Kenya will not sit by and allow the situation in neighbouring Somalia to deteriorate further because it is a threat to regional stability, the country’s foreign minister said on Friday. Hardline Islamist insurgents stepped up an offensive against Somalia’s government last month and on Thursday killed the Horn of Africa country’s security minister and at least 30 other people in a suicide car bomb attack.

KENYA SITKenya and other countries in the region, as well as Western nations, fear that if the chaos continues, groups with links to al Qaeda will become entrenched and threaten the stability of neighbouring countries. “We will not sit by and watch the situation in Somalia deteriorate beyond where it is. We have a duty … as a government to protect our strategic interests including our security,” said Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula.

“Kenya will do exactly that to ensure the unfolding developments in Somalia do not in any way undermine or affect our peace and security as a country,” he told a news conference. Asked about any specific action, Wetangula said an international partnership was dealing with the issue of the insurgency and instability in Somalia and it would be inappropriate to discuss details.

Al Shabaab insurgents, said to have hundreds of foreign fighters in their ranks, claimed responsibility for Thursday’s attack. The rebels control much of southern Somalia and some of the capital. They want to oust the government and impose a strict version of Islamic law throughout the country.



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