Somalilandsun -The Turkish new Special Envoy for Somalia – Somaliland talks, the Former Turkish Ambassador to Somalia, Olgan Bekar, travelled to both Somalia and Somaliland capitals last week to encourage the political leaders to resume their Turkish- led political dialogue that stalled in March 2015 due to lack of progress.
According to www.somalilandsun.com sources the Envoy is pleased that both sides have welcomed the reopening of the talks as well as that Turkey will play a key role in the process . The Envoy also commented that his proposal of creating a group of countries including US, UK, Sweden and EU to act as “ Guarantors of the Talks” have been accepted by the parties.
However, internal sources in both capitals have revealed different striking points that Ambassador Bekar did not comment on.
Somaliland President , Musa Bihi Abdi, has demanded that the meditation team should be Turkey and Sweden with the centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD) providing technical support , and also accepted the guarantors role as a support group.
In the meantime Sources to close to Somali Federal Government has told the media that Mogadishu ideally wants the talks to be low key and locally driven, and therefore doesn’t like to internationalize it with perhaps the some technical support from the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue. Mogadishu may also be happy with Djibouti convening such meetings.
In Mogadishu, Ambassador Olgan Bekar, met Foreign Minister Ahmed Awad as opposed to President Mohamed Farmaajo, which makes the assertion that Mogadishu perceive Turkish mediation idea less reliable.
In both Hargeisa and Mogadishu, the two presidents personally hold the dice of the talks..
If the parties agree on the proposed mediation of the trio and wider support group, the talks may resume soon not to mention that it is at a time the Somali Federal Government and Somaliland are preparing tough elections.
Among tangible issues involved in the talks resumption include air space management, aid allocation and foreign investment which were on the menu of initial but stalled dialogue thence a proper starting point before serious political issues are delved into.
Though it appears that once resumed more so with the trio of mediators the talks might as opposed to the first five phases produce tangible results
Somaliland is more than willing to have the international community involved in any talks, whilst Somalia is not. Because, when the talks become international the issue of Somaliland being a part of Somalia goes out of the window. Somaliland’s de-facto status becomes even closer to being de-jure. The UN & the AU who have a huge stake in Somalia & will become marginalized, and all the talk of “territorial integrity” becomes mute. But, without the involvement of the IC, the talks will get nowhere.