Somaliland and Kenya Enhanced Relations is An Enormous 2020 Diplomatic Coup

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta arrives with his guest Somaliland President Musa Bihi Abdi at state House Nairobi-file photo

Somalilandsun: The strengthening of Somaliland’s bilateral and economic relations with Kenya is an enormous diplomatic accomplishment.
A few days ago, the President of Somaliland and his delegation arrived at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on December 15, 2020 at 3 p.m.
The delegation led by President Bihi was received by Kenyan cabinet ministers and other senior officials, including Foreign Secretary Ababu Namwamba.
Somaliland President, H.E, Musa Bihi Abdi recent official visit to Nairobi is a lifetime diplomatic achievement for Somaliland.  The President of Somaliland met with his counterpart, H.E. President Uhuru, where the two leaders discussed the political and economic relationship between the two countries.
This marks the third official state visit by Somaliland to Kenya. Prior to that, the two former presidents of Somaliland, President Mohamed Ibrahim Egal and President Dahir Rayale Kahin, travelled to Nairobi.
President Bihi’s visit to Kenya follows the significant efforts and accomplishments of the Somaliland Foreign Affairs Team along with the ongoing and recent debates in Kenya’s cabinet and opposition parties that was weighing and measuring up the appropriateness of recognizing Somaliland and asked the African Union to recognize Somaliland.

Somaliland: Kenya Receives President Bihi with a Bouquet of Flowers
Flanked by Kenya government officials president Bihi signs the visitors book at JKIA Nairobi-archives

This past August, a delegation from Kenya led by the minority whip of the National Assembly, Junet Mohamed, visited Hargeisa where many International press experts also reported that following the president’s trip to Nairobi this year, another visit will be followed in Hargeisa by opposition leader Raila Odingas.

Somaliland is an important ally and partner in the Horn of Africa region in combating all terrorist groups based in the Horn of Africa. .
Kenya is now Africa’s second country in a year after Guinea Conakry, which has invited and hosted President Muse Bihi in bilateral discussions.
As well as being optimistic, I am sure the Somaliland government is working hard right now to undertake more similar visits to the African continent, particularly Somaliland allies and supporters.
Kenya and Somaliland have reached agreement on a number of issues, primarily on business and security co-operation.

Former Somaliland president Dahir Rayale Kahin with former Kenya president Mwai Kibaki in Nairobi

The following is an agreements between Kenya and Somaliland. .
Let us shed some light and highlight the benefits of the communiqué published and signed by H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta and H.E. Musa Bihi Abdi, President of the Somaliland to both countries if the communique is carried out and fully accomplished by both sides
1.The two presidents reaffirmed their continued commitment to fostering friendly bilateral relations between Kenya and Somaliland. Both noted with profound satisfaction that the cooperation between Kenya and Somaliland based on common values and principles aimed at promoting an enduring peace, stability, sustained growth and shared prosperity. In this regard, they made a commitment to strengthen and deepen cooperation between Kenya and Somaliland.
2. The two leaders confirmed their responsibility to ensure peace and stability in the region, to enable populations to pursue social and economic development and stability. In this regard, the two leaders acknowledged that Somaliland has remained peaceful and stable over the years as a result of its commitment to democratic ideals and the development of strong governing institutions. Kenya and Somaliland would work together to promote peace and stability, and contribute to shared prosperity.

Kenya’s President Uhuru Pursuit of Direct Diplomatic Relations with Somaliland Impeded by Somalia
Posing with president Bihi at the Somaliland presidency is the Kenyan delegation led by MP Junet Mohamed that includes a notable presence of two heavyweights – George Muhoho (uncle to President Kenyatta) and his daughter Anne Nyokabi

This acknowledgment and recognition that Somaliland has remained peaceful and stable over the years is not only an appraisal to Somaliland but, also is a message to reveal Somaliland’s 30 years of success to the rest of the world, specifically in the African continent to know Somaliland.

