The United Nations is pushing for renewed talks between Somalia and Somaliland to improve security and promote economic growth.
The UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia, Ambassador James Swan visited Somaliland’s capital Hargeisa with a special message to the country’s President Muse Bihi on its (UN) support towards initiatives aimed at building mutual confidence and fostering dialogue between Hargeisa and Mogadishu.
“The United Nations welcomes initiatives aimed at building mutual confidence and fostering dialogue between Hargeisa and Mogadishu.
“We believe there are many areas in which greater cooperation could improve security, promote economic growth, and improve the lives of the people,” said Swan while addressing the media shortly after a meeting with the Somaliland President.
Swan said that while the two countries remain divided politically, there are areas they can work together to benefit their people.
“We believe there are many areas in which greater cooperation could improve security, promote economic growth and improve the lives of the people,” he said.
Somaliland broke away from Somali in 1990 after the eruption of the civil war and has since been pushing for international recognition and a seat at the United Nations. Somalia meanwhile maintains Somaliland remains part of its regions.
As a result Somaliland, with its own democratically elected government, with a military and its own currency remains unrecognized internationally and does not get aid from world financial bodies like World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
But Swan said the United Nations remains a key partner to Somaliland.
“The United Nations maintains a full-time office in Hargeisa and implements a wide range of programmes to benefit the people of Somaliland,” Swan said.
He added that they are committed to continuing United Nations engagement with Somaliland and their many programmes in support of its people.
“With 16 United Nations offices, agencies, funds, and programmes active in Somaliland, our support covers a wide range of governance, security, development, and humanitarian programmes.
“As examples, the UN’s work includes support to primary schools, equipping teachers with the skills and materials to provide a sound basic education.
“We provide assistance to internally displaced people and refugees in Somaliland, fleeing conflict elsewhere or forced to move by drought.
“ We support the rule of law, policing and the justice system. The UN’s work is diverse, but the common thread is that it aims to make a practical and positive difference to the people and public services of Somaliland,” said Swan.
Somaliland government meanwhile placed some requests to the UN representative during the meeting with President Bihi.
“We have also asked the representative to send a message to the UN Secretary-General, that we are deeply concerned about the benefits, resources and contributions from the international community and the United Nations, in terms of building infrastructure, job creation and the country’s needs for education, health and water.
“We are all deeply concerned about the contribution from the world,” said Somaliland Foreign Minister Yasin Haji Mohamud Harir.
The minister also said that the president had assured the UN delegation that Somaliland has overcome all odds, conflicts and the president told the envoy that Somaliland is ready to have a dialogue with Somalia and deal with issues of importance.
BY ODINDO AYIEKO