11 May 2017

Kenya: More Troops in Somalia Key to Country's Stability, Uhuru Says

Photo: Ilyas Ahmed/UN
President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo.
press release

President Uhuru Kenyatta has asked the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) to commit more troops to the Horn Of Africa country to help stabilise it.

Mr Kenyatta said that the return of Somali refugees to their homeland is also key in strengthening the country.

The President, who was addressing the London Somalia Conference today, noted that although Amisom had made significant progress in abating terrorist activities and rebuilding the country, there was still much to do before a planned troops drawdown, and transition to Somali security forces next year.

"I therefore urge this conference to endorse the call by the troop contributing countries and the African Union for urgent measures to support and strengthen Amisom, including the upsurge of Amisom by an additional 4,000 troops to liberate areas still under the control of terrorists," he said.

REFUGEES

He also urged the international community to "facilitate the deployment of critical enablers and force multipliers, as well as the provision of predictable and sustainable funding" to help in stabilising Somalia.

The London Somalia Conference is co-chaired by British Prime Minister Theresa May, UN Secretary-General António Guterres, and Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed.

The President also sought support for the implementation of the Somalia National Development Plan to enable refugees to return home and participate in the reconstruction of their country.

BILATERAL TALKS

Before he left for London on Tuesday, the President had said Amisom could not be expected to exit Somalia before guaranteeing the region's security.

"For us, return of the people of Somalia, including repatriation of refugees, has to be embraced as part of measures of bringing meaningful peace and security."

At the same time, the President and Prime Minister May discussed bilateral matters.

The meeting was part of "a frenetic month of May" in which the President is holding talks with a host of global leaders on deepening investment and expanding trade.

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