Hargeysa(Mogadishu24)-The breakaway Republic of Somaliland criticized Somalia’s recent entry into the East African Community on Saturday, stating that it is a violation of Somaliland’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“The Government of the Republic of Somaliland expresses deep concern regarding the recent accession of Somalia to the East African Community (EAC) block. We firmly believe that this decision is a clear violation of Somaliland’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” reads the statement from Somaliland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

The statement added that Somalia has no right to claim Somaliland’s territory and cannot represent Somaliland at any international bloc.

“Somaliland has never been part of Somalia since 1991, and Somalia has no right to represent Somaliland in any international or regional forum,” the statement read.

Somaliland, the northern region of Somalia colonized by the British, has sought international recognition as an independent nation for the past 32 years.

The Somaliland government called on the African Union, East African Community, and the United Nations to recognize Somaliland’s sovereignty, stating that Somalia’s entry into the regional bloc goes against the principles of international law.

“We urge the African Union (AU), the United Nations (UN), and EAC member states to recognize Somaliland’s distinct identity and sovereignty. Somalia’s accession to the EAC without Somaliland’s consent is a grave injustice and undermines the principles of international law,” the statement added.

It came a day after Somalia was officially admitted as the 8th member of the East African Community during the 23rd Ordinary Summit of the EAC Heads of State on Friday.

“The Summit considered the report on the negotiations for the admission of the Federal Republic of Somalia into the East African Community, and decided to admit the Federal Republic of Somalia as a full member of the East African Community,” reads the Joint communique of the EAC leaders.

Somaliland declared independence in 1991 following the collapse of the Somali government, which lead to civil war, and the destruction of government institutions. However, the secession movement did not meet the joint support from all communities and tribes within Somaliland.

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