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Somaliland military denies report suggesting shift in foreign alliances

Saturday May 4, 2024

Hargeisa (HOL) — The breakaway region of Somaliland's military has officially disavowed reports that surfaced on its Facebook page. The document criticized various governments and political parties and suggested a realignment in international alliances. 

During a press briefing, military spokesperson Abdirahman Abdillahi' Abdidhere' provided a clear and unequivocal statement. He clarified that the contentious document did not reflect the official stance of the Somaliland military and was mistakenly attributed to the military's commander's office. 'This document misrepresented our position and should not be regarded as a statement of our foreign policy intentions,' Abdillahi stated. 

The report, which emerged from an unnamed individual within the military, has reportedly been met with prompt disciplinary action. The incident has led to broader discussions concerning Somaliland's international relations, especially with Western nations.

The military reaffirmed its commitment to political neutrality, emphasizing that foreign policy is solely the purview of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. "We apologize for any confusion this has caused and assure our international partners and domestic stakeholders that our foreign relations remain guided by the principles of peaceful cooperation and respect for international norms," Abdillahi added.

The statement circulating on social media earlier this week suggested that a potential victory by opposition parties in the upcoming elections might lead Somaliland to pivot its diplomatic relations towards China and Russia, moving away from traditional alliances with Western countries. The claim has fueled the ongoing debate about Somaliland's strategic direction in light of perceived insufficient support from Western partners.

The military's denial occurs against a backdrop of increasing regional tension, particularly concerning Somaliland's relationships with Somalia. The self-declared state has repeatedly expressed concerns over the support that Western and Arab countries provide to Somalia, which it views as undermining its quest for independence.

The African Union, European Union, and the United States have all stated that they recognize Somalia's sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity, including the region of Somaliland.


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