Somalia president says his Govt is determined to resume talks with Somaliland


MOGADISHU, Somalia - President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud says that he is "determined" to resume talks with the break-away region of Somaliland as part of his long-term agenda of achieving a stable and united Somalia, which has been in shambles for the last three decades and counting.

In a meeting with envoys from Turkey and Norway, Hassan Sheikh, who made his return to Villa Somalia in May, noted that the resumption of talks is "critical and necessary" but could not reveal "when and how" he intends to go about it according to that privy to discussions.

Norway and Turkey are among the international partners of Somalia and have been helping the country in the drought, the security and the Somali National Army [SNA] rebuilding. The Turkish government trains Gorgor and Haram'ad Special Forces.

Multinational lenders have been struggling to handle the frosty relationship between Somaliland and the Federal Government of Somalia, with most aid coming to Mogadishu before being shared with the breakaway region which has been fighting for autonomy in the disbursement of aid.

Talks collapsed sometime last year after futile attempts by embattled Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh. The two leaders did hold a meeting between former Somalia President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo and Muse Bihi Abdi.

But in the meeting, Bihi, a former member of the defunct Somalia Air Force, insisted that the only talks which could exist before the two parties is "recognition of Somaliland independence". However, the preconditions were rejected by Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo.

It is not clear if Hassan Sheikh Mohamud will manage to sit down with Somaliland leaders and reach a deal having failed when serving as president between 2012-17 when federalism was introduced in the Horn of Africa nation. 


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