Somalia, Somaliland presidents discuss autonomy in Addis Ababa

by Muizat Hameed

Presidents of Somalia and De Facto State Somaliland, have met in Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, to attend the 33rd African Union Summit.

The summit, which was held on Monday 10th February 2020, was attended by Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi and other world leaders.

“It is not yet clear which points were discussed. Reports say the meeting lasted for 40 minutes to an hour,” a source at the summit disclosed.

The meeting, which involved the respective leaders and their delegations, was the first contact between Somalia and Somaliland.

The most concrete instance of a meeting was last year when the two leaders visited Ethiopia around the same time but a meeting failed to materialize as was widely speculated at the time.

Since its declaration of unilateral independence from Somalia on May 18, 1991, Somaliland has existed independently with its own currency, parliament, military and legal system.

However, it is regarded by the international community as an autonomous region of Somalia and not a sovereign state.

Somalia declared the agreement ‘null and void’ saying Somaliland had no authority to enter into international agreements, to which Somaliland responded by saying FGS had ‘declared war’.

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