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Part IV

Africa Confidential, No. 19, pg.2-3
September 22, 1967


Another surprising success was the willingness of the OAU to commit itself to the Kenya-Somalia dispute. But again the success of the resolution depends on the combatants.

One press interpretation that the Somali Government had “waived claims on Kenya territory” should be read in the context of the Somali Prime Minister`s foreign policy statement in Mogadishu last month. Mr. Egal then declared: “. . . we in the Somali Republic make no claims on the territory of any of our neighbours . . . we do not wish to annex the territory of any state whatever, nor to expand into such territory.” But he added: “we do intend to champion the cause of Somali territories under foreign domination, in order that they may attain sovereign independent status through the process of self-determination.”

Thus, whilst making no direct territorial claim, the Somali Government is still committed to supporting Somali “rights to self-determination.” This was made even plainer when Mr. Egal, departing from the printed text of his speech to Parliament, said: “we the Somali Republic declare our support to the Somalis who are waging their struggle for independence. We are with them and will give them moral and material support at all times and at all international gatherings . . . we shall in no way retreat from this.”

The only provision in the Kinshasa agreement between Kenya and Somalia that appears to run counter to the Somali foreign policy statement is that peace and security is to be maintained on both sides of the border. This implies that the Somali Government will disarm Somali rebels crossing their border. Such action would so demoralise the “freedom fighters” that there would be uproar in the Somali Parliament. Unless a truce has been called by both sides until after the results of the proposed Lusaka conference are known, it is hard to imagine the Somali Government disarming the shifta.

It is equally difficult to envisage any concession by the Somali Government at the Lusaka meeting. It is bound to insist on the people`s right to self-determination, and, unless this principle is accepted, not even a provisional agreement can be expected.

The local scene: Whilst an end to the Somali Republic`s dispute with Kenya is unlikely, there is already an improvement in relations between Kenya and the Somali Republic following the cessation (for the fourth time since 1961) of hostile broadcasts from Radio Mogadishu. The same can apply to the Somali Republic`s relations with Ethiopia where a ministerial delegation, under the leadership of the Somali Minister of the Interior (Mr. Yasim Nur Hassan), is currently visiting Add is Ababa for “talks aimed at improving relations with Ethiopia.” Nevertheless, as Dr. Mungai, Kenya`s Minister of Defence, said on September 18, an easing of tension does not mean that the campaign against Somali rebels will cease. This principle must also apply to the intermittent rebel activity in Southern Ethiopia, to the support of which the Somali Government is also pledged.

Any optimism that good relations between the Somali Republic and her neighbours will be permanently restored can only be based on some, as yet unpredictable, concession by Kenya and Ethiopia. Although the new Somali Prime Minister wishes personally to improve relations with Kenya and Ethiopia, the country is so sensitive to foreign relations, following the arrest of the former Somali Foreign Minister on a charge of selling state secrets to a foreign power, that no Somali minister dares to fall short of Somali aspirations.

1967-68 Somali Border Agreements [1]
Roobdoon Forum Chronicles
November 09, 2005


Somali-Ethiopia Border Agreements
Preliminary Agreements on Territorial Dispute


At the Organization of African Unity Heads of State Conference in Kinshasa during September, 1967, Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia and the Somali Prime Minister, Mr. Mohamed Ibrahim Egal, agreed that Ministers from both countries should meet to prepare groundwork for a future conference of the respective Heads of State with a view to re­solving their long standing border dispute [2].

In accordance with this agreement, a Somali delegation, led by the Minister of Interior, Mr. Yasin Nur Hassan, visited Addis Ababa on September 19th, 1967. A communiqué issued at the end of the talks said Somali delegation had two meetings with the Emperor and that these exploratory talks were aimed at “paving the way for a future meeting between the Heads of State of the two countries to discuss major issues.”


