Somalia deploys more troops along Kenya's border amid tensions


MOGADISHU, Somalia - More troops from the Somali National Army [SNA] have been deployed to the Gedo region, further causing anxiety among residents of the two countries, whose relationship has been fluid for several months now over political differences.

Tensions continued to rise in the border region according to multiple residents when the troops selected from among Gorgor unit arrived in Dolow near the Kenyan border amid an escalating diplomatic spat between Kenya and Somalia.

Dolow is under Jubaland authorities with a strong backing of yeh Kenya Defense Forces [KDF], have been struggling to wrestle from the SNA troops after President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo fell out with the Federal State president Ahmed Madobe.

Ironically, the region falls under the Sector II of the African Union Mission Forces in Somalia, and it is manned by a contingent from the KDF team. This has further raised concerns among the international partners who believe the animosity could spill into a full-blown war.

Besides Dolow, the SNA troops have also been spotted at Baled-Hawo and El-Wak along the Kenya-Somalia border after Mogadishu cut diplomatic ties with Nairobi, claiming that Kenya has been interfering with her internal politics especially in Jubaland.

Kenya has persistently denied the claims and on Sunday, Jubaland authorities backed her position, insisting that KDF had not equipped or trained any local militia in Gedo. For elections to take place in Jubaland, Kismayo authorities have often insisted that Mogadishu must recall SNA troops.

But in Djibouti on Sunday, Presidents Uhuru Kenyatta and Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo agreed to have a dialogue over the escalating tensions after the African Union raised concerns. Somalia had asked IGAD to intervene over the matter, which is threatening the fight against Al-Shabaab.

Kenya is one of the AMISOM force contributing nations and has close to 3,500 soldiers in the Horn of Africa nation. Besides that, Nairobi hosts thousands of Somali refugees in several camps, some of who moved into the East Africa nation in the early 90s.


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