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Secretary of State urges Kibaki to concentrate on regional peace
Sunday, August 05, 2012

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United States Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton on Saturday called on Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki to keep engaged in regional peace and reconciliation efforts even when he retires.

Clinton who arrived in Nairobi early on Saturday said the Horn of Africa and the region could benefit immensely from president Kibaki’s 50 years in public office and 10 years of peace mediation as Head of State.

"The U.S Secretary of State also appreciated the frontline role Kenya continued to play to stabilize Somalia and the horn of Africa, pledging her government support to such initiatives," said a statement issued in Nairobi after the meeting.

President Kibaki, on his part, told Clinton who is on a tour of African nations that peace and regional stability were key to economic prosperity, an issue that remained close to his heart.

Kibaki urged Washington to positively engage the signatories to the Somalia transition road map on the importance of ending the transitional period which is due to end by Aug. 20.

"President Kibaki acknowledged the assistance of the U.S government at the United Nations enabling Kenyan troops to join Africa Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM),"the statement said.

He emphasized that since the country’s troops moved into Somalia, there has not been a single case of piracy and assured that the East African nation will continue to be at the forefront in the fight against global terrorism and piracy along the Indian Ocean Coast.

He said Kenyan troops together with AMISOM forces were making good progress to stabilize Somalia to enable the over 700,000 refugees who have posed serious social and security challenges to Kenya, to relocate back to the liberated parts of their country.

The East African nation launched cross border incursion into Somalia last October in pursuit of the militants blamed for a series of grenade and landmine attacks in Nairobi, Mombasa and northern region.

Several people have been killed in northeast regions bordering Somalia since troops launched a cross-border campaign against the Al-Shabaab, including grenades thrown into bars and churches, and several homemade explosive devices and landmines set off.

The security agencies have as a result been on higher alert after intelligent reports hinted that Al-Shabaab terrorists are escaping into the East African nation as the operation to rout the insurgents from Somalia gains momentum.

On Monday, Somali lawmakers adopted the Provisional National Constitution, completing an important milestone towards ending the current transitional period that is scheduled to conclude on Aug. 20.

The provisional constitution clearly stipulates the right to freedom of expression and opinions, including freedom of speech and freedom of the media in all forms.

During the meeting, Kibaki also urged Washington to play a lead role and mobilize the international community in the re-construction of a peaceful and secure Somalia.

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