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Heavy Gunfighting Reported Along Kenya-Somalia Border As Somali Authorities Accuse Kenya Of Arming Rebels

Somali Armed Forces
Somali Armed Forces. [PHOTO/ COURTESY]

Heavy gunfighting was reported on Sunday night in the town of Beled Hawo (Bula Hawo), between forces loyal to Jubaland state and those of Federal Government forces.

The Somali Information Minister has accused Kenya of arming and aiding what he called a rebel group.

“The Federal Government of Somalia declares that the Kenyan-backed rebel group that crossed the border into Somalia tonight has attacked Gedo Region, particularly Belet Xaawo District. The Somali National Army (SNA) bravely repulsed the illegal foreign-organized invasion. We strongly condemn this aggression in Kenya which violates the interests of peaceful coexistence of the people of the State and international norms of respect and protection of national sovereignty,” said Osman Abokor Dubbe, Somali Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism.

This comes two months after Somalia recalled its ambassador to Kenya Mohamud Ahmed Nur and sent away Kenya’s ambassador to Somalia Mr Lucas Tumbo “for consultations”.

Read: President Abdullahi Farmaajo Goes After KDF Soldiers In Somalia Days After Cutting Ties With Kenya

In a statement, Somalia accused Kenya of infringing its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“The Federal Government of Somalia notes the Kenyan government’s attempt to infringe upon the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity of Somalia and hereby expresses its deep regret with the Kenyan government’s continuous interferences in the internal and political affairs of Somalia,” the statement read in part.

“Therefore, the Federal Government of Somalia summons its Ambassador to the Republic of Kenya and instructs the Ambassador of the Republic of Kenya to Somalia to depart to Kenya for consultations.”

Somalia says that Kenya’s interference has the potential to be a hindrance to the stability, security and development of the entire region.

Read: Somalia Accuses Kenya of Arming, Hosting Militias in Mandera With Aim Of Destabilizing Country

Somalia accused the Kenyan government of placing great political pressure on the regional President of Jubaland, Mr Aimed Maxamed Islaan (Madobe) in order to pursue its political and economic interests in Somalia.

Later, Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo issued demands that the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) in peacekeeping mission in Somalia be expelled.

In the place of KDF, Farmaajo wants Eritrean forces deployed in the African Union Mission to Somalia (Amisom).

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Written by Francis Muli

Follow me on Twitter @FmuliKE. Email francis@kahawatungu.com

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