President Abdullahi Mohamed Farmaajo of Somalia will meet with Somaliland leader Muse Bihi next week in neighbouring Djibouti, multiple sources have confirmed.
The meeting follows an invitation from the Djiboutian president Ismail Omar Guelleh. reports say there will be representatives from the African and European Unions, United States and Ethiopia joining the meeting.
“Agenda for the summit between the two leaders has not been released but according to sources the two main topics of discussion will be to build confidence between the two sides and start a process that can lead to a negotiated settlement,” VOA journalist Harun Maruf said in a tweet.
“If the summit takes place it will be historic event. In a matter of days, Somalia and Somaliland will both mark the 60th anniversary of independence from the British and Italian colonies,” he added.
The two leaders met in Addis Ababa in February this year. A planned follow-up meeting in Somaliland, engineered by Ethiopia PM Abiy Ahmed, failed to materialize due to stern disagreement by political actors in Hargeisa, the Somaliland capital.
In between the two incidents, President Farmaajo admitted a dark chapter in Somaliland under the regime of Siad Barre. He was speaking at a judicial conference where he averred that the civil war didn’t start in 1991 but well before that claiming many lives in northern regions (Somaliland).
“We are here now, what is needed is where we go from here, it is go towards justice. What is needed is acknowledgment in seeking forgiveness for the bad things that have happened, to correct the dark chapter in our history, which means to express regret for the suffering in the north.
“To express regret, to apologize to our brothers, those who died and those maimed, to say to them that what happened was bad history, it is in the past. Indeed what happened there was not like the south invading the north, it was not based on clan, it was a government system that existed at the time.
“As the head of State, to express regret, and to convey our apologies to our northern brothers and you join in that regard with me.”