ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, 27 January 2018 (PSCU) – President Uhuru Kenyatta today met UN Secretary-General António Guterres
and discussed peace initiatives in South Sudan and Somalia.
Meeting in Addis Ababa ahead of the 30th Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Assembly, President Kenyatta and Mr Guterres reviewed progress in efforts to bring sustainable peace to South Sudan and Somalia.
Mr Guterres acknowledged the South Sudan peace initiatives spearheaded by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and encouraged member states including Kenya not to give up their efforts.
Mr Guterres particularly wanted President Kenyatta to return to the forefront of the continent’s efforts to secure a lasting solution in Kenya’s northern neighbor.
The UN Secretary-General also called on all the parties involved in the conflict to work together in the search for a lasting solution.
President Kenyatta affirmed Kenya’s commitment to helping move forward the South Sudan peace process.
The President assured Mr Guterres that the African Union Summit provides an opportunity for IGAD leaders to meet and discussed ways of rejuvenating the peace process.
“In essence, it is about Kenya working with the region, and partners like the United Nations, to secure peace in South Sudan. It is a subject that concerns us, as much as it does the United Nations,” President Kenyatta said.
In regard to Somalia, President Kenyatta pressed the Secretary-General for continued support for AMISOM, the African Union mission in Somalia – which the region sees as the main stabilizing factor in the Horn of African nation.
“Stability in Somalia is key for the region and everything we can do to ensure the progress so far achieved is sustained, we should do,” the President said.
Kenya is seen globally as a key player in any efforts to secure peace in South Sudan and Somalia. Leaders in the region believe that Kenya can play a more pivotal role in peace initiatives after taking a lower profile in the last year when it was preoccupied with general elections.