News / Africa

Kenya, Somalia Strengthen Ties to Stabilize Somalia, Region

Somali PM Mohamed Abdulahi Mohamed (File)
Somali PM Mohamed Abdulahi Mohamed (File)
Michael Onyiego

With the mandate of Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government due to expire in August, Somali Prime Minister Mohammed Abdullahi Mohammed was in Nairobi Thursday to discuss regional security with his Kenyan counterpart, Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

Over the 20 years of Somalia’s instability, Kenya has frequently felt the effects of its neighbor’s numerous wars. According to the U.N. refugee agency, nearly 400,000 refugees were living in Kenya as of January, a population expected to grow to over half of a million by the end of 2011. And these figures do not include the thousands of Somalis who fled their country to become permanent residents in Kenya.

Kenya has also been drawn in to Somalia’s actual conflict. In February, Somali government forces launched an offensive to oust al-Shabab insurgents from southern Somalia. With intense fighting along the borders to control critical entry points into Somalia, violence spilled into the northern Kenyan town of Mandera, claiming the lives of civilians and forcing a buildup of Kenyan troops.

Prime Minister Mohammed told reporters in Nairobi that Kenya’s support was a key component of TFG military operations in the Gedo and Dobley regions of southern Somalia, where much of the fighting has taken place. Mr. Mohammed warned of the threat posed by al-Shabab’s foreign fighters from countries such as Afghanistan and Pakistan, who seek to destabilize the region as a whole.

The talks between Mr. Odinga and Mr. Mohammed come ahead of a United Nations-sponsored conference next week in Nairobi to discuss the transition of the interim Somali government in August. The meeting has garnered criticism from Somali leaders who argue transition talks would damage the progress of recent months.

Prime Minister Mohammed called for any such discussions to take place in Somalia. He also recently criticized the United Nations for basing its Somalia programs in Kenya. On Tuesday, the prime minister ordered all U.N. agencies working in Somalia to permanently relocate to Mogadishu within six months. The U.N. maintains only a few permanent personnel in Somalia because of security reasons, with the rest of its Somali-focused staff based in Nairobi.

After the meeting with the Kenyan Prime Minister, Mr. Mohammed told reporters the two agreed to work together to defeat any enemies of peace and progress in Somalia.

Somalia has not had a functioning central government since dictator Mohammed Siad Barre was overthrown by warlords in 1991. Al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab has been battling the transitional administration since 2007 and controls the majority of southern Somalia, including parts of the capital, Mogadishu.

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid