The African Union (AU) has expressed concern over the rising tensions at the common border between Kenya and Somalia, where there was sporadic violence in Bula-Hawo. It called for dialogue to deescalate tension.
Fighting broke out between Somalia National Forces and regional Jubbaland fighters, which Somalia says were trained in Kenya.
On the Somali side where the battle occurred on Monday morning, at least nine people, including civilians, were killed.
The AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat has called on the two sides to stop the fighting and use multilateral channels to air their grievances.
“I’m following the tensions on the Kenya-Somalia border with concern, and urge the two neighbours to exercise restraint and engage in dialogue in conformity with the Igad-led process.
“Peace on the Kenya-Somalia border is vital to regional stability.”
Faki’s comments came as Mogadishu insisted it had confirmed weapons from Kenya had been used in the fight, although no evidence was immediately provided for the claims which Kenya rejected.
Kenya wrote to the African Union, on Monday, expressing security concerns, after federal and regional forces from Somalia renewed fighting at Bula-Hawo in Gedo near Mandera County.
Kenya said the fighting most likely will create a security crisis especially as the two countries no longer have diplomatic relations.
“Kenya’s primary concern is that the renewed fighting engenders large scale displacement of civilians inside Somalia and increasingly generate large numbers of refugees and asylum seekers to Kenya, therefore aggravating the already dire humanitarian situation in Somalia and in the refugee camps in Kenya,” said a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“Kenya is concerned that if the fighting continues unabated, the situation could further destabilise the region, complicate the security situation and reverse the gains made in the fight against terrorism.”
On the Kenyan side in Mandera, the fighting has disrupted normal business and other activities as schools and shops have been shut for fear of violence. Ali Roba, the governor of Mandera, said some Kenyans were injured in the incident.
The battle between both forces, the SNA and Jubbaland fighters, began at about 1am Monday with the fight going on all through the day.
After taking out the Jubbaland forces loyal to the Abdirashid Hassan Abdinur alias Abdirashid Janan, the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) soldiers have been camping at Bula-Hawo town since March last year.
Abdirashid Janan, a Jubbaland minister for security, is wanted by Mogadishu.
Janan and his army crossed into Kenya and hid in Mandera town, after they were overpowered in March last year.
The tensions between Somalia and Kenya saw Mogadishu cut diplomatic ties with Nairobi in December last year. But Kenya has since rejected claims that it interfered with Somalia’s internal affairs.
Uganda’s President Museveni, Chinese Diplomats in Bilateral Discussions
Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has met with visiting senior Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi in Entebbe to discuss promoting bilateral relations between the two countries.
Yang, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee pointed out that China-Uganda relations have developed smoothly in the last few years.
China supports Uganda in its pursuit of a development path suited to its national conditions and stands ready to work with Uganda to further deepen political mutual trust and enhance the complementarity of development strategies.
China plans to expand practical cooperation within the framework of jointly building the Belt and Road Initiative and implementing the outcomes of the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, as well as pushing the bilateral comprehensive cooperative partnership to a new height.
China has declared readiness to continue to cooperate with Uganda in fighting the Coronavirus pandemic and jointly promote the building of a community of common health for mankind.
Museveni stressed that Uganda abides by the one-China principle, opposes foreign interference in China’s internal affairs, and is willing to strengthen coordination and cooperation with China in international and regional affairs.
Uganda: Bobi Wine Withdraws Election Results Petition
Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, a.k.a Bobi Wine, has withdrawn his challenging the results of Uganda’s January 14 presidential election from the Supreme Court, citing judges bias.
The National Unity Platform (NUP) presidential candidate, who is seen as the leader of the opposition in Uganda, said he is dropping his case because the courts are filled with “yes-men” appointed by President Yoweri Museveni and he did not expect a fair decision from the panel of nine judges.
Recall that Bobi Wine had gone to the supreme court after losing the Ugandan poll to Museveni. The 76-year-old, who has been in power since 1986, won a 6th term with 58% of the vote while Wine had 35%.
Bobi Wine, who was four years old when Museveni grabbed power, called those results fraudulent, citing cases of soldiers allegedly stuffing ballot boxes, casting ballots for people, chasing voters away from polling stations and asked the court to overturn the results.
The musician turned politician says that he will now take the matter to the court of public opinion, using non-violent means.
Recall that Bobi Wine had initially said he did not wish to launch a legal challenge because a courtroom loss would validate Museveni’s victory.
Museveni won previous legal challenges to his election victories, and analysts had predicted the judges were still unlikely to rule against him.
More than 50 people were killed in violence ahead of the election.
Uganda: Soldiers Assault Journalists at Bobi Wine UNHRC Petition Submission
Ugandan security forces on Wednesday beat up and injured journalists who were covering the National Unity Platform (NUP) presidential candidate in January 14 election, Robert Kyagulanyi a.k.a Bobi Wine, deliver his petition to United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) offices in Kampala, the capital.
Several journalists at the event have reportedly been admitted to hospitals after the assault from military police who arrived outside the UNHRC office in trucks.
Stephen Bwire, Secretary-General of Uganda Journalists Union, said no fewer than 20 journalists were hurt in the attack, with at least four sustaining deep cuts on the head after getting thrashed with batons.
Bobi Wine lost the January 14 presidential election to incumbent Yoweri Museveni, who has ruled Uganda since 1986. He rejected the results and has filed a court case seeking annulment of the poll, which he claimed was rigged.
President Yoweri Museveni recently announced the arrest and detention of of 300 people for rioting and other criminal acts.
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