The Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) has responded to threats issued by Somalia President, Mohamed Farmaajo, as the row between the neighbouring country and Kenya escalates.
Farmaajo threatened to expel KDF from Somalia and wrote to the African Union Mission to Somalia (Amisom) initiating an anti-Kenya campaign.
Somalia wants Eritrea to take over Kenya’s role in the peacekeeping mission.
“Our presence in Somalia is governed by Amisom agreement,” KDF Spokesperson Zipporah Kioko stated adding that the agreement bars Farmaajo from withdrawing Kenya’s consent to send her soldiers in a peacekeeping mission in the country.
The threats by Somalia to KDF come at a time when Kenya is already discussing a plan to withdraw KDF from Somalia.
KDF’s 10th Battle Group (10GB) was sent to Somalia in November to oversee the withdrawal of Kenyan troops on the peacekeeping mission.
Insiders told a local publication that Defence CS Monica Juma cancelled a press conference that was scheduled for Friday, December 18, despite the press and military being ready for critical announcements.
Farmaajo had sent a memo to Kenya on Friday morning, December 18, at 1 am, expelling Kenyan diplomats from Somalia. He also forced Kenyan ambassador Lucas Tumbo to leave the country.
Somalia had issued a seven-day deadline to Kenya to recall her (Kenya) diplomats with the notice due to expire on December 22.
The row between the two countries has seen Somalia report Kenya to the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). She accused Kenya of interfering with her affairs.
Kenya’s dalliance with Somaliland is one of the major issues.
The Federal Government of Somalia does not recognise Somaliland’s claim to autonomy and has protested Kenya’s recognition of the breakaway territories.
However, IGAD faces a challenge to resolve the matter as it was reported before Somalia cut ties with Kenya on Tuesday night.
Somalia has also continued her attacks on Kenya even after indicating that she does not want to corporate and relate with her.
On Saturday, December 15, she accused Kenya of reportedly supporting a rebel group based in Mandera who are famous for opposing Somalia agendas.
Reports allege that foreign powers such as the UK and US are interested in the matter which is gathering storm and attracting global attention.
On Tuesday, December 15, Government Spokesman Cyrus Oguna noted that there exists a lot of commonality between Somalia and Kenya and that Kenya respected her neighbouring country.