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ISSUE ### Somaliland Times

Latest Assault on Media

Ethiopian Technical Team Visits Berbera

Borama Radio Closed

Bipolar Power Dawns in Somaliland

Regrettable Absence of The UN

Psychology of A Nomadic Society

Sustainable Development

Counting of Ballots Underway

Somaliland's Historic Elections

Will the UN take Professor Herbst’s advice?

Press Release

UDUB's Hate Speeches

We Are United Against Terrorism

Elusive Terrorist Finally in Custody

Another Significant Step

Empty rhetoric

Awil’s Rendezvous With Geedi

Examination Results

Dim Prospects For The 7 Women Candidates

Candidates Lack Agenda

Kulmiye’s Contradictions

How To Decide Who To Vote For

Three Ministers Fighting over a House

Letter to Dr. Ghanim Alnajjar

Parliamentary Campaigning Launched

Graduation at University
of Hargeisa

Arrest of a Norwegian Who Swindled African Leaders

Let’s Play It By The Book

Accountability, Not Denials

Somaliland Government to Sue Haatuf

Human Rights Expert Secures Funds For New Prison

Government Denied Warrant To Search Haatuf Offices

Consolidating Somaliland-South Africa Relations

The First Lady’s Illegal Activities

Somaliland Gov’t Paid
$380,000 Extra for TV

Film On Somaliland To Be Shown On BBC World Today

Ethiopian Airlines to Expand Its Somaliland Operations

Lady, it does matter

Somaliland Editors Adopt New Code

Parliamentary Election Postponed

Egypt To Send Observers To Somaliland

Winning The Hearts And Minds Of British Muslims

Eyro Emerges As Islamic Courts’ New Leader

Britain, Europe And The US Should Not Be Safe Havens For ONLF Terrorists

Awil’s Secret Meeting With Geedi

Rayale’s Credibility Gap

Ex-Aviation Minister Accuses Rayale Of Poor Leadership

Somaliland Civil Society Visit to South Africa

Rayale’s Double Dealing

Confusion Over Selection And Screening Of Parliament Candidates

Col. Abdillahi Yusuf Receives Another Blow

Mr Ahmad Silanyo visits Seattle


President Rayale Condemns London Blasts

Somalilanders Hold A Successful Convention In LA

Eng. Faysal Faysal Cali Waraabe and Dr. Mohammed-Rashid visit Seattle

Somaliland, Countdown To The July Summit Of The AU

Who is worse Col. Abdillahi Yusuf or his supporters?

Total’s Action Is An All-Out War Against Somaliland’s Economy

The disgraceful end of the Somali conference in Kenya

A Norwegian National Supports Somaliland’s Struggle To Rebuild its Country

The Somaliland Convention in Los Angeles

Briton's Widow Seeks Arrest Of Somali President

Somaliland’s self-inflicted wounds

African Union Discusses Somaliland’s Independence

Somaliland’s Diplomatic Progress and the President’s Speech

Col. Abdillahi Yusuf Asks US To Terminate The Trial Of Ali Samater
And Others Accused of Crimes Against Humanity

The Latest Assault on the Independent Media

Somaliland Times, Issue 196, Oct.22, 2005


Wednesday’s closure by the security forces of Borama’s independent radio station which started broadcasting only a few days earlier, is yet another clear indication of the extent to which President Rayale’s government is ready to go to make sure that no private broadcasting services are introduced in this country. By throwing the station’s technician, Deeq Mohamed, into prison and confiscating the broadcasting equipment, the government has shown how indifferent it is to the tremendously positive changes brought by recent parliamentary elections to the country’s domestic political landscape and international standing.

According to Mr. Rayale and his Minister of Information, Abdillahi Dualle, if independent radio stations were allowed to operate here, it is most likely that they would incite people into communal violence. They often cite the case of the notorious Rwandese Radio station, libre des Mille Collines, whose 1994 programs had deliberately encouraged Hutus to massacre Tutsis, as an example of the terrible things that private broadcasting can do. This argument is of course wrong and baseless simply because the Rwandese radio in question was actually owned by the incumbent Rwandese government at the time and not by someone from the private sector.

The attribution of neighboring Somalia’s lack of peace and reconciliation to Mogadishu’s 7 different private radio stations is also another excuse that Mr. Rayale and Mr. Dualle usually employ as justification for the government’s ban of the establishment of independent radio broadcasting services. However, as almost all independent observers would agree, Mogadishu’s thriving radio stations have been more of a stabilizing factor than a destabilizing one.

Moreover, the fact that Somaliland has its own vibrant private newspapers and at least one independent television station, which have won praise for their coverage of the country’s political situation in the last 14 years, has been in itself a powerful public reminder that there is no justification, at all, for the government’s policy banning private radios.

The actual reason for the government’s behavior lies some where else. Given the fact that Somaliland is primarily an oral society with a high illiteracy rate, President Rayale’s government knows that radio is the most effective medium of information communication. The government is simply scared that if it allows private radio stations in the country, they would capture the lion’s share of the audience. But regardless of the government's motivations for banning private radios, it is in breach of the constitution which guarantees citizens the right to own private radio stations.

The newly democratically elected parliament must bring the government’s habitual violation of the constitution to an immediate stop. The legislators should also introduce, after consultation with the independent media representatives, a law governing broadcasting operations.

The policy of banning private radios has not only deprived citizens of enjoying freedom of the press, but has also stigmatized Somaliland’s democracy internationally. The next House of Representatives should ensure that his harmful government policy ceases to exist.


Ethiopian Technical Team Visits Berbera Port

The Somaliland Times, Issue 196, Oct.22, 2005

Berbera, Somaliland, October 22, 2005 (SL Times) – A 9-man Ethiopian technical team visited Berbera port on Wednesday to hold talks with port officials in prelude to the expected arrival of Ethiopian cargo through Berbera in 2 weeks time.

An agreement reached by Somaliland and Ethiopia in May allows the latter to use the Red Sea Berbera port for import and export.

The Ethiopian delegation was expected to discuss with their Somaliland counterparts issues related to port clearance and forwarding and transport.

Meanwhile, manager of the port of Berbera Ali Xor-xor has disclosed that his department will open an office in Addis Ababa for coordination purposes.

According to Ethiopian press reports, the Saudi born business tycoon, Sheikh Mohamed Al-Amoudi has now shown interest in investing in the development of Berbera port.

Al-Amoudi has substantial investments in Ethiopia and is reportedly keen to revamp the Berbera port facility in the wake of Ethiopian plans to divert some of their import – export operations through the Somaliland port.


Security Forces Close Down Borama’s Private Radio Station

Borama, Somaliland, October 22, 2005 (SL Times) – Somaliland security forces closed down a private radio station in Borama on Wednesday only a few days after it started broadcasting Somali songs.

Police raided a workshop for repairing radio and television sets late Wednesday afternoon arresting a technician called Deeq Mohamed Dualle and confiscating devices suspected of being used as transmission and broadcasting equipment.

