By: Latifa Yusuf Masai
NAIROBI (Somalilandsun) – The recent recognition of the Somalia government by Washington was just a formality.
This was termed by the Somaliland Ambassador to Kenya Dr Mahmud Abdilahi Jama ‘Sifir’ during an interview with Somaliland Sun in Nairobi where he said that the recognition does not in any way impinge on the sovereignty of Somaliland.
Dr Sifir who is not only an expert on diplomatic issues in the Horn of Africa region but a former one time member of the Transitional Federal Government-TFG in Mogadishu said that the US which may not be acquiesced with cultural issues in Somali speaking areas is very much informed on the politics of Somalia having been a major player in the country for decades.
Said he, “The US has been an active player in Somalia’s political scene for all time and more specifically from 2009 in Djibouti all the way to most recently in Uganda thus very well versed in all issues political as well as in regard to Somaliland.
The diplomat stressed on the insignificance of the Mogadishu recognition as he informed that the existence of Somalia and Somaliland is known to all including the US and the United nations which have engaged the two as separate entities despite non-recognition of the sovereignty of Somaliland.
Referring to his extensive experience which are no secret, in dealing with the international community, accrued during his tenure as TFG minister of foreign affairs Dr Sifir informed that the international engagement with the two countries of Somaliland and Somalia shall remain as before.
“Despite recognizing the government in Mogadishu I believe that Washington will maintain its dual track policy of engagement”
SO Dr Sifir WHAT IS Somalia?
According to Dr Sifir, Somalia is the country where 20,000 foreign troops are combating insurgents of the Islamist and Al-Qaeda aligned Al-Shabaab group which controls most regions where upon being dislodged by the foreigners no government has been established not to mention that reconciliation procedures are nowhere not to be seen or heard.
It is a country where confusion prevails on the merits and demerits of reconciliation as can be ascertained by personal experiences during my tenure with the TFG when in Nairobi a group that I belonged to fronted for conducting a nationwide reconciliation of clans that have been constant nemesis for ages. This strategy was defeated by opponents who were of the opinion that the Somali clans were living cohesively thus no need for reconciliation.
This was at the height of fratecidinal skirmishes in Somalia that could not even allow the TFG to operate in the country.
This is a good example in support of my assertions that nothing has changed after the recognition, things remain the same, and Puntland remains a self governing regional administration of Somalia while Somaliland remains a sovereign country that was for a short time united with south Somalia.
“To this effect the US and other governments worldwide are aware of the existence of Somaliland, and the long two decades process it has undergone to transform itself to what it is today, an independent though unrecognized sovereign state”
Adding that none can deny the existence of Somaliland Dr Mahmud Abdilahi Jama ‘Sifir’ pointed to the internationally sanctioned talks between the two countries as proof that the two are considered as two distinct entities.
The sentiments expressed by the diplomatic guru as well as others by Ambassador David Shinn , Ambassador Hussein Awil among others will go a long in helping soothe most Somalilanders uncertainty as per the way forward for their country.