Somaliland and Ethiopian Cooperation going to New Heights says Ethiopian Consul General in Somaliland
Interview with Brigadier General Berhe Tesfaye the Ethiopian Consul General in Somaliland by Somaliland Sun
Interview By Somaliland Sun
Tigrai Online December 21, 2014
Brigadier General Berhe Tesfaye the Ethiopian Consul General in Somaliland
Question- How is your professional and social life in Somaliland considering that you are serving as a diplomat in a country yet to be recognized internationally?
Brigadier General Berhe Tesfaye - I am, very comfortable in Somaliland where I share similar ideals with citizens especially with regard to their love of peace that forced them just like me to wage war on tyrants.
I always think that my appointment here is as a result of my passion for peace and security of any people and the ideals held by Somalilanders compliment this superbly thence my ease of comfort not to mention the good rapport that has developed within the administration and all political establishments in Somaliland as well as with the Ethiopian community living and working in different cities and towns of Somaliland.
Question- Having been the Ethiopian resident Diplomat in Somaliland what do you think has been the impact of your five year's tenure, considering that a lot has been personally attributed to you?
Brigadier General Berhe Tesfaye - The existing relations between Ethiopia and Somaliland at various fronts among them economic, diplomatic and security have been won through the concerted efforts of many people from both governments with my part being genuine and timely facilitation and the like.
But to cap all was the recent MOU signed between senior officials from the two governments in Hargeisa advancing various agreements from the negotiation to implementation stage in relation to official and planned cooperation towards infrastructural development and economic inter-dependence between Ethiopian and Somaliland citizens.
Somaliland is legally recognized by the internationally community as an autonomous region of Somalia. The Somaliland government and most of the people consider themselves as independent state, however in reality the status of the region has been hanging in limbo since it split from Somalia in May 18, 1991.
In 2001, 97% of the citizens of Somaliland voted on the new constitution which cited Somaliland as an independent sovereign country and separate from Somalia. Although the polling was monitored by international observers and was held in accordance with legal regulations, not a single country recognized Somaliland as a country.
The people of Somaliland are still diligently working for recognition as an independent nation by the international community.
Somaliland became independent on June 26, 1960 from the British as an independent nation of Somaliland and was united on July 1, 1960 with the Italian Somaliland (now know as Somalia) probably the shortest time of existence for a country.
Somaliland has about four million people and is doing extremely well politically, economically and socially. The relationship between Somaliland and Ethiopia is very strong and growing. Ethiopia uses the Berbera port for some of it’s import and export business.
Ethiopian Airlines, the National Bank of Ethiopia, some private universities and other businesses in Somaliland.