Tuesday, January 19, 2021
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Kenya dismisses claim it is interfering with Somalia affairs

PATRICK VIDIJA

President Uhuru Kenyatta with Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo, during his inauguration ceremony in Mogadishu, Somalia.
Image: FILE

Kenya has denied claims by Mogadishu that it is meddling in Somalia’s internal affairs.

Through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kenya said claims by Somalia are  unsubstantiated allegations.

Nairobi said it has not received any Note Verbale or any other official communication from Mogadishu requesting Kenya’s ambassador to leave for Nairobi for consultations.

“However, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ attention has been drawn to a press statement purportedly released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Somalia,” a statement from the ministry said yesterday. 

On Sunday, Somalia said it was expelling Kenya’s ambassador Lucas Tumbo and recalling its own envoy from Nairobi.

Mogadishu cited what it termed as the Kenyan government’s interference in its internal and political affairs.

“The federal government of Somalia expresses it regret in the government of Kenya’s overt and blatant interferences in the internal and political affairs of Somalia which has the potential to be a hindrance to stability,” a statement from Somalia’s Foreign Affairs ministry said.

Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau in his response said Kenya regretted the decision.

Kamau said Nairobi was evaluating Mogadishu’s decision and would respond through appropriate channels and in good time.

“This unexpected and unwarranted behaviour of Somalia leadership is something that requires some digesting before we can speak to it. We will respond officially through the appropriate channels soon,” ambassador Kamau said.

In the Monday press release, Kenya said the decision by Somalia was regrettable.

“This action is reportedly based on unsubstantiated allegations, namely, “continued interference in the internal affairs of Somalia”. The Government of Kenya respects and upholds the cardinal international principles of self-determination, sovereignty, political independence, and territorial integrity of all countries, and in particular those in Africa,” Nairobi said.

The ministry said Kenya reiterates its support of the positive steps taken by the Somalis in the implementation of the “Somali-owned Political Roadmap on Inclusive Politics, including the September 2020 Agreement between the Federal Government of Somalia and the Federal Member States on the election model and election calendar for 2020-21”.

Nairobi said it continues to support the people of Somalia in their quest for peace and stability by employing active diplomacy.

This is the latest of the many diplomatic tiffs that have hit the two Horn of Africa nations, the major one being the Indian Ocean maritime dispute.

Kenya has been working on peace building in the region, often seeking to mend and normalise its relationship with Somalia. Kenya is host to many Somali refugees.

Source: The Star

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