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Duale meets IIhan Omar in America, discusses Al-Shabaab threats

By Staff reporter , Garowe Online

MINNEAPOLIS, USA - Kenya's National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale held talks with Congresswoman Ilhan Omar on Sunday with peace and stability domineering, he said in a tweet.

Ilhan Omar, the first Somali-American to serve in Congress, is a fierce critic of President Donald Trump and serves in Foreign Affairs committee.

Among others, she has been extremely vocal on America's foreign policy, often insisting that it has 'deteriorated' substantially under Trump's administration.

Duale's meeting with Ms. Omar comes at the time Al-Shabaab militants are causing havoc across East Africa, with Kenya paying a heavy price.

Kenya's role in promoting peace features

Kenya's contributions towards peace, security, and stability at the Horn of Africa featured in their talks, Duale said in a tweet.

Nairobi has been playing a key role in the stability of Somalia, deploying 3,000 troops in the peacekeeping mission.

Despite a few setbacks, the troops have managed to liberate key and strategic towns in Somalia, among them Dhobley and Kismayo, Gen. Samson Mwathethe said.

"As a member of the Committee on Foreign affairs, We discussed a wide range of issues between the legislatures, matters of refugees," said Duale.

The Garissa Town MP added: "Kenya’s contribution to the peace, security, and stability in the Horn of Africa and the fight against extremism."

The refugees' big question

Currently, Kenya hosts millions of refugees despite efforts to repatriate them to Somalia and South Sudan, the two worst-hit nations with internal political conflicts.

More often than not, these refugee camps like Dadaab in Garissa, have been used to breed terrorists, UN Panel of Experts revealed.

This is why Nairobi has been keen to have them closed down, despite resistance from the United Nations and the Security Council.

Kenya is keen to capture the Security Council's non-permanent seat with everything due to take place in June this year.

Ilhan Omar's defense to Somalia

Ms. Omar has been critical of Kenya's persistent bombardment of Communication infrastructure in Somalia.

Last year, in a tweet that went viral, she questioned the destruction of Hormood Telecommunication infrastructure, arguing that such acts deserve retribution.

She said: "Somali government and peacekeeping forces, need to protect @Hormuud and the Somali telecom industry as they make an enormous contribution to the economy."

The telecommunication giants Hormuud had accused KDF of persistent destruction of her infrastructure besides the killing of staff members.

Efforts to vanquish Al-Shabaab

Duale has been in the frontline in the fight against Al-Shabaab, calling for arming of locals in the northeastern region during last week's peace meeting.

He said: "Views of locals should be incorporated in the fight against terror; the people should not be victimized or isolated."

The northeastern leaders asked elders to work with security forces, to flush out Al-Shabaab militants, some of them who are said to be facilitated by them.

A report by AFRICOM following an Al-Shabaab raid at Camp Simba indicated that "there is a possibility of facilitation by Kenyans during the attack."

Five terrorists were gunned down after killing three Americans. Security has since been beefed up in the camp and its environs, AFRICOM said.

Omar's rise in the political sphere

Ilhan Omar was elected to represent Minnesota 5th District for a term of two years. She launched her re-election bid last week.

Through her Democratic Party, she was elected alongside Rashida Tlaib as the first Muslim woman to the United States Congress.

Before leaving for America, she had a brief stint at Dadaab refugees camp, thus a strong defense for refugees in Congress.

Duale is the fourth senior-most leader in the Kenyan government by the virtue of being the leader of Government Business in parliament.


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