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Anger at Aideed's remarks on Kenya

Anger at Aideed's remarks on Kenya

By WAWERU MUGO

A cross-section of Somali leaders and elders reacted with anger over warlord Hussein Aideed's territorial ambitions against Kenya.

They termed him, a disgraced warlord and a terrorist who shed the blood of innocent people and said a firm no to his appeal that Somalis living in Kenya "return home".

The government was swift too and insisted that the Somali dominated North-Eastern province was every inch Kenya's and would never be ceded to Somalia.

Provincial Commissioner Mohamud Saleh urged the state to crackdown on elements of Aideed's Somali National Alliance and revealed that police would step up efforts to clear the province of foreigners infiltrating it.

Mr Saleh said, "It is a non-issue (Kenya Somalis joining Somalia).. He (Aideed) is nothing to us (Kenya) and we ignore his claim with the contempt it deserves.." He was categorical that their (Somalia Somalis) infiltration to Kenya posed a threat to the peace currently in place.

The PC who was the chief guest at a function in the city stated; "North Eastern province is Kenya and Kenya is North Eastern (sic)."

Assistant Ministers Yusuf Haji (Office of the President), Mohamed Abdi (Trade and Industry), Adan Mohamed Noor (Environment and Natural Resources), Mohamed Affey (Foreign Affairs) and Members of Parliament, Dr Ali Abdi (Wajir North), Mohamed Weyra (Ijara), Adan Keynan (Wajir West) termed the claims by the Somali warlord disturbing and a dream that would never come true.

They made the remarks at a function in Nairobi to lay strategies for a harambee in aid of Wajir High School. The meeting at a city hotel was called by old boys of the school.

Mr Mohamed Abdi set the leaders tempo when he expressed the Somali community's loyalty and confidence in the Kenyan government.

The Wajir East MP rubbished Mr Aideed as a man who is no different from any other terrorist the world over. "He is a warlord like his father was and he too has much blood on his hands. We, the (Kenyan Somalis) will never dream of joining Somalia," he said.

Dr Ali challenged Ethiopia which is sheltering Mr Aideed to send him packing as his continued stay in the neighbouring country may sour relations between Kenya and Ethiopia.

He regretted that the warlord had destabilised hi country and was now turning his focus on Kenya.

"The government (Ethiopian) must flush him out and bring him here to face justice (over the serious allegations)," he said.

An angry Mr Haji said he would liaise with the Commissioner of the Police Philemon Abong'o to have him order the arrest of Aideed's allies in the country.

"We have given them (Somalis) comfort and they are abusing our hospitality. All his (Aideed) should be rounded now!" said Mr Haji.

Mr Noor wondered, "Who is he to speak on behalf of the Somali community here, he has no business with us. He must be told off!"

The Ijara MP on the other hand supported sentiments by his MP colleagues. He said it was not only criminal but also disgusting for the warlord "to even think of us joining him."

Mr Aideed who expressed territorial ambitions against Kenya and Ethiopia reportedly said he would like the six million Somalis living in Kenya and Ethiopia to "return home".

In an interview that resurrects memories of the shifta war, Mr Aideed, is quoted by the Integrated Regional Information Network, a UN humanitarian information unit, saying: "We want to bring back the Ethiopian and Kenyan Somalis otherwise you have a divided population who are in the same family."

Mr Aideed compares the situation of ethnic Somalis living in Kenya and Ethiopia to the former East and West Germany and the North and South Korea.

Although he says he would not want to "return to the old ways of militarism", he maintains that the move should not give rise to other independent Somali states.


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