Somalilandsun: The Somaliland trade office in Nairobi is said to be a beehive of activities in preparation for reception of a delegation from Hargeisa led by president Muse Bihi Abdi.
According to our sources in Nairobi , the Somaliland delegation is to visit the east African country on an official working tour courtesy of an invite from the Kenyan government.
“The initial dates of president Bibi’s arrival in Nairobi was 15th August but now changed though yet unclear to exactly when” said our source while revealing that Kenyan Miraa traders have made arrangements to parley the Somaliland authorities on difficulties engulfing exports of the herbal stimulant that include hefty taxation and denial of Overflight rights to their cargo planes by Somalia.
The gist of this invite surfaced earlier in the month after administration of President Uhuru Kenyatta established a committee that will carefully study the merits and demerits of recognizing Somaliland as a sovereign nation.
Though the two countries have been in close trade , education and skilled labour exchange for a long time Kenya is yet to establish a consulate in Hargeisa.
Thence the importance of this visit in which the Kenyan authorities are expected to come clear on the promised consulate.
Currently Kenya and Somalia are embroiled in multiple disputes ranging from contested sea based boundaries, oil, as well miraa trade among others.
These arguments not withstanding the fact that Kenya is a major contributor to AMISOM, the AU mission helping fight Alshabaab in the war-torn county.
And with Jubaland its former stronghold in Somalia going back to the Somalia federal government fold, it is not Somaliland that is anxious for enhanced relations but Kenya.
With Kenya having on several occasions promised to establish a permanent diplomatic mission in Hargeisa currently served from Mogadishu, most Somalilanders do not expect President Bihi to return empty handed.
When news of the president Uhuru chaired cabinet meeting mulling formal recognition of Somaliland came to light the Foreign minister in Hargeisa revealed great anticipation of outcome by both the government and Somalilanders.
This discernible Kenyan change of heart on relations with Somaliland comes in the heels of diplomatic coups by the administration of president Bihi that have seen Taiwan to the angst of China set foothold in Hargeisa while upstart Egypt is trying to dethrone ,Ethiopia from its perch as friend number one.
Whatever happens what cannot be ignored is the apt campaign for Somaliland recognition being effected by its representative in Kenya Ambassador Bashe Awil , who Inshallah is set for another triumph after that of his former office in the United Arab Emirates
Related read Kenyans To Benefit In Strengthened Ties With Somaliland