By Spy Uganda Correspondent
Mogadishu: The government of Somalia has said it has cut her diplomatic ties with Kenya in response to what the Somalis describe as ‘Kenyan interference and violations of their sovereignty and territorial integrity.
“Somalia calls back all its diplomats from Kenya and orders Kenyan diplomats to leave Somalia within seven days,” Somalia’s Information Minister Osman Dube told journalists.
It’s worth noting that last month Somalia expelled Kenya’s ambassador and recalled its own envoy from Nairobi after alleging that its neighbour was interfering in the electoral process in Jubaland, one of Somalia’s five semi-autonomous states.
Dube said in a statement that Nairobi was meddling in Somalia’s politics but did not give specific details of the alleged interference.
“This is an answer to the constant political violation and Kenya’s open interference in Somalia’s independence and politics, Kenya ‘always wants to create problems in Somalia,” he said.
The latest diplomatic row between the East African neighbours follows tensions in February 2019 when Kenya recalled its ambassador after Mogadishu decided to auction oil and gas exploration blocks at the centre of their maritime rights dispute but the two countries restored ties in November last year.
The escalation of the diplomatic split comes two days after Somali land President Muse Bihi Abdi arrived in Kenya on a three-day state visit that included talks with President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Osman Dube further noted that Somali land is an independent country that had a right to make decisions to strengthen its mutual ties with Kenya, which is also an independent country.
Kenya has supported the Somali government in other areas and contributes troops to an African Union-led force there fighting al Qaeda-linked militants.