The Government of Somalia has rejected the report of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Fact-Finding Commission for the Reconciliation of Somalia and Kenya.
In a statement, Somalia termed the commission as biased, unfair and compromised after it exonerated Kenya from allegations of interfering with Somalia’s sovereignty by arming “rebels”.
“It is instructive to note that the Commission intentionally declined to visit Beled Xaawo on two occasions to witness firsthand Kenya’s atrocities against Somalia including training and arming hostile militia and border incursions despite our commitment to provide security. On the contrary, in Mandera Airforce Camp the Commissioners were treated to camaraderie to compromise their independence. In its own admission, the Commission sensationally thanked the Kenyan government for her ‘hospitality and indispensable technical assistance’,” the statement read in part.
The commission dispelled the allegations saying that there is no evidence to confirm the claims.
“The commission considers that these grievances, some of which are longstanding, do not appear to it to be sufficient to justify a diplomatic separation between Kenya and Somalia. It is true that the federal government of Somalia is sovereign in its decisions,” says part of a report by the team.
Somalia has now threatened to pull out of IGAD if it does not withdraw the report and offer an apology.
“FGS (Federal Government of Somalia) regrets the partisanship portrayed by the Republic of Djibouti and IGAD under Chairmanship of HE Ismail Omar Guelleh. FGS strongly holds to all its initial accusations against Kenya and will pursue all means to protect her sovereignty. IGAD has overwhelmingly demonstrated incapability to be a fair and independent arbiter. FGS calls for an immediate withdrawal of the baseless and unfair report and demands an apology, failure to which Somalia is considering withdrawing from IGAD,” the Somali government added.
IGAD added the consequences of the diplomatic standoff on the 3,000 Somali children attending Kenyan schools on the other side of the border, the hindrance to the functioning of Amisom which has since been experiencing difficulties in relief operations among Kenyan troops and the economic impact of the embargo on khat in the agricultural region of Meru are a perfect illustration of this.
It recommended that more diplomatic efforts be deployed at the highest level in order to reconcile the two sisterly countries of Kenya and Somalia.
Somalia cut diplomatic ties with Kenya on December 15 citing interference of her sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Somalia accused the Kenyan government of placing great political pressure on the regional President of Jubaland, Mr Aimed Maxamed Islaan (Madobe) in order to pursue its political and economic interests in Somalia.
Recently, heavy gunfighting was reported in Beled Hawo (Bula Hawo), between forces loyal to Jubaland state and those of Federal Government forces.
Consequently, the Somali Information Minister accused Kenya of arming and aiding what he called a rebel group.
“The Federal Government of Somalia declares that the Kenyan-backed rebel group that crossed the border into Somalia tonight has attacked Gedo Region, particularly Belet Xaawo District. The Somali National Army (SNA) bravely repulsed the illegal foreign-organized invasion. We strongly condemn this aggression in Kenya which violates the interests of peaceful coexistence of the people of the State and international norms of respect and protection of national sovereignty,” said Osman Abokor Dubbe, Somali Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism.