Somaliland is now accusing Somalia and its former colonial master Italy of working together in frustrating her quest for international recognition.
Somaliland President Muse Bihi however, says the international community is warming up to welcoming Somaliland back to the world map by granting the country recognition.
President Bihi, on arrival from Guinea where he was on an official visit on the invitation of Guinea President Alpha Conde said Italy had pile pressure on Guinea not to welcome him and his delegation from Somaliland.
“Italy was among nations that bore great pressure on Guinea heeding the hysteric calls of the Mogadishu administration. In fact, Italy exerted the greatest pressure but to no avail,” said Bihi.
We are now seeing Somalia working with some countries in the west to frustrate our quest for recognition and at the same time bully our international friends who are sympathetic to our course,” added the Somaliland leader when he arrived back in Hargeisa.
“But we are happy, the number of nations that have shown sympathy to our course and are willing to help us in the push for self-determination is increasing and soon we will be a recognized stated.”
The visit by Bihi to Guinea has elicited a strong reaction from Somalia who announced it had cut all diplomatic ties with the West African state.
Somali foreign ministry in a statement said the government had cut all diplomatic ties after Guinea “accorded the protocol of head of state… to the leader of a separatist movement”
At the weekend, Guinea president responded by saying Somaliland had all rights to chart her destiny.
The events of last week have hardened Somalilanders’ attitudes towards Mogadishu’s based government. This has given rise to the opposition urging Somaliland to stop talking to the Mogadishu government.
President Bihi was met with a rapturous welcome on his return from Guinea Conakry. Crowds thronged the streets, most businesses were closed and people flocked to the capital Hargeisa from all corners of Somaliland.
Somaliland has waged a 29-year campaign to be recognized after it separated from Somalia in 1990 when the civil war started. The two countries had merged after independence. Somaliland was a British protectorate while Somali was colonized by the Italians.