19 May 2007 04:14

SOMALIA WATCH

 
SW News
  • Title: [SW News] (Reuters) Somaliland Says "No" to Unity with Somalia
  • From: []
  • Date :[19 Feb 2000]

Somaliland Says "No" to Unity with Somalia

HARGEISA, Somalia, Feb 19 (Reuters) - President Mohamed Ibrahim Egal of the self-declared Republic of Somaliland said his country will not unite with Somalia, from which it broke in 1991, a newspaper reported on Saturday.

"We will go to war if attempts are made by outside parties to unite Somaliland with Somali factions. Somaliland has many enemies who believe that what we have gained is not in their best interest," he told newly-appointed ministers on Friday, the newspaper Jamhuuriya said.

The paper said the president was apparently rejecting a new approach from President Ismail Omar Guelleh of Djibouti, who wants to organise a Somali national reconciliation conference in the neighbouring country.

Guelleh has proposed a Somalia peace conference starting on April 30, with the aim of selecting a transitional national assembly, with powers to choose a president of a united Somalia.

He wants local representatives -- religious leaders, women's groups, elders and intellectuals -- to join the search for a formula to restore peace to the eastern African nation. Somaliland, bordering the Gulf of Aden, covers the area of the former British Somaliland, which joined with Italian Somalia in 1960 to form the united Republic of Somalia.

It declared itself an independent republic in 1991, when the government of Somalia, based in Mogadishu, collapsed with the overthrow of president Mohamed Siad Barre.

Although unrecognised internationally, Somaliland has remained united while the rest of Somalia has no central government and is divided between armed factions.


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