Mr Michael Keating, UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for ‘Somalia’, played his title to the letter by relegating the Republic of Somaliland, which is neither a member of Federal Somalia nor a party to its constitution or functional national organs of the internationally-propped Mogadishu-based administration, by addressing the RoS and Puntland in the same tones as if they were both states of Somalia under President Farmajo.
Trying to underline the importance of co-existence and dialogue, Mr Keating made a blunder in a statement he issued on the military clash between Somaliland troops and Puntland militias in the Tukaraq area of Sool, by quoting Farmajo’s earlier statement as if both sides were subject to the latter’s jurisdiction.
Furthermore, to emphasize what he thought of the Somaliland sovereign status even though it was no internationally recognized, he put the word SOMALILAND in between single quotes.
Mr. Keating’s statement generated the opposite effect on Somalilanders as it made him appear that he – a representative of the highest body in the world – is a surrogate president of a Somalia that still claims the Republic of Somaliland comes under its administration despite 27 years of separation and the fact that Somaliland joined Somalia in 1960 as an independent, internationally recognized state.
The fact drove major sections of the hot-blooded in Somaliland to even change the UN name to United Nations (Business) Organization accusing it of preferring running programs in Somalia to justice and fairness to Somaliland and its beleaguered people.
The statement in question ran as below:
UNITED NATIONS CALLS FOR IMMEDIATE END TO FIGHTING AND DIALOGUE FOLLOWING CLASHES BETWEEN ‘SOMALILAND’ AND PUNTLAND FORCES IN TUKARAQ
PRESS STATEMENT 05/2018
The United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, Michael Keating, joins the country’s President Mohamed Abdullahi “Farmaajo” in calling for an immediate cessation of hostilities between ‘Somaliland’ and Puntland forces following recent fighting in the Tukaraq area of the Sool region.
The United Nations urges both sides to engage in dialogue to work towards a ceasefire and political agreement.
It also emphasizes the enormous risks posed by the fighting. These range from the possible displacement of tens of thousands of people – at a time when humanitarian needs are already outstripping available funds – to fuelling instability and discord, which support the objectives of violent extremists.
The Special Representative encourages the authorities of ‘Somaliland’ and Puntland to urgently seek a peaceful solution to their differences.