SOMALIA: Al Shabab Kills Five Kenyan Soldiers

In the last two weeks alone, two Kenya Defence Force bases have been evacuated in the country.

At least five Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) soldiers have reportedly been killed by Al Shabaab in Elwak in the southwestern Gedo region of Somalia.

The soldiers were ambushed last Friday in a surprise attack by the Islamic militants while en route to Elwak on the Kenya border, having just left their military base in Gedo, Shabelle News reported on Sunday.

Nairobi has been withdrawing its forces from Somalia as part of the African Union’s drawdown of its peacekeeping forces on the continent, partly as a result of a slashed budget with the EU cutting back on funds to the continental organisation. The UN and EU are the primary funders of AU peacekeeping forces.

In the last two weeks alone, two KDF bases have been evacuated in Somalia.

The pullout of Kenyan soldiers has exacerbated tensions between Mogadishu and Nairobi, with the former accusing the latter of giving Al Shabaab a helping hand. Both countries suffer from regular attacks by the militants who are trying to establish a Sharia state in the area.

In addition to the strained ties between the two nations, a maritime dispute is also brewing.

According to a 2014 Somali suit filed with the International Court of Justice in the Hague, Kenya has encroached on its 100,000 square-kilometre marine territory in the Indian ocean, which holds possible oil and gas deposits.

Mogadishu’s lawsuit followed six years of unsuccessful bilateral negotiations over the issue.

However, Nairobi asserts that the marine boundary is determined by a parallel line of latitude to the east, as per the standards set by the colonial powers, which were adopted in the marine borders between Kenya and Tanzania, Tanzania and Mozambique, and Mozambique and South Africa.

Source:  African News Agency

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