Upon returning to Hargeisa from a visit to the Republic of Guinea, where a red carpet was rolled out for him, President Muse Bihi Abdi blamed Italy for frustrating efforts of Somaliland to secure diplomatic recognition.
Italy is one of Somalia’s international partners. Why Bihi singled out Italy for criticism is puzzling to say the least. Italy cannot deviate from the policy of EU countries in full recognition of the sovereignty of Somalia as one country. It is up to Somalis to decide whether to maintain the Union or to break up Somalia into two countries. In January 2019 when the former British Defence Secretary whom Theresa May sacked, Gavin Williamson, visited Hargeisa, Puntland had not accused Britain of partiality although Willaimson tweeted the following statement:“ This weekend, I had the privilege of meeting with the President of Somaliland @musebiihi. I also had the opportunity to see some of the work that our Armed Forces are doing in Somaliland. #Somaliland”. It was easier to think that Britain is fueling a conflict in a part of Somalia but the divisive tweet of a British Defence Secretary was not allowed to sour relations between Somalia and Britain.
The outburst of Somaliland President is yet another example about how Bihi’s administration is isolating Somaliland by, among other things, unfairly criticising an EU member country and a generous friend of Somalia. President Bihi should apologise to Italy for his unguarded remarks.
© Puntland Post 2019
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