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Monday, December 21, 2020 – The African Union has urged Kenya and Somalia to negotiate in order to end the diplomatic tension between the two countries.

In his address, the African Union Commission (AUC) Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat said the diplomatic tension between Kenya and Somalia was a concern for the African Union.

Mahamat called for dialogue in de-escalating the tension saying the two countries share a long history of good neighbourliness.

He cited Kenya’s contribution of troops to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and its hosting of a large population of Somali refugees as key reference points.

He was speaking at the 38th Extra-Ordinary Summit of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) held in Djibouti yesterday, where President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Somalian counterpart, Mohammed Fermaajo, were in attendance.

Uhuru was accompanied to the summit by Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo, who Somalia ordered to evacuate her diplomats from the neighbouring country. 

The meeting was convened by Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok of Sudan who is the current Chairperson of the IGAD Assembly.

In attendance were leaders from Ethiopia, South Sudan and Uganda.

This was the first time Uhuru met with Somalia’s Farmaajo since the latter cut ties with Kenya on Tuesday night.

Kenya’s relationship with Somaliland is one of the reasons that prompted Somalia to cut ties with Kenya.

The Federal Government of Somalia does not recognise Somaliland’s claim to autonomy and has protested Kenya’s recognition of the breakaway territories. 

Another key issue is the disagreement over which direction the two countries’ border extends into the Indian Ocean. 

Faramaajo initiated a process to kick out the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) from his country and wants Eritrea to take over Kenya’s role in the peacekeeping mission. 


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