Kenya opening new embassy in Mogadishu to boost Somalia ties

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Kenya will open an embassy in Somalia later this year to help deepen bilateral relations between the two countries, said Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto on Friday.

Ruto said Nairobi will play a key role in the reconstruction of the Horn of Africa nation which faces security challenges from the Al-Qaida allied ‘al-Shabaab’.

“As African leaders, we should be in the frontline in helping our brothers and sisters in Somalia.

“We can be limited in capacity but not in willingness to assist,” Ruto said in Nairobi when he held talks with visiting President of Southwest State of Somalia Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan.

A statement issued after the meeting said deputy president promised to visit Somalia later in the year to help create the right perception about the Horn of Africa nation.

He appreciated the challenges faced by the Somali government but expressed confidence that the government of Somalia was working progressively to manage the situation in the best interest of the country and the region.

Ruto appealed to leaders of the Federal States of Somalia to work together.

He noted that the challenges faced by the country should not be magnified by individual differences among the leaders.

He said Kenya was ready and willing to participate in the reconstruction of Somalia through the Joint Cooperation Commission (JCC) that would come out with mechanism to source for resources for training the police, teachers and paramedics among other professionals for the Somali government.

“We are willing to share our expertise in infrastructure development, in education and in training the police in our efforts in stabilizing Somalia.

“If the request is made through the JCC a mechanism would be found out how to raise the resources,” he said.

Ruto said Kenya would assist in stabilizing individual states of the Federal Government of Somalia as prerequisite to bringing stability to the whole country and the region at large.

He also clarified that Nairobi has no other interest in Somalia other than bringing peace and stability to the country and maintained that Kenya was in Somalia to help rid the country of the terrorists.

“We do not want anybody to take advantage of the fragile situation in Somalia and incubate people to destabilize the country and the region,” he said.

Speaking during the meeting, Adan said the leadership in Somalia was committed to eliminating the extremists and restoring order in the country.

“We are happy with Kenya’s assistance in resolving the problems in Somalia, and we are urging that Kenyan troops be allowed to traverse the interior of the country which is still under the control of ‘al-Shabab’ and help in liberating it,” Adan said.

Adan appealed to Kenya to assist in building the capacity of the government of Southwest Somalia state noting that Kenya’s assistance would particularly be appreciated in education, police training, judiciary and intelligence gathering.

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