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Garissa Elders’ Concern Over Somalia

A section of elders from Garissa have once again expressed their concerns over the political intrigues in Somalia ahead of the general election slated for 8th February.

            The heightened political temperatures in Somalia have seen Kenyan elders and leaders alike accusing the leadership in Somalia of trying to drag Kenya into their internal affairs.

            Addressing the press today at a local hotel in Garissa town, the elders led by Mohamed Abdi alias Emma said as neighbours, they were ‘concerned that any slight utterances by the leadership could trigger war that will definitely have a spillover effect into Kenya’.

            “All the signs inside Somalia point to a return to the happenings of early 1990 that saw the collapse of the Siad Barre-led government that saw thousands of refugees flee into Kenya. If these issues are not urgently addressed, then we are likely to witness the same,” Emma said.

            Mid last month, Somalia severed diplomatic ties with Kenya, accusing it of violating Somali sovereignty and meddling in its internal affairs ahead of the general election.

            In a televised broadcast, the Information Minister Osman Dubbe said Somalia had ordered all its diplomats in Kenya to return, while Kenyan diplomats in Somalia were ordered to leave within seven days.

            “Kenya continues meddling in our internal political affairs and it has ignored our previous calls to stop violating our sovereignty,” Dubbe announced on state-run SNTV.

            “These ongoings coupled with their internal political squabbles where the many clans have been jostling for power is threatening the fragile security currently being enjoyed,” Emma added.

            Kenya has been hosting more than 500,000 Somali refugees at the Dadaab complex for the past three decades. However, the government of Kenya and Somalia together with UNHCR signed a tripartite agreement on November 10, 2013 for the voluntary repatriation of Somali refugees.

            Since then UNHCR has been supporting return of the Somali refugees that has seen the number of refugees shrink to less than 300,000 currently, closure of at least two camps and scaling down of operations by UN bodies.

Emma said that it was in the public domain that Somalis from Kenya have relatives across the border and have keenly been following the politics ahead of the elections ‘and all indications are that there could be civil war after the elections’.

            On his part, Mzee Dekhow Mohamed alias Digdig said that contrary to claims that Kenya was interfering with the affairs of Juba land, Kenya has always been neutral and supported Somalia to ensure stability in the country that has been torn apart by war.

            He said the leadership of Somalia should solve their problems and stop dragging Kenya into their internal affairs.

            Last week, another section of elders from Garissa cautioned residents of Northern Kenya to be wary of a section of Somalia leaders out to incite them against the government.

            The elders led by Kenya Livestock Marketing Council chair Dubat Amey said that the leaders were using the media to peddle propaganda aimed at creating ‘bad blood between Kenyans and their government’.

            Amey told the Somalia leadership to use their energy in resolving myriads of problems facing their citizens. He thanked the Kenyan leadership under President Uhuru Kenyatta ‘for restraining itself against all the provocations and the naked hostility from Somalia’.

 ENDS

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