DIPLOMACY

Uhuru sends Matiang'i to Abiy over row with Farmajo

Uhuru wants Abiy to also help get an out of court settlement with Farmajo on Indian Ocean.

In Summary

• The meeting in Addis Ababa is a follow-up to the weekend one where the Kenyan team met Somalia President Mohammed Farmajo.

• The Star has also established that President Uhuru Kenyatta believes that Abiy can help in brokering an out of court settlement over the maritime boundary dispute.

Somali President Mohamed Farmajo, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed after a meeting at State House Nairobi on March 6, 2019 to discuss extensively on the source of the Kenya-Somalia border dispute.
Somali President Mohamed Farmajo, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed after a meeting at State House Nairobi on March 6, 2019 to discuss extensively on the source of the Kenya-Somalia border dispute.
Image: PSCU

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i is currently leading a Kenyan delegation in a meeting with Ethiopia Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

The meeting in Addis Ababa is a follow-up to the weekend one where the Kenyan team met Somalia President Mohammed Farmajo.

In today's meeting, Kenya is seeking to get Abiy to help in tackling the simmering row with Somalia.

 

The Star has also established that President Uhuru Kenyatta believes that Abiy can help in brokering an out of court settlement over the maritime boundary dispute.

Last year, Abiy was instrumental in bringing Uhuru and Farmajo into the same room to discuss the maritime dispute.

Abiy flew into Nairobi with Farmajo and the three leaders discussed the issue at State House and agreed to keep negotiations as an option.

However, over the last couple of months, there has been growing tensions between Nairobi and Mogadishu threatening relations between the two countries.

Somalia has refused to negotiate the maritime issue and Kenya last week accused its forces of aggression towards Kenyan citizens at the Mandera border.

Last week, Uhuru chaired a special National Security Council meeting where he warned Somalia to desist from provoking Kenya.

This came a day after Mandera residents were forced to flee after fierce clashes erupted between Somalia troops and Jubaland forces in Bulla Hawa.

Heavy gunfire and explosions coupled with black smoke could be seen emanating in Bulla Hawa in Somalia which borders Mandera town.

After a series of blame games from the two sides, the US and Ethiopia mounted pressure on Somalia to deescalate the tension.

The pressure saw Uhuru and Farmajo speak on phone on Thursday announcing that committees would be formed to discuss border security.

On Sunday, the delegation led by Matiang'i was in Mogadishu in an attempt to iron out issues over the alleged border intrusion.

On the maritime dispute currently before the International Court of Justice, Uhuru has insisted that Somalia should allow negotiations over the disputed oil field in the Indian Ocean.

While making the appeal when he addressed the General Debate of the 74th United Nations General Assembly in New York last year, Uhuru said Kenya remains committed to its pursuit of peace and stability in the region.

Uhuru said such commitment is what will see neighbouring countries achieve their development agenda.