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Yes, gunfight at Kenya-Somali border by Somali rival forces

A Facebook post shared in Kenya claims that the Somali army battled “the militiamen” of a “Jubaland warlord” near the Kenya-Somali border on 2 March 2020. 

“Heavy gunfire in Mandera border as Somali National Army battle with the militiamen of the Jubaland warlord Abdirashid Janaan who is alleged to be under the protection of the Kenyan government,” the post reads.

It was flagged as potentially false by Facebook’s fact-checking system, so we investigated. 

Fighting reported, presidents talked

News of fighting near the border towns of Mandera in Kenya and Bula Hawa in Somalia was extensively covered by Kenyan media.

President Uhuru Kenyatta later chaired a meeting with the Kenyan National Security Council, and in a statement on 4 March confirmed that there had been a battle and Kenyan territorial borders were violated.

“The National Security Council noted with concern the violations of Kenya’s territorial integrity and sovereignty by the Somalia National Army on Monday the 2nd March, 2020,” said the statement in part.

The Somali government later confirmed that Kenyatta and the Somali president Mohamed Farmajo spoke on the phone to ease tensions.  On 8 March, top Kenyan government officials also visited Somalia to discuss security with Farmajo. – Dancan Bwire


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