Friday June 4, 2021
Mogadishu (HOL) - The government of Somalia says that it "strongly condemns" Kenyan airstrikes in Somalia's Gedo region that killed and injured civilians.
In a statement released on Friday through Somalia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Somalia said that the "indiscriminate" airstrikes have become "standard operating procedure."
"The Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) strongly condemns the continual Kenyan airstrikes that kill and maim civilians in Somalia. The indiscriminate airstrike in El Adde and Hisa-u-gur in Gedo region, Jubaland State, on the 3rd of June 2021, is the most recent example of Kenyan Defence Force (KDF) operations resulting in the death and maiming of civilians, including women and children that are increasingly becoming an unpleasant hallmark of Kenyan air force's standard operating procedure."
The statement says that Kenya is flouting its obligations under the AMSISOM mandate by not adequately protecting civilians, especially women and children, as they fight militant extremists in the country. Somalia warns that such reckless attacks on civilians populations will lead communities right into the hands of Al-Shabaab.
"It is becoming increasingly obvious the provocative and indiscriminate manner the KDF conducts operations in Somalia, under the pretext of fighting extremism, will not contribute to efforts stabilizing and confronting extremism but only further radicalize communities in support of extremism.
The statement says Kenya's unwillingness to acknowledge these concerns directly led to the breakdown in diplomatic relations between the two East African neighbours.
"It's to be noted, the Republic of Kenya's leadership intransigence and inability to uphold the standard expected of the KDF in line with its obligations under international law is the reason behind the deterioration of diplomatic relations that led to the FGS severing all diplomatic ties with the Republic of Kenya."
Somalia said that it has raised this concern with the Kenyan government and the African Union and will bring up the AU's Peace and Security Council.