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Somaliland Rebukes G7 Communique and Firmly Asserts Sovereignty

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In a strongly worded response to the recent G7 Foreign Ministers’ communique, the Somaliland Ministry of Foreign Affairs has voiced profound objections to the portrayal of Somaliland’s status, particularly its reference as the “Somaliland Region of Somalia.” The Ministry’s statement, echoing sentiments from both the Government and citizens of Somaliland, condemns the G7’s language as not only misleading but also detrimental to Somaliland’s hard-won sovereignty.

Providing historical context, the Ministry emphasized the dissolution of the union between Somaliland and Somalia, citing its lack of legal foundation following the collapse of the Somali government in 1991. Asserting Somaliland’s status as a sovereign entity with its own legal framework, validated through a democratic constitutional referendum, the Ministry reiterated the sanctity of Somaliland’s statehood.

Expressing dismay at the G7’s oversight of Somaliland’s democratic stability, the Ministry criticized the group for neglecting ground realities and called for recognition of Somaliland’s peaceful aspirations.

However, the Ministry’s response comes against the backdrop of concerns raised by the G7 regarding the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Ethiopia and the Somaliland region of Somalia, announced in January 2024. This MoU has drawn international attention and scrutiny.

During the G7 meeting held in Capri, Italy, from April 17th to 19th, member states expressed apprehensions about the MoU and urged both Ethiopia and Somalia to maintain open channels of dialogue. The G7 emphasized the importance of preventing further escalation and called for adherence to international law, particularly principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity enshrined in the UN Charter.

“to keep all channels of dialogue open to prevent further escalation, working with regional partners, in the framework of the African Union and through bilateral contacts, in accordance with international law and the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity as enshrined in the UN Charter.”

The Somali Federal Government has accused Ethiopia of violating its sovereignty through the MoU with Somaliland, and threatening war despite Ethiopian forces’ presence in Somalia under the ATMIS mandate. However, Somaliland, despite lacking international recognition, has functioned as an independent country and entered into similar agreements with foreign entities in the past. Its main port of Berbera and free trade zone is managed DP World.

Interestingly, Somalia perceives the collaboration between Somaliland and Ethiopia as a greater threat to its stability than the Al-Shabaab terrorist organization, which recently made significant gains against Somalia’s forces on multiple fronts including attacks in the capital.

Although several countries maintain diplomatic missions in Somaliland, it is noteworthy that Somaliland, for decades has tacitly worked with foreign embassies and diplomats assigned to Somalia, especially those from the west, which has long been pointed to as detrimental to its efforts to differentiate itself from Somalia in its quest to gain international recognition.

Recently, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Essa Kayd, in an impromptu interview in Paris, stated that the Somaliland government will no longer work with foreign diplomats assigned to Somalia. Beyond the minister’s remark, no official communication has been issued by the Somaliland government stating its intention to cease cooperation with foreign embassies to Mogadishu.

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