21 September 2016 – Addressing the United Nations General Assembly, the Vice-President of Kenya today implored the UN Security Council to align the mandate of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to the threat levels in that neighbouring country, and to provide adequate, predictable funding and other support for the Mission.
“For the last two and half decades, the region has been seized with the situation in Somalia,” Vice-President William Ruto said. “Throughout this time, Kenya has stood with Somalia, provided a safe haven for refugees, joined peacekeeping missions, and invested resources in combating al-Shabaab and its affiliates.”
This solidarity has helped to substantially weaken the al-Shabaab militant group, liberated large swathes of land in Somalia and provided the space for its Government to begin the journey of rehabilitation and reconstruction, he explained.
On its part, Kenya has committed to $10 million in new funds to support the safe, dignified and orderly repatriation of the more than 400,000 Somali refugees in Kenya. “Sadly, the efforts of the region and Somalia’s neighbours have not been matched by the international community,” he stated.
Instead of supporting regional activities, the European Union this year cut support for AMISOM by 20 per cent. Despite repeated appeals, the UN Security Council has failed to provide adequate, predictable funding, as well as force multipliers for AMISOM.
“I once again implore members of the Security Council to take this matter seriously and align the mandate of AMISOM to the threat levels in Somalia on land, air and sea,” he said.
On South Sudan, Vice-President Ruto said that Kenya, as a guarantor of the 2005 comprehensive peace agreement and the 2015 Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict, has been spearheading the search for sustainable peace, continues to invest significantly in efforts to build peace.
Echoing an earlier statement made by Ghana’s President, Mr. Ruto said that Africa accounted for only three per cent of global trade. Meanwhile, Africa’s population is set to surpass that of India and China combined by 2050. “Unless the trade imbalance is reversed as a matter of urgency, this will accentuate vulnerability, poverty, risk of insecurity and instability for both Africa and the rest of the world,” he said.
In the pursuit of sustainable solutions to global challenges, Kenya hosted the UN Environmental Assembly in May, the 14th session of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in July, and the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI) in August. Kenya will also host the second high-level meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation in Nairobi later this year.
As the current chair of the UN Peacebuilding Commission, Kenya has been at the forefront of advocating for a new peacebuilding architecture for sustainable peace throughout the world, he said, drawing attention to a pledging conference Kenya will co-host later today to boost the Secretary-General’s Peacebuilding Fund.
“For us the message is clear: If we are ever to enjoy a peaceful world for all, we cannot invest any less in peacebuilding than we do in peacekeeping,” he said.