By OWINO SAMWEL
The Government says it is ready to withdraw the Kenya Defense Forces from Somalia as they have accomplished its mission. In a joint communique through Principal Secretaries in the Ministries of Defence and Foreign Affairs, the government says it is ready to comply with the conclusion reached by the Heads of State and Governments of the African Mission In Somalia (Amisom) troops.
‚ÄúWe are ready to exit Kismayu and this must be done in an orderly manner to avoid compromising security gains achieved, ‚Äùsaid Monica Juma, the Defence PS. Juma said the principal reason for KDF incursion into Somalia has been achieved and as a government they are ready to handover the mantle as long as the process is done in an orderly manner.
She said she will meet the Chief of Defence Forces Jeremiah Karangi and give the exact details when the troops will exit Somalia. ‚ÄúThe chief of KDF will meet soon to discuss on the modalities of handing over Kismayu to Somalis,‚Äù she said. Juma dismissed claims that KDF is controlling business in Kismayu, saying the troops are only present in Somalia to provide security and help in its stabilisation.
The government, however, condemned the communique issued at the conclusion of the meeting of the Heads of State and Government of the AMISIM troops in Kampala, saying it has elicited tension in and outside Somalia. The government said the communique has raised concerns among different stakeholders that are directly involved in the ongoing war against al Shabaab aimed at pacifying and stabilising Somalia.
Policy advisor in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Zaddock Syong‚Äôoh said the recommendations made in the communique require careful sequencing of principal preconditions which must be met before any attempt is made to implement them. Syong‚Äôoh said the leadership of the Federal Government of Somalia must conform to the stipulations of the provisional Federal Constitution.
The government also said the control of the seaport and the airport by the Federal Government of Somalia must be negotiated between the Federal Government and the leadership of the Federal Member states as provided for in Article 54 of the federal Constitution.