Talks between Somalia and Somaliland President Muse Bihi is pushing for a two-state solution.

Photo/somali Times

Talks between Somalia and Somaliland Sunday faltered as both sides differed on the course of the dialogue with President Muse Bihi pushing a two-state solution in the dispute between Mogadishu and Hargeisa.

Addressing the meeting, which was also attended by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and US ambassador to Somalia Donald Yamamoto among other representatives, Bihi spoke in no uncertain terms that the meeting was between two states. “Somaliland insists that dialogue should be two state process with substantive agenda that addresses the core issues of the dispute,” said Bihi.

Noting that the failure of the unity government in Somalia in 1991 forced Somaliland to exercise its inherent rights to self-determination, Bihi said the Somaliland’s quest for independence was not an act of secession. “Somaliland’s pursuit of independence is not a case of session, but rather the dissolution of a voluntary union between independent states,” said Bihi.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed called on President Mohamed Farmajo and Muse Bihi to set aside differences for the sake of Somalia and the region. “You have the power to shape the destiny of your people with genuine reconciliation, forgiveness and accommodation,” Ahmed said.

It also emerged that beside the self-determination question, the two sides had differences on management of resources. Is particularly international aid.

Somaliland has argued it should directly receive its share of foreign aid instead of it going through Mogadishu. Somaliland broke away from Somalia and announced independence on May 18, 1991 following the overthrow of the then central government headed by President Siad Barre. In pitching his proposal Sunday, Bihi said Somaliland, which ‘voluntarily joined Somalia’ in 1960 to form one nation had suffered from ‘atrocities and genocide’ from Somali government.

“The legacy of oppression against the people of Somaliland cannot be easily swept away,” said Bihi. “Rather, they must be acknowledged and taken into account when considering Somaliland people’s right to self-determination and independence,” said Bihi.