The Kenyan government will back efforts by the Somalia Transition Federal Government (TFG) to host an impending high-level peace meeting to resolve the crisis in the strife-torn country.Prime Minister Raila Odinga assured his Somalia counterpart Mohamed Abdullahi the government would back their bid to convince the United Nations and the African Union to hold the peace meeting in Mogadishu.The Somalia Premier made the request to Mr. Odinga to whom he paid a courtesy call Thursday before the two leaders went into a closed door meeting with their security chiefs.Mr. Odinga reaffirmed the government's commitment in doing everything possible to ensure that peace was restored in the troubled nation"We recognize the legitimacy of TFG forces and will support you to achieve peace, security and reconciliation after suffering through two decades of conflict and numerous humanitarian challenges" he assured.Mr. Odinga told journalists who he addressed outside his office after the one hour meeting that the two leaders discussed security matters along the common borders and the progress made in containing the threat of terrorist cells in the region. He said peace in Somalia was crucial for stability in Kenya and the region arguing that the conflict had aggravated proliferation of small arms into the wrong hands.The United Nations and the African Union have since the onset of the conflict preferred to host Somalia peace meetings outside the war torn country for security reasons.Most of the peace meetings have been held at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa Ethiopia but relations between the host country and Al Shabaab Somalia insurgents have always been frosty.
The meeting whose dates was yet to be determined is expected to review efforts to achieve peace, security and reconciliation in strife-torn nation, which has not had a stable government over the last two decades of conflict.The meeting is also expected to develop a consensus on how to end the transition and nurture a democratic political arrangement before the expiry of the TFG administration in August The TFG was established under the Transitional Federal Charter as a temporary governance structure.Kenya Broadcasting
Kenya, Somalia Strengthen Ties to Stabilize Somalia, Region
With the mandate of Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government due to expire in August, Somali Prime Minister Mohammed Abdullahi Mohammed was in Nairobi Thursday to discuss regional security with his Kenyan counterpart, Prime Minister Raila Odinga.Over the 20 years of Somalia’s instability, Kenya has frequently felt the effects of its neighbor’s numerous wars. According to the U.N. refugee agency, nearly 400,000 refugees were living in Kenya as of January, a population expected to grow to over half of a million by the end of 2011. And these figures do not include the thousands of Somalis who fled their country to become permanent residents in Kenya.Kenya has also been drawn in to Somalia’s actual conflict. In February, Somali government forces launched an offensive to oust al-Shabab insurgents from southern Somalia. With intense fighting along the borders to control critical entry points into Somalia, violence spilled into the northern Kenyan town of Mandera, claiming the lives of civilians and forcing a buildup of Kenyan troops.Prime Minister Mohammed told reporters in Nairobi that Kenya’s support was a key component of TFG military operations in the Gedo and Dobley regions of southern Somalia, where much of the fighting has taken place. Mr. Mohammed warned of the threat posed by al-Shabab’s foreign fighters from countries such as Afghanistan and Pakistan, who seek to destabilize the region as a whole.The talks between Mr. Odinga and Mr. Mohammed come ahead of a United Nations-sponsored conference next week in Nairobi to discuss the transition of the interim Somali government in August. The meeting has garnered criticism from Somali leaders who argue transition talks would damage the progress of recent months.Prime Minister Mohammed called for any such discussions to take place in Somalia. He also recently criticized the United Nations for basing its Somalia programs in Kenya. On Tuesday, the prime minister ordered all U.N. agencies working in Somalia to permanently relocate to Mogadishu within six months. The U.N. maintains only a few permanent personnel in Somalia because of security reasons, with the rest of its Somali-focused staff based in Nairobi.After the meeting with the Kenyan Prime Minister, Mr. Mohammed told reporters the two agreed to work together to defeat any enemies of peace and progress in Somalia.Somalia has not had a functioning central government since Mohammed Siad Barre was overthrown by warlords in 1991. Al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab has been battling the transitional administration since 2007 and controls the majority of southern Somalia, including parts of the capital, Mogadishu.VOA
Mahiga Cornered. Kenya supports TFG
The Kenyan government just came out saying that they welcome the decisions of the TFG and that any meeting on Somalia should be held in Somalia. Jabuti and other IGAD countries also took the same position. So what does Mahiga do? Begs for this meeting to happen and is promising the next one will be in Mogadishu Talk about falling from grace. Never had a UN Envoy to Somalia been humiliated this much. Even worse are the ones who pinned their hopes on Mahiga. Today must be a weeping Day for many