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WHY ETHIOPIA AND KENYA WOULDN’T WELCOME THE APPOINTMENT OF SOMALIA’S NEW PRIME MINISTER HAMSE BARRE

WDM EDITORIAL

Historically and constitutionally, any person of Somali origin enjoys equal citizenship rights in Somalia. Equally, Ethiopia and Kenya consider any person of Darood/Ogaden subclan a citizen in each of their respective country. So, Prime Minister Barre, by virtue of his new position in his own country, automatically creates a bit of complications in their diplomatic and political relationships with neighboring Somalia.

It is worthnoting also to refer to former Somali President, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, who couldn’t visit USA as Head of State of a foreign country with the full protection of diplomatic immunity as he was a US citizen. Accordingly, Farmajo was reported to have abandoned his US citizenship to visit America as a Somali President.

To avoid such potential strained relations with Kenya and Ethiopia, on top of already intractable disputes, historical conflict and violence, successive Somali regimes didn’t appoint or elect an Ogaden man to such highly visible position as Chief Executive.

While one may commend President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud for having made this decision in appointing Prime Minister Hamze Barre, someone may also be tempted to raise the question on whether he did due diligence to improve relationships with Somalia’s neighbors, given the historical burdens between Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya.

Whatever the consequences of Mohamud’s appointment, all Somalis congratulate the New Prime Minister and wish him well.

PS: This editorial was updated after posting.

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