Within hours of Somalia’s severing of all diplomatic ties with Guinea, Somaliland – who are at the center of the rift between Mogadishu and Conakry responded by appealing for international recognition.
Somalia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry on Thursday (July 04) issued a statement which read in part: “The decision follows after Guinea has accorded the protocol of Head of State in Conakry, Guinea, to the leader of a separatist movement in “Somaliland” in the North of Somalia…
“…thus disregarding callously all the relevant resolutions of the UN and African consensus. Somalia denounces this in the strongest of terms and considers it a blatant and egregious violation of the Sovereignty, Unity and Territorial integrity of Somalia by the Republic of Guinea.
The Somaliland Republic has always shown a willingness to open dialogue with the Mogadishu (Xamar) administration at any international venue but their absence from the recent Kenya meeting attended by the international community makes nought of that sentiment.
Mogadishu also bemoaned what it said amounted to interference by Guinea in the internal affairs of Somalia. The Guinean government have yet to respond to the issue.
Somaliland appeals for recognition
But over in Hargeisa, capital of Somaliland, which is regarded as an autonomous region of Somalia, the cabinet issued a statement calling on the international community to help it achieve formal recognition as an independent state.
With President Muse Bihi currently in Guinea, a cabinet meeting of June 4 led by Vice President – now the Acting President, Abdirahman Abdullahi Ismail ‘Zeili’i, deplored what it said was continued belligerence of Somalia against the government and people of Somaliland.
“We herein issue a strong warning to the administration in Mogadishu which has of late made a habit of persistent offences against Somaliland revealing a deep enmity and hostility it harbours against the people of Somaliland.
“We call on the international community not to juxtapose a country that could not conduct a public election and whose administration has been put together by the international community, albeit being still limited to Villa Somalia, against an established democracy that is Somaliland which has put six one-man-one-vote internationally acclaimed elections on record.
“The Somaliland Republic has always shown a willingness to open dialogue with the Mogadishu (Xamar) administration at any international venue but their absence from the recent Kenya meeting attended by the international community makes nought of that sentiment.
“Somaliland cautions against any hostile activities on the part of the Mogadishu administration that can adversely affect the Horn and especially against its backdrop of volatility,” the statement added.
Somalia – Somaliland: Between divorce and unity
Somaliland is located in northern Somalia. It is a former British protectorate, that agreed to merge with former Italian Somaliland in 1960 to create what is today Somalia.
They seceded and declared independence in 1991 as Somalia plunged into chaos after the fall of president Siad Barre. Somaliland has been pushing for independence / international recognition ever since.
It has its own government based in the self-appointed capital of Hargeisa, its own army and prints its own currency.
It is also considered much more stable than the rest of Somalia, which is plagued by clan disputes, corruption and a violent insurgency waged by the Al-Shabaab militant group.