President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday met with a US-Africa Command Commander General Thomas Waldhauser where they discussed regional security including the situation in Somalia and South Sudan.
During the meeting at State House, Gen. Waldhauser affirmed that the US was committed to continued partnership with Kenya and lauded President Kenyatta’s upbeat economic agenda.
He asked questions about Uhuru’s legacy project which the Head of State responded in earnest.
President Kenyatta explained that the Big 4 Agenda “aims at creating social harmony among Kenyans so as to create a favourable environment for wealth and job creation through manufacturing, affordable housing, universal healthcare and food security.”
President Kenyatta further stated that the aim of his government was to establish an irreversible trajectory of growth and development that is totally dependent on robust institutions.
He told General Waldhauser that Kenya is firmly committed to the cause of finding peace in Somalia, an aspiration that has in the past been negated by lack of adequate capacity, and proper military commands.
President Kenyatta, 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,” President Kenyatta conveyed in reference to South Sudan.
President Kenyatta added that Somalia faced further challenges of mistrust and internal politics between the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and regional governments.
“The deteriorating relationships between the TFG and the regional governments is of major concern to us,” Uhuru explained adding that the conflict is a major security threat to Kenya and the region.
On his part, General Waldhauser underlined the need for Somalia to strengthen its leadership structures adding that the instability is partly due to indirect interference from certain Gulf countries.
“We are ready to continue assisting the country so long as the federal government is willing to accept our support”, said Gen Waldhauser 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,” the top US military officer maintained.
The General said the US will continue its training programmes for the Somalia National Army (SNA) with the expectation that the Federal Government will work on the requisite structures for the trained personnel to operate effectively.