Somalia’s presidential candidates have expressed concerns and warned president Farmaajo against creating unnecessary animosity with Kenya.
In a joint press release from the presidential contenders, they accused the government of causing the rift with Kenya for political gains and not the interest of the nation and the people of Somalia.
“The Union of Candidates is deeply concerned about the decisions of the outgoing Government on key issues affecting the national interest and the people of Somalia,” the statement read in part.
“The council warns the president against using the country’s foreign policy in an election campaign and inciting hatred and animosity between the two neighbouring countries, Somalia and Kenya,”
The statement added, “The Council is concerned about the negative impact that the two countries’ relations will have on Somali business people in Kenya, students, refugees in Kenyan camps, and residents and travellers.”
On Monday Somalia ordered the expulsion of Kenya’s ambassador after accusing neighbouring Kenya of interfering in the electoral process in Jubbaland, which is one of Somalia’s five semi-autonomous states.
Kenya has denied claims by Mogadishu that it is interfering in Somalia’s internal affairs saying claims by Somalia were unsubstantiated allegations.
Nairobi said it has not received any Note Verbale or any other official communication from Mogadishu requesting Kenya’s ambassador to leave for Nairobi for consultations.
Kenya contributes troops to Somalia as part of an African Union-led peacekeeping force which, along with the Somali federal government and local states, is fighting the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab armed group.