Ethiopian PM mediates in Somalia-Kenya diplomatic thaw
NAIROBI, Kenya - Ethiopia's reformist PM Ahmed Ahmed is playing a mediation role to resolve the escalating diplomatic crisis between two of its neighbors Somalia and Kenya, Garowe Online reports.
Somalia president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, along with Abiy Ahmed arrived in Nairobi on Tuesday night on the same plane, where the two leaders are holding tripartite talks on the tension with president Uhuru Kenyatta.
Both leaders have not been welcomed by Kenyan president upon their arrival at Jomo Kenyatta airport, a sign that showed the bitter feud between the countries at loggerheads over the maritime border rift.
The row soared after Somali Government held a summit allegedly auctioned oil blocks in the disputed sea border in London on 7th February 2019, a move that led Kenya to summon its envoy in Mogadishu.
Somalia's ministry of foreign affairs has vehemently denied Kenya's accusation as baseless. “There was no auction of oil blocks in London conference".
Ethiopian PM who is current IGAD chair has hosted consultations with Farmajo and Uhuru in Addis Ababa this week to facilitate the face-to-face mediation talks on the tension has been building since last month.
Somali Government praised Ethiopian Prime Minister for his role as a mediator in the Somalia-Kenya feud.
Kenya and Somalia have had a protracted dispute over a maritime boundary which escalated in 2014 when Somalia sued Kenya at the International Court of Justice.
Landlocked Ethiopia currently eyes Somalia ports for its foreign trade strategy after Abiy Ahmed came up with an initiative pushing for regional peace, security, and economic integration.