Mogadishu – Somalia’s international partners* express grave concern at the build-up of security forces in the Gedo region of Jubaland, Somalia, and clashes in the vicinity of Belet Hawo on 2 March that have resulted in the displacement of civilians and casualties.
We urgently call upon all actors to exercise restraint, to reduce the presence of security forces in Gedo, and to avoid any actions that could spark violence. We note the importance of stability and good cooperation among Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia in their common border area where they have shared security interests.
We welcome the communication between President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed ‘Farmajo’ and President Uhuru Kenyatta on 5 March and encourage the leaders to continue to deescalate tensions, to cooperate on border security, and to form a joint committee to address issues of diplomacy and trade as they agreed. The partners regard the engagement between the leaders as a necessary step, and underscore the importance of continued direct communication between Somalia and Kenya. The partners thank the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) for the outreach and providing good offices; and urge continuation of this dialogue until lasting solutions are in place.
For the long-term stability and security of the border region and of Jubaland, the partners urge cooperation and dialogue between the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and Jubaland authorities in order to advance the fight against al-Shabaab. They call for any individuals accused of crimes or human rights violations to be arrested and subject to due process in accordance with the rule of law.
We underscore that full cooperation and dialogue between the FGS and all Federal Member States’ authorities is urgent and essential in order to combat al-Shabaab, resolve contentious issues, and achieve other national priorities such as securing the benefits from debt relief and holding timely national elections.
* – African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), Denmark, Ethiopia, European Union, Germany, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Italy, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States, United Nations.