Kenya: Don't Blame Us for Your Internal Woes, Kenya Tells Somalia

Presidents Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmaajo of Somalia and Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya at a national prayer breakfast held at Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi (file photo).
28 January 2021

Nairobi — Kenya has declared it will not accept to be drawn into Somalia's internal woes, after constant accusation on meddling.

With Somalia headed to a General Election on February 8, Kenya said its leaders had resorted to engaging in diversionary tactics.

"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. As a country, we want to state very clearly, that we will not accept to be drawn into the internal politics of Somalia," said Cyrus Oguna, Kenya's Government Spokesman during a news conference.

Citing an IGAD report, Oguna said it was clear that Kenya is not an aggressor.

The report released Wednesday exonerated Kenya from blame, and concluded that Mogadishu was not justified to severe links with Nairobi in December when it also expelled the envoy and recalled theirs.

"We are calling on Somali leadership to desist from dragging Kenya into their domestic issues. We will, however, continue to push for peace, and therefore, urge all leaders in Somalia to create an environment that will facilitate the resolution of the conflict through dialogue," he said.

Kenya argues that it will be counterproductive to destabilize Somalia, since most of its nationals would still seek refuge in the country.

Kenya is host to more than 270,000 refugees from Somalia, while thousands cross the border daily for business, health care and education.

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

"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.

Quoting the IGAD report on Tuesday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the country provided irrefutable evidence that it was not interfering with Somalia's internal affairs or arming militia to cause mayhem, as claimed.

The Report of the Fact-Finding Mission affirms the fact that the allegations by Somalia against Kenya are wholly unfounded.

"It is 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 Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

The probe was commissioned following the 38th IGAD Summit held in Djibouti on December 20, 2020, during which the regional Heads of State and Government meeting.

The Fact-Finding Mission was established by Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh under the mandate of the Assembly of IGAD Heads of State and Government.

Somalia expelled Kenya's Ambassador and recalled its envoy in December last year in escalating tensions that followed the visit in Kenya by Somaliland president Muse Bihi who held bilateral talks with his host President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Kenya has expressed its continued commitment to ensuring Somalia is stable, after decades of civil war.

With the diplomatic ties severed, the Ministry said thousands of Somalis who seek refuge in the country have been negatively been affected.

"Working with different Somali administrations, IGAD and other partners, the Government and People of Kenya have spared no cost to stabilise Somalia and create conditions for peace and prosperity; this remains our long held commitment from which we will not be distracted," the Foreign Affairs Ministry said.

"It is incumbent on the administrations to whom this hard-worn peace has been entrusted to, to honour the sacrifices made in the past and the will of the people by making a constructive contribution to regional peace, security and prosperity," it said.

Kenya has challenged the administration of President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed alias Farmaajo to commit to regional peace and desist from engaging in sideshows.

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