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Unusual events are developing in Horn. The president of #Somalia with the president of Ethiopia are expected to visit Hargaisa, self-declared republic of #Somaliland: not recognized. The speaker of the upper house of Somaliland though disliking the visit, suggested accommodation
The upper house, Guurti or the house of traditional elders is un-elected body that wields the power( to extend terms to both the executive and the House of Representatives: it did it many times.
For background on Guurti:
see this: crisisgroup.org/africa/horn-af…
refworld.org/docid/51e915d9…
Guurti, the house of elders, lacks constitutional powers to extend terms, however, they played major role in building #Somaliland state: negotiated its contours, resolved disputes and so on. Many fear younger ‘elders’ may be tempted to advance other interests. #Somalia
In any case, because Guurti is un-elected body, but much esteemed body, these are un-resolved accountability issues. Who will hold them accountable? Who will prevent them from moving away the politics of consensus to the politics of authoritarianism? -#Somalilamd #Somalia
With these weaknesses in mind, the president of #Somaliland may be able to pressure the Guurti to accept Farmajo visit, apparently managed by Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia. The rationale of the visit is not known, but it may divide the people of Somaliland:divide and rule possibility
Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia visited UAE two days ago. Farmajo-Bihi talks will feature talks with UAE officials. UAE plans to build about $500 million port facility in Somaliland, where Ethiopia would have about 20% share of the facility. #Somaliland #Ethiopia
busiweek.com/bihi-farmajo-m…
Ethiopia plays guarantor of UAE investment in the Berbera port, Somaliland, limiting #Somalia’s opposition to it under Farmajo rule, and mediating between #Somaliland and UAE to ensure the general security of the investment. What does Farmajo get out of this? It is election year.
UAE and Ethiopia get the legal cover they need from President Farmajo ( he has the pen to sign a bill that will prohibit UAE construction of port in Berbera, approved by both #Somalia’s houses, ) to operate in a state that has de facto power but not de jure power.
It appears Farmajo asked a visit to Hargaisa in return he must give some sort of assurances that the port facility will face no legal challenges, in return Ethiopia and UAE will help him return back to power in 2021 and not support his opponents, with money and power #Somaliland
Farmajo will also gain support from unity supporters in #Somalia and at the same time divide the people of #Somaliland, building the context for supporting one against the other, divide and rule, but that will be after elections, post-2021 elections.
The visit will also tarnish the legitimacy of the state in #Somaliland, making it tutelage, days of the Somaliland protectorate now under Ethiopia and UAE is back, lacking a decision on its own: may be forced by others to do what goes against their widely held values.
Under the port agreement, with free trade zone, UAE will own 51% of the shares, wheras Somaliland and Ethiopia would have 30% and 19% share respectively. In return Ethiopia will shift significant percentage of its trade from Djibouti to Somaliland, access to Ethiopia’s market.
Some report that Farmajo will not visit Somaliland and this is what @musebiihi will say on Tuesday per Somali professor who spoke to locals. Given what the speaker of the Guurti house said, it is possible that he will welcome him to Hargaisa, for the sake of the port.
Wall Street saw the deal between UAE and #Somaliland: $5 M and 10% of the revenues to Somaliland; company will manage the port for 30 years; $442 M will be invested in the port; fisheries support, favorable immigration to UAE, and road between the port and Ethiopia, free trade
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