Uhuru’s Somalia visit elicits mixed reactions

By Asad Cabdullahi Mataan

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s impromptu visit to Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) troops operating under the African Union Mission in Somalia has elicited mixed reactions following an alleged diplomatic row with the neighbouring country.

The Somali government has allegedly castigated President Kenyatta for making entry into the country without its knowledge saying the action surmounts to violating the country’s sovereign integrity.

State House Spokesperson, Manoah Esipisu, clarified that the President was in order to visit ‘his troops’ in Somalia to boost their morale and acknowledge their effort of guarding the country outside the borders.

“The President visiting with his troops is normal and it is important he shows support for his troops,” said Esipisu.

The President’s spokesperson revealed that Somali’s President, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, will visit the country on Thursday, March 23 where the matter will be discussed.

While in Somalia, Kenyatta praised the new President of the Federal Republic of Somalia for his commitment to restore stability in the Horn of Africa nation and bolstering relations with neighbouring countries in the region.

Esipisu reiterated that the cordial relationship between the two nations is solid and any differences will be handled diplomatically.

“If there are issues by the other country they will be handled in the normal diplomatic channel,” said Esipisu.

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Saturday, March 18, made a historic visit by a Kenyan Head of State to visit troops working in a foreign peace mission.

President Kenyatta promised to withdraw KDF troops from Somalia immediately after they help the country develop a credible defence forces.

Citizen TV