By PSCU/Rose Welimo
President Uhuru Kenyatta has met US Secretary of State John Kerry and discussed the security situation in South Sudan, Somalia and combating terrorism.
President Kenyatta told Secretary Kerry that the recent violent skirmishes in Juba have serious implications for the implementation of the Peace Agreement signed in August 2015.
The President expressed concern that implementation of the Peace Agreement has been sluggish and under severe threat due to lack of commitment by the parties involved.
Following the resurgence of armed conflict, President Kenyatta informed the US Secretary of State, the IGAD Council of Ministers met in Nairobi last July and created a roadmap to restore normalcy in South Sudan.
“This was followed by the IGAD-Plus Summit of Heads of State and Government in Kigali, Rwanda in July 2016; and later in Addis Ababa in August 2016,” President Kenyatta said.
The Head of State commended the US Government for its leadership role in sponsoring the adoption of the UN Security Council Resolution 2304 of 2016.
The President thanked the US Government and the international community for standing with the region in support of the South Sudan peace process.
On Somalia, President Kenyatta urged the US and the international community to continue engaging in the Horn of Africa country proactively to sustain the stabilization efforts.
He informed the US Secretary of State that implementation of governance and state formation as envisioned in the Somalia Vision 2016 is in progress.
He expressed hope that following the endorsement of the electoral calendar by the National Leadership Forum, Somalia will stick to the election time frame which will culminate in the election of a President on October 30.
“The success of the electoral process depends on the support from the International community and partners,” President Kenyatta said.
President Kenyatta observed that the combined forces of AMISOM and the Somalia National Army have registered a remarkable progress on the security front.
Noting that the African Union plans to drawdown AMISOM by 2018, the President underscored the need to mobilize resources to carryout effective operations and build capacity of the Somalia National Army to take over the mandate.
Secretary Kerry expressed support for Kenya’s leadership in seeking and finding solutions for regional security.
He said the US looks to Kenya for continued leadership in efforts to secure the region and boost economic environment.
President Kenyatta and Mr Kerry noted, with satisfaction, the strong bilateral ties between Kenya and the US. They also applauded the increasing the investment in Kenya by US firms.
The State House meeting was also attended by Cabinet Secretaries Amb. Amina Mohamed (Foreign Affairs and International Trade) and Prof. Judy Wakhungu (Environment and Natural Resources) among other senior Government officials.
Kerry was accompanied by the US Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield, National Security Council Director for Africa Martis Flacks, US Special Envoy for South Sudan Amb. Donald Booth and the US Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec.