By: Yusuf M Hasan
Somalilandsun – Leaders of the Somali government and Somaliland administration have agreed to continue their talks next month in Turkey, during a just concluded meeting in Djibouti.
Among other issues discussed and agreed upon during the first face to face ever at the in0camera meeting held in Djibouti between SFG President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud and Somaliland President Ahmed Mahmud Silanyo and under the mediation of Djiboutian President Ismail Omar Guele who was host include and not limited peace and security of the region, how to tackle the threat of piracy and terrorism, aviation and air control, toxic waste dumping and illegal fishing.
The two sides agreed to continue their talks and sign an agreement on these issues when they meet in Ankara on January 15-16, informed the Somaliland foreign minister during a press briefing at the Egal Airport VIP lounge upon return of the president Silanyo delegation from Djibouti.
The dialogue between the two presidents with occasional presence of Djibouti’s Guele were very “amicable,” during the 2 days closed door parley that ensued on Saturday with a sumptuous lunch at the Kempinski hotel and ending and Sunday.
The talks are the second of such wide-ranging negotiations after the two leaders met last year in Ankara, where a dialogue process kicked off saw Guele urge peaceful consensus adding that Dialogue was the only means through which any misunderstanding between the two sides would be resolved.
The delegation of Somaliland comprised 20 members while that of the Somali government included seven members, among them the president and prime minister, sources indicate.
Relations between the two soured when Somaliland, that enjoyed relative peace all through Somalia’s civil war period, declared its re-independence through referendum, but the central government has never recognized the move but instead continues to cling to hopes that Somaliland shall renounce withdrawal from the 1960 union that Somaliland and Somalia emerged as one country in 1961 dubbed the Republic of Somalia after achieving independence from Britain and Italy respectively.
But Somaliland broke away from the rest of the country in 1991 following the ouster of President Siad Barre and the outbreak of civil war.
Somalia, however, has consistently refused to recognize Somaliland’s independence.
Until now, Somaliland has enjoyed relative peace – compared to Somalia, which has remained in the grip of violence since 1991.
The talks are the second of such wide-ranging negotiations after the two leaders met last year in Ankara, where a dialogue process of internationally sanctioned talks kicked off and continues despite hiccups accessed by the SFG in Mogadishu.
Upon his return home President Silanyo who was seen off from Djibouti by that country’s prime minister Abdoulkader Kamil Mohamed accompanied by all official pomp and glory saw the president receive a kingly reception at Egal Airport by hundreds of Somalilanders led by the Vice president Abdirahman Sayli and Kulmiye party chief Muse Behi Abdi among many others.
A Somali language statement released by the Somaliland authorities reveals that six points make up the agreement reached in Djibouti chief being Talks Resumption and commitment to fulfilling any decisions reached in future but more importantly beginning with the past numerous that remained to be implemented as a result of a lackluster SFG in Mogadishu.