|Somaliland: Country Urged to Enhance Democratization Process|
|Monday, 21 January 2013 12:18|
"I doubt that the formal recognition by USA of the new Somali government will have any significant impact on Washington's interaction with Somaliland" Amb Shinn
By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The US is expected to maintain its dual policy as pertains to its engagement with Somalia and Somaliland.
This was informed to somalilandsun by Ambassador David Shinn during an interview in which he allayed mounting fears in Somaliland that a related to the recent formal recognition of the new Somali government by Washington.
The former US diplomat who is an expert on Horn Africa issues also urged Somaliland to work even harder to implement democratic governance, resolve differences with factions in Sool and Sanaag and leave the door open for discussions with officials in Mogadishu.
Below are the full verbatim excerpts of the interview
Does the USA recognition of the new Somali government change its dual track policy for engaging Somalia and Somaliland?
During the visit to Washington in January by Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, the United States officially recognized Somalia. During a press conference, a reporter from the Voice of America asked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton if the United States will continue its previous dual track policy of dealing with both the Somali government in Mogadishu and regional administrations. Secretary Clinton did not respond directly to the question. She emphasized that the United States looks forward to the successful conclusion of Somalia's political transition, which will mark the beginning of a new era of Somali governance. She made no reference to Somaliland.
Do we assume the USA has abandoned commitments towards supporting dialogue between Somali and Somaliland dialogue?
While I don't speak for the U.S. government, I doubt that the formal recognition of the new Somali government will have any significant impact on Washington's interaction with Somaliland. I believe the U.S. government will continue to work with Somaliland as it has in recent years. While there may not be public references to the two track policy, the separate administration in Somaliland remains a reality and I believe Washington will treat it as such. It is up to the leaders of Somalia and Somaliland to determine the nature of their relationship. I see no indication that the United States has abandoned any commitments reached in last year's London conference. Nor do I expect this development will change in any perceptible way U.S. policy on combatting piracy in the region.
What's your advice to Somaliland in view of the enhanced USA partnership with Somalia?
From my position as an outside observer, the best approach for Somaliland is to work even harder to implement democratic governance, resolve differences with factions in Sool and Sanaag and leave the door open for discussions with officials in Mogadishu.