The decision by Jubaland State of Somalia President Ahmed Mohamed Islam to appoint an envoy to Kenya has caused controversy as the Federal Government of Somalia already has an ambassador in Kenya.
The President appointed Sadik Abdullahi Bogale as envoy to Kenya on Friday affirming that the diplomat’s core mandate will be to advance Jubaland interests in Kenya.
He further added that his decision was informed by Article 72 of the State Constitution which gives him powers to make political appointments including posting diplomats to new stations.
“The President of the Government of Jubaland has appointed Mr. Sadik Abdullahi Bogale as the envoy of the Government of Jubaland to Kenya. This appointment will come into effect when the President signs it, and he signed it,” a decree from the President read.
The move is controversial since the Federal Government of Somalia already has an ambassador based in Nairobi.
In addition, in the country’s provisional constitution, the role of a foreign representative at the State level is not provided.
The constitution exclusively gives foreign relations powers to the Federal Government of Somalia.
The Federal Government of Somalia is yet to comment on Bogale’s appointment as envoy to Kenya.
Further, Bogale’s appointment will bring the total number of missions in Kenya from the Horn of Africa to 3.
Somaliland which has declared its independence from Somalia operates a political mission in Kenya.
The Jubaland State of Somalia was formed in 2013 and Kenya has maintained cordial relations with the State as it has helped in the fight against the religious extremist group Al-Shabaab.
Kenya’s relations with the Federal Government of Somalia have been marred by diplomatic controversies in what Somalia calls overt and blatant interference in internal affairs with respect to Jubaland.
In December 2020, Somalia recalled its ambassador to Nairobi and expelled the Kenyan ambassador as tensions between the two countries escalated.
At the time, Somalia accused Kenya of piling pressure on the Jubaland President to advance its own political and economic interests in Somalia.
In May 2021, Somalia announced the restoration of diplomatic relations with Kenya after mediation by Qatar.