Nov 27, 2018

Somaliland: Conditions Set for Talks to Resume with Mogadishu

According to the Ambassador of Somaliland, if talks are unnecessary then it is needless to resume them. The President of Somaliland stated that unless Somalia recognises Somaliland, then it is difficult to continue talks as they would not connote equality between the two states. The talks that have recently become stalled started in 2012 in London, where all parties reached a consensus that the matter of Somaliland’s withdrawal from Somalia should only be resolved via a constructive political dialogue. Whilst the talks started between what would be two equals, it has recently become reality that Somalia does not see Somaliland as a legitimate equal at the negotiation table.

This article was published by MENAFN:

Continued Talks with somalia are unnecessary thence needless to resume them. This was stated by Ambassador Bashe Awil in apparent support to similar sentiments by Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi who had on the same day informed that resumption of the talks with Somalia a looked bleak.

The sentiments by Amb Bashe were elicited on Friday 23rd November during a BBC somalia service debate in which his co-panelists were somalia Member of Parliament Abdifatah Ismail Dahir and executive director of the Somalia research Institute Abdirashid Khalil Hasan. In a public address in Burao the administrative capital of Toghdeer which is part of his ongoing eastern regions tour President Muse Bihi said  'We shall not resume talks with Somalia until the federal government authorities in Mogadishu acknowledge the sovereignty of Somaliland'

President Muse Bihi Says Somalia must first recognize Somaliland before talks resumption.

This statement by President Bihi elicited a lot of discussions both within Somaliland and Somalia as well as various other international capitals. 

The now stalled talks between these two countries were initiated following the 2012 London conference on Somalia in which it was agreed that the issue revolving the Somaliland withdrawal from union with Somalia was solely a local matter to be resolved through talks. Since then the international sanctioned talks have materialized seven times beginning from the first one at London's Chevening House, followed by high profile Presidents Silanyo and Hasan sheik in Dubai. 

After the Dubai Meet, the government of Turkey took over mediation thus negotiators meeting for the subsequent five phases of talks in either Istanbul or Ankara.


In justification of support of President Bihi's revelation of the conditional resumption of the stalled talks with Somalia, Amb Bashe Awil said, 'somaliland is an independent country thence in equal footing with its neighbour Somalia' thus negating Insinuations that only the federal government authorities in Mogadishu can pronounce Somaliland a sovereign nation thence international recognition. 

On the ill-fated talks, the envoy said that during the entire several phases of negotiations be it in the UK, UAE or UAE, the Somalia Federal Government has refused to implement agreements. Though negotiations were Initially to have been geared towards either reunion between Somaliland and Somalia or complete withdrawal, the agenda seemed to have gone wayward. 

This out of agenda negotiations came as a result of divergence on the sovereignty status of Somaliland is 'a' Vis claimed jurisdiction by the SFG. 
According to the SFG talks were centred on establishing mechanism for Somaliland to reunite with Somalia thence the return of the ill-fated Somalia republic which collapsed in 1991 when the former British Protectorate withdrew from its voluntary later turned fateful union with the neighbouring former Italian colony. For Somaliland the internationally sanction talks with Somalia had nothing to do with sovereignty whose discussions is Taboo for it is neither negotiable nor reversible. 

Apart from the two worlds agenda m Somaliland feels justified in resumption of the talks because of failure by Somalia to implement any of the many agreements reached during the six phases of face to face negotiations. 
Among the agreements Somalia has failed to implement has been, joint airspace management, non-interference in each other's internal affairs, among many others one of which has never been implemented courtesy of the SFG in Mogadishu. A good example is The Istanbul II Communiqué below verbatim. 

For Somaliland this is the first time for an Overt declaration of conditional talks resumption with Somalia having in the past informed of wishes to have international observers as well as a change of venue from Turkey.


Photo courtesy of Wikipedia