Djibouti’s president mediates Somali talks renewal

DJIBOUTI (Caasimada Online) – In an effort to resume stalled talks, Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh has arranged a meeting between President of Somalia Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Somaliland regional leader Muse Bihi Abdi.

Guelleh, who has recently advocated for mediation between Somaliland and the Federal Government of Somalia, contacted both leaders. However, a date has yet to be set for the start of the meeting. 

In June 2022, Djibouti hosted a three-day meeting that brought together former Somalia president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo and Bihi.

 The talks, chaired by President Guelleh and attended by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, ultimately failed to reach a deal, and relations have since deteriorated.

Appointment of special envoy  

This week, President Hassan Sheikh appointed former Galmadug President Abdikarim Hussein Guled as a special envoy for Somaliland talks.

Muse Bihi Abdi has welcomed Guled’s appointment as a positive step forward.  

Guled was selected for his experience, having previously led delegates engaged in dialogue with Somaliland representatives in the UK, Turkey, and other countries during the first term of Hassan Sheikh as president. 

Over the past three months, Somaliland troops have clashed with SSC-Khatumo forces, disregarding ceasefire calls from members of the international community.  

Doctors report that the ongoing violence has resulted in over 200 deaths in LasAnod. 

Local forces in the Sool, Sanaag, and Cayn regions are pushing for self-governance and demanding separation from Somaliland after 15 years, seeking to establish a separate state as part of greater Somalia.

Djibouti’s mediation: A potential solution? 

While it remains unclear how long it will take to establish order in the contested regions, the anticipated mediation by Djibouti could break the deadlock. 

The SSC elders have declared they are not part of the breakaway region. 

As the international community watches with anticipation, the upcoming talks present an opportunity for progress in resolving the longstanding conflict between Somali leaders.