Somalia has threatened to withdraw from a regional bloc after the group ruled in favour of Kenya in a diplomatic dispute between the two countries.
The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) last month led a fact-finding mission seeking viable intervention to ease tensions between the two East African countries.
Somalia severed diplomatic ties with Kenya on December 15 and wrote the regional bloc of eight members, demanding an independent mission to verify claims that Kenya is arming and training militia to fight the Somalia National Army forces stationed in Gedo near their common border.
The team, led by Djibouti’s Ambassador to Kenya Yacin Elmi Bouh, his counterpart to Somalia Aden Hassan Aden, and an IGAD observer, said they had found no evidence supporting violations by Kenya.
On Wednesday, Mohamed Abdirazak, the Somalia Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister said his country will reject the report “in its entirety” because the investigators had been “biased, partisan, unfair, compromised and predetermined to exonerate Kenya.”
“Somalia strongly holds to all its initial accusations against Kenya and will pursue all means to protect her sovereignty,” Abdirazak said in a statement, threatening that his country will withdraw from Igad.
Igad’s report criticised Somalia for severing ties with Kenya, arguing the historical problems faced by the two countries could only be solved through deeper diplomatic engagements.
Kenya on its part said it feels vindicated.
The Kenyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the findings of the team are proof that Somalia’s claims were a political ploy meant to distract the region from security concerns.