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Kenya to reopen Mogadishu embassy, ministry says

By AGGREY MUTAMBO

Kenya says it is prepared to reopen its embassy in Somalia, following an invitation by Mogadishu on Saturday.

In a note sent to Mogadishu on Monday, the Foreign Affairs Ministry in Kenya also asked Somalia to reopen its mission in Nairobi, which Mogadishu closed in December last year.

“The government of the republic of Kenya welcomes and acknowledges the invitation by the Federal Government of Somalia to restore diplomatic relations between Somalia and Kenya.

“[The] Government of the Republic of Kenya will proceed to reopen its embassy in Mogadishu as soon as possible. Further, the government of the republic of Kenya invites the ambassador of the federal republic of Somalia to Kenya back to Nairobi to resume duties.”

The latest gesture means the two countries have gone back to normal relations, even though the two sides still need to resolve a number of pending issues.

It has been a week of climb-downs from both sides.

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Last Thursday, Kenya reopened its airspace to Somalia flights, and Mogadishu said two days later there was nothing more preventing the two sides from resuming full diplomatic relations.

A note sent to Nairobi on Saturday said Somalia has, for the second time in a month, “normalised” relations with Kenya, bringing to an end six months of diplomatic bickering between the two countries.

“In the spirit of good neighbourliness, the Federal Republic of Somalia calls on the Republic of Kenya to re-open its diplomatic mission in Somalia, and the Federal Government of Somalia will reciprocally re-open its embassy in Kenya.” “The resumption of full diplomatic relations will be a positive start to the commencement of bilateral discussions between the two countries.”

These moves pave the way for Kenya’s Ambassador to Somalia Maj-Gen (Rtd) Lucas Tumbo and Somalia’s Mohamud Nur Tarzan can resume their duty stations, if the governments retain them. 

The two countries had been at loggerheads since December 15…

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