Somalia has cut diplomatic ties with Kenya in an announcement made in the dead of the night by her Minister of Information Osman Abukar Dubbe.
Speaking via state owned SNTV, Mr Dubbe at around 1.40 am Mogadishu time, cited interference of her sovereignty and territorial integrity, as some of the reasons that led to the decision.
The minister said Kenya has seven days to withdraw all its diplomats from the country. Somali diplomats will also be recalled within the stipulated timeline.
“Somalia wants all its diplomats to go back to Mogadishu and Kenyan diplomats have 7 days to leave the country,” said Mr Dubbe.
He added that Kenya has constantly been interfering with Somalia’s politics and has oftentimes been causing problems for the East African country.
The strained relationship between Kenya and Somalia has also led to a spat between the latter and Somaliland.
On Sunday, Somaliland President Muse Bihi arrived in Nairobi for a three day state visit leading to a Twitter spat with Somalia.
In a Tweet, Somalia Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Bihi’s visit should be treated with contempt. The tweet has since been pulled down.
Somaliland on its part said it was an independent country and asked that Somalia’s remarks be ignored as they signified irresponsibility and failure.
On November 29, Somalia recalled its ambassador to Kenya Mohamud Ahmed Nur and sent away Kenya’s ambassador to Somalia Mr Lucas Tumbo “for consultations”.
“The Federal Government of Somalia notes the Kenyan government’s attempt to infringe upon the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity of Somalia and hereby expresses its deep regret with the Kenyan government’s continuous interferences in the internal and political affairs of Somalia,” the statement read in part.
“Therefore, the Federal Government of Somalia summons its Ambassador to the Republic of Kenya and instructs the Ambassador of the Republic of Kenya to Somalia to depart to Kenya for consultations.”
The East African country said that Kenya’s interference had the potential to be a hindrance to the stability, security and development of the entire region.
Somalia accused the Kenyan government of placing great political pressure on the regional President of Jubaland, Mr Aimed Maxamed Islaan (Madobe) in order to pursue its political and economic interests in Somalia.