Somalia – Somaliland relations have gained traction on social media with the current buzz centering around a photo.
Top cabinet ministers of Somalia including the Foreign Affairs and Finance Ministers met and took a photo with a Somaliland delegation – led by its president Muse Bihi – in Saudi Arabia’s city of Mina.
The respective delegations were in Saudi in connection with the 2019 edition of the annual Hajj pilgrimage.
For some people, the meeting was a good sign given ever rising tensions between Mogadishu and Hargeisa. Others slammed the Somaliland leaders who have in the past arrested citizens for taking photos with Somalia officials.
Others even posited that the photo was just that, a photo, and that noting will change in the rift between the two. Somaliland is a semi-autonomous part of Somalia.
The latest rift between the two came up when Mogadishu severed diplomatic relations with Guinea for according the Somaliland leader courtesies of a Head of State during an “official” visit.
They met at the hajj. This is very good. Why not meet outside hajj?
President Bihi of Somaliland with FGS Foreign Minister Awad and Finance Minister Beyle. pic.twitter.com/dKYQ9alzGB
— Rashid Abdi (@RAbdiCG) August 13, 2019
Leaving all politics aside for a moment, Somalia foreign affairs minister @MinisterMOFA, finance @DrBeileh, Fishing A. Bildhan pose photo w/ Somaliland Pres @musebiihi, his interior minister Mohamed Kahin, housing Abdirashid Qambi among others – Mina, KSA. (Photo Ilyas O. Abukar) pic.twitter.com/p7PRTDL3fO
— Harun Maruf (@HarunMaruf) August 13, 2019
I hope this becomes the beginning of a new phase…. https://t.co/Pde9yNuswD
— Abukar Arman (@Abukar_Arman) August 13, 2019