Colonial deal and oil factor in Kenya-Somalia border row

Reading Time: < 1 minutes

It looks like the Kenya and Somalia border issue is throwing us back to an issue historians tend to think was settled in 1920. Right? Yes.

Kenyans have been treated to much more border drama on the Somalia side than on any of its other neighbours.

There was even the post-independent secession bid in which Somalia wanted to get Kenya’s North Frontier District. The end result was the bitter shifta war. But let me unpack this issue.


For starters, the straight lines in the Somalia border with Kenya were for a long time referred to as Milner-Scialoja lines because they resulted from a deal reached between British Lord Alfred Milner, by then the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and Italian Foreign Minister Vittorio Scialoja.

These two diplomats sat in boardrooms in Europe and determined what their African territories would look like in the post-war period.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *