President Uhuru Kenyatta on Sunday agreed to send a delegation of security chiefs to meet his Somali counterpart Mohamed Farmaajo, in a move that signals a climbdown in tensions between the two countries over an alleged border intrusion.
The delegation led by Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i left for Mogadishu following a week that saw the Somalia National Army battle Jubbaland forces in Bula Hawa near Mandera County.
The fighting by forces traditionally united against Al-Shabaab militants saw Kenya and Somalia accuse each other of territorial integrity violations.
But pressure from the US, and a subtle mediation by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed saw the two leaders speak on phone on Thursday, and announce that committees would be formed to discuss border security.
A source said that following the request by the US, which has funded the SNA, the Prime Minister called Farmaajo and asked him to speak directly with President Kenyatta.
A direct call, it was presumed, would help deescalate the tensions which observers had warned could benefit the militants.