Somalia's President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, commonly known by his nickname of Farmajo, attends the special assembly for abandoning the two-year extension of his presidential term and requesting the immediate election to ease the recent political tension at Villa Hargeisa in Mogadishu on May 1, 2021. (PHOTO / AFP)
Somalia said on Thursday it was restoring diplomatic ties with neighbouring Kenya after it severed relations in December, accusing Nairobi of meddling in politics.
Relations between the countries have also been tense over the ownership of potential oil and gas deposits, some of which lie off the coast of Jubbaland, one of Somalia's five semi-autonomous states.
"Now diplomatic relations are restored," Abdirahman Yusuf, deputy information minister, told a news conference in Mogadishu, saying Qatar had helped in the process.
There was no immediate comment from the Kenyan government, though State House in Nairobi tweeted on Thursday afternoon that President Uhuru Kenyatta "received a special message" from Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani of Qatar that was delivered by Qatar's special envoy of the foreign minister.
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In November, Somalia expelled Kenya's ambassador and recalled its own from Nairobi after accusing Kenya of interfering in the electoral process in Jubbaland.
In February 2019, Kenya recalled its ambassador after Mogadishu decided to auction oil and gas exploration blocks at the centre of their maritime rights dispute. The two countries had revived ties in November the same year.
The two are at present before the World Court to adjudicate the maritime boundary dispute.