Kenya ‘normalises’ affairs with Somalia but sea dispute persists

Kenya says it is agreeing to normalise relations with Somalia as the “first step” of addressing their differences over the maritime borderline, which is already before the International Court of Justice.

The change of tune for Nairobi emerged Wednesday evening after Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma met with the Somali Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Ahmed Isse Awad.

The meeting was a first between high-ranking officials of the two countries in almost a month, as Nairobi seeks to soothe Mogadishu over an alternative means to resolve the dispute.

MEETINGS

It also came after high-ranking Kenyan diplomats held a series of meetings at the UN and key western allies seen to have an influence on Mogadishu.

In the weeks that followed, Kenya also incidentally turned screws on the security front, pulling its troops from the interior of Somalia, where they are part of Amisom, and towards the shared land border, which may well leave villages exposed to Al-Shabaab takeover.