By Magdalene Mukami
MOGADISHU, Somalia (AA) – Somalia on Wednesday criticized the findings of a fact-finding commission, saying that it found no evidence showing that Kenya was interfering in Somalia’s affairs.
A report by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), an eight-country trade bloc in Africa comprising governments from the Horn of Africa, Nile Valley and the African Great Lakes, said Tuesday a team that investigated the issue also found that Kenya was not arming militants to attack and destabilize areas in Somalia along their shared border.
“The commission considers that these grievances, some of which are longstanding, do not appear sufficient to justify a diplomatic separation between Kenya and Somalia. It is true that the federal government of Somalia is sovereign in its decisions,” a part of the IGAD report read.
In a Wednesday statement, the Somali Information Ministry said: “The federal government of Somalia has described as unrealistic a report issued by the newly-appointed fact-finding committee on a case filed by the Somali government against the Kenyan government.”
Somali Minister for Information, Culture and Tourism Osman Dubbe told reporters in the capital Mogadishu that the report was biased, adding: “The outcome of their report came as a shock to us. The report is one-sided. They [investigators] refused to go to the Somali territory. They went to Kenya twice, they went to Mandera. We wanted them to visit the Gedo region, but they refused to cross the border.”
The head of the African Union on Tuesday urged Kenya and Somalia to exercise restraint, and de-escalate tensions along their borders.
Somalia, a Horn of Africa country, has accused Kenya of supporting armed fighters who engaged Somali forces on Monday, a fight that claimed 11 lives.
Kenya, however, has distanced itself from the allegations and said it wants the conflict to end.