Wednesday, April 03, 2013
The Somali government plans to resume unity talks with the breakaway state of Somaliland, officials have said.
Mr Mohamed Abdullahi Omar, the foreign minister of the self-declared republic said the talks would be held in Turkey in two weeks after a lull of several months.
Dr Omar was speaking at a press briefing in the capital Hargeisa, some 1,500 km northwest of Mogadishu.
Somaliland seceded from the rest of Somalia following the collapse of the Mogadishu-based central government in 1991.
In 2012 it held talks with the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia led by Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed.
"The government of Turkey issued invitations to the governments of Somaliland and Somalia so that the talks that were kept on hold will resume,” said Dr Omar.
He added: “We welcome the development.”
A conference on Somalia held in London in 2012 recognised the need for the international community to support any dialogue that Somaliland and the TFG or its replacement may agree to in order to clarify their future relations.
Subsequently, officials from both sides met in London while President Sharif and Somaliland leader Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud Silanyo met in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates in June 2012.
While the leaders of the Federal Government of Somalia led by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud were pushing for a united federal republic that includes Somaliland, the breakaway leaders want full independence for the territory of the former British Somaliland Protectorate.
On July 1, 1960, Somalia was formed through a union of British Somaliland and the former Somalia colony of Italy, with the Indian Ocean city of Mogadishu becoming the capital.
However, rebel leaders who seized parts of the northwestern regions unilaterally declared the Republic of Somaliland on May 18 1991.
Nevertheless, Somaliland has not been recognised by the international community.
Source: Africa Review