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Somalia & Kenya Reopen Common Border After 10 Years

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Kenya's InteriorMinistry Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki (left) speaks during a joint press conference with Somalia's counterpart Mohamed Ahmed Sheikh Ali to address on the cross-border cooperation between the Republic of Kenya and the federal government of Somalia.

Somalia and Kenya have announced they are reopening a common frontier which was closed in October 2011 because of attacks on Kenyan soil by the radical Islamist Somali group Al-Shabaab.

The announcement came after a high-level joint ministerial meeting in Nairobi on cooperation including on security, as well as trade and the movement of people.

“We have resolved that the border between Kenya and Somalia will be reopened in a phased manner within the next 90 days, effective today,” Interior Minister Kithure Kindiki said, adding that a first crossing should be opened in 30 days.

The two nations had announced plans in July last year to reopen the frontier at talks between then Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta and his Somali counterpart Hassan Sheikh Mohamud but they never materialised.

Kindiki said at a joint press conference with his Somali counterpart Mohamed Ahmed Sheikh Ali that they would work together on security, improving information sharing and mechanisms for cross-border collaboration.

“Kenya and Somalia are continuously experiencing both inter- and intra-security challenges emanating from Al-Shabaab,” he added.

Kenya and Somalia share a 680-kilometre (420-mile) land border and have been locked in a dispute for years over a potentially oil-and-gas rich chunk of the Indian Ocean.

In October 2021, the UN’s top court handed control of most of the vast area to Somalia but Kenya rejected the ruling.



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