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UK mentions Somaliland and Somalia as distinct in a travel warning issued

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The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has this year added eight more places to a list of destinations that are ‘too dangerous’ for UK citizens to visit, bringing the total number of ‘banned’ countries and locations to 24.

The Foreign Office issues travel advice for every nation around the world in a bid to help UK citizens stay safe when they are visiting other countries. It includes advice on crime, war terrorism, disease, weather, natural disaster and other factors that could pose a danger to UK visitors.

The latest update includes 24 countries or locations UK citizens are advised to avoid altogether. Places added to the list this year are Russia, Ukraine, Iran, Sudan, Lebanon, Israel, Belarus and the Palestinian territories.

The destinations are involved in major conflicts that could pose a serious risk to anyone visiting. The blacklist now includes Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Haiti, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Niger, North Korea, Somalia, Somaliland, South Sudan, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen.

The list equates to a fifth of the world in terms of landmass. As well as the black list, there is also a red list where travel should be avoided ‘unless absolutely essential’.

The list of 42 countries includes all or parts of Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Benin, Burundi, Cameroon, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, India, Indoensia, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kenya, Kosovo, Laos, Malaysia, Mauritania, Mexico, Moldova, Mozambique, Myanmar(Burma), Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of Congo, Saudi Arabia, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Western Sahara.

Somaliland Recognition on the Horizon-MP Alexander Stafford

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In an exclusive report obtained by waryatv.com, it has been revealed that recognition for Somaliland may be closer than ever before. Secret diplomatic sources suggest that the tireless efforts of British MPs, particularly Alexander Stafford, are playing a pivotal role in advancing the cause of Somaliland’s independence.

A recent delegation from the UK, comprising parliamentarians, diplomats, journalists, and British citizens advocating for Somaliland’s independence, descended upon the capital of Somaliland, Hargeisa. Among them were esteemed MPs such as Alexander Stafford and Tim Loughton, demonstrating unwavering support for Somaliland’s cause as they met with President Muse Bihi Abdi.

Sir Gavin Williamson, a prominent Member of Parliament for South Staffordshire, has been at the forefront of this campaign. Just days prior to presenting a bill in the UK Parliament to recognize Somaliland, Sir Gavin emphasized the significant progress made by Somaliland in its pursuit of recognition.

Another stalwart supporter, Ian Paisley, Democratic Unionist MP for North Antrim, has long championed Somaliland’s cause within the UK Parliament. Alongside him, Kim Johnson of the Labour Party and Alexander Stafford, the first Conservative MP for Rother Valley, have lent their voices to the chorus advocating for Somaliland’s recognition.

The delegation’s visit to Somaliland underscores the deep historical ties between the UK and Somaliland. It’s a relationship built on mutual respect and shared aspirations for progress and stability in the Horn of Africa region.

As clandestine discussions unfold behind closed doors, it’s evident that the wheels of diplomacy are turning. The delegation’s fact-finding mission is poised to shed light on Somaliland’s remarkable journey towards recognition. Through meetings with government officials and various sectors of society, they aim to understand the aspirations of the Somaliland people and their steadfast commitment to international recognition.

For Somaliland, this visit symbolizes more than just diplomatic engagement; it’s a beacon of hope illuminating the path towards a brighter future. The unwavering support of British MPs like Alexander Stafford serves as a testament to the enduring friendship between the UK and Somaliland.

With each passing day, whispers of imminent recognition grow louder. While challenges remain, the determination of Somaliland’s people and the unwavering support of allies like the UK signal that their long-awaited moment on the world stage may soon arrive.

In the corridors of power, conversations are underway, and decisions are being weighed. Somaliland’s destiny hangs in the balance, but with allies like Alexander Stafford leading the charge, the prospect of recognition draws ever closer. As the world watches intently, the stage is set for a historic moment—one that could redefine the future of Somaliland and herald a new chapter in its journey towards statehood.

Somaliland: UK parliamentary delegation jets in

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By M.A. Egge

A delegation from the UK consisting of parliamentarians, diplomats, and journalists and British citizens who are advocating for the independence of Somaliland was welcomed in the capital of Hargeysa as they jetted in.

The Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Hon. Rooda Jama Elmi received the visitors at the Egal International Airport, who have come to Somaliland for an official visit.

The delegation was led by Alexander Stafford and Tim Loughton from the British Parliament. The two MPs were also accompanied by international journalists and other members of the movement for the recognition of the Republic of Somaliland.

The team that has come to Somaliland for a fact-finding visit, are expected to be in the country for the coming days and will hold meetings with the country’s top officials of numerous institutions.

While in the country, the delegation will hold various meetings with some government officials and different sectors of the society, and will focus on social integration and how the people of Somaliland are steadfast on achieving their aspirations for the nation to get international recognition.

