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Somalia Want KDF Withdrawn From Kismayu

The Star (Nairobi)
Thursday, July 11, 2013

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The Federal Government of Somalia wants the African Union to intervene and withdraw the Kenya Defense Forces from Kismayu.

There has been growing discord by the Somalia government in Mogadishu on KDF's operation in the port city of Kismayu in Jubba region.

In a letter dated June 30 from Somalia's Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation minister Fawzia Yusuf Adam to the African Union, the country accused KDF for fanning clan rivalry in Kismayu thus hindering attempts by Somalia defence forces to bring peace and stability in the region.

"Unfortunately, the joint Amisom primary focus as well as the momentum of our success against Al-Shabaab has come to a halt," the letter said.

"Instead of facilitating the formation of the command and control of the federal government forces stationed in the Jubba region, the commander of Amisom sector two is discouraging various initiatives of the Defence ministry of Somalia, hence preventing the creation of a cohesive force under one unified command. He has encouraged the formation of various clan factions whose schism is hindering peace and stability of the Jubba region."

The letter accuses sector two (where the KDF are based) Amisom commander Brigadier Antony Ngere for incompetence, poor judgement and abuse of power.

It accuses the entire force of being partisan and using high calibre weapons that have resulted to heavy civilian casualties and displacement.

The letter calls for immediate inquiry into the KDF operation in Kismayu.

It indicates that Somalia wants KDF recalled and deployment of Amisom multi-national force

It demands for nomination of new Amisom political officers whose nationalities will be different from those in sector two.

This means that all Kenyans serving in the Amisom political office in Mogadishu should be recalled.

This comes days after a lobby group, Northern Peace Watch, protested a move by authorities in Mogadishu to eject KDF from Somalia fearing that removal of KDF will give a leeway for the al Shabaab to regroup and take over.

They said it will create instability that will spill over to Kenya.

In a letter signed by NPW secretary general Ahmed Omar, the lobby groups accused Somalia's minister of State for Presidency Farah Sheikh Abdiqadir, MPs Abdullahi Goodax Bare and Abdirahman Hosh Jibril of falsely creating the impression that KDF was incompetent and should be withdrawn from Kismayu.

The letter is addressed to Inspector General of Police and copied to the Foreign Affairs ministry, National Security and Intelligence Service, CID and the Interior and Coordination ministry.


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