The station broadcast on shortwave (SW1) from 19:00 to 02:00 and was easily heard throughout Borama town. The transmission was first detected last Sunday. Broadcasting hasn’t resumed since Wednesday.

This is the second time in less than 3 years that a private radio station has been shut in Borama by the police.

The Somaliland government banned the establishment of private radio stations in the country. The Minister of Information Abdillahi Mohamed Dualle has justified the move by saying that the country has not yet adopted broadcasting regulations. He also claimed that private radio stations, if allowed to operate in Somaliland, would destabilize the country.

Dualle in a similar incident in which a private radio station established in Hargeysa was closed down, demanded that all broadcasting equipment already in the country be surrendered to the government. He warned that delinquent prospective broadcasters would be prosecuted.

Somaliland has six private newspapers and one independent television station. Most Somalilanders depend on the independent media for information on the situation in the country. The government-owned media, 3 newspapers and a radio/TV station, suffers from a credibility problem stemming from public perception that the official media is a propaganda arm for those in power.


Era of Bipolar Power Structure Dawns in Somaliland

Somaliland Times, Issue 195, Oct.15, 2005

Adan H Iman, Los Angeles

The political vacuum left behind by the implosion of the Somali State, which entailed disarming armed militia, by force where necessary, and establishing law and order gave the late President Mohamed I. Egal an opportunity to assume extraordinary powers. The current President Dahir R. Kahin inherited and perpetuated this imperial presidency. The office of the presidency dominated all aspects of political life of the people during this formative period of the Republic. The people tolerated the monarchical powers because establishing law and order and creating the institutions of the state was worth the problems of the imperial presidency.

We have had Presidents during this period that behaved like kings. But when the new elected members of Somaliland’s First Parliament assume their responsibilities, the era of imperial presidency must have sailed into the sun-set of history. In political terms, it is as if at a fault line on the grounds of the presidential quarters in Hargeisa, the equivalent of tectonic shift of the land have occurred. Half of the powers enjoyed by that office have migrated to Parliament as a result of the elections.

The constitution diffuses power into the branches of the government. Its beauty is the elaborate checks and balances: The President is responsible for the operations of the government but parliament has oversight and investigatory responsibility; the President presides over the development of the budget but Parliament has the authority to hold hearings and amend, if they have the votes, before final adoption; the President, as the head of the State, has jurisdiction over foreign policy and dealing with foreign leaders but Parliament has the responsibility of ratifying any agreements reached with a foreign power. The Judiciary, which currently lacks capacity and independence, is supposed to be the arbiter based on the constitution and the laws.

The late US Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis wrote that the objective of the checks and balance in the constitution is not to promote efficiency of the government but to preclude the usurpation of power. If Parliament performs its constitutional duties as voters expect, freedom and liberty will ring throughout the country, as it has never been. Hopefully, there will be more transparency and accountability in managing the resources of the country; more protections of civil liberties and administration of justice as citizens will not be thrown to rot in jails without having their days in courts; journalists to have less to fear and more courage to search for the truth; more alternative sources of information like privately owned Radios Stations; more meaningful decentralization that gives decision-making authority to municipal councils and an increase of their budgetary allocations and less power to interior ministry officials over local matters.

Some parliamentary candidates used political parties merely as vehicles to appear on ballots not because they identify ideologically with their party. The bet is that between the one woman and eighty-one men who were elected to the Lower House, a majority of them (42 or more) will emerge to play the role of opposition and put a break to the runaway powers of the Executive branch.

Much as one can describe their governance styles in terms that are critical, the incumbent president and his predecessor, on the other side of the ledger, have made important contributions in planting the seeds of democracy to take roots in Somaliland. The late President Egal created peace and harmony and established the institutions of government in Somaliland while neighboring Somalia sank further and further into lawlessness and violence. Equally important, he painstakingly presided over the writing of the constitution, its lynchpin of which is multiparty representative democracy. Unfortunately, he did not live to see the realization of the dream in his constitution. It befell on his successor, President Rayale, who successfully presided over the holding of three elections, all of which met the standard to be free and fair.

The people of Somaliland elected municipal councils, a president and most recently members of parliament. The excitement and competitive spirits during the last election indicated the degree to which they are enjoying their new democratic values. But these political beliefs will be fragile unless people experience their liberty and freedom will also help gradually improve their economic lives.

The international community did not waste any time to hail the parliamentary election as an important step. But the rich western democracies, which made the spread of freedom and liberty in the Muslim world as a lynchpin of their foreign policy, should back up their effusive praise with concrete financial and economic assistance and end Somaliland’s isolation. Somaliland will be a worthy ally in world peace, in the fight against terrorism ( as it proved last month by apprehending heavily armed terrorists) and a model country where one can be good democrat and a good Muslim at the same time.


The Regrettable Absence of The UN

The Somaliland Times, Issue 194, Oct.8, 2005


The United Nations has deliberately chosen to ignore Somaliland’s democratization process. As voters in Somaliland, a 100% Muslim country in the volatile Horn of Africa went to the polls on September 29, 2005 to elect their representatives to the country’s lower house of parliament for the first time in 37 years, UN officials in the region behaved as though this historic event wasn’t worthy of their attention at all. Without so much as a word of appreciation, the UN has rather mischievously warned its field staff of security threats in connection with the Somaliland election. While international observers from 4 different continents and from places as far as New Zealand, Finland, Canada and South Africa converged on Somaliland in the last week prior to the 29 September parliamentary elections, the UN was nowhere to be seen.

Although Somalilanders noticed with bitterness the UN's absence, it did not stop them from going on with their peaceful and reasonably fair elections. The UN has so far given no official explanation for its bizarre behavior, but it must have had something to do with Somaliland’s status as an unrecognized state. But the lack of international recognition cannot serve as a valid justification for th UN's implicit censure of a process under which people have been simply trying to exercise their basic democratic rights.

While the people of Somaliland were voting in the 3rd multi-party elections to be held in their country in a period of less than 3 years, the UN was ironically engaged in the dispensation of international community resources for the appeasement of its host in Jowhar, warlord Mohamed Dheere.

The Somaliland parliamentary elections provided a window of opportunity for Kofi Anan’s UN to be associated, at least for once, with the only successful home-grown-and-driven democratization process in Africa today. By missing this chance, the UN has unwittingly put itself in the same camp as the terrorists whose plot to undermine the elections was foiled by Somaliland security forces only a week before the voting.

The UN should rectify its mistakes and start cooperating with the Somalilanders’ efforts to develop and sustain their self-made peace and democracy, which could become a model for conflict resolution and good governance for countries in this region, and beyond. There are potential benefits for both sides to gain from such a type of partnership. The ball’s now in the UN's court.


