The decision by the Kenyan government to re-direct all Nairobi bound flights into Wajir Airport before landing at Jomo Kenyatta Airport; Nairobi is nothing short of an exercise of humiliation for Somali citizens and its current government. These gestures are not in isolation. It has relevance and context. Since the current Somali government refused to settle the Kenya v Somalia Maritime Dispute out of the ICJ through diplomatic and political means, we have witnessed Kenya up- the – anti against our government and its people. It is unfortunate development because Kenya has succumbed to bullying tactics because; ultimately it has no legal and political confidence on her maritime dispute case before the International Courts. Since then their behaviour against Somalia’s government and its people has been deluded, unpredictable and chaotic, leading to the recent decision to renegade on the recent positive aviation agreement signed between Somalia and Kenya in 2018.
This pattern of aggressive behaviour that includes undermining the current Somali government and humiliating Somali citizens is counter-productive to regional stability – because ultimately, the current Somali government is here to stay and by extension the case before the ICJ will take its legal course to victory for Somalia as supported by the evidence before the International Courts.
Kenyan’s government can huff and puff all they like, but in the final analysis, they will unite the Somali people more and such bullying efforts will end in failure. Furthermore, this pattern of erratic behaviour from Kenya has exposed a deep lack of political and diplomatic maturity from the Kenyan Government, a policy making that is erratic, lacks foresight and characterised by a sense of deep resentment/hostility to the current Somali government and its people. In pursuit of international funding at international conferences, Kenya may pay lip-service to regional stability, but underneath the surface they are actively undermining the current Somali government and its people through political and diplomatic means, indirectly bolstering the Alshabaab terrorist threat and existence.
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The cost of this belligerent foreign policy-making from Kenya is causing untold pain and suffering to Somali citizens that are forced to go through further unnecessary checks, delays, cost and daily humiliation of being profiled as suspects before they are allowed into Nairobi. This is the politics of humiliation and Somalia should not accept this level of hostility from Kenya. It has embarked on unnecessary cold war against Somali citizens and its government for short-term political gains. However, Somalia should respond in kind and halt all in-bound Khat transportation flights into Somalia from Kenya as a measured response to the disproportionate and aggressive foreign policy-making from kenya.
As Kenyan’s politicians jockey for the 2020 Kenya election cycle, such measure of this nature will have a huge impact in Meru County who are economically dependent on Khat trade with Somalia. Lets see where this goes for the current Uhuru led government. I can tell you it won’t be pretty electorally and economically for Kenya. No Somali government should accept the politics of humiliation on its people – not during the holy month of Ramadan. It’s time we act to safeguard our dignity.
The people of Somalia and Kenya will always prevail as brothers and sisters. Their bonds are tied by history, tradition and geography. However, they do not deserve a Kenyan government that is hell-bent on regional instability and politics of resentment for the purpose of economic greedy.
Abukar Awale Qaaddiid