Somalialand President Lauds Farmajo's Apology for Atrocities Committed By Siad Barre

Somaliland president Muse Bihi has welcomed public apology by President Mohamed Farmajo over atrocities committed by Siad Barre. President Bihi lauded the move as a special and historic one.

The announcement by Farmajo is among the latest moves that has seen reaprochement between the two bitter rivals. Last week, the two held, for the first time, a closed door meeting in Adis-Ababa.

Bihi said Farmaajo's apology was the first such public admission of the massacres by Siad Barre regime on Somaliland in the late 1980s. The two presidents have dropped their hard line stands on meeting each other, with reports indicating that Farmajo was due to visit Hargesia.

"The statement by President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo on February 13 was unprecedented. It was the first by a president of Somalia. We welcome the apology," said Bihi.

In a rear move by a sitting head of state, President Farmaajo issued a public apology last week over the killing of thousands of Somalis in the break-away region between 1988 and 89.

"The persecution of our brothers in the northern regions was not based on the south invading the north or by any clans but it was by the then government," Farmaajo said upon arrival from Addis Ababa where he met Bihi in the sidelines of the African Union summit.

"As the President of the Nation, I want to make that apology and extend our apologies to our northern brothers," the president added.

Bihi's remarks come amid reports that Farmaajo could be visiting Somaliland in the near future though there have been conflicting reports on the issue.

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