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Kenya Planning To Destabilise Somalia, Minister Alleges

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Osman Abukar Dubbe, the Minister for Information Culture & Tourism of The Federal Republic of Somalia, has accused neighbouring Kenya of plotting to destabilise his country as it prepares for general elections.

Dubbe accused Kenya of political interference and hosting opposition leaders in Nairobi.

Politicians from Somalia’s southern Jubbaland regional state were among those who have previously held meetings in Nairobi amid discussions over Somalia’s 2020/2021 elections.

Speaking during a press conference broadcast live on the Facebook page of the state TV, Dubbe said, “We respect Kenya, appreciate our neighbourliness and mutual interest. On our side, we always uphold these principles. However, Kenya seems not to be interested in that but rather wants to pursue an inappropriate daydream and is a state focused on ambitions to pursue taking the Somali land and waters.

“Mogadishu has never hosted a single opposition politician from Kenya, who want to create tension in our neighbours, but instead, Nairobi has become a base where attacks on Somalia are launched from. It has become the base where agreements reached inside Somalia are violated.

“(Nairobi) has become a place where plans to cause political tensions intended to destabilise the emerging governance in our country… That is why we had recalled our ambassador from Nairobi for consultation,” the information minister said.

Dubbe also said al-Shabab seized territories in southern Somalia after the Kenyan Defence Forces that are part of AU Mission in Somalia (Amisom) withdrew from strategic towns in the region.

“After the Kenyan forces withdrew from the towns without informing anybody they were seized (by al-Shabab). Imagine the problems the Somali people who lived there experienced. Is that something we can ignore. Go and ask the residents in Fahfadhun what had happened to them,” the minister told reporters in Mogadishu.

On Monday 30 November, the Somali federal government recalled its ambassador to Nairobi and asked Kenya’s ambassador to Mogadishu “to depart for consultations”.

The Kenyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied reports that it is interfering in Somalia’s internal and political affairs.

Relations between Kenya and Somalia have been marred in recent years largely due to a maritime dispute over a 150,000 square kilometre area in the Indian Ocean rich in oil and gas deposits.

According to the National Electoral Commission, Somalia will hold presidential elections on February 8, 2021, which will be preceded by legislative elections from December 1 to 27, 202.

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East Africa Politics News

Somalia Denies Its Soldiers Participated, Died in Ethiopia’s Conflict

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Osman Abukar Dubbe, Somalia’s Minister for Information Culture and Tourism, has denied reports that Somali soldiers trained in Eritrea took part in the fighting between the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) and the TPLF in Ethiopia’s Tigray province.

Dubbe also dismissed as untrue reports that hundreds of Somali soldiers were killed in the conflict.

The minister said, “There are no Somali soldiers who have been enlisted by Ethiopia or taken part in the Tigray region fighting.

“It is unfortunate that people are trying to find political gains from our national army.

“We are confirming that the fake news, which is meant for politics and business, that claimed Somali troops training in Eritrea took part in fighting in Tigray Region, northern Ethiopia, is not true.”

The minister said the Ethiopian government did not request Somali soldiers to fight in Tigray.

Dubbe said similar “propaganda was spread in the past claiming Somali soldiers took part in fighting in Libya and Azerbaijan, which was confirmed to be fake”.

The minister’s statement comes after a former deputy chief of Somalia’s National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA), Abdisalan Yusuf Guled, claimed some 400 Somali soldiers were killed in Tigray in November last year.

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Ugandan Security Forces Stop U.S. Ambassador from Gaining Access to Bobi Wine’s House

Shortly after casting his ballot on Thursday in the country’s presidential elections, Opposition leader Bobi Wine was placed under house arrest.

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The U.S. ambassador in Uganda was stopped by security personnel from visiting opposition leader Bobi Wine at his residence, prompting the mission to call his house arrest a “worrying” sign.

Shortly after casting his ballot on Thursday in the country’s presidential elections, Opposition leader Bobi Wine was placed under house arrest.

The incumbent president Yoweri Museveni, 76, who has been ruling the country since 1986 when Bobi Wine was only four years old, was declared winner of the election with 59% of the vote against Bobi Wine’s 35%.

The U.S. embassy said in a statement on Monday, that the U.S. ambassador Natalie E. Brown was stopped from visiting Kyagulanyi at his residence in a suburb in the northern outskirts of the capital Kampala.

The mission said the U.S. ambassador wanted to check on Wine’s “health and safety.”

The embassy noted that the just concluded election was tainted by harassment of opposition candidates, suppression of media and rights advocates as well as nationwide internet shutdown.

“These unlawful actions and the effective house arrest of a presidential candidate continue a worrying trend on the course of Uganda’s democracy,” it said.

No observers were deployed for the polls from both the United States and the European Union due to denial of accreditations and failure by Ugandan authorities to implement recommendations by past missions.

During the campaigning security forces routinely broke up Wine’s rallies with teargas, bullets, beatings and detentions, citing violations of laws meant to curb the spread of the coronavirus for those actions.

After Wine was detained for alleged violation of the anti-coronavirus measures in November, 54 people were killed as security forces quelled a protest that erupted.

Opposition leader Bobi Wine and his National Unity Platform (NUP) have rejected the results of the election, saying they were planning a court challenge.

Ugandan security forces on Monday cordoned off offices of opposition party’s in the capital Kampala. The party said the move is complicating their efforts to gather evidence of irregularities committed during the election.

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Uganda Turns on Internet Connection Days After Shut Down, Social Media Remains Blocked

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Uganda on Monday switched on the internet after shutting it down on January 13, fearing that it would be used to spread messages of hate and violence ahead of the country’s general elections held on January 14.

Ofwono Opondo, government spokesman said that the internet is only switched on after data collected indicate that there will be no violence.

“Internet was switched off because people wanted to spread messages of hate and violence, as well as discredit the integrity of our elections,” Opondo said.

“We think now people have come to terms with the results. However, we remain on alert,” he added.

On January 13, a day before the country had its presidential and parliamentary elections, the internet was switched off.

“Whatever was done was done for the good of the country. The opposition was affected and the ruling party was also affected. Even the general public was affected,” Opondo said.

Although Ugandans are celebrating the resumption of internet services after a shutdown was imposed ahead of last week’s election, social media platforms remain blocked and are only accessible using Virtual Private Networks (VPN).

President Yoweri Museveni, who won an unprecedented sixth term in office, accused the platforms of being biased.

In the Thursday election, Museveni won with 58.64 per cent of the tallied votes while his closest rival Robert Kyagulanyi scored a mere 34.83 per cent.

The presidential race was contested by 11 candidates, only one of them was female.

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