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Mogadishu says No, Addis, Yes as Nairobi goes mute

Storyline:National News

By T. Roble


  • Villa Somalia maintained no talks on the maritime row between Kenya and Somalia were held
  • Office of the Ethiopian PM said the meeting discussed ‘extensively’ the cause of the diplomatic row
  • Nairobi went mute

The substance and outcome of the talks between Presidents Uhuru Kenyatta and Mohamed Farmaajo in Nairobi Wednesday have generated more questions than answers with varying portions of truth depending on who you ask between Villa Somalia and the Office of the Ethiopian Prime Minister.

While Abdinur Ahmed Mohamed in his capacity as director of communications at Villa Somalia maintained there were ‘no talks regarding the maritime row’,  his opposite in Ethiopia Billene Seyoum sounded more upbeat noting, the two leaders ‘discussed extensively on the source of the two countries dispute’.

According to Villa Somalia, the meeting which was chaired by Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed resolved Somalia and Kenya restore diplomatic relations which would include the return of their respective ambassadors to their stations.

“Their Excellencies (sic) President @M_Farmaajo and President @UKenyatta agreed on strengthening diplomatic ties between the two countries. They also agreed to have their respective ambassadors return to each country’s mission to resume their important duties. Cooperation and Partnership.”


Villa Somalia also sent out a clarification on Facebook reiterating there were no talks on the maritime case.

“The president did not discuss the maritime case at the International Court of Justice, and the Somali government’s position and stand is clear to protect its sovereignty.”

But the Office of the Prime Minister took a different note bluntly noting the subject matter of the talks was explored in-depth.

“Through the leadership of PM Abiy Ahmed, @UKenyatta & @M_Farmaajo met this morning to discuss extensively on the source of the two countries dispute. As an outcome both agreed to work towards peace & to take measures in addressing particular issues that escalated the tensions.”

READ ALSO: Farmaajo-Kenyatta talks ease diplomatic standoff

A story carried by Kenya’s Business Daily seemed to buttress the Ethiopian view that the maritime case was indeed canvassed. The newspaper reported a Somali diplomat anonymously saying, ‘Mogadishu will wait for the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to decide on the dispute’.

Even as both Mogadishu and Addis Ababa averred their positions on the meeting, Nairobi went mute.


The absence of a joint communique and the nature of the meeting which by many standards was low-key added to the many questions begging answers.

Federal MP and former intelligence boss Ahmed Fiqi termed the statement from Villa Somalia as misleading and called for clarity on the matter.

“The statement from the President’s office is inadequate and seems to mislead the people of the nation. What creates lots of doubts is that the statements from the president focused only on the diplomatic solutions and makes distinct about the dispute between the two countries and the maritime case,” said Fiqi in a Facebook post.

Former presidential candidate and Wadajir Party leader Abdirahman Warsame called on the government to shed light on the issues discussed during the Nairobi and Addis Ababa meetings.

“The president should be truthful about the talks (Addis Ababa and Nairobi). Somali media should not publish the Somali president’s statement should make further investigations and bring about a series of questions,” said Warsame.