Uhuru, Farmaajo to meet in Nairobi on Sunday over border row

Somali ambassador to Kenya Mohamoud Ahmed Nur alias Tarzan, Foreign Affairs Minister Ahmed Isse Awad, Kenya’s Foreign CS Raychelle Omamo and PS Macharia Kamau in Nairobi on March 11, 2020

Presidents Uhuru Kenyatta and Somalia’s Mohamed Farmaajo are set to meet in Nairobi Monday, March 16 in another step in de-escalating diplomatic tensions between the two countries.

Ethiopia Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is also invited to the meeting.

According to diplomatic sources, the tripartite meeting will discuss border tensions over Jubaland.

The meeting will be a culmination of exchange of envoys between the two states since tensions escalated over border intrusion following gunfighting in Jubaland, near Mandera Kenya.

On March 8, President Kenyatta dispatched a delegation led by his envoy, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i to meet President Farmaajo in Mogadishu “with a view to ironing out the persistent cross-border issues”.

The dispatch followed a call by President Farmaajo to Uhuru on March 5 after intervention by PM Abiy and the US government.

Farmajoo said he told Uhuru that they would jointly work to ensure border and regional security.

“President Mohamed Farmaajo and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta spoke over the telephone and discussed the importance of working jointly between the two countries in maintaining border security and overall regional stability,” Villa Somalia, the seat of power in Mogadishu said on Thursday.

The two presidents also agreed to meet ” as soon as possible” and formed committees from Somalia and Kenya to strengthen diplomatic and trade relations.

On March 11, Farmaajo sent his Foreign Minister Ahmed Isse Awad who met his Kenyan counterpart Raychelle Omamo in Nairobi for bilateral talks.

This is, however, not the first time the tripartite meeting is happening to resolved disputes.

Abiy on March 5, 2019, accompanied by Farmaajo arrived in Nairobi in an attempt to restore diplomatic row between the two countries over the maritime dispute.

There was no headway as Somalia insisted the dispute will be resolve by the International Court of Justice.

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