Kenyatta extended an appeal to the international community to build the basic infrastructure that will enable and encourage refugees return while AMISOM continues to provide security where it is not available.
“This is key, not only as a humanitarian calling and a fulfillment of the international responsibility to refugees, but for the long-term stability and potential of Somalia,” he said.
President Kenyatta also called on humanitarian and development actors to operate from within Somalia as the country continues to gather pace in return to normalcy.
“Now that Somalia is stabilizing we must, all, stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters,” said the President.
Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn – who is also the IGAD Chairman – said the search for a lasting solution to the Somali refugee problem must be placed at the centre of peace and security efforts in the region.
The Ethiopian Prime Minister applauded the timing of the summit, saying: “This meeting could hardly be more timely to address the plight of the Somali refugees.
Saying Somalia President Mohamed has a clear vision to develop Somalia and address the problem of refugees, Prime Minister Desalegn called for enhanced capacity for the Somali Government to win the war against Al-Shabaab to ensure peace and security.
He encouraged development partners and financial institutions to continue supporting the resilience of refugee hosting countries and facilitate the voluntary repatriation and resettlement of refugees.
President Mohamed outlined the strategies his Government has put in place to provide a durable solution to the refugee problem, including equipping the youth with skills and training that will enable them to participate effectively in building their nation.
He urged humanitarian organizations and development partners to relocate to Somalia, saying his Government is committed to providing a conducive environment within which they can operate comfortably.
Other IGAD Heads of State who attended the summit included Presidents Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Salva Kiir of South Sudan, Ismaïl Omar Guelleh of Djibouti while Sudan was represented by its Vice President Hassabo Mohamed Abdulrahman.