Kenya/Somalia feud

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Kenya accused Somalia of violating its territorial integrity and demanded it cease in an escalating feud Washington says undermines the fight against Islamist militant group al Shabaab.

The alleged incursion took place on Monday, with clashes in southern Somalia between the Somali army and fighters loyal to Ahmed Madobe, leader of Jubbaland, one of Somalia’s five semi-autonomous states and sited on the border.

The Nairobi government said Somali army troops destroyed properties of Kenyans in Mandera on the shared border.

Fighting has regional dimensions in East Africa.

Madobe is an ally of Kenya, which helped build his forces, but is detested by neighbouring Ethiopia, which backs Somalia’s central government.

Kenya and Ethiopia have troops in Somalia as part of an African Union-led peacekeeping force which, along with the Somali federal government and local states, are fighting al Shabaab’s insurgency.

The US warned rivalries were distracting from the war on the al Qaeda-linked group, which has been battling the internationally recognised Somali government since 2008.

During clashes on Monday, Kenya said Somali soldiers “engaged in aggressive and belligerent activities harassing and destroying properties of Kenyan citizens” in Mandera.

“This amounts to an unwarranted attack by foreign soldiers with the intention of provoking Kenya,” added the government statement, which demanded Somalia “cease and desist”.