Violence erupted in Somalia yesterday during the wee hours of the night between Jubbaland and Somali forces in a town near the border between Kenya and Somalia. This incident happens at a time when Somalia is experiencing unrest because of the constant political crises. Earlier today, Somalia’s information ministry alleged that Kenya had funded rebels to attack Somali forces, a claim that the Kenyan government has denied.
Meanwhile, Jubbaland’s vice President, Mr. Mohamud Sayid Adan, told reporters that the incident that transpired was triggered by Somalia forces deployed to the Somalian government in Mogadishu. He said Jubbaland officers were outside Mogadishu with no intentions of plotting harm.
Sudan and Somalia have not in the best terms despite both engaging in peace talks. Last year September, while addressing the federal government, President Abdullahi agreed to withdraw Somali forces from Jubbaland, near Bulo Hawo. However, that has not happened; Somali forces remained there, especially after taking over the town.
Both Sudan and Somali troops claimed victory after the battle. The Somali forces reported they had detained about 100 rebels.
Were there Casualties Amid the Conflict?
The attack, which disrupted the better part of the night, resulted in saddening news the next day. Five children were reported dead, and their mother wounded. This was after a mortar pound landed on their house amid the fight. While addressing the attack, Mr. Osman remarked that common extremists did not have equipment like mortars and missiles. Hence the attack might have been Kenya’s doing.
“Ordinary militias do not have mortars and missiles. This is proof that Kenya is arming those rebels,” he said.
Some soldiers from Somalia had also sustained injuries. But none of them succumbed. The Jubbaland vice president, however, failed to comment on any casualties or victims.
Is there a Rivalry between Kenya and Somalia?
Around December last year, Somalia decided to end diplomatic relations with Kenya to safeguard its unity, sovereignty, and stability. As such, Somalia regards Kenya as a potential enemy, with intentions to ignite violence. However, critics have condemned Somalia’s President for making such allegations. Some have even claimed that he is making such claims to draw support as he seeks a second term.
In response to the claims, 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 Somalia.
However, Kenya’s primary concern was that the escalating violence in Somalia was endangering many civilians’ lives in the country. And triggering the rates at which Somalians were fleeing their homeland to seek refuge in neighboring states. This would, in turn, aggravate the already dire humanitarian situation in Kenya. More so, Kenya is already struggling to provide for the large number of refugees in Daadab and Kakuma.
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