Kenya plans to reopen its embassy in Somalia to strengthen the ties between the two nations as the transitional government strives to fight off insurgency in the war- torn nation.
Kenya's acting ambassador to Somalia Ken Vitisia said Nairobi would open an embassy in the restive Somali capital of Mogadishu and also urged other African nations to consider reviving diplomatic ties with Somalia and sending their troops to help restore peace.
According to Somalia news portal Shabelle News Network on Thursday, Visitia who is yet to present his papers to Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf said Kenya was committed to cooperating with Somalia in diverse areas like the country's construction, health, education and foreign affairs.
"We are aware that a lot of Kenyans are here as health workers and teachers. We want to open an embassy which can give visas," he said, noting that Somalis could travel to the rest of the world with Nairobi being as a transit point.
"Somalis in the Diasporas can travel through Kenya if they are going to Canada or Britain," Vitisia told journalists in a hotel in southern Mogadishu.
Kenya closed its embassy in Mogadishu in 1991 and would be the second nation after Ethiopia to reopen its mission since the Ethiopian-backed Somali transitional government drove the Islamic courts out of Mogadishu at the end of 2006.
"Because violence will only breed violence we don't believe that anybody can win now in Somalia through force," he said, encouraging parties to engage into peaceful dialogues to resolve the 16-year conflict in the Horn of Africa nation.
"We believe Somalia has had a conflict for too long. It can be a good tourist destination. The buildings can be renovated if peace prevails. This country is beautiful," Vitisia said.
"I do not expect my embassy to be barricaded. It will be open to all. We have a lot of commercial contacts between Somalia and Kenya," Vitisia said.