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Somalia, Somaliland agree to resume talks to resolve disputes: Report

December 31, 2023 at 11:33 am

Somaliland’s President Muse Bihi Abdi from the ruling Kulmiye Party speaks during press conference in Hargeisa, Somaliland, on November 21, 2017 [STR/AFP via Getty Images]

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud and his counterpart in Somaliland, Muse Bihi, agreed to resume negotiations and create a roadmap to achieve a solution to long-standing issues, according to reports.

The Somali National News Agency, or SONNA reported that a consultative meeting that concluded Friday in Djibouti, under the mediation of President Ismail Omar Guelleh between Sheikh Mahmoud and Bihi, to conduct discussions between the parties and enhance bilateral cooperation, Anadolu Agency reports.

A statement that followed the meeting included an agreement to commence dialogue between the entities with a focus on long-standing issues to reach a permanent solution.

The parties agreed to “develop a roadmap which is expected to serve as a guideline for future discussions and the resolution of issues.”

The agreement included “the joint commitments of agreements reached during previous meetings held across various international cities from 2012 to 2020,” according to the agency.

The two sides also agreed to “the recognition by the government of Somalia of the previous killings, atrocities, and the destruction caused by the military government in Somaliland (northern regions).”

The deal noted that “both governments have committed to address security issues both independently and jointly, with particular attention to combating terrorism and resolving any emerging disputes.”

The parties expressed gratitude to the president, government and people of Djibouti for hosting the meeting.

Somaliland, which has not received official recognition since declaring independence from Somalia in 1991, acts as an independent entity administratively, politically and security-wise, while the central government has been unable to establish control over the territory or gain its independence.​​​​​​​

The issue has not seen significant progress due to lingering contentious issues, preventing the completion of recent talks between the two sides in Djibouti in 2020, resulting in a failure to reach an agreement.

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