Uganda Refuses to Back Northern Somalia Secession: Political Stand on Somalia
Somalia: Uganda Rejects Support for Northern Somalia Secession
KAMPALA, Uganda – The international recognition of Northern Somalia’s quest for secession faced a significant setback as Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni dismissed the idea, emphasizing the need for unity between Mogadishu and Hargeisa. Despite unsuccessful talks between the two parties in recent times, Museveni urged them to prioritize common interests over identity politics, which have caused divisions in the country.
During the meeting with Northern Somalia’s representative, Dr. Jama Musse Jama, President Museveni stated, “We do not support the secession of Northern Somalia from Somalia because, strategically, it is wrong.” He emphasized that regardless of race and religion, the people face similar challenges and should therefore prioritize politics of interest.
Museveni, a prominent figure in East and the Horn of Africa politics, offered to mediate between Mogadishu and Hargeisa. He emphasized the need for trade facilitation and collaboration among the two parties and other African nations, stating, “A country’s internal market alone is not enough; therefore, Northern Somalia and Somalia need to unite, trade together, and engage with other African countries.”
For the past three decades, Northern Somalia has been striving for international recognition since its secession from Somalia. Despite the delay, it has successfully established its own government institutions, including a Central Bank, legislature, and judiciary. Calls for reconciliation have been made, but progress has been limited.
In 1991, Northern Somalia separated from Somalia following a devastating civil war under the rule of Siad Barre, the former military leader. Despite previous attempts at resolving the conflict, facilitated by Ethiopia and Djibouti a few months ago, no agreement has been reached between the two parties.
In recent weeks, the Las Anod area of Northern Somalia has experienced unrest as the SSC-Khatumo forces seek to withdraw from Northern Somalia and be governed from Mogadishu. The conflict has resulted in numerous casualties, prompting the US to encourage a cessation of hostilities from both sides.