AU special envoy Raila Odinga has challenged the union to speed the process of recognizing Somaliland as a fully independent country.
Raila said this on Tuesday after meeting Somaliland President Muse Bihi who ended his official two-day visit to Kenya.
Speaking at the at Villa Rosa Kempinski in Nairobi, the AU’s High Representative for Infrastructure said that it is impossible to reunite Somalia and Somaliland.
“AU needs to wake up to the reality that it is not going to be possible again to bring these two countries together, and recognize them as two separate countries,” Raila said.
Raila, in his opinion, said that he does not regret making the same remarks earlier while in the UK.
“I have talked in the UN, and I have talked in the London Chatham house. I said, and I have no regret and I will say it again that Somaliland is a reality, that the world has got to live with,” Raila said.
The opposition chief in the country added that Somaliland will continue to progress and service without depending on Somalia.
He added that the sooner the issue is solved by the international bodies, the better for the two countries.
Raila said AU should step in and open a conversation about Somaliland, the way it handled the Western Sahara disputed territory on the northwest coast and in the Maghreb region of North and West Africa.
The collaboration talks between Kenya and Somaliland has attracted unfriendly setback from Mogadishu, which has ended its ties with Kenya.
Nevertheless, Uhuru appears unmoved by the spiraling diplomatic spat between Kenya and Somalia.
State House issued a joint communique by Uhuru and Muse Bihi where they directed their respective senior officials to work together to develop a general cooperation framework agreement.
In the agreement, Kenya is expected to open its Consulate in Hargeisa by end of March 2021.
Somaliland would also upgrade its Liaison Office in Nairobi within the same timeframe
On Monday night, Somalia announced that it was cutting ties with Kenya citing constant violation of Somalia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Somalia Minister of Information Osman Dubbe announced that Mogadishu will in the next seven days withdraw all its diplomats from Kenya.
By Kevin Cheuyot
The Star Kenya
Somaliland President meets Raila, discusses security
Somaliland President Musa Abdi on Tuesday met African Union convoy Raila Odinga.
Bihi is in the country for a two-day official visit. He arrived in the country on Sunday evening.
In a tweet, Bihi said that he discussed a range of regional issues with Raila, who is also the ODM party leader.
“It was my pleasure to have a meeting with our nation’s great friend, Raila Odinga in Nairobi… Discussed various topics on the security and development of the region,” he said in his Twitter account.
Raila’s mandates in the AU includes mobilising further political support from member states and the regional economic communities.
Bihi and president Uhuru Kenyatta discussed on a number of subjects of mutual interest between Kenya and Somaliland when Bihi arrived on Monday.
Bihi’s visit to Kenyan has caused a diplomatic difference with Somalia, which has also cut its ties with Kenya.
Somalia Minister of Information Osman Dubbe announced this at around 1:40 am Mogadishu time on state-run SNTV.
Dubbe said Mogadishu will in the next seven days withdraw all its diplomats from Kenya.