Kenya on Tuesday evening expressed “regret” for having invited a Somaliland official to a diplomatic lunch hosted by President Uhuru Kenyatta and also attended by Somalia’s Ambassador.
A Statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the The Somali Embassy in Nairobi says the presence of the “flag of Somalia” at the House of Representatives session was “accidental and inappropriate for the State of Somalia,” it said.
The matter arose , after Somalia’s Ambassador to Kenya, Mohamoud Ahmed Nur ‘Tarzan’, left the luncheon hosted by President Kenyatta for the diplomatic corps. Among the guests was a representative of Somaliland’s self-proclaimed Independent Liaison Office, which the Ambassador considered inappropriate.
Somalia, which holds Somaliland as its sovereign territory, has never protested the establishment of the breakaway region’s liaison office in Nairobi and has in the past allowed Nairobi to set up a consulate in Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland.
On Tuesday, Mr Nur said he left because Nairobi invited and gave him the same diplomatic privileges diplomat from Somaliland, which he saw as a violation.
The protest came just days after President Kenyatta traveled to Mogadishu to attend the inauguration of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and improved relations between the two Pages that had briefly suspended diplomatic ties had promised ties in December 2020. Somalia also pledged to reopen the Miraa market to Kenya.
Read:Kenya, Somaliland -Deepening ties
Somaliland declared its independence 30 years ago, but Somalia recognizes it as one of its federal states.
On Tuesday, the Somaliland Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the Somali envoy protested against the “Republic of Somaliland’s participation in the event”.
< p>“The Republic of Somaliland is a sovereign, independent and democratic country that aspires to live in peace and tranquility with our neighboring countries “, it said.
However, no other country in the world, including Kenya, recognizes this of Somaliland’s sovereignty. Nairobi has said in the past that the final decision on the fate of the region lies in the dialogue between Mogadishu and Hargeisa.
Read:Omamo: Kenya’s policy towards Somaliland still intact< /p>< p>The two regions were originally administered separately during the colonial era, with Somaliland known as British Somaliland and Somalia as Italian Somaliland. They united to form the Republic of Somalia in 1960. In 1991, Somaliland unilaterally announced that it had left the Union.
Read:Somaliland snubs talks with Somalia
Somaliland has maintained its own military ever since, Government, Central Bank and Currency. Only Taiwan, which is internationally recognized as part of China, has ever recognized it.
In 2020, Somalia severed diplomatic ties with Kenya after President Kenyatta hosted Somaliland leader Muse Bihi. But Somalia didn’t have the same protests when President Bihi toured Djibouti and Ethiopia.