Somaliland and Somali agree to resume talks

Sunday December 31, 2023 - 17:41:41
Hargeisa- The presidents of Somaliland and Somalia agreed to resume suspended talks between the two sides.

President Ismail Omar Guelleh of Djibouti hosted the leaders of Somalia and Somaliland at his presidential palace. After two days of talks (28-29 December), the ministers of the interior of Somaliland and Somalia signed a communique.

The two sides agreed "to resume the negotiation process between the two sides by focusing on and basing [the talks] on the future related issue to realise a sustainable solution,” the communique says.

It adds that the two sides will appoint technical committees and establish a roadmap within 30 days.

The sides also agreed to solve the war in Las Anod peacefully and cooperate on security issues and the movement of people.

The Somaliland and Somali talks started in 2012 and have not yielded results.

In June 2022, the government of Somaliland suspended the talks and listed seven points of pre-conditions, including the involvement of "impartial and neutral international Mediation Mechanism that also guarantees the outcome of the dialogue.” It seems Somaliland withdrew the conditions.

The main opposition party, Waddani, has not commented on the resumed talks, but the smaller UCID opposition party criticised it. Faisal Ali Warabe, the leader of UCID, stated that President Muse Bihi lacks the mandate to engage in talks, citing that the president’s term expired a year ago and an election is scheduled to take place at the end of 2024.

The Minister of Interior, Mohamed Kahin Ahmed, signed the communique for Somaliland. it is the first time in Somaliland that a minister of interior represented it in the talks. In all previous rounds, the foreign minister represented Somaliland to position the dialogue as one between two countries. It is not clear if Ahmed’s involvement was a miss or intentional change of policy.