Somaliland ready to recieve Afghan refugees

HARGEISA (HORN OBSERVER) – Afghan refugees may soon be welcomed in the breakaway Somaliland region of Somalia thanks to preliminary talks between US government and Somaliland authorities.

Speaking to AFP, Somaliland foreign ministry spokesperson said that Hargeisa had entered into discussions with US officials about temporarily hosting Afghan refugees.

“We (in) principle agree… to host Afghan refugees for the transit period,” the official said, adding that the agreement was still at a preliminary stage, with technicalities still to be worked out and no date set for their arrival.

It is not clear when Afghan refugees will be arriving in the horn of Africa region thought a charter flight carrying 51 Afghans — including men, women and children — landed in Uganda, with more evacuees expected to arrive in the coming days.

Uganda was among number of countries that accepted to host Afghan refugees.

The evacuations were in response to a request from Washington to temporarily host “at-risk” Afghan nationals who are in transit to the United States and other destinations worldwide.

There are dozens of Yemeni and Syrian refugees in Somaliland region, which is yet gain international recognition despite relative peace in the region.

Somaliland declared its secession in 1991 after the collapse of Somalia’s last central government led by the then late Mohamed Siyad Barre.

The region located in the northern Somalia had severally held talks with the authorities in the southern to iron out the differences over the secession.

The talks were held in Turkey and Djibouti but the sides failed to reach lasting solution to end their differences.

Somaliland which gained independence from Britain merged with the southern regions of what would later be called Somalia in 1960.

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