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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Engage in dialogue, African Union Commission tells Kenya-Somalia

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Peace on the Kenya-Somalia border is vital to regional stability, African Union Commission (AUC) Chairman Moussa Faki has said.

Faki, said that he is following the tensions on the two neighboring countries with concern and urged both the governments of Kenya and Somalia to exercise restraint and engage in dialogue in conformity with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) led process.

“I’m following the tensions on the Kenya-Somalia border with concern, and urge the two neighbours to exercise restraint and engage in dialogue in conformity with the IGAD-led process,” said  Faki through a post on his Twitter account on Tuesday morning.

On Monday, at least five Children from the same family were reported to have been killed after a mortar shell targeted their home in Beled Hawo, Gedo region of Somalia.

Reports from Mogadishu claimed that a Kenyan-backed rebel group crossed the border into Somalia and attacked Gedo region with more than hundred displaced persons and now fleeing to Mandera County.

The federal government and Jubaland previously fought over the control of the town in March last year.

According to Somalia’s information Minister Osman Abukar Dubbe, Somali government forces defended themselves against the attack, which the government described as illegal.

 “The Federal Government of Somalia strongly condemns this illegal aggression orchestrated and planned within Kenya. These actions are an affront to the peaceful coexistence of international norms of mutual respect, territorial integrity and national sovereignty,” the Somalia government said in a statement.

The Kenyan Government through Interior CS Fred Matiang’i denied any cause of alarm between Kenya and Somalia, saying that the government has put in place enough security forces to protects its people following the tension caused by the inside war between Somalia and Somaliland.

Kenya’s Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambi had also said that there is no need to raise alarm, adding the country is secured.

At least 12 people were injured in a renewed fighting between Somalia National Army and Jubaland security forces at the neighboring Bulahawa town on Monday, even as Kenyan government claimed that the security had been heightened.

Kenya had expressed concern over the fighting in a Diplomatic Note to the Chairperson African Union Commission.

The town of Bula Hawa is a few kilometers from the Kenya-Somalia border.

In December 2020, President Uhuru Kenyatta attended IGAD’s meeting in Djibouti with hopes of resolving the Kenya-Somalia spat.

The meeting was also attended by Somalia’s Mohamed Farmajo, Sudan Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, who is the Igad chairman, and Faki.

IGAD is a body comprising seven countries in the Horn of Africa.

The regional organization based in Djibouti supports its member states in their development efforts, especially in the areas of peace processes and food security.

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