Says Somaliland President Ahmed Mahmud Silanyo as he lays talks collapse blame on the SFG in Mogadishu
By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The failure to resume talks with neighbouring Somalia is solely the responsibility of the Somalia federal government-SFG and not that of Somaliland.
This was stated by Somaliland President Ahmed Mahmud Silanyo during his annual state of the Nation address at a joint session of parliament composed of the Guurti and House of representatives in parliament buildings in Hargeisa.
During his annual address to the nation president Silanyo who delivered his speech in Somalia language touched on various issues pertaining to his administration’s five years in office among them security, development, international relations, democratization process, talks with Somalia and the Berbera port as well as other issues like ongoing events in Yemen.
“Watch this site for the verbatim speech now under translation”
On the international sanctioned talks with Somalia president Silanyo said
Quote “Talks between Somaliland and Somalia have been going on for almost three years with Somaliland negotiators composed of members from political parties, Government undertaking the audios task with full authority from the citizenry”.
“While many issues were discussed and agreements reached the most important to come out of the talks has been
1. That the two countries must respect each other’s position
2. That no constraints should be placed on any of the two countries accessing humanitarian and development funds availed by the International community or investment from any foreign entities.
3. The establishment of a Joint Airspace Control Body to be headquartered in Hargeisa to lead the air traffic control of both sides. It was also agreed that this body will propose a mechanism for equitable revenue-sharing.
“Unfortunately none of the above or any other agreed during the talks has been implemented due to refusal by Somalia authorities to adhere to the agreements”
“I hereby urged the Somalia federal government authorities to finally come to grasp with the fact the Somalia Republic which was established in 1960 and composed of British Somaliland and Italian Somalia ceased to exist on 18th May 1991 after Somaliland withdrew its membership and reclaimed its sovereignty”
“on the international sanctioned talks hosted by the government of Turkey it should be understood that Somaliland is ever ready to resume and continue dialogue but owing to the never implementation of agreements by the SFG my government is intent on future participation only in the presence of international observers pooled from friendly governments and institutions”
“To this effect I appeal to the international community to designate observer representatives to any future talks between Somaliland and Somalia” Unquote
The latest phase of talks collapsed in Turkey failed to kick off after the SFG included paid renegade somalilanders in its team of negotiators, thus prompting Somaliland to dispute and withdraw.
Speaking about the stalled talks the Somaliland minister of foreign affairs Mohamed Behi Younis said the apart from the never ending non adherence to agreements by the SFG the inclusion of renegade Somaliland citizens on the pay of Mogadishu was now the main bone of contention thence calling for international observation in any future talks.
On the other hand the SFG has termed the Somaliland call for international observers as unworthy since dialogue in Turkey is related to issues pertaining to a Federal government-Somalia and one of its many regional states-Somaliland.
Earlier on the Somalia interior Minister, Abdirahman Mohamed Hussein Odawa said his government is determined to continue talks and are ready to negotiate with Somaliland.
However, the minister reiterated Somali government call that there is no need of the international Community to mediate pointing the capability of Somalis solving their problem.
“We are always ready to talk, but what is the need of others ,” he asked
The interior minister was echoing his Foreign Minister compatriot, Khalid Omar Cali during his official respond to Somaliland’s call that they will not negotiate with Somali Federal government without the presence of the international community terming the call ‘bad luck’.
Reminding Somaliland that they were the same country thence no need for international community observers Khalid said
“There is no need of the international community since the talks is between Somalis not two countries “, while insisting that his government is ready to continue to negotiate with Somaliland on those conditions .
Though the inclusion of foreigners in the talks seem to have taken the centre stage the negotiators in all the talks phases have been grappling with the Somaliland stance that its sovereignty was never to be part of the agenda with Somalia insisting that reunion was the main and only essence of the talks .
After all is said and done the zigzag nature of the Somalia Federal Government are exemplified by its refusal to adhere to resolutions reached in Djibouti where President Silanyo met face to face with Hasan of Somalia under mediation by hosting president Ismail Omar Guele.