President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda said his country did not support the secession of the Somaliland region from Somalia and offered to mediate in the long-standing dispute. The aim is to facilitate the reunification of the two entities after more than three decades of separation.
Entebbe, UGANDA. By Dalmar:
The announcement came yesterday after President Museveni met the Special Envoy from the self-declared Somaliland Republic, Jama Musse Jama, in Entebbe on Friday. During the meeting, Museveni reaffirmed Uganda’s stance against the secession of Somaliland from Somalia, emphasizing that it is strategically misguided.
“We do not support the secession of Somaliland from Somalia because, strategically, it is wrong. People face similar challenges regardless of race and religion; hence, they should embrace the politics of interest, which is more important than the politics of identity,” President Museveni stated. He further expressed his commitment to take on the role of a peace facilitator between the two entities.
President Museveni highlighted the potential benefits of reunification, emphasizing the importance of unity and economic cooperation between the two regions. “A country’s internal market alone is not enough. Therefore, Somaliland and Somalia need to unite, trade together, and trade with other African countries,” he asserted.
Somaliland’s struggle for recognition
Somaliland declared independence from Somalia in 1991 but has struggled to gain widespread international recognition as a sovereign state. Until recently, Somaliland has managed to maintain relative stability, while Somalia has suffered from a protracted civil war and other challenges.
The prospect of reunification between Somaliland and Somalia carries significant implications for the Horn of Africa. It is a potential opportunity to bolster the region’s ability to tackle shared challenges, including the al-Shabaab insurgency.
Recent ethnic clashes
On 19 September, a wave of ethnic clashes took place in Somaliland, raising fears of a full-scale civil war. The outbreak of violence occurred in Ali Sahid (Cali Saahid), south of the city of Bur’o (Burco, Burao). The members of the Isse Muse subclan of the Habar Awal, the clan of Somaliland President Muse Bihi, clashed with the Habar Yoonis subclan of the Garhajis group of clans.