President of the Republic of Somaliland, Muse Bihi Abdi, clarified that the movement and social engagement (cultural, academic, sports and trade) between Somaliland and Somalia would be as two countries only.
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He however cleared the air following disgruntlements from a section of the residents as concerns social engagement between the two countries agreed upon which may have been misconstrued to mean integration.
The President declared that whoever wanted to go to Mogadishu or Somalia for that matter, for instance in a sporting game, would have to use Somaliland passport as obligated by international norms hence it was vice-verse for those from Somalia.
“Institutions, organizations, groups, (social engagement)… going on a visit to Somalia for, for instance, a sports event or meeting, will travel on Somaliland passports and would be officially representing their homeland – the Somaliland Republic,” President Bihi said speaking to the nation at the 60th-anniversary occasion held at the Presidency Place on Thursday night,.
The president emphasized that any agreement between the two countries would only rest on an understanding reached on an equal footing based on international legal norms.
“The talks between the two sides started in 2012 as two countries, and they will continue and/or end as two countries. Nothing less can be expected. Nothing less is acceptable to Somaliland,” he said allaying surfacing concerns.
Following a meeting between two ministerial-level, technical committee representing the two sides in Djibouti from the 14th to the 17th of June, a point in a communiqué which the mediating Ministry of Foreign Affairs released on the 22nd stirred a ruckus in Somaliland.
“The two sides also agreed not to impede non-political social engagement (cultural, academic, sports and trade) in order to promote peace and dialogue between Somalia and Somaliland,” the communiqué, which, incidentally, did not produce any accompanying document signed by the principals, stated.
Politicians, academicians, traditional leaders, poets and almost 80% of the general Somaliland public immediately rejected the wording interpreting as a tricky point camouflaging a union deal struck under the table by the leaders of Somaliland with their Somalia counterparts.
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