Too early to celebrate a Somalia–Kenya rapprochement

Somalia’s volatile internal politics make reconciliation with Kenya in the immediate future unlikely.

Kenya and Somalia share cultural and economic ties and common security interests which, if balanced, could benefit both countries and the Horn of Africa region. But the two states have had a turbulent relationship, and despite recent progress, rebuilding ties will be difficult until Somalia achieves some measure of political stability.

Several meetings in recent months aimed to restore diplomatic relations, which have reached a low point in the past few years. In May, three days after Kenya suspended all flights to and from Somalia, the countries’ leaders met at President Ismail Omar Gelle’s inauguration in Djibouti and again recently in London.

On 10 August, Somalia’s Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble travelled to Mombasa for talks with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and senior government officials. At the end of the meeting, they agreed to strengthen trade, people-to-people ties and movement, and collaborate on regional and international issues.

This positive development is generating a political mood among leaders in both countries for a rapprochement. It is fuelled by the need to stabilise ties and revitalise the ministerial technical committee for collaboration established by both states in 2015. The committee failed to take off due to constant disagreements between the countries, culminating in both their ambassadors and severing ties until recently.


Aragtidaada Noogu Soo Dir



  1. Mr. Gaas, much as I am at one with you on the overall sentiment and position as you have expressed in your brilliant analysis, I am obliged to point out the obvious fact that it would be naive to assume and expect the foreign powers to either stop meddling in Somalia’s internal affairs or cease influencing the direction of travel of its political course.

    The critical and equally crucial issue that the learned citizens of this country should be seriously debating and analyzing is on which side of the political alliances you have mentioned should Somalia butter its bread. It has indeed been the norm rather than the exception in international politics and relations, since time immemorial, for nations to align and ally themselves with other nations based on vital national interests.

    Therefore, Somalis would be all the wiser to fall back on their own history and heritage and deploy that as the reference point by which they can chart their egression out of the current quagmire and future landing zone in terms of alliances. For me personally, Somalia’s salvation lies in allying itself fully and squarely with the countries for which orbit around Turkey’s axis.


    For me personally, Somalia’s salvation lies in allying itself fully and squarely with the countries THAT orbit around Turkey’s axis.

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