Kenyatta still not ready to listen to Farmajo

Kenyatta is hoping to force Farmajo to yield before the hearing at the ICJ.


Kenyatta ready to talk but not to listen to Farmajo

October 18, 2019 (ION) – Following the re-election on 22 August of the president of Jubaland, Ahmed Mohamed Islam aka Madobe, which was contested by the federal government of Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmajo, his swearing-in ceremony on 12 October afforded Kenya an opportunity to pour oil on the fire.

Uhuru Kenyatta dispatched a delegation to Kismayo led by the leader of the majority in parliament, Aden Duale, which did not stop over in Mogadishu, despite Farmajo’s ban on flights to Kismayo.

The visit resulted in Kenya’s ambassador Lucas Tumbo being summoned by the Somali foreign ministry.

On the instructions of his president, the Somali deputy minister for international cooperation, Abdulkadir Ahmed-Kheir Abdi, had made a point of urging the Kenyan authorities not to attend the ceremony. This message was duly relayed by the Somali ambassador in Nairobi, Mohamoud Ahmed Nur aka Tarsan, to the Kenyan foreign secretary Monica Juma, but fell on deaf ears.

According to our sources, as a result of this snub the Somali government is now considering closing its embassy in Nairobi. Tarsan has already been recalled to Mogadishu for consultations for an unspecified period, but there is international and regional pressure on Farmajo to keep his Kenyan embassy open.

The Ethiopian prime minister Abiy Ahmed Ali invited the heads of state of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to Addis Ababa on 10 October for the inauguration of Unity Park. The normalising of relations between Kenya and Somalia was on the agenda, since Farmajo decided to attend at the last minute.

He was accompanied by his minister of foreign affairs, Ahmed Isse Awad, and two lawyers. The talks, chaired by Abiy and the commissioner for peace and security of the African Union, Smail Chergui (who has taken over from Abdel Fattah al-Sisi), focused on agreeing a date for the resumption of proceedings at the International Court of Justice. Such an agreement may be possible: Kenyatta wants to postpone the hearing and settle the dispute out of court, while Farmajo has electoral considerations on his mind and would prefer to wait until mid-2021 before returning to The Hague.


Kenyatta gets tough on Somalia but alienates African Union

August 23, 2019 (ION) – The Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta has opted to resolve his maritime border dispute with Somalia in short order (and to his advantage) by playing hardball.

He explicitly asked the majority leader in parliament, Aden Duale, to table a motion requesting the government to intervene militarily. Duale did so on 8 August in conjunction with his opposition counterpart John Mbadi.

The African Union (AU) is not best pleased with this move, fearful that such a strategy will upset AMISOM’s efforts to pacify Somalia. The Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni and his Tanzanian opposite number John Magufuli have expressed their desire for the two countries to resume negotiations.

The involvement of the Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) in the maritime border dispute would entail their definitive withdrawal (a partial withdrawal began at the start of this year) from AMISOM.

The Kenyan president is hoping to force the Somali president Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmajo to yield before the hearing at the International Court of Justice to examine the border dispute, scheduled for 9 September. The court will rule on the case ten days later.

Description of source: Since 1981, the Indian Ocean Newsletter (ION) investigates within the power spheres of the Eastern coast of Africa, from Karthoum to Cape Town and the islands. Country of origin: France
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