Somalia has cut ties with its neighbour Kenya, accusing it of political interference.
The East African country has recalled all its diplomats from Nairobi and given Kenyan diplomats in Mogadishu seven days to leave the country.
“The Somali government, based on its national sovereignty guaranteed by international law and order, and fulfilling its constitutional duty to safeguard the nationhood, unity and stability of the country, has decided to sever diplomatic relations with the Kenyan government,” Somalia’s Information Minister Osman Dube told state media.
“Somalia calls back all its diplomats from Kenya and orders Kenyan diplomats to leave Somalia within seven days,” Dube said.
Last month, Somalia expelled Kenya’s ambassador and recalled its own envoy from Nairobi after alleging that its neighbour was interfering in the electoral process in Jubbaland, one of Somalia’s five semi-autonomous states.
Dube said in a statement on Radio Mogadishu that Nairobi was meddling in Somalia’s politics but did not give specific details of the alleged interference.
“This is an answer to the constant political violation and Kenya’s open interference in Somalia’s independence,” he said.
The latest diplomatic row between the East African neighbours follows tensions in February 2019 when Kenya recalled its ambassador after Mogadishu decided to auction oil and gas exploration blocks at the centre of their maritime rights dispute.
It also comes as Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta hosted the President of the self-declared republic of Somaliland, Muse Bihi. Somaliland declared independence from Somalia in 1991 but is not officially recognised by the United Nations (UN), African Union (AU) or any country.