News / Africa

Kenya, Somalia Strengthen Ties to Stabilize Somalia, Region

Somali PM Mohamed Abdulahi Mohamed (File)
Somali PM Mohamed Abdulahi Mohamed (File)
Michael Onyiego

With the mandate of Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government due to expire in August, Somali Prime Minister Mohammed Abdullahi Mohammed was in Nairobi Thursday to discuss regional security with his Kenyan counterpart, Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

Over the 20 years of Somalia’s instability, Kenya has frequently felt the effects of its neighbor’s numerous wars. According to the U.N. refugee agency, nearly 400,000 refugees were living in Kenya as of January, a population expected to grow to over half of a million by the end of 2011. And these figures do not include the thousands of Somalis who fled their country to become permanent residents in Kenya.

Kenya has also been drawn in to Somalia’s actual conflict. In February, Somali government forces launched an offensive to oust al-Shabab insurgents from southern Somalia. With intense fighting along the borders to control critical entry points into Somalia, violence spilled into the northern Kenyan town of Mandera, claiming the lives of civilians and forcing a buildup of Kenyan troops.

Prime Minister Mohammed told reporters in Nairobi that Kenya’s support was a key component of TFG military operations in the Gedo and Dobley regions of southern Somalia, where much of the fighting has taken place. Mr. Mohammed warned of the threat posed by al-Shabab’s foreign fighters from countries such as Afghanistan and Pakistan, who seek to destabilize the region as a whole.

The talks between Mr. Odinga and Mr. Mohammed come ahead of a United Nations-sponsored conference next week in Nairobi to discuss the transition of the interim Somali government in August. The meeting has garnered criticism from Somali leaders who argue transition talks would damage the progress of recent months.

Prime Minister Mohammed called for any such discussions to take place in Somalia. He also recently criticized the United Nations for basing its Somalia programs in Kenya. On Tuesday, the prime minister ordered all U.N. agencies working in Somalia to permanently relocate to Mogadishu within six months. The U.N. maintains only a few permanent personnel in Somalia because of security reasons, with the rest of its Somali-focused staff based in Nairobi.

After the meeting with the Kenyan Prime Minister, Mr. Mohammed told reporters the two agreed to work together to defeat any enemies of peace and progress in Somalia.

Somalia has not had a functioning central government since dictator Mohammed Siad Barre was overthrown by warlords in 1991. Al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab has been battling the transitional administration since 2007 and controls the majority of southern Somalia, including parts of the capital, Mogadishu.

You May Like

Computer Crash Halts US Visa, Passport Operation

Problems with database have resulted in extensive backlog of applications, affected State Department's consular offices all over the world More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

World Bank: Boko Haram Stalls African Aid Projects

Islamist group’s terrorism sets back agriculture, health efforts in Cameroon, Chad and Nigeria More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid