Somalia: Farmajo to meet Bihi amid Tension in Tukaraq
HARGEISA, Somaliland - Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo is expected to meet with the President of the self-proclaimed state of Somaliland, Muse Bihi Abdi in Djibouti, Garowe Online reports.
The Foreign affairs Minister of Somaliland Sa'ad Ali Shire has confirmed the first face-to-face meeting between Farmajo and Bihi, which paves the way for the revival of the stalled Somalia-Somaliland talks.
Shire has announced that Switzerland has shown readiness to host the future talks between the two sides after changing the venue from Turkey which insisted its stance on “the Greater Somalia” agenda.
The Minister, however, did not disclose the date for the conference. Turkey has brokered previous two round talks in Istanbul which ended with no comprehensive agreement on the main sticking issues.
“We started talking to Somalia in 2012, and we’ve had a constant dialogue since then but with the exception of issues around aerospace we haven’t gone very far to achieving anything," said Shire.
He stated that the former Federal government was not very committed to talks, adding that the present government led by President Farmajo is more serious to make progress on the long-running dialogue.
This comes amid escalating Military tension between Somaliland and Puntland in Tukaraq village in the northern Sool region that could blow up into all-out conflict at any time due to lack of mediation efforts.
Tukaraq which lies about 90Km north of Garowe was captured by Somaliland troops on 8th January following an incursion against the bases of Puntland Defence forces [PDF] during Farmajo's visit to the region.
Somaliland declared Independence in 1991 from Somalia. Since then, the northern region has been seeking recognition as a separate Country, which was rejected by Somalia.