HARGEISA — A delegation led by the President of the Republic of Somaliland HE Muse Bihi Abdi will leave for Nairobi in the coming days on an official invitation by the Kenyan government. This will be President Bihi’s first visit to Kenya since taking office in 2017.
The delegation accompanying the President will include the Minister of Interior, Hon. Mohamed Kahin Ahmed, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hon. Yasin Hagi Mohamoud Hiir (Faratoon), the Minister of Environment and Rural Development Hon. Shukri Haji Bandari, and the Minister of Investments Hon. Minister of Investment Mohamed Ahmed Mohamoud.
Multiple high-ranking government officials have confirmed President Bihi’s visit to Kenya and added that the President of Kenya Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta has invited the delegation from Somaliland. Sources add that President Bihi will meet with the Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta but declined to comment if the invitation from Kenyatta outlined areas of discussion between the two Presidents. It is unclear if the visit by President Bihi will result in the establishment of formal ties between Somaliland and Kenya.
This follows recent visits by the Minister of Interior Hon. Mohamed Kahin Ahmed and the Minister of Investments Hon. Mohamed Ahmed Mohamoud (Awad) to Nairobi. It is unclear if their visits were part of the preparation for President Bihi’s visit to the Kenyan Capital.
Horn of Africa’s center of gravity has shifted away from Addis Ababa and to Nairobi following Prime Minister of Ethiopia’s war in Tigray. The President-Elect of the United States Mr. Joseph R Biden has spoken to President Kenyatta regarding the Horn of Africa.
In the Past, members of Somaliland government, opposition leaders and other politicians have met with Kenyan legislators and opposition figures in Nairobi.
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s invitation to President Bihi comes at a low point for Somalia and Kenya’s bilateral ties where the two countries have withdrawn their respective ambassadors following an accusation by Somalia that Kenya has meddled in its internal affairs despite Kenya having a large contingent of its armed formed deployed in Somalia as part of AMISOM. Regional analysts believe that the Somali President Mohamed Abdillahi Farmajo is using the conflict with Kenya for his reelection bid.
Despite lacking international recognition, Somaliland has enjoyed a string of diplomatic successes recently most notably the establishment of bilateral ties with Taiwan in July this year.