Kibaki calls for sustained engagement on Somalia 16 Jul 16, 2012 - 1:29:56 AM
President Kibaki who is attending the 19th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, has called for sustained efforts by the international community and all stakeholders towards consolidating the gains so far achieved in Somalia as the term of the Transitional Federal Government comes to an end in August this year.
Speaking during discussions on the Report on the Activities of the AU Peace and Security Council Monday, President Kibaki said the world has witnessed an unprecedented opportunity for turning Somalia from conflict to peace over last few months and underscored the need for sustained efforts to protect the gains so far achieved.
Said the President: "As the transition period comes to an end in August 2012, Kenya urges sustained engagement by IGAD and neighbours of Somalia, the African Union and the international community to protect the gains so far achieved, and guarantee a smooth and peaceful conclusion of the current administration."
President Kibaki noted that the joint efforts of Somalia's neighbours, IGAD Member States and the Africa Union towards advancing the course of peace have led to the liberation and stabilization of large areas of Somalia.
"This collective effort," added the President, "has also given impetus to the political process which is critical for the attainment of sustainable peace."
On Sudan and South Sudan, President Kibaki commended both President Omar Bashir and President Salva Kiir for committing to fully implement the AU roadmap within the stipulated timelines during the Peace and Security Council session held on Sunday.
President Kibaki pledged Kenya's support of negotiations to iron out outstanding issues between the two countries.
"As Chair of the IGAD Sub-committee on Sudan, I wish to reiterate the commitment of IGAD to walk with these two neighbours towards their stated goal of being two viable states, living side by side, in peace and prosperity," said President Kibaki.
"We in Kenya," added the President, "believe that our security and that of the region is linked to sustainable peace in all our neighbours. It is therefore our desire to see peaceful resolution of all outstanding issues between the two countries."
Having witnessed the commitment of both parties during the peace process that led to the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, President Kibaki said he was confident they will stay the course of negotiation until all the outstanding issues are resolved.
With respect to Eastern DRC, President Kibaki expressed concern over the existence of multiple armed groups, the worsening humanitarian crisis, shrinking confidence between neighbours, as well as illegal trade and exploitation of natural resources, saying these have created a volatile situation.
Drawing the attention of the African Union Assembly to the worrying situation in DRC, President Kibaki called for "urgent dialogue between all involved parties in order to reduce tensions."
The President was accompanied by Foreign Affairs Minister Prof. Sam Ongeri and Minister of State for Planning Hon. Wycliffe A. Oparanya, among other senior government officials.