A Study of The Psychology of A Nomadic Society
And Its Implications For Somaliland
By Dr. Abdishakur Jowhar MD, FRCP(C), DABPN

The Somaliland Times, Issue 193, Oct.1, 2005

Part IV: Somaliland: Rebirth At The Edge of Chaos

“In Somaliland a ray of hope is flickering. I say flickering because it is under the onslaught of the same forces of evolutionary stress: tribe, toxic waste and visa exempt bugs of all kinds. But there sure is something interesting developing there, a singular experience, and something different altogether. There is peace around the water wells, in the grazing areas, in the villages and in the towns. There are plenty of guns. Plenty technicals. Plenty Klashnikovs. But no one is firing them. The tribes are not massacring each other. Instead a primordial state and its primordial institutions are gradually appearing. We need to know what is happening in Somaliland? Is this what evolutionary adaptation looks like? Is survival feasible after all? Should we not study this natural experiment with a magnifying glass, I mean instead of being scared by it or vilifying it or pulling magic numbers (like 4.5) out of tainted Diaspora hats? Stay tuned for Part 4 where I will be exploring this topic, its evolutionary ramification and the promise it may hold for all Somalis.” From Part III “The Extinction of Tribal Society.

This is part IV. A promise made and a promise kept (eventually!).
One caveat before I commence:

There is a multiparty parliamentary election underway in Somaliland as I write. The campaigning for the election has been heated, at times bellicose, and so far free, fair and much more importantly peaceful! Allow me to whisper to you a hidden secret about this election, to spill the beans Somalilanders don’t want you to know. The political competition is only superficially between the three contesting national parties. The real competition, the one that will decide success or failure is the hidden competition in this election between modernity and statehood on the one hand and tribalism and extinction on the other. It is a struggle for the soul of the Somali. In this part I will write about the theoretical and ideological basis of this singular development in Somaliland in relations to its wider regional context. And I will write about how the two entities of Somalia and Somaliland can interact with symbiosis rather the customary mutual suspicion and tribally based alliances that are ephemeral, shifting and mutually destructive.

What I write here is commentary. Political action is a local function. What happens in Somalia or in its progeny states will be decided on the ground in the cities, villages, farms and nomadic communities inside the country. Somalia’s salvation will not happen in professorial ivory towers or in sterilized suburbia, as some of my colleagues in Diaspora seem to believe. I am not therefore proposing a plan of action. The purpose of my writing is to provoke debate at a time when dialogue among Somalis is nothing more than a disconnected series of monologues, to explore other options at a time when positions has fossilized and imagination died and finally to illuminate the road ahead when possible.

The reader must know my bias. I am committed to the concept of the political independence of Somaliland. Bias, by definition, has the capacity of distorting observation. My Somali identity, however hyphenated, balances this bias to some degree. I remain acutely aware of the unique pain of uncertainty that is associated with my existence and that has caged my people at the periphery of mankind and the edge of extinction. My intimate awareness of the impending human catastrophe will hopefully take me beyond the petty bickering of who among Somalis is more dead than the rest for I know, all that is dead is equally dead.

In Between Stories (Or The Truth About A Failed State)
This is the story of a nation-state that ceased to exist. It is the story of a nation that refuses to be born again. It is an old story that is finished, completed and told, leaving behind a blank space where there is no new story. Somalis are thus stuck in a mysteriously frightening era that was once pregnant with hope and possibilities and that is delivering only horrors, an era in between stories. To untangle this mess let us start with what we know: the old story of the near past. We lived through it and so we know it. Now we must mine it for the cause of our imminent demise and clues for our salvation.

There was of course the union of two countries, the British Protectorate of Somaliland and the Italian Colony of Somalia that formed the Republic of Somalia in July 1, 1960. The union of the two countries was to serve as the launching pad for the ambitious dream of bringing about a grand state for all the Somali Speaking Moslems of the horn of Africa. It was a time of big plans and bigger dreams. It was a time of innocence. Everything was possible, every objective obtainable. Men elsewhere where planning to go to the moon. Somalis were planning the unity of all those who looked, talked and worshiped like them into one nation, united under god free at last of all colonial oppression in both its black and white permutations. It was the good sixties-Somali Version. The flag, blue as a cloudless sky in a sunny day, was carried with much love and dignity. The five-pointed star that adorned its center was the physical symbol of the purpose of the nation and the reason for its existence. The star waited for all the parts to fall in place. These are facts and they need to be retold because they are the pink elephant in the room that the collective psyche of Somalis insists on forgetting. They need to be retold because the pink elephant is the key to the new story.

Sadly there are dreams that morph into nightmares and this was one of them. Before the decade was out The Somali State was in either covert or open warfare with Ethiopia, French Somali Coast (currently Djibouti) and Kenya for the Somali people that were to be freed from colonial yoke and reunited into a new nation lived in these three neighboring countries. These were the liberation wars of Somalia. The first war started in 1964. I was in elementary school then. I remember running through the mountains fleeing with my family the bombardment of Ethiopian airplanes of my village. I remember being hungry, tired and wailing. And I remember my mother soothing, telling me that it will be all right soon, our government will open that magic mirror. The mirror will suck in all these airplanes and take them inside it for destruction. I liked the story it helped me fall asleep that night.

The last of the wars started in 1976 again with Ethiopia. Cubans, Soviets and American were all participants in it. The Cubans and the Soviets participated physically with armed forces on the ground. The American were behind the scenes but nevertheless present. The big powers were ferociously engaged in the cold war. For them the Ethiopian Somali conflict was only one peripheral and inconsequential theatre. But for the region it was a big war, the mother of all wars. It had had profound consequences for Somalis everywhere. For at the end of this war the ideology of Great Somalia lay defeated and dead. Anyway I never heard of it again. Honest. I never saw anyone advocating, justifying or proselytizing Great Somalia ever since. Before that war all Somali music, all poetry, all dance and all celebration were related to it in one fashion or the other. No poems, no songs and no plays were written about it since. The idea of Great Somalia simply vanished. It was there one day and it was out of the collective psyche of the nation the next day. Maybe some one opened the magic mirror facing the wrong direction?
The defeat also robbed the union of its reason for existence. The blue flag became stained with blood of Somalis who turned on each other finding refuge only in the savagery of tribalism as salvage of last resort and as an ancestral burying ground. The union (by then the Democratic Republic of Somalia) started to decay. It fell apart and died as well in 1990. It was over, from dust to dust, from ashes to ashes. Despite many attempts no one was able to bring union back to life. The metamorphosis of a dream to a nightmare was complete.

Some believe that Siyad Barre the last dictator of Somalia killed the nation. Others blame the armed liberation movements that resulted in the defeat of Siyad Barre (USC, SNM, SSDF, etc). They maintain these armed groups did carry the name Somali in all of their acronyms but in the final analysis they represented nothing more than a tribal fracture of the national body politic. Some maintain that the tribal strive followed the inability of these organizations to build a national consensus.

But this is merely a description of the sequence of events in Somalia. The underlying cause of the disintegration, the reason only tribal armed organization could prosper, the reason only tribal political alliances could be formed since the Fall, the reason one man could kill a nation, the reason a nation was unable to produce a national consensus, the real reason for all of these is that Somalis had nothing left to unite them, nothing to give them a national purpose. The dream was dead. No Great Somalia, no union, and no nation. Entropy took hold. Entropy caused the rise and triumph of the tribal political organizations. Entropy rules today. Its other name is statelessness.

