Uhuru Kenyatta sends Interior ministry Matiang’i delegation to Ethiopian Colony over Somalia border

The meeting in Addis Ababa is a follow-up to the weekend one where the Kenyan team met Somalia President Mohammed Abdullahi Farmajo. Somali Times has spoken to Kenyan officials that President Uhuru Kenyatta believes that Abiy Ahmed can help in brokering an out of court settlement over the maritime boundary dispute.

Interior ministry said Matiang’i had been sent by President Uhuru for a meeting with Abiy Ahmed. “Interior CS Matiang’i led a team of high-ranking government officials sent by President Uhuru to hold talks with Ethiopia’s PM Abiy Ali with a view to identifying more collaborative approaches to advance Kenya’s mutual cross-border relations with Somalia,” a statement said.

Last year, Abiy was instrumental in bringing Uhuru and Farmajo into the same room to discuss the maritime dispute. Abiy flew into Nairobi with President Mohamed Abdullahi 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.

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.