02:08 GMT12 August 2020
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    Kenyan Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau stated on Saturday, as cited by the AP news agency, that Lt. General (Rtd) Lucas Tumbo, the country's ambassador to Somalia, has been recalled due to the alleged land seizure.

    Explaining the move, the Kenyan top official said that the recall was a result "of a most regretful and egregious decision by the government of Somalia to auction off oil and gas blocks in Kenya's maritime territorial area that borders Somalia". He described the alleged land grab as an act of aggression against the people of Kenya and their resources.

    "This outrageous and provocative auction deserves and will be met with a unanimous and resounding rejection by all Kenyans as well as all people of goodwill who believe in the maintenance of international law and order and the peaceful and legal resolution of disputes", the diplomat stated.

    The foreign affairs principal secretary noted that at that time, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) was negotiating a peaceful resolution of the maritime boundary dispute.

    "It is, therefore, most regretful that the Government of Kenya has now arrived at the conclusion that its protest and demands that Kenya sovereignty and territorial integrity be respected, have been ignored".

    He further addressed the Kenyan support to Somalia in tacking local extremist insurgency, saying that the Somali government was taking for granted the help of the Kenyan government.

    The statements were made following an announcement made two days ago by the Somali government that they would award exploration licenses to foreign oil companies, ignoring calls from the opposition to wait until laws and regulations governing the oil sector were active.

    Land Grab, ambassador, Kenya, Somalia
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