Kenya reportedly sets conditions for resumption of ties with Somalia

Kenya has set conditions for the resumption of diplomatic ties with Somalia, local media in both countries report.

On February 16, Kenya recalled its ambassador to Somalia, Lt Gen (Rtd) Lucas Tumbo, and asked Somali Ambassador in Nairobi Mohamud Ahmed Nur (Tarsan) to leave the country, after accusing the Mogadishu government of auctioning off oil blocks in Kenya’s territorial waters, a charge that Somalia denied.

On Sunday, Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau, reportedly outlined three conditions that Somalia has to meet for the restoration of bilateral relations between the two neighbouring countries.

Kenya wants Somalia to withdraw the maritime dispute case against it at the International Court of Justice and instead engage in direct negotiations to resolve the row.

Somalia has previously rejected an out of court settlement of the dispute and reiterated this position on Sunday in a statement by its Foreign Ministry.

Kenya also wants Somalia to withdraw a map, which was allegedly presented at an economic forum in London that reportedly claimed part of Kenya’s territory.

Kenya has also demanded that Somali authorities inform the firms which reportedly bought oil and gas blocks at the London auction that the Horn of Africa nation does not own the disputed area.

Mogadishu has so far not responded to the remarks by the Kenyan official.

In its statement on Sunday, Somalia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation denied that their government auctioned off any oil blocks in the disputed territories.