The East African Energy Forum Sunday, February 17, 2013 | The East African Energy Forum, a Somali lobby group, has called on the UN to reject a proposal by the Kenyan government that could see it patrol Somali waters as part of the Amisom mandate.
The group is supporting the Somali government’s position that it doesn’t need Kenyan naval forces. Somalia’s foreign minister Fawzia Adam has also appealed to the UN to reject the Kenyan proposal.
“The EAEF is in full support of the Somali government’s position that the UN should not allocate funding for Kenyan naval forces to patrol our waters.” says Abdillahi Mohamud, the group’s director.
The EAEF says that Somalia is a sovereign state in the international community and as such has the right to determine who patrols their sovereign territory. The UN should instead direct funds and military aid to the Somali military in building naval capacity.
“We understand Somali waters are vulnerable and that the country lacks a capable naval force, however, funds earmarked for naval force patrols should be in the form of direct military aid in building Somalia’s navy”
He continues on saying that Somalis are still grateful for AMISOM security assistance in the country.
“We are grateful for AMISOM assistance, but I think Somalis want the capacity to build their own national army and navy through direct military aid and training. With international financial and military support, Somalis can defend their own waters.”
Asked if the Kenyan request is tied to offshore oil disputes between the countries that EAEF unearthed last summer, he said it is possible.
“We don’t want to speculate at this time, but Kenya has already been warned about infringing the offshore Somali territories and we reiterate that anyone that disregards Somali sovereignty should be met with full opposition”
Mohamud says the key here is that Somalis want to see their military, naval and air forces supported through direct military aid.
“Somalis are no longer interested in being bypassed bilaterally, the world should now deal with Somalia directly.”
Source: The East African Energy Forum