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China-Somalia Ties: Somali ambassador condemns Taiwan deal with Somaliland

Somalia’s ambassador to China has condemned talks between Taiwan and a separatist region of Somalia. That was in an exclusive interview with CGTN. Somaliland is not recognized by any sovereign state, and Taiwan is a region of China.

The ambassador said their communications were undermining peace and stability in Africa. In 2020, Somalia also expressed anger over Taiwan’s move to open a representative office in Somaliland.

DONG XUE CGTN Reporter “Relations have gotten closer between the Somaliland region in the northwest of your country and the Chinese region of Taiwan. In 2020, Somaliland opened a ‘Taiwan Representative Office.’ Recently, an official visited Taiwan and said that no country can dictate Somaliland’s diplomatic relations. What’s your take on this matter?”

AWALE ALI KULLANE Somali Ambassador to China “We condemn Taiwan’s approach to Somaliland and we will always protect Somalia’s national sovereignty and territory integrity whether from Taiwan or any other entity. Taiwan’s approach is really appalling in some sense because it creates instability in northern Somalia, Somaliland in the rest of Somalia and instability in the region by making a diplomatic relations with separatist militias and non state actors will further create insecurity in our region and really undo what the world has worked towards improving security in that area.

whether it was the united nations and the African union and the regional countries which have invested greatly into the peace and security of the region and the unity of Somalia. So I think Taiwan’s approach is very unproductive, unhelpful, to Somalia, horn of Africa and Africa in general, it undermines the peace and security of the continent and we will not allow this to continue.

Secondly, the agreement they made on the resources on Somali, Somali will not allow, we consider these agreements absolutely not involved, Somali natural resources and officially belong to the Somali people, and the Somali states speak for it, and we’ll not allow Taiwan or any other entity to plunder the resources under fake agreements. These are not protected by international law, both of them are not members of international organizations, so this approach really creates further insecurity, instability and we hope Taiwan to refrain from such actions.”

DONG XUE CGTN Reporter “Early this year, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi put forward the ‘Initiative of Peaceful Development in the Horn of Africa.’ He said China is willing to support regional countries in addressing the triple challenges of security, development and governance. What do you make of this initiative, and how does Somalia plan to take part?”

AWALE ALI KULLANE Somali Ambassador to China “This is a very promising initiative and I think it’s one of the most pillars and productive initiatives that I have come across in over a decade that I’ve been in diplomacy.

First of all, to create space for security dialogue is giving the leadership the space to resolve challenges and platforms within ourselves. Horn of Africa, although being in a global strategic geopolitical position, but also was keep on having hot spots that require to be resolved.

Somalia unfortunately was one of the countries that were left out in the first phase of China’s infrastructure development in the region’s investment and we hope to catch up with that. And also the two access being the Nairobi Mombasa railway as well as the Addis Ababa and Djibouti railway. Expanding that to neighboring countries really gives us the opportunity to develop and build our infrastructure and the coastal development.

The third point of the initiative of Governance is really institutionalizing the first two and make it more our own and building the Somali institutions, the regional institutions to work together so that we can have on horn of Africa characteristics of development and as well as our own nationalistic ways of developing.

I think one lesson most of us learn from the Chinese development was that you could not take models as they are. You have to make it your own.”

 

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