Saturday, 30 June 2012

June 27, 2012 Somaliland: Sovereignty Not for Discussion or Compromise

On the 52nd Independence Day of Somaliland, President Ahmed Mahmoud Silanyo reasserted the non-revocation of the independence of the country.

Below is an article published by Somaliland sun:

The irrevocability of Somaliland's sovereignty has been categorically reiterated by the president H.E Ahmed Mahmoud Silanyo.

During festivities commemorating the 52 anniversary of the country's independence from Britain President Silanyo informed Somalilanders that "Somaliland's statehood is not up for discussion or compromise" the president H.E Ahmed Mahmoud Silanyo who hosted over 5000 guests at the presidency in Hargeisa where the activities were aired live by the state owned SLNTV and HCTV also said 26th June will always remain dear to Somalilanders as the day the country attained independence from Britain in 1960 thus one never to be forgotten.

The president's over 5000 invited guest from all walks of life included 1st lady Amina Weris, Ex-president Hon Dahir Rayale Kahin, Former first lady's Huda Bharkad and Kaltun Haji Dahir, opposition political party leaders, parliamentarians from Guurti and house of representatives, service chiefs, traditional leaders, National organization of women-NOW etc., among others

Before entertaining his guests at the presidency and viewers worldwide the president launched festivities with a speech that mostly dwelt on the irrevocable statehood of the nation as well as talks with neighbouring Somalia. The president also briefed on the circumstances that led to the fateful union with Italian Somalia five days after independence from Britain.

Below are verbatim excerpts of President Silanyo's Speech:

"Ladies and gentlemen, I extend my congratulations to you all Somalilanders, both here at the presidency and viewing worldwide on this auspicious occasion of celebrating the day our country attained its independence from its former colonial master Britain 52 years ago.

During the lengthily period when our country was a protectorate of Britain, we and other Somali speakers everywhere desired for independence from various colonial masters and yearned for unity in a country that brings all of them together under one administration. This yearning is directly responsible for the union Somaliland entered into with Somalia on 1st July 1960 five days after our independence on 26th June 1960.

Prior to this union the British government advised we, strongly, against rushing into any union until such a time as Somaliland stands firmly on its feet as nation with a strong and well established government. The then prevalent yearnings for unity of all Somali speakers made us turn a deaf ear to the British advice.

We are all aware of the ills that befell our country from the hasty union we entered with Somalia, a union that took a long time and numerous difficulties especially loss of lives, properties and dislocation of our people to get out of. The entanglement from the union came after a lengthily armed struggle that culminated in Burao where we reclaimed Somaliland's sovereignty in 1991.

Following the costly reclamation of our independence and in view of Somalilanders desire for self-rule, we do hereby ask the world to respect our people's decision and recognize Somaliland as a free country with full membership at the United Nations.

We do hereby also inform that a lot of interests in the Horn of Africa region are directly tied to stability in Somaliland.

At the same time, though these issues are also related to our relationship with our brothers and sisters in Somalia, a neighbouring country that we are prepared to engage in dialogue, we wish to stress on the fact that , Talks Or No Talks Our Sovereignty Is Neither For Discussion Nor Compromise,

The 26th June commemorations which are an annual reminder of the day we gained independence and dignity of self-rule from Colonial Britain, is a day we will never forget"

We once again inform the world that Somaliland is an independent country, with a full democratic system of governance, operation state organs, and secure boundaries and most important a people living in harmony and unanimity of sovereignty. End of speech

The festivities at the presidency ended at around 11 pm.


Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Let us work together and focus on the future for a better Somaliland.

Beginning from the restoration of the Somaliland state in 1991, Somaliland has been working hard to prove to the world its ability to bring about fundamental structures and policies of a modern state. Somaliland gave first priority to peace and security. This peace and security has provided Somaliland population to enjoy law and order, uninterrupted democratic elections and freedom of expression, and above all deepening democratic culture which attracted the attention of the international community.

Somaliland put in place a system of government based on presidential model of governance with all its branches of legislative and executive. One of the main factors of the legitimacy of a modern state is the self-determination of the people. Therefore, testing the legitimacy of the Somaliland statehood, the Somaliland governments held a free and a fair referendum in 2001.

The people of Somaliland opted for the independence of Somaliland with an absolute majority of 97%. This has been followed by holding series of democratic elections, starting with 2002-municipal election 2003-presidential election, 2005-parliamentary election and 2010-second presidential election. These processes have strengthened the democratic institutions and policies of the modern state where at the same time it reduced the negative aspect of the clan systems and clan structures of the society.

Other aspect of the strength of the Somaliland modern state is the viable non-state actors ( civil society) and the Diaspora who have been playing a crucial role in the democratic process and policy-making of the country. Having all these dimensions and strengths, this nation has overcome many challenges. One of the biggest challenges was the last presidential election – the June 2010 election. The way in which the voters behaved during the election and election was implemented has shown the world the maturity and the magnanimity of the Somaliland emerging democracy. International observers witnessing the election validated the results of the election and praised the Somaliland electoral commission and the public in adopting international standards.

The winner of the 2010 election Mr. Ahmed M. M. Silanyo, the candidate of the Kulmiye Party is one of the most experienced politician in Africa. Mr Silanyo has been involved in global and African politics and development in the last forty years and a former freedom fighter who was the chairman of the Somali National Movement (SNM) in most its difficult times.

In connection to the above mentioned factors, Somaliland deserves to be recognized and take its rightful place in the community of nations, sooner than later.

On the other hand, adversaries of Somaliland have been engaged in all sorts of activities to undermine the prospect of a stable Somaliland. The conflict in some spots of the eastern parts of the country is one of these evil designs, which I am sure Somaliland will overcome. There are also ill-informed politicians who have been recently creating confusion and deliberately making misleading statements of the current situation of the country and even surprisingly revisiting the June presidential elections that President Ahmed Silanyo won with a slide majority– raising doubts about the results.

