President Uhuru Kenyatta on Sunday came face to face with his Somalia counterpart Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmaajo since the cutting of diplomatic ties between the two countries.
The leaders were part of the 38th Extra-Ordinary Summit of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) held in Djibouti.
During the meeting, there were calls for Kenya and Somalia to end the feud for the sake of regional peace.
The meeting was convened by Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok of Sudan who is the current Chairperson of the IGAD Assembly and attended by Presidents Ismail Omar Guelleh (Djibouti), and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia.
At the meeting, also attended by the chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC) Moussa Faki Mahamat, South Sudan and Uganda were represented by Vice President Rebecca Garang and Amb Rebecca Otengo, the country’s envoy to Djibouti respectively.
In his address, AUC Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat said the diplomatic tension between Kenya and Somalia was a concern for the African Union.
Mr. Mahamat called for dialogue in de-escalating the tension saying the two countries share a long history of good neighbourliness and cited Kenya’s contribution of troops to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and its hosting of a large population of Somali refugees as key reference points.
On Ethiopia, the AUC Chairperson urged IGAD member states to assist the country in dealing with the humanitarian crisis arising out of the conflict in its Tigray region.
Early this month, Somalia expelled Kenyan diplomats citing interference in its internal affairs.