The torch burns between Kenya and Somalia

The Somali authorities summoned the Kenyan ambassador to express their indignation.



On June 30, the Somali authorities summoned the Kenyan ambassador for …

July 7, 2019 (Jeune Afrique) – On June 30, the Somali authorities summoned the Kenyan ambassador to express their indignation. They believe that “the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity” of Somalia have been trampled. The day after a meeting with his Somaliland counterpart, the Kenyan Deputy Foreign Minister had, in a tweet, described the former British Somaliland as “country”. But this self-proclaimed republic (in 1991), and largely independent in fact, remains officially under the authority of Mogadishu.

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The torch burns between Kenya and Somalia over Somaliland

July 02, 2019 (Fraternité matin) – Last Thursday, Nairobi received the Foreign Minister of Somaliland, self-proclaimed Somali territory since 1991, although no country officially recognizes it. At the end of the meeting, a tweet provoked the ire of the Somali authorities.

It’s a heavy word that has revived the tension. On June 27, the Kenyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs broadcasts a tweet about the meeting between its chief secretary Macharia Kamau and Yasin Hagi Mohamed, Somaliland’s chief diplomat.

Problem: the message speaks of common interest between the two countries. But Somaliland is a former British colony, which proclaimed independence from the rest of Somalia in 1991. Today, it is still not recognized by the international community, and Somalia still considers it to be its territory.

Angry Mogadishu

So seeing the word “country” in the Kenyan tweet, Mogadishu saw red. The Somalia summoned the Kenyan ambassador and handed him a letter of protest denouncing an “insulting tweet”, “an affront to its sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity.”

On Monday, Somaliland told him about anti-diplomatic action and Somali interference, described as “agitators”. Hargeisa recalled that the international community had sacrificed much to rebuild Somalia, which “would do better to focus on its security and humanitarian challenges.”

The case further illustrates the tensions between Somalia and Kenya over a maritime border dispute. A conflict that must go before the International Court of Justice in September.

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Kenya Airways wants to land in Somaliland

June 27, 2019 (Ecofin Agency) – Information that will probably not please the neighbor of Somalia. Indeed, Kenya Airways has announced the upcoming opening of a direct link between Nairobi and Hargeisa. The objective is to stimulate “substantially” trade between Kenya and Somaliland.

At the origin of this project, a feasibility study carried out by the national company and the Kenyan Parliament. Study after which the airline had received the green light of parliamentarians for the establishment of direct flights between the two neighbors. But to date, the Kenyan national company has not yet achieved its ambition.

Although the Kenyan company has been slow to implement the project, the Somaliland authorities have not remained idle. A few months ago, the director general of the Somaliland Air and Civil Aviation Authority, Abdi Mohammed Rodol, went to Nairobi to talk to the Kenyan authorities about whether to choose Hargeisa. as a destination for Kenya Airways. A trip that may have paid off …

If this project were to come true, Kenya Airways would find in this market Ethiopian Airlines (which serves Hargeisa twice a week), and Fly Dubai (which also offers flights between Dubai and the capital of Somaliland).

In any case, the arrival of Kenya Airways in Somaliland would be badly perceived by the Somali neighbor; which still has not digested its separation from Somaliland in 1990. Worse still, relations between Kenya and Somalia have deteriorated considerably since the discovery of a possible offshore oil field on the border between the two countries. The Kenyan authorities have thus closed their border with Somalia; prohibiting even direct flights to Mogadishu.

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