Somaliland Foreign Minister during a Press Briefing moments before the SL delegation flew out the country
By Mustafa Abdi Ibrahim
A high level Somaliland delegation which is expected to represent the nation at the upcoming talks left the country today headed for neighbouring Addis Abba, Ethiopia where there are expected to stay until the 15/1/2014 before for departing for Ankara, Turkey.
The delegation itself comprises of several cabinet ministers and MP’s but without the representatives of the two official opposition parties hence the absence of an inclusive and broad-based national committee and also which shows the lack of national consensus on the upcoming talks with the current government going its own way and the opposition parties accusing the government of lacking a clear agenda on the talks.
The FM also went on to say, “The government is the solely responsible for the talks and that it has the blessing of both the house of parliament and the house of elders and whatever emerges from the talks will be presented before the Somaliland public and that what we aim to achieve from this talks is a two state solution which will finally result to the full independence of Somaliland.
“The road ahead of us is not an easy one and might even take some time, as we all know it has been more than 24 years now since we broke away from the failed union with Somalia and since that time many things have changed so we have to sit down with them (Somalia) in order to listen to their demands and for us(Somaliland)to present ours which will lead both parties to finding solutions which will finally determine the future status as two states”, Hon Bihi stated.
Somaliland had a long tradition of popular public participation, negotiations and consensus building in all important national issues. In line with this tradition, the Somaliland government has failed to establish a mechanism for popular national consultations that would allow the participation of all sectors of the Somaliland society, particularly, the Non State Actors that include Civil Society Organizations, historians, lawyers, traditional, media and religious leaders, intellectuals with relevant expertise and other sections of the society.
Hon Mohamed Bih Yunis before departing said, “The delegation will spend their time in Addis Abba preparing team for the task ahead; to prepare the important points which Somaliland negotiator team will need in the upcoming negotiation meetings between Somaliland and Somalia.
The current delegation as it stands clearly shows that it consists of small fraction of Somaliland politicians, who may have self-serving political agenda and interests and whose legitimacy as leaders and representation is questionable such as the KULMIYE MP Mr. Ahmed Abdi Kijandhe.
The lack of close consultation with the official opposition parties and the Non state Actors, who are one of the main pillars of the Somaliland society in order to seek guidance and advice on these sensitive negotiations with Somalia calls into question the legitimacy of the decision by the current government.
A wide section also raised concern about the legitimacy, representation and objectives of the potential negotiating partners in federal government of Somalia who are yet to be named due to the delay in formation of a new government by the newly appointed PM Abdi Weli of Somalia.
Leaders of the two official opposition parties have termed the talks as sham and are doomed to fail.