It is with great dismay that Somaliland Liaison Office has come to learn of the protest by the Government of Somalia to Kenya with regards to the tweet by the Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kenya, Ambassador Peter Macharia that highlighted on Kenya and Somaliland’s keenness on cooperation in areas of mutual interest. Somaliland’s engagement with other Countries is not a new phenomenon. It has been engaging various Countries like Ethiopia, the UAE, Djibouti and various International Organizations and agencies, and has established successful Bilateral Agreements that have paved way for development and mutual benefit for Somaliland and its Partners. However, Somalia has continuously protested and complained with regards to Somaliland’s engagements. Recently, The United Kingdom’s Defence Secretary Mr. Gavin Williamson on his trip to Hargeisa met with the President of Somaliland H.E, Muse Bihi and held discussions on strengthening of bilateral relations between the two Countries which was shared on twitter to which Somalia also protested. In another incident, Somalia was at it again protesting at the United Nations over President Muse Bihi’s trip to the United Arab Emirates during which he received a red-carpet welcome.
Somalia that has expressed its stand on good neighborliness is not practicing the same with regards to Somaliland by perpetually protesting over Somaliland’s quest for development. Somalia should exercise good-neighborliness by refraining from protesting on Somaliland’s quest for cooperation with other States. This cooperation would not only benefit Somaliland but the region as a whole.
Kenya as an autonomous independent State has the right to engage whoever it wishes for the benefit of its people. The sentiments by Somalia serve as an intimidation to Somaliland which will continue to engage with International Partners for the betterment of its people, regardless of Somalia’s stance. The sentiments also serve to dictate to Kenya who it can interact and cooperate with.
Somaliland is and has always been willing to engage in dialogue with Somalia as is evident by Somaliland’s attendance of the deliberations held by the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue in Nairobi on the 25th of June,2019 in which Somalia did not attend. Nevertheless, Somaliland is keen on positive engagements with its neighbors.