‘Stop and desist from unwarranted provocations,’ President Kenyatta warns Somalia


'Stop and desist from unwarranted provocations,' President Kenyatta warns Somalia
President Uhuru Kenyatta at a past press address. PHOTO| PSCU

President Uhuru Kenyatta has warned Somalia to desist from what he terms as “provoking Kenya by violating her territorial integrity.”

In a statement to newsrooms, the president on Wednesday called on Somalia to resolve its internal political wrangles without roping Kenya in as a scapegoat.

The statement was issued after chaired a Special Session of the National Security Council (NSC) where the current diplomatic tiff between Kenya and Somalia is said to have been discussed.

State House indicated that the National Security Council “noted with concern” the recent incident where troops from the Federal Government of Somalia engaged in a gunfight with Jubbaland forces in Mandera causing destruction in the area.

“The National Security Council noted with concern the violations of Kenya’s territorial integrity and sovereignty by the Somalia National Army on Monday the 2nd March, 2020; where the foreign soldiers in flagrant breach and total disregard of international laws and conventions engaged in aggressive and belligerent activities by harassing and destroying properties of Kenyan citizens living in the border town of Mandera,” reads the statement.

“This action amounts to an unwarranted attack by foreign soldiers with the intention of provoking Kenya. In keeping with our long-standing and distinguished tradition in peace keeping and peace building in the region and beyond and in particular – in Somalia; Kenya acted with total restraint.”

During the meeting, the National Security Council also discussed the Press Release issued by the Federal Government of Somalia on February 5, 2020 as well as accusations made by Somalia’s United Nations envoy Amb. Abukar Dahir Osman in New York, on February 27, 2020 that Kenya was meddling in Somalia’s domestic politics.

The statement issued by State House spokesperson Kanze Dena rubbished the claims, terming them as “baseless and invalid accusations.”

“The baseless accusations and invalid allegations made by the Federal Government of Somalia that Kenya is interfering with Somalia’s internal affairs; are part of a growing and persistent pattern of ill intent to use Kenya as a scapegoat and a tool to justify challenges in Somalia for political reasons. Kenya will not accept to be used in that manner,” reads the statement.

“Indeed, we encourage the Federal Government of Somalia to stop the smear campaign and commit the energy to deliver leadership and prosperity to its people.”

Kenyatta now wants the federal government “to desist from the unwarranted provocations. Focus on managing its internal affairs; defeating terrorism; advancing the cause of peace, security and stability in the region. “

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Story By Benjamin Muriuki
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