As time ticks towards the opening of a Kenyan consul in Somaliland, President Muse Bihi says his trip to Kenya last December is bearing tangible results towards the country’s course for international recognition.
In his State of the Nation address this week, The Somaliland president said his country regards Kenya’s influence in the African Union highly and looks to strengthen the relationship between the two countries as he leads his nation towards the push for self-determination.
“Foreign policy of Somaliland is based on good neighborliness, peace, mutual respect and international cooperation. 2020 was a year of stability and peace for Somaliland.
It was a year that we realized great success politically and diplomatically and our case has found different international forums where we can present them,” President Bihi said
“The president of Kenya H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta invited us to his country. You are aware of the reception and prestige the delegation I led was given.
You have seen and read the joint communiqué released by the two governments. This was one of the trips I made across Africa and the talks we had last year had tangible results that Somaliland’s cause is an international issue that cannot be denied.”
Bihi said his government will push to present its case in any international forum despite protestations from Somalia.
“For 30 years we have been looking for recognition. We were advised that Somaliland recognition is an African issue and has to go through the AU.
On the basis of that, the government has made connections with member states of the African Union. The result is that our cause has been supported by some and accepted by others,” he said.
Last December, President Bihi visited Kenya and held talks with President Uhuru Kenyatta where they agreed to upgrade the Somaliland liaison office in Nairobi to a consul and open a Kenyan consul in Hargeisa by the end of March 2021.
The two presidents also agreed to introduce a direct flight from Nairobi to Somaliland capital Hargeisa and to cooperate on other areas like education, health and agriculture.
The visit by Bihi to Nairobi infuriated Somalia who reacted by freezing diplomatic relations with Kenya.
However, Bihi says the enmity by Somalia was not directed to Kenya but to Somaliland.
“You are fully aware of the enmity and hatred that came out of the government that was ruling Mogadishu.
This was not directed at the government of Kenya but it was explicitly describing the hatred and enmity that Somalia government has for the people and the sovereignty of the Republic of Somaliland,” stated Bihi in his speech.
But while heaping praise on Kenya, Bihi had no kind words for the United Nations who he accused of disrespecting the principles of its foundations, regarding the wishes of the people of Somaliland and the resolutions it decided when it reclaimed its sovereignty on May 18, 1991.
“Respect for Human Rights and the rights of nations for self-determination are the foundation principles of the United Nations. It is unfortunate that the United Nations doesn’t respect the principles of its foundations, regarding the wishes of the people of Somaliland,” said Bihi.
“The people of Somaliland decided to unilaterally pull out of the unity (with Somalia) and establish the Republic of Somaliland.
Somaliland has taken the road for peace, good governance, democracy, one-man-one-vote elections and peaceful transfer of leadership. Unfortunately, the United Nations didn’t raise any of these issues nor give acknowledgment, respect and prestige which Somaliland deserves.”