Support Our Somalia Exit, CORD Tells Obama

Support Our Somalia Exit, CORD Tells Obama

The two leaders say Kenyan troops invaded Somalia to tame the Al Shabaab militants but this has turned to be an expensive affair.

The two argue that Kenyan troops should not stay there indefinitely and should instead return and secure Kenyan borders.

“I have been involved with Somalia for long. I witnessed the withdrawal of US troops when it became clear that Operation Restore Hope was becoming a disaster. The US was not running away. It was making a strategic retreat to reorganize and re-strategise. That is what we are asking our country to do,” Musyoka said.

The two were speaking when they held talks on the country’s security hurdles with visiting US Senators and Representatives at Odinga’s home ahead of US President Barack Obama's visit in July.

Mobilise other countries to support Kenya's exit

Odinga and Musyoka urged Obama to rally international community to play a greater role in stabilizing Somalia.

“We moved in there out of frustration and a feeling that the international community was too slow or unconcerned to come to our aid and so we needed to take care of ourselves. It is our position in Opposition that we now need to retreat and concentrate on securing our borders. We appeal to the US to mobilise other countries that do not share a border with Somalia to move in and let Kenya move out,” Odinga said.

The dinner meeting was attended by visiting US Senators Chris Coons and Kristen Gillibrand.

Senators James Orengo and Johnstone Muthama were also in attendance.

The former premier and former vice president say withdrawal of Kenyan troops from Somalia will not be a sign of cowardice or abdication of international obligations but a strategic move to safeguard national interests.

The Opposition leaders welcomed President Obama’s “long overdue homecoming” and promised him a warm reception.

By Maureen Murimi

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