By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The International Community is fully aware of the Distinct Difference Between the two neigbouring countries of Somalia and Somaliland.
This was informed by the Somaliland minister of foreign affairs Mohamed Behi Yonis during a press briefing at the Egal International VIP lounge upon return from a lengthily working visit in the UAE, UK and Ethiopia where he held high level discussions with various authorities as well as with senior officials of Genel Energy the Anglo Turkish Company with oil concessions in the country it withdrew its expatriate staff from recently.
Queried by Somalilandsun on the allegations by some media reports that Somaliland was represented at the European Union organized New Deal conference on Somalia held in Brussels on 16th September 2013 though the minister had released a succinctly official statement on the country’s reasons for abstaining the foreign chief had this to say:
Quote “We were not represented in Brussels Conference and such allegations are baseless and laughable in view of the fact that the EU and other international partners were and are well versed on our distinct difference with and apartness from Somalia”
“On the eve and after the Brussels conference I was personally in touch with the EU Envoy in Nairobi Ambassador Mikala and a number of ministers of the European body to whom I made our case very clear as pertains to the non conference participation and reasons behind it thus our concurrence on arrangements for Somaliland to partake in the new deal as a Sovereign entity thus the issue of somebody covertly representing my ministry in Brussels is false”
“In a nutshell the international community which is currently fully aware that Somaliland is distinct and apartness from Somalia is aware that the only authority representing somalilanders is the government in Hargeisa and none else”- Unquote
Reminiscing On the overtly discernible attributes that distinguish the two formerly united and neigbouring countries the foreign minister said that the Mogadishu government and its entire jurisdictional territory in Somalia is in the stage that the government in Hargeisa and Somaliland nation was 17 years ago.
” Somalia is engaged in activities like demobilization of militias, preparation for elections , creating state and governance structures, Reconciling warring clans and generally the amalgamation of a hitherto fragmented nation as a result of over 25 years of war, a phase undertaken by Somaliland over 17 years ago” said minister Behi
While informing that Somalia was decades behind the now in a development Somaliland the foreign minister who commended the minister of planning Dr Saad Ali shire and the EU for understanding the country’s position vis ‘a’ vis Brussels conference non participation even after official invitation extended personally to president Ahmed Mahmud Silanyo by a visiting high powered delegation from the EU, minister Behi said that subsequent discussions with ranking EU minister’s has ensued with an understanding of the country’s refusal to attend the conference on Somalia as well as agreement on ensuring that special arrangements for benefiting from the new deal are in place.
Said Behi, “From candid discussions with various EU ministers and more specifically Catherine Ashton the foreign policy chief the European body and all its staffers at all levels as well as the individual member countries are completely aware of Somaliland’s distinctness and apartness from Somalia not only in matters jurisdictional but development stages et al.
Somaliland a former British protectorate which entered into a voluntary union in 1960 with former Italian Somalia reclaimed its sovereignty in 1991 after the union to form greater Somalia turned sour as thousands of then northern perished in the hands of dictator Siad Barre’s forces thence the bloody civil war of the 1980’s and early 90’s waged by SNM ensuring with the break-up of the union.