Kenya, Somalia must talk

Uhuru Kenyatta, Mohamed Farmaajo

President Uhuru Kenyatta (right) with his Somali counterpart Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo during a past event in Mogadishu, Somalia. FILE PHOTO | NMG

The relentless feuds between Kenya and Somalia will only hurt the fragile gains made towards taming terror cells operating across the borders of the two nations.

The standoff that stemmed from a maritime boundary dispute over contested parts of the Indian Ocean is likely to present an undue advantage to terror groups that thrive on chaos and confusion.

Kenya and Somalia must avoid painting a picture of hostility that only excites extremist groups such as the Al-Shabaab. Both Kenya and Somalia have borne the brunt of these terror groups and must avoid presenting them an environment to flourish.

The main dispute between the two countries is primarily commercial given the fact that the contested parts of the Indian Ocean are potentially rich in oil and gas.

This a matter that should be handled without sideshows that compromise the security of the region. If in any case, the dispute is already under review by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and both parties should allow the process to run its full course.

Good neighbourliness is in the interest of both Kenya and Somalia and the region at large.