KDF chief: dispute over maritime border will not increase tensions between Kenya and Somalia

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KDF chief: maritime border line will not increase tensions between Kenya and Somalia

NAIROBI, Kenya – The recent judgment of the International Court of Justice [ICJ] on the controversial line of the maritime border between Kenya and Somalia will not affect relations between the two nations, said Kenya’s top general.

Gen. Robert Kibochi, who is the chief of the defense force, said the case will not affect relations and operations across the border, adding that disputes over physical borders can always be resolved without retaliation.

In an interview with Citizen TV, General Kibochi, who was promoted to rank in 2020, noted that there is a need for Somalis and Kenyans to love each other harmoniously as the two nations are neighbors.

“I don’t think it should. Remember Somalia and Kenya are going to be neighbors because we never choose who will be where. It is necessary that we can agree to live in harmony,” he said. .

This is the first interview with a member of the Kenya Defense Forces [KDF] general since the court handed down its ruling on October 12. President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is also the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, said Kenya would not cede even an inch of the disputed area.

According to Kibochi, it will be difficult to interfere with the correlations between the two countries just because of the border disputes. He said, for example, that many Somalis benefit from Kenya’s education and medical system, a fact that cannot be trampled on.

“These people living in Mandera and maybe Kiunga are the same across the border. You can’t limit the number of students who go to school in Somalia and Kenya in Mandera. We don’t. we can’t afford not to allow them to come to Kenya. This relationship will always continue, “he said.

However, Kibochi reiterated President Uhuru Kenyatta’s position that no thumbs will be ceded while blaming the ICJ for the decision. He noted that the court lacks the capacity to change boundaries that have existed for decades.

“But these problems need to be resolved. There is no way to have a border that has been around for years, but someone wakes up and says it doesn’t exist,” the KDF general added. , who is expected to retire once the transition is complete. completed in 2022.

On Al-Shabaab, General Kibochi noted that the group is still a threat to the people of East Africa, noting that: “Al-Shabaab is a faceless enemy and therefore it is our responsibility to be watchful. This war must be fought by all of us. “

The ICJ has rendered an apparently favorable decision in Mogadishu, after several years of legal battles. The decision was hailed in Somalia, but Nairobi still insists the International Court of Justice lacks jurisdiction to deal with the case.

AXADLETM

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