3.Kenya and Somaliland have also agreed to, direct flights from Kenya Airways and transport to Hargeisa, in what may be Africa’s second largest domestic carrier in Somaliland.
4. Kenya also decided to set up a consulate in Hargeisa in late March 2021, joining Ethiopia, Djibouti, Turkey and Taiwan, which have diplomatic relations with Somaliland.4. In the joint statement, Kenya accepted that Somaliland also modernises its liaison office in Nairobi on the same date
5.The two leaders agreed timelines for completion and implementation of all agreed activities.Why are both leaders setting time frames?
I fully agree that the two leaders have agreed to set timelines for the implementation and completion of the agreement in a timely manner.
Establishing a timeline for a particular work or project involves collaborating or working together to achieve the objective.  Timelines provide a clear indication of what is expected and when it will be presented or delivered.
In fact, it is very important to assign responsibilities, priorities and time frames for implementation and delivery.
Any series of measures chosen, described and agreed to must be closely monitored. Coordination and discussion among all the actors that will have a role to play in developing and implementing the agreed actions to achieve and finalize the work to be implemented and carried out.
Without supervision or timing, actions often end up taking a long time to complete or occasionally cause a complete failure.
6. Both sides also agreed to cooperate on agriculture, livestock development, education, energy and cooperation between the ports of Mombasa and Berbera.
How will the co-operation between Berbera Port and Mombasa Port be beneficial for both countries? .
The economic benefits will be enormously huge. Apart from the much anticipated economic benefits of agricultural, educational and livestock, the other gigantic and mighty businesses and economies benefit will be the two ports cooperation.  The huge economic benefits for Somaliland will be a tremendous and a monumental.
Thanks to the recent authority of Somaliland, who signed an agreement with the United Arab Emirates for the upgrade of the port of Berbera for $442 million. .
Port Berbera Co-operation with the port of Mombasa means more workloads that will surely generate more income for both ports. .
Remembering that the port of Berbera is almost ready to be a major hub capable of handling more workloads. And the fact that 30% to 40% of the world’s crude oil carried by ships’ travels a few kilometers offshore. A tribute which has made the port of Berbera a privileged place for foreign powers looking for a new connection to the most vital sea route in the world.
7. Kenya’s leader acknowledged Somaliland’s long-standing and well-established stability and pledged to continue working together to promote and improve peace and stability in the pursuit of shared prosperity.

To what extent does it matter that Kenya recognizes and applauds the stability of Somaliland?
Kenya is considered to be one of the leading African countries from a political and economic point of view.
A country recently described as one of the safest and most stable in Africa.

It has served as a financial and communications hub in Africa, particularly in East Africa, which hosts many international embassies and non-governmental organisations, and as a tourist attraction. Kenya plays a huge role in African policy and for all international actors, in particular the United States and the EU. Kenya has strong and vibrant media, a thriving civil society and an economy that does not depend on international aid.

President Bihi at Meeting with Raila Odinga

As such, Kenya could promote, influence and recommend Somaliland to perfection in the international community, especially in Africa, to do more for Somaliland.
Kenya has the potential to be of vital importance to Somaliland. Kenya has the potential to influence other African nations to manifest themselves and to a certain extent, can convince other countries on the continent and elsewhere to accept their request for Somaliland humble appeal and earnest pleads
8.In addition to, direct flights, Senior officials on a pre-determined list and travelling to Kenya  Somaliland travel documents to apply for e-visa and receive a visa on arrival by the end of March, 2021;

What are the benefits for both countries in direct flights to and from Kenya, specifically Somaliland?
Kenyan airlines will be the second African airline carrier that will operate in Somaliland.
This represents a major economic benefit for both countries. The obvious benefits and advantages will be that these direct flights will generate enormous revenues for both countries and of course will be the end of the long wait for entry visas to Kenya for Somaliland travellers, in particular, Somaliland people who seek or require medical care in Kenya.
9.The two Presidents instructed their respective senior officials to work together on the elaboration of a general framework of cooperation for the agreements and the deepening of the existing cordial relations between peoples.

Fostering and diversifying trade and investment;
What are the objectives and benefits of trade and foreign investment?

It means being ready and completely prepared for the investment by establishing investment advisory groups, investment organisations and other institutions that will initially work to provide trade and investment information and services to investors in both countries and then promote and facilitate investment in a timely and confident manner.

