntonyiri MP
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