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Bihi accuses Farmaajo of freezing $60m World Bank aid for Somaliland

HARGEISA (SD) – Somaliland President Muse Bihi has accused Somali federal government of freezing about $60 million from World Bank.

Addressing the nation during the 61st independence anniversary celebrations, Bihi said Mogadishu’s move to block the funds facilitated by the difference with Hargeisa over the secession talks.

“Today, nearly $ 60 million which the World Bank allocated to Somaliland during the four years of Farmaajo’s government remain frozen,” Bihi said.

The Somaliland leader said his administration informed the World Bank that ‘we have nothing to do with these people (Somalia)’ and that they should send the funds without going through Mogadishu.

“We reiterated that whoever wants to help or support us should have direct contact with us. We have nothing to do with what is sent through Somalia; let them (Somalia) have it,” the leader said.

Somaliland which is a British protectorate on the northern part of the larger Somalia declared independence from the country in early 1991 as a sovereign state but the move is yet to be recognized but the international community.

In 2012, the representatives from Somalia and Somaliland inked a deal to resolve some of the issues including the country’s airspace.

The sides agreed to form the Air Traffic Control Board comprises four members whom the parties agreed to be based in Hargeisa, the administrative capital of Somaliland.

In 2014, the Federal Government of Somalia and Somaliland signed another accord following three-day talks moderated by the Turkish Foreign Ministry.

The two sides agreed on the continuation of the talks facilitated by Turkey but month later Somaliland rescinded its decision and accused Turkey of supporting Somalia against Somaliland.

Mid last year, officials from Somalia and Somaliland met Djibouti for resumption of the talks but later agreed to formed three technical sub-committees-one on humanitarian aid and international financial assistance, one on security and the other one on airspace control.

The committees were tasked with implementing these three agenda items which had been canvassed in the Istanbul talks in 2014 but not implemented.

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