Sunday November 17, 2019
President Uhuru Kenyatta with Somalia President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed at State House, Nairobi on March 23, 2017. PHOTO | PSCU
The UN and other Somalia’s partners say the recent decision by Kenya and Somalia to normalise their relations will help the region to concentrate on security challenges in the Horn of Africa.
In a statement on Saturday, the partners said the recent pronouncements by President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Somali counterpart to resume normalcy will benefit the people.
“Somalia’s international partners welcome the measures agreed at a meeting between the President of Somalia, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed (Farmaajo), and the President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, held in Nairobi on 14 November, as a significant step in strengthening the good relations between the two countries.
“We note the value of mutually beneficial relations between Somalia and its neighbours which contribute to the prosperity of their peoples, and positively impact security and development in the wider Horn of Africa region.”
With tensions rising over the maritime boundary dispute in which Somalia has sued Kenya at the International Court of Justice, both sides had engaged in revenge policies that saw direct flights subjected to inconvenient stopovers as visas on arrival suspended.
Last week on the sidelines of a population conference though, Presidents Kenyatta and Farmaajo said they will be climbing down from those policies to resume normal relations as they await the ICJ to decide the verdict.
The deal meant Kenya will, in the next one week lift the restriction that asked aircraft from Somalia to first land in Wajir for security checks, and allow visas on arrival for Somali officials.
UN, the African Union Mission in Somalia, Denmark, Egypt, Ethiopia, European Union, Finland, France and Germany signed off the statement. Other partners included Intergovernmental Authority on Development, Italy, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, Sweden, Turkey, Uganda, United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia and the United States.