Somaliland shoots down discussions on unification with Somalia

The breakaway region of Somaliland has stated that it currently has no intentions to engage in discussions about unity with Somalia, appearing to be in contrast to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s announcement of his willingness to serve as a “unification mediator” between the two governments.

Somaliland’s government proclaimed its autonomy from Somalia in 1991; however, it has not garnered broad international recognition for its independence.

“Any dialogue that transpires between Somaliland and Somalia will not discuss unification, but rather how the two previously united countries can move forward separately,” Somaliland’s government said in a statement late on Sunday.

Somaliland, which has maintained relative peace for more than three decades while its neighbouring region has been engulfed in civil strife, has explicitly stated that it “has no plans for dialogue to discuss unity with Somalia.”

Certain clan elders in contested regions along the border between Somaliland and Somalia’s semi-autonomous Puntland state have expressed their desire to align themselves with Puntland rather than Somaliland.

In February, intense clashes erupted between Somaliland forces and militiamen in and around the town of Las Anod, located in one of these disputed areas.

Museveni made this statement following his meeting with Jama Musse Jama, a special envoy for Somaliland. During the meeting, he emphasised that “Somalia and Somaliland should do away with politics of identity if they want prosperity for their country”.

Uganda’s State House, as relayed by Museveni’s deputy press secretary, declined to provide any comments on Somaliland’s statement.

Requests for comments from Somalia’s information and interior ministers went unanswered at the time of the report. However, it’s worth noting that Somalia has consistently maintained its stance, viewing Somaliland as an integral part of Somalia and advocating for reunification.

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