It is not the first time that a delegation from the British government has arrived in Somaliland, but it is a long historical relationship that binds the two countries together.

Somaliland and the United Arab Emirates in energy development talks

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By M.A. Egge

Somaliland and the UAE have had a discussion on the ways and means of bolstering energy and mining investments in the country.

This follows a government delegation led by the Minister of Energy and Minerals Hon. Abdilahi Farah Abdi this week on an official trip to the United Arab Emirates, where they were warmly received by none other than the Emir of Ras al Khaima himself Sheikh Saud bin Sar al Qassimi.

The minister who was flanked by is adviser Ibrahim Ali Yusuf, held crucial discussions on investments in the field of energy and minerals in the country and to broadly present the investment opportunities in the country on the said sectors to potential investors.

The minister was received at the royal palace by His Excellency Sheikh Saud bin Saqr al-Qasimi, who is a member of Supreme Council of the UAE, and the Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, a member emirate of the seven UAE chieftaincies.

The visit of the minister’s delegation to the UAE Presidential Palace vouches for the strong relationship and fruitful cooperation between the two countries of Somaliland and the UAE.

The purpose of the trip of the minister and the delegation led by him is to strengthen the relationship between the two countries of Somaliland and the United Arab Emirates in the field of energy and minerals, and one of the objectives of this trip was to introduce the opportunities available in the country to the potential investors of the United Arab Emirates.

Indeed, Somaliland and the United Arab Emirates have a long-standing relationship based on cooperation in the fields of economy, production, investment and strengthening of bilateral relations.

Somaliland and AfDB in development talks

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A bilateral meeting was held between the Minister of Finance and that of National Planning and officials from the African Development Bank (AfDB), which centered on the way and means of the African Development Bank to support in development of Somaliland.

During the meeting, a new plan was agreed upon for the African Development Bank to invest in the development of Somaliland with priorities being based on the ongoing five-year national development plan.

Thus, both parties agreed to focus on economic development and job creation, through investment in livestock, agriculture, fish and greening of the area, which are important for primary production and water production, development of economic infrastructure in particular sectors of energy, roads and airports, and ports, development of information and information sharing.

All these factors are among the main pillars of Somaliland’s national development plan, from 2023 to 2027.

Somaliland Withdraws Recognition Of Somalia

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In a groundbreaking announcement, the Foreign Minister of Somaliland, Dr. Essa Kayd Mohamud, declared that the country has withdrawn its recognition of Somalia as a sovereign entity.

During an exclusive interview with Sharmake Ali (@Maydhalaalis), Dr. Mohamud emphasized that Somaliland no longer considers the entity operating out of Halane (the Federal Government of Somalia) as a legitimate state.

“Somaliland government no longer recognizes Somalia as a country nor sees it as a state,” the minister asserted. He explained that recognition is inherently mutual and bilateral, and since Somalia has consistently refused to recognize Somaliland’s independence, Somaliland has no obligation to acknowledge Somalia’s existence.

The Foreign Minister also provided an update on the ongoing negotiations with Ethiopia. He revealed that substantial progress has been made on the technical aspects of a deal and that the next phase involving the refinement of agreement details is set to commence shortly.

Furthermore, Dr. Mohamud disclosed that he is currently in the United States to advocate for increased international support for Somaliland’s recognition. He is seeking to persuade other nations to follow Ethiopia’s lead in re-recognizing Somaliland.

Somalia’s Plans to Amend its Provisional Constitution: Dr. Mohamud expressed concern over Somalia’s proposed constitutional amendments, which he believes could undermine Somaliland’s sovereignty.

Somalia’s Attempt to Hijack Somaliland’s Independence Day: The minister condemned Somalia’s efforts to claim the 26th of June as its own Independence Day, dismissing it as a blatant attempt to erase Somaliland’s historical significance.

Djibouti’s Obstruction of Somaliland-Ethiopia MoU: Dr. Mohamud denounced Djibouti’s interference in the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding between Somaliland and Ethiopia, accusing Djibouti of seeking to sabotage the agreement.

However, Somaliland’s decision to withdraw recognition of Somalia is a significant development with far-reaching implications. It underscores Somaliland’s determination to pursue its own path to international recognition and statehood. The Foreign Minister’s diplomatic efforts and the ongoing negotiations with Ethiopia represent important steps towards achieving this goal.

Trade relations between Somaliland and Turkey have visibly fledged

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By M.A. Egge

The business relationship between Somaliland and Turkey has overwhelmingly fledged and strengthened in recent years and are quite tangible as witnessed.

The chairman of the Somaliland Chamber of Commerce, Jamal Aydeed Mohamed, said that the business relationship between Somaliland and Turkey has strengthened, and pointed out that last year alone saw Somaliland businessmen importing about 140 million dollars worth of goods from Turkey.

