Somalia lodges protest after Kenya calls Somaliland a country

A war memorial displaying a MiG fighter jet in the centre of Hargeisa. Somaliland has its own government based in the self-appointed capital of Hargeisa, its own army and prints its own currency. (Reuters)
Updated 01 July 2019

Somalia lodges protest after Kenya calls Somaliland a country

  • Somaliland declared its independence in 1991 but is not recognized by the international community
  • Somalia has previously accused Kenya of auctioning oil and gas fields in a disputed maritime area

MOGADISHU: Somalia protested formally to Kenya, the foreign ministry in Mogadishu said Monday, after Nairobi referred to the self-proclaimed Republic of Somaliland as a country.
Somaliland declared its independence in 1991 but is not recognized by the international community, which considers it an autonomous region of Somalia.
Kenya invoked the ire of its war-torn neighbor last week after referring in a tweet to a meeting with Somaliland officials as covering “issues of mutual interest to both countries.”
Somalia’s foreign ministry said it summoned Kenya’s ambassador on Sunday and presented him a note of protest about the “offensive tweet.”
“We consider this tweet an affront to Somalia’s sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity as well as harmful to the relationship between Somalia and Kenya,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.
“Somalia stands for good-neighborliness, mutual respect and close cooperation with its neighbors, and expects the same from Kenya.”
Formerly a British protectorate, Somaliland merged with former Italian Somaliland in 1960 to create Somalia.
But it seceded and declared itself independent in 1991 as Somalia plunged into chaos after the fall of autocrat Siad Barre.
Somaliland has been pushing for independence ever since.
It has its own government based in the self-appointed capital of Hargeisa, its own army and prints its own currency.
It is also considered much more stable than the rest of Somalia, which is plagued by clan disputes, corruption and a violent insurgency waged by the Al-Shabab militant group.
Ties between Kenya and Somalia have cooled considerably in recent times.
In February, Somalia accused Kenya of auctioning oil and gas fields in a disputed maritime area.
The feuding neighbors have taken that spat to The Hague, where the UN’s highest court is expected in September to start hearing both sides in the border disagreement.
More recently, Kenya decided to suspend direct flights from Mogadishu to Kenya, requiring passengers to stop first in Wajir, a Kenyan town near the Somali border, for security screening.


Knifeman kills three in suspected terror attack at French church in Nice

Updated 17 min 30 sec ago

Knifeman kills three in suspected terror attack at French church in Nice

  • Two victims died at the Basilica of Notre-Dame while a third person died of injuries
  • Macron called for churches around the country to be given added security

NICE: A man wielding a knife at a church in the French city of Nice killed three people, slitting the throat of at least one, and injured several others before being apprehended by police, officials said Thursday.
French anti-terror prosecutors have opened an inquiry into what the city’s Mayor Christian Estrosi called an “Islamo-fascist attack.”
“He (the attacker) kept repeating ‘Allahu Akbar’ (God is Greater) even while under medication” after he was injured during his arrest, Estrosi told journalists at the scene.NIC

Video footage shows police entering the church in Nice where the attack is thought to have been carried out. (Twitter)

Two victims died at the Basilica of Notre-Dame, in the heart of the city on the Mediterranean coast, while a third person died of injuries after seeking refuge in a nearby bar, a police source told AFP.
“The situation is now under control,” police spokeswoman Florence Gavello said.
France has been on high alert for terror attacks since the January 2015 massacre at the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo. The trial of suspected accomplices in that attack is underway in Paris. 

 

There have been unconfirmed reports that at least one of the victims was decapitated. (Twitter)

In Nice in particular, painful memories remain fresh of the jihadist attack during the Bastille Day fireworks on July 14, 2016, when a man rammed his truck into a crowded promenade, killing 86 people.
It was part of a wave of attacks on French soil, often by so-called “lone wolf” assailants, which has killed more than 250 people since 2015.

 

 

The attacker was captured by police and taken to hospital. (Twitter)

The assault prompted lawmakers in parliament to hold a minute’s silence on Thursday, before Prime Minister Jean Castex and other ministers abruptly left for an emergency meeting with President Emmanuel Macron.
Estrosi, who said Macron would soon be arriving in Nice, called for churches around the country to be given added security or to be closed as a precaution.
(With agencies)