Hargeisa’s search for recognition

African Union is planning to outline a position on Hargeisa’s sovereignty.




African Union to consider state of relations between Hargeisa and Mogadishu

June 21, 2019 (ION) – According to our sources, in late May the chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, asked the AU commissioner for peace and security, Smail Chergui, to outline a position on Somaliland’s sovereignty dispute with Mogadishu.

Several of its members have announced their support for Hargeisa including Kenya, currently engaged in a border dispute with Somalia, Uganda, whose role within AMISOM (mission of the AU in Somalia) is under scrutiny, and Egypt, which is interested in security issues and trade from Somaliland to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia and wants to counter Qatar’s influence in Mogadishu.

In early May, the Egyptian deputy foreign minister, Al Sayyed Hamdi Sanad Loza, was in Hargeisa. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is the current AU chairperson, and next year the rotating AU presidency will pass to South Africa, which has closer ties with Hargeisa.

The AU fears that one of these countries may submit a motion to recognise the independence of Somaliland – hence the need for the pan-African organisation to work out what position to adopt on this issue.

Description of source: Since 1981, the Indian Ocean Newsletter investigates within the power spheres of the Eastern coast of Africa, from Karthoum to Cape Town and the islands. Country of origin: France
© Copyrights 2019 Indigo Publications All Rights Reserved


Hargeis’a’s lobbyist in South Africa

December 16, 2006 (ION) – Hargeisa’s lobbyist in South Africa has once again pleaded the case for Pretoria to “provisionally recognise” Somaliland. In a document from the Centre for Policy Studies in Johannesburg dated November 2006 and published with the help of funding from Sweden.

Iqbal Jhazbhay considered that recognising Somaliland should be an integral part of a larger South African proposal to the African Union (AU). According to him, this initiative would come under the wing of the negotiation of a non-aggression pact and a peace treaty for the Northeast of Africa through the establishment of a Conference on Security, Stability, Development and Cooperation for Northeast Africa.

A lecturer in the religious studies department of the University of South Africa (UNISA) and a member of the religious affairs commission of the African National Congress (ANC, ruling party), Jhazbhay is an old friend of Somaliland.

According to him, “provisional recognition” of this administration of the North West of Somalia by Pretoria and promoting this decision to the AU would send a clear signal to the radical Islamists in Mogadishu and their allies, against any initiative to expand their power in the North of Somalia.

Description of source: Since 1981, the Indian Ocean Newsletter investigates within the power spheres of the Eastern coast of Africa, from Karthoum to Cape Town and the islands. Country of origin: France
© Copyrights 2006 Indigo Publications All Rights Reserved


Somaliland wants Uganda recognition

May 15, 2018 (The Observer) – The state of Somaliland, which seeks to attain international recognition has opened talks with Uganda about a consulate in Kampala.

Somaliland, a tiny country in the horn of Africa, was granted independence by the British in 1960 and shortly after joined Somalia, a former Italy colony to form the Somali republic.

The union soured in 1991 after a civil war, prompting Somaliland to declare independence from Somalia. Since then, the international community has not yet recognised it as sovereign.

Now, Somaliland intends to add Uganda to the list of countries with which it has diplomatic ties and they include; Kenya, South Africa, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Belgium, United Kingdom, France and South Sudan.

While the Somaliland community in Uganda was celebrating their 27th independence on Sunday in Kampala, a Somaliland government representative, Dr Mustapha Awil, said they were engaging Uganda to have a consulate in Kampala to ease movement of Somaliland nationals to Uganda, especially students.

We enjoy diplomatic relations with countries like Kenya, Djibouti, Ethiopia, United Kingdom and the European Union. We are engaging Uganda and we are looking forward to see that it follows suit,” Awil said.

Somaliland issues passports which Uganda does not recognise according to Margaret Kafeero, the head of public diplomacy at Uganda’s foreign affairs ministry. Awil said that they have written to Uganda’s ministry of foreign affairs.

Kafeero said today that I’m not aware of the letter but it very well could have been received. We get very many groups or communities world over that seek political recognition. Somaliland would not be an exception.”

Some Somaliland students here told The Observer that to get into Uganda, they first have to go to Mogadishu, Somalia, attain a Somalia passport and then apply for a Ugandan visa.

The former minister of state for Economic Monitoring in the Office of the President, Henry Banyenzaki, who is now the director of Monitoring and Evaluation at the Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) said that since the African Union had just signed the Africa Free Trade Zone agreement, Somaliland should be included.

We intend to explore all the avenues of how the issue of Somaliland can be addressed to see to it that they are recognised,” Banyenzaki said.

According to the national chairman of the ruling party’s entrepreneurship league, Robert Mwesigwa, who was the chief guest, recognition of Somaliland should be looked at in terms of business.

The unification of Germany started with entrepreneurs. I have been reading about the investment opportunities available in Somaliland and I think we should embrace them,” Mwesigwa said.

By Jonathan Kamoga

Description of source:Daily newspaper focusing on local and international news, sport, business and politics. Country of origin: Uganda
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