CONCERNED

Garissa elders raise alarm over war drumbeats in Somalia

Say neighbouring country likely to slip back to civil war after next month's general election

In Summary
  • Somalia will hold an election on February 8. Authorities there have dragged Kenya into their political squabbles.
Mzee Dekhow Mohamed alias Digdig at a press conference in Garissa on Wednesday, January 13, 2021
CONCERNED: Mzee Dekhow Mohamed alias Digdig at a press conference in Garissa on Wednesday, January 13, 2021
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

 

Political utterances in Somalia ahead of next month's general election are likely to trigger a war that will spill over into Kenya, Garissa elders have warned.

The elders on Wednesday voiced their concerns saying heightened political temperatures in the neighbouring country were worrying.

Somalia will hold an election on February 8. Authorities there have dragged Kenya into their political squabbles.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Garissa elders led by Mohamed Abdi alias Emma said they were concerned.

“We have seen all the signs of the country returning to the early 1990s that saw the collapse of the Siad Barre government. The end result that was witnessed then was us having to host thousands of refugees. If the issues are not urgently addressed then we are likely to witness the same,” Abdi said.

Last month, Somalia severed diplomatic ties with Kenya, accusing her neighbour of violating her sovereignty and meddling in its internal affairs.

Garissa elders led by Mohamed Abdi alias Emma at a press conference in Garissa town on Wednesday, January 13, 2021
CONCERNED: Garissa elders led by Mohamed Abdi alias Emma at a press conference in Garissa town on Wednesday, January 13, 2021
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

In a televised broadcast, Information Minister Osman Dubbe said Somalia had ordered all its diplomats in Kenya to return home. 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 said.

A week later, Somalia claimed that Kenya was mobilising its troops to attack her security installations.

Kenya has been hosting more than 500,00o Somali refugees at the Dadaab refugee complex for the past three decades. 

Abdi said it was public knowledge that Somalis from Kenya have relatives across the border and have keenly been following the politics ahead of the elections with all indications showing there could be a civil war after the polls.

He said Somalia's problems coupled with the fact that many clans are jostling for power could undermine its fragile security and push it to the brink of war.

Mzee Dekhow Mohamed alias Digdig said Kenya has always been neutral and supported Somalia to ensure stability in the country.

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

President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed alias Farmajo, has been in office since February 2017. In January 2019, former President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed announced his candidature for the election.

He cited the "inability of the current leadership to restore peace and security" against al Shabaab militants who still control a large part of rural regions.