UN hails Kenya's peace keeping role in Somalia ahead of 2020/21 polls

Africa
By International Desk , Garowe Online

NEW YORK, USA - The United Nations has recognized the role played by Kenya in pushing for peace and stability in Somalia, a nation that has struggled to restore liberalism for three decades.

Rocked with inter-clan antagonism, Al-Shabaab threat, and lawlessness, Somalia is on the right path to recovery thanks to the commitment by the international community.

For decades, Kenya has been instrumental in shaping Mogadishu politics, a fact underscored by the United Nations.

Special Representative of UN Secretary-General and the head of United Nations Mission of Somalia (UNSOM) Ambassador James Swan on Friday held talks with Kenya's Foreign Affairs minister Monica Juma over Somalia.

Also present was head of United Nations Support Office in Somalia Lisa Filippeto. The three discussed the political and security situation in Somalia besides exploring gains made by AMISOM.

"We viewed the political and security situation in the Horn region as well as the AMISOM operations in Somalia," tweeted Juma.

"Both envoys commended the role of Kenya and her demonstrated commitment in the pursuit of peace and security in Somalia and the Horn of Africa. Kenya’s commitment is to remain a reliable partner of the UN in the region and beyond," she added.

Somalia is expected to hold parliamentary and presidential polls next year, a move that is closely monitored by the United Nations. MPs are currently crafting electoral laws.

AMISOM, in which Kenya plays an integral role, has been coordinating peace processes in Somalia, countering Al-Shabaab militants in the process.

On Thursday, President Mohamed Farmajo lauded Kenya's contributions in AMISOM, adding that the sacrifice of KDF troops will 'not go in vain'.

While underscoring the fact that the Indian Ocean maritime dispute will not affect mutual relations between the two countries, Farmajo also appreciated Kenya's commitment to host thousands of refugees.

"President Farmajo expressed gratitude for the role of Kenya in AMISOM, hospitality to Somalis refugees, and expressed his confidence that the ICJ issue would be resolved in a mutually acceptable manner and not affect our bilateral relations," Juma had said.

In return, President Uhuru Kenyatta reinstated direct flights from Mogadishu to Nairobi, besides introducing visa issuance for Somalis at all major airports in Kenya.

At least 500 KDF troops have denied while in mission in Somalia since 2011. The most deadly assault by the Al-Shabaab militants came in 2016 at the El Adde army base.

Tentatively, KDF troops are expected to leave Somalia by 2021 after training Somali National Army to UN standards.

Kenya has been under immense criticism from Mogadishu for allegedly playing a key role in determining Jubaland's leadership.

President Ahmed Madobe is a key ally of Nairobi, a move that has often put the two countries at loggerheads. During Madobe's inauguration in October, Kenya's Majority Leader Aden Duale represented the government.

GAROWE ONLINE

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