Kenya has welcomed a report of the East African bloc’s (IGAD) appointed fact-finding mission that was set up to look into issues surrounding the diplomatic spat with Somalia while Somalia rejected the report, terming it “biased, partisan, unfair, compromised and predetermined to exonerate Kenya”.
Kenya’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday said the impartial report definitively settles the dispute between the two neighboring countries, noting that Kenya will not be drawn into the campaign whose sole intent remains the creation of artificial fissures for parochial and domestic political ends at the expense of regional peace and security.
“It is incumbent on the administrations to which this hard-worn peace has been entrusted to, to honor the sacrifices made in the past and the will of the people by making a constructive contribution to regional peace, security and prosperity,” the Ministry said in a statement issued in Nairobi.
The mission which was appointed by Djibouti President Ismail Guelleh who is also the chairman of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) said in its report that the decision by Somalia to sever diplomatic relations with Kenya was uncalled for and has negatively impacted the lives of Somalis who seek relief and amenities in Kenya.
The mission which investigated claims by Somalia that Kenya is interfering with its internal affairs and arming militia to destabilize Mogadishu said there is no evidence to confirm that.
“It is now evident that the simulated crisis being contrived by Somalia does not advance IGAD’s vision for achieving peace, prosperity and regional integration in the region,” the ministry said.
During the summit in Djibouti on December 20 last year, Somalia reiterated allegations against Kenya causing the IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government to call for a verification of the allegations.
Somalia accused Kenya of among other things alleged interference and violation of her territorial integrity.
During its visit to Kenya, the Ministry said the government provided the mission with irrefutable evidence invalidating all allegations against Kenya and accorded every assistance including a visit to the Kenya-Somali border to independently verify facts on the ground.
It said Kenya which hosted talks that culminated in the formation of a transitional government of Somalia has spared no cost to stabilize Somalia and create conditions for peace and prosperity.
“This remains our long-held commitment from which we will not be distracted,” said the ministry.
However, Somalia rejected the IGAD report terming it “biased, partisan, unfair, compromised and predetermined to exonerate Kenya.”
“It is instructive to note that the commission intentionally declined to visit Beled Hawo on two occasions to witness Kenya’s atrocities against Somalia,” Osman Dubbe, minister for information told journalists in Mogadishu.
Dubbe said the IGAD fact-finding team sided with Kenya and had not seriously investigated the allegations made by Somalia against its neighboring country.
“The federal government of Somalia (FGS) regrets the partisanship portrayed by Djibouti and IGAD under the chairmanship of Ismail Guelleh.
FGS strongly holds to all its initial accusations against Kenya and will pursue all means to protect her sovereignty,” he said.
The Minister said the team did not visit Beled Hawo near the Kenya-Somali border which was the scene of clashes between Somali National Army (SNA) and Jubbaland troops that Somalia claims were backed by Kenya.
The minister called for the immediate withdrawal of the “baseless and unfair report” and demanded an apology, “failure to which Somalia is considering withdrawing from IGAD.”
He accused the IGAD team of not being neutral in the affairs of the two countries and of adopting a one-sided report.
Somalia severed its diplomatic ties with Kenya on Dec. 15, 2020, accusing Nairobi of constantly meddling in Mogadishu’s territorial and internal affairs, allegations which Nairobi has repeatedly denied.