Somalia and Kenya have agreed to end the border disputes between the two countries.
In the past few months, both countries have experienced strained relations as regards to ownership and control of border territories. The dispute resulted in the loss of properties worth millions of dollars and the displacement of thousands of people.
The dispute was a threat not just to the Eastern African region, but also to the continent in general. The continued controversy prompted the president of Egypt, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to serve as a mediator between the two presidents in resolving the dispute.
After the meeting with Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the presidents of Kenyan and Somali have agreed ‘to restore relations to the previous status and ‘take diplomatic steps to build confidence between the two governments’.
The maritime border dispute started in February this year and is currently before the International Court of Justice, ICJ, in The Hague. There are reports that Somalia is yet to withdraw the petitions before the court. They believe that despite the reconciliation, there is a need for a court verdict on the matter.
The dispute began early this year after Somalia accused Kenya of selling oil and gas fields in the maritime border area. The country subsequently dragged Kenya before the International Court of Justice, an action that angered President Uhuru Kenyatta and the government of Kenya.
Since then, relations between the two African countries went sour.
The dispute between the two countries led to the suspension of direct flights from Mogadishu to Kenya. In response to the suspension, Kenya accepted to recognize Somaliland as a country.
Both countries reached the agreement in the United States during the United Nations General Assembly.
In this new agreement, Somalia reportedly insisted that the maritime case should be left to the ICJ for final arbitration.
You will recall that earlier this year in March, Ethiopia’s prime minister, Abiy Ahmed mediated talks between the two East African neighbors.
You will agree that mediations and reconciliations such as this is needed in Africa to strengthen further the peace and unity we all crave.
What are your thoughts?
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