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Kenya to step up regional peace initiatives

04 November 2014, 08:16

Nairobi - Kenya said on Monday it will continue to spearhead peace and diplomacy to resolve regional conflicts which have beset several countries in the region.

Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary and International Trade Amina Mohamed said the need to strengthen regional peace and security arrangements is currently one of the most pressing priorities.

Mohamed told a forum on peace building and conflict management in Nairobi that Kenya has prioritised peace diplomacy which is now anchored among the five pillars of the country's Foreign Policy.

"We regard peace diplomacy as key to the realization of our other foreign policy objectives. Kenya will therefore continue to actively support peace-making efforts within the peace and security architecture of our region, continent and the world," she said.

The two-day meeting brought together diplomats, conflict resolution experts and civil society organizations from across Africa.

Kenya has successful mediated Sudan peace talks that culminated in the signing of the comprehensive peace agreement in Nairobi in 2005 and Somalia peace talks that led to the formation of transitional government of Somalia in 2004.

Mohamed said Kenya has also been involved in the brokering peace between the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) government and the M23 rebels in a peace deal that was also signed in Nairobi on December 12, 2013.

Regional analysts say with Somalia already a serious problem for the region due to activities of Al-Qaida allied terror group Al-Shabaab, another conflict in South Sudan would simply be disastrous.

Mohamed said the Kenya which is surrounded by countries in political turmoil will strive to ensure that peace prevails in the region.

Also read: World Bank, UN chiefs due in Kenya to strengthen peace, security

"We appreciate this imperative and have continued to play an active role in peace initiatives in Africa and other parts of the world," Mohamed said.

In Africa, she said, Kenya has played a particularly key role in peace initiatives in Angola, the DRC, Mozambique, Namibia, and more recently in Somalia and Sudan.

"We will cooperate with other countries and agencies within the framework of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union. We will continue to do so through the Heads of State Forum, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) as well as Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASBRIG), which is part of the Africa Crisis Respond Initiative," Mohamed said.

She said although the peace and security situation in Africa has improved over the last few decades, a few cases of serious conflicts remain to be resolved.

The Kenyan official said the sources of violence are today more varied than they have been in the past with many African countries being vulnerable to conflict, adding that "Kenya will continue to support capacity building efforts in peace building and conflict management in our region and continent".

 - Xinhua

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