DJIBOUTI CITY, 20 December 2020 – Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo met Sunday at the IGAD summit in Djibouti with his Kenyan counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta.
The IGAD summit held in Djibouti City, capital of Djibouti, is expected, among others, to mediate the diplomatic row between the two neighboring countries.
Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok of Sudan who currently holds the rotating presidency of IGAD, convened the summit.
Somalia sought IGAD’s intervention on frosty relations between Kenya and Somalia over the self-declared Republic of Somaliland.
The summit is also attended by the Chairperson of the African Union, Moussa Faki Mahamat, the President of Djibouti Ismail Omar Guelleh and the Prime Minister of Ethiopia Abiy Ahmed.
South Sudan is represented by Vice Presidents Rebecca Garang and Uganda is represented by her Ambassador to Djibouti Rebecca Otengo.
IGAD leaders are also expected to discuss Ethiopia’s internal conflict in its northern Tigray region, where fighting between federal troops and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front started last November 4.
Thousands are believed to have killed in the fighting which has driven 50,000 people into refugee camps in neighboring Sudan and left over one million people internally displaced.
The diplomatic row between Somalia and Kenya was sparked by Kenya’s decision to set up a consulate in Somaliland followed by Somalia signaling an end to diplomatic relations with Kenya by recalling its diplomats in Kenya, and demanding that Kenyan diplomatic in the country depart within a week.
On Sunday, even as the summit opened in Djibouti City, there were reports that the Somali President had threatened to expel Kenyan Defense Forces troops stationed in Somalia as part of a peacekeeping contingent.
The Monitor reported Sunday that Farmaajo wants Eritrean soldiers to replace the Kenyan contingent in the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).