Kenya to open consulate in Hargeisa next year, Uhuru and Somaliland President Muse Bihi agree

Kenya to open consulate in Hargeisa next year, Uhuru and Somaliland President Muse Bihi agree

Kenya is set to open a Consulate in Hargeisa by the end of March 2021, President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Somaliland counterpart Muse Bihi Abdi have agreed amid frosty ties with Somalia.

The two Heads of States, in a joint communique to newsrooms on Tuesday, agreed that Somaliland would also upgrade its Liaison Office in Nairobi within the same timeframe.

Presidents Kenyatta and Bihi committed to deepening the cordial bilateral relations between Kenya and Somaliland aimed at fostering sustainable peace, stability, sustained growth, and shared prosperity.

Kenya Airways and other Kenyan airlines were also directed to commence direct flights between Nairobi and Hargeisa by the end of March 2021.

“Senior officials on a pre-determined list and travelling to Kenya on Somaliland travel documents to apply for e-visa and receive visa on arrival by end of March 2021,” read the joint communique.

The Presidents also directed senior officials from both Kenya and Somaliland to agree on details and timelines for enhancing technical cooperation, including implementation of Exchange Programmes involving students, agricultural officers, doctors, nurses and other professionals.

“The two leaders pledged to continue to work together in safeguarding peace and stability in the Horn of Africa region. They noted that Al-Shabaab continues to pose significant threat to the region,” added the statement.

“In this regard, they called for a robust international engagement and support for efforts to combat terrorism in the Horn of Africa.”

It further added: “The two leaders acknowledged Kenya’s commitment to a peaceful, stable, strong and prosperous Somalia, in which the voices of all the people of Somalia have opportunity to express their sovereign will.”