Senate Speaker Amason Kingi Under Fire For Recognizing Somaliland Government

The speaker of Kenya’s senate has been accused of recognising the self-declared republic of Somaliland as an independent nation, thus going against national policy. On Tuesday, Speaker Amason Kingi shared on social media that he had met with Somaliland’s “ambassador to Kenya”.

He said the pair had met to explore “new avenues for collaboration and partnerships between our governments”. Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Korir Sing’Oei was among the officials and citizens who said Mr Kingi wrongly acknowledged Somaliland’s government in his since-deleted post.

“It is Kenya’s established and unchanging foreign policy, consistent with the African Union, that only the Federal Republic of Somalia is the recognised State entity,” said Mr Sing’Oei.

“Somaliland, a region within the Federal Republic of Somalia, has a liaison office for commercial purposes in Nairobi. This office is not an embassy”. The speaker has also been criticised for meddling in the affairs of the national government by engaging in foreign policy, which falls outside the direct jurisdiction of the Senate. Somaliland seceded from Somalia in 1991 but it is not recognised internationally as an independent state, including by the UN and African Union.