Somalia, Kenya Restore Diplomatic Ties After Five Months

Somalia restored diplomatic relations with neighboring Kenya after a five-month-long standoff over alleged political interference and a maritime border dispute that’s escalated to the International Court of Justice.

“The governments have agreed to restore diplomatic ties and avoid anything that can create animosity, through mutual respect for territorial integrity and non-interference in the internal affairs of each side,” Deputy Information Minister Abdirahman Yusuf Al-Adala told reporters in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu.

Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a statement it looked forward to normalization of relations with regard to trade, communication and transportation.

Diplomatic relations deteriorated in 2019 after Kenya accused Somalia of auctioning four oil blocks in a disputed offshore area, an allegation the Horn of Africa nation has denied. The dispute moved to the ICJ, but Kenya withdrew from the process and is seeking to resolve the matter through the African Union.

Somalia has also accused Kenya of training and arming a local militia to attack its forces on the border and destabilize the nation, an accusation Kenya denies.

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