Djibouti Ambassador for Ethiopia and Rwanda


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Mohamed Idriss Farah

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Somalia - Kenya : Ethiopian Mediation for the Settlement of Border Contention 

07/03/2019
00:00

The Somali and Ethiopian leaders arrived in the Kenyan capital on Tuesday (March 5th) for talks with President Uhuru Kenyatta. A surprise visit. For several weeks, relations have been strained between Somalia and Kenya because of a border dispute. A new opportunity for the head of the Ethiopian government Abiy Ahmed to play the mediator. (Source Addis Standard)

While Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo's official visit to Ethiopia was expected to be over, the Addis Standard site announced a surprise trip by the Somali president to Nairobi, accompanied by the Ethiopian Prime Minister. A trip confirmed by the official Twitter accounts of both countries. For several weeks, relations have been strained between Somalia and Kenya because of a border dispute. Nairobi accuses Mogadishu of having put up for sale a maritime area which belongs to it and which contains hydrocarbons and fish. 

Abiy Ahmed, regional peace mediator Abiy Ahmed, the Ethiopian Prime Minister, therefore seems to want to continue donning the costume of regional peace maker. Shortly before this announcement, the Ethiopian official media had succinctly reported on the content of the interview with the Somali president. The Ethiopian prime minister has insisted on "the need to strengthen Somalia-Kenya ties", but also "that relations between Somaliland and Somalia support peace efforts in the region". 

Kenyan and Somaliland leaders have also visited Addis Ababa in the past two weeks. The logic is clear. During the visit of the president of the secessionist province of Somalia, some media announced a historic meeting with the Somali head of state. 

It was not done, but according to the Addis Standard website, Abiy Ahmed's offer of mediation would also extend to the relations between Mogadishu and Hargeisa.

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