Presidents of Somaliland and Guinea at meeting

FDI or Foreign Direct Investment

Benefits of foreign direct investment and market advantages.
The promotion of any country and its major commercial sectors abroad is the most obvious.
Countries promote foreign investment and trade because of their potential benefits.

A. Perhaps and most importantly, it adds and brings more money to the economy.
B. It creates employment for youth.
C.  International trade may also lead to higher productivity of domestic firms through access to new ideas, technologies and organisational skills – either through direct exposure to overseas markets or inward investors, or indirectly, through knowledge spillovers.

D. It also stimulates competition as foreign firms compete with domestic ones, with all resources. E.g. Labor, land, equipment and raw materials and in the markets for products and services.

E. Competition is also stimulated by the opportunity for local firms to export, since this reduces their dependence on a limited range of domestic customers and enables them to achieve greater scale in production.
F. Lastly, trade and investment can lead to higher export earnings.
11. Improve security cooperation and information sharing in the fight against terrorism, cybercrime and transnational organized crime.

What does this mean?

It will provide an opportunity for both countries to learn from each other to combat all terrorist groups in the region. The terrorist groups have caused terrible violence in parts of Africa, particularly in Somalia, Nigeria and beyond, where the U.S.-led international contingent in Somalia appears to be powerless to deal with them.
Kenya can learn how to eliminate a ruthless terror group.  They can learn to anticipate every movement, counter its indoctrination campaigns, occupy their territory and refuse it the air they breathe.

As Regional Governments Comment on the War against Tigray in Ethiopia, Somaliland Remains Quite,
Somaliland-president-Muse-Bihi-with-Ethiopia-PM-Abiy-Ahmed-in-Addis-Ababa-file photo

As a matter of fact, Somaliland is a country that was recognised in 1960 by 35 international countries, it is unfortunate now that Somaliland is an unrecognised state who without any international assistance succeeded where everyone else has failed?

Somaliland’s success in security belongs to Almighty God and security organizations throughout the country.
Somaliland people, as a whole, are the  champions of security in reporting everything and anything to the government security organizations
12.Educational promotion and capacity building.
13. Also, Senior Officials from both sides to swiftly agree on details and timelines for enhancing technical cooperation, including implementation of Exchange Programs involving Students, Agricultural Officers, Doctors, Nurses and other professionals.
14. The two leaders made a commitment to continue working together to maintain peace and stability in the Horn of Africa region. They emphasised that terrorist groups continue to represent a major threat to the region. In this regard, they called for strong international engagement and support for efforts to combat terrorism in the Horn of Africa.
15.The two leaders acknowledged Somaliland commitment to a peaceful, stable, strong and prosperous Somaliland, in which the voices of all the people of Somaliland have an opportunity to express their sovereign will.

At the conclusion of the Official Visit, His Excellency President Muse Bihi Abdi, expressed gratitude to His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta and the people of Kenya, for the progress made in deepening bilateral relations during the visit, as well as the warm welcome and generous hospitality accorded to him and his delegation.

His Excellency President Kenyatta wished His Excellency President Muse Bihi Abdi good health and long life; and, Peace and Stability to the people of Somaliland.

Somaliland President Musa Abdi met with African Union convoy Raila Odinga.

Simultaneously. Raila Odinga is a staunch advocate and an ardent supporter in the Somaliland recognition case.

Raila calls on the African Union and the UN to allow the divorce of Somaliland and Somalia.

President Guelleh At meeting with president Farmajo of Somalia whose reunion with Somaliland is supported by the Djiboutian

This is not the first time Raila Odinga has called for Somaliland to be recognised by the African Union and the United Nations.

