Council of elders from Garissa county has expressed concern over upcoming elections in Somalia following recent reports of political unrest in the horn of Africa nation.
The country is set to conduct general elections on February 8, 2021, but the Garissa elders fear utterances by a section of candidates in Somalia are likely to cause unrest in the region.
The leaders appealed to President Kenyatta, the United Nations and other countries to engage Somalia to ensure it conducts peaceful elections.
“We are appealing to the United Nations, Other countries out there and our government, we don’t want other refugees here in Kenya.
“We are already tired of those who came before. They have settled on our land. And now we see (Farmaajo) wants to destabilise the peace in that country,” one of the elders stated.
“The refugee camp area is now out of resources. Water levels have shrunk to their lowest. We cannot take any more refugees,” another added.
They appealed to the government to find common ground with Somalia and help the country conduct free and fair elections.
“We want to tell the government of Kenya and that of Somalia to find a way in which they can prevent chaos. We are appealing to the President of Somalia to calm the nation and have a safe and peaceful election to avoid there being refugees from the country,” another elder remarked.
Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke, Government Spokesperson Colonel Cyrus Oguna assured residents of Kenya’s North Eastern region that they had nothing to worry about.
“The government is in control, and will always remain in control. The government is very viscous of what is going on. We always put the interests of Kenyans first and they should not worry about what is going on. We are aware and in control of what is happening in the region,” Colonel Oguna stated.
The declaration by the leaders comes at a time when Kenya and Somalia have been involved in a diplomacy row with the latter accusing Kenya of interfering with her internal affairs.
This is after President Uhuru Kenyatta hosted Somaliland President Muse Bihi on December 13, 2020. Farmaajo accused Kenya of lacking respect for the sovereignty of Somalia in dealing with Somaliland, which is considered a de facto state.
The Somalia President had accused Kenya of hosting Somalia rebels, and claimed that Nairobi, was being used by dissidents to plan and execute missions to destabilise the Somalia government.
“We have a lot of respect for Kenya. We want to live in mutual interest. However, Nairobi does not show any respect for that,” he stated.
Some have, however, claimed that Farmaajo’s decision was a move to whip votes in his favour in the upcoming elections.