In a Diplomatic Note to the Chairperson African Union Commission today, Kenya has expressed great concern over renewed fighting in the border town of Bula Hawa, in the northern of Gedo Region, southwestern Somalia. The town of Bula Hawa is a few kilometers from the Kenya-Somalia border.
The fighting, which has intermittently taken place over several months since the beginning of 2020, appears to involve the Somali National Army against regional forces from the Jubaland State of Somalia.
Kenya’s primary concern is that the renewed fighting engenders large-scale displacement of civilians inside Somalia and increasingly generates large numbers of refugees and asylum seekers to Kenya, therefore aggravating the already dire humanitarian situation in Somalia and in the refugee camps in Kenya.
Similarly, Kenya is concerned that if the fighting continues unabated, the situation could further destabilize the region, complicate the security situation and reverse gains made in the fight against terrorism.
In the note, Kenya called for immediate cessation of the hostilities and a rapid return to normalcy, consistent with the AU’s calls and inspirations of “Silencing the Guns in Africa by 2020” efforts.