Malawi in ‘diplomatic blunder’ on Somaliland trip

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Malawi in ‘diplomatic blunder’ on Somaliland trip
Malawi in ‘diplomatic blunder’ on Somaliland trip

Africa-PressMalawi. Malawi government has come under intense criticism from experts in international relations and governance experts over its interest in Somaliland following a delegation led by Minister of Foreign Affairs Eisenhower Mkaka held undisclosed bilateral talks.

Mkaka, who has met President use Bihi Abdi, is accompanied by an advisor to President Lazarus Chakwera, Martin Toon and William Bambi from the Department of foreign Affairs for Africa and the Middle East since his arrival on December 19.

According to Somaliland foreign Affairs Department , the meeting discussed ways to deepen brotherly relations between the two governments.

“The President and Malawi’s delegation held wide-range discussions on matters of mutual interest,” reads a tweet from Somaliland foreign Affairs Department.

The President of the Republic of Somaliland briefed the Malawi delegation that the people of Somaliland have not received their full recognition in Africa and the world, as they have fulfilled the requirements required.

But international relations experts have said Malawi government should have issued a statement prior to the Minister’s visit to appraise the nation on the assignment and cautioned against establishing diplomatic relations with Somaliland.

Human rights activist Rafiq Hajat who is also executive director for Institute of Policy Interaction (IPI), asked government to avoid recognising Somaliland as a State .

“Economically, Malawi is at the mercy of the powers that be – the West. The Bretten Woods institutions are controlled by the West so we must always look at the broader picture when making decisions such as who to relate with so that we do not antagonise those that support us,” he said.

But Ministry of Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Lucky Sikwese defended Malawi government engagement with Somaliland, saying even African Union and United Nations are engaging with the country.

“Engaging is a normal procedure in international relations. What is key is the decision that Malawi makes after the engagement,” he said.

Somaliland is a breakaway, semi-desert territory on the coast of the Gulf of Aden. Somaliland declared independence after the overthrow of Somali military dictator Siad Barre in 1991. Even though not internationally recognised, Somaliland has a working political system, government institutions and its security system.

Only 35 countries in the world do recognize Somaliland as a defacto state but has no de-jure recognition from internationally recognized country. It is also well known for keeping militiamen.

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