Mogadishu, Somalia After years of tension and conflict, Somalia and the breakaway region of Somaliland have reached a historic agreement on eight principles that will guide future negotiations. The landmark deal, signed in Djibouti under the auspices of President Ismail Omar Guelleh, marks a significant step towards finding a peaceful resolution to the decades-long dispute.
Eight Pillars for Peace:
- Open Dialogue: Both parties have committed to engaging in fair and unbiased dialogue, ensuring concerns from both sides are heard and addressed.
- Roadmap to Resolution: A detailed roadmap for negotiations will be crafted within 30 days, outlining the path towards a mutually agreeable settlement.
- Honoring Past Agreements: Commitments made during previous talks (2012–2020) will be upheld and built upon.
- International Support: Increased international assistance is sought for capacity building and institutional development, particularly in Somaliland’s Sool, Sanaag, and Cayn regions.
- Addressing Security Challenges: Both governments pledge to collaboratively tackle security threats, including counter-terrorism and conflict resolution.
- Regional Peace Efforts: Cities and regions impacted by past conflicts are encouraged to embrace peace and stability, fostering a conducive environment for dialogue.
- Preserving Dialogue Integrity: Both parties agree to refrain from actions that could disrupt the dialogue and undermine its dignity.
- Appreciation for Djibouti’s Role: The leaders of Somalia and Somaliland acknowledge and commend President Guelleh and Djibouti for their crucial role in hosting and facilitating the dialogue.
The UK embassy in Somalia described the agreement as an “important step towards conflict resolution,” and the international community has welcomed it. However, the President of Puntland, a semi-autonomous state in northern Somalia, expressed disapproval, citing his exclusion from the talks and ongoing border disputes with Somaliland.
Despite the challenges, the Djibouti agreement offers a glimmer of hope for lasting peace in Somalia. The eight principles provide a solid foundation for future negotiations, and the commitment from both sides to engage in open dialogue is a positive sign. With continued international support and regional cooperation, the long-standing conflict between Somalia and Somaliland may finally be nearing a peaceful resolution.