Under the mediation chairmanship of the President of the tiny Horn of Africa republic of Djibouti, Ismail Omar Guelleh, very high-calibre delegations representing, respectively, the republic of Somaliland and the Federal Government of Somalia are scheduled to resume talks in Djibouti Sunday.

The meeting, according to publicized bits and pieces about this fresh bout of the talks, was called for by the United States in the person of its Ambassador in Mogadishu, Donald Yamamoto, and facilitated by a beleaguered Djibouti leader, Ismail Omar Guelleh, whose country has been recently rocked by fierce demonstrations against his 22-year-old, authoritarian rule.Image

Eu Ambassador to Somalia/ Somaliland naively believing, though, that all that is separating the two sides to reunite in another ill-fated, illegitimate merger were pent up ’emotions’ that needed release.

Abiy Ahmed, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, who, earlier in 2019, made a face-to-face brief meeting between President Bihi and President Farmajo at his office, Addis Ababa, will be president along with international observers from the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom and the African Union.

It is ironic that neither of the firstline mediators – Guelleh and Abiy – nor the Somalia President, Farmajo,  is in power through a one-person, one-vote election unlike the Somaliland President Musa Bihi who is the 5th President of the Republic of Somaliland three of whom changed offices through universal suffrage – a democratic precept alien to all of Djibouti, Somalia and Ethiopia.

President Bihi hosted, Saturday, Somaliland opposition parties, along with other major political players, to brief them of the impending dialogue.

Following that meeting, Deputy Chairman, Abdirizak Khalif of Waddani, wholeheartedly welcomed the resumption of the talks expressing reservation only in, as he expressed, the event that the President meandered out of his mandated executive leadership parameter.

Reversing habitual roles, Faisal Ali Hussein ‘Wrabe, leader of UCID party, castigated the President for accepting a Farmajo meet at this juncture of time.

Faisal reasoned his stand by pointing out that the Somalia government was, in fact, fragmented into six governments including the Villa Somalia Mogadishu seat, and that President Farmajo and his international allies were using the occasion to bolster the waning popularity of a president gearing up for a presidential election only six months or so away.

The Somaliland side will be led by President Musa Bihi Abdi. Among his delegation are the House Speaker of the Upper House of the Somaliland bi-cameral parliament, Suleiman Mohamoud Adan, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Professor Yassin Mohamoud Hiir ‘Faratoon’, Dr Edna Adan Ismail, Somaliland/Somalia talks soecial envoy, Minister for Trade and Tourism, Dr Sa’ad Ali Shire, Minister of Finance Development, Mohamoud Hassan Sachin, and the Minister for Animal Husbandry and Fisheries, Saeed Sulub Mohamed.

ImageThe Somalia federal government delegation comprises of the President, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed ‘Farmajo’, his Prime Minister, Hassan Ali Khaire, the Speaker of the Lower House of the Federal Parliament, Mohamed Mursal Sheikh, and the Minister for Interior and Internal Security, Abdi Mohamed Sabriye.

If and when the two sides meet – if it goes beyond the preliminaries, the Somaliland electorate expects only one outcome: that Somalia concedes the legitimate restoration of Somaliland sovereignty and that future talks can only be resumed as two nations discussing mutually beneficial cooperation.

The Somaliland electorate overwhelmingly approved its sovereignty-based national constitution in 2001.

Somalia, on the other hand, wants to look good and tough and that it comes out of the meeting victorious over a vanquished Somaliland which was made to accept a subservient, federal state-level position – as both the Communications Director of Villa Somalia, Abdinur Mohamed, and the current deputy prime minister of Somalia, Mehdi Guleid, articulate here, respectively. Mehdi is among so-called Somaliland-born officials who assumed roles with the Mogadishu government as mercenaries and economic opportunists.

Earlier meetings between the two sides, listed below, did not bear fruit with Somalia, relying on its ill-justified international recognition, going back on its signed after each and every meeting – a situation that left Somalilanders no choice but to reject further impotent attempts.

London, UK 23 February 2012; 21 June 2012
Dubai, UAE 28 June 2012
Ankara, Turkey 28 June 2012
Istanbul I, Turkey 7-9 July 2013,
Istanbul II, Turkey 16-19 January 2014
Djibouti 21 December 2014
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia February 2020

It is noteworthy that not a great many Somalilanders are thrilled or hold high hopes of the Djibouti meet with some calling the ‘agenda-less’ talks a ‘gross highjack of national principles’.

A sample:

 

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