Somalia

Kenya supports action against piracy on Somali coastline

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President Mwai Kibaki today said Kenya supports the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1814 and 1816 authorizing the use of force against piracy off the Somalia coastline.

Noting that increased incidents of piracy in the Gulf of Eden and off the Somalia coastline have taken dangerous dimensions, the President expressed the need for urgent and resolute measures to save the roadmap towards comprehensive peace in Somalia .

"Pirate attacks continue to disrupt delivery of humanitarian aid and are a big threat to international sea-borne trade in the vital shipping arteries of the Gulf of Eden and the Indian Ocean ," President Kibaki said.

The President was speaking during the 13th Extra-Ordinary Summit of the IGAD Heads of State and Government at Kenyatta International Conference Centre, where leaders warned that the situation in Somalia was deteriorating and there was need to take urgent steps to save the country from sliding into total anarchy.

President Kibaki, once again, reaffirmed Kenya 's commitment to the realization of a stable and peaceful Somalia.

The President appealed to the United Nations to step up and honour its mandate of maintenance of international peace and security in Somalia that urgently requires a strong peacekeeping force.

"The UN should take constructive steps in establishing a Hybrid UN-African Union Mission (AMISOM) Force as recommended by the International contact group on Somalia to rescue the peace process in that country," President Kibaki said.

He also urged the international community to honour their pledges towards the re-construction of Somalia , saying the transitional government needs all the material support from countries that made pledges soon after the signing of the peace accord in Nairobi .

President Kibaki emphasized that Kenya , in collaboration with her development partners, will continue to discharge her international obligations towards maintenance of peace in Somalia .

He also emphasized that it was imperative for IGAD member states to develop a regional maritime security policy framework in collaboration with the international community and come up with practical mechanisms to enhance security in the region's coastline.

The Head of State, therefore, appreciated the efforts of Kenya 's partners who have deployed warships to patrol the Somalia waters in a bid to deter criminal activities.

Noting that the Transitional Federal Charter comes to an end in September 2009, President Kibaki said the Transitional Federal Government leadership and institutions must embrace compromise and agree to work together to create viable institutions in Somalia in the remaining interim period.

"When the Transitional Federal Government was formed four years ago here in Nairobi , its overall mandate was to constitute functional transitional federal institutions to stabilise the security situation, review the constitution, conduct a population census and hold democratic elections by 2009," President Kibaki noted.

President Kibaki called for the full implementation of the Djibouti Agreement and the Leaders' Accord so as to set Somalia on the path of positive reconciliation and national security.

"Regrettably however, political deadlock in the Somali Parliament continues to be an obstacle to full implementation of key elements of the Addis Ababa Leaders Accord," said the President.

In this connection, the President called on all the Somalia leaders to put aside their differences for the sake of peace, stability and the welfare of their people saying there were no gains derived from continued fighting.

He thanked IGAD Chairman and Ethiopia 's Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and his Government and the United Nations Political Office in Somalia for their efforts to reconcile the various groups in Somalia .

Said the President: "I assure you of my full support in all your endeavors."

While acknowledging the important contribution made by the governments and people of Uganda and Burundi to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), President Kibaki regretted that African countries and the global community have not done enough.

Saying AMISOM is operating below its anticipated strength capacity of 8,000 troops with only 3,413 currently deployed, the President urged Nigeria to expedite her pledge to deploy troops to AMISOM to bolster its mandate.

He said regional leaders must also acknowledge that the international community has not provided adequate resources for peacekeeping and to the Transitional Federal Government to fully implement its mandate.

In his address, the IGAD Chairman and Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi expressed the need for Africa, the UN and the international Community to step up their efforts to secure peace and stability in Somalia .

Mr. Zenawi thanked Uganda and Burundi for heeding the IGAD call by sending peace keeping troops to Somalia .

On his part, IGAD Executive Secretary Mohamoud Maalim saluted Kenya for its commitment to peace and stability in Somalia .

Mr Maalim said the summit was historical being the first time in 18 years that IGAD member states had an opportunity to directly address the entire Somali Government at a go.

The IGAD ordinary summit was organized to review the political, security and humanitarian situation in Somalia .

Other leaders who attended the Summit included President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda , Ismael Omar Guelleh of Djibouti , Abdulahi Yusuf of the Somali's Transitional Federal Government of Somalia and Sudan 's 1st Vice-President Salva Kirr mayardit among others.