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1 Oct, 2008 10:14

Somalia to recognise South Ossetia and Abkhazia

Somalia will recognise the sovereignty of South Ossetia and Abkhazia in the neart future. Somalia’s ambassador to Russia, Mohammed Khandule, says his government fully supports the right of both republics to self-determination.

South Ossetia and Abkhazia have so far been recognised by Russia and Nicaragua.

The Somali state itself currently exists largely in a de jure capacity. The country has a weak central government authority (the Transitional Federal Government), though it is largely recognised. De-facto control of the north of the country resides in the local authorities. Some, such as Puntland, Northland State, Maakhir and Galmudug acknowledge the authority of the Transitional Federal Government and maintain their declaration of autonomy within a federated Somalia. Meanwhile, Somaliland in the north, with its capital in Hargeisa, has declared independence and does not recognise the Transitional Federal Government as the governing authority. Central and Southern Somalia are under the control of the Islamic groups.

Meanwhile, Somalia’s President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed has given his permission for Russia's armed forces to combat pirates at sea and on land.

The move comes after a Ukrainian vessel was hijacked off the African coast last week.

“The special status granted to the Russian warships in Somalia means that they will be able to be present in our territorial waters completely legally and they'll be able to carry out special orders,” Khandule commented.

“It's quite close to the status of a military base, like those we had in the past,” he added.