Updated: Mar 5
Diplomatic tensions between Kenya and Somalia escalated on Monday, March 2 as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a hard-hitting statement accusing Somali leaders and government representatives of propagating dangerous and false narratives, particularly through the media.
Gedo region Deputy Governor Abdi Moalimu recently threatened to invade Kenya with troops from the Somali National Army (SNA). It was this and other controversial remarks by various Somali leaders that sparked anger.
Somalia's Ambassador to the United Nations. "We cannot allow interference of our territory by KDF (Kenya Defence Forces). That is totally unacceptable.
"We shall mobilize our troops to invade Kenya and capture Nairobi. Somalia is not a colony of Kenya and that must be clear," Moalimu had thundered on Sunday, February 9 at Balad-Hawo.
The Foreign Affairs Ministry described the comments as threats to Kenya's security, claiming Kenya was being used by Somali government officials and other leaders seeking political mileage.
"Kenya therefore rejects the unwarranted and invalid allegations made by the Federal Government of Somalia and takes great exception to the fabricated indictments of interfering in Somalia's internal affairs. "The baseless accusations are part of a growing and persistent pattern of ill intent to use Kenya as a scapegoat and tool to justify unfulfilled legitimate and social demands in Somalia and for political mileage. "Kenya will not accept to be used in that manner and encourages the Federal Government of Somalia to stop the campaign and use the energy to deliver leadership to their people," the statement read in part.
Somalia's United Nations Envoy Abukar Dahir Osman, on the other hand, had threatened to initiate UN action against the country on February 28 as he described the country as 'a destabilising force'. In a speech to the UN Security Council, Osman stated that Somalia had “exhausted all diplomatic means (to resolve their issues) with Kenya". “Kenya continues to be a destabilising force, negating its engagement in Amisom,” he asserted. Without mentioning specific offending actions taken by Kenya, Osman maintained that Kenya had sought to breach Somalia's “sovereignty, independence and unity".