The old story ends here. Whatever comes after it is a new story, with new plots and new characters. It is a story not yet written, not yet fully imagined, and not yet told. So we are caught here in the middle, in the time that is “in between stories”. Yet there are glimpses of what is to be in the horizon, not yet fully formed but primordial and still subject to evolutionary influence. The quandary starts here.

A Diabolical Experiment
Ever since the chaos began in 1990 Somalis have been repeatedly experimenting with a new formula as the foundation of a new story. The experiment has been repeated some 14 times so far. It fails every time. With each failure tens of thousands of Somalis lose their life. And the same experiment with the same parameters is repeated all over again. It is a killer experiment. The mad scientists who run the experiment are clearly not among those who are killed by it.
I don’t know who authored the formula. I know not the shadowy and persistent experimenters. I know for sure that once every few years I come by merchants of death flocking to Somali reconciliation conference sites to get a piece of the pie. I come by them hugging “get rich quick” schemes, and dreams of positions and booty. I see them secretly conspiring with the forces of tribal darkness, scheming to skim any fat of the Somalis that will soon die in the experiment. I see them fly and circle, like vulture, the carcass of a nation. Once every few years I see them.

Formula Diabolicum
The formula is maddeningly simple. It is has one central pillar and 4 supporting structures. Each of the five pillars carries within it the seeds for self-destruction and collapses as soon as construction is completed.

· The central pillar is the tribal distribution of power.
This has been operationalized in fine details and enshrined in made up number (4.5 tribal power sharing units) that do not correspond to the reality of the nation and that totally negates the concepts of the individual and citizen. There is only one simple problem with this tribally based power structure. Tribalism has never built a state in human history. It just is not in the nature of the beast. Tribalism is the one factor that has prevented the rebirth of a Somali state. It is what will cause the extinction of Somali society as a whole. Please see part III of this series for the details.

4.5 is the symbol of the shame and failure of the Somalia’s educated elite, who habitually fall back into the intellectually lazy position of tribal “solutions” nonsense because “There is nothing else to work with”. I mean give me a break, you don’t build your house with liquid water “because there is nothing else” unless you are a fish, you don’t build your house of hot air and live in it “because there is nothing else” and surely you don’t build your house of fire unless you believe in reincarnation.

· A peace conference in a safe place.
This removes the reconciliation process from its legitimate environment and throws it into the highly artificial environment of posh hotels, running water, electricity and absence of gunfire. It represents acceptance of failure right from the start, for it speaks of political forces that failed to develop even the minimal trust necessary to meet somewhere in their own country (just to meet and say hi). It solves the mistrust by asking them to reach a comprehensive solution (from A-Z) to their crisis in some foreign soil and go back and start fighting because no one really trusted anyone at all any which ways. The failure is ingrained in the assumption; it unfolds when “a comprehensive paper agreement” is brought back to the home of mistrust.

· Dangerous Aid:
International monetary assistance for the Somali reconciliation conferences has been one of the more destabilizing aspects of international aid to Somalis. People are actually paid to attend these meetings. The payments are meager but the economic environment is such that peanuts do count. The hotel expenses and food of the potentially reconcilable are covered by financial donations from the rest of the world. Aid comes with an inherently corrupting power. The money distorts both the course and the outcome of the conferences. Purse holders with the capacity to decide who should get what and when come into existence and prosper and play a disproportionate role. Local powers actually manipulate their donations to engineer an outcome favorable to them. More distant powers engage in similar practices in a more sophisticated manner. The marathon conferences take up two years at a time and become a bona fide business in their own right. The more money the more corruption, the more and merrier the unsavory characters and the merchants of death it attracts.

· The Assumption that Armed Gangs (Called Warlords) will voluntarily disarm:
What is a warlord? A warlord is to a nation what a criminal thug is to an individual. Warlords are men who have private armies recruited exclusively from the Warlord’s tribe but who has allegiance only to Warlord and to no one else (not to tribal elders, tribal chief or other prominent members of the same tribe).

A thug drives his power from his capacity to intimidate one or few persons at most. A warlord drives his power from his capacity to intimidate the civilian populations of whole villages, towns and cities. It is no exaggeration that every Warlord in Somalia has been responsible for the death of at least hundreds of Somalis. You don’t become a warlord by praying in a mosque. This is a status you reach only by spilling blood, preferably but not necessarily, the blood of other tribe members. You may become “respectable” afterwards, but first you have to plant the seeds of “respect”.

The Arta Conference held in Djibouti created the Abdi Qaasim paper government by imagining the Warlords away. The latest Somali reconciliation conference in Kenya took a different route but one that is equally preposterous. In the last reconciliation conference held in the pig farm of Mpagathi, Kenya, the experimenters decided to limit the reconciliation process primarily to the warlords and to make the biggest of them the president of the nation. That is how Abdillahi Yusuf became the new paper president.

Now imagine asking Al Capone a) to give up his weapons voluntarily b) to hand the weapons over to the Gambini crime family c) and to help the Gambinis become the law and order agency of the land. This might indeed look ridiculous but asking the murderous Somali gangs called warlords to give up their weapon is every bit as ridiculous. Yet it is a central premise of the experiment.

When the warlords continue on maiming and murdering people, and when they fight out turf battles among themselves marked by the enormity of the collateral damage to the civilian population, the learned experimenters shake their heads in dismay and feign surprise. For those who like to live in dreams we should wake them up and tell them otherwise. Behold ye who sleep; Warlords will not disarm voluntarily. Not now. Not tomorrow. And not the day after tomorrow.

· The establishment of a paper government.
The announcement of government that controls only few villages or few streets of the capital and presenting them to the world and to the Somalis as actual national Somali State perpetuates the whole fakery and plays a cruel joke on the Somali public. The paper government is recognized by other governments in paper. And every one abandons it once it is all written up in a paper and the paper ends up in landfills.

The uniqueness of the experiment lies in its strangeness as well. It always begins with prayers, celebrations, and song and dance. And it always ends in moaning and mourning with thousands of Somalis dead, suffocated, strangulated, stabbed, shot, infected, infested, starved and drowned. I mean this literally. And woe betides those who survive the experiment are seized by a collective amnesia that guarantees its future repetition.

Conspiracy theorists may see The Experiment as a secret weapon designed to free the land of Somalis and replace them with others. Unfortunately the essential theorists of the experiment are Diaspora based Somali intellectuals, themselves caught in the tribal net, their own alienation in foreign lands and their own disconnection from the spirit and soul of the nation. When the theory fails every time, the scholars blame the experimenters, the warlords, the victims, and the rest of the world. Indeed failure has “other” fathers.

