Somalia cuts diplomatic ties with Guinea over Somaliland

A war memorial featuring a MiG fighter in Hargeisa, Somaliland. The president of the breakaway northern territory received a red carpet welcome in Guinea’s capital, Conakry. (Reuters)
Updated 04 July 2019

Somalia cuts diplomatic ties with Guinea over Somaliland

  • The decision came after the president of the breakaway northern territory of Somaliland received a red carpet welcome in Guinea’s capital, Conakry
  • Somalia’s foreign minister Ahmed Awad said he sent warnings to other countries that were similarly violating Somalia’s sovereignty

MOGADISHU, Somalia: Somalia’s government announced it is cutting diplomatic ties with Guinea, accusing the West African country of violating its sovereignty.
The decision came after the president of the breakaway northern territory of Somaliland received a red carpet welcome in Guinea’s capital, Conakry, earlier this week.
Somalia’s foreign minister Ahmed Awad announced the action against Guinea on Thursday in a press conference but declined to give further details. Awad said he sent warnings to other countries that were similarly violating Somalia’s sovereignty.
Somaliland declared its independence from Somalia in 1991 and has maintained a measure of peace and stability. But the territory, which is in northern Somalia, is not recognized by any foreign government. Somalia insists that Somaliland is not independent.
Somalia is also locked in a legal tussle with neighboring Kenya at the International Court of Justice over their territorial waters in the Indian Ocean.
Kenya accused Somalia of auctioning off oil and gas blocks in Kenya’s maritime territorial area that borders Somalia, an allegation dismissed by the Somali government, which accused Kenya of carrying out a land grab.


Hong Kong police fire tear gas to break up anti-government protest

Updated 19 January 2020

Hong Kong police fire tear gas to break up anti-government protest

  • Hong Kong police intervened promptly when the rally turned into an impromptu march
  • The protests had lost some of their intensity in recent weeks

HONG KONG: Police fired tear gas on Sunday to disperse thousands of anti-government protesters who gathered in a central Hong Kong park, but later spilled onto the streets in violation of police orders.
Out in numbers before the demonstration began, police intervened promptly when the rally turned into an impromptu march. Several units of police in riot gear were seen chasing protesters and several arrests were made.
A water cannon truck drove on central streets, flanked by an armored jeep, but was not used.
Organizers initially applied for a permit for a march, but police only agreed to a static rally in the park, saying previous marches have turned violent.
Once protesters spilled onto the streets, some of them, wearing all-black clothing, barricaded the roads with umbrellas and street furniture, dug up bricks from the pavement and smashed traffic lights.
The “Universal Siege Against Communism” demonstration was the latest in a relentless series of protests against the government since June, when Hong Kongers took to the streets to voice their anger over a now-withdrawn extradition bill.
The protests, which have since broadened to include demands for universal suffrage and an independent investigation into police handling of the demonstrations, had lost some of their intensity in recent weeks.
In an apparent new tactic, police have been showing up ahead of time in riot gear, with officers conducting “stop and search” operations near expected demonstrations.
“Everyone understands that there’s a risk of stop-and-search or mass arrests. I appreciate Hong Kong people still come out courageously, despite the risk,” said organizer Ventus Lau.
On Jan 1, a march of tens of thousands of people ended with police firing tear gas to disperse crowds.
The gathering in the park was initially relaxed, with many families with children listening to speeches by activists.
In one corner, a group of volunteers set up a stand where people could leave messages on red cards for the lunar new year to be sent to those who have been arrested. One read: “Hong Kongers won’t give up. The future belongs to the youth”.
Authorities in Hong Kong have arrested more than 7,000 people, many on charges of rioting that can carry jail terms of up to 10 years. It is unclear how many are still in custody.
Anger has grown over the months due to perceptions that Beijing was tightening its grip over the city, which was handed over to China by Britain in 1997 in a deal that ensured it enjoyed liberties unavailable in the mainland.
Beijing denies meddling and blames the West for fomenting unrest.