President Bihi questions how Puntland’s Abdiweli Gass, a former Somalia PM or Farmajo of the FGS defend seats as ‘Somalia’ leaders seated in Mogadishu if they keep insisting on the legitimacy of ‘clan borders’.
His Excellency the President of the Republic of Somaliland, Musa Bihi Abdi, today, extended warm felicitations to all Somalilanders where they were in the world on the occasion of the 58th anniversary of Somaliland independence from Great Britain as a British Protectorate o June 26, 1960.
“Somaliland independence in 1960 was the first ever a Somali succeeded to attain. It did not come easily. It was the product of nearly 80 years of unrelenting quest,” he said.
“There were other Somali areas that were hopeful of independence, too, such as Djibouti and areas under Italy, Ethiopia and Kenya. Somaliland attained that honor on 26 June as a fully-fledged sovereign state,” he added.
Demarcation of boundaries of the new Somaliland state was based on those inherited from Britain as set out in the Berlin conference of 1884.
“Besides,” the President said “the Somaliland state borders were as defined by the 1964 OAU resolution still backed and upheld by the present African Union organization,” he said.
“How can Abdiweli, who had held the premiership in Somalia at one time, or Farmajo, the incumbent President of Somalia reconcile their claims on legitimacy of clan borders to the positions they held in (former Italian) Somalia, currently the FGS,” he argued.
“If borders were to be based on clan demarcations,” he established “all of Africa would not have held on to the borders countries presently hold”.
Somali clans, he added, straddled borders of countries sharing borders, and that did not abrogate the existence of those internationally accepted borders.
President Bihi pointed out that Somaliland and Somalia, coming from two different directions, came together on their own free will, but that union soured in due time.
“Since the collapse of that union (in 1991), we have come through 27 years of want and need, lack of quality education, poor health facilities and stunted growth imposing much hardship on our populations,” he stated, adding that they had no desire to see more of that or to be party to any factors that further exacerbated the situation.
“Abdiweli Gass of Puntland initiated a military offensive against Somaliland in the Tukkaraq for the sole purpose of creating plausible grounds for extension of his tenure in office for another two years. Sacrificing human lives for a purely selfish, political consideration was beyond mu comprehension”.
The President wondered why differences could not be ironed out through dialogue.
“We appeal to all level-minded intellectuals and elders to support our call for dialogue. We sincerely do hope that all Somalis wherever they are resolve problems currently burdening them without resorting to violence and further bloodshed,” President Bihi said.
“We can iron out differences (as Somalia and Somaliland) only after we have attended to the basic needs of our people, had given them potable water, had provided the skills and education they need, had started them on the development trail..”, he added.
President Bihi pointed out the clan borders Abdiweli and his mentor, Farmajo, supported were untenable in the eyes of the international community.