There is here an obvious conclusion that can be reached with ease and certainty. The diabolic formula is the problem not the solution. It is not a new story. It is a perpetual repetition of the end of the old story. The decade that followed the defeat of the Great Somalia ideology in 1976 saw the ascendancy of tribal conflict, the commencement of ferocious tribal wars and the gradual decay and eventual disappearance of the Somali state in 1990. The decade and half that followed the collapse of the Somali State saw only the institutionalization of tribal ideology in the form of 4.5 and the cyclical escalation of the debauchery, bloodletting and tribal sacrifices of gore and blood. The Diabolic Formula drives these cycles and repeats the ending of the same old story, like an echo, like the after shocks of an earthquake, like the last shivers of dying man.

To be continued…..


The Sustainable Development Of Somaliland Democracy

The Somaliland Times, Issue 193, Oct.1, 2005


For the third time since declaring their withdrawal from the 1960-union with Somalia, some 14 years ago, Somalilanders were able last Thursday to choose their representatives to government in a democratically conducted national election. The overwhelming majority of Somalilanders have already expressed full satisfaction with the way the 29 September parliamentary elections were conducted. After all, this has been their own process; devised, nurtured and implemented by them.

To this basically egalitarian society, the right to choose one’s leaders freely and hold them accountable hasn’t been something new. When the British tried to deprive Somalilanders of this right, they responded with several rebellions.

In the post-colonial period when dictator Siyad Barre tried to subjugate Somaliland, people resorted to armed resistance and in the ensuing war Somalia’s repressive and alien state was destroyed. In its place Somalilanders tried to build new state structures that people in this country can understand and identify with. Thus the birth of the Beel or clan-based political system that took major decisions by consensus and selected government leaders through an electoral college consisting of traditional leaders representing clans. This system succeeded in reinstating peace through grass-root level initiatives for reconciliation and nation-building.

Since 1997, the challenge has been how to develop the clan-based system to such a degree that it would be compatible with the demands of modernity. The successful multi-party elections held in 2002 and 2003 and the one that just happened, have disproved those who were imbued with the idea that tradition, Islam and modernity were irreconcilable in the Somaliland context. But for the new system to take root, it will be crucial in the next stage to improve the polity in place and ensure the sustainable development of Somaliland’s democracy.

It is at this juncture that international cooperation will be most needed. Both the EU and South Africa have already shown positive interest in Somaliland’s democratization process. Perhaps it is time for the United Nations to pay serious attention to this country’s experimentation in the creation of an appropriate, effective and sustainable system of governance.

Somaliland has already taken significant moves toward real democracy and its latest successful multi-party elections have already drawn admiration from people in the Horn of Africa region, particularly the citizens of neighboring Somalia.

Somaliland can become a model for this region, and beyond, in terms of peace-making reconciliation, disarmament and constitutional democratic rule. The United Nations and the rest of the international community should realize that by lending their support to Somaliland's democratization and national consolidation process, they would be serving the cause of democracy in the wider-region as well.


Counting of Ballot Papers Of Somaliland Parliamentary Elections

KULMIYE Leading In Both Hargeysa And Buroa

UDUB Expected To Win Borama

New Gains For UCID In Almost All Regions

Hargeysa, Somaliland, October 1, 2005 (SL Times) – Counting of ballot papers cast by voters in Somaliland’s Thursday parliamentary elections was still underway on late Friday night at the headquarters of the six regional electoral commissions.

In the Hargeysa district only 105 ballot boxes were counted with the main opposition party KULMIYE capturing roughly 40.71%, while UDUB and UCID won 30.15% and 29.14% each respectively.

In the Buroa district, 118 boxes were counted by midnight with KULMIYE winning 24,664 votes, UDUB 16, 354 votes and UCID 18, 184 votes.

The race was neck and neck when 19 polling stations were counted in Berbera district with UDUB scoring 4,968 votes against KULMIYE’s 4, 777 votes and UCID’s 4, 690 votes.
In the Gar-adag district of Sanaag region, the preliminary results gave KULMIYE 6, 650 votes, UDUB 3, 650 and UCID 1, 400 votes.

Meanwhile President Rayale’s UDUB party was poised to comfortably win the majority of votes cast in the Awdal region as a whole while UCID showed a significant jump in its capture of the national vote compared to the results of last presidential elections.

In Erigavo district, preliminary results so far indicated that KULMIYE won 22, 230 votes against 21, 981 for UCID. UDUB was third capturing only 13, 218 votes.

The voting started at 6 o’clock in the morning and closed at 6pm at most of the country’s polling stations. In some places such as Togdheer’s Odweyne district where arrival of ballot boxes was delayed by rains, polling stations remained opened after the 6pm deadline.

In Hargeysa and Buroa there were still people in the queues when polling stations closed. Scores of people were arrested by the police for trying to double vote.

Voter turn-out in this election was at least 40% bigger in comparison with the 2003 presidential elections with one million people expected to vote this time around.

The 3 political parties fielded 246 candidates for the 82-seat House of Representatives.
Though the weeks before the election witnessed a lot of mud slinging in the battle for votes, however the most overwhelming majority of Somalilanders on the streets or in rural villages felt not only satisfied with the fairness of the elections but also felt proud that exercise was held in an orderly and peaceful manner.

A contingent of 100 foreign observers monitored the Somaliland’s Thursday parliamentary elections.

According to the head of the group, Steve Kibble, no major problems were reported during the election.

The South African team consisted of 12 men and women. There was a parliamentarian from Finland. The International Cooperation for Development (ICD) provided coordination and logistical support.

Other countries from which observers were drawn included Britain, Norway, Denmark, New Zealand, USA, Zimbabwe and Sweden.


Somaliland's Historic Parliamentary Elections

Hargeysa, Somaliland, September 29, 2005 (Haatuf/SL Times) -
Somaliland voters went to the polls early this morning to elect
their representatives to the lower house of parliament.

There are nearly 246 candidates contesting this election for the
82-seat House of Representatives.

Voting started at 6 O'clock in the morning at most of the 985
polling stations. The candidates for this first democratically
elected parliament in over 35 years represent Somaliland's 3
political parties: UDUB, KULMIYE and UCID.

The polling represents Somaliland's third experiment with
multi-party elections in less than 4 years.

In December 2002, the country witnessed its first local council
elections and in April 2003 presidential elections were held.
International observers had certified both elections as free and

Two years and nine months after the country's last presidential
elections, officials of the National Electoral Commission and leaders
of the political parties expressed optimism that this parliamentary
polling will also be successful.


Will the UN take Professor Herbst’s advice?

Somaliland Times, Issue 192, Sep.24, 2005


With charges of corruption in Iraq’s oil for food program hanging over its secretary general, sexual crimes committed by its peacekeepers in the Congo and Bosnia, its inability to stop the genocide in Rwanda, and President Bush’s visceral disdain for it, the United Nation’s reputation and clout has undergone steady and serious erosion. Powerful countries such as the United States may have less reason to worry about this as they could use their political and economic muscle to protect their interests within the UN, or, if necessary, without the UN. But for most countries, especially the poorer ones that make up the majority of the UN’s membership, the weakening of the UN would have much more serious consequences because it would rob them of a legal framework with which to protect themselves. The poorer, less developed countries will have to blame themselves for this, since instead of fixing the myriad of problems facing them, they allowed their societies to deteriorate and have been using the UN system to prop up their failed sovereignties.

