NAIROBI—Kenyan security agencies are investigating remarks made by a section of politicians from the Jubbaland region of Somalia during a press conference in Nairobi on Saturday last week.
At the low-key event held at White Star Centre in Kileleshwa estate, the group known as Jubbaland Council for Change stated that if the electoral process in the upcoming Jubbaland polls won’t accommodate their concerns, the likelihood of hightened insecurity and surge in insurgency activities “will be inevitable.”
“The recent attacks on (Jubbaland) military posts in Lower Jubba is an indication of what can go wrong if our demands are not taken into account,” the press statement seen by Kulan Post said in part. The presser was in Somali.
It added that: “A divisive electoral process will likely create a void that could be a launching pad for insurgent groups.”
The statement caught the attention of the Somali-speaking security officers who raised an alarm. Immediately after the press conference, the orgernisors of the event—Abdullahi Elmoge Hirsi and Abdirashid Aragsame—were reportedly summoned at the Nairobi area police headquarters over suspicion that they were part of a money-laundering syndicate. Kulan Post could not independently verify if they were charged. Detectives said “they may need their presence soon since it’s an ongoing investigations.”According to the Department of Immigrations, Abdullahi Elmoge and Abdirashid Aragsame are US and UK passport holders who’s visa request indicate that they are in the country for “purposes of visit.”
“If they are threatening that we are going to witness increased (Al-Shabaab) attacks in the future if their wishes are not taken into account, then we should be worried about what they have in stock,” Mohamed Bulale, a governance and security analyst based in Nairobi told the People Daily, a daily newspaper, on Monday.
Group of Jubbaland policians threaten “reign of terror” if their ultimatum is not methttps://t.co/4MRSLFh02M
— Mandera Top Blogger™ 🇰🇪🇫🇷 (@ManderaBlogger) March 25, 2023
The Jubbaland Council for Change billed the event as “a non-political, family function.” According to the Kileleshwa OCPD, they were not aware that “a highly charged political event” was going on at the White Star Centre since such gathering requires a prior police notification. Kulan Post understands that such a permit was not sought because the orgernisors and the members of the political outfit are not Kenyans.
The event was orgernised by Hirsi and Aragsame.
The National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), a multi-agency institution charged with the prevention, detection, deterrence and disruption of terrorism acts said that the were notified of the presser.
“We have been notified of the press statement. We are investigating the remarks and the context. We will revert when the probe is done,” the brief statement by the NCTC said in part. If the remarks are determined as “inflammatory” then the orgernisors and the facilitators may likely be arrested by the anti-terror police unit and grilled by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) headquartered along Kiambu road.
POROUS BORDER AND INCREASED SHABAB ACTIVITIES
Jubaland shares a porous border of 681 kilometres (423 miles) with Kenya. The communities in Jubaland and Northeaster corridors of Wajir, Mandera and Garissa counties share an identity. During this period of prolonged drought, movement across the border is heightened as pastoralists seek water and pasture for their livestock.
The Government will fast-track the operationalization of the Mandera Customs border post to be a legitimate entry point to the Country. This is in line with governments effort to curb terrorism, drug trafficking, human, smuggling of contraband goods and proliferation of arms pic.twitter.com/ghjaKrc9vB
— Kithure Kindiki (@KindikiKithure) February 2, 2023
While speaking in Mandera town during the announcement to open the border between Kenya and Somalia at the Mandera border post, the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and National Administration, Prof Kithure Kindiki said the Kenyan security agencies “have noted an increase in movement of Al Shabab militants in the area.”
Jubaland elections is set to take place in August next year after the local assembly extended his term.