“Our dialogue with Somalia is on a two countries basis”
“We are existing and flourishing as country on its own and we will wait as long as it takes until we get recognition from the international community”
“We remain vigilant against all destructive elements thus our continued fight not only against Al-shabaab but Pirates and any other group we deem to be an impingement to our security”
“We are very supportive of the world’s efforts to help Somalia-President Silanyo
By: Yusuf M Hasan
LONDON (Somalilandsun) – In the Horn of Africa the world is often working with what has been described as the failed state of Somalia where the government in Mogadishu survives only thanks to the western backed African Union force which is fighting back Al-Qaeda linked Islamists Insurgent group of Al-shabaab.
Next door the Republic of Somaliland is peaceful by comparison but no country has given it diplomatic recognition .Somaliland and Somalia have been holding talks brokered by Turkey which is trying to extend its influence in the area by helping diplomatic and giving aid.
At the same time Somaliland which is concerned by the incursions of Al-shabaab insurgents into its territory it is not worried about the International community’s increased engagement with neighbouring Somalia.
This is according to President Ahmed Mahmud Silanyo during an interview with BBC’s international development correspondent Mark Doyle which took place during the recent visit to the UK by the Somaliland president.
Verbatim excerpts of the interview
Can you tell us about the talks?
“We met together with the leaders of Somalia in Turkey and we reached an agreement to continue the talks in which we were basically holding as two separate countries thus enhance cooperation in many areas”
You say of course that you are talking as two separate countries but the position of the Somalia government in Mogadishu is that they want unity and they don’t want there to be a break-away Somaliland?
“Well that is there position but the position of Somaliland is that it has been always a separate country and its people fought very hard for a long time to regain this independence”
You are talking about a very long time?
“Yes that was long time ago and that is the kind of activity that brought about the independence of Somaliland and that is how long the people have been fighting to regain their sovereignty and that’s what they did and that’s what they are going to maintain”
So in other words you are as far apart as ever with Mogadishu, you want independence and they want unity of the whole country?
So is there any sense you think that independence is really going to be accepted by the outside world because you are not recognized by anybody, are you?
“True we have not been recognized by any government but we have dealings and cooperation with the international community “. “On top of that we are existing and flourishing as country on its own and we will wait as long as it takes until we get recognition from the international community”
Is that recognition likely given that sometimes back you used to get sympathy from Britain, America and so on because your country was peaceful compared to the complete mess that is Somalia but now they seem to be engaged more deeply with Somalia than you now, supporting AMISOM and the government in Mogadishu elected by parliament?
“We do not mind the international community dealing with Somalia; we are always supportive of the international community’s interventions in Somalia for peace and stability to come back to the area”
Now of the reasons the international community is deeply engaged in Somalia is because they are fighting the Al-Qaida linked insurgent group of al-Shabaab which are reported to be moving towards the border between Somalia and Somaliland, Are you concerned about Al-Shabaab?
“We are always concerned about al-shabaab and we have been fighting them as well as pirates and any other groups or people that might endanger the stability of our country and the Horn region as well” “and as a matter of fact we have many of them in our prison and we also give full cooperation to the international community involved”
Thank you President of Somaliland Ahmed Mahmud Silanyo
You are welcome Mark Doyle and it was a pleasure talking to BBC.
Although we were unable to load the edited version of the interview those interested can listen via the link below . once opened kindly forward to the appropriate section. Sorry for the inconvenience-Editor