The Somali and Ethiopian delegations:

(i) Agreed to set up a joint military commission to deal with any complaint of violation of the pro­visions of the Khartoum Agreement, March 1964;

(ii) declared their willingness to abide by the letter and provisions of previous agreements reached in Khartoum and Accra, October 1965, providing for an end to hostile propaganda campaigns;

(iii) Agreed that steps be taken to remove conditions which affect adversely relations between the two countries, irrespective of the nature of these conditions;

(iv) Agreed to lift all restrictions on the movement of their respective diplomatic representatives and staff and to accord for their treatment and freedom to the nationals of the other party in its territory;

(v) Agreed that Ethiopia should return the Cessna aircraft seized by her, and the Somali Republic the Ethiopian Dakota aircraft now held by Somalia at a future date to be decided upon jointly;

(vi) Agreed to set up a joint commission to investigate cases where property, either private or public, had been taken over by either side from nationals of the other party;

(vii) Agreed that the commission should report immediately its findings to the two Governments;

(viii) agreed that the respective Governments should ensure the safety of persons who take refuge in the Somali Embassy in Addis Ababa and the Ethiopian Embassy in Mogadishu and grant immediately exit permits to these persons enabling them to leave their respective countries;

(ix) Agreed that the regional governors and administrators of both sides should meet once ever, three months, or earlier if necessary, with a view to co-operating in matters affecting both sides of the border-the meetings to be held alternately in the two countries;

(x) Agreed that cases of persons imprisoned or held by one country, but who are claimed by the other country as its nationals, should be examined carefully-such persons should not be intimidated and immediate steps should be taken to release them;

(xi) Agreed that the current talks should be followed by a meeting in Mogadishu at a future date to he fixed jointly by both sides.


As a sequel to this visit, an Ethiopian delegation led by the Foreign Minister, Alo Ketema Yifru, arrived in Mogadishu on February 5th, 1968. A joint communiqué issued on February 8th stated that agreement had been reached as follows:

(i) both sides re-affirmed their adherence to both the spirit and letter of the Khartoum and Accra Agreements of 1964, and 1965, respectively and stated their determination to implement them;

(ii) in order to improve relations between the two countries, special joint commissions shall be set up comprising governors and police officers or commandants on the provincial or regional levels, which will meet once every three months, or at any time, at the request of either country;

(iii) it was also agreed that the joint military commission established by the Khartoum Agreement should be reactivated, and should meet as and when necessary;

(iv) the claims in respect of public and private property submitted by both sides were examined and, in some cases, agreement reached, that certain properties, would be returned on 20th March, 1968, at Tug Wajali while remaining claims would be investigated further:

(v) both sides re-affirmed the previous agreements reached in Addis Ababa (see above) that nationals of either country who might have been held against their will, would be permitted to leave at any time it they so wished;

(vi) both delegations expressed great satisfaction at the progress achieved in the improvement of relations between the two countries and agreed to continue the talks in Ethiopia at a date to be agreed upon through normal diplomatic channels;

(vii) it was agreed by both sides that these discussion were a continuation of the exploratory talks, commenced in Kinshasa and continued in Addis Ababa in 1967 (see above). It is the sincere hope of both Governments that the present discussions would be finalized speedily so that a Summit Meeting on major issues might follow soon.


The Somali Prime Minister, Mr. Mohamed Haji Ibrahim Egal, visited Addis Ababa from September 1st to 5th, at the invitation of the Emperor, for official talks with the Ethiopian Government. A communiqué issued after the talks said that the two Governments had agreed as follows:

(i) Both Governments reaffirmed previous undertakings to remove all causes of tension, and under­took not to engage in subversive activities against each other.

(ii) The two Governments have agreed to give over flight rights, and an agreement to this end will be concluded soon. In the meantime, the Imperial Ethiopian Government has graciously permitted the Somali Airlines to use the existing international routes.

(iii) In conviction that the suspension of the emergency regulations would contribute to the strengthening of good neighbourly relations between the two sister-countries, the Imperial Ethiopian Government has agreed to suspend existing emergency regulations along its border with Somalia as of September 16th, 1968.

(iv) The two Governments have finalized the settlement of public and private property claims submitted by both sides. The exchange of property will take place at Tug Wajaleh on September 25th, 1961.

(v) (a) The Imperial Ethiopian Government has submitted a draft cultural treaty which will be studied by the competent authorities in Somalia prior to its signature in the near future.

(b) The two Governments have agreed to open forthwith negotiations over establishment of a tele­communications agreement.

(c) The two Governments have agreed to conclude a trade agreement. In the meantime traditional trade between the two countries in the border areas will continue.

(vi) The two Governments have reaffirmed the usefulness of the Special Joint Commissions set up by the two Governments in Mogadishu in February, 1968 (see above). They have further agreed to establish a Joint Ministerial Consultative Committee which will meet periodically to discuss major and miner problems between the two countries and submit recommendations to their respective Governments­

(vii) Both sides expressed - ear satisfaction at the progress achieved so far in the improvement o, relations between the two countries.

