MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Ethiopia and Kenya are exploring ways to end dispute over Jubaland region in south Somalia after the two countries separately took sides with the government of Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo and regional leader Ahmed Madobe.
Ethiopian troops in the region had tried early last year to arrest Jubaland leader Ahmed Madobe, who has been in a bitter standoff with the federal government based in Mogadishu since he was reelected to office in August 2019.
Kenyan forces, part of the African Union peacekeeping mission in Jubaland provided Ahmed Madobe a protection he is still enjoying despite attempts by the federal government to unseat his administration.
Kenya had ignored Ethiopia’s demands to withdraw support to the regional leader and the dispute between the two countries over the issue brought their forces in Jubaland to the brink of armed clashes.
More than a year after the outset of tensions, military officials from the two countries alongside representatives of the Somali army and Jubaland troops have met to discuss ways to cooperate on maintaining peace and stability in the restive southern Somalia region, Fana Ethiopian state-affiliated TV reported on Tuesday.
Officials from the two countries’ militaries agreed to forge solidarity in the area, beset by frequent Al-Shabaab attacks.
Commander of AMISOM’s Sector 2, Brig-Gen Jema, Deputy Commander of Sector 6 Colonel Makurga Ponard, Commander of the 5th Motorized Colonel Assefa Mekonnen and Jubaland top military officers and Somali army representatives were among those in attendance at the meeting.
At the meeting, Jubaland Vice President, Mohamud Sayed Adan said Ethiopia and Kenya are countries where people who have brotherly bond live in harmony and called for cooperation on the fight against Al-Shabaab, which controls large swathes of territory in Jubaland and still enjoys full control of the Middle Juba region.
Amid spiraling tensions in Gedo region, Kenya and Ethiopia agreed to work together in Jubaland regional peace, and efforts aimed to consolidate on gains despite Al-Shabaab insurgency.
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