Somaliland: Resuscitating Stalled Talks with Somalia

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By: Yusuf M Hasan

Somalilandsun – A team of Somaliland negotiators are in Turkey to revive stalled talks with Somalia.

The five negotiators are holding negotiations with a similar number of counterparts from Somalia geared towards restarting talks between the two countries that were scuttled almost a year ago.

The internationally sanctioned talks that had the objective of settling political differences between the two formerly united countries have been stuttering since 2012 and after various phases finally came to a standstill following the withdrawal of Somaliland on issues related to the inclusion of its citizens in the team of Somalia negotiators.

Contrary to earlier meetings in the Turkish cities of Istanbul or Ankara the both the Somaliland and Somalia teams left their respective countries silently, that is devoid of normal pomp and glory.

signing of an agreement in Ankara witnessed by the Presidents of Somalia and Somali as well as Turkey senior officialsSomaliland is represented by a five member team led by Foreign minister Dr Saad Ali Shire and including presidency minister Mahmud Abdi Hashi, Foreign minister advisor Dr Hussein Abdilahi Bulhan, Mahmud Abdi Hamud ‘Mahmud Nine’ and London based Citizen Hasan Kalif

The Somalia team dispatched by Mogadishu is led by interior minister Abdirahman Hussein Adowaa and includes Somalia ambassador to Turkey Abdilahi Mohamed Ali ‘Sanbalosh’, Presidential advisor Mohamed Ali ‘Doodisho’, Journalist Yusuf Garad and Hussein Elmi

According to Hargeisa based Geeska Afrika newspaper the two negotiating teams are meeting in Istanbul where the agenda revolves around the diverse history of the two countries of which Somaliland is a former British protectorate and Somalia Italian.

Ensconced by current PM of Turkey the Presidents of Somalia and Somaliland emerge from a meeting in AnkaraIt is not clear what the essence of the new rapprochement is, considering that Somalia has always refused to implement any agreements not to mention that the authorities in Mogadishu are adamant to the fact that Somaliland is a region of Somalia thence not a sovereign country, which is a very touchy issue in Somaliland where sovereignty is a do or die matter.

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