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The prime minister of Somalia's Transitional Federal Government Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo on Thursday said Kenya was committed to helping fight militant Islamist group al-Shabaab as he met his Kenyan counterpart in Nairobi.
"We agreed to fight and work together to defeat those who are against peace in our country, who want to destroy Somalia, and don’t want any progress to take place in Somalia," he said. "Our forces are fighting to liberate towns ... the Kenyan government is helping us achieve that goal."
Kenyan-trained Somali forces have been helping fight al-Shabaab in the border regions, and there have been rumours that Kenya's armed forces have also staged cross-border raids – although these reports are unconfirmed.
Farmajo refused to take any questions after meeting with Raila Odinga for two hours, but he did say he and the Kenyan premier had also discussed UN plans to organize a peace conference in Nairobi on April 12 and 13. The conference has been the source of much disagreement, with Farmajo saying the TFG would not attend.
"We have seen so many peace conferences being held outside Somalia, it doesn't bring many changes," he said. "It's not a conference that brings all Somalis together. Somalis should know the future of their country is in their hands."
Earlier in the day, the UN's special representative for Somalia, Augustine Mahiga, said the conference would go ahead as planned, while civil society members marched in Mogadishu to protest the location of the planned meeting.
The TFG boycott comes amid souring relations with the UN over heavy criticism of the decisions of both parliament and the cabinet to extend their mandates, which were due to run out in August. Since Mahiga blasted the moves, Somalia has banned two senior UN human rights' workers from entering the country, while Prime Minister Abdullahi Farmajo on Monday called on the UN to move its offices from Nairobi to Mogadishu within 90 days.