President Uhuru Kenyatta held a meeting yesterday with the US-Africa Command Commander General Thomas Waldhauser where they discussed regional security, including the situation in Somalia and South Sudan.
Uhuru, who has been at the forefront in the efforts to restore peace and stability in the two East African countries, told Waldhauser that Kenya is committed to finding peace in Somalia, an aspiration that has in the past been undermined by lack of adequate capacity, and proper military commands.
Political turmoil in South Sudan, the president said has been made worse by unwarranted fear and mistrust between supporters of President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar.
Uhuru, however, said hope to restore stability in both countries is not lost and partner-States working towards peace in the region will remain committed to the cause.
“We shall give it everything we can. But it is not going to be easy,” said the president in reference to South Sudan.
He said Somalia faces further challenges of mistrust and internal politics between the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and regional governments.
Waldhauser underlined the need for Somalia to strengthen its leadership structures, adding that the instability is partly because of indirect interference from certain Gulf countries.
“We are ready to continue assisting the country as long as the federal government is willing to accept our support”, said SWaldhauser who called for neutrality from the Gulf countries that are extending their differences to the Horn of Africa nation.
“The differences and clashes in these Arabian countries are playing out in Somalia. We call for their neutrality,” said the top US military officer.