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Somalia - Somaliland leaders to meet in Djibouti as diplomats urge renewal of talks
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Somalia - Somaliland leaders to meet in Djibouti as diplomats urge renewal of talks

9

By Yunis Dekow

President Muse Bihi Abdi has left Hargeisa for Djibouti for an official working visit on Wednesday.

President Muse will join other Somali leaders attending the ongoing Heritage Institute’s annual general meeting.

According to the Presidency, the head of state will hold talks with his Djiboutian counterpart during his visit.

The trip comes days after he nodded to accepting talks with President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud but placed conditions for the talks to start.

Somaliland said the talks should find a two state solution and there must be an international mediation mechanism that could take the responsibility of the implementation for the agreements reached by the two sides.

In a statement, Somaliland Presidency has made it a condition for Somalia to respect the previous agreements and should deliver them in order to gain confidence on both sides.

Also, Somaliland seeks clear agendas that are central to the conflict between the two sides to be among the talks.

The separate consecutive statements from the head of states could interpret that there are possibilities for the two countries to come to the negotiation table together again in the following months.

Talks between Somali and the breakaway Somaliland region were in 2020 hailed as historic, as kick-starting a political dialogue between the two to resolve their longstanding differences.

Not much progress has been recorded since the talks between Mogadishu and Hargeisa began.

According to Villa Somalia, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud extended gratitude to the Turkey and Norway governments for their efforts to revive talks between Somaliland and Somalia.

Underlining his national plan “Somalia at peace with itself and the World,” that includes addressing the decades-long Somaliland issue.

The decade-long Somaliland and Somalia talks have been ongoing since 2012 and a series of high-level talks between the two countries have been held in Ankara, London, and Djibouti with various state and international bodies as mediators and observers.

However, earlier this year, the Somaliland government officially suspended talks with Somalia.

Somalia “does not recognize Somaliland’s breakaway status, and therefore maintains it is still part of Somalia’s territorial integrity, and that the Federal Government bases in Mogadishu therefore has authority over Somaliland as well,” he added.

Both Somalia and Somaliland have this year marked the 62nd  anniversary of the liberation of the whole of Somalia from colonizers.

A former British protectorate, Somaliland got its independence in 1960 but days later joined Somalia.

In 1991, it declared independence from the rest of the country following war with the government in Mogadishu.

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By By Yunis Dekow
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Mr. Dekow is Broadcast and Digital editorial director at Dalsan Media English Service. He is also a writer, public information, media management and Strategic Communication expert.