Bihi expresses optimism new Somalia's president can break stalemate
HARGEISA, Somalia - Muse Bihi Abdi, the current leader of Somaliland state, believes that newly elected Somalia President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud is the right candidate to break the stalemate between Hargeisa and Mogadishu after over three decades of feuds.
Somaliland claims to have seceded from Somalia following a civil war which left many people dead during the dictatorial regime of Siad Barre. Somaliland broke ranks with Somalia and there have been efforts to unite the two.
On Saturday, during the 62nd anniversary of the day Somaliland Protectorate had gained its independence from Britain on June 26, 1960, Bihi said Hassan Sheikh Mohamud is the right candidate to restore unity between Hargeisa and Mogadishu, adding that the stalemate should be fixed.
“They always say good words that they want to satisfy Somaliland, do not please us but let us break our stalemate,” Somaliland leader said during a lengthy speech on the break-away region’s history and achievements over the past three decades.
In his inauguration speech, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud who defeated Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo said he will prioritize talks between Somalia and Somaliland. However, he did not give specifications on when such talks could start.
At the moment, Muse Bihi is at crossroads with the opposition which accuses him of delaying presidential elections but he insists that he's ready to have a meeting with disgruntled individuals. The opposition has been threatening to trigger protests.
Last year, Djibouti and Ethiopia triggered talks between Somaliland and Somalia but the dialogue was sabotaged with Somaliland insisting that it will take nothing less than being recognized as a country. Somalia on her part insisted that Somaliland is still part of her territory.
As of today, international partners still treat Somaliland as part of Somalia with aid coming from one end. Britain and America have also insisted that they will assist Hargeisa based on their single Somalia policy but Bihi has been calling for international recognition.
Somaliland has its own parliament, executive, judiciary and even Central Bank, and does not rely on Somalia. Muse Bihi is currently facing a re-election debacle with Waddani party leader Abdirahman Irro being his closest challenger.