Somalia Accuses Kenya of Arming Local Militia as Tensions Rise

Somalia’s government accused Kenya of arming local militia to attack its forces on the border, just days after severing diplomatic ties with its East African neighbor.

The alleged steps can “undermine general security of the Horn of Africa region,” Somalia’s Ministry of Information said in a statement posted to its Twitter account on Saturday.

Calls and text messages to the spokeswoman for Kenya’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau outside of normal working hours weren’t answered.

The assertions are being made after Kenya said this week that it would open a consulate in Somaliland, a breakaway region that declared independence in 1991 following a civil war. Somalia’s government ordered Kenyan diplomats to leave Mogadishu after talks with Somaliland started, a step reciprocated by officials in Nairobi.

Diplomatic relations soured last year after Kenya accused Somalia of auctioning four offshore oil blocks in a disputed area, an allegation Somalia denied.

Kenya invaded Somalia in 2011 after a spate of kidnappings by the Islamist extremist group Al-Shabaab, which had originated in Somalia. A suicide bomber killed 14 people in an attack on Friday at the city of Galkayo. The Al-Qaeda-linked group claimed responsibility, saying it was aimed at Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Roble, who was due to speak about the upcoming election.

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