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Somalia-Kenya Agree on Fight Against Militants
After Back and Forth Finger Wagging, Somalia and Kenya Present a United Front
By ABDIKAFAR HOSH 10/31/2011
Somali and Kenyan Prime Ministers
Somalia Report
Somali and Kenyan Prime Ministers

The governments of Somalia and Kenya agreed the mission of the Kenyan military operation inside Somalia is limited to eliminating the threat posed by the al-Shabaab militants, according to a communiqué issued by Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Amolo Odinga and his Somalia counterpart Abdiweli Mohamed Ali following bilateral talks in Nairobi on Monday afternoon.

Kenyan Assistant Foreign Affairs Minister Richard Onyonka read the joint communiqué that stated Kenya has a legitimate right to self-defense of the external aggressive attacks under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter.

Both governments agreed the al-Shabaab militants constitute a threat not only Somalia and Kenya, but the entire region and the world.

The communiqué also expressed that the two premiers agreed to share intelligence and information on al-Shabaab activities and will continue working together in the military operation in southern Somalia.

It further stated that Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG) “will seek ICC assistance in beginning immediate investigations into crimes against humanity committed by members of al-Shabaab movement with the aim of seeking of their indictment."

Kenya and Somalia also agreed to launch a diplomatic campaign to seek broader support of the operation.

“Both Kenya and Somalia have agreed to mount joint diplomatic campaigns to galvanize support for the operations beginning with a joint meeting with select members of the diplomatic corps in Nairobi on Nov 1st 2011, followed by several visits to several select capitals,” read the communiqué.

Kenyan government said they will not negotiate with al-Shabaab, but the TFG is free to negotiate with all armed opposition groups in Somalia using tools such as the road map, Djibouti Accord and the Kampala Accord for guidance.

The Somali PM pledged his government’s commitment in working with Kenyan Defense Forces to flush al-Shabaab from the entire region.

“There is no daylight between Somalia and Kenya in fighting al-Shabaab. They are a threat to the safety and security of both countries therefore it is necessary for us to have a common strategy against a common enemy,” PM Abdiweli said.

“We should have a unity of purpose and we should walk in tandem until this threat is eliminated from Somalia and from the Horn of Africa...Al-shabaab is not a Somali phenomenon, it is not regional problem so it is incumbent upon us the international community to face this threats and to make sure that it should be eliminated from the face of earth," he added.

Prime Minister Abdiweli denied that the TFG leaders expressed different views on the Kenyan military intervention into their country, despite media reports to the contrary.

Both governments agreed additional African Union peacekeeping troops, known as AMISOM, should move into the liberated areas in southern Somalia to help safeguard peace and security. They should also help the TFG establish local administrations. PM Raila said talks were underway to redeploy AMISOM fighters.

“We have had a very useful and fruitful deliberation with the delegation from Somalia led by Honorable Abdiweli Mohammed Ali the Somali prime minister. We have been able to share a lot of information between us, because this is as we have said in the past a joint operation between the Kenyan forces and TFG forces in Somalia,” Raila said in the meeting.

The Kenyan PM has also expressed that the international community is supporting their military operations in Somalia including the African Union, United States, France, Tanzania, and other neighboring countries.

The Somalia PM was accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defense Hussein Arab Isse, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Industry and Commerce Abdiwahab Ugas Khalif, Minster for Interior and National Security Abdisamd Moalin Mohamed, Commander of the Somalia Forces General Abdulkadir Diini, and Somali Ambassador to Kenya Mohamed Ali Nsur.

The Kenya Prime Minister was accompanied by Minister of Defense Yussuf Haji, Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs Richard Onyonko, Chief of Kenya Defense Forces General Julias Karangi, Director General of Kenyan National Security Intelligence Service Michael Gichangi, Police commissioner Mathew Iteere, Retired General James Mulinge, the Kenyan Ambassador to Somalia and other Government officials.

The specific details of the communique are as follows (unedited):

1. That Kenya’s security operation inside Somalia is aimed at eliminating the threat posed by Al Shabaab to Kenya’s national security and economic well being, and is based on the legitimate right to self-defence under Article 51 of the UN Charter;

2. That Al Shabaab constitutes a threat to both Somalia and Kenya and is therefore a common enemy for the entire region and the world. This threat must be fought jointly by the two nations with support from the international community;

3. That the current operations are being led by the TFG of Somalia Forces with the support of the Kenyan Defence Forces in pursuit of legitimate Al Shabaab targets;

4. That the Somali Government supports the activities of the Kenyan forces, which are being fully coordinated with the TFG of Somalia and being carried out in the spirit of good neighbourliness and African unity.

5. That there will be continuous sharing of intelligence and information on Al Shabaab activities and the military operation to flush them out. In this regard, a joint high level coordination committee has been established which will maintain regular ongoing contact including periodic meetings in Nairobi and Mogadishu.

6. To mount a joint diplomatic campaign by both countries to galvanize support for the operation beginning with a joint meeting with select members of the Diplomatic Corps in Nairobi on November 1, 2011 and followed by visits to several select capitals.

7. That additional AMISOM troops be provided to move into 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.

8. That the international community assists in providing immediate humanitarian assistance in the liberated areas and provide needed funding for other urgently needed services such as in health and education.

9. That the TFG will seek ICC assistance in beginning immediate investigations into crimes against humanity committed by individuals within the Al Shabaab movement with the aim of seeking their indictment.

10. That the international community provides the necessary logistical and financial support for the blockade of the Port of Kismayu until Al Shabaab is removed;

11. That the Kenya Government shall not negotiate with Al Sahbaab but the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia is free to negotiate with all armed opposition groups within the instruments guiding this road map(i.e. The Djibouti Peace Process and the Kampala Accord as recommended by IGAD and the African Union) provided they renounce violence.