Somaliland Accepts Egypt to Play ‘Mediator’ in Somaliland/Somalia Talks

Somaliland: MoF delegation Meets with Egyptian cabinet Ministers
Somaliland: MoF delegation Meets with Egyptian cabinet Ministers

Would Egypt take the same rout as Turkey, which its political role has widely been criticized by Somaliland political leaders?

According to a press release issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Somaliland government accepted that the Egyptian government to play a mediator role in Somaliland/Somalia negotiation talks.

On Sunday 28, SL Foreign Minister and International Cooperation Dr. Sa’ad Ali Shire and his Egyptian Counterpart, Mr. Sameh Shoukry had a meeting in Egypt’s capital city, Cairo.

During his meeting with some f Egypt’s government ministers including Foreign Affairs, Higher Education, and Health Ministers, Dr. Shire noted that his visit to Egypt came to promote ties between Egypt and Somaliland as he discussed issues pertaining trade, security, health, education promotion , and Somaliland’s negation talks with Somalia.

In their side, Egyptian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid confirmed the visit of Somaliland’s foreign Minister to Cairo as he said, “SLd Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Dr. Sa’ad Ali Shire’s visit to Egypt came to promote ties between Egypt and Somaliland.”

Read More: MoF delegation Meets with Egyptian cabinet Ministers

He likewise added that he reached an agreement with the Egyptian education minister to increase the number of Egyptian teachers in Somaliland from 50 to 100 and increase also the number of scholarships to 50. According to MENA, Spokesman Shoukry further voiced keenness on activating bilateral ties in the various spheres which include health, trade, and culture.

Shoukry, meanwhile, said that Egypt appreciates ties with Somaliland along with its efforts to attain stability and development, added the spokesman.

Somaliland/Somalia Talks

Turkey government which has been previously hosting those mediation talks between Somaliland/Somalia recently changed its status to a ‘mediator’ after it has officially appointed a Special Envoy for Somaliland/Somalia talks. Those negotiation talks are expected to define the status of the future relationship between the two countries (Somaliland and Somalia).

Currently, the proceedings of those talks have been stuck, as Somalia Federal Government told that it had delayed the proceedings of the negotiation talks due to its planned election which is being expected to take place within this year, 2016. It henceforth noted that the talks with Somaliland will be restarted by the newly government after election.

Somaliland President Ahmed Mahmoud Silanyo has repeatedly called for the International community to play ‘mediator’ in the forthcoming divorce negotiation proceedings with Somalia federal government, as Turkey’s role has been widely criticized of partiality in both its humanitarian & development aids to SLand Somalia. Somaliland political leaders similarly accused Turkey’s role when it comes to the ongoing mediation talks between Somalia and Somaliland. The issue has been deteriorated by the recent undiplomatic remarks of Turkey’s Envoy to Somalia Mr. Bekar, as many pointed out his comments to be a diplomatic ineptitude by the Ambassador.

Mr. Beker couldn’t have used his country’s strong economic and political leverage in Somalia to catalyze the near-stalled talks between Somaliland and Somalia, Ambassador Bekar played up to Mogadishu’s over-bloated egos and make-belief aspirations to an already dead, defunct union, as he publicly noted that his country, Turkey is seeking a united Somalia. As such, in the general scheme of everything and with everything considered, SL people are closely keeping their eyes on Egypt as they are asking themselves what would be the role that Egypt will play? Would they follow the same path as Turkey? as many people are optimistic that Egypt won’t follow the same path as Turkey.

After both countries – Somaliland, former British Protectorate and Somalia which was under the Italian Colony – had gained their independence from the British and Italian colonies, they opted to constitute a unity agreement on July 1st, 1960. After 30 years of under brutal and dictatorship regime of Siyad Bare who indiscriminately killed almost 50 thousand people, mostly children, women, and innocents from Northern regions, Somaliland had finally broken its merger with the rest of Somalia in 1991 as it re-inserted its lost sovereignty. Though International community directly gives humanitarian aids to it and works issues pertaining to democratization, good governance, the international war against sea piracy and extremism, but still no country has officially recognized it as an independent country.

While Somalia descended into chaos after its government collapsed in 1991 and was racked by famine, clan warfare, piracy insurgency, SL in their side, formed its own country. It has its own police, the national army, flag, territorial borders (based on 1884 African Partition), passport, and currency, and for the past 25 years has held regular elections for parliament and a president, as presidents peacefully transferred powers.