Kenya, Somalia in diplomatic tiff over Somaliland delegate

Thursday, June 16th, 2022 08:03 | By
President Uhuru Kenyatta is welcomed to Mogadishu when he arrived for the inauguration of new Somalia President Hassan Mohamud who was elected in May 2022. PSCU

Kenya’s decision to invite a delegate from Somaliland region to a meeting between President Uhuru Kenyatta and foreign diplomats has sparked a fresh diplomatic row between Nairobi and Mogadishu.

This was after the Somali Ambassador to Kenya Mohamoud Ahmed Nur reportedly stormed out of the meeting to protest the presence of the delegate from the breakaway Somaliland region.

Mogadishu later wrote a protest letter to Kenya’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs accusing Nairobi of violating its sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity as per the international law during the Annual Presidential Address to the Diplomatic Corps at State House.

“In this regard, Somalia demands a full explanation of this violation of our sovereignty from the Republic of Kenya,” reads the protest letter from the Somalia envoy.

 “The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Somalia in the Republic of Kenya avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kenya, the assurance of its highest consideration,” the letter adds.

Miraa deal

Kenya on Tuesday evening expressed “regrets” for the incident.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs regrets the inadvertent and inappropriate presence of the flag of Somaliland at the Annual Diplomatic function. The Ministry further wishes to reaffirm its recognition of the sovereignty of one Federal Somali government and the integrity of the Federal Somali State,” reads the letter from Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The spat comes just days after President Uhuru Kenyatta attended the inauguration of Somalia’s newly elected President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, signaling an improvement in often-frosty ties.

Somalia also agreed to resume imports from Kenya of miraa (khat) after a two-year ban, as part of a wider trade deal being forged between the East African neighbours.

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