Ambassador of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to Kenya, Dina Mufti Sid address the press at Ethiopian Embassy in Nairobi on May 22, 2015. He refuted claims that Ethiopia army forces invaded Kenya. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP
Saturday, May 23, 2015
Ethiopia has denied claims that 50 of its troops had invaded and taken over a police station in North Horr, Marsabit County.
Newly appointed Ethiopian ambassador to Kenya Mr Dina Mufti said allegations that heavily armed soldiers and police officers from his country crossed the border and reportedly took over Illeret Police Station were an “illusion”.
But he said the forces had been surveying the border in preparation for the upcoming elections to be held at the end of May.
Marsabit County Commissioner Peter Thuku had earlier refuted the claims adding that the soldiers were on a mission to check on their borders ahead of the country’s elections.
“There is no reason that would make Ethiopian army forces to even think of invading Kenya, it is quiet an illusion,” he said on Friday while addressing the media in his office.
He said the forces were not pursuing any rebels adding that Ethiopia would never attack Kenya at all.
The Nation reported on Wednesday that Ethiopian forces armed with AK47 rifles, arrived in 10 vehicles, disembarked and took strategic positions around the police station.
They inspected the area and took photos of the area, which is 16 kilometres from the border and also inspected the border and a Lake.
They, however, admitted that the Kenyan Government was not aware of their presence but they vowed to return.
Mr Mufti who was meeting the Kenyan press for the first time since his appointment reiterated that the two countries had a solid relationship which would continue to remain as such.
“The relationship between Ethiopia and Kenya is bigger than these small issues that we keep hearing about, the relationship is very friendly and very solid,” said the envoy.
He said the two countries would continue to cooperate in the fight against terrorism and in growing trade and bilateral ties.
Both Ethiopian and Kenyan forces have joined their counterparts from other Eastern Africa countries to crush the Al-Shabaab terror group in Somalia.
Mr Mufti hailed the incursion saying the joint efforts have left the terror group with no territory.