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Somaliland insists on ‘two-state process’ on talks with Somalia

Storyline:National News, World

GOOBJOOG NEWS|HARGEISA: Somaliland has set stringent conditions for dialogues with the Federal Government following the announcement last week by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud of his intentions to resume the talks.

A statement from the Somaliland presidency put out seven conditions which it says must be met before the talks resume. In what could put the Federal Government in a tight spot, Somaliland says the dialogue must be on a ‘two-state process’ and a ‘two-state solution.’

Somaliland argues that both parties were separate entities before and after they gained independence in 1960. It says that the two independent states voluntarily agreed to form one state on July 1, 1960. Furthermore, Somaliland argues, it has been an ‘independent state’ for 31 years since it declared its independence from Somalia on May 18, 1991.

All previous agreements, Somaliland says, must be ‘respected and implemented with immediate effect and that the talks must be held within the auspices of an impartial and neutral International Mediation Mechanism.

Furthermore, a secretariat must be established for ‘record keeping’ and a code of conduct and principles guiding the talks.

Finally, the Muse Bihi administration says, a ‘substantive agenda’ must be set out and that the talks last within a particular timeframe.

President Mohamud said last week following a meeting with Turkish and Norwegian ambassadors in Mogadishu that the talks will resume soon as a fulfilment of his pre-election agenda and vision for ‘Somalia at peace with itself.’

It was not immediately clear if Norway and Turkey would mediate the process. Talks between the two sides collapsed in November 2020 after Somaliland stood by the ‘two-state process.’

Previous talks mediated by Turkey also collapsed in 2015.