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Kenya tells Somalia to cease and desist from unwarranted provocations at the border

COUNTIES
By Cyrus Ombati | March 5th 2020

Kenya has told Federal Government of Somalia to cease unwarranted provocations, ratcheting up the pressure on the war-torn neighbouring nation.

This follows Monday’s incident in which Somalia troops clashed with Jubaland forces in Bula Hawa near Mandera border town.

President Uhuru Kenyatta chaired a special session of the National Security Council (NSC) to discuss the onslaught on Kenya’s territorial integrity and sovereignty by Somalia.

The council also discussed a press release that was issued by Somalia on February 5 and accusations made by Somalia ambassador Abukar Dahir Osman in New York on February 27.

“We therefore urge the Federal Government of Somalia to cease and desist from the unwarranted provocations and focus on managing its internal affairs for the welfare of her people,” State House spokesperson Kanze Dena said.

NSC is the highest security organ and the session was the first one this year.

“Kenya therefore joins calls by the United Nations and other regional and international partners urging the Federal Government of Somalia to urgently and exhaustively seek broad political consensus and ensure that key security benchmarks for governance and security relations between the Federal Government and member states are achieved,” the statement added.

The clashes at the main border happened as the Somalia troops apparently put pressure for the release of Jubaland minister Abdirashid Hassan Abdinur alias Abdirashid Janan, who is said to be in Mandera.

Janan reportedly arrived in Mandera on January 30 and was booked in a local hotel after he escaped from a Mogadishu prison where he had been held since August 31, 2019.

Communication was cut in Mandera town for the better part of Monday as clashes went on in Bula Hawa town, which is a few kilometres away from Kenya.

Almost two dozens of Jubaland troops fled to Kenya in the clashes and were held at the local police station, police said.

This came a day after 11 Kenyan Members of Parliament from North Eastern visited Mogadishu and met with President Mohamed Farmajo and local intelligence chiefs.

The Somali troops have been camping in Bula Hawa for the past month planning a raid to capture the fugitive minister.

Kenya Defence Forces kept patrolling Mandera town yesterday even as local leadership urged workers to keep off work.

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