People must eat first, UK ambassador tells FGS and Somaliland over Berbera row

Matters of sovereignty need to be settled; they’re very important. But first people must eat

File Photo: Goobjoog News

UK ambassador to Somalia David Concar has called on the Federal Government and Somaliland to prioritise the plight of millions of Somalis who are starving adding a war of words over the Berbera port issue won’t help resolve differences.

Ambassador Concar told Goobjoog News whereas the issue of sovereignty was crucial, the immediate problem afflicting the country-drought needs undivided attention from the leadership in Hargeisa and Mogadishu.

“Matters of sovereignty need to be settled they’re very important. But first people must eat.”

“The Federal Government of Somalia and the administration in Hargeisa need to get together soon to talk about all these issues and to have a very balanced objective discussions about what is in both their interests moving forward,” said Concar.

“We do not think it helps either party on this issue for there to be a war of words, for there to be inflammatory rhetoric on either side. So we would encourage both parties to get around the table and calmly discuss what is in their best interest.”

READ FULL INTERVIEW: Q&A: UK ambassador Concar to Somalia on the humanitarian situation in the country

Concar says his country was making significant contributions to the humanitarian response noting it was imperative that starving Somalis are first attended to at the expense of any other pressing issue.

“The U.K. is leading by example; we’re asking you to put money into this. We’re going first; we’re putting 85.6 million pounds on the table as an initial contribution from the UK. And I think donors, our partners respect that we’re not just telling them you’ve got to pay money, we’re putting money in ourselves you know.”

Relations between Mogadishu and Hargeisa have thawed in the past weeks following the Berbera Port agreement granting Ethiopia 19% in new deal as Somaliland and Emirati ports operator DP World go with 30% and 51% respectively.

Somaliland has maintained it would proceed with the deal as the Federal Government dismissed it as a nullity.




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