Kenyatta urges more support for AU peace and security operations

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Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has urged African countries to step up their support to the African Union Peace and Security Council to ensure continuous progress in countering terrorism and violent extremism around the continent.

He said African states must stand ready to provide the required backing be it administrative, military or financial to enable the council to carryout out its mandate effectively.

“We must enhance levels of cooperation and collaboration with both regional and international partners through capacity building initiatives in emerging counter-violent extremism concepts and practices,” Kenyatta said during a meeting on the sidelines of the AU Summit in Addis Ababa.

The president also called on the United Nations and the AU to “ensure a practical and realistic AMISOM exit timelines that should be subjected to regular reviews.”

He said it would be unfortunate to withdraw the AMISOM troops while the level of preparedness of the Somali National forces to take over the security responsibility of their country was still low.

Kenyatta is among a number of African Heads of State gathered in the Ethiopian capital for the 30th AU Summit.

This year’s theme is titled Winning the fight against corruption: A sustainable path to Africa’s Transformation.

The leaders are expected to meet Sunday for the Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the AU.

Corruption and security are expected to top the agenda of the talks, as the leaders seek solution to the numerous challenges across the continent, including the South Sudan conflict.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres – who is also attending the Summit – welcomed the African leaders’ efforts to fight terrorism, expressing the need to build cooperation between AU and UN to ensure a sustained and coordinated approach to combat the vice.

“Nothing justifies terrorism. No cause or grievance can ever excuse the indiscriminate target of civilians, the destruction of lives and livehoods, and the creation of panic,” Guterres said.

He added that the UN stood ready to support Africa in the war against terrorism and urged the international community to play its part as well.

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