Somaliland: Prolonged Non-recognition is Harmful-Mr. Bihi


“President should hold a national consultative meeting on the way forward for his foreign policy” Mr. Bihi

By: Yumoha Pasha

HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The foreign policy of president Silanyo is raw politically and without direction.

This was said by the UCID party’s secretary for foreign affairs Mr. Mohamed Harun Bihi during an exclusive and candid interview with the Hornnewspaper in Hargeisa where he also urged the head of state to consult the nation in order to salvage his foreign policy.

The UCID shadow minister for foreign affairs said that the current administration of Somaliland’s foreign policy has dictatorial tendencies as it is a one man show, thus directionless, unplanned and without any meaningful impact.

Mr. Mohamed Harun Bihi is a trained and qualified International Relations expert with extra skills third world development, informed that the continued reliance on one man (Foreign minister Dr Mohamed ) to steer and managed the country’s foreign policy is doing more harm than good to the quest for international recognition.

Read Below the full verbatim excerpts of the interview.

Q. In your opinion what is the prevalent situation of Somaliland’s quest for recognition?

A. A prolonged non- recognition of a state a sovereign country is not good because it might make citizens despair and perceive themselves as failures internationally.

Q. What is the reason behind the prolonged non-recognition of Somaliland?

A. in brief this is as a result of a few points, we were a recognized country internationally for five days before we entered into the unfortunate union with Italian Somalia, and this is a fact that is in the record books of the UN

Despite this the international community has turned a blind eye to this fact, because they are fearful of consequences especially as it pertains to the African Union-AU Charter.

Another reason behind our non-recognition is the continued belief by the international community on the unity of greater Somalia therefore the persistent demands that Somaliland and Somalia hold talks to resolve their dispute whose end result will either be unity or separation.

The international community is demanding a resolution similar to the one between Ethiopia and Eretria or Sudan and South Sudan. The main reason behind this condition is mostly due to prevalent political, security and economic situation in the Horn of Africa.

On the other hand our deteriorating foreign relations have seen to it that we no longer maintain strong relationships with powerful countries like Britain and the USA. This lack of strong friends sees to it that they do not support our participation in important forums as observers thus avail us an opportunity to campaign for recognition at the proper forums.

To this effect the above reasons are pointers to the fact that continued government announcements that international recognition is around the corner are false and never to be achieved unless we make a quick about-turn on the direction of our foreign policy.

It is a fact that the foreign policy of the current Silanyo administration is blind and will never take us anywhere internationally thus the call once again for an urgent review.

Q. What of the London and Istanbul conferences and talks with Somalia?

A. On the positive side the only bold diplomatic step that Silanyo has embarked on is the acceptances to participate in talks with Somalia thus resolve outstanding differences once and for all.

These talks with Somalia can never harm our sovereignty at all thus beneficial.

As per the Istanbul conference the whole thing was a circus from day one, why?

After the London conference, the Silanyo administration announced that it will take part, after official invitation by turkey it announced that it will not participate because the Turks did not give Somaliland the respect it deserves.

A short time later the government announced that we shall participate because the Turks have agreed to utilize the London conference protocols. “We shall only attend the first phase which deals with development and economic issues and not phase II that will deal with the road map for Somalia which is not our concern” read the statement from the government spokesperson.

But what happened in Istanbul, the government delegation fully participated in the second phase to the shame of all Somalilanders and our international supporters.

This proves that our foreign policy is raw, unplanned thus of benefit to a few self-seekers and not the nation. The second phase participation was an international shame that we can never wash away.

Q Considering all these foreign policy anomalies, how do you think is the way out?

A. If proper political policies are not devised; it is only citizens who will suffer, because it means that what the government is basing its rule on are lies that can only lead to destruction if not checked.

As per the ministry of foreign affairs, it is currently a one man show despite its mandate for foreign relations of the country. It is only the minister who is active as he is responsible for all aspects of ministerial management be it finance, secretarial, clerical, messenger, driver etc. all this are performed by the minister Dr Mohamed Abdilahi Omar.

Because it is a one man ministerial operation, who is always away on some foreign duties in one country or another, there is nobody at the offices. Every time you visit you will find a few employees who have nothing to do but inform you that the minister is away, there is no DG and the state minister never comes to the office because he has nothing to do.

We all remember the resignation of former DG Raage who said he cannot continue to be part of the one man show cabal only to be called incompetent. So if the DG was incompetent it means the president was wrong in appointing him in the first place or was he appointed not because of his knowledge but active fund raising for Kulmiye in Europe?

We therefore ask the president to convene a national foreign policy consultative meeting that will chart new strategies for the way forward.

A nations foreign policy is not about getting on a plane and flying to this or that country every week, it is about why, how, when etc.

This is the vision of the new blood in the new UCID opposition party

Hornnewspaper. Thank you foreign secretary for your time and views.

Mohamed Harun Bihi. You are welcome