As negotiators agreed the two sides to Meet as Equal Partners
By: Yusuf M Hasan
Somalilandsun- Covert negotiations between the government of Somaliland and Khatumo Secessionists have ensued with an agreement for broad based talks
A government delegation currently in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa is reported to have secretly meet with a team of Khatumo secessionists led by its designate president Prof Ali Khalif Galayd at the Raddisom Blu Hotel.
An official government team that is led by president Ahmed Mahmud Silanyo is the Neighbouring country’s capital for official business included chairman of the ruling party Kulmiye cum presidential candidate Muse Behi Abdi, the Minister of foreign affairs Dr. Sa’ad Ali Shire, Presidency Minister Mohamed Hashi Abdi among others.
The Secessionist team that departed their stronghold of Buhodle district in the eastern Sool region of Somaliland and led by Prof Galayd flanked by his right hand and purse string holder Dr Ali Issa Abdi of HESPI includes a team of his underlings and a group of traditional leaders among them Garaad Sofe.
While details of the meetings outcome are sketchy sources indicate that meet in which the somaliland first family did not participate in, agreed to hold broad based reconciliatory face to face talks in a venue within Somaliland.
Most important Somalilandtoday reports that the government negotiating team conceded to a demand by the secessionists that protocols implemented for the meet shall be on an equal footing that is “Talks between the Governments of Somaliland and Khatumo state”.
The government to government talks shall replace the postponed reconciliation conference between the Hargeisa authorities and Dulbahante clan traditional leaders from the broader Sool region that includes Las ANOD, Buhodle and Taleh districts.
Leading the government negotiators included ruling Kulmiye party leader Muse Behi Abdi, presidency minister Mahmud Abdi Hashi and his interior and information colleagues Yasin Mahmud Hiir Faraton and Osman Sahardiid respectively.
While news of reconciliation talks with the secessionists who aspire to a Khatumo state presumably to be curved off areas of Sool and Eastern Sanaag regions is welcome news for all I. Lieu of having been the Achilles tendon to the Somaliland quest for international recognition, is welcome, the agreed government to government parley raises eyebrows.
This development is contrary to the initial face to face talks held by the two former warring sides in the Somaliland eastern town of Ainabo that guidelines agreed devoid of the now discernible conditions demanded by the secessionists sits and conceded by the government.
In the meantime the presence of Prof Galayd in Addis Ababa is a quandary unexplained having been deported and termed persona non grata by the Federal government of Ethiopia in October 2013.