President Mohamud says Somalia has no conflict with Kenya
Monday, June 03, 2013
Somalia President Sheikh Mohamud has stated that his government had no conflict with Kenya over tackling security issues and restoring peace in the country ravaged by 20 years of civil strife.
Mohamud said recent media reports of the alleged conflict between the two countries was not only misleading but malicious and hell-bent on causing unnecessary tension between the Nairobi and Mogadishu administrations.
“We have trust on the Kenya government in seeking to sort out the problems facing Somalia and it is important for people in the country and across the world to know that some of the targets would not be achieved until mid-next year,” Mohamud said.
Speaking on Saturday during a meeting with Deputy President William Ruto at the Intercontinental Hotel in Yokohama, Japan on the sidelines of the fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V), Mohamud said his government will work closely with Kenya to resettle about two million refugees who fled the country following 20 years of chaos.
The resolve to resettle the refugees follows relative peace and calm that has taken root in Somalia since the election last December overseen by the African Union (AU) that saw the curtain fall on The Interim Federal Government of Somalia and the ushering in of Federal Government of Somalia headed by Mohamud.
Mohamud said that besides the more than one million Somali refugees living in Kenya, there was another 500,000 internally displaced persons and another 500,000 in the neighbouring countries including Ethiopia.
Long and short term interventions which the government has put in place ,he said include, establishing peace projects, one school, one water well, administration and police units in various regions so as to prepare the ground for repatriation of refugees.
Mohamud said the security situation in the free port town of Kismayu remained fluid despite it being liberated from the Al Shabaab, because of mistrust among the various clan members and that the issue needed to be addressed urgently.
“I have mandated Members of Parliament (MPs) to engage the various clans with a view to diffusing tension because conflict and violence is not an option to us as a government and the people,” Mohamud said.
Mohamud added, “I have been fully engaged in peace building in Kismayu and the last thing we want to see there is renewed fighting.We have not deployed troops to Kismayu nor supplied arms as was claimed,”
Mohamed said the insecurity situation in Kismayu had over the years been as a result of high competition for its rich resources.
Ruto said Kenya’s only interest was to secure peace in the two countries so as to enable the people to go about their businesses without fear of attack by militia groups.
“Kenya is not interested whatsoever with occupation of Somalia and the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) soldiers will be pulled out of the country immediately peace takes root,” Ruto said.
Ruto said Kenya had suffered menace of terrorism from Al Shabaab affecting the tourism sector.