He said that those goods translated to about twelve thousand containers, 11900 to be precise.

The revelations were made during a dinner event organized by the Somaliland Chamber of Commerce for the Turkish Consulate in Somaliland and the businessmen fraternity present exchanged business information and relations between the two countries, with various information being shared on how to strengthen cooperation and strengthening.

Mr. Jamal challenged the Turkish authorities in Somaliland to facilitate tangible investment by its subjects in Somaliland and take advantage of the country’s rich resources, to propel further the trade.

The chairman spoke in depth about how Somaliland businessmen are connected to the business markets of Turkey, which he said is supported by the Chamber of Commerce in any accreditations they needed and has a strong relationship with the Turkish Chamber of Commerce work to facilitate bilateral trade.

He noted that the relationship between the Republic of Somaliland and Turkey is not limited to business relations but there are other relations such as education, health and tourism that Somaliland citizens go to Turkey every year. He informed that the relationship between the two countries is long-standing and started from the time of the Ottoman Empire.

The meeting organized by the Somaliland Chamber of Commerce was also addressed by the Turkish Consul in Somaliland, who dwelt on the cooperation and business relations between Somaliland and Turkey.

The Consul also elaborated on the traditional relationship between Somaliland and Turkey and said that the people of Somaliland who are open to business are very popular in Turkey.

He said that in the 10 years they have been in the Consulate in Somaliland, they have worked hard to improve the flow of business and education as well as health.

The trade relationship between Somaliland and Turkey has been going back for centuries and many years, which depended on exchange and trade, and the two countries also supported each other in economic and cultural matters.

Strengthening Alliances: Taiwan’s Expansion Into Horn Of Africa Through Defense Research Collaboration With Somaliland

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Somaliland and Taiwan have taken a significant step towards strengthening their ties with the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Institute for National Defense and Security Research (INDSR) and Somaliland’s Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS). This marks Taiwan’s first defense research cooperation in the Horn of Africa.

The memorandum was signed via a conference call between INDSR Acting Vice President Shen Ming-shih and IPCS Director Nasir M. Ali. The event was attended by the Deputy Representative to Somaliland, Wu Chen-chi, and other researchers and scholars from IPCS.

According to Ali, this collaboration signifies another milestone in the growing cooperation between Somaliland and Taiwan. The two sides will engage in joint research, publications, visits, and organizing international conferences and other academic activities. Ali emphasized the strategic importance of both Somaliland and Taiwan in ensuring regional peace and stability.

Shen, in an interview with CNA, highlighted the changing regional and international situations faced by both Somaliland and Taiwan. He expressed the need for further interaction and information exchange on national security and regional security, given the increasing activities and influence of China in Africa. Shen also emphasized that signing the memorandum with the Somaliland think tank will enable Taiwan’s INDSR to extend its reach to the Horn of Africa and expand Taiwan’s influence in East Africa.

The cooperation between Somaliland and Taiwan comes at a time when the region around the Red Sea has become a key area of competition between major powers such as the U.S., China, and India. With China’s growing presence and influence in Africa, it is crucial for Taiwan to strengthen its partnerships and expand its influence in strategic locations like the Horn of Africa.

This defense research collaboration will not only enhance Taiwan’s understanding of regional dynamics and security challenges but also provide an opportunity for knowledge exchange and mutual learning. Joint research projects and publications will contribute to the academic community’s understanding of the Horn of Africa and its geopolitical significance.

Institute for National Defense and Security Research holds a conference call with the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies. (CNA photo)

Furthermore, the memorandum opens doors for increased visits and exchanges between Somaliland and Taiwan. These interactions will foster greater cultural and people-to-people exchanges, promoting mutual understanding and cooperation.

The signing of the memorandum between INDSR and IPCS indicates Taiwan’s commitment to actively engaging with countries around the world, irrespective of the political challenges it faces. By establishing partnerships and collaborations, Taiwan aims to contribute to regional stability and peace.

As Taiwan seeks deeper ties with Somaliland, it is clear that both sides recognize the mutual benefits of cooperation. This collaboration in defense and security research will not only strengthen their bilateral relationship but also contribute to broader regional stability. The memorandum sets the stage for future joint initiatives and paves the way for a more comprehensive partnership between Somaliland and Taiwan.

The signing of the memorandum between INDSR and IPCS marks a significant milestone in Taiwan’s defense research cooperation in the Horn of Africa. This collaboration will deepen ties between Somaliland and Taiwan, contribute to regional stability, and expand Taiwan’s influence in East Africa. As both regions face changing geopolitical dynamics, this partnership will enable knowledge exchange, joint research, and academic activities, fostering greater understanding and cooperation between Somaliland and Taiwan.

