A statement which the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Somaliland issued to the press, Monday, called the Puntland State of Federal Somalia to observe peaceful coexistence and stop the bellicose press conferences which repeatedly call for war.
Instead, the statement said, Puntland must accept Somaliland’s offer of peace and reconciliation based on open-agenda dialogue on outstanding issues.
“Puntland has violated – in fact, rejected – the four starting points which IGAD and UNSOM bartered for an eventual reconciliation between the Somalia state of Puntland and the Republic of Somaliland which included free flow of civilian travel between the two sides, free humanitarian relief access to IDPs, exchange of prisoners and a voluntary ceasefire between the two armies,” the statement, signed by Omar Abdirizak, Ministry Spokesman, said.
Mr. Abdirizak’s statement established that the Republic of Somaliland was still hopeful that Puntland would see sense in the proposal of the international mediators.
“Our army has not yet reached the national boundaries which separate it from Somalia in deference to the civilian populations living on arm’s reach of border lest they are adversely affected or spooked by the approach of our military,” the statement said.
Puntland, it warned, must not kindle fire in areas that have escaped death and destruction of marauding militias, constant terror and instability.
“If, however,” the statement went on to point out “Puntland turns its back on the peace overtures, again, it will suffer the brunt of defeat in the hands of an army confident of victory borne of its conviction of the sanctity of its cause”.
The Defense statement reiterated the inviolability of the country’s borders as they were based on boundaries inherited from Britain at time of independence in 1960, as theirs was from Italy.
“Our call is basically one of peaceful coexistence based on respect and observance of geographical, political, and social delineations of each other’s rights,” it said.
Puntland, if anything, has been consistent on its calls for continued aggression against Somaliland in the belief that it will find unlikely sympathy with the international community on its demand for ethnic-based boundaries as opposed to the geographical, conventionally approved ones.