US News Somalia: fighting is in the south of the country near the Kenyan border

18:10  25 january  2021
18:10  25 january  2021 Source:   rfi.fr

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MOGADISHU, Somalia — Heavy fighting has broken out in a Somali town near the Kenyan border between Somali forces and those from the state of Jubbaland as The information ministry asserted that Somali forces were in control of the town. There were no immediate details on casualties.

Kenya , were said to be assisting Kenyan forces patrolling the border with Somalia to intercept Fighting continued January 6 in the forests south of Kismayo near the Kenyan border , where it Seven vehicles were destroyed. A platoon of Kenyan border police were in the area to enforce the

Des personnes dans la ville de Kismayo, capitale du Jubaland, Somalie, août 2019. (Image d'illustration) © AFP - STRINGER People in the city of Kismayo, capital of Jubaland, Somalia, August 2019. (Illustrative image)

The violence continues take place in Jubaland, a Somali region whose relations have long been strained with the central government in Mogadishu. They pit the forces of Jubaland against the national army. Several sources speak of at least five dead and each side claims to have won.

With our regional correspondent in Nairobi, Sébastien Németh

The fighting focuses on Baled Hawo, a locality controlled by federal troops for almost a year, but located in Jubaland, a state of the Somali federation which nevertheless has its own forces of security.

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Operation Linda Nchi (Swahili: Linda Nchi; "Protect the Country ") was an operation where the Kenya Defence Forces entered southern Somalia beginning in 2011. The Kenyan government declared the operation completed in March 2012

The Islamists are reportedly retreating toward the Kenyan border . Kenya has boosted security at the African and Arab League countries have called on Ethiopia to withdraw its troops from Somalia , but A platoon of Kenyan border police were in the area to enforce the border closure.[33] In

Each side accuses the other of launching hostilities, but Mogadishu further says the assault came from a neighboring "Kenya ally". Tensions are high between the two countries, to the point that Somalia severed diplomatic ties with Nairobi last month.

The ally in question could be Abdirashid Janan. The Jubaland Minister of Security is indeed close to Nairobi. He escaped from a prison in Mogadishu a year ago and is believed to be a refugee on the Kenyan side of the border, where he is said to have mobilized his forces.

A strategic region

The attacked region encompasses many issues as well. It is one of the clan strongholds of Somali President Mohamed Farmajo. He wants to garner support there before the April presidential election. It is also an area rich in fertile land. Finally Jubaland and its leader Ahmed Madobe are in conflict with the head of state. There are two opposing views: Farmajo has a centralized conception of Somali power, while Madobe wants him more autonomy for his region.

The Somali head of state has long tried to destabilize the area, not only by appointing relatives, but also by deploying federal troops. A situation monitored closely, because the Kenyan and Ethiopian armies are very close. The slightest spark could have serious consequences.

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This is interesting!