Sunday April 18, 2021
Mogadishu (HOL) - Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo is reportedly travelling to Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday, marking the first foreign trip since a controversial extension granted to him by the Lower House of Parliament.
It is reported that Farmajo was formally invited to the DRC by President Felix Tshisekedi.
Tshisekedi consolidated his power this week with the announcement of a new cabinet and enjoys majority support in the DRC's National Assembly.
The exact purpose of the president's visit is unknown, and Villa Somalia has not yet commented, but sources say it is related to talks between the Somali and Kenyan governments.
Relations between Somalia and Kenya, two East African neighbours, are at a historic low. Somalia cut off diplomatic ties with Kenya in mid-December, accusing it of interfering in Somalia's internal affairs. Kenya firmly rejected the accusations but has antagonized Somalia by hosting the leader of the self-declared state of Somaliland, Musa Bihi Abdi. Somaliland is internationally recognized as part of Somalia.
Somalia sued Kenya in an international court in 2014 and asked the court to rule on the disputed maritime border. After several years and delays, the case went ahead in March despite Kenya's protest and eventual withdrawal from the proceeding.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta is also scheduled to visit the country next Thursday.
President Farmajo's visit comes at as anti-government protests continue in Somalia's capital Mogadishu. There are reports of government-troop movements at major intersections.