We would like to say to these politicians, this democratically-elected President and his government have worked out a vision, goal and objective to reach this vision during its mandate. This vision was mentioned in detail in the annual speech that the president made to the parliament (the House of Representatives and the Council of Elders). We would like to say to these politicians, let us work together and concentrate on the future for a better Somaliland.

The government together with the non-state actors, the Diaspora and other friends of Somaliland, is organizing an international conference in Hargeisa in July on the issue of international recognition. Influential international personalities from the mass media, international lawyers and development agents, who are friends of Somaliland will attend the conference. The conference will also focus on peace, security and the democratic process of Somaliland; issues that important for the recognition. We are expecting that the conference will produce a workable strategic recognition roadmap.

Dr Mohamed-Rashiid Shiekh Hassan
Office of International affairs and Recognition of Somaliland.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Somaliland's hopes for international recognition

BBC World News Somaliland Special Report with Zeanab Badawi

Somaliland: President Speaks at Chatham House

Delivering a speech at Chatham House, London, Somaliland’s president Silanyo addressed a wide ranging international audience of over 200 people. He outlined recent democratic developments in Somaliland and its legitimate claim to independence.

Ladies and Gentlemen, distinguished colleagues and friends,

It gives me great pleasure to be with you here as the representative of my people and our country, Somaliland. I am most grateful to Chatham House and the Royal Institute for International Affairs for extending this kind invitation to us. It is symbolic of the longstanding interest and commitment to constructive dialogue and positive engagement on the important issues affecting the Somali people that the Royal Institute for International Affairs and its members have illustrated over many years and decades.

We believe that the success of our elections has demonstrated Somaliland’s commitment to the “democratic principles, human rights, the rule of law and good governance”, which are enshrined in the Constitutive Act of the African Union. I am immensely proud of the achievements of my people born out of struggle for survival and recognition in the face of isolation and hardship. I want to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the people of Somaliland, and ask them to remain steadfast in their commitment to peace, democracy and the rule of law.

Having previously suffered from years of neglect by Mogadishu, and compounded by the conflict that followed, as well the somewhat uncertain approach of the international community, Somaliland had a difficult past. However, a tremendous amount has been achieved in the past 20 years.

Under my Administration, we will seek to find new opportunities building on the achievements of the past 2 decades – to promote the social and economic welfare of our people.

While we are very grateful to the international community for the humanitarian support which they provided, we would like to see more emphasis on development to ensure a successful transition from humanitarian assistance to recovery. The peace dividend must be manifest in concrete results for the people of Somaliland.

My Government also recognizes the need to boost Somaliland’s exports and diversify its markets. Provided that the issue of veterinary certificates can be overcome, we do not believe that it is fanciful to think of exporting our lamb – which is excellent, by the way – to the European Union. The lifting of the ban on the export of livestock from the Rift Valley by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was an important and welcome development, but the ban demonstrated the need for Somaliland to have other outlets for its trade.

I make no secret of the fact that my Government’s ultimate goal is full international recognition of Somaliland’s independence as a sovereign State. We believe that such international recognition, long over due, will allow us to unlock more direct assistance, promote more trade and investment, maintain our security and further the social and economic well-being of our people.

Despite our non-negotiable position on independence, Somaliland bears no ill-feeling towards our neighbour Somalia, as it’s in nobody interest to see the conflict in the Somalia perpetuated, and wishes the administration of President Sharif, and other relevant parties in that country success in ending the long suffering of their people.

Somaliland is not an island: for good or ill it is affected by events in neighboring countries. Far from wishing to turn our backs on our neighbors, my Government wants to improve its interaction with them and with regional organizations such as IGAD and the AU, to make sure that Somaliland’s voice is heard, its interests are promoted, and the security of its people and neighbours assured.

Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya will be key partners in the region. In the same vein, we want closer links to the EU, the UN and its specialized agencies, and the League of Arab States. We also hope to secure stronger ties with individual donors, not least the United States, which recently announced its dual-track policy that will see direct aid and cooperation with Somaliland increased. I very much welcome this as a positive step in keeping the realities on the ground.

In sum, Somaliland has achieved democracy, peace and stability largely through its own efforts. As a new administration we have also met many of the benchmarks we set ourselves for our first 100 days. With the support of our people, we are determined to go to the next level and build a state on the foundations of the rule of law, democratic principles and good governance. With the help of the international community, and the support of our regional partners, I am confident that Somaliland will take its rightful place amongst the community of States.

Thank you.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Strengthening the UK's relationship with Somaliland

25 November 2010

Minister for Africa Henry Bellingham met the President of Somaliland Ahmed Mohamed Mohamud 
Silanyo in London on 24 November. 
Minister for Africa Henry Bellingham greets the President of Somaliland Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo (crown copyright)
This is the President's first visit to the UK since his successful election in June this year. He was accompanied by the Ministers for Foreign Affairs and Planning.

Minister for Africa Henry Bellingham said:

"The UK is proud of it's historical ties to Somaliland, and we are keen to maintain and strengthen our very close bilateral relationship".

The UK also has strong links to Somaliland through members of the diaspora, many of whom contribute positively to Somaliland's development as well as to communities across the UK.

Somaliland has made admirable progress in maintaining relative peace and stability in a difficult region. Somaliland has set a positive example of democracy and can play an important role in enhancing security and development in the Horn of Africa. To this end, the UK is committed to supporting Somaliland's development and cooperating in areas of shared interest to ensure a positive and sustainable future for Somaliland and the region.