Somalia Severs Ties with Kenya as Somaliland President’s Visit Draws Ire

MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Somalia has severed ties with Kenya on Tuesday in protest over visit by the leader of the self-proclaimed state of Somaliland Muse Bihi Abdi to Nairobi, where he met with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday to discuss “subjects of mutual interest” for both countries.

Somali Minister of Information Osman Abokor Dube announced that the Mogadishu-based federal government was cutting relations with Kenya during a speech televised by the state TV at around 01:40am local time.

Mr Dube said Somalia summoned back staff at its embassy in Kenya and set a 7-day deadline for Kenyan diplomats to leave Mogadishu.

Kenya has not immediately commented on the move, which came after the visit of Somaliland leader to Nairobi had drawn the ire of Somali federal government.

Somaliland leader Muse Bihi Abdi held talks with his Kenyan counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta over establishing formal relations, which experts believe may have added tinder to already strained ties between Mogadishu and Nairobi.

Expulsion of Kenyan ambassador to Somalia last month had plummeted the two countries’ relationship to a new low, though Somali opposition parties called for rescinding the decision.

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