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Uhuru in Djibouti over Somalia spat, Ethiopia conflict

Dec 21, 2020
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President Uhuru Kenyatta flew to the Intergovernmental Authority on Development leaders’ meeting in Djibouti on Sunday with hopes of solving regional troubles that are pulling them back amid COVID-19 pandemic.

Among the issues the leaders will discuss will be Ethiopia internal conflict, border conflict between Ethiopia and Sudan and Kenya’s diplomatic spat with Somalia.

Uhuru is among those who arrived in Djibouti on Sunday ahead of the scheduled meeting.

Somalia’s Mohamed Farmajo arrived there on Saturday alongside Sudan Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok who is the IGAD chairman and African Union Commission chairman Mousa Faki.

IGAD is a body comprising seven countries in the Horn of Africa.

The regional organisation based in Djibouti supports its member states in their manifold development efforts, especially in the areas of peace processes and food security.

Members include Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda.

Already the Covid-19 pandemic has battered the member states and the conflict is now worsening the situation in the countries.

Somalia had last week written a letter to the regional authority asking it to mediate the ongoing stalemate. Kenya has denied claims by Somalia.

A statement from the Somalia Ministry of Foreign affairs revealed Hamdock had called the meeting in an attempt to strike consensus between the two neighbours.

Somalia on November 29 expelled Kenya’s ambassador Lt. General (Rtd) Lucas Tumbo and recalled its envoy Ahmed Nuur, after accusing Kenya of interfering with its electoral process further calling for consultations.

Somalia said Kenya forced Jubaland President Ahmed Islam Madobe to renege on an election agreement.

These are claims Kenya has denied terming the allegations as “unsubstantiated” as it called on Somalia to focus and remain true to its political commitments and avoid, “distracting actions.”

In the ongoing war of words, Somalia has also accused Kenya of withdrawing its troops in the strategic towns of Fafadhun and Busaar without consulting the Federal government.

Last year, Kenya recalled its ambassador after Somalia decided to auction off oil and gas exploration blocks at the centre of a maritime territorial dispute.

The matter is before the International court of justice (ICJ).

On Saturday, Somalia claimed Kenya is arming militias to attack their federal officials in their country.

“The federal government has learnt the government of Kenya has armed and deployed militias in Mandera with the intent to attack Beled Hawo and Somalia National Army bases located in Somalia,” reads a section of the statement from the Somalia Ministry of information.

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