(viii) The two sides emphasized that these talks are of an exploratory nature aimed at the eventual settlement of major issues.

(ix) H.E. the Prime Minister and members of the Somali delegation expressed their gratitude to His Imperial Majesty, the Government and people of Ethiopia for their warm welcome and generous hospitality accorded to them during their stay.

Somali-Kenya Border Agreement

Rapprochement over Territorial Dispute


The Somali and Kenya Governments agreed during the Organization of African Unity Conference at Kinshasa in September, 1967, to accept an invitation from the Zambian president, Dr. Kaunda, to hold a meeting in October “to work out ways of settling their differences and establishing normal co-operation.” [3] The following agreement was con­cluded between the Somali and Kenya Governments at Kinshasa:

(i) Both Governments have expressed their desire to respect each other`s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the spirit of Paragraph 3 of Article III of the OAU Charter;

(ii) The two Governments have further undertaken to resolve any outstanding differences between them in the spirit of Paragraph 4 of Article III of the OAU Charter;

(iii) The two Governments have pledged to ensure maintenance of peace and security on both sides of the border by preventing destruction of human life and property;

(iv) Furthermore, the two Governments have agreed to refrain from conducting hostile propaganda through mass media such as radio and the Press against each other;

(v) The two Governments have accepted the kind invitation of President Kaunda of Zambia to meet in Lusaka, during the later part of October, 1967, in order to improve, intensify, and consolidate all forms of co-operation.

The OAU conference, in a resolution recording this agreement, expressed "its sincere gratitude and congratulations to President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia as well as the Governments of Kenya and Somalia for their positive efforts to overcome differences in a fraternal manner."

The conference requested "the Governments of Kenya and Somalia, as parties to the declaration, and the Government of the Republic of Zambia, as host and convener, to submit a progress report on the proposed meeting in Lusaka to the Secretary-General of the OAU."


President Kaunda convened a conference at Arusha (Tanzania) on October 28th which was attended by President Kenyatta (Kenya) and Prime Minister Mohamed Ibrahim Egal (Somali), with President Nyerere (Tanzania) and President Obote (Uganda) officiating as observers. President Kaunda took the chair.

During the conference, which lasted seven hours, officials of the three delegations accompanying the three Heads of State and Government, were asked to leave the hall from time to time whilst Presidents Kaunda, Kenyatta, and Prime Minister Egal conferred on their own. The final session, which approved a communiqué, was also attended by President Nyerere and President Obote as observers. President Kenyatta thanked the Somali Prime Minister for requesting that he, Mr. Kenyatta, should lead the Kenya delegation.


The following is the text of the "Memorandum of Understanding" signed by the President of Kenya and the Somali Prime Minister on October 28th and witnessed by the President of Zambia:

Desirous of consolidating the Kinshasa Declaration on Kenya/Somalia Relations and recognizing the need to restore normal and peaceful relations between Kenya and Somalia, the two leaders reached agreement on the following points:

(i) Both Governments will exert all efforts and do their utmost to create good-neighbourly relations between Kenya and Somalia, in accordance with the OAU Charter.

(ii) The two Governments agree that the interests of the people of Kenya and Somalia were not served by the continuance of tension between the two countries.

(iii) They therefore reaffirm their adherence to the declaration of the OAU conference at Kinshasa (see above), a copy of which is attached to this memorandum of understanding.

(iv) In order to facilitate a speedy solution to the dispute and to ensure the maintenance of continued stood relations, both Governments have agreed to:

(a) the maintenance of peace and security on both sides of the border by preventing destruction of human life   and property;

(b) refrain from conducting hostile propaganda through mass media such as radio and the press, against each other, and encourage propaganda which promotes the development and continuance of friendly relations between the two countries;

(c) the gradual suspension of any emergency regulations imposed on either side of the border;

(d) the reopening of diplomatic relations between the two countries;

(e) the consideration of measures encouraging the development of economic and trade relations;

(f) appoint a Working Committee consisting of Somalia, Kenya, and Zambia, which will meet periodically to review the implementation by Somalia and Kenya of the points agreed in this document and also to examine ways and means of bringing about a satisfactory solution to major and minor differences between Kenya and Somalia.

Read: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part V

Compiled by:
Roobdoon Forum
Toronto, Canada

Related Articles:
Somali Independence Week Series – Part I
Somali Independence Week Series – Part II


Sawirro Somaliya


Muqdisho of Yesteryears and Today’s Muuq-disho



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