By Magdalene Mukami<br>
NAIROBI, Kenya (AA) – Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Somali counterpart Mohammed Abdullahin agreed Wednesday to amicably resolve a maritime territorial dispute, according to an official Ethiopian statement.
Tensions between the two countries rose after Kenya accused neighboring Somalia of auctioning oil, gas, and mineral blocks that fell within Kenyan borders in the Indian Ocean.
Ethiopia Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed mediated negotiations and issued a statement following the meeting saying: “Through the leadership of PM Abiy Ahmed, Presidents Uhuru Kenyatta and Mohammed Abdullahi met this morning to discuss extensively on the source of the two countries dispute.”
It added: “As an outcome, both agreed to work towards peace and to take measures in addressing particular issues that escalated the tensions.”
Kenya said the disputed 62,000-square-mile (100,000-square kilometer) oil and mineral-rich area in the Indian Ocean had been sold at auction Feb. 7 in
London and immediately recalled its ambassador and returned his Somali counterpart.
Abiy’s office said Kenya and Somalia agreed to strengthen bilateral relationships, including the shared commitment to fighting terrorism in the Horn of Africa and ensuring there is lasting peace in war-torn Somalia.