Today from Hiiraan Online:
President Mwai Kibaki calls for more efforts to stabilize Somalia
Saturday, June 02, 2012
The Kenyan government on Friday called for more efforts and full commitment to ensure that Somalia which has been facing onslaught from militia is stabilized.
Addressing the nation during 49th self independence celebrations in Nairobi, President Mwai Kibaki said the east African nation will not be cowed by terrorist threats mainly from neighbouring Somalia.
"We must appreciate that Kenya’s security is tied to peace and stability in neighbouring countries," said Kibaki whose country’s soldiers are battling al Qaeda allied group, Al-Shabaab in the Horn of Africa nation.
"In this connection, the situation in Somalia has reached a critical stage.
"In the next two months, a new government is expected to take over from the current Transitional Federal government," he said.
The remarks come as Al-Shabaab has warned of an imminent attack in Kenya, threatening to bring down tall buildings within a fortnight.
According to InterCentre, the threat by the militia who had warned of a huge attack in Kenya over the next six months comes amid increased grenade and landmine attacks by the insurgents especially in Nairobi, Mombasa and in northern Kenya.
The U.S.-based firm said Al-Shaaab had posted on Wednesday that "something high is coming" within the next two months, warning that Kenya would soon "watch your towers coming down."
But Kibaki expressed hope that the new government that is expected to take over from the current Transitional Federal Government in Somalia will set that country on a clear path to peace, stability and development.
He implored Somali leaders as well as regional states and international partners to demonstrate full commitment and help Somalia move forward.
The Kenyan leader called on citizens to complement their efforts by volunteering information that would lead to the arrest and prosecution of terrorists who have been hurling grenades and abducted foreigners in the east African nation.
"Do not harbour a criminal or a terrorism who is a danger to your brother and sister and fellow Kenyan," he said, adding that recent developments in Somalia will stabilize the country.
"We trust that this development will set Somalia on a clear path to peace, stability and development. The success of the ongoing efforts requires the total commitment of the Somali leaders, as well as regional states and international partners," he said.
He vowed that the government will hunt down and deal firmly with those threatening national security and emphasized that the terrorist elements and criminal gangs that have become a threat to the lives of innocent Kenyans and their property must be stopped.
"As a country, we are also telling those who threaten us that we will not relent in taking steps that will guarantee our national security.
"As a nation, we will never be intimidated," he said.
The president stressed that even as the country’s security agencies deal firmly with these criminal elements, Kenyans should complement their efforts by volunteering information that would lead to their arrest and prosecution.
"I call upon these leaders and partners to demonstrate full commitment and help Somalia move forward," he said.
He also said the tension between South Sudan and Sudan threatens to reverse the gains made over many years of searching for peace.
"I call upon the two states to stop acts of aggression and seek to resolve their disputes through established mechanisms of dialogue," Kibaki said.
Kenya has been subjected to successive explosives attacks by Al- Shabaab operatives in the country following the onslaught by Kenyan soldiers on the Al-Shabaab in Somalia after the militia staged a series of attacks along the Kenyan coast.
The incident comes amid heightened security in Nairobi after Somali insurgents threatened reprisal attacks in Kenya if her soldiers who launched cross border incursions in October last year do not leave the Horn of Africa nation.
The militant group has also come under pressure from Uganda, Burundi and Sierra Leone soldiers who recently pushed out them out of the outskirts of Somali capital Mogadishu.
Since the Kenya military incursion into Somalia several attacks believed to have been carried out by Al-Shabaab have occurred in Mandera, Wajir, and Garissa and Dadaab districts of northern Kenya even as the military reports gains against the group by capturing their military bases and killing scores of them.
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