Somaliland president Muse Bihi has welcomed the public apology by Somalia’s President Mohamed Farmaajo on atrocities committed by former regime of Siad Barre on the break-away region terming it ‘unprecedented’.
While addressing a joint session of Parliament in Hargeisa, Bihi said Farmaajo’s apology was the first such public admission of the massacres by Siad Barre regime on Somaliland in the late 1980s.
“The statement by President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo on February 13 was unprecedented. It was the first by a president of Somalia. We welcome the apology,” said Bihi.
In a rear move by a sitting head of state, President Farmaajo issued a public apology last week over the killing of thousands of Somalis in the break-away region between 1988 and 89.
“The persecution of our brothers in the northern regions was not based on the south invading the north or by any clans but it was by the then government,” Farmaajo said upon arrival from Addis Ababa where he met Bihi in the sidelines of the African Union summit.
“As the President of the Nation, I want to make that apology and extend our apologies to our northern brothers,” the president added.
Bihi said in his address today the meeting in Addis Ababa was meant to address the question of Somaliland’s secession.
Bihi’s remarks come amid reports that Farmaajo could be visiting Somaliland in the near future though there have been conflicting reports on the issue.
Somaliland secretary to the cabinet Jamal Mohamed yesterday denied claims the cabinet had approved the visit which is reportedly being brokered by Ethiopia’s Abiy Ahmed.