US Congress members visit a breakaway region in Somalia
HARGEISA, Somalia - Muse Bihi Abdi, the president of Somaliland, a secessionist state in Somalia, says the region will closely work with democratic nations like the United States of America for the sake of stability and prosperity within the Horn of Africa.
While receiving a delegation from the US, mostly members of the Foreign Relations Committee, Mr. Abdi, a former Air Force general in Somalia before the collapse of the union, said the breakaway region will do all it can to foster good relationships with like-minded partners.
At the presidential palace in Hargeisa, Abdi added, his team and the US delegation profoundly discussed Somaliland-US relations, regional development, democracies, and elections in Somaliland.
“Very honored to receive the US Congressional Staff Delegation at the Presidency Republic of Somaliland," Abdi, a critic of Mogadishu and an agitator of statehood for the region, noted.
"The Republic of Somaliland is committed to working with democratic nations such as the US. We profoundly discussed Somaliland-US relations, stability, development, vibrant democracies, and elections," he added on his Twitter account.
Somaliland's presidency said the U.S. Congressional Staff Delegation pledged to provide a comprehensive report on progress and Democracy in Somaliland to the US Congress. The delegation is set to visit the Port of Berbera and the new airport which are tipped to expand the economy of the region.
US Congressman Representative Mc Caul is among the visiting Congressional staff in Somaliland. Rep McCaul is the Chairman of China_TaskForce, which is keen to find the best way of competing with China for markets in Africa.
Although it's not clear if the Somaliland team raised issues to do with the quest for nationhood, the region has been advancing democratic space as a strategy to woo the international community to recognize it as an independent nation.
Some of the steps taken include conducting universal suffrage parliamentary elections this year, which saw the ruling Kulmiye party lose to UCID and Wadani parities. The elections, which were the first in the region, were commended by various stakeholders.
The region recently warned those associating with Mogadishu, insisting that they will be tried for treason. For almost three decades, Somaliland has been running a parallel government with an independent judiciary, executive, and legislative branches.