GOOBJOG NEWS|MOGADISHU: Somalia has announced it will be reopening its embassy in Nairobi after an over six months freeze and urged its neighbour to do the same following the resumption of diplomatic relations.
In a note verbal to Kenya, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Mogadishu welcomed the move by Kenya to end the one-month long ban on flights to and from Somalia noting the same should be followed with the reopening of respective embassies.
“The Federal Republic of Somalia calls on the Republic of Kenya to re-open its diplomatic mission in Kenya and the Federal Republic of Somalia will reciprocally re-open its embassy in Kenya,” the statement read in part. It added the reopening of the embassies was a step in the resumption of diplomatic ties between the two countries.
The move by Mogadishu follows the announcement on Wednesday by Nairobi that it has lifted the ban on flights to and from Somalia following ‘intercessions’ adding it hoped the same would lead to restoration of among others trade ties between the two countries. Khat trade was seen as central to Kenya’s decision after Somalia stood ground last month that it was not going to allow the leafy stimulant from Kenya.
Sources have indicated individuals close to outgoing president Mohamed Farmaajo pushed for the ban on Kenyan khat so that they could import from Ethiopia. It is now clear if the latest move includes the resolution of the khat question.
Somalia expelled the Kenyan ambassador in November 2020 and subsequently ordered all staff’s evacuation and recalled its ambassador to Kenya at the height of diplomatic tiff between the two countries.
However, the two countries alluded to a Qatari mediated deal late last month, but it collapsed within a week with Kenya closing its airspace.