NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 15 – Acting Foreign Affairs Minister and Internal Security Minister Professor George Saitoti on Thursday urged the international community to offer help in dealing with the growing number of Somali refugees in the country.
Speaking during a meeting with the African Diplomatic Corps in Nairobi he said Kenya’s security was threatened owing it to the huge influx of refugees fleeing Somalia frequently.
“Somalia remains an enormous challenge to peace and security in this region. We therefore call for urgent international humanitarian assistance to save victims of drought and famine,” he said.
He said Kenya was receiving thousands of refugees daily due to drought and violence in Somalia and it was already incapacitated to cope with the rising numbers.
According to the minister, a lot of work has to be done by introducing interventions strategies that will weaken the Al-shabaab which he singled out as the gravest threat in the war torn region.
During the discussions with the African diplomats, the newest nation, South Sudan also featured.
Prof Saitoti requested the African Union to fully support South Sudan in its quest to nature peace and stability.
“Following the successful declaration of South Sudan’s independence, I wish to observe that South Sudan needs the collective support of Africa to realize the aspirations of its people for peace, stability and progress,” he said.
He voiced the need for crucial effort in assisting both North and Southern Sudan and urged for an objective effort that will foster reconstruction and development by tackling thorny issues obstructing the peace process.
He said leaders should work together to resolve the Abyei issue and also the completion of the North/South border demarcation bearing in mind also on the sharing of oil revenue.
Libya which is going through tough times was also a concern for the diplomats and high commissioners.
Prof Saitoti said it was unacceptable that innocent civilians continued to die in the violence which he felt had degenerated into a fully-fledged civil war.
“We therefore call for the creation of humanitarian corridors, an immediate ceasefire and the start of a negotiated settlement under the mediation of the AU High Level ad-hoc Committee on Libya because the future of Libya can best be determined by Libyans themselves,” he said.
The meeting which brought together African ambassadors, high commissioners and officials from AU discuss issues affecting the continent and also expand their cooperation in trade.