The delegation accompanying the President includes the Minister of Interior, Hon. Mohamed Kahin Ahmed, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hon. Yasin Hagi Mohamoud Hiir (Faratoon), the Minister of Environment and Rural Development Hon. Shukri Haji Bandari, and the Minister of Investments Hon. Minister of Investment Mohamed Ahmed Mohamoud.
Multiple high-ranking government officials have confirmed President Bihi’s visit to Kenya and added that the President of Kenya Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta invited the delegation from Somaliland.
Sources add that President Bihi will meet with the Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta but declined to comment if the invitation from Kenyatta outlined areas of discussion between the two presidents.
It is unclear if the visit by President Bihi will result in the establishment of formal ties between Somaliland and Kenya.
This follows recent visits by the Minister of Interior Hon. Mohamed Kahin Ahmed and the Minister of Investments Hon. Mohamed Ahmed Mohamoud (Awad) to Nairobi.
It is unclear if their visits were part of the preparation for President Bihi’s visit to the Kenyan Capital.
The Horn of Africa’s center of gravity has shifted away from Addis Ababa and to Nairobi following the Prime Minister of Ethiopia’s war in Tigray.
The president-elect of the United States, Joseph R. Biden has spoken to President Kenyatta regarding the Horn of Africa.
In the Past, members of the Somaliland government, opposition leaders and other politicians have met with Kenyan legislators and opposition figures in Nairobi.
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s invitation to President Bihi comes at a low point for the relationship between Somalia and Kenya with the two countries withdrawing their respective ambassadors following an accusation by Somalia that Kenya has meddled in its internal affairs – despite Kenya having a large contingent of its armed forces deployed in Somalia as part of AMISOM.
Regional analysts believe that the Somali President Mohamed Abdillahi Farmajo is using the conflict with Kenya in his reelection bid.
Despite lacking international recognition, Somaliland has enjoyed a string of diplomatic successes recently most notably the establishment of bilateral ties with Taiwan in July this year.
This article first appeared in the Somaliland Chronicle and is republished with permission.