Somalia: Puntland left out of Somaliland and TFG talks
The Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and Somaliland talks that wrapped up in England, excluded the Puntland government which criticized the secluded meeting.
The meetings held somewhere outside of London between TFG and Somaliland cabinet ministers wrapped up on Thursday, to the disapproval of the Puntland government after two ministers were excluded from the talks.
The Puntland government issued a letter to the EU and UK ambassadors who were overseeing the talks, requesting that the meetings be reconsidered because of the lack of Puntland representation at the conference.
The Puntland letter issued a day before the talks began in England, stated that if Puntland is left out of the meeting that it would not accept the outcome of the dialogue.
“Puntland will not accept the new development or outcome of the proposed meeting in London, which entails dialogue with Somaliland that excludes Puntland to satisfy separatists’ demands,” read the letter, signed by Puntland President Abdirahman Mohamed Farole.
The letter also discusses the fact that the meeting between south Somalia and Somaliland could help legitimize a false precedent of what Puntland calls “defunct colonial boundaries” which, “attempts to deny the reality on the ground.”
In the letter also talks about Somaliland and Puntland’s continuing dispute over territories and the need for dialogue between the two. For the past 10 years the two governments have contested over regions in northern Somalia which both governments lay claim to.
Puntland’s response to the proposed meetings fell on deaf ears as the meeting wrapped up in England on Thursday.
The outcomes of the meeting have not been released but officials did say they agreed to continue talks in the future.
Earlier this year Somaliland pulled out of talks with the TFG after President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed appointed two ministers from Puntland to join the discussions.
The meeting which was thought to be cancelled, convened after the two Puntland ministers were left out of the delegation.