by Chris Mgidu
NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenyan and Somali
leaders Thursday vowed to scale up war against terrorism by
dealing ruthlessly with Al-Shabaab militants, who have been
increasing terror attacks in the two countries.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi
Mohamed agreed that the fight against Al-Shabaab must continue
until they are no longer a threat.
"Al-Shabaab remains ready to kill innocent people in both
Kenya and Somalia," Kenyatta told journalists after holding
bilateral talks with the Somali leader in Nairobi.
Kenyan soldiers who are part of the African Union Mission in
Somalia (AMISOM) have been battling the militant group in
southern Somalia since 2011 when they launched cross-border
operations over abduction of foreigners and frequent terror
attacks on Kenyan soil.
President Mohamed, on his part, has lauded Kenya for the
prominent role it has played in the fight against Al-Shabaab
through the AMISOM.
Kenya and Somalia agree on
measures to boost bilateral ties
by Chrispinus Omar and David Musyoka
NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya and Somalia
on Thursday announced a raft of measures aimed at boosting trade
and easing movements of people, goods and services.
Addressing a joint news conference after holding talks in
Nairobi, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and visiting Somali
President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed resolved to open two border
posts in Dobley-Liboi and Mandera-Bulahawa.
Kenyatta said the two countries also agreed to revitalize
their engagement in all areas of mutual interests within the
context of a reactivated joint commission of cooperation.
"We also agreed to meet regularly to monitor the progress of
our bilateral relations," Kenyatta said, terming President
Mohamed’s visit a fresh start to the two countries’ close ties.
Both Kenyatta and Mohammed directed their countries’ security
teams to meet immediately and agree on modalities of
re-launching direct flights between Nairobi and Mogadishu within
Kenyatta also said forthwith there would be no visa
requirement for diplomatic and service passport holders between
the two countries.
The two leaders also discussed Somalia’s refugees issue with
a view to help them return and rebuild their nation, a
conversation that will continue at a regional special summit on
Durable Solutions for Somalia Refugees that Kenya will host on
Kenyatta said Kenya would establish a technical training
institute for youths currently in refugee camps and its environs
to enhance technical skills necessary for their rehabilitation
"If Somalia prospers, so does Kenya.
"If Somalia is peaceful, so is Kenya.
"It is up to us, then, to do all we can to help each other
secure these goods for our people," Kenyatta said.
President Mohamed lauded Kenya as one of Somalia’s strongest
allies and partners in East Africa, hosting the largest number
of Somali refugees for decades and contributing to the peace and
stability of Somalia through the African Union Mission in
He said the authorization of the resumption of flights from
Nairobi to Mogadishu by President Kenyatta ushers in a new
beginning that will enhance development of trade and economic
growth between the two countries.
"Our cooperation is indeed critical to our historic relations
and our continuous efforts to fight insecurity and poverty,"
Mohamed who is visiting Kenya for the first time as a head of
state said his government was ready to work with Nairobi to
realize the full benefits of their economic cooperation.
At least 10 killed as Al-Shabaab
attacks town in southern Somalia
MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) --
At least ten people including three Al-Shabaab
fighters were killed and several other injured in an attack by
militants in southern Somalia port city of Barawe early
Barawe district Commissioner, Aden Omar Madobe said three
militants, four government soldiers and three civilians were
killed during the dawn fighting between the Somalia national
Army (SNA) and Al-Shabaab.
Madobe told reporters that the fighting erupted after Al-Shabaab
militants attacked SNA military bases in the town, but were
defeated a few hours past midnight.
"Al-Shabaab militants attacked the town overnight and heavy
fighting between SNA and Al-Shabaab fighters ensued. It caused
casualties, three Al-Shabaab militants were killed in the
"They later fled the scene and PKM gun was recovered. We lost
four soldiers and three civilians," he added.
The commissioner said that the militants did not capture the
town, but admitted that they were very organized.
The attack is the latest in string of periodic assaults by
the insurgents who are fighting to topple the Western-backed
Al-Shabaab militants claimed victory, saying they killed 15
government soldiers and burned three armed vehicles during the
confrontation that last for about two hours in Barawe.
The allied forces operate in the region, in particular, the
port town of Barawe despite Al-Shabaab attempt to capture it or
The latest incident comes after seven people were killed in a
suicide attack in Mogadishu on Tuesday hours after Prime
Minister Hassan Ali Khaire announced his cabinet.
UN envoy reports urgent
challenges facing Somalia
UNITED NATIONS (Xinhua) --
UN envoy for Somalia Michael Keating said here
Thursday that the Somalia is facing urgent challenges as the
Horn of Africa country is haunted by the humanitarian crisis and
risk of imminent famine.
The statement came as Keating, the UN secretary-general’s
special representative for Somalia, was briefing the UN Security
Council on the current situation in the African country.
"Despite the persistent drought in the country, scaled-up
humanitarian efforts meant that more people were being reached
with food aid, nutritional support, health care services and
access to safe water," said Keating.
"One of the most urgent challenges includes the need for
funding for immediate life-saving action, in particular for the
cholera response, which now affected 11 of the 18 regions," he
Meanwhile, Keating noted that there was optimism in the
country, however, following the recent electoral process, which
had created momentum for fresh political engagement amongst
The international community, including UN agencies, is
working hard to prevent another famine in Somalia five years
after the previous one devastated the country.
Across Somalia, 6.2 million people will face acute food
insecurity through June 2017.
Of these, nearly three million people are in Phases 3
(crisis) and 4 (emergency) of the five-phase International Phase
Classification for Food Security (IPC), representing more than a
two-fold increase from six months ago. Phase 5 is famine.
The grave humanitarian situation in Soma was further
aggravated by drought which pushed some to flee the country in
Since the start of the year, more than 3,770 Somali new
arrivals have been recorded at Melkadida in Ethiopia, and acute
malnutrition has been reported in around 75 percent of arriving