The Kenyan government has fired back at Somalia after claims of meddling into the country’s internal affairs.
Somalia cut diplomatic ties with Kenya on December 15, 2020, citing interference of her sovereignty and territorial integrity.
But in a press briefing on Thursday, Government Spokesperson Colonel (Rtd) Cyrus Oguna said nothing could be further from the truth.
“As a country, we want to state very clearly, that we will not accept to be drawn into internal politics of Somalia,” said Oguna.
“We are calling on Somali leadership to desist from dragging Kenya into their domestic issues.”
Oguna was speaking a day after Somalia rejected a report by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) that dispelled the interference allegations.
IGAD’s fact-finding commission had concluded that there was no evidence to confirm Somalia’s claims.
The commission found out, among others, that Kenya was not arming militants to attack and destabilize areas in Somalia along their shared border as alleged.
“The commission considers that these grievances, some of which are longstanding, do not appear sufficient to justify a diplomatic separation between Kenya and Somalia. It is true that the federal government of Somalia is sovereign in its decisions,” a part of the IGAD report read.
In a statement on Wednesday, Somalia dismissed the report as unrealistic further threatening to pull out of IGAD if it does not withdraw it and offer an apology.
In his briefing today, Oguna maintained that Somalia’s accusations are diversionary and only intended to redirect the attention of the Somali people away from real issues on the ground.
“We are a peace-loving people, in a country governed by the rule of law and guided by the principle of non-interference, ” he added.
He expressed concerns over military skirmishes between forces believed to be the Somali National Army and Jubaland security forces in Gedo region.
“…Kenya has not recognized Jubaland as a Sovereign State, and that any visits to that region by certain Kenyan politicians, do not amount to recognition; and the militia, allegedly being harboured and trained on Kenyan soil were actually in Somalia, ” he said.
He said the confrontation in had resulted to fear and panic among Kenyans residing at the border town of Mandera and also led to the displacement of civilians from the Gedo region in Somalia hence calling for cessation of hostilities in the country.
“…We will not meddle in the internal affairs of any country, and we equally expect reciprocity. We will, however, continue to advocate for peace and stability in the region, and thus call for total cessation of hostilities in Somalia in order to give peace a chance, ” Oguna added.