Somalia Restores Relations with Kenya - With Help from Qatar

Somalia says it has restored diplomatic relations with Kenya, following talks between leaders of the neighbouring countries, mediated by Qatar. This follows a series of back channels between Somalia, Kenya and Qatar, which has "enjoyed an influential position" in Somalia under President Mohamed Farmaajo, reports Aggrey Mutambo for The Nation. Somalia severed diplomatic ties with Kenya on December 15, 2020, after alleging its neighbour was meddling in its affairs. Nairobi denied any wrongdoing, accusing Mogadishu of seeking a scapegoat for its own problems. In January 2021, Somalia threatened to withdraw from a grouping of East African nations after the bloc ruled in favour of Kenya in a diplomatic spat between the two countries, which have an often-fraught relationship. In 2020, Kenya accused Somali troops of crossing the border into its territory during clashes with troops loyal to Jubaland. Kenya also recalled its ambassador from Mogadishu in February 2019 in a long-running dispute over a stretch of the Indian Ocean claimed by both nations and believed to hold valuable deposits of oil and gas. The matter is before the international court.

InFocus

President Uhuru Kenyatta with his Somalia counterpart Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo after the National Prayer Breakfast at Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi on May 31, 2018.

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