Kikwete pledges support for Somalia
The President of the transition government of Somalia, Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, flew to Arusha over the weekend where he held talks with the Tanzanian head of state, Mr Jakaya Kikwete. The Somali president asked President Kikwete to help him build a stable government.
“We want Tanzania to help Somalia to set up government institutions and build the public sector because at the moment there are positive developments in the horn of Africa. We are in the process of putting together national armed forces,” said President Sharif Ahmed through an interpreter.
The nearly four-hour meeting between President Kikwete and President Sharif was held at Ngurudoto Mountain Lodge immediately after the Somali head of state landed at the Kilimanjaro International Airport.
Striving to ensure that peace reigned at the horn of Africa, President Jakaya Kikwete assured Somali that his government will do everything to help stabilize the country’s governance because the political strife at the horn of the continent also had adverse effects to East African region.
“Security is improving and the political situation is stabilizing, but we want President Kikwete to help reinforce the peaceful situation in Somali and we also want to learn from Tanzania’s long standing peace and stability,” said the Somali leader.
President Sharif Ahmed also wants to forge permanent diplomatic relations and cooperation with the government of Tanzania as well as ensuring that the citizens of the two countries strike mutual cooperation.
The transition government of Somalia has the task of ensuring that a proper government is set up by August 20, this year, marking the beginning of a new era for Africa’s most troubled nation.
The Somali leader said that while things seem to be developing for the better in Somalia, a great task in the struggle to bring about meaningful peace in the Horn of Africa nation still lay ahead. The conflict in the troubled nation has cost 400,000 lives since 1991.
The entire world is, meanwhile, focusing attention on Somalia’s leaders who are expected to make a peaceful transition and hand-over of power in August, this year.
The aim is to set up a new state structure that should see peace returning to Somalia. With the war-torn country’s transitional body preparing to hand over power next August, the UN Secretary General, Mr Ban Ki- moon, recently urged all nations to play roles in building a steady government in Somalia after two decades of instability.