Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Kenya Tells United Nations Security Council Somalia TFG Approved Invasion

Kenya tells UN Somalia approved its incursion

Associated Press
2011-10-26 03:21 AM

Kenya has informed the U.N. Security Council that it had permission from Somalia to cross their shared border and pursue Islamist militants attacking Kenya.

Kenya's U.N. Ambassador Macharia Kamau said in a letter circulated Tuesday that his government decided to take pre-emptive actions "in direct consultations and liaison with the Transitional Federal Government in Mogadishu" after an escalation of terrorist acts and incursions by al-Shabaab militants.

He attached an Oct. 18 communique in which Kenya's Foreign Minister Moses Wetang'ula and Somalia's Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Hussein Arab Isse agreed "to undertake coordinated pre-emptive action and the pursuit of any armed elements that continue to threaten to attack both countries."

Somalia's President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed publicly told Kenya Monday to halt its military advance in southern Somalia. The appeal called into question his commitment to fighting his former Islamist allies and sparked dismay among American and European officials and some Somali residents.

Kenyan troops drove across the Kenya-Somalia border earlier this month after a string of kidnappings by Somali gunmen on Kenyan territory.

Under the U.N. Charter, all countries must immediately report measures taken in self-defense to the Security Council.

Kamau said in the Oct. 17 letter that Kenyan military and police have repulsed dozens of incursions and "scores of Kenyans have lost their lives over the past 36 months in border towns and communities" as a result of attacks by al-Shabaab militants.

"Kenya, whenever necessary, will pursue back into Somalia the terrorist elements that have transgressed the Kenyan boundaries and carried out acts of kidnapping, terror and murder and disrupted international humanitarian efforts," he said

The joint Kenya-Somalia communique states that Wetang'ula and Somalia's president Ahmed held "crucial talks" on Oct. 18 "against the backdrop of the growing spate of armed attacks by the al-Shabaab elements on Kenya."

Based on the discussion, it said the two sides agreed that al-Shabaab "constitutes a common enemy to both countries" and therefore both countries should continue working together on a number of fronts.

These include "undertaking security and military operations," stabilizing Somalia, and stamping out threats of al-Shabaab elements "especially terrorism, piracy, abductions, extortion, ransom demands and other international crimes," the communique said.

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