"Talks or no Talks our Sovereignty is neither for discussion nor Compromise" President Silanyo
By: Yusuf M Hasan
MOGADISHU (Somalilandsun) – The new Somali government in Mogadishu is to pursue reunification with Somaliland.
The Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdoon 'Saeed' has informed that his administration will pursue postponed talks with Somaliland as per the guidelines established by TFG and the government in Hargeisa.
In an interview with the VOA Somali service PM Shirdoon revealed that his administration is interested in pursuing reunification with Somaliland but not by force.
"The reunification of Somaliland and Somalia will not be attained by arm-twisting but through peaceful reconciliations," Said PM Shirdoon
The first not transitional prime minister of Somalia in two decades said that 1960 union between the two countries came out of love and need for peace thus any reunification should solely be on the same tenets.
While informing that the government of president Hasan Sh Mahmoud is now ready to resume the internationally sanctioned talks between Somalia and Somaliland that were postponed to facilitate elections and a new government in Mogadishu, PM Shirdoon said talks would revolve around reconciliation as a prelude to reunification.
The talks between the two countries that were 2 decades overdue ensued following the dictates of article 6 and 10 of the final communiques issued after the February London and June Istanbul II conferences on Somalia respectively. They postponed after two phases by the President Silanyo administration in August to facilitate elections in Mogadishu after the mandate of TFG expired.
While announcing the talk's suspension the Somaliland minister of foreign affairs Dr Abdilahi A Omar who said, "Talks cannot continue when the mandate of our counterparts is at an end" also informed that, the third phase of talks with Somalia will commence after ongoing political shifts are complete.
Said he, "this is not a withdrawal from the internationally sanctioned talks but a temporary pause to enable the southerners complete their shift from a transitional to a permanent government"
The two phases of the talks that were first held by technical committees in London and later at presidential level in Dubai produced two very important memorandums that established grounds and agendas of future negotiations. The first document was the Chevening house Declaration named after the historic talks venue while the 4 points Dubai Charter was signed by Presidents Silanyo of Somaliland and Sheikh Sharif of Somalia 0n 28 June 2012 in Dubai.
While the compliments paid by the Somalia Prime minister on the talks is welcome his declaration that he intends to pursue a reunification agenda after resumption of the talks raises insurmountable obstacles.
During, before and after the London and Dubai talks, Somaliland has remained steadfast in its assertion that its sovereignty is irrevocable thus not an agenda in whatever phase of the talks. The government has also informed that its mandate in the talks emanates from citizens who voted 97% for their self-rule population during a nationwide referendum in 2001.
During festivities to mark the 52nd anniversary of independence from Great Britain held at the presidency in Hargeisa on the 26th June, 2012, president Silanyo informed that the two neighbouring countries of Somaliland and Somalia are tied by common interests while firmly reasserting his country's sovereignty by telling Somalilanders that "Talks or no Talks our Sovereignty is neither for discussion nor Compromise"
In the Independence Day speech president Silanyo also urged the international community to finally concur with the wishes of Somalilanders as pertains to self-rule after they revoked union with Somalia at Burao in 1991 as well as indicated by their 97% yes vote for separation during the 2001 referendum.
Said he, "Following the costly reclamation of our independence and in view of Somalilanders desire for self-rule, we do hereby ask the world to respect our people's decision and recognize Somaliland as a free country with full membership at the United Nations"
Though the talks are internationally sanctioned, with Norway, EU and UK taking the lead, there successful outcome is now in doubt since the government in Mogadishu is shod in a BLACK reunification suit and the one in Hargeisa shod on a shiny WHITE Sovereignty not for negotiation suit.