Thursday July 2, 2020
A member of the Somali National Army (SNA) patrolling in the town of Wanla Weyn, about 90 kms (55 mi) from Mogadishu. (File/AFP)
DUBAI: Djibouti seeks to bring stability to neighboring Somalia as the situation of the country impacts the security of the Horn of Africa, the country’s envoy to Saudi Arabia said on Wednesday.
Establishing stability and security in Somalia and limiting “the flow of refugees” is key for the Horn of Africa as “the region is geographically, culturally, humanly and economically linked to each other,” Ambassador Ziauddin Saeed Bamakhrama said in an opinion piece published by Arab News’ sister-paper Asharq Al-Awsat.
Last month, Djibouti held a consultative summit between Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, the President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, and Muse Bihi Abdi, the President of Somaliland.
The meeting was hosted and chaired by Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh.
“The resumption of the talks between Somalia and Somaliland is a perfect illustration of the continued determination of the leaders of the region to resolve differences through dialogue,” Guelleh said via Twitter.
Somalia and Somaliland have been at odds since the latter’s 1991 declaration of independence, which the former rejects. The dispute has cooled after heating up in 2018, but lingering tensions could threaten regional stability.
The two sides agreed during the meeting to appoint technical committees to continue the talks and also assented not to politicize international development assistance and investment.
The ambassador also discussed the success of the historic Arta Conference, which paved the way for the cessation of all armed conflict, in his opinion piece.
The Arta process, as it is commonly known, achieved an important political breakthrough, producing a power-sharing agreement in August 2000 with the establishment of a Transitional National Government, which secured a measure of international recognition.
This was due, in part, to an innovative peace process that consulted with Somali society beyond the usual faction leaders, including clan elders, civic leaders and business people.
“President Ismail Omar Guelleh did not only sponsor Arta Conference 2000, but participated in it actively, interacting with the participants, based on his deep knowledge of the region and its peoples, out of his determination and commitment to bring the conference to a successful closure for the benefit of the Somali people,” the ambassador said.