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Somaliland says no to unification talks with Somalia

Somaliland’s government says it is ready to move forward separately from Somalia and rejects Uganda’s proposal for mediating reunification talks.

  • Muse Bihi Abdi, the President of Somaliland speaks to The Associated Press in Hergeisa, Somaliland, Somalia, on April 3, 2018. (AP)

The government of Somaliland has rejected any talks on reunification with Somalia, the Department of Foreign Affairs said on Sunday.

Somaliland’s government said it is ready to discuss how the two governments “can move forward separately,” after it broke off from the country and established a republic in 1991 while lacking international recognition.

“Any dialogue that takes place between Somaliland and Somalia will not discuss unification, but rather how the two countries can move forward separately,” the Department stated.

It also said, “The Republic of Somaliland once again confirms to the African Union (AU) and the rest of the international community that it has no plans for dialogue on unity with Somalia.”

The statement came after Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni offered to mediate negotiations between the two sides in hopes of achieving unity between the two entities, as he hoped to act as a “peace facilitator”.

Museveni spoke just after meeting with Jama Musse Jama, a special envoy for Somaliland, a day earlier, in which he said “Somalia and Somaliland should do away with politics of identity if they want prosperity for their country.”

Read more: US post 9/11 wars caused 4.5 million deaths: Study

Museveni’s deputy press secretary said Uganda had no comments on Somaliland’s statement, according to Reuters.

Even though the region has seen relative peace with the central Somali government, fighting broke out near disputed areas between the semi-autonomous Puntland and the self-declared republic in February.

Clashes broke out between Somaliland forces and anti-government forces, where more than 185,000 people fled their residences, the UN’s emergency response agency said. Health authorities recorded dozens of deaths in the first two weeks of fighting, which eventually died out.

Read more: Despite ceasefire announcement, violence persists in Somaliland

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