By: Yusuf M Hasan
ISTANBUL (Somalilandsun) – The fifth phase of internationally sanctioned talks between Somaliland and Somalia have concluded in the Turkish ancient city of Istanbul after three days of negotiations said to be the most strenuous and difficult.
Following conclusion the two parties under the watchful eyes of Turkish government officials designed the ISTANBUL II COMMUNIQUE of 18 January 2014 that gives a brief on past, current and proposed way forward for future engagements between the two countries as well as acknowledgement by the Somali Federal Government- SFG that human rights violations were perpetrated against Somaliland citizens between 1960 to 1991.
The 9 points Istanbul II Communiqué was signed on behalf of the government of Somaliland by H.E. Mohamed Behi Yonis minister of foreign affairs and for the Federal Government of Somalia by H.E. Abdikarim Hussein Guleid its minister of Security sets a number of commitments with the actual implementation of agreements being chief.
Among other issues agreed upon include setting up of a joint air traffic control and management body within 45 days from today, resumption of talks in 90 days, constitute a three pronged talks technical committee with members from Somaliland, Turkey and Somalia.
En-route to the talks the two parties under the moderation of Turkish authorities set a number of agendas chief being that the focus of the discussions will be the nature of future relations of the two parties, Somaliland and Somalia.
The two countries former British Somaliland (North) and Italian Somalia entered a voluntary union later turned fateful in 1960 that was revoked in 1991 after Somaliland re-declared its short lived independence of 1960 following a brutal civil waged against forces loyal to Dictator Siad Barre (then said to be the 2nd Strongest in Africa) by SNM a ragtag outfit of the northerners. The war of the 1980’s ensued after over 60,000 people from Somaliland were massacred either en-masse, in small groups or individually.
Below are the full verbatim excerpts of ISTANBUL II COMMUNIQUE of 18 January 2014
ISTANBUL II COMMUNIQUE
18 January 2014
Document for the process of political dialogue between the Government of Somaliland and the Federal Government of the Somalia on future relations
In accordance with framework agreement reached in Chevening, Dubai, Ankara, and Istanbul I, delegations from the Federal Government of Somalia and the Government of Somaliland met in Istanbul between 16-19 January, 2014 with the assistance of Turkish Government.
I. DIALOGUE PROCESS DESIGN
i. This is a dialogue process between the Government of Somaliland and the Federal Government of Somalia to reach agreement on future relations
ii. The parties are committed to continuing their dialogue in a spirit of mutual respect.
iii. The dialogue will focus on resolving future relations between the two entities.
iv. The parties commit to resolving all problems and disputes in an exclusively peaceful manner.
v. The parties agree to abide by commitments made in the Code of Conduct and Declaration of Principles.
vi. The parties agree to work diligently and in good faith and to ensure full implementation of the agreements reached.
vii. The parties recognise the crucial role that the government of Turkey is playing in promoting the dialogue.
II. Agenda and Substance
i. The focus of the agenda will be the nature of future relations of the two parties.
ii. The parties will agree to dialogue on other issues of mutual importance and necessity as the need arises.
iii. The parties agree to set agendas in advance of each dialogue session.
iv. The parties will review implementation status of issues that have previously been discussed or agreed upon..
v. The parties agree to update each other on implementation progress with regards to past agreements at the start of each dialogue session.
III. Decision Making
I. The parties will reach decisions by consensus between the negotiation teams.
II. The negotiation teams of the parties will be guided by the inputs and decisions of their principals.
III. Whereas further input and technical assistance is required,the parties jointly communicate their decisions to theirhosting partner.
IV. As necessary meeting of the principals may be called by the two negotiation teams or their agreed partner to resolve deadlock.
V. A joint secretariat will be established in Turkey and it’s functions shall be following:
a. Ensure proper dialogue coordination;
b. Provide logistical, administrative and record keeping to support the process;
c. Support implementation of decisions reached by the negotiating parties.
IV. Sequencing considerations:
i. The parties agree on the framework for the process of dialogue, declaration of principles and code of conduct and commonly agreed international facilitation, establishment of a secretariatin Turkey and select areas of cooperation based on need.
ii. The frameworkfor the process will establish a regular schedule of meetings of 90 days for the negotiation teams.
iii. The heads of the two negotiation teams shall either communicate with each other or hold meeting in six weeksperiod for follow up purposes and in orderto determine the agenda.
iv. In between talks, the parties will agree on initial terms of reference, roles and composition of international facilitation to the process.
v. In advance to any round of dialogue, the parties will develop a preliminary draft declaration on expected outcomes.
A. The partners in the dialogue are the Government of Somaliland and the Federal Government of the Somalia, represented by their delegated negotiation teams.
B. Appreciating the central role that Turkey has played in facilitating previous rounds of dialogue, and recognizing the support received from other international partners, the Parties will decide the scope of the desired continued support they might be in need to advance the process..
C. The parties may seek jointly technical support from neutral and impartial expert organizations for legal advisory purpose.
a. The parties agree that the negotiating entities are the immediate implementing authorities of whatever agreements maybe reached.
b. Participation in this implementation process will be confined to the parties in dialogue.
c. The parties will adopt decisions to insure timely and effective implementations of anyagreed outcomes
d. In order to ensure full implementation of agreements, the parties will develop implementation plans, including milestones and agreed oversight, for agreements reached. Progress on these plans will be monitored by the Turkey government
Code of Conduct:
The Parties agree to:
1. Open meetings by the reciting the holy Quran
2. Refrain from inflammatory statements and behavior that will impinge on the objectives and progress of the dialogueand avoid making public statements compromising or undermining the spirit of the negotiation..
3. Agree in advance on joint public statements relating to the dialogue.
4. Develop in advance the agenda for each session and adopt the agenda at the commencement of discussions.
5. Conduct the discussions in an atmosphere of mutual respect and understanding.
6. Respect and uphold the confidentiality of the process and correspondence between the two parties and discussions must be treated as strictly confidential by all involved parties and hosting partner.
7. Commit to peaceful relations and mutual respect and avoidance of all kinds of hostilities.
Declaration of Principles:
Both parties agree to the following principles:
1. The Parties will pursue dialogue towards agreed outcomes and approved the contents of previous agreements which are in the best interests of both parties.
2. The parties enter into the dialogue firmly committed to resolving issues and finding mutually acceptable outcomes.
3. The parties agree to act in accordance with the Code of Conduct and other agreements.
4. The parties will fully facilitate and jointly define areas of cooperation which can meet practical needs ofboth parties.
5. The parties make a firm commitment to the resolution of differences through exclusively peaceful means and dialogue.
6. The parties agree with Turkish Government to provide regular briefing to the international communities.
7. Referring to the Communiqué of the two parties Dialogue in Istanbul, Turkey on 7-9/July 2013. The parties agreed to nominate Air Traffic Control Board to establish within 45 days.
8. The parties agreed to appoint an ad-hoc technical committee composed of 4 members, ( two from each party) to prepare the terms of reference of the Air Traffic Control Board. The Technical Committee work will be supervised by the respective two Ministers.
9. We share the pain inflicted upon the Somali people by the military regime in Somalia before the year 1991. We condemn all the atrocities committed by that regime throughout all Somali people particularly the people in Somaliland.
H.E. Abdikarin Hussein Guled H.E. Mohamed Behi Yonis
The Federal Government of Somalia The Government of Somaliland
Related Accords between Somaliland and Somalia