Kenya continues meddling in our internal political affairs and it has ignored our previous calls to stop violating our sovereignty,” Somalia’s Information Minister Osman Dubbe announced on state-run SNTV.
“We, therefore, declare that we have cut ties with Kenya over its poor violations on Somalia’s sovereignty. A statement by Somalia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Mogadishu accused Kenya of trying to “infringe upon the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity of Somalia”.
Relations between Somalia’s central government and the southern state of Jubbaland, which borders Kenya, are tense as authorities of the semi-autonomous region accuse Mogadishu of seeking to remove President Ahmed Madobe and put a loyalist in power to increase central control.
Madobe is a key ally of Kenya, which sees Jubbaland as a buffer against al-Shabab fighters who have staged several bloody attacks across the border.
This announcement Tuesday came as the leader of the breakaway territory of Somali land ended a three-day visit to Kenya where he was given treatment similar to that accorded to a head of state in meetings with the Kenyan leadership. The last time he was in Kenya was 2006.
The two countries do not have a diplomatic presence in each other’s territories but are “keen to broaden trade in goods and services … as the cornerstone for long-term development cooperation”.