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Kenya wants Somali army to stop “violation of its sovereignty”

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NAIROBI—Kenya, for the the first time, is protesting against intrusion of Somali army into its border on Monday following clash of Nairobi-backed Jubbaland forces and the Somali National Army at Beled-Xawo district, a stone-throw away from the Mandera border.

In a statement on Wednesday afternoon by the State House following a meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta, it was “noted with concern the violations of Kenya’s territorial integrity and sovereignty by the Somalia National Army on Monday the 2nd March, 2020; where the foreign soldiers in flagrant breach and total disregard of international laws and conventions engaged in aggressive and belligerent activities by harassing and destroying properties of Kenyan citizens living in the border town of Mandera.”

The statement comes two days after the SNA overrun the Jubbaland forces in Gedo region, particularly in Beled Xawo in a mission to recapture the fugitive regional state minister, Abdirashid Janan who escaped from a Mogadishu prison while awaiting trial for several charges among them murder.

The minister is believed to be in Mandera and occasionally cross over to Beled Xawo town in full armed escort.

Kenya is accusing the SNA of causing damage  on Kenyan properties in Mandera while in pursuit of the Jubbaland forces who sought refuge in the town.

“This action amounts to an unwarranted attack by foreign soldiers with the intention of provoking Kenya,” the statement by the State House Spokesperson, Kanze Dena said.

It continued: “In keeping with our long-standing and distinguished tradition in peace keeping and peace building in the region and beyond and in particular – in Somalia; Kenya acted with total restraint.”

Nairobi urged Mogadishu to streamline the resources it has under its disposal “to rationally use to defeat Al Shabaab terrorists and stabilize Somalia in order to enable her forces take over national security responsibilities from AMISOM.“

State House further called on the Federal Government of Somalia to desist from causing political frictions for short term political expediency through creation of “artificial fissures in the relations between the Republic of Kenya and the Federal Government of Somalia.”

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