Somalilandsun: Her Majesty’s Government has committed to the enhancement of relations with her former colonial era minion in the Horn of Africa.
This was divulged during a meeting between between President Musa Bihi and the United Kingdom’s envoy to Somalia Ambassador Ben Fender.
“Had in-depth discussions with Amb. Ben Fender on ways to enhance cooperation on the preparation for the forthcoming parliamentary and local government elections and bolstering of Somaliland-UK relations to the next level, tweeted the president @musebiihi after the meeting held at the Somaliland presidency in Hargeisa.
The forthcoming and first ever consolidated Parliamentary and local councils elections now slated for the 31st June 2021 as well as support by her majesty’s Government were also broached.
The Somaliland head of state and the UK envoy who was flanked Stuart Brown head of the British office in Hargeisa also touched on matters related to security in the wider Horn of Africa region.
While the issues above discussed at the meeting was made public via a press statement by the Somaliland presidential press office, sources indicate that the dispute between the UN and the Hargeisa based administration were on the menu.
The conflict said to have been simmering for a long time came to the fore in October last year when president Bihi accused various UN agencies of fronting Somalia development policies in Somaliland.
Reiterating that Somaliland was a sovereign nation despite non recognition internationally as such , President Bihi who was addressing ruling Kulmiye Party central committee meeting said “The UN should either respect our Sovereignty or Ship-out”
This public accusation came a few days after the ministry of planning and national coordination had informed through a circular issued in Hargeisa that it had temporarily suspended working relations and cooperation with all UN agencies.
A fortnight after the government suspended cooperation and subsequent accusations by the president that the global body was undermining the sovereignty of Somaliland the East Africa Business week reported that the United Nations Special Representative for Somalia, James Swan, had contacted president Bihi.
The gist of the telephone discussions was negotiations on new terms that will allow the UN and its agencies to deal with Somaliland separate from Somalia.
With this telephone contact being the last heard of the dispute between the Somaliland Government and the UN office in Somalia, new information by Geeska Afrika newspaper indicated that a visit by a high powered UN delegation to Hargeisa is imminent.
The delegation said to include officials from the New York based UN Headquarters is presumably to be led by SRSG James Swan specifically for purposes of ending the Impasse.
The United Kingdom which is the main international humanitarian and development partner and donor to Somaliland is known to be in pursuit of reconciliation.
This intent is thus seen as directly related to the latest meeting between President Bihi and Amb Fender which came as yet to be confirmed news of the UN visit was revealed.
But with the imminent departure of Amb Fender and replacement by Katie Foster as British envoy to Somalia the visit apart from jumpstarting reconciliation with the UN might also be a fare thee well one
For Somaliland whose quest for recognition by the UN has failed for three decades revelations by President Bihi that the net support accorded the country by the Global body is a paltry $5m every five years.
Now coupled with the alleged it being the second fiddle to the Somalia one man jazz ,the meagre support and perpetual ignorance of its statehood “The UN Should either respect the Sovereignty of Somaliland or Ship-out once and for all”