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“Somaliland Does not Need Our Permission To Capture Las Anod,” Ethiopian Ambassador

Issue 302
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“Somaliland Does not Need Our Permission To Capture Las Anod,” Ethiopian Ambassador

Government Shuts Down ‘Shuronet’ Hargeysa Head Office

President Rayale Receives Norwegian Delegation

Minister of Civil Aviation: Jet Planes Will Be Able to Land at Hargeysa Airport Next Year

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''Somaliland Moves To Close Its Borders And Is Caught In A Web Of Conflict''

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Regional Affairs

President Rayale meets a delegation from Norway

UN Court To Start Hearings Next Year In French Dispute On Witnesses

Special Report

International News

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The End Of Warlord Government In Somalia

Against the Saudization of Somaliland

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How the Saudis used oil money to export a hardline ideology that fuels Islamist terror

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Rating The UDUB Record

Somali-Week Festival

Somaliland: Our Nation’s Hidden Treasure

UDUB And KULMIYE: Bilking Their Creditor (SL Public)

What Is The Good Governance?

Time For Kenya & Ethiopia To Recognize Somaliland Independence

Constitutionalism First For Shuro-Net Members

Ambassador Wubishet Demisse

Hargeysa, 3 November, 2007 (SL Times) – Ethiopia’s Ambassador to Somaliland, Ambassador Wubishet Demisse, denied that his government attempted to get Somaliland and Puntland to the negotiating table in order to resolve their dispute over Sool and parts of Sanag region.

There has been widely circulating rumors and reports in the local press that Somaliland attended Ethiopian held peace talks with Puntland in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, but Somaliland officials had dismissed these reports as false and baseless.

Nonetheless, the timing of visits to Addis Ababa by Somaliland’s Foreign Minister Abdillahi Mohamed Duale and Finance Minister Awil Duale Ali, in October, at the height of the Sool conflict, and the fact that the visit coincided with the arrival of a Puntland delegation in Addis Ababa lent credibility to reports of Ethiopian mediation between Somaliland and Puntland over Sool and Sanag regions.

Speaking to SL Times on Thursday, Ambassador Demisse refuted these press reports and gave detailed answers to questions regarding this issue.

“Let me assure you that my government did not at any time attempt to get the Somaliland delegation visiting Addis last month to hold talks with Puntland. We used to advice both Somaliland and Puntland state of Somalia to put the issue of the disputed area on the back burner and to go forward with their development goals. We urge both sides that conflict will damage the good image they had earned from the international community, and also it will jeopardize the peace process in which the international community wants to settle southern Somalia. However, let me assure you that Somaliland’s delegation of Finance Minister and Foreign affairs that were in Addis Ababa never discussed with my authorities anything about Las Anod, but they talked about the Ethio-Somaliland relations,” said Ambassador Wubishet Demmisse.

The Ambassador then added, “Somaliland will not ask for permission from Ethiopia to engage Las Anod, because it has the right to engage and capture its territorial borders. But what we used to tell both Puntland and Somaliland was to solve their dispute in a peaceful way, instead of war, which can jeopardize their image to the international community. A Friend can advice you, but will not force you to take his advice, so if Somaliland government doesn’t take our advice that does not mean our relationship is going bad. We can have different ideas in different cases, for example in 2006, Somaliland government was against any foreign forces to be deployed in Somalia, while we were advocating for sending foreign troops to Somalia."

Ambassador Demisse, went on to say, that "you can see we had different interests, but that has never affected our relationship. Somaliland/Ethiopian relationship is based on common objectives, which are based on the interests of both sides, not only for Ethiopia’s benefits, such as peaceful business transactions, cross border facilities, border security and a way forward to the development of the people of the two countries, etc. For example, the Tog-Wajale border point, the Ethiopian side was once mined as a whole, but in the last three years five Ethiopian Banks were established and it now works, and huge business transactions proceed between the two countries. This was created due to the friendly relations between the two countries, which is based on the common objective of development of the people in the two countries. All in all, there is no way to say that Somaliland’s capture of Las Anod is damaging Ethiopia’s relations with Somaliland. Somaliland has the right to capture or to solve the issue peacefully, that is its internal affairs, and they will not ask us permission to their rights. And we will not be angry if our advice was not taken.”

Regarding last month's conflict in Sool, the Ambassador said, "according to Somaliland, its defence forces were attacked and in self-defence, repulsed, the attackers and this was when, according to Somaliland, that its forces took control of Las Anod".

Source: Somaliland Times

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