Somalia: Kenya’s foreign policy failure
Major foreign policy mistakes Kenya has made threaten to unravel its relations with Somalia and endanger its security.
After gaining independence in 1963 and throughout the Cold War, Kenya tried to stay away from the internal and external struggles of its neighbourhood. While Ethiopia allied itself with the erstwhile USSR and Cuba, Somalia aligned with the United States and Tanzania became the intellectual hotbed for the Third World left, Kenya maintained poised neutrality and a policy of non-intervention.
Daniel Moi, the country’s second president after independence, sought to firewall Kenya from spillovers of regional conflict by maintaining a foreign policy of ideological ambivalence – being neither a friend nor a foe of regional and international powers.
Moi also took up mediating conflicts in the region and made it the main feature of Kenyan diplomacy which carried on even after the end of the Cold War. During his presidency, Kenya became the venue for peace negotiations between the warring sides in Sudan, Somalia, and Uganda.
Various agreements were negotiated and concluded in Nairobi, including the 1985 peace deal between the Ugandan government of Tito Okello and the National Resistance Army (NRA), a rebel group led by Yoweri Museveni and the 2005 peace agreement between the Sudanese government and southern rebels, which ended Africa’s longest-running civil war.
Kenya also played an important mediation role in the Somali conflict, hosting the negotiations and the signing of the agreement that led to the creation of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in 2004.READ MORE