The Somali authorities have announced the termination of diplomatic relations between their country and its Kenyan neighbor. The welcome given by the Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta, in Nairobi, to the President of Somaliland, Muse Bihi Abdi, on Monday, 14 December, is the last straw that has made a full vase overflow for months.
For several months, the rag has been burning between Somalia and Kenya. So much that on Tuesday, the authorities in Mogadishu finally put an end to diplomatic relations between the two countries. The Somali Minister of Information officially made the announcement, Osman Abukar Dubbe, during a press conference.
“The Somali government has decided to break diplomatic ties with Kenya. Somalia is calling on all its diplomats posted in Kenya to return to the country and has ordered Kenyan diplomats in Somalia to leave the country within seven days from 15 December 2020,” he said.
And he justifies the decision: “The Somali federal government took this decision in response to Kenya’s recurrent and shameless political violations against the sovereignty of our country”.
President of Somaliland
The Somali government came about because of the official visit of the President of Somaliland to neighboring Kenya. The reception given to his host by the Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta, is seen from Mogadishu as an act of provocation and political interference since the Somali authorities have never accepted the independence of Somaliland, which they still consider an integral part of Somalia. Therefore, any country with diplomatic ties with Somaliland is frowned upon by the Somali government.
This bone of contention has come on top of other contention points that have long opposed the two countries, which share 700 km of borders: the Jubaland issue, the question of the maritime border where the two countries are fighting over oil and gas-rich areas, etc. The Somali government has also been trying to find a solution to this problem.
On the side of Naïrobi, they are calmer. This is what emerges from the words of the spokesman of the Kenyan government, Cyrus Oguna, for whom “efforts should be made to ensure that (the dispute) is resolved”. He also said that “discussions are underway to ensure that relations are normalized”.