Somaliland rejects Museveni's mediation offers with Somalia
The breakaway region of Somaliland has rebuffed any talks with the Federal Republic of Somalia, in a statement seemly responding to Uganda President Yoweri Museveni, who over the weekend called for mediation between Hargeisa and Mogadishu.
In a statement published by the region's Foreign Affairs department, Somaliland insisted that the union with Somalia was anchored on "mutual trust" which has since been "irredeemably broken". The region ruled out any talks with Mogadishu despite the fact that internationally, it is part of Somalia.
"The Somaliland Government affirms that any dialogue that transpires between Somaliland and Somalia will not discuss unification, but rather how the two previously united countries can move forward separately," read the statement.
"Therefore, the Republic of Somaliland once again confirms to the African Union and the rest of the international community that it has no plans for dialogue to discuss unity with Somalia," Somaliland added in the latest twist which would trigger a flurry of diplomatic activities.
Over the weekend, Museveni, who hosted Somaliland representative to Uganda Jama Musse Jama, said he would be willing to play the role of a “peace facilitator” between the two sides, and urged unity for "prosperity".
“The people face similar challenges regardless of race and religion; hence, they should embrace politics of interest, which is more important than politics of identity,” he posted on X platform after meeting with a Somaliland representative.
Somaliland has been fighting for international recognition for the last three decades but such advances have been declined, with many countries insisting that it is part of Somalia. Mogadishu has been pushing for talks with Hargeisa, but no significant progress has been made.
On Sunday a delegation from Somaliland which included ministers of foreign affairs Essa Kayd and commerce Mohamoud Hassan Sa’ad were in Djibouti. The delegation met with President Ismail Omar Guelleh, who has also been pushing for relations with Somalia.
Interestingly, their visit coincided with that of the president of Somalia Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, and US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin who were also in Djibouti. Lloyd is visiting Africa for the first time and he is expected to land in Kenya, which is one of Africa's representatives in the Security Council.