U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry who is visiting Kenya said on Monday the country had an important role in helping resolve conflicts in South Sudan and Somalia.
In bid to help Kenya solve its puzzle with the refugees, John Kerry pledged $45 million in new aid to help it deal with 600,000 refugees.
Kenya is the country with the highest number of refugees most of whom are of Somali descent.
Speaking after meetings with Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta in Nairobi, John Kerry said recent attacks by Somali al Shabaab Islamist militants in Kenya were part of the cost of playing that role.
John Kerry said that the answer to security in Kenya only lay in her neighbours also experiencing peace.
After his meetings, Kerry said he better understood the challenges the Somali conflict and refugee problem posed to Kenya and said that he now had an immediate sense of the urgency of resolving it.
Kenya first sent its troops into neighboring Somalia in 2011 after several attacks on its territory that it blamed on al Shabaab. It later joined the AMISOM peacekeeping force and currently has 3,664 troops in Somalia.
Al Shabaab has since carried out attacks to punish Kenya, including a 2013 raid on Nairobi’s Westgate shopping mall that killed at least 67 people and the massacre of 148 people at a university near the Somali border last month.