Most African countries and many Arab countries belong to these failing states that are hiding behind the UN’s principle of respect for state sovereignty. In other words, the UN system that was originally designed to help independent states by validating and to some extent, protecting their sovereignty, has become the protector of failed states. Due to the large number of failed states, especially in Africa, the UN system is stretched to the limit and it is getting more and more difficult to maintain the fiction of state sovereignty for failed or non-existent states. Somalia, which has not had a government for the last fourteen years is an example of such a non-existent state. There has been fourteen internationally or regionally sponsored conferences to revive Somalia. None of them bore fruit. In addition, the United Nation’s major campaign to save Somalia, Operation Restore Hope, was an unmitigated disaster.

Professor Jeffrey Herbst of Princeton has drawn attention to the severity of the problem of failed states in Africa and the need for a new approach to tackle it. His solution is that the world community should drop its misguided effort to resuscitate African failed states, and instead help those states, like Somaliland, that have actually proved that they are states. Professor Jeffrey Herbst has given excellent advice to the international community, but will they listen?


Press Release: 24th September 2005 - Immediate

Somaliland Parliamentary Election 29th September 2005: The last task of the process of regaining the rejected freedom in 1960, 45 years ago.

With just days to go the countdown has began for the Somaliland Parliamentary Elections due to be held on the 29th of September. There are three freely competing national parties each convinced that they hold the answers and solutions to Somaliland’s challenges.

Against all odds Somaliland has successfully managed to overcome the destruction carried out by the military dictatorship. Now Somaliland is a country of peace, freedom, equality and enterprise. In August 2000 The Financial Times reported, “It (Somaliland) could serve as a model for Africa: peaceful, stable, little crime, no debt, a liberal economic regime as of this month, a multi-part electoral system”.

Since then a new constitution establishing a multi-part electoral system was approved in 31st May 2001, Local Government elections followed in December 2002 and peacefully contested presidential election was held in April 2003. With only parliamentary election scheduled for 29th September 2005 remaining, Somaliland’s multi-party democratisation process is complete.

Many renowned and distinguished politicians, academicians, researchers and commentators across the world are calling the International Community to be realistic about the permanent and drastic shift and change of the paradigm that the so called Pan-Somalism was based. They strongly and with conviction argue that no longer Somaliland and Somalia could form one government even if Somalia manages to reach peace and stability, as the case is now in Somaliland, as they are completely two different entities with different systems, institutions, ethos and aspirations.

The high profile Sir Bob Geldof recent series on Africa (BBC – Africa Lives – Geldof in Africa) and other programmes commended Somaliland achievements as a shining example of a home grown African democracy - blending the traditional and cultural values with modern democratic processes. The report of the Commission for Africa (June 2005) showcased Somaliland as a role model of a successful bottom approach democracy in Africa:

“Civil war plunged Somalia into a condition of such chaos that the state, as an organism of government, could be said no longer to exist. Provinces became anarchic and autarchic, with warlords ruling whatever territory their forces could command. To the north of the country, however, the area known as Somaliland has shown signs of calm, and modest but ordered prosperity…it is one with its mix of African and other systems of governance, which clearly works.”

In their press release of 6th September 2005 the International Co-operation for Development (ICD) says:

“For many observers the democratisation of Somaliland is seen as an interesting experiment that deserves greater study and support in its incorporation of democratic values within a traditional social structure.”

The success story of Somaliland and its unparalleled achievements were vigorously debated in British Parliament on 4th February 2004. In this debate the Rt. Hon. Hilary Benn MP, Secretary of State for International Development, said:

“I concur completely with what we have heard today about governance and the progress that Somaliland has made. Indeed, it provides some important lessons, and in some respects acts as a beacon to other parts of Africa because of the relative stability that it has enjoyed for 10 years. It has held democratic elections - municipal and presidential - and aims to hold parliamentary elections in, we all hope, the not too distant future. It has a traditional bicameral Parliament...It has a police force, a defence force, its own currency and a relatively free and lively press. Undoubtedly, in contrast to the rest of Somalia, it has achieved an enormous amount for its people.”

Contrary to the unfortunate and sad loss of lives in many African and developing countries not a single person was killed, harmed or arrested in Somaliland during all these elections and no doubt the case will be the same for the coming Parliament election to take place on 29th September. This is not by accident but Somaliland people have a deep-rooted tradition of tolerance, fairness, equality and freedom. Even during the colonial period the Somaliland people were highly respected by “their masters - the British.” A report (1952) by the British Colonial Administration in Somaliland to Her Majesty Government states:

“… they have ethnological and political claims to racial individualism that would seem to be at least as good as our own, while there is no reason to suppose that their love of independence and liberty is any less than that of the Americans or ours”.

In 1959 one year before the independence of Somaliland (1960) The Secretary of State for Colonies, Mr Lennox-Boyd MP, made a political statement in Hargeisa the capital of Somaliland stating: “Whatever the eventual destiny of the protectorate Her Majesty’s Government will continue to take interest in the welfare of its inhabitants.”

On 19th May 2003 Mr Bill Rammell MP, UK Foreign Minister, made this statement at Westminster when Ms Linda Perham MP asked him about the UK Policy on Somaliland:

“UK policy on Somalia and Somaliland has two objectives:

a) To see peace and stability established throughout Somalia. We have encouraged the National Reconciliation Process initiated by the regional organisation the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and we welcomed the Declaration on cessation of hostilities signed on 27 October 2002.

b) For Somaliland, which is not taking part in the Conference, to reach a political settlement with the rest of the country. This can only happen at a later stage in the reconciliation process. It will be for the people of Somaliland to decide for themselves if they are ready to engage in talks with the rest of Somalia.”

After 46 years of Mr Lennox-Boyd MP, The Secretary of State for Colonies, visit and statement on Somaliland, The Rt Hon Chris Mullen, Foreign Minister for Africa, visited Somaliland in last October. He addressed both Houses of Somaliland Parliament and made this powerful statement:

“In a region torn by war and chaos Somaliland stands out as beacon of stability and progress…In the long term, however, sustainable development and prosperity in Somaliland will only be possible if there is peace and stability throughout the region…Let me assure you, however, that the British government will never be party to an agreement that pushes you – against your will – into a forced marriage with the South.”

The Somaliland Communities in Europe and elsewhere are loudly and explicitly saying to the International Community:

“We are an Islamic country in the developing world, and we have shown the international community that we know how to run a stable government and fair elections. Take notice of us, and use us as an example of what can be done, instead of pushing us into the corner as if we had done something disgraceful. What we have done is reject war-lord anarchy and opted for a well adapted administration and home grown bottom up democratic parliamentary process. What more do you want? Recognise us and our achievement, and help others to follow our good example!'

