Kenya fires back, says expulsion of ambassador ‘unwarranted’

Somalia ordered the exit of Kenya's ambassador Lucas Tumbo Sunday over what it termed as elections meddling

GOOBJOOG NEWS|NAIROBI: Kenya has termed as ‘unwarranted’ the decision by Somalia to expel its ambassador in yet another round of diplomatic tiffs between the two countries.

In his initial response following the order to kick out ambassador Lucas Tumbo, Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau said his country will respond appropriately on the development.

“This unexpected and unwarranted behaviour of Somalia leadership is something that requires some digesting before we can speak to it. We will respond officially through the appropriate channels soon,” Macharia said.

Somalia ordered the exit of ambassador Tumbo Sunday and recalled its own-ambassador- Mohamed Nuur Tarzan citing Nairobi’s heavy hand on Ahmed Madobe’s change of heart on the elections deal reached in September.

“The federal government of Somalia understand that as a result of the Kenyan government’s political interference in the internal affairs of Somalia, the regional president of Jubaland, has reneged on the election agreement that was reached on the 17th September 2020 in Mogadishu,” the Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a statement Sunday.

PRESSURE ON MADOBE

In building its case against Kenya, Somalia said Nairobi had pressured Madobe to set in new demands following his visit there. Madobe announced Saturday upon arrival from Nairobi that elections in Garbaharey will not take place unless federal administrations are removed.

The two countries have in the last three years had the worst of relations in recent history with the ongoing maritime dispute being central to the fall-out. Kenya expelled Somalia’s ambassador in February 2019 over what it termed as Mogadishu’s move to display for auction oil blocks in the disputed Indian Ocean belt during an oil conference in London.

Somalia, however, rubbished the claims and went ahead to institute measures against its neighbour including moving donor meetings from Nairobi to Addis Ababa, ban on khat import from Kenya and change of flight stop-overs for President Mohamed Farmaajo avoiding the Kenyan airspace.

Nairobi too fired back ending the direct flights from Mogadishu and instead re-route them via the north-eastern town of Wajir. The maritime case at the Hague resumes on March and is likely to open another round of battles between the countries as the case nears its home stretch.

 

 

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