The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) has said it supports Kenya’s war against Al Shabaab in Somalia.
In his address during the official opening of a Comesa committee of Elders retreat in Mombasa, Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya said the organisation fully supported the Kenyan Government in its fight against the militia.
" We wish to express our support to the Kenyan Government and its population in their fight against the Al Shabaab and wish you success in this endeavour. We have every confidence that your efforts will go long way towards enhancing global security especially in the area of terrorism and piracy," Ngwenya said.
The Secretary General, whose speech was read on his behalf by Brian Chigawaya, director of Legal and Institutional Affairs of Comesa said that they were delighted to hold their first retreat in Kenya, which has been at the forefront in conflict resolution in the Horn of Africa and in particular the mediation role Kenya played to end the 21 year long conflict in the Sudan.
He told the gathering that the Comesa Committee of elders should put their skills towards supporting ongoing mediation efforts in the region.
The Comesa committee of elder’s retreat main objective is to develop rules of procedure.
Foreign Affairs assistant minister, Richard Onyonka officiated the opening of the retreat.
Onyonka urged the international community to take advantage of the opportunity created by joint operation mounted by Kenya Defence Forces and the Transitional Federation Government Forces of Somali to realize the otherwise elusive objective of creating a peaceful and stable Somalia.
Onyonka said deepening of the integration of the region through the custom union and progressing towards the Comesa/EAC/Sadc tripartite Free trade area remains an important avenue for development in the region.