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MP Farah Maalim sparks diplomatic tiff, attacks Ethiopian PM on X

By Winnie Mabel February 19th, 2024 2 min read

In a move that could brew diplomatic trouble for Kenya, controversial Member of Parliament, Farah Maalim (Dadaab) who is also a former deputy speaker of Parliament, attacked Ethiopia Prime Abiy via his social media account on X (formerly Twitter).

“HE HSM (Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud) refused to be bullied by Abiy Ahmed. HSM now needs to mobilise his country to counter Abiy,” wrote Mr Maalim over the weekend.

The lawmaker further made some sensitive remarks about Ethiopia on the same platform.

His sentiments came after President Mohamud accused Ethiopia of trying to annex part of its country’s territory by signing a sea access deal with a breakaway region of Somaliland.

This deal, signed by PM Abiy and Somaliland leader Muse Bihi Abdi, would see Ethiopia lease a naval base with access to Somaliland’s Bernera Port for 50 years for commercial marine operations.

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Following Mr Maalim’s sentiments, a section of Kenyans expressed shock at his position that would place Kenya in precarious waters with both Horn of Africa nations.

“When a Kenyan member of parliament makes threats towards an Ethiopian, isn’t that imply(ing) that Kenya as a whole is threatening Ethiopia?” asked Mariam Robly.

“You used to call him “Simon de Bolivar of Africa” and now you switched cards…Isn’t that a blatant hypocrisy? Insulting the same man you praised before…” opined Abdirehman Arab.

“We all know you’re expansionist and traitor to Kenya. All Kenyans know that you’re not honest about your country,” added Mo Sland.

“A parliament member must present himself in a diplomatic manner to the public. But, Farah seems to have missed that memo. How can you justify your hostile & misleading tweet? Don’t you agree you are harming the image, peace & harmony of & the HOA region? #KenyaDiplomacy101,” said Lakew.

“Mr.Farah as an elder statesman in a region strife with division it’s beneath you to play divisive petty politics,” opined Amir Crenshaw.

Ethiopia is a close ally of Kenya with the two countries involved in consistent bilateral relations.

Addis Ababa recently granted Kenyan-owned Safaricom a licence to operate as a telecommunications firm. Ethiopia has also indicated it will use the port of Lamu for imports and exports.

Kenya meanwhile, regularly buys electricity from Ethiopia.