Somaliland Not Ready for Dialogue & Cooperation with Somalia – Foreign Minister
Addis Ababa, February 7, 2011 (Ezega.com) – Somaliland Foreign Minister, H.E. Mohamed A. Omer, told Ezega.com in an exclusive statement that Somaliland was interested in seeing peace and stability in Somalia but was not ready for dialogue and cooperation with the Transitional Federal Government in Mogadishu.
This statement was issued as a direct response to a recent Ezega.com article about the current situation in Somalia [“Leaders See Need for Cooperation between Somalia & Somaliland”, 31-01-2011].
In that recent article the UN Special Representative for Somalia and the Foreign Minister of Somalia both expressed a concrete interest in dialogue and practical cooperation with Somaliland.
Protecting Somaliland´s Independence
Somaliland declared independence in 1991 after the collapse of the Siad Barre regime in Somalia; a brutal dictatorship that had engaged in mass killings and the displacement of Somaliland´s population. Since that time Somaliland has not only remained internationally unrecognized, but also uninterested in reunification with Somalia.
Furthermore, there have been longstanding tensions and mistrust between the governments of Somaliland and Somalia. Somaliland leaders have often expressed their mistrust of the TFG in Mogadishu, and any perceived attempt at reunification.
From that perspective, Foreign Minister Omer told Ezega.com that: “We would like to sit down with Somalia when there is a legitimate, accountable and responsible government to talk about how we plan to live side by side as two independent states that cooperate on a range of areas of mutual interest. Until such time, there are no plans for talks, but we encourage them to make peace”.
Support for Peace and Transition
Foreign Minister Omer assured Ezega.com that his government supports both international and domestic efforts to end the conflict in Somalia. He further expressed his appreciation of how the ongoing crisis in Somalia also has a harmful spillover effect on Somaliland; regardless of Somaliland´s history of relative peace and stability.
He further expressed his government´s position that “The instability in Somalia has claimed the lives of many innocent people and brought misery and poverty to millions…Therefore Somaliland would like to see this long-standing conflict resolved peacefully.”