The United States government has commented on “controversial” diplomatic overtures between Taiwan and Somaliland.
“Great to see Taiwan stepping up its engagement in East Africa in a time of such tremendous need. Taiwan is a great partner in health, education, technical assistance, and more!” the US National Security Council, NSC; posted on Twitter late Thursday, July 09.
Reports of the relationship between Hargeisa and Taipei has been cast in the shadows of the wider U.S. – China rift and overall influence in Africa, especially under the Trump administration.
According to the White House website “The NSC is the President’s principal forum for considering national security and foreign policy matters with his senior national security advisors and cabinet officials. The Council also serves as the President’s principal arm for coordinating these policies among various government agencies.”
China has expressly condemned the diplomatic overtures with its envoy in Somalia meeting with President Mohammed Abdullahi Farmaajo in the wake of Taiwan – Somaliland relations.
Commenting on the US position, Rashid Abdi, a Horn of Africa researcher and analyst, described the move as unprecedented. “This is unprecedented – US National Security Council lauds Taiwan for recognising Somaliland’s independence.
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“While rivalry with China in the Red Sea certainly the main driver, the potential gains for Somaliland in long-term seems clear,” he tweeted.
But for people pushing for Somaliland independence, they have camped under the NSC tweet thanking the US government for “recognition,” others are calling for the rest of the world to do same. The Somaliland government has however not commented on the development as yet.
Taiwan on July 3, appointed Ambassador Lou Chen-Hwa, as the head of Taiwan Representative Office in Somaliland. On the other hand, Ambassador Hagi Mohamed is set to head the reverse office in Taipei.