Somalia’s government says it has severed ties with strategic neighbor Kenya “to safeguard the unity, sovereignty, stability of the country.”
In a televised broadcast late on Monday, Information Minister Osman Dubbe said Somalia had ordered all its diplomats in Kenya to return, while Kenyan diplomats in Somalia have been ordered to leave within seven days.
“Kenya continues meddling in our internal political affairs and it has ignored our previous calls to stop violating our sovereignty,” Dubbe announced on state-run SNTV.
“We, therefore, declare that we have cut ties with Kenya over its poor violations on Somalia’s sovereignty.”
At the time, Somalia accused Kenya of “overt and blatant” interferences in the internal and political affairs of Somalia. Specifically, Somalia accused Kenya of placing “great political pressure” on Somali regional leader Ahmed Mohamed Islam known as Ahmed Madobe of Jubaland, in order to pursue its political and economic interests in Somalia, an official statement said.
Somalia argued that as a result of Kenya’s interference, Ahmed Madobe reneged on the election agreement reached between federal and regional Somali leaders on September 17. The September 17 agreement paves the way for indirect elections in Somalia, but the leader of Jubaland wants the Somali government to remove federal forces from Gedo region so that his administration can hold elections, a move opposed by the federal government.