Matiang’i holds talks with Somalia’s President Farmajo


Matiang'i holds talks with Somalia's President Farmajo
Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i with Somalia President Mohammed Abdullahi Farmaajo. PHOTO| COURTESY

Uncertainty has clouded a meeting of the Kenyan delegation to Somalia over the rising border tension between the two countries.

President Uhuru Kenyatta dispatched Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i to Mogadishu for a meeting with Somalia President Mohammed Abdullahi Farmaajo.

The Interior Cabinet Secretary led a high powered security delegation to Somalia to spearhead talks with the Somalia government over the simmering border conflict in Mandera.

Matiang’i flanked by Kenya’s Ambassador to Somalia major retired Lucas Tumbo, Vice Chief of Defence Forces Lieutenant General Robert Kibochi and Secretary Internal Security Moffat Kangi.

The team had a brief from President Uhuru Kenyatta to get Kenya and Somalia climb-down in the border tensions between the two countries over border intrusion by Somalia troops in Kenya’s border town of Mandera.

The meeting in Mogadishu’s presidential palace of Villa Somalia nonetheless remains opaque. There was no joint communique from the teams on the escalation of tensions with reports from Mogadishu indicating Farmaajo is set to travel to Kenya to meet President Kenyatta as the two countries cautiously walk to restore the fragile diplomatic ties

Clashes between Somalia government troops battling Jubbaland forces in Bula Hawa, spilled over to Mandera irking President Kenyatta who warned the Somalia government against unwarranted provocations.

Hundreds of residents of Mandera have fled the area in the aftermath of clashes between warring troops across the border.

Somalia has accused Kenya of hosting a fugitive known as Abdirashid Hassan Abdinur ”janaan”, a former Jubbaland minister accused of fleeing jail in Mogadishu into Mandera town.

Tensions between Nairobi and Mogadishu flared on Monday after heavy fighting broke out between Somalia’s forces and militia allied to the Jubbaland security minister near the Mandera border.

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Story By Sam Ogina
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