Somali Forum for Ideas by Heritage Institute opens in Djibouti

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Djibouti’s President Ismail Omar Guelleh and guests including a delegation from the Federal Government of Somalia led by the Minister of Planning, the President of the Somali Regional State of Ethiopia have participated in the first day of The 5th Heritage Forum hosted by the Heritage Institute, with the topic of discussion titled ‘Instability in the Horn of Africa.’

Somali Minister of Planning Jamal Hassan Mohamed, speaking on behalf of the Somali government on the situation in the region, said tensions in the region range from both visible and invisible, noting that both the hidden agendas are more serious, as they are between great powers, whilst noting that Somalia where it is today is much better than it has been for the past thirty years.

Djiboutian Foreign Minister Mahmoud Ali Youssouf said Djibouti has always worked for peace, as Djibouti is the seat of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and hopes that IGAD will play a role in finding a solution to the crisis in the region.

Somali Regional State President Mustafa Agjar said tensions in the region were pre-existing and ongoing, based on the quest for independence and colonial boundaries.

He also said that the fighting in northern Ethiopia was no different from previous wars in the region.

President Agjar said that the Somali people who oppose President Farmajo should unite with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abi Ahmed, a friend of Farmajo.

The reason, he said, was that Somalia was safe from Ethiopian interference during the rule of Prime Minister Abi Ahmed, who is also at war with the group (TPLF) that has been dividing Somalia for 27 years.

He said other ethnic groups in Ethiopia can complain on their thoughts on Abiy Ahmed, but that Somalis were safe, noting that the propaganda about Abiy’s future plans for Somalia was being exaggerated.

“For the last three and a half years, Abiy has said that he is working with the central government (Somalia). This is what Somalia has been demanding for 30 years,” he said.

President Mustafe also acknowledged that if they were Somalis under TPLF rule, they would have harmed other Somalis, citing the behaviour of the previous regime (TPLF) in Ethiopia.

Aden Barre Duale said that instability in Ethiopia is affecting everyone, especially in the region. He called for dialogue and diplomacy to end the crisis.

He also called on Somalis in the region to consult.

The Forum is expected to go on for the next three days.

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