A Washington think tank with influence inside the Trump administration is siding with Kenya in its maritime border dispute with Somalia.
In a statement on Thursday, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) said the Somalia government had “misplayed its hand” by auctioning oil and gas exploration blocks in Indian Ocean waters also claimed by Kenya.
AEI said the move by President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo dents Somalia’s reputation as an investment destination.
“The sale while there is legal lack of clarity over the disputed sea shelf undermines Mogadishu’s already atrocious reputation for business climate. Nor does Somalia’s actions make sense while still dependent upon Amisom–and Kenya’s contribution to it–for basic security,” wrote AEI resident scholar Michael Rubin.
“The Somalia government should know, that after decades of disaster, quick riches and short-term cash can come at a price too high to bear,” said Mr Rubin.