Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is in Kenya’s capital Nairobi, where he is expected to mediate talks between the Presidents of Kenya and Somalia over a maritime dispute.
Ahmed touched down in Nairobi on Tuesday night, alongside President Mohamed Farmaajo, for mediation efforts aimed easing tensions between Kenya and Somalia.
PM Abiy Ahmed and @M_Farmaajo are currently on their way to Nairobi, Kenya to meet with @UKenyatta. It is expected that the mediated meeting between Kenya and Somalia countries will ease tensions that have been building.
— Office of the Prime Minister – Ethiopia (@PMEthiopia) March 5, 2019
The Ethiopian leader is the current chairman of IGAD – the Intergovernmental Authority on Development – an eight-country trade bloc that includes Kenya and Somalia.
Somalia denies allegations it auctioned off Kenya’s oil and gas blocks amidst a simmering diplomatic tiff, where Kenya summoned its ambassador to Somalia and expelled the Somali envoy.
Farmaajo then issued a statement regretting Kenya’s decision to expel the ambassador without consultations.
The International Court of Justice in The Hague meanwhile is considering a claim on the two countries’ maritime boundaries brought by Somalia in 2014 after negotiations over the 100,000 square km stretch of sea floor broke down.
According to Ahmed, the two leaders already had a first round of face to face talks during a meeting in Addis Ababa last week.
Ahmed and Farmaajo were received at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport by Kenya’s Information Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru, amid a host of other dignitaries.