Fighting broke out in Belet-Hawo Sunday night between Somali military and forces allied to Jubbaland government prompting another round of accusations against Kenya by the Federal Government.
There were no immediate reports of casualties but both Mogadishu and Kismayo have separately said fighting is still ongoing in the outskirts of the border town.
The Federal Government said the forces commanded by the fugitive Jubbaland Security Minister Abdirashid Janan was organized and support by Kenya reiterating its earlier accusations against Nairobi.
“Kenyan backed group cross the border tonight and attacked Gedo region but Somali National Army repelled the foreign organised invasion,” Information Minister Osman Dube said in a statement Monday morning.
“We strongly condemn this aggression organised from inside Kenya which violates peaceful coexistence of people of the region and international norms based on respect and protection of national sovereignty.”
But Jubbaland vice president Mohamed Siad Adan rebuffed the statement noting ‘Jubbaland troops took over Belet-Hawo last night’.
Deadly fighting broke out in Belet-Hawo last February between SNA and Jubbaland forces spilling over into the Kenyan side. Several people were killed and injured on both sides of the border.
Janan who escaped custody in Mogadishu and reportedly crossed into Kenya last year has an international warrant of arrest on his head but Somalia has accused Kenya of shielding him and his renegade forces in the border town of Mandera.
The clashes between Janan and SNA forces has become a subject of a diplomatic row between Kenya and Somalia leading to a cut of relations.