AU Urges Kenya and Somalia to Placate Tensions


The dispute between Kenya and Somalia roots back to the disagreements over boundaries back in time. Both countries have not been in the best of relations for months. Last year December, Somalia decided to end its diplomatic ties with Kenya and accused it of violating Somali sovereignty by meddling in their internal affairs. And just recently, war broke out in the neighboring country, and they blamed the Kenyan government for plotting it. The big question is, how many more extremist attacks should Kenya anticipate? More so as Somalia is a prone militia country.

Restrain from Violence

On Tuesday, the African Union chairperson, Moussa Faki, called on the Kenyan and Somalia governments to end the recurrent tensions between their borders. He stated that the pressures had drawn his attention, and he was following them with concern. Mr. Faki urged the two neighbors to exercise restraint and engage in dialogue in conformity with the IGAD led process. Peace at the border between Kenya and Somalia was significant for the stability of the East African states.

Recent Conflict Between Somali and Kenya

Two days ago, tensions erupted in Somalia’s Bulohawo, a town in Jubbaland territory. The clashes broke out late Sunday and continued into the early morning hours of the next day. Somalia’s information ministry alleged that Kenya had organized the attack, sending rebels to attack Somalia’s Federal forces.

Kenya denied the allegations. More so as Jubbaland, a region in southern Somalia, is a zone of constant extremist attacks. Kenya’s Minister for Internal Security, Fred Matiangi, stated that Kenya had nothing to do with Somalia’s Monday fighting.

“We are not involved in it, and none of our forces has crossed the border to go to Somalia,” he told journalists during a joint press conference with British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace on renewing security agreements.

Also, Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Ministry announced that it had raised concerns about the conflicts in the neighboring country.

In the past Alshabab militia from Somalia have launched attacks in Kenya, which have caused irreversible damage. Hence Kenya’s primary concern is to combat the militia attacks as they have made civilians more so the ones living near the border with Somalia fearful. Kenya is just looking out for its safety. In fact, during President Kibaki’s regime, it deployed forces to Somalia to combat the extremists. To date, the KDF forces are still in Somalia. Kenya remains assertive on its mission against armed rebels in the land and promises not to retaliate.

Will the Conflict Plunge?

Although it appears Somalia does not want relations with Kenya, chances are they will come crawling back. Kenya is helping to curb extremists in Somalia, but it also hosts many Somalis seeking refugees on their land. Therefore it won’t be long before the need overpowers the existing rivalry. Meanwhile, Faki’s primary concern is to ensure that peace prevails in Africa. More so as states need each other during this time of a pandemic for survival.




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