Somalia President makes surprise visit to Kenya for security talks

Somalia President has arrived in the country for the two-day state visit. /COURTESY
Somalia President has arrived in the country for the two-day state visit. /COURTESY

Somalia President Mohamed Abdullahi today landed in Nairobi for a one-day work visit.

His communication team said he will discuss bilateral relations and further cooperation on key security, trade and diplomatic ties.

He was received by Foreign Affairs CS Monica Juma and her ICT counterpart Joe Mucheru at JKIA, and then headed to State House, Nairobi.

The surprise visit, which caught even senior Foreign Affair officials unaware, came as the Directorate of Criminal Investigations earlier in a press release warned the number of al Shabaab militants along the border with Somalia is “on the rise” and some are trying to cross into the country.

The police say the militants, led by operational commander Ibrahim Mohammed, alias Sharif Layn Kulul, may be planning attacks in Kenya.

On Friday, the National Intelligence Service warned of possible terror attacks in Mombasa county by al Shabaab operatives during the month of Ramadhan.

The NIS warned the militants have dispatched fighters in parts of Northeastern and Coast to carry out sting attacks targeting security agents and civilians.

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This is also after the Kenyan government warned that the activities of foreign powers seeking to undermine the government in Mogadishu are a threat to regional security.

In his State of the Nation Address, the President Uhuru warned against interference in Somalia. He said, "The region is not at peace. Somalia remains troubled, largely by foreign agents who weaken its government, who divide its peoples, and who threaten to reverse the gains we have so painfully won under Amisom."

"If Somalia remains unsettled, let us admit that South Sudan nation remains in crisis," he added.

During the inauguration of President Abdullahi in Mogadishu in February last year, Uhuru promised to support Somalia to ensure peace and stability.

“We shall continue working with other Amisom Troops Contributing Countries as well as the International Community to create an enabling environment for the reconstruction, development and sustainable peace in Somalia,” said the President.

Somalia has, however, suffered many domestic attacks as well as caught up in an international struggle between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on one side, with Qatar backed by Turkey on the other, over access to seaports.

UAE is leading Arab League member in supporting Somalia by providing humanitarian aid, security training, and educational training in addition to health facilities, which has been affected by the new regime of Abdullahi, who is working with Turkey in security and military training.

Reuters reports Turkey, an ally of UAE rival Qatar, is ramping up a multi-billion dollar investment push in Somalia. A Turkish company has run the Berbera port since 2014, which is now in the centre of contention, while other Turkish firms have built roads, schools, and hospitals.

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