ADDIS ABABA – The leaders of Somalia and the self-declared republic of Somaliland restarted their talks in a bid to end a long-standing feud.
President Mohamed Abdullahi “Farmajo” Mohamed of Somalia and the head of Somaliland’s administration, Muse Bihi Abdi, are meeting in Djibouti city.
Reports say the main point of contention is Somaliland’s political status following its decision to declare independence in 1991.
This was rejected by the government in Mogadishu and Somaliland has not been internationally recognized.
The summit follows a meeting between Mohamed and Abdi facilitated by Feb 2020 in Addis Ababa.
Djibouti’s President Ismail Omar Guelleh and the Prime Minister and Nobel Peace Prize winner Abiy Ahmed are playing a mediation role at the meeting.
Guelleh said that the talks were a “perfect illustration” of regional efforts to resolve differences through dialogue.
“Putting aside the political side of things we would like to see beneficial outcomes in terms of free trade, free movement of people and goods as well as cooperation on all matters in order to provide opportunities to help your people prosper,” he said.
Prime Minister Abiy, on his part, recounted the abundant resources in the region that can be utilized effectively for regional development, if cooperation and peace are made to be leading forces.
“Together we can pool our resources to break the vicious cycle of poverty and despair,” he stressed.
The mediators tasked the conversing leaders to think beyond today and for the future of the nation as the horn of African nation gears up to mark 60th independence anniversary in a few days.
By Staff writer, Agencies