AROUND AFRICA: Somalia-Kenya Border Spat; Rival Libyan Government Attacks (Update)

August 15, 2019 at 11:59 pm Leave a comment

UPDATES with additional airport attack in Libya.

Somalia-Kenya Dispute Heats Up.

In less than a month, the United Mations International Court of Justice is slated to hold a hearing on a territorial dispute between Somalia and Kenya — but both East African neighbors are threatening to send troops to the disputed area on the Indian Ocean.

Kenya’s parliament recently called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to send troops to the Indian Ocean to protect the country’s territory from what it calls Somalia’s aggression, the VoA website reported.

hornofafrica-somalia_19881

Kenya-Somalia border on the Horn of Africa

Meanwhile, Somali lawmaker Mohamed Omar Talha told VOA that his country would counter Kenya by sending troops to the 100,000-square-kilometer (38,600-square-mile) area.

The neighbors’ maritime dispute in the waters off the strife-torn Horn of Africa began in 2014 when Somalia filed a complaint against Kenya in the International Court of Justice.

Somalia contends that its maritime boundary with Kenya should run on a diagonal, extending from its land border and not in the current flow parallel to the line of latitude. The contentious triangle measures about 100,000 square kilometers. For Kenya, Somalia’s claim places 51,000 square kilometers (sq. km.) of its Exclusive Economic Zone and 95, 000 sq. km. of its continental shelf in jeopardy, according to The Africa Report.

Security experts are concerned that armed conflict between the two countries would benefit the al Shabaab terrorist group. Al Shabaab, which means “the youth” in Arabic, is a jihadist movement affiliated with al Qaeda that started in Somalia and has grown into a regional terrorist group that has carried out attacks in Uganda and Kenya — including the 2013 Nairobi shopping mall attack that left scores of dead and injured.

islamist-militants-somalia

Islamist militants in Mogadishu, Somalia.(Photo copyright, Kate Holt, IRIN)

Kenya has been battling al Shabaab in Somalia since 2011, and is now a core part of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) holding Somalia’s fragile peace together, The Africa Report noted, adding that cooperation between Kenya’s and Somalia’s security forces is essential to combating terrorism.

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Missile Attacks on Libyan Airports.

The violent power struggle between rival political factions continues in Libya, where missiles hit the only functioning airport in the capital, Tripoli, on Thursday (August 15), killing one worker.

In a statement, Mitiga airport said it halted traffic and diverted flights to Misrata, a city some 200 kilometers to the east of Tripoli, Reuters news service reported. The airport has been repeatedly hit since eastern forces loyal to Khalifa Haftar launched an offensive to take the capital, now held by the internationally recognized government.

Haftar’s fighter jets also carried out an airstrike Thursday (August 15) on Zuwara Airport – 120 kilometers west of Tripoli. Haftar’s forces claimed they were  targeting the airport for its use by Turkish drones (unmanned aircraft).

Those claims for were denied by Burkan Al-Ghadab Operation, which posted photos showing the shrapnel from Haftar’s missiles falling on the runway, according to The Libya Observer.

Zuwara Airport is being used by the United Nations Support Mission in Libya for flying inside and outside Libya and was shut lately by the Transportation Ministry then reopened two days later.

map-libya

Libya
(CIA World Factbook)

The airport attacks were the latest rounds of violence in the chaos that errupted with the toppling of strongman Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The United Nations said a car bomb explosion in the eastern city of Benghazi killed three U.N. staff members and two other mission members on Saturday (August 10). The attack came as the United Nations was brokering a truce in Tripoli, where the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) force launched a surprise attack in April, Reuters reported.

 

 

 

 

 

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

FRIDAY FOTO (August 9, 2019) FRIDAY FOTO (August 16, 2019)

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