sacad and egypt FM
Somaliland Foreign Minister and International Cooperation Dr. Sa’ad Ali Shire (left) and his Egyptian Counterpart Mr. Sameh Shoukry

Previously, Turkey’s political role as a Mediator in Somaliland/Somalia Talks has been widely criticized by Somaliland political leaders, Will Egypt take the same rout as Turkey?

By Mahmoud Qodah

Hargeisa (Somaliland Monitor) – According to a press release issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Somaliland government accepted that the Egyptian government to play mediator role in Somaliland/Somalia negotiation talks.

On Sunday 28, Somaliland Foreign Minister and International Cooperation Dr. Sa’ad Ali Shire and his Egyptian Counterpart Mr. Sameh Shoukry had a meeting in Egypt’s capital city, Cairo.

During his meeting with some f Egypt’s government ministers including Foreign Affairs, Higher Education and Health Ministers, Dr. Shire noted that his visit to Egypt came to promote ties between Egypt and Somaliland as he discussed issues pertaining trade, security, health, education promotion , and Somaliland’s negation talks with Somalia.

In their side, Egyptain Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid confirmed the visit of Somaliland’s foreign Minister to Cairo as he said, “Somaliland Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Dr. Sa’ad Ali Shire’s visit to Egypt came to promote ties between Egypt and Somaliland.”

He likewise added that he reached an agreement with the Egyptian education minister to increase the number of Egyptian teachers in Somaliland from 50 to 100 and increase also the number of scholarships to 50. According to MENA, Spokesman Shoukry further voiced keenness on activating bilateral ties in the various spheres which include health, trade and culture.

Shoukry, meanwhile, said that Egypt appreciates ties with Somaliland along with its efforts to attain stability and development, added the spokesman.

Somaliland/Somalia Talks

Turkey government which has been previously hosting those mediation talks between Somaliland/Somalia recently changed its status to a ‘mediator’ after it has officially appointed a Special Envoy for Somaliland/Somalia talks. Those negotiation talks are expected to define the status of the future relationship between the two countries (Somaliland and Somalia).

Currently the proceedings of those talks have been stuck, as Somalia Federal Government told that it had delayed the proceedings of the negotiation talks due to its planned election which is being expected to take place within this year, 2016. It henceforth noted that the talks with Somaliland will be restarted by the newly government after election.

Somaliland President Ahmed Mahmoud Silanyo has repeatedly called for the International community to play ‘mediator’ in the forthcoming divorce negotiation proceedings with Somalia federal government, as Turkey’s role has been widely criticized of partiality in both its humanitarian & development aids to Somaliland and Somalia. Somaliland political leaders similarly accused Turkey’s role when it comes to the ongoing mediation talks between Somalia and Somaliland. The issue has been deteriorated by the recent undiplomatic remarks of Turkey’s Envoy to Somalia Mr. Bekar, as many pointed out his comments to be a diplomatic ineptitude by the Ambassador.

Mr. Beker couldn’t have used his country’s strong economic and political leverage on Somalia to catalyze the near-stalled talks between Somaliland and Somalia, Ambassador Bekar played up to Mogadishu’s over-bloated egos and make-belief aspirations to an already dead, defunct union, as he publicly noted that his country, Turkey is seeking a united Somalia. As such, in the general scheme of everything and with everything considered, Somaliland people are closely keeping their eyes on Egypt as they are asking themselves what would be the role that Egypt will play? Would they follow the same path as Turkey? as many people are optimistic that Egypt won’t follow the same path as Turkey.

After both countries – Somaliland, former British Protectorate and Somalia which was under the Italian Colony – had gained their independence from the British and Italian colonies, they opted to constitute a unity agreement on July 1st 1960. After 30 years of under brutal and dictatorship regime of Siyad Bare who indiscriminately killed almost 50 thousand people, mostly children, women and innocents from Northern regions, Somaliland had finally broken its merger with the rest of Somalia in 1991 as it re-inserted its lost sovereignty. Though International community directly give humanitarian aids to it and works issues pertaining to democratization, good governance, international war against sea piracy and extremism, but still no country has officially recognized it as an independent country.

While Somalia descended into chaos after its government collapsed in 1991 and was racked by famine, clan warfare, piracy insurgency, Somaliland in their side, formed its own country. It has its own police, national army, flag, territorial borders (based on 1884 African Partition), passport, and currency, and for the past 25 years has held regular elections for parliament and a president, as presidents peacefully transferred powers.

By: Mahmoud Qodah

 

Mohamoud Qodah is the Co-editor-in-chief of Somaliland Monitor. He also serves as the assistant editor of the Republican English weekly newspaper published by Jamhuuriya media Group.

Comments

comments

1 COMMENT

  1. Before it was Turkey. Now we turn to Egypt..Of course, I appreciate the effort. Sadly, we are turning for help to those who have their own problems themselves. Turkey is battling rebels within its own territory, as well as the recent coups and migrants crisis. Egypt has to contend with the Muslim brotherhoods, Sinai border, overpopulation and bad governance issues post-Mubarak.

    The Somalis have a saying: “Anoo abahay laliitah ayuu anahayna abiihii keenay”. In other words, problems on top of problems. But please do not get me wrong. We need recognition and peaceful co-existence to develop and prosper. To this end, we have to reach out to all our friends.

    Sadly, rarely is anything in life for free. I believe Egypt will also try to serve its own interests here in the Horn. Same way Turkey has been quick to “export” things to Somalia via the Mogadishu port. Some of these items have made their way even here in Somaliland. For instance, next time you go shopping for clothes, please check their label. Most likely it’ll be China or Turkey!

    In my view, we’ve been able to survive on our own with very little assistance and interference from others for over two decades. Allowing cheap “assistance” disguised as “negotiatoons” is hardly the way for my people. It only opens us up to interference from outside. The West assists the TFG government in Mogadishu. Had this helped? I feel no. If anything, it has made things worse off ….

Leave a Reply