The duo joined other regional leaders for the 38th Extra-Ordinary Summit of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) held in Djibouti on Sunday, December 20.
Kenyatta was accompanied to the summit by Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo who Somalia ordered to evacuate her diplomats from the neighbouring country.
In his address, the African Union Commission (AUC) Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat said the diplomatic tension between Kenya and Somalia was a concern for the African Union.
Mahamat called for dialogue in de-escalating the tension saying the two countries share a long history of good neighbourliness.
He cited Kenya’s contribution of troops to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and its hosting of a large population of Somali refugees as key reference points.
The meeting was convened by Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok of Sudan who is the current Chairperson of the IGAD Assembly. In attendance were leaders from Ethiopia, South Sudan and Uganda.
This was the first time Kenyatta met with Somaliaâ€™s Farmaajo since the latter cut ties with Kenya on Tuesday night, December 15.
Kenya’s relationship with Somaliland is one of the significant issues that severed ties between Kenya and Somalia. The Federal Government of Somalia does not recognise Somaliland’s claim to autonomy and has protested Kenya’s recognition of the breakaway territories.
Another key issue is the disagreement over which direction the two countries’ border extends into the Indian Ocean.
Faramaajo initiated a process to kick out the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) from his country and wants Eritrea to take over Kenya’s role in the peacekeeping mission.
KDF Spokesperson Zipporah Kioko said that Kenyaâ€™s military is guided by the African Union Mission to Somalia (Amisom) and those agreements bar Farmaajo from withdrawing Kenya’s consent to send her soldiers in a peacekeeping mission in the country.