Somaliland-Somalia 4th Dialogue to Launch Joint Air-Control Body – Somalia’s ‘Juha Nail’ in Somaliland


Juha is an old Arab comic literary figure around whom countless anecdotes were written. He appears variously as preacher and beggar, thief and honest man, judge and social critic, Jester and charlatan…

By: Abdulaziz Al-MutairiAbdulaziz Al-mutairi

Somalilandsun – In this scene, Juha had a house. A man asked if he could buy the house, and Juha said, “Sure, I will sell you the entire house, except for one nail.” The man was a bit perplexed, but agreed. What difference could one nail make?

So the house was sold, Juha moved out, and the man and his family moved in. A few weeks went by, and the man heard a knock on his door. It was Juha, coming to visit his nail. This began to happen more and more, and when the man complained, Juha said, “This nail is mine, and I have the right to see it any time I want.” Juha came during the day, during the night, when the family was out, and when the man was sleeping with his wife.

One day Juha came to see his nail, and the man and his family stormed out of the house in frustration, saying, “Take your nail and take your house! I don’t want it!” —

During the 4th Dialogue in Istanbul, Turkey between Somaliland and Somalia, they agreed to the return of the air traffic management from the UN and decided to establish a joint control body that is based in Hargeisa to lead the air traffic control of both sides. It is also agreed that this body will propose a mechanism for equitable revenue-sharing.

In this context, Juha’s Nail is the Joint Control Body who will represent Somalia in Hargiesa. The officials from Somalia Aviation will have right to visit and oversee the operations in Hargiesa Office. This violates Somaliland’s constitutional article that forbids any visit to Somaliland by Somalia officials. Under this article, Somaliland arrested many MPs who entered Somaliland territory. Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister of Somalia Fawzia (with Somaliland Origin) and many others will be eligible, as Line Manager, to visit the operations.

As reported from the dialogue, almost every article was disagreed including sovereignty of Somaliland. In order to keep the water-on-the-face, the aviation article was the only one agreed upon. This agreement received an outcry inside Somaliland, where the opposition expressed concerns and requested more explanations about the Joint Control Body from the Kulmiye Party led government in Somaliland.

The public and opposition raised many questions including who will receive the Airway and Navigation Usage fees; the name that the joint body will use to control the air-traffic; who will deal with ICAO; will the aviation officials coming from Somalia need visa to stay in Hargiesa; and many other queries…

If Somalia receives the aviation revenue on behalf of Somaliland than the international community and aid donors will force Somaliland to receive other aid funds through Somalia, as the only recognized body in former ex-Somali Republic. Recently, Somaliland rejected UN to supply aid through Somalia — by Somaliland Minister of Planning.

Mogadishu regime considers Somaliland as an integral part of Somalia regardless of the current circumstance, and it does not oppose the management of the airspace of ex-Somali Republic from its North-Western Region.

In other hand, Somaliland government is happy because of taking control of its airspace, because Joint Control Body members from Somaliland will focus on Somaliland airspace only – this is the assumption of the Somaliland government as per the latest press statements.

However, the dialogue outcome is not popular in Somaliland where opposition political parties and civil societies expressed concern and demanded more explanation. Somaliland public is waiting the Joint Control Body to provide more technical and in-depth details on the agreement and how will the committee operate. Somaliland opposition parties demanded that the article to go to the parliament and described it as an insult to Somaliland sovereignty.

The people of Somaliland want the dialogue between Somaliland and Somalia to discuss the major issues including independence of Somaliland (Top-to-Bottom Approach), however, that did not happen as the discussion started on the minor issues like security, piracy..etc (Bottom to Top Approach). Here, Somalia is buying time and slow integration with Somaliland starting with the Aviation Agreement.

It is too early to decide on the outcome of the 4th Dialogue, as the parties agreed to appoint a technical committee that will work on the mechanism of the article.

Moreover, the term ‘Greater Somalia’ disappeared from the scene, as the dialogue between Somaliland and Somalia. This is new development and gain for Somaliland.

To read more about Somaliland Civil Aviation History, visit the below link:

By\ Abdulaziz Al-Mutairi