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Somaliland suspends engagement with UN over humanitarian projects

By Staff reporter , Garowe Online

HARGEISA, Somalia - The United Nations will have to wait until further notice before engaging in humanitarian activities within the northern breakaway region of Somalia, it has emerged, following the suspension by the Somaliland government under unclear circumstances.

Somaliland which claimed to have seceded from Somalia in 1991, has been running a parallel government with all relevant institutions but has been pushing for international recognition which hasn't been approved yet.

In a letter by the region's ministry of planning, the UN was notified that ongoing discussions about humanitarian will remain suspended, but it remains unclear why the government took such a swift decision without giving many explanations.

“The Ministry of Planning...is hereby sharing with all UN Agencies that discussions and consultations regarding the UN country programs and work plans are suspended until further notice,” a statement by the Minister of Planning Hassan Mohamed Ali read in part.

According to the minister, who is a close ally of President Muse Bihi Abdi, all events related to the suspended programs will no longer take place effective from October 25. However, he did not cite any reasons which prompted the move.

However, Somalia's Federal Government and Somaliland have for a long time differed on the manner in which donor aid is managed. Officially, donor aid is channeled through the Federal Government in Mogadishu and subsequently shared with Hargeisa.

In July this year, the European Union, the US, and the United Nations pushed for negotiations between Somaliland and Somalia but the talks seemed to have collapsed. Since then, neither Hargeisa nor Mogadishu has opened up about the aftermath of Djibouti talks.

President Ismael Guelleh of Djibouti and Ethiopia Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed were the main arbiters in the crisis. During the address in Djibouti, Bihi insisted that Somaliland remained a sovereign region, further complicating the talks between the two parties.


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