Somalia cuts diplomatic ties with Kenya, alleges political interference -minister

Somalia cuts diplomatic ties with Kenya, alleges political interference -minister”

Currently, Kenya has no diplomatic representation in Somaliland, and was recently accused by Somalia of manipulating the country politically.

The move signalled President Mohamed Farmaajo had discarded the diplomatic rulebook of engagement with Kenya, as Information Minister Osman Dubbe made the announcement while Nairobi was asleep.

Dubbe said Somalia is pulling its diplomats out of Nairobi and has instructed Kenyan diplomats, starting December 15, to leave Mogadishu within seven days.

President Uhuru Kenyatta (left) and Somaliland President Muse Biihi (right).

In a rejoinder, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kenya indicated that it had not received any official or verbal communication from the Federal Republic of Somalia requesting Kenya's ambassador in Somalia to leave.

Somaliland declared its independence from Somalia in 1991, and while it maintains relations with some countries on the continent, including Kenya, it is not recognised by any nation or organisation. But this came just a week after Mogadishu actually expelled the Kenyan ambassador to Somalia, Lucas Tumbo, and recalled theirs to Nairobi, Mohamud Ahmed Tarzan, following a similar complaint of interference.

According to Dubbe, Kenya has constantly meddled in Somalia's internal affairs and politics.

Both Kenya and Jubaland denied the allegations at the time. Those severed ties were restored in November a year ago.

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Further, the Mohammed Abdullahi Farmajo-regime in Mogadishu went ahead and suspended the visa-on-arrival plan for Kenyans which will mean Kenyans have to apply for visas at the embassy in Nairobi.

In fact, each country will remain obligated to protect premises owned by either side on their host territories.

However, despite having legal obligations to protect citizens of each other, the actual protection of each other's nationals may be granted to a third acceptable state.

It was unclear by Tuesday morning what will happen to military cooperation between Somalia and Kenya, which has sent troops to Somalia under the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom).

Meanwhile, residents of Kenya's Mandera County on Tuesday reported an escalated deployment of Somali National Army troops at the border point even as opposition supporters in Mogadishu protested President Farmaajo's refusal to hold dialogue on controversial electoral teams.

On Tuesday, Kenyan foreign ministry spokesman Cyrus Oguna noted that Kenya had been "very kind" in accommodating some 200,000 Somalis at refugee camps.

Kenya will have to continue protecting them, under the global humanitarian law.

It accused Kenya of placing intense political pressure on the regional President of Jubaland, in order to pursue its political and economic interests in Somalia.

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