Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble is on Tuesday 10, August 2021 set to jet to the Kenyan capital Nairobi, after a official invitation by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The invitation was delivered by Kenya Foreign Affairs Minister Raychelle Omamo who held talks with her counterpart Abdirizak Mohamed and and the premier during her visit to Mogadishu on Sunday.
Mogadishu and Nairobi have been in a diplomatic tiff over the past month.
Last year December Somali government cut off ties with Kenya after Nairobi hosted a visit from Muse Bihi Abdi, president of Somaliland, a breakaway region of Somalia that is not internationally recognised.
Somalia accused Kenya of meddling in the country’s internal political affairs a claim denied by Nairobi.
The two countries restored diplomatic relations after mediation by Qatar but cut ties again after only two months.
Among the issues the premier is expected to discuss with President Uhuru Kenyatta are
Kenya’s interference in Somalia’s independence.
Somalia has accused Kenya of interference in the internal affairs of interfering in it's politics but no decision has been reached.
This issue, which has been a major factor in the conflict between the two countries, is inviolable for Somalia.
While the Kenyan government denies the existence of this issue, it must remain committed to protecting Somalia's territorial, political and sovereignty.
The issue of visa-on-arrival
Kenya and Somalia have three times (2016, 2017 and 2019) agreed to exempt visa and diplomatic holders from service passports or to obtain visas at airports in both countries.
The move, which in December 2016 was replaced by Kenya's import of Khat into Somalia, was never implemented, and was rejected by the Kenyan government, which has been making new excuses.
Over the past years, Kenya ha denied entry Somali officials with diplomatic and service passports, some of whom had visas among them legislators and ministers s from entering Kenyan airports.
Prime Minister Roble must mintain in addressing this issue, and also ensure that Kenya does not only make verbal promises while the Somali side pursues its interests, in addition to those traveling on diplomatic and service passports.
It is also important to talk about facilitating the issuance of ordinary citizens' passports or making them available at airports.