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Kenya resumes its diplomatic mission in Mogadishu

MOGADISHU (SD) – Kenyan ambassador to Somalia Lucas Tumbo has today reached Mogadishu a week after Somalia and Kenya agreed to normalize their severed diplomatic ties.

Tumbo was expelled from Somalia last November after Somalia after Somalia accused its neighbour of interfering in the electoral process in Jubbaland, one of Somalia’s five semi-autonomous states.

Kenya rejected the claims and a team formed by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (Igad) to investigate claims returned a ‘no guilty’ verdict, which Somalia rejected.

According to officials at Kenyan foreign ministry, Kenya has sent its all-diplomatic staff to resume their operations in Somalia.

Somalia is also expected to send its ambassador, Mohamud Nur Tarzan to Nairobi soon to resume his duty stations.

In May, Kenya in response to Somalia’s ban on khat, banned all flights to and from Somalia for three months, a decision that was cancelled early this month.

Last Monday, the Foreign Affairs Ministry in Kenya asked Somalia to reopen its mission in Nairobi, which Mogadishu closed in December last year.

“The government of the republic of Kenya welcomes and acknowledges the invitation by the Federal Government of Somalia to restore diplomatic relations between Somalia and Kenya.

“[The] Government of the Republic of Kenya will proceed to reopen its embassy in Mogadishu as soon as possible. Further, the government of the republic of Kenya invites the ambassador of the federal republic of Somalia to Kenya back to Nairobi to resume duties.”

In May, Qatari special envoy Mutlaq bin Majed al-Qahtani helped broker talks where Somalia initially agreed to resume ties. But after Somali authorities detained Bluebird Aviation aircraft, Kenya closed the airspace between the two countries.

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