CORD leader Raila Odinga lectured audience in London and made a comment that Somalia officials find offensive.
In the public lecture at Chatham House in London last week, Raila urged the international community to always remember the integrity of Somaliland. The area is a section of Somalia which broke out in 1991.
“I am a strong supporter of the full recognition of Somaliland. I think there is a very strong case,” stated Odinga when responding to a question.
Furious at the comment, one of Somalia’s representatives to Kenya replied the remark via a Twitter post. He described the comment by Opposition leader as an ‘irresponsible’ one.
“Irresponsible & damaging statement. Unity, sovereignty & territorial integrity of Somalia is inviolable,” read the post.
Moments later, Somalian ambassador Gamal Hassan issued a cautionary advice to Mr Odinga. He told him to desist from joining opinions in the country’s politics.
Gamal Hassan was quoted by a local daily as saying:
“Politics of Somalia should be left to Somalis. Politicians should refrain from such issues. That comment was in a bad taste. It questions the territorial integrity of Somalia”.
Somaliland, also known as Republic of Somaliland, is the northern part of the country. The region is seen as an autonomous region of Somalia. Its capital is Hargeisa.
The government of Somaliland regards itself as the successor state to the former British Somaliland protectorate.
In fact, the region is led by a democratically elected government but is not internationally recognized as a republic.
And globally, Somaliland’s self-proclaimed independence is not recognized by any country or international organisation.
It is among the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization whose members consist of indigenous peoples, minorities, and unrecognized or occupied territories.