Following up on earlier attempts to bridge a widening gap between the Republic of Somaliland and Somalia sides, a joint delegation of IGAD and the United Nations, on Sunday, met with President Musa Bihi Abdi in Hargeisa.

Dr. Mohamed Ali Guyo, Special Envoy of the IGAD Secretariat for Somalia/Somaliland led the AU side where the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia/Somaliland, Mr. Raisedon Zenenga, headed the United Nations delegation.

The two sides, a brief, hardly informative, press release from the Somaliland Presidency later said that the two sides talked of issues centering on bolstering regional security, strengthening bilateral relations, the continuation of the Somalia/Somaliland talks, and the scope and status of humanitarian assistance to Somaliland.

What has not been stated by the press release, however, is the concern of the delegations the impotence of afore-reached agreements they brokered between Somaliland and Somalia’s Puntland to de-escalate military a larger scale military confrontation between the two sides in the Tukaraq, which seems to be ominously gathering steam to blow up again any day now or in the very near future.

Mr. Guyo’s delegation passed through Puntland to hold talks with Dr. Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gass, whose side has often been admonished for not heeding the international calls for a sincere settlement to the conflict.

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Puntland, encouraged by an undeterred visit Dr. Abdiweli made to the area, has started assuming Badhan and the whole of eastern Sanaag belonged to Puntland by stamping its assertion in the form of government and parliamentary buildings it started in and around that city. By so doing, Puntland has created a situation that can turn the area into another strife area where armed engagement between the two sides can potentially reverse the peace and tranquility it had enjoyed up to now.

At yesterday’s reception of the joint international delegation, present at the occasion, besides President Bihi, was the Vice President, Abdurahman Abdullahi Ismail ‘Zeili’i, the old and new foreign ministers, Dr. Saad Ali Shire and Prof. Yassin Mohamoud Hiir ‘Faratton’, Somaliland Special envoy for IGAD and the AU, Abdullahi Mohamed Duale, and the Vice Minister for Interior and National Security, Mohamed Musa Derie.

 

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