MOGADISHU, Somalia – Ongoing efforts to resume talks between the federal government of Somalia and the breakaway region of northern Somaliland are commendable, noted UN chief Antonio Guterres amidst fighting between those responsible for carrying out peace long awaited.
For several years, the two parties have failed to stay face to face. Negotiations have been blocked since 2012. President Muse Bihi said his region must first be recognized before talks resume.
Although it is part of Somalia, Somaliland declared independence in 1991 and manages its affairs separately, although it is not yet recognized by the international community, 29 years later.
But in an advanced copy of Guitteres’ speech to be delivered to the United Nations Security Council, the UN chief appreciates a recent meeting between President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo and Somaliland chief Muse Bihi Abdi, who s is held in Addis Ababa.
The meeting between the two protagonists, said Guitteres, was a “positive step” towards the reunification efforts for Somaliland and Somalia, which had a tense relationship, including “unnecessary” embargoes that affect the almost homogeneous composition of their population.
After the Addis Ababa meeting in February, Farmajo issued a public statement in which he “recognized the atrocities” committed by the previous regime, which Guitteres now describes as a “bold and honest” approach to the most unresolved crisis in the world.
“I congratulate President Farmajo for having issued a public statement recognizing the human rights violations committed by the regime of Siad Barre and President Bihi for having accepted this gesture,” reads part of the speech, which was obtained by AxadleTM.
On the basis of these gains, the chief announcements of the United Nations, Bihi and Farmajo should develop a strategy for relaunching the dialogue which seems after all stalled, due to the undeniable suspicions which have existed between Mogadishu and Hargeisa for decades.
“I call on the two leaders to take advantage of this commitment to improve relations and move towards a resumption of dialogue between Somalia and Somaliland,” added António Guterres, represented in Somalia by James Swan.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Ahmed Abiy organized the talks, which several sources told AxadleTM said were “impromptu” because one of the parties did not seem “prepared” after all. Ahmed is the Nobel Peace Prize winner for 2019 after his successful expedition in brokering the traditional divisions between Ethiopia and Eritrea.
But subsequent attempts to organize a historic trip from Farmajo to Hargeisa failed after reports were revealed that Bihi had asked for “more time to consult his people first”. Senior Somaliland government officials also rejected Mogadishu’s advances.
Siad Barre reigned with an iron fist for almost 21 years, and his tenure has been marred by controversy, including attempts to recapture northern Kenya border districts and the Ogaden region of Ethiopia, which have encountered the brutality and strength of the two neighbors. The two regions are mainly occupied by Somalis.
The UN chief also salutes the efforts of multinational teams that have traditionally helped to advance the peacekeeping process in Somalia, a country plunged into inter-clan conflicts, internal political squabbles and the threat of Al -Shabaab for many years now.
As a thank you, it takes note of the contribution of the African Union, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, the European Union, the Member States, non-governmental organizations and other partners for their constant support to peacebuilding and state building in Somalia.
“I remain grateful to I pay tribute to the sacrifices of AMISOM and the Somali security forces in the search for peace and stability in the country,” he added in his speech, which covers many socio-economic situations. -economic and geopolitical within the Horn of Africa nation.
Al-Shabaab has particularly given the international community headaches due to the increase in attacks as AU forces plan to leave the war-torn nation. By the end of 2021, Somali forces are expected to assume security missions in the country.
He condemns the attacks against civilians and peacekeeping troops carried out by Al-Shabaab, who worked hard to overthrow the fragile Somali government supported by the UN under the leadership of President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo.
“I strongly condemn the attacks by Al-Shabaab, which have a disproportionate impact on civilians, and note the evolving threat posed by the group. The mortar attacks on United Nations and AMISOM installations in Mogadishu are also unacceptable and extremely worrying, “he said.