Competition for Ethiopian sea route market exposes Somalia’s bitterness as concerns Somaliland’s MoU with its neighbor-Information Minister

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By M.A. Egge

The entire Horn of Africa countries with sea shores are competing for the land-locked Ethiopian market which has a population of over 120 million people, an issue that has made Somalia gnash its teeth with bitterness and chagrin upon seeing Somaliland strike a MoU understanding with Ethiopia.

This sentiment was expressed by the Information, Culture and National Guidance minister Hon. Ali Mohamed Hassan, who is also the government spokesperson, during an Afur buffet, a breaking-fast session during the Holy month of Ramadan for the ministry’s staff held at the headquarters.

Incidentally, this was an unprecedented luncheon thrown for the staff members since the nation re-asserted its sovereignty 33 years ago.

Underscoring the fact that the neighbouring countries competed for the sea route for the massive land-locked Ethiopian market, the minister pointed out that such was the reason Somaliland entered a MoU with its neighbouring country hence the former Somali present Abdillahi Farmajo offered Ethiopia four ports along its cost.

He went further in underpinning Somalia’s hypocrisy upon seeing the Somaliland-Ethiopia MoU that bitterly coaxed Somali president Hassan Sheikh to declare “freely give Ethiopia both commercial port and a navy base if they forsook Somaliand”.

The minister said that it was the Ethiopian potential market that gave Somalia the jitters to see the MoU Somaliland brokered to their chagrin.

The minister spoke about the need for countries in the Horn of Africa to take advantage of the market in Ethiopia, which is a land-locked country.

“The world is in competition, and business is in competition. Everyone wants to create jobs for their people. We (Somaliland) have signed an agreement with Ethiopia and geographically we our cities are in more proximity to Ethiopian major centers than our contemporary neighbours”.

He said Somaliland out to pursue and safeguard its national interests as justifiably possible.

On the other hand, the minister praised the ministry officials who organized a buffet thrown for the ministry’s employees hence noted that of the media fraternity operating in the industry, 70% of them were in the public sector.

He urged them to be steadfast in their duties and propagate patriotism and cohesive nationhood in defense of the country.

Somalia expels Ethiopian ambassador, orders closure of two consulates.

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Somalia has expelled the Ethiopian ambassador and shuttered its consulates in the Puntland and Somaliland regions on Thursday, a day after Ethiopia’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs discussed a bilateral issue with a delegation from Puntland in Addis Ababa.

In a statement, the Council of Ministers accused the Ethiopian government of interfering in Somalia’s internal affairs.

Ethiopia’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Mesganu Arga, met with a delegation from Puntland, led by its Finance Minister, Mohammed Farah Mohammed, in Addis Ababa on Wednesday. They discussed collaborative opportunities in trade, investment, energy cooperation, and joint infrastructure projects to bolster and broaden the two sides’ ties.

Last Saturday, Puntland announced that it withdrew its recognition of Somalia’s federal Government in Mogadishu after Somalia’s bicameral parliament ratified plans to amend Somalia’s constitution.

Officials from Somalia confirmed these actions directly responded to Ethiopia’s involvement in a lease agreement for coastal land in the disputed Somaliland territory.

Ethiopia’s foreign ministry spokesperson Nebiyu Tedla said it did not have information on the matter.

Ethiopia signed a memorandum of understanding on January 1 to lease a 20-kilometer stretch of Somaliland’s coastline. However, Somalia, which claims sovereignty over the region, has faced stern opposition. The deal, which includes Ethiopia’s intention to establish a naval base and hints at recognizing Somaliland’s autonomy, has sparked fears of increased instability in the Horn of Africa.

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has denounced the agreement as illegal, warning of defensive measures should Ethiopia proceed. The expulsion of the Ethiopian ambassador and the consulate closures signal a deepening rift, with potential implications for the 3,000 Ethiopian troops in Somalia under the African Union’s peacekeeping mission.

Read below the statement from the Somali cabinet of ministers.

  1. As of April 4, 2024, the Federal Government of Somalia has decided to close and revoke the operating permission of the Ethiopian Consulates in the cities of Garowe and Hargeisa. These two consulates must be closed within a week.
  2. Diplomats and employees of the Ethiopian government working in the aforementioned cities must depart the country within the stipulated week.
  3. Non-compliance with this resolution by Ethiopian Government diplomats will be deemed a violation government’s sovereignty of the Federal Republic of Somalia, and further measures will be taken against them in accordance with international diplomatic protocols.
  4. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Somalia is tasked with officially communicating this resolution to the Ethiopian government and notifying the Ethiopian government of the Federal Republic of Somalia to return to his country for a consultation.
  5. This resolution will be effective upon approval by the Cabinet of Ministers of the Federal Republic of Somalia and upon being signed by the Prime Minister of the Federal Government of Somalia.