Raila Odinga made a public speech last year at Chatham House in London, where Odinga said: I am a staunch supporter of Somaliland’s full recognition. ‘I think Somaliland has a pretty strong case.’
From our perspective, Somaliland, as a nation, is fully conscious of Raila Odinga’s efforts toward Somaliland but, is equally thankful, appreciative and values extremely and strongly in Raila Odingas uninterrupted ongoing support and calls for Somaliland recognition.
As long as Somaliland’s up to speed. Raila Odinga is and always has been a political figure and leader on the continent who has openly and continually called on all African governments to recognise Somaliland by providing the robustness, the genuine and the validity case of Somaliland recognition and at the same time bringing and indicating facts, reasons and evidence that Somaliland can also be help to contribute to the stabilisation of the region..
Also, In July 2020, it was reported in the media that the head of the MDG, Raila Odinga, planned to present a petition to the Kenyan parliament a bill calling for the recognition of Somaliland.
While meeting with the President of Somaliland, Mr Odinga said “that it was a pleasure to have a meeting with our nation’s great friend, the president of Somaliland, HE, Musa Bihi Abdi”, where he, Odinga also discussed bilateral talks and other topics in the security and development of the region

President Bihi meets a South African representative of the Somaliland Action Group in Hargeisa

In his speech with President Musa Bihi Abdi, the AU special envoy, Raila Odinga, has once again challenged the African Union to speed the process and the procedures of recognising Somaliland as a fully independent country.
Today again, in the presence of the Somaliland delegation led by HE Musa Bihi Abdi, Raila Odinga didn’t hesitate to repeat what he said many times in the past about the Somaliland case. He reiterated and again recapitulated his honest and sincere, reasonable argument by telling the African Union, once again, to wake up to the reality and the facts that it will no longer be possible to bring these two countries together. He urged and again called on the African Union to recognise Somaliland as a country, just as the African Union recognised Somaliland in June 1960.
This is a great time and a golden opportunity for Somaliland to move forward and build on its recent successes in foreign diplomacy.
It’s the right time for the Somaliland Government to spread their political wings and shine with the rest of the African continent and beyond, especially, when all IGAD members are at war with each other, Djibouti v Eritrea
Somalia V Kenya
Ethiopia V Sudan
Finally, President Muse Bihi Abdi and his delegation returned home safely and the video link attached below are his speech and response to the media upon his arrival in Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland republic
Overall and above all, the Somaliland President’s official visit to Nairobi has been a great success.
The Somaliland government must learn and build on the unparalleled experience and success in Nairobi, Kenya, and then take this record in other parts of the African continent, particularly the friends of Somaliland and any country that supports and sympathise Somaliland case.
It is also important to note that Somaliland is moving in the right direction as far as foreign diplomacy is concerned.
For the past ten days or so, the President of Somaliland has hosted and met with senior African officials in Somaliland. A delegation from Malawi arrives in Somaliland for top-level discussions. A high-level delegation from Malawi, led by Eisenhower Mkaka’s Foreign Minister, comes to Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland, for an official state visit.

President Bihi receives Malawi foreign minister

They met with the President of Somaliland, Muse Bihi Abdi, to discuss and establish bilateral relations.
The visit of the Malawian government and its delegation comes just days after Somaliland President Muse Bihi’s visit to Nairobi, Kenya.
Also, The President of Somaliland, Muse Bihi Abdi, received a large delegation from South Africa, led by Mr. Mhlekwa Nxumalo a senior member of the ruling ANC party in his office
The President briefed the delegation on Somaliland thirty years of achievements, the history of Somaliland and its efforts to seek recognition, as it withdrew from the union with Somalia and declared independence in 1991.
Finally, President Musa Bihi Abdi is cordially welcomed to Djibouti.
President Bihi reached Djibouti on Wednesday morning for an official visit at the request and invitation of his host, the President of the Republic of Djibouti, Ismaël Omer Guelleh.
Somaliland President Muse Bihi received a red carpet in Djibouti reception, exactly a week after his trip to Kenya which angered the Somalia villa.
President Bihi was warmly welcomed in Djibouti where President Bihi received a red carpet and other protocol of honors were put in place for him. He arrived in Djibouti with a high ranking delegation

Ahmed Yasin Mohamed Jama

On President Bihi’s trips to Kenya and Guinea Conakry, Villa Somalia announced that it had cut off diplomatic ties with both countries. .
The $1 million question now is whether Villa Somalia will cut ties with Djibouti as well? .
In 2021, Somaliland is likely to have a decisive year in its search for international recognition.
Here is short clip of Somaliland Case in Hollywood Film trailer

The author Ahmed Yasin Mohamed Jama is a Political and Economic Analyst