MOGADISHU, Jan. 27 — The African Union on Tuesday called on Somalia and Kenya to embrace dialogue to ease tensions along the common border that resulted in the death of 11 people and several injuries on Monday.
Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission also called on the two neighboring countries to cease hostilities and engage in dialogue in line with the East Africa bloc, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) process to resolve their differences.
“I’m following the tensions on the Kenya-Somalia border with concern, and urge the two neighbors to exercise restraint and engage in dialogue in conformity with the IGAD-led process,” Mahamat said in a tweet.
The AU Commission chairman said peace on the Kenya-Somalia border is vital to regional stability.
Mahamat’s remarks came after the Somali government said 11 people were killed and several others injured following fierce fighting in the town of Beled Hawo between Somali forces and militants of the federal territory of Jubbaland.
The government also said its forces arrested nearly 100 fighters who are loyal to fugitive Abdirashid Janan, the security minister in Jubbaland.
Both sides, however, have claimed victory but independent sources in the town said fierce fighting continued during the day, sparking displacement in the town.
The Horn of Africa nation has accused neighboring Kenya of backing the militia who launched the attack on Sunday night.
However, Kenya has repeatedly denied the accusations and instead sent a Diplomatic Note to the chairperson of the African Union Commission, calling for the cessation of hostilities in neighboring Somalia.