The fourth point of Ankara Communiqué by Somalia/Somaliland Carries the Weight – By Mohamoud H Arrale

I would like to express my earnest gratitude to the Turkish Government for hoisting the Somalia and Somaliland Governments dialogue which has been finalised in Ankara on 13 April 2013. All the members in the dialogue for Somaliland and Somalia which were led by the two presidents; Hon. Ahmed M Mohamoud (silanyo) and Hon. Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud also deserve compliments.  The fourth point of the communiqué prompted me to write is short analysis or comment to the effect that this agreement may entail in the setting of Somaliland and Somalia both in the short and long term.

From my point of view the seven points of the communiqué of Ankara Agreement between Somalia and Somaliland, the fourth point of the agreement that reads ‘Agreed to encourage and facilitate the international aid and development provided to Somaliland’’ is the master key of the new door of the Horn and to me at least it  has the interpretation of endorsing and accepting the powers of the Federal Government of Somalia over Somaliland and thus equates the Somaliland Government to other regional governments of Somalia. All other points, except number seven, could be fitted in under the fourth which is the mother of all as usual business.

The fourth point negates the persistent claim of Somaliland as being a sacrosanct entity that dissociated from Somalia in 1991. That barrier or ideology of never to be again with Somalia is now banished overnight, presumably with the intention of both sides or one side, by the magic two simple words ‘encourage and facilitate’ which the second word closes the lid of the hope of independence of Somaliland as ALL the Financial aid and development to Somaliland will be endorsed by the Federal Government of Somalia from now on to my understanding.

On the other side of the coin, this meeting served to the interest or the advantage of the Turkish and Western petroleum companies, and also has a significant economical advantage to Somaliland in the short term. Furthermore, it may backfire to the intention of Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud’s side to Sign this seven–point agreement as some people in Somalia may get infuriated by this outcome. In the long term it changes the political and economical direction of both Somalia and Somaliland as the future focal point of the Horn will be shifted to the North as a strategic point of investment that will also exert a pull on the South to unite Somaliland without political arrangement similar to the Union of the 1960 – name might transform later. This is because the regions in the South (Somalia) are now immersing into a situation that will weaken the function and continuation or replacement of this Federal Somali Government. That situation is purportedly marred by political contention of emerging tribal regions which Kismayo is the last catalyst of this process which has  the backing of some visible and invisible foreign hands that may after this stage exit through the index finger  which is the most further end of the Somali soil.

In conclusion, for better or worse, we are now facing reality and we should come in terms with the outcome of the Ankara meeting and get prepared for the change and the way forward. Not the way Somalia wants and not the way Somaliland wanted. It is somewhere in between and that is the future shape of the Horn of Africa. The interest of the world!


Mohamoud Hassan Arrale