Thursday, 26 April 2012

Not the Right Time for Talks: Between Somalia’s Transitional Government & Somaliland

Not the Right Time for Talks: Between Somalia’s Transitional Government & Somaliland
By Said A. Saryan

April 26 , 2012

In the midst of incessant heart breaking barrage of ghastly bad news emanating from their motherland, the Somali public saw a ray of hope in last week’s announcement that  Somalia’s Transitional Government (TFG) and Somalia’s Northwestern secessionist enclave (‘Somaliland’) will, after 20 years of silence, engage in preliminary talks, as reflected in paragraph (6) of the London International Conference on Somalia, held on February 23, 2012.

However, to the dismay of the Somali public, who saw these talks as a major step towards the restoration of peace and unity to their long-suffering homeland, both the TFG and Somaliland started with the wrong foot and approached these talks in a casual haphazard fashion.

The TFG President, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, appointed a five-member Cabinet Committee, chaired by the Minister of Interior, Mr. Abdisamad Mallin Mohamoud, who in recent interview with VOA’s Somali Section unequivocally stated that he personally supports the secessionist’s misguided goal to be recognized as an independent entity from the rest of the country. This quick appointment of this Committee was apparently conceived and carried out without consulting with the Prime Minister and the rest of his Cabinet.

Since that appointment a disturbing expose also came to light regarding Mr. Abdisamad’s past political relationship with the Hargeisa secessionist Administration.  According to sources who attended the London Conference he was Sheikh Sharif’s emissary to the Silaanyo camp and did
participate in several close-door Meetings with key officials from Somaliland.

In tandem with these dangerous missteps from the TFG camp, the secessionist regime put forth highly inflammatory pre-conditions, which smacks of arrogance and clearly indicates they are not serious in engaging in constructive dialogue with the Transitional Government but are going through the motion merely to satisfy the call of the British Government and then argue that these ‘Southerns’ are not ready or capable to engage in a meaningful dialogue. The selection of London for the venue of the Meeting gives credence to this possible scenario.Continued

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