Kenya writes to AU Commission following renewed fighting at Somalia border
The country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has now expressed concern over renewed fighting in Bula Hawa town, in the northern part of Gedo Region, a few kilometers from the Kenya-Somalia border.
According to the ministry, the fighting which has taken place over several months since the beginning of 2020 involves the Somali National Army against regional forces from the Jubbaland State of Somalia.
“Kenya’s primary concern is that the renewed fighting engenders large-scale displacement of civilians inside Somalia and increasingly generates large numbers of refugees and asylum seekers to Kenya, therefore aggravating the already dire humanitarian situation in Somalia and in the refugee camps in Kenya,” read a statement to newsrooms in reference to a Diplomatic Note to the Chairperson African Union Commission on Monday.
“Similarly, Kenya is concerned that if the fighting continues unabated, the situation could further destabilize the region, complicate the security situation and reverse gains made in the fight against terrorism.”
In the note, Kenya called for immediate cessation of the hostilities and a rapid return to normalcy in line with the AU’s calls and inspirations of ‘Silencing the Guns in Africa by 2020’ efforts.
Somalia’s information ministry had earlier on accused Kenya-funded rebels of crossing into Bulo Hawo and attacking Somali forces.
“The Federal Government of Somalia declares that the Kenyan-backed rebel group that crossed the border into Somalia tonight has attacked Gedo Region, particularly Belet Xaawo District. The Somali National Army (SNA) bravely repulsed the illegal foreign-organized invasion,” said Osman Abokor Dubbe, Somali Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism.
“We strongly condemn this aggression in Kenya which violates the interests of peaceful coexistence of the people of the State and international norms of respect and protection of national sovereignty.”
Jubbaland Vice President Mohamud Sayid Adan however stated that Jubbaland forces stationed outside the town were attacked by forces recently deployed to the region by the government in the capital, Mogadishu.
Somalia’s accusation that Kenya is supporting Jubbaland comes after Somalia cut diplomatic ties with Kenya in December over “constant political violation and Kenya’s open interference in Somalia’s independence.”
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