Kenya and Somaliland, an autonomous region of Somalia bordered by Ethiopia and Djibouti, are on the verge of diplomatic relations. The Foreign Affairs Ministry of Kenya has dispatched the envoy Philip Mundia Githiora to establish a mission in the capital of Somaliland – Hargeisa. This was preceded by talks between Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma and the new envoy of Somaliland to Kenya Omar Bashe. Bashe has stated: “”We have a long history with Kenya dating back to colonial days. The move by Kenya to open a mission in Hargeisa will be a massive boost to our economic and social transactions.” He had been seeking the mission’s formation for about ten months and urged Kenya Airways to start direct flights between Nairobi and Hargeisa.
Secretary Juma has also met with the former Somaliland Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation minister, Saad Ali Shire, after which Dr. Juma proposed the mission to Kenya’s Head of Civil Service Joseph Kinyua. This move may assist Somaliland’s ambition to be recognized as an independent country, having declared independence on May 18, 1991. No country has yet given it such recognition, although it is a member of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization.