The President of the Republic of Somaliland, H.E Musa Bihi Abdi, Thursday, called the international community, international agencies to justly mediate Somaliland, Somalia differences since talks between them on their own did not bear any tangible results.
President addressing the nation
Briefing a welcoming multitude of government officials, opposition political parties and an amalgam of academicians, business people, youth and women, representing the public, at the Presidential Palace upon his return from Djibouti, Thursday, the President emphasized the indispensable role of the international community in helping settle the 60-year old differences between the two government which merged in 1960 to form a joint government which never truly materialized.
“We are telling the world that Somaliland and Somalia have been two separate countries who voluntarily merged in 1960. That union disintegrated in 1991. But, then, bestowed diplomatic recognition, multi-lateral agreements, investment opportunities and the bulk of the aid flow on one part alone – Somalia to the detriment of the other. That is unacceptable,” President Bihi said.
He added that there was no way the Republic of Somaliland would bow before an ex-partner who unfairly uses the advantages unjustly given it to conveniently project itself as the rightful decider of Somaliland – which it is not and never was.
“Unless Somalia accepts Somaliland as the equal partner it was at 1960; unless it agrees to what rightly belongs to both of us and not it alone, I don’t see any tangible results coming out of talks based on lopsided identities,” he said.
President Bihi recalled that Somaliland rights had been outvoted and abysmally ignored since day one and that Somalilanders had been struggling to be heard out for thirty years prior to 1991 suffering persecution, targeted annihilation, pillage, mass incarcerations and military rampage. Likewise, they have re-started that struggle on a different trajectory by rebuilding their country from rubble and ashes by building peace from the grassroots, resolving state-generated ethnic conflicts, forming an internationally, modern state with its own currency, flag, emblem, executive, legislative and judiciary branches and the rest since 1991.
“The Somalia government is responsible for areas it governs such as Mogadishu if, indeed, it does govern. Somaliland is an internationally commended government on its own,” he stated, adding, “We expect the world to face the realities and deal with Somaliland as it deserves to be dealt with: the Republic of Somaliland”.
Following this last meeting of Sunday, technical committees were appointed to take discussion points from there. Following three harrowing days of touch-and-go shouting matches, the two sides only came to an accord which was frenetically engineered by the host country.
- How to continue holding future meetings in a conducive and meaningful way.
- How to restore mutual trust between the two sides (Confidence building)
- Implementation of past agreements: To implement the provisions agreed upon the previous conferences that were not honored, such as International Financial Assistance and Humanitarian Assistance, a committee has been formed to address the matter and will convene within the next fifteen (15) days in Djibouti.
- The two sides have formed a second committee to discuss air control, which will convene in Djibouti within fifteen days.
- The two sides have formed a third committee to discuss security, which will also convene in Djibouti within fifteen days.
The agreement was solely based on continuing to talk. Somalia baulked at owning up to its past violations of agreements reached on areas such as the non-politicization of development, aid and investment programmes, the co-management of shared air-space and the cessation hurtful propaganda against each other. Somalia neither honoured these nor a greater number of other points signed for implementation.
Professor Yassin Mohamoud Hiir ‘Faratoon’ who led the Somaliland side at the talks diplomatically marked the accord as another starting point hoping that the sub-committees to be appointed to further discuss afore-reached, but not implemented areas, would be more successful.
Wishing that his country be not confused with an opposing Somalia side, the folder containing the Somaliland copy of the mini-accord was differently coloured from the over-used, blue Somalia jacket of the other side.
His Excellency the President of Djibouti, Ismail Omar Guelleh, made the Somaliland presidential delegation a state farewell at his palace before it embarked for its home leg earlier today.
The capital of the Republic of Somaliland showed in its usual festive best that – thus far – they were not averse to how the President and his entourage conducted themselves at the Djibouti Consultation Summit.