By: Yumoha Pasha
NAIROBI (Somalilandsun) – – Kenya is set to send its resident envoy to Hargeisa in December.
The government of Kenya will establish a diplomatic office in the country after a ministry of foreign affairs mission from that country visits Hargeisa in December this year.
This was revealed by the foreign minister Dr Mohamed Abdilahi Omar who in company of interior minister Hon Duur Arale is in Nairobi representing the government in an international conference on security in the horn region.
Aside from the conference the two ministers have met and held talks with several foreign envoys based in the Kenyan capital notably from the EU, USA, Sweden, UK, Denmark and Switzerland in addition to the Kenyan ministry of foreign affairs.
Once this mission is on, Kenya will join other nations and Organizations like Ethiopia, Denmark, Britain, and European Union etc that have established direct bi-lateral with Somaliland despite its yet to be recognized status as an independent and self governing nation.
These direct bi-lateral relations which are attended by direct diplomatic, commercial, security etc relations are as a result of the pragmatic foreign policy of the incumbent president Silanyo and spearheaded by Foreign minister Dr Mohamed Abdilahi Omar.
Within the short duration of two years that the indefatigable Mohamed A Omar has occupied the foreign ministry docket the country’s international relations have seen a dramatic change for the better.
One of the most tangible foreign relations achievements of Dr Mohamed A Omar has been the establishment of direct relations with the Egyptian government which used for a long time, to be a thorn in the flesh of the country’s self-rule and integration especially within the Arab league.
Following their about turn the Pharaohs did not only host a high level delegation from Somaliland but are actually rehabilitating their Hargeisa based Egyptian Cultural Centre which has remained in a deplorable condition for 21 years. The rehabilitation of sprawling infrastructure next to the presidency is almost finished thus a multitude of benefits to citizens from all walks of life mostly students.
The renewed cooperation with Egypt has facilitated top level interactions with a number of Arab countries that are now very visible in the country’s development sector of note being Kuwait which is contributing millions of dollars in diverse projects.
The stewardship of the country’s foreign policy Dr Mohamed A Omar has realized the physical presence of a number of fully fledged diplomatic missions like that of Denmark, Djibouti, Britain to mention a few thus easing bi-lateral communication that was formerly encumbered by need for these governments to pursue the Mogadishu route before Hargeisa.
Within the tenure of this very skilled diplomatic player the country has participated in important international conferences on the official invitation of host governments, an example is the London and Istanbul Conferences where Somaliland attended as a distinct nation with its flag flying high among others of participating nations. Has made it possible for the Egyptians to enter into talks with the Hargeisa government who were vehemently opposed to Somaliland
Similarly relations with Djibouti and Ethiopia have been strengthened thus establishment of sustainable commercial, security and diplomatic relations that continue to benefit citizens of the neighbouring countries.
Dr Mohamed has managed to secure the long sought observer status for the country at the regional Inter-Governmental Authority on Development-IGAD not to mention that he actually represented Somaliland at the last meeting of the regional body held in Addis Ababa recently.
As per the direct communication with the EU which is unarguably the largest donor to Somaliland at over 60 million Euros which was as part of the wider Somalia budget, the European body is now funding the country individual as can be ascertained by the recent direct injection of €50 millions ($64m) geared towards development of public service sectors like Education, Fisheries, Minerals, Water and Agriculture.
According to The EU’s Ambassador Cervone D’Urso this funding that shall be submitted directly to the government of Somaliland comes after proposals by the minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Abdilahi Omar and Planning minister Dr Saad Ali.
The EU has for the first time officially integrated the country into its EUCAP NESTOR program, which is geared towards strengthening the maritime capacities of Horn of African Countries.
According to Amb D’Urso, the EU will start providing training and equipment to the National Coast through the EUCAP NESTOR program which is the union’s newest Common Security and Defence Policy initiative in the Horn region focusing on Maritime Capacity Building.
Though coast guard capacity building is a major component of the Djibouti, headquartered EUCAP NESTOR another area to benefit is the judiciary where various cadres will receive training especially as pertains to prosecution and handling of piracy related cases.
Though it remains secret the foreign minster is directly responsible for having Saracen (executive outcomes) the South African private military outfit thrown out of Puntland after appealing directly to the UN’s Security Council following the arrest of a plane loaded with weapons by the national police at Hargeisa’s Egal international airport. This plane was ferrying the weapons to Puntland in flagrant violation of the UN arms embargo to Somalia.
While the few examples are mainly specific to the foreign ministry, the foreign relations achievements of Dr Mohamed Abdilahi Omar in his capacity as President Silanyo’s chief diplomat are numerous as can be perceived from international foras attended by the minister of interior and the minister of Energy, which have come courtesy of official invitation by hosts governments.
Despite the numerous scoops of the past two years the nation is set on a new approach in its foreign policy and quest for international recognition.
According to Dr Mohamed Abdilahi Omar Says he, “The current foreign policy is under review with a view to an intensified quest for international recognition through a systematic and regionalized quest that will lay emphasis on known and sympathetic friends of the country”
The proposed review that is as a result of a three days council of minister’s activities analysis self-analysis meeting chaired by the president H.E Ahmed Mahmud Silanyo at the presidency where One of the main points to emerge was the imperative need for an immediate review of current foreign policy thus a new approach to the quest for international sovereignty recognition.
During a briefing to parliament the country’s foreign policy chief informed that, the administration is reviewing the foreign policy with a view to establishing a systematic and regionalized quest targeting Africa Union, Arab League, IGAD, EU, Americas as a prelude to the United Nations.
To stop beating the bush and call a spade a spade the foreign policy of Somaliland has seen resurgence in the country’s interaction with not only foreign governments but international organizations and companies as well.
With the discernible shift towards a concerted and systematic quest for international recognition coupled with the stoicism of the citizens relentless ambitions for self-determination much is anticipated from the administration of the president H.E Ahmed Mahmud Silanyo under the skilful steering of his foreign policy chief Dr Mohamed Abdilahi Omar the foreign minister of Somaliland.