By: Yusuf M Hasan
Somalilandsun – The team of Somaliland negotiators expected to depart the country today Sunday 5th Jan 2014 has unpacked travel bags.
This follows the postponement by the Somali Federal Government –SFG of resumed talks with Somaliland that were slated to commence either on the 6th or 7th of this month in Ankara the seat of the Turkish government that is hosting the internationally sanctioned dialogue between the two neighboring countries whose voluntary union of 1960 came to a brutal end in 1991.
The non resumption of talks in the week coming was confirmed by the Somaliland foreign minister Mohamed Behi Yunis diuring a press conference in Hargeisa where he also informed that the government and people of Somaliland are ready to pursue dialogue anytime Mogadishu is ready
The 5th phase of talks originally slated for October last year have been rescheduled on several occasions on requests from the president Hasan Sheikh Mahmud led SFG without giving reasons though insiders say it is because of the opposition to the talks within the Mogadishu parliament as well as the instability of the SFG due to difficulties engulfed trying to bring the myriads of regional administrations into the international community propped Federal government.
Another major reason behind the now numerous talks push back from Mogadishu is the fear of confronting a more determined Somaliland negotiating team whose one objective of the meeting is to discuss official separation while the embattled SFG has promised its constituents that the only agenda of the deliberations pertains to establishing mechanisms for reunification.
Meanwhile sources inside the Hasan Sheikh occupied Villa Somalia in Mogadishu indicate that the embattled president who disposed his first Prime minister (Shirdon) recently is unhappy with his cabal of officials from Somaliland for failure of enticing Hargeisa to temper down its stand for awhile to give he, Hasan, time to handle parliament and regional administrations.
At the same time President Hasan is on a daily parley at Villa Somalia with numerous entities that want their sons and daughters to be appointed ministers in the new government of incoming Prime minister Dr. Abdiweli Sheik Ahmed who is reportedly adamant on gthe interference of Hasan Sheikh in his, PM, selection process.
Similarly sources indicate that president Hasan is crying out loud for a return of the former UN Special Representative Ambassador Augustine Mahiga a savvy diplomat from Tanzania credited with crafting the SFG because, he, Hasan is dissatisfied with Mahiga’s replacement, Briton Nicholas Kay said to maintain a lackluster diplomacy especially in relations to Somaliland which denied Kay’s UNSOM an operational base in Hargeisa.
As for the Turkey Slated talks citizens in Hargeisa are happy about the new postponement hoping that it shall be permanent for Somalilanders do not want recognition from Somalia or the international community at that matter for they already recognized their country as Sovereign and gist’s of reunification are taboo.
Meanwhile ever the talks take off then they will be the ‘Gordian Knot’ for Turkey due to its government’s partiality towards Somalia and the ‘Trojan Horse’ for Somaliland and its demand for nothing less than dialogue on honourable separation while they, Ankara Talks, are the ‘Catch-22’ of the SFG and its president of Hassan Sheikh who since taking office has trumpeted his mission and chief mandate as being the reunification with Somaliland.