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Kenya says it’s not interfering with internal affairs of Somalia

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The Kenyan government says it will not accept to be drawn into internal politics of Somalia and is calling on the Somali leadership to desist from dragging Kenya into their domestic issues. 

However, the government says it will continue to push for peace and has urged all leaders in Somalia to create an environment that will facilitate the resolution of the conflict through dialogue.

Addressing the press Thursday, government Spokesperson Col. (Rtd) Cyrus Oguna said this was critical in fostering a united front in countering militants who have, for a long time, destabilized peace and security in Somalia and the region.

He said that Kenya as a key player in the search for peace in the region, remains committed to the maintenance of peace and stability that would promote development in the region.

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“It is for this reason that our troops, operating under the auspices of the African Union (AU), continue to be part and parcel of the regional peace-keeping effort for Somalia. As already communicated, allegations by Somalia that Kenya is sponsoring and harbouring militia with the objective of destabilizing Somalia are not based on any merit.” He said

He noted that Kenya plays host to over 270,000 refugees from Somalia in refugee camps out of which, 81,000 are urban refugees, most of who are conducting businesses in many of the Kenyan urban centres.

“As a people, Kenyans are known the world over for their generosity and hospitality, perhaps more so by Somalis, who have found refuge in this country for more than two decades. While in the country, they continue to enjoy almost equal privileges as Kenyans. Due to this, it is here that most Somalis run to whenever violence breaks out in their country. They still do cross over into Kenya to seek certain services.” He added

Oguna noted that Kenya has been observing the events that have recently been unfolding in Somalia, and particularly in Gedo region and that through various communications, Kenya has expressed concern about those events and the military skirmishes between forces believed to be the Somali National Army and Jubaland security forces.

“It is of great concern to us that the recurrent confrontations between these forces, not only cause fear and panic amongst our people at the border town of Mandera, but also do lead to the displacement of civilians from Gedo region in Somalia. The displaced families are often forced to flee into Kenya for safety and asylum, further overstretching the capacity of our facilities. It is clear that the events being witnessed around Mandera have their genesis on domestic political activities in Somalia, with every effort being made to give them an external angle.” Said Oguna

He was responding to claims by Somalia that the IGAD report that found that Kenya was not interfering in its neighbour’s affairs was questionable.

On Wednesday, Somalia claimed that the report was biased, partisan, unfair, compromised and predetermined to exonerate Kenya.

In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs lauded the report saying it has vindicated the Kenyan government ongoing row with Somalia and affirmed that the allegations by Somalia against Kenya were totally unfounded.

The Ministry  also said it was also clear that the decision by the Federal Government of Somalia to severe diplomatic relations with Kenya was uncalled for and has negatively impacted the lives of Somali nationals who seek relief and amenities in Kenya, AMISOM operations and the livelihoods of citizens of both countries.

The statement added that it is now evident that the simulated crisis being contrived by Somalia does not advance IGAD’s vision for achieving peace, prosperity and regional integration in the region.



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