SA, Tanzania not ready to recognise Somaliland

2011-08-13 23:22

Pretoria - South Africa and Tanzania are not yet ready to recognise Somaliland and believe it should not be split off from Somalia, according to the foreign ministers of Tanzania and South Africa.

This emerged following bilateral talks between Tanzanian foreign affairs minister Bernard Membe and South Africa's international relations and co-operation minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane in Pretoria on Saturday.

Membe said that he would be meeting a delegation from Somaliland within the next two weeks, but would not comment on the details of the talks until they had happened.

Both Membe and Nkoana-Mashabane said they would prefer to see Somalia remain as a single country.

Nkoana-Mashabane said: "Somaliland at the moment in our memory is part of Somalia. We do not want to encourage the disintegration of countries. For now, in line with the AU, we are not in the business of not disbanding, dismantling and dismembering countries."

In May Somalia's breakaway Somaliland state celebrated 20 years since it split from the rest of Somalia.

To date no country has officially recognised the former British protectorate in the north of Somalia despite the fact that it has enjoyed relative stability unlike the rest of Somalia which has been plagued by famine and war.

Referring to Somalia, Membe said the growing threat of piracy was a concern.

He said that in the past year there had been 27 attacks by Somali pirates on ships destined for the country's main port of Dar es Salaam. The additional security required to protect shipping was pushing up the prices of consumer goods.

- SAPA

Read more on:    international relations  |  maite nkoana-mashabane  |  tanzania  |  sa  |  somalia  |  east africa
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