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Somalia leans towards Kenya for development

19 February 2014, 17:07

Nairobi - Somalia's Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed vowed Wednesday to liberate all parts of his country from Al-Shabaab insurgents by the end of 2014.

Mohamed told journalists in Nairobi that a significant part of southern Somalia is still under the control of the militants who have been carrying out almost daily attacks across the country.

"The plan is to have Al-Shabaab out of the areas that they control by the end of 2014," Mohammed said during a joint media briefing with Kenya's Deputy President William Ruto. Mohamed said that Al-Shabaab does not control a continuous region but patches of land.

"We are fighting extremists who look like the locals and cannot be separated from the communities as they are waging unconventional warfare," he said, adding that with international community assists Somalia will eliminate the threat of terrorism.

He urged the Kenyan government to help his country to rebuild its institutions that have collapsed as a result of decades of civil war. "Strong structures will help support the development of the nation," he said.

He added that the parliaments of both nations will soon engage so that they can share experiences. "This will help build on the already strong and historical relations between Kenya and Somalia, " he said.

Al-Shabaab has vowed reprisal attacks in the country, mainly targeting security forces in border towns of northern Kenya where dozens of people have been killed in landmine and grenade attacks.

Kenya launched a cross border incursion into Somalia last October in pursuit of the militants blamed for a series of grenade and landmine attacks in Nairobi, Mombasa and northern region.

Mohammed noted that Kenya has hosted over one million Somali refugees who ran away from the security challenges.

"Kenya has also provides an opportunity for Somalia's businesses to operate and make remittances back to Somalia," he said.

"Kenya is committed to eliminate the menace of terrorism in Somalia and the rest of the region," Ruto said, adding that the decision by the United Nations Security Council to increase the number of Africa Union troops in Somalia to 22,000 is a move in the right direction.

The deputy president said that Somalia should ensure that the areas liberated from Al-Shabaab should have the necessary infrastructure that will allow returning refugees to settle.

- Xinhua

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