Kenya, Somalia vow to eliminate Al-Shabaab

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Addis Ababa, 20 February 2014 (WIC) - The Governments of Kenya and the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia renewed their commitment to the fight against Al-Shabaab and the elimination of terrorism from the region on Wednesday.

Deputy President William Ruto and Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed said at a joint press conference in Nairobi that their governments, operating under IGAD and AMISOM, would defeat all terrorist groups and bring stability to Somalia.

Prime Minister Abdiweli said a military offensive led by the expanded AMISOM aimed to drive Somali Islamist rebels out of their remaining strongholds by the end of the year.

Ruto said the two governments had no need for explanations, apologies nor justification for their resolve to eliminate the terror menace and create a stable Somalia.

Ruto said Kenya’s aim was to help bring stability to Somalia and enable Somalis review their constitution and pave the way for democratic elections by 2016. Kenya’s troops, he added, would continue to fight terror alongside other AMISOM troops in Somalia until this is achieved.

The Deputy President said Kenya would open an embassy in Somalia before the middle of the year, and this, he said, would enhance people-to-people and government-to-government relationships, adding that Kenya would continue to play her role as a neighbor and ensure that Somalia was stable and secured.