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Somali gov't says it intercepted weapons from Kenya-backed bandits

Monday January 25, 2021

Mogadishu (HOL) - The Federal Government of Somalia strongly condemned what it described as an act of aggression from Kenya-backed bandits for their attempt to smuggle weapons inside Somalia.

The Ministry of Information released a statement on Monday where they accused the Kenya-backed fighters of crossing into the Somali territory of Beled Hawo located in the Gedo region.

Osman Abukar Dubbe, Somalia's information minister, said that the fighters were met by Somali security forces who successfully repelled the attack.

"Tonight, Kenya supported pundit [sic] attacked Beled Hawo District of Gedo region. Our Somali National Army heroes defended the city and its civilian population. We strongly condemn these attacks which are against regional stability and all international norms and laws."

In an English version of a similar press release, the Somali government did not mention Kenya by name but referred to "foreign entities."

"It has come to the attention of the Federal Government of Somalia that Somali & foreign entities have attempted to illegally import high calibre weapons and ammunition into the Federal Republic of Somalia without the knowledge and permission of the  Federal Republic of Somalia."

The statement went on to say that the actions could have destabilizing consequences in the region and that it would be conducting an investigation into the origin and motives of the intercepted weapons.

The press release was not accompanied with a photo handout of the captured weapons cache.

Tensions in Somalia's Gedo region remain high, where the Federal Government has deployed at least 700, Turkish-trained troops. Jubbaland's regional government strongly condemned the move as an incursion and has refused to partake in the federal election process until those troops are removed. Meanwhile, Mogadishu insists that the soldiers must remain there to defend Somalia's borders. Relations further soured following the high-profile jailbreak of a Jubaland regional security minister. Abdirashid Janan - who the Somali government claims spearheaded the most recent attack - escaped a Mogadishu jail and fled to Kismayo and then to Nairobi, Kenya.


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