Kenya distances self from Somali internal affairs
Kenya has distanced itself from the renewed fighting at Bula Hawa in Gedo near Mandera County claiming conflict emanates from domestic political activities in Somalia.
Speaking to the press yesterday, Government Spokesman Cyrus Oguna said the skirmishes are normally carried out between the Somali National Army and Jubaland Security forces.
“As a country we want to state clearly and categorically that we will not accept being drawn into the internal politics of Somalia where every effort is being made by the leaders in that country to give the fighting an external angle,” said Oguna.
Kenya on Monday wrote to the African Union (AU), raising security concerns after Somalia’s federal and regional forces renewed fighting at Bula Hawa in Gedo near Mandera county.
Nairobi said the fighting is likely to create a security crisis for Kenya especially since the two countries no longer have diplomatic relations.
“Kenya’s primary concern is that the renewed fighting engenders large scale displacement of civilians inside Somalia and increasingly generates large numbers of refugees and asylum seekers to Kenya, therefore aggravating the already dire humanitarian situation in Somalia and in the refugee camps in Kenya,” said a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Oguna reiterated that Kenya is calling on all Somalia leadership to desist from dragging Kenya into their domestic issues.
“We will however continue to push for peace and urge Somalia to create an environment that will facilitate the resolution of the conflict through dialogue because this is critical in fostering a united front in countering militants who have for a long time destabilize peace and security in Somalia and the region,” said Oguna.
He said Somalia government should be grateful, as some of the Kenyan troops have paid the ultimate price in the search for peace in the country.
“Allegations by Somalia that Kenya is sponsoring and harboring militia with the objective of destabilizing the country are not based on any merit,” added Oguna.
According to him, about 3,000 Somali learners cross to Kenya every day to seek education, another 8,000 individuals cross to Mandera for business every single day and over 500 mothers and elderly also cross into Kenya to seek medical services.
“We have over 270,000 Somalis in refugee camps out of which 81,000 are urban refugees doing various business in the country,” added Oguna.
“It is important when a country is thinking about its foreign policy, it must take into account its nationals in diaspora, that is called logic,” he added.
He described Kenya as a key player in the search for peace in the region which he said will continue to play its role.