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Somalia Restores Ties With Kenya
Kenyan coastal fishermen take part in a demonstration demanding to be heard in a legal dispute between Kenya and Somalia over their maritime border, at Lamu island, March 15, 2021. (Tony Karumba/AFP via Getty Images)

Somalia Restores Ties With Kenya

Somalia announced on Thursday the resumption of diplomatic relations with Kenya almost six months after it cut ties to its East African neighbor. In November 2020, Somalia expelled Kenya’s ambassador and recalled its own from Nairobi after accusing Kenya of meddling in elections in Jubbaland, a semiautonomous Somalian province on the Kenyan border. This followed a similar diplomatic row in 2019. The countries have clashed over their Indian Ocean maritime borders, particularly since the discovery of potential oil and gas deposits in an area covering 62,000 square miles (160,000 square km) off the coast of Jubbaland and Kenya. The disputed boundaries, which also affect fishing rights, are being adjudicated in the International Court of Justice. Kenya has accused the court of bias in favor of Somalia. “Now diplomatic relations are restored,” Somalia’s Deputy Information Minister Abdirahman Yusuf told a news conference in Mogadishu. Yusuf said the Gulf Arab state of Qatar had acted as a go-between, facilitating the reconciliation between the countries. Kenya’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying that it “looks forward to further normalization of relations by the Somali authorities including with regard to trade, communication, transportation, people-to-people relations and cultural exchanges.”

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