Somalia Accuses Kenya of Arming Militias to Launch Cross-border Attacks


MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Somalia has accused Kenya on Saturday that it began arming militias Nairobi illegally hosts inside its territory to launch an offensive on Somali army positions along border areas and incite unrest.

In a statement issued by the Ministry of Information, Somali federal government said it “was closely watching” Kenya’s efforts to organize and arm rebel militias in the town of Mandera near the border with Somalia.

“Somalia has learned that the Kenyan military deployed weapons and militias to the town of Mandera to attack Beled-Hawo town, and Somali army bases there,” reads the statement.

“Somali government warns Kenya against egregious actions undermining security of the Horn of Africa region and Somalia repeats that Kenya should review its bold interference in Somalia’s internal affairs that could lead to insecurity which might destabilize the entire region.”

Kenya has not immediately commented on the allegations.

Somali government noted that it would take action to defend the sovereignty of its country and the unity of its people.

The statement comes as relations between Mogadishu and Nairobi are at their lowest point after Somalia announced pulling out staff at its embassy in Kenya and set a 7-day ultimatum for Kenyan diplomats to leave the country.

What began as a row morphed into a running diplomatic war last month after Somalia expelled Kenyan ambassador and summoned back his Somali counterpart in Nairobi over alleged interference in Somalia’s elections.

Kenya has more than 13,000 troops in Somalia fighting the militant group Al-Shabaab but it particularly provides protection to the president of the Somali semi-autonomous region of Jubaland Ahmed Madobe, whose stay in regional power is deemed a threat to the reelection bid of the incumbent President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo.

There were efforts about a joint Somali and Ethiopian plots to overthrow Ahmed Madobe earlier this year, but all came to no avail after the government of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta insisted on defending him and his administration based in the coastal town of Kismayo in southern Somalia.

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