Somalia Cuts Diplomatic Ties With Kenya

Somalia has cut diplomatic ties with Kenya following the invitation of Somaliland leader Muse Bihi to State House, Nairobi.

The Somali Minister for Information, Osman Dubbe, made the announcement on Tuesday morning, December 15 on national TV, breaking tradition of countries making such pronouncements during the day.

Somali accused Kenya of constantly interfering with its internal affairs and that Nairobi was violating its sovereignty.

Kenyan diplomats in Mogadishu have been given seven days to leave the country.

This comes a day after President Uhuru Kenyatta held bilateral talks with Somaliland leader Bihi at State House, Nairobi.

The two leaders agreed on on a number of subjects of mutual interest between Kenya and Somaliland and discussions are set to continue on Tuesday on business and security cooperation.

“The two delegations are set to meet again tomorrow, Tuesday,15th December 2020, to finalize the talks.”

“His Excellency Musa Bihi Abdi arrived in the country yesterday, Sunday 13th December 2020, for a three-day Official Visit,” read State House statement.

Last week, Somali expelled the Kenyan ambassador, Lucas Tumbo, and recalled theirs to Nairobi, Mohamud Ahmed Tarzan over a similar complaint of interference.

Somaliland leader Muse Bihi and President Uhuru Kenyatta. Photo/Courtesy

Kenya becomes the second country in a year after Guinea, with which Somalia has cut ties over the Somaliland issue.

The move means the Kenyan embassy in Mogadishu and Somalia’s mission in Nairobi will be shut and their officials sent back home.

However, both countries will remain obligated to offer visa and other travel and immigration services to nationals of each other and protect premises owned by either side on their host territories.

It is not yet clear how Kenya will react to the latest move considering that it has a military cooperation with Somali having sent KDF troops to the country under the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom).

Kenya also hosts about 350,000 Somali refugees, most of them living in camps in Dadaab and Kakuma.

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