Somalia must still be cautious with Kenya – UM

President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo and Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta held talks in Nairobi during the United Nations CDP conference in Nairobi to discuss bilateral relations between two countries. Photo courtesy: Villa Somalia

Mogadishu (UM) – The Somali Presidency press office has gone into over-drive spreading the supposed good news that has come out of the meeting between Presidents Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo and Uhuru Kenyatta. However, the agreements are not special because these were agreed in the past not implemented or broken by Kenya. Wajir was removed and returned. Visas on arrival were agreed by the last government and trade between Somalia and Kenya was always in all discussions. The Somali people also expected their President to never compromise on the case of the sea which Kenya is illegally claiming. So, there are no celebrations tonight because we have only returned to where we were not moved forward if Kenya honours its promises.

Kenya is smart. This is because their economy has weakened, their global reputation tarnished and the Somali business community is leaving in large numbers for Ethiopia and Turkey. Somali conferences are also no longer held in Kenya and the hotels there are suffering according to UM sources. Kenya needs Somali businesses and money.

President Farmajo must be congratulated for keeping strong but he must realise that the deal is not done until all of the promises from Kenya are implemented. He must also realise that he is been offered the same deal offered to all Somali leaders before him. He can celebrate when the Kenyans respect his government enough to follow through on their promsies but not tonight.

The Somali side have to go back and read the Twitter message from the Kenyan Foreign Minister Monica Juma which said:

“President Farmajo expressed his confidence that the ICJ issue will be resolved in a mutually acceptable manner and not effect our bilateral relations.”

This Tweet does not suggest the Somali side understood the Kenyan side clearly. Maybe, the two leaders need to meet again with interpreters because they do not seem to understand each other in English. President Farmajo’s recorded press statement shows that he said the ICJ issue will not affect the bilateral relations but this was easy to misinterpret and it was by Kenya. The President should have made clear that Somalia will remain committed to the legal route under the ICJ which is clearly what he meant.

The Somali people will NEVER accept compromise on their sea from anybody. It is their waters and they will protect it until the end. No press conference will change this no matter how many times Kenya tries to misinterpret President Farmajo’s words.