Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi has urged the government to withdraw KDF forces from Somalia.
He said the closure of the Dabaab refugee camp and planned repatriation of refugees assumes Somalia is stable and therefore should be accompanied by a recall of Kenyan forces.
“If the government argues Somalia has stabilised enough for refugees to be safe upon return, then there will be no reason to keep our forces in Somalia. The government owes it to Kenyans to explain why we should retain our forces there if the country is safe enough for refugees to return,” Mudavadi said.
“If indeed the situation in Somalia is safe for refugees, then what will our soldiers be still doing in Somalia? Shouldn’t we be bringing them back home too?”
Mudavadi said Uganda has announced its exit and Kenya should do the same.
He said so far the closure of the camp and the repatriation is based on Kenya ‘s reprimanding the international community for reneging on pledges to support refugee maintenance and Amison and less on humanitarian concerns.
“We cannot afford to handle the Somali crisis by playing nasty or sulking against our partners. The fact we have not received pledges of financial support should not force us to endanger our security,” Mudavadi said.
He warned that hasty withdrawal from Amison due to anger over lack of international support could spell disaster for Kenya’s internal security.
“Kenya didn’t enter Somalia to please anyone but to protect the country from external aggression,” Mudavadi said.