Investigative Reports

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Somaliland Government lobbies South Africa for Recognition

The Minister of Finance Development Dr. Saad Ali Shire is in Johannesburg attending the Solidarity Conference with The People of Somaliland organized by the Somaliland Trade Office and a coalition of political parties and business interests. The two-day meeting is attended by heavy-weight South African politicians including ministers.

Dr. Shire who spoke at the meeting presented Somaliland’s case for recognition and the fact that it has maintained peace and checked all boxes for statehood with budding democracy and will soon become a major player in the continent’s trade and economics.

Emphasizing the connection between the Republic of Somaliland and South Africa, Minister Shire noted that Abdulrahim Abby Farah, a Somalilander, who served as Assistant Secretary-General for special political questions from 1973-78 and as Undersecretary-General from 1979-90, chaired the special committee against apartheid, and is credited with helping to secure the release of Nelson Mandela from prison in 1990.

Dr. Shire who has served in multiple roles before taking the helm at the Finance Development Ministry spoke about opportunities for cooperation between South Africa and Somaliland including investment, trade, and security. Sources add that a follow-up meeting is scheduled in Hargeisa in December.

Somaliland’s international profile has improved with a string of diplomatic successes including the establishment of bilateral ties with Taiwan and the opening of Representative Offices in Taipei and Hargeisa.

Somaliland Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation with the Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen

According to sources, the Somali Federal Government has protested the conference and has unsuccessfully lobbied the South African government to ensure it does not take place. It is unclear if the Somali Government will take any steps against South Africa. In the past, it has cut ties with Guinea Conakry when President Muse Bihi Abdi visited in July 2019.

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