Kenya offers easier entry terms to Somalis in bid to improve trade between them

Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau has said that the Kenyan government will make it easier for Somalis to obtain visas to resume trade ties between the two countries, which have been suspended in recent months.

Secretary-General Macharia Kamau said a recent visit to Mogadishu had sparked plans for Kenya to facilitate visas for Somalis, which he said he had discussed with the Somali government to improve relations.

He cited the example of Turkey, Ethiopia, Uganda and Djibouti, which direct flights to Mogadishu as part of trade relations between Somalia and those countries.

“I went to Somalia with a small delegation from the Kenyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs to review the diplomatic situation in Somalia as we have had a difficult time and that plan has often been implemented,” said Secretary-General Macharia Kamau.

He underlined that the two governments and the two peoples are inseparable, with about 35,000 Kenyans living in Somalia and half a million Somalis living in Kenya.

Relations between Somalia and Kenya have been strained in the past, with Somalia halting large quantities of khat imports.