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TheEastAfrican.co.ke: EU pledges to support peace in the Horn of Africa

Posted by: Berhane.Habtemariam59@web.de

Date: Sunday, 26 May 2019

Somali police force

Somali police force attend an Amisom handover ceremony of the Mogadishu stadium. Amisom had used the stadium as one of its base since 2011. PHOTO | AFP 

FRED OLUOCH
By FRED OLUOCH
Sunday May 26 2019

The European Union is renewing its support for peace in the Horn of African even as peacekeepers in Somalia struggle with reduced funding.

This was the message the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini delivered in her round trip to Somalia, Kenya, Djibouti and Ethiopia.

These happen to be four out of the five troop-contributing countries to the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom), which is still grappling with the United Nations Security Council resolution for a phased drawdown.

Security in the region was her main agenda in the meeting with Somalia Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khayre, Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta, Djibouti’s President Ismail Omar Guelleh and the African Union Chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat.

It came at a time when the ongoing diplomatic rift between Kenya and Somalia over the marine boundary is threatening to derail the war against Al Shabaab.

“We have had discussions around regional peace and security matters as well as integration. We discussed co-operation in Somalia, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo as well as my request for EU support for Kenya’s bid for the UNSC,” she said after meeting Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs Dr Monica Juma.

In Somalia, Ms Mogherini described her visit as part of the EU’s friendship, partnership and support for President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo.

According to a release from the EU External Action, Ms Mogherini while in Somalia, visited the EU Training Mission, Somalia troops and EU Capacity Building Mission for Somalia personnel.

The EU remains one of the biggest Somalia donors. In 2017, the EU pledged that member states will invest $1.03 billion that will bring the total support to Somalia to $4.5 billion till 2020.

This includes the EU providing Amisom salaries s well as salaries for police, development aid and $596 million for humanitarian assistance alone, to tackle the devastating effects of the drought in Somalia.

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Uganda, Rwanda in row over border killings

Rwandan Foreign Affairs minister Richard Sezibera

Rwandan Foreign Affairs minister Richard Sezibera. He has dismissed reports that Rwandan soldiers crossed border into Uganda on May 24, 2019. PHOTO | RWANDA MFA 

AFP
By AFP
Sunday May 26 2019

Kampala and Kigali traded accusations Saturday after Ugandan police accused Rwandan soldiers of entering the country and killing two men, further stoking tensions between the two countries.

Rwanda, however, disputed the Ugandan version of events and said the incident happened on its side of the border after officers were attacked with machetes.

"The government of Uganda protests in the strongest terms the violation of its territorial integrity by Rwandan soldiers and the criminal, brutal and violent act... against unarmed civilians," the Ugandan foreign ministry said.

In a statement on Sunday, Rwanda foreign affairs ministry said its forces were attacked by people with machetes after stopping a suspected smuggler on a motorcycle after he crossed the border from Uganda.

"The officers in self defence, fired and struck two individuals who later died. Once the attacking group had crossed back into Uganda with their wounded associates, Rwandan security forces ceased pursuit," reads the statement.

Ugandan police said earlier the raid occurred around 8:00 pm (1800 GMT) on Friday at a border post near the Ugandan village of Kiruhura in Rukiga district in the west of the country.

Police spokesman Fred Enanga said the soldiers entered "about 80 metres into Ugandan territory" in pursuit of a Rwandan on a motorbike.

"The victim resisted attempts to arrest him, and he was shot to the head and killed instantly," Enanga said, adding that a Ugandan who tried to intervene was also shot dead.

The soldiers then retreated back into Rwanda, he said.

"In this very instance, there was no justification for the illegal entry and use of deadly force by the Rwandan military, due to the presence of alternative, adequate and effective remedies available at our disposal," he said.

Relations between Rwanda's President Paul Kagame and Uganda's Yoweri Museveni, once close allies, have turned deeply hostile in recent months with the pair making allegations of espionage, political assassinations and meddling against each other.

The border is porous and traders often smuggle goods from Uganda into Rwanda.

Rwanda drastically reduced imports from Uganda a few months ago and its citizens are banned from crossing over into Uganda.

Uganda however has not imposed tit-for-tat measures.

The standoff escalated dramatically in March when Rwanda publicly accused Uganda of abducting its citizens and supporting rebels bent on overthrowing the government.

Museveni—who has admitted meeting, but not endorsing, anti-Kagame rebels—harbours his own suspicions about his erstwhile ally. His officials have accused Rwandans in Uganda of spying, and some have been detained or deported.

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