Kenya has appointed Benson Mwaliko as the representative in Somaliland and the Head of Kenyan mission in Hargeisa.
In a note verbale by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the Liaison Office of Somaliland in Nairobi seen by The Brief, Mwaliko is appointed alongside Charles Waichari (second counsellor), Grace Musau (Administrative Attaché) and Ronald Nyakweba (Administrative Attaché)
Ismael Shirwac, Somaliland’s mission in Kenya head of cooperation and development partnerships on Monday said the move “is a great step towards advancing diplomatic relations between the freest nations in East Africa (Somaliland and Kenya)”.
In April, the Consul-General of Kenya’s new Consulate in Hargeisa was part of the team that was inducted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Kenyans to open an embassy in Somaliland, lobbying for international recognition, escalating tensions with the government of Somalia, have been in the works since 2012.
In December 2020, the breakaway’s leader Muse Bihi visited Kenya.
During the bilateral talks, presidents Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and Bihi re-affirmed their commitment to deepening bilateral relations.
They consequently agreed that Kenya would open its consulate in Hargeisa by end of March 2021, while Somaliland will upgrade its Liaison Office in Nairobi within the same timeframe.
Somaliland unilaterally declared independence in 1991 after the eruption of a civil war in Somalia. Since then, it’s been been pushing for international recognition that would allow it to source funding and aid from financial bodies such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.