Thursday June 18, 2020
DJIBOUTI (HOL) - The talks between Somalia and Somaliland concluded Wednesday evening with both parties agreeing to defer for a further 15 days negotiations on contentious issues namely foreign aid, security and airspace control.
A communique read out by Djibouti Foreign Affairs Minister Mohamoud Youssouf mirrored a similar one from the 2014 talks in Turkey.
The two sides, according to the communique formed three technical sub-committees-one on humanitarian aid and international financial assistance, one on security and the other one on airspace control.The three committees which are expected to meet in 15 days are tasked with implementing these three agenda items which had been canvassed in the Istanbul talks in 2014 but not implemented.
During the January 2014 talks in Istanbul, the two sides agreed to establish a Joint Air Traffic Control Board within 45 days whose operations would be supervised by aviation Ministers from Somalia and Somaliland.
However, this milestone was not realised. The Federal Government regained full control of the country’s airspace from ICAO on July 2019.
However, Somaliland has contested the move noting it should be involved in the management of the resource.
The Djibouti talks which started Sunday also agreed that a ministerial committee from both sides will meet again in Djibouti in 45 days’ time to evaluate progress.
But with the agreements, still emerge concerns as to whether they will be implemented this time around. Somaliland President Muse Bihi already poured cold water on the process questioning the legitimacy of the talks.
“Today how can we proceed with this dialogue if the previously signed agreements in London, Istanbul, Accra and Djibouti were not implemented yet,” Bihi said during his opening remarks Sunday.