Kenya, Somalia seek int’l aid for internal displaced Somalis
Laaska News Nov. 2 ,2011
By Christine Lagat
NAIROBI, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) — Kenyan and Somali governments on Tuesday appealed for humanitarian support to help internal displaced Somalis who are facing acute food shortages.
Prime Minister Raila Odinga and his Somali counterpart Abdiweli Mohammed Ali, who met with representatives of the international community in Nairobi, brief the envoys on the status of Kenya’s military operation in Somalia. “No less important, emergency funding is needed for other urgently needed services such as in health and education, whose absence in Al-Shabaab controlled areas is of the hidden tragedies of their rule,” Odinga told journalists after the meeting with donors. “The provision of these services will be a boon for the region’s economic development, and eliminate the impoverishment in which despair and extremism thrive.”
During the briefing, the two leaders appealed for humanitarian support for people in the liberated areas, noting civilians there were in dire need of food, medicine and water.
“We would like to see AMISOM and Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) troops deployed in these areas to help in stabilizing the situation even as the civilian administration takes root,” Odinga said.
He said the African Union peacekeeping mission was ready to commit 3,000 additional troops for the liberated areas in Southern Somalia to help safeguard peace and security and assist the establishment of local administration with the guidance of the TFG.
Such deployment, he said, will need additional international support. Odinga emphasized that the joint military operation was to flush out the Al-Shabaab members, adding that Jubaland had been completely liberated and civilian administration was in the process of being established there.
The two leaders pointed out that the Al-Shaabab problem was a global issue and appealed for an international blockade of the port of Kismayu to deny the Al-Shabaab their supply route.
Odinga said the two governments were working closely with the French and British intelligence to trace the whereabouts of two French workers who were kidnapped at Daadab camps last month and have them released unharmed.
Odinga reiterated that pursuance of Al-Shabaab should not be the cause of ethnic profiling of Kenyans of Somali origin and xenophobic attacks on them.
He assured tourists and other visitors that security had been enhanced in Kenya and on our borders, adding the country was safe to visit.
“Our success will make our two border regions more secure, and will enable the world to provide food and other critical social services that Al-Shabaab’s tyrannical rule has condemned southern Somalia to,” Odinga said.
He said the victory will also bring within reach the cardinal goal that the region and the entire international community has sought for over two decades, which is to establish the authority of the Somali government throughout the country. “That will help deny terrorists, as well as the pirates and bandits, the lawless space in which they plan atrocities deeds in the region and worldwide,” he said.
Odinga thanked the Somali government through their Prime Minister for their cooperation, noting the issue of terrorism transcended international borders and must be tackled as such.
Abdiweli Mohammed Ali who was accompanied by a number of cabinet ministers from his government emphasized that the ongoing operation in Somalia was jointly being undertaken by his government and Kenya and that the later had not imposed their will on Somalia.
He asked the international community to play their role in combating the Al-Shabaab menace, noting that as a global problem everyone had a role to play in eliminating it to make the world a better place to live in.