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Somalia v Somaliland: Leaders meet over long feud

Will Ross

Africa editor, BBC World Service

President Mohamed Abdullahi "Farmajo" Mohamed of Somalia (L) and the head of Somaliland’s administration, Muse Bihi Abdi (R)
@IsmailOguelleh
The Somali president (L) and his Somaliland rival (R) seen at their rare meeting in Djibouti

The leaders of Somalia and the self-declared republic of Somaliland are holding rare talks in an effort to end a long-standing feud.

President Mohamed Abdullahi "Farmajo" Mohamed of Somalia and the head of Somaliland’s administration, Muse Bihi Abdi, are meeting in neighbouring Djibouti.

The main point of contention is Somaliland’s political status following its decision to declare independence in 1991.

This was rejected by the government in Mogadishu and Somaliland has not been internationally recognised.

Djibouti's President Ismail Omar Guelleh and the Ethiopian Prime Minister and Nobel Peace Prize winner Abiy Ahmed are playing a mediation role at the meeting.

Mr Guelleh tweeted that the talks were a "perfect illustration" of regional efforts to resolve differences through dialogue.

Report

In recent years rival Gulf states have taken sides, which has raised tensions.

Mr Abiy was awarded to the Nobel prize last year for making peace in 2018 with Ethiopia's bitter foe Eritrea - ending a 20-year military stalemate following their 1998-2000 border war.

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UN peacekeepers killed in Mali convoy attack

Will Ross

Africa editor, BBC World Service

A UN peacekeeper waving from a vehicle passing through Gao - 2018
Getty Images
More than 13,000 international troops are in Mali

Two UN peacekeepers have been killed in Mali in an attack on a convoy in the north of the country.

The vehicles had stopped while travelling from Tessalit to Gao on Saturday when unidentified gunmen opened fire, a UN statement said.

The victims are reported to be Egyptian.

The head of UN force Minusma, Mahamat Saleh Annadif, condemned the attack and said every effort would be made to apprehend those behind it.

More than 13,000 international troops are in Mali to contain violence caused by various armed groups in the north and centre of the country, including jihadists linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group.

Libya conflict: Turkey-Russia talks postponed

BBC World Service

Libyan security forces stand guard at a checkpoint - June 2020
Getty Images
Libya has been beset by chaos since Col Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown and killed in 2011

Turkey has announced the last-minute postponement of a visit by the Russian foreign and defence ministers for discussions that had been expected to focus on ending the fighting in Libya.

Ankara and Moscow support opposing sides in the conflict, which has displaced tens of thousands of people since April last year.

The Turks support the government based in Libya’s capital, Tripoli.

Russia backs the other side, supporting renegade General Khalifa Haftar - who in recent weeks has suffered a series of major defeats.

The government side has pushed his forces far back into eastern Libya and it may well want to carry on advancing and seizing ground.

But earlier this week, Russia said it shared with Turkey a desire to create conditions for talks and reconciliation.

Turkish media had suggested that the Syrian conflict would also be discussed.

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