Kenya Set to Open Consulate in Hargeisa as ex-PM Calls for World Recognition of Somaliland

NAIROBI (Somaliguardian) – Kenya is set to a open a consulate in Hargeisa by the end of March 2021, Uhuru Kenyatta and Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi have agreed on Tuesday as talks between the two leaders over establishing formal relations drew ire in Somalia.

In a joint communiqué, the two leaders agreed that Somaliland would also upgrade its Liaison Office in Nairobi within the same timeframe.

Somaliland and Kenya will deepen the cordial bilateral relations aimed at fostering sustainable peace, stability, sustained growth and, shared prosperity, according to the communiqué.

Shortly after talks between the two presidents ended, Kenya Airways and other Kenyan airlines were directed to start direct flights between Nairobi and Hargeisa by the end of March 2021.

“Senior officials on a pre-determined list and travelling to Kenya on Somaliland travel documents to apply for e-visa and receive visa on arrival by end of March 2021,” reads the joint communiqué.

Senior officials from Somaliland and Kenya were directed to agree on details and timelines for enhancing technical cooperation, including implementation of Exchange Programs involving students, agricultural officers, doctors, nurses and other professionals.

It comes hours after Somalia announced severing diplomatic ties with Kenya in protest over Uhuru Kenyatta’s invitation to Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi, whose visit to Nairobi angered Somali federal government based in Mogadishu.

Meanwhile, Kenya’s former Prime Minister Raila Odinga said it was impossible to reunite Somalia and Somaliland, and called for world recognition of the self-proclaimed state as an independent country

 “AU needs to wake up to the reality that it is not going to be possible again to bring these two countries together, and recognize them as two separate countries,” said Kenya’s former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

 “I have talked in the UN, and I have talked in the London Chatham House. I said, and I have no regret and I will say it again that Somaliland is a reality, that the world has got to live with,”

Raila Odinga, who is now Kenya’s main opposition leader noted that the sooner the issue is solved by the international archetypal bodies, the better for the two countries.

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