Thursday February 23, 2017
The presence of the other leaders is significant as it confirms Somalia’s transition from a stateless country to a nation whose leadership enjoys regional and international recognition.
The attendance in Mogadishu of the inauguration of new Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed 'Farmajo' by three regional heads of state is a welcome endorsement of the new leader.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Djibouti counterpart, Mr Omar Guelle, and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn were in war-torn Somalia for a visit that is full of symbolism, as it demonstrates commitment to helping stabilise the country.
This is, perhaps, the most important signal to Al-Shabaab terrorists that the regional resolve to restore peace and order in Somalia is unstoppable.
The message to the militants, who have staged two fatal attacks since President Farmajo’s election, is that their bloody campaign will not change the resolve to get Somalia back on track.
President Kenyatta’s presence is a bold statement of Kenya’s commitment to fighting terrorism. The official visit is also a manifestation of the friendly relations between the two neighbours.
But it is also a reminder that the high cost incurred in terms of the lives and resources lost in attacks on civilians and soldiers, notwithstanding, the mission will continue, as it is for mutual benefit.