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Former US Ambassador to Somalia recommends opening consulate in Somaliland

Washington (SD) – Former US Ambassador to Somalia Amb. Stephen M. Schwartz, in a recent article circulated heavily on social media suggested that his government open a consulate in Somaliland.

The ambassador also recommended that the US government restore its old Dual track policy towards Somalia.

“U.S. engagement occurs overwhelmingly at the federal level, which has little capacity to deliver services outside of Mogadishu. The United States should revive its former “Dual-Track” approach by ramping up assistance to the periphery.” Said the Ambassador.

Amb. Stephen M. Schwartz, in a lengthy statement, also called on his government to work with the African Union to build up Somaliland’s political status and for the next President of Somalia, after Farmajo, to hold fruitful talks with Somaliland.

“Due to its distance and estrangement from Mogadishu, the United States should establish a consulate in Somaliland to assist U.S. citizens and businesses and to build relationships. It also should work with the African Union and others to resolve Somaliland’s status by persuading Somalia’s next president to undertake immediate and serious negotiations.” said the Ambassador in his article

Adding “Somaliland’s stability and location—particularly the port of Berbera—could give the United States strategically useful options, but only if Somaliland has international legal standing to negotiate agreements or consented to provisions of arrangements negotiated by the FGS.”

The Policy suggestions of the former US ambassador to Mogadishu Stephen M. Schwartz, comes at a time when both the United States and Somalia are at political crossroads, with a recent US election and Somalia’s pending elections.

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