The Somaliland people hope that the International Community will honour and respect the self determination, the choice and deep feeling of Somaliland people in regaining their independence through democratic process. Also they hope that Great Britain who has long historic connections with Somaliland; and currently holds the chair of the G8 countries and the presidency of the European Commission to spearhead the long over due recognition and badly needed economic development aid for Somaliland. How long the Somaliland people await the dividend for peace, reconciliation and democratic governance?

It is imperative that The British Government shows the needed world leadership to resolve Somaliland predicament. These ministerial policy statements say it all and Somaliland people awaited action for a long time. It is about time that the rhetoric should be stopped and the reward that Somaliland people deserve, in achieving so much, to be delivered and their freedom and liberty as a nation and state to be respected and honoured.

To say the least it is double standard, injustice and discriminatory that Somaliland people to be a kept hostage by the International Community for Somalia - whether ungovernable as the situation has been for the last fourteen years or if at all governable in the future! Under the international law Somaliland people decided for their future and regained their freedom they rejected forty fiv years ago and they have all the right to do so.

On Thursday 29th September Somaliland people are fulfilling the last phase of the process of an innovative, workable and equitable model of democracy of their own making based on their cultural values and the process of modern democracy. As they fully met the criteria for an independent, peaceful, stable, democratic and viable country the Somaliland people hope they will not be ignored anymore and let down by the International Community.

This is the year for Africa and The British Government at the forefront of the International Community has the golden opportunity to honour its pledges to the Somaliland people and lead the International Community to give the Smaliland people what they deserve and entitled. The case of Somaliland people should remind Great Britain and other freedom loving countries to appreciate and value the democracy and equality that they strive for and have striven for over decades. Peaceful and freedom loving Somaliland people deserve no less.

For further information please contact the following SSE members across Europe:

Great Britain:
Eid Ali Ahmed - Tel: 029 2043 2972 Mobile: 07971531761
Abdulkadir Maacalesh - Tel: 01204535093 Mobile: 07984142942
Mohmed Bashe - Tel: 02077906611
Khader Hassan - Mobile: 07961131014

Mohamed Aburahman Hussein ‘Jacket’- Tel: +32 32721095 Mobile: +32 484506644
Abdirahman Omer Farah‘Ciro’ - Mobile: +32 484639812

Mohamed - Amin Siyad - Mobile: +45 26239485

Dr Mohamud Mohamed Abdillahi – Tel: +35 8 34 671 4929 or +35 8 9310 62673

Halimo Yusuf – Mobile: +33 6 24577093
Mohamed Hassan – Tel: + 33 478800575 Mobile: + 33 6 99669169
Abdurahman Yassin – Tel: + 33 5 59828841 Mobile: + 33 6 89831266

Mohamed Saad – Tel: + 49 2 235929245 Mobile: + 49 1 6092356044

Dr Hussein Abdillahi – Tel: +31 302613448 Mobile: +31 624169852

Dr Jama Muse Jama – Mobile: +39 3389679505

Saeed Farah – Mobile: + 47 98838582
Jama Ali - + 47 67415793 Mobile: +47 95232157

Hussein Wadadyare – Tel: + 46 34684523
Ali Sugaal – Tel: + 46 34680167

Notes for Editors
Former British Somaliland became independent on 26th June 1960. However, it gave up its freedom after only four days as reported by the Daily Herald Newspaper of London on 29th June 1960:

“The Rejected Freedom - Three days ago, it gained its independence; on Friday, it gives it up again:

Somaliland, a British colony for nearly 80 years, became independent last Sunday. And on Friday, after four days of freedom, this British outpost will surrender its sovereignty and merge with its sister, Somalia. It has decided not to remain in the Commonwealth. Somaliland, eastern gateway to Dark Africa, was hardly worth a sniff in the world's press until three days ago. Now it has become an area of historical significance. And the reason is that its merger with Somalia is unique, as Somalia itself is not yet free. Somalia.”

The Somaliland people and their leadership were naïve enough to give away their freedom in June 1960. In February 1960 a British Conservative MP, Major Patrick Wall, visited British Somaliland and strongly warned about the injustice in the coming union. In April 1960 he made this statement in the British Parliament (African Affairs June 1960):

“There are, I think, considerable dangers to our British Somalis as in this union, because the Italian Somalis are more developed…and they have a higher degree of political institutions and it may well be that they absorb the Protectorate, indeed, it has already been decided that the Protectorate of British Somaliland is to become but two of the eight provinces within the new union. I think this would be a great pity…One hopes that the discussions which will start next week in London between her majesty’s Government and the representatives of British Somaliland, this point will be borne in mind; we should also see that our own ex-colonials – if I can put it that way – get a fair break in the new Republic.”

v On 28th July 2003 the highly credible lobby group, International Crisis Group, based in Brussels issued a comprehensive report on Somaliland: Democratisation and its Discontents. The report says:

“Somaliland’s democratisation renders the prospects for reunification with the rest of Somalia increasingly improbable, not only because the aspiring state’s political institutions have little in common with the kinds of interim, factional arrangements likely to emerge in the south, but also because its leadership is becoming more accountable to its electorate – the majority of whom no longer desire any form of association with Somalia.

This report is highly recommended to all interested parties to understand the history and present situation of Somaliland. For the full report please refer to the Group’s website: www.intl-crisis-group.org.

v BBC News – World Edition (http://news.bbc.co.uk) on 21st October 2004 reports Dr Iqbal Jhaszbhay comments on the Commission for Africa:

“Tony Blair’s Africa Commission has a profound historic opportunity, to firstly, facilitate development in Africa and, secondly, to focus on promoting peace and stability …Tony Blair’s Africa Commission will be fondly remembered if it succeed in highlighting the key development concern of fair trade and market access and, moving towards resolving the situation of the two neglected peoples of Western Sahara and Somaliland… Our humanity remains compromised as long as the people of Africa, Western Sahara and Somaliland, remain shackled by redundant policies, which do not see the urgency for creative action.”

Dr Iqbal Jhazbahay is a senior lecturer at the University of South Africa & memebr of the ANC’s Commission for Religious Affairs.

v In a speech he delivered on 17th March 2004 at a banquet and reception held by Somaliland Diaspora for the honour of Somaliland President Dahir Riyal Kahin and his delegation and British MPs who visited Somaliland Professor Ioan Lewis of London School of Economics brilliantly explained the situation of Somaliland:
“With the liberation struggle over in Somaliland, energies turned to the gradual restoration of the country. Peace-making and social reconstruction has followed a bottom-up path, starting at the grass roots with small local clan groups, and building up gradually in ever widening circles. This slow and often irregular process which, not without setbacks, has taken several years is reflected in Somaliland's contemporary two-tier parliament: A house of elected party representatives, and an upper house of nominated clan elders…These locally evolved Somaliland political institutions have delivered a degree of political stability and democratic government so far unattained in any other part of the defunct state of Somalia. Today Somaliland is an effective functioning state, based on good governance, to an extent that is sadly now rare in Africa. The restoration of civil society is well underway, schools and hospitals are under construction with help from diaspora Somalis and some friendly NGOs. Much has been achieved in demobilising former militias and retraining those who cannot fruitfully be absorbed into the local police or army.

