Following the recent massacre at a university in Kenya by Somalia-based militants, Mogadishu has called for closer security ties with Nairobi, saying the two sides can certainly defeat the terrorists.
“I am quite certain that we will defeat these terrorist groups,” Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said in the country’s capital, Mogadishu, on Friday.
On Thursday, four militants with the al-Shabab terrorist group stormed the Garissa University College campus in Kenya, located some 150 kilometers (90 miles) from the border with Somalia, taking hundreds of students hostage.
The attackers also battled army troops and police before the siege ended after about 13 hours. Nearly 150 people, mostly students, were killed in the incident.
Al-Shabab militants have said the attack was carried out in revenge for Kenya’s military operations in Somalia.
Mohamud further said the killings showed “the need to reinforce the anti-terror cooperation between the two countries, with the aim to eliminate this menace from the region.”
The Somali president also hailed Kenyans for sacrificing “their lives to bring peace into our country, and I am aware that the terrorists are not happy with that support. Their acts will not hamper our struggle to root out terrorism and bring peace and prosperity to this region.”
'Kenya won't be cowed'
Kenya, meanwhile, has pledged not to buckle under terrorist threats, a day after Somali militants massacred scores of students in the former country’s northeast.
"Kenya's government will not be intimidated by the terrorists who have made killing innocent people a way to humiliate the government," Interior Minister Joseph Nkaissery said on Friday, speaking in front of the university campus in the northeastern town of Garissa.
Kenya currently has over 3,000 soldiers stationed in southern Somalia, where they have been battling al-Shabab. Nairobi sent troops into Somalia in late 2011 after the militant group carried out a series of raids inside Kenya.
The terrorist group also carried out the Westgate shopping mall massacre in Nairobi in September 2013, when four gunmen killed at least 67 people in a four-day-long siege.
On Friday, African Union chief Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma also said the killings were “cowardly,” and praised Kenya for “its outstanding contribution to the African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the huge sacrifices made towards stabilizing that country.”