Somalia’s government on Tuesday condemned Taiwan’s opening of a representative office in the self-declared state of Somaliland, terming the move an outrage against Somalia’s sovereignty and unity.

“The Federal Government of Somalia condemns Taiwan’s reckless attempts to infringe on the Sovereignty of the Federal Republic of Somalia and violate its Territorial Integrity,” Somalia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“The Federal Government of Somalia repudiates such misguided endeavors that seek to sow discord and division among our people.”

It called on Taiwan to “cease its misinformed ventures into any part of the territory of the Federal Republic of Somalia. These principles are non-negotiable,” it stressed.

It said Somalia will undertake necessary measures within international law to protect the country’s unity, sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence.

On Monday, Somaliland’s Foreign Minister Yasin Hagi Mohamoud announced that Taiwan will officially open a representative office in Somaliland, a move seen as provocative by Somalia as well as China, which sees Taiwan as one of its provinces.

“I am pleased to co-host together with Minister Joseph Wu,@MOFA_Taiwan, & the Government of Taiwan to officially open Taiwan Representative Office in #Somaliland. From Somaliland side, I would like to announce our Representative Office is due to open in the next few weeks,” Hagi Mohamoud tweeted.

With the new ties, Taiwan raised the number of its recognizing counterparts to 16. Beijing considers it a Chinese province, but Taipei maintains that it has been independent since 1949.

China also refuses diplomatic relations with any country that recognizes Taiwan.

Early last month, Taiwan and Somaliland announced they had established official relations.

Somaliland, a self-declared state in East Africa with a population of nearly 3.5 million, is yet to be recognized by the international community. However, it has its own flag, parliament and currency.

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