Sunday, September 19, 2021

Djibouti rejects Somalia’s bias claims in IGAD’s fact-finding commission report

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Djibouti has dismissed claims that it was biased in authoring Igad’s report on the current diplomatic tiff between Kenya and Somalia.

In response to Somalia’s claims, Djibouti said there is no doubt that the fat-finding mission was carried out with professionalism and impartiality.

In a press statement on Thursday, Djibouti said while remaining strictly neutral, it was driven by the sole purpose to help Kenya and Somalia ease tensions between them.

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It said it adopted an unbiased approach based on strict objectivity.

Somalia on Wednesday criticised the findings of a fact-finding commission, saying that there was no evidence that Kenya was meddling in its internal affairs.

The report by Igad further indicated that Somalia’s grievances against Kenya were no justification to sever diplomatic relations.

In an apparent indictment of Somalia, the Igad team says in its report: “The Commission considers that these grievances, some of them long-standing, do not appear sufficient to justify a diplomatic separation between Kenya and Somalia.”

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The committee formed on December 22 after the 38th Igad Summit in Djibouti further termed Somalia’s move as disproportionate and unproductive given the two countries are “intimately linked politically, humanely and economically”.

“The consequences of this measure on the 3,000 Somali children attending Kenyan schools on the other side of the border, the hindrance to the functioning of Amisom, which has been experiencing difficulties in relief operations among Kenyan troops, and the economic impact of the embargo on khat in the agricultural region of Meru are a perfect illustration of this,” it said.

The team Led by Djiboutian Ambassador to Kenya Yacin Elmi Bouh and his counterpart to Somalia Aden Hassan Aden and an Igad observer recommended diplomatic efforts at the highest level to reconcile the two states.

But Somalia Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister Mohamed Abdirazak said his country will reject the report “in its entirety” because it the investigators had been “biased, partisan, unfair, compromised and predetermined to exonerate Kenya.”

While threatening that his country will withdraw from Igad Abdirazak said Somalia strongly holds to all its initial accusations against Kenya and will pursue all means to protect her sovereignty.

His sentiments were echoed by Minister for Information, Culture and Tourism Osman Dubbe who told reporters that report was biased.

“The outcome of their report came as a shock to us. The report is one-sided. They [investigators] refused to go to the Somali territory. They went to Kenya twice, they went to Mandera. We wanted them to visit the Gedo region, but they refused to cross the border,” the minister said.

But Djibouti maintained that it has always strived for peace and stability in the region and made considerable efforts to contribute to the security, stability and peace in Somalia and remains committed to pursuing this endeavor.

“The Republic of Djibouti recalls that the final report of the fact-finding mission was submitted to the current chairman of Igad, the republic of Sudan and to all Heads of state and government of Igad as well as to the executive secretary,” read part of a statement.

Djibouti said it is now up to the assembly of heads of state and Igad to determine the way forward and decide the best way to achieve reconciliation between Kenya and Somalia.

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