Somalia lodges protest after Kenya calls Somaliland a country

A war memorial displaying a MiG fighter jet in the centre of Hargeisa. Somaliland has its own government based in the self-appointed capital of Hargeisa, its own army and prints its own currency. (Reuters)
Updated 01 July 2019

Somalia lodges protest after Kenya calls Somaliland a country

  • Somaliland declared its independence in 1991 but is not recognized by the international community
  • Somalia has previously accused Kenya of auctioning oil and gas fields in a disputed maritime area

MOGADISHU: Somalia protested formally to Kenya, the foreign ministry in Mogadishu said Monday, after Nairobi referred to the self-proclaimed Republic of Somaliland as a country.
Somaliland declared its independence in 1991 but is not recognized by the international community, which considers it an autonomous region of Somalia.
Kenya invoked the ire of its war-torn neighbor last week after referring in a tweet to a meeting with Somaliland officials as covering “issues of mutual interest to both countries.”
Somalia’s foreign ministry said it summoned Kenya’s ambassador on Sunday and presented him a note of protest about the “offensive tweet.”
“We consider this tweet an affront to Somalia’s sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity as well as harmful to the relationship between Somalia and Kenya,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.
“Somalia stands for good-neighborliness, mutual respect and close cooperation with its neighbors, and expects the same from Kenya.”
Formerly a British protectorate, Somaliland merged with former Italian Somaliland in 1960 to create Somalia.
But it seceded and declared itself independent in 1991 as Somalia plunged into chaos after the fall of autocrat Siad Barre.
Somaliland has been pushing for independence ever since.
It has its own government based in the self-appointed capital of Hargeisa, its own army and prints its own currency.
It is also considered much more stable than the rest of Somalia, which is plagued by clan disputes, corruption and a violent insurgency waged by the Al-Shabab militant group.
Ties between Kenya and Somalia have cooled considerably in recent times.
In February, Somalia accused Kenya of auctioning oil and gas fields in a disputed maritime area.
The feuding neighbors have taken that spat to The Hague, where the UN’s highest court is expected in September to start hearing both sides in the border disagreement.
More recently, Kenya decided to suspend direct flights from Mogadishu to Kenya, requiring passengers to stop first in Wajir, a Kenyan town near the Somali border, for security screening.


Fire in Indian hospital kills 5 coronavirus patients

Updated 25 min 34 sec ago

Fire in Indian hospital kills 5 coronavirus patients

  • Uday Shivanand Hospital's intensive care unit was treating 33 coronavirus patient when it was hit by fire
  • In August, a fire killed eight coronavirus patients in a hospital in Ahmedabad, also in Gujarat

NEW DELHI: A fire broke out early Friday in a privately-run hospital treating coronavirus patients in western India, killing at least five of them and injuring 28 others.
Police officer K.N. Bhukan said fire engines restricted the blaze to one floor of the hospital and extinguished it within 30 minutes.
The cause of the fire is being investigated.
The Press Trust of India news agency said the fire started in the intensive care unit of Uday Shivanand Hospital that was treating 33 coronavirus patients.
Some of the patients with fire burns were evacuated to another hospital in Rajkot, a city in western Gujarat state, nearly 1,100 kilometers ( 685 miles) southwest of New Delhi.
In August, a fire killed eight coronavirus patients in a hospital in Ahmedabad, another key city in Gujarat state.
Poor maintenance and lack of proper firefighting equipment often causes deaths in India.