Although there have undeniably been serious ups and downs in the process summarised above, the overall achievement so far is truly remarkable, and all the more so in that it has been accomplished by the people of Somaliland themselves with very little external help or intervention. The contrast with fate of southern Somalia hardly needs to be underlined.
Far from seeking to applaud or encourage these developments in spontaneous Somali democracy, the outside world has taken little interest and remained largely indifferent. This, of course, contrasts strikingly with the frequent pronouncements by Western leaders of their concern to promote good government and democracy in Africa. As the chairman of the politics department at Princeton University has recently put it: 'One would think that the natural response of the outside world to the extraordinary achievement of the Somalilanders would be respect and recognition' -especially in contrast with Somalia'.

If as I hope Somaliland soon receives the international recognition to which it has long been entitled, I hope equally that this action will provide a new impetus to social reconstruction in Somalia. It is obvious that a new approach is needed, and one that is better informed about Somali political realities and less biased by extraneous external interests. These biases on the part of the principal external actors are acutely obvious.”

v The Washington Times (www.washingtontimes.com) reported on 6th January 2005 an article titled “Curious Case of Somaliland” by Richard Rahn who argues:

“The Somalilanders ask why they must remain part of a dysfunctional state. Before the colonial period, there was no Somalia state, and Somaliland was under British rule for 80 years. They argue their situation is not really all that different from the Baltic States or the now independent countries that made up the former Yugoslavia…The danger for the U.S., Britain and the other Western countries is their failure to recognize Somaliland will gain influence and power for radical Muslim elements there. Somaliland might be pulled back into the morass of Somalia, a terrorist breeding ground.

American diplomats by nature tend to be cautious and are reluctant to appear to be rewarding breakaway states in Africa. However, it is the judgment of some of the diplomatic "Africa hands," who know the situation best, that the benefits of recognizing Somaliland far outweigh the potential costs of continued non-recognition. The Bush and Blair administrations should come together and immediately recognize Somaliland to reward them for pursuing a constructive path toward free market democracy. If we do so, I would bet that, within a year, most other nations will have followed our lead.”

Richard W. Rahn is a senior fellow of the Discovery Institute and an adjunct scholar of the Cato Institute.

v The Washington Post (www.washingtonpost.com) reported on 2nd January 2004 an article titled “In Africa, What Does it Take to Be A Country” written by Professor Jeffery Herbst of Princeton University who argues:

“The Somalilanders made their own peace without the benefit of international mediators and conflict resolution experts…recognizing Somaliland would be a strong signal to the rest of Africa that performance matters and that sovereignty granted in the 1960s will not be an excuse to fail forever. Few regions of any African country actually want to secede; thus the world could recognize the achievements and legal idiosyncrasies of Somaliland without experiencing massive disruptions of Africa's map. The Somalilanders, almost unanimously, ask what more they can do when the international community continues to recognize Liberia, Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of the Congo and other anarchic, violent places as sovereign units. It is time to give them an answer.”

v Sub-Sahara Informer reported on 29th July 2005 a revealing article titled “Faking a Government for Somalia – International diplomacy supports fictitious peace process” by Ulf Terlinden and Tobias Hagmann:

“For more than a decade the feasibility of successful reconciliation in Somalia has been proven in Somaliland. It accomplished peace and reconstruction largely by its own means and its government emerged from what observers have described as free elections. Yet Somaliland Republic is denied recognition, due to the international Community’s insistence on the principle of a united Somalia. As an ironic consequences, donors and international organisations support what could be captured as a ‘letter-box government’, which upholds a fiction of sovereignty, even over Somaliland.

The case of Somaliland also points to an issue that reaches beyond the gap between appearance and reality of Somali peace process and interim governments. The internationally sponsored peace conferences were all based on the assumption that sustainable peace requires the existence of a central state authority for Somalia. This stance overlooks the actual pacification and emergence of governance in Somaliland.”

Ulf Terlinden and Tobias Hagmann are peace researchers at the Centre for Development Research in Bonn, Germany and Swisspeace, Bern, Switzerland respectively. Both are political scientist and long time observers of the Somali inhibited Horn of Africa.

Somaliland Societies in Europe (SSE):

Somaliland Societies in Europe (SSE) is primarily a network for Somaliland communities and organisations in Europe. SSE is a non-political but charitable organisation. It is in its formative years and its vision is “to bring together and utilise the skills and resources of its members, Somaliland organisations and communities in Europe for the benefit of Somalilanders in Europe and back home - Somaliland”.

SSE’s Main Strategic Objectives include:

Ø To promote the development and empowerment of Somaliland communities in Europe and Somaliland

Ø To link and liaise with indigenous and International and Somaliland NGOs and Institutions

Ø To promote, publicise and market the achievement of Somaliland, its people and institutions in the International Community

Ø To lobby for more resources and development grants for Somaliland Communities in Europe and those in Somaliland

Ø To be vigilant about the on going Somaliland democratisation process and democratically challenge any undemocratic obstruction and hindrance instigated by individual (s) and/or groups in this democratisation process.

SSE Contacts:

Eid Ali Ahmed, Chair
Tel: + 44 (0)29 2043 2972 or + 44 (0) 29 2038 3317
Mobile: +44 (0) 7971531761
Emai: eid_consultancy@yahoo.co.uk

Abdulkadir Maacalesh, Secretary
Tel: + 44 (0) 12 0453 5093 Mobile: +44 (0) 7984142942
Email: maacalesh@yahoo.co.uk

Website: www.sse4.com
Email: info@sse4.com


UDUB's Hate Speeches

Somaliland Times, Issue 191. Sep.17, 2005

Hargeysa, Somaliland, September 17, 2005 (SL Times) – The UDUB party of Somaliland President Dahir Rayale has reduced its election campaign to a series of hate speeches as senior government officials took turns earlier this week to incite the public against the opposition parties, particularly KULMIYE.

At two consecutive rallies held by UDUB in Arabsiyo and Gabiley last Tuesday, Interior minister, Ismail Adan, unleashed a barrage of insults against the KULMIYE opposition party leaders and prominent veterans of the armed struggle waged by the SNM against Siyad Barre’s dictatorship in the 1980s. He accused former high-ranking SNM officers of spying for the enemy during the liberation war.

KULMIYE’s current leader, Ahmed Silanyo, is a former SNM chairman and a significant number of key posts in the party’s upper hierarchy are held by SNM veterans. By contrast, Somaliland’s current minister of Interior worked as a draughtsman for Hargeysa municipality during Siyad Barre’s rule. His relations with military government officials at the time was the subject of various types of rumors and is often described by KULMIYE supporters as a former collaborator with the Faqash (the SNM’s code name for Somalia’s former military government that ruled Somaliland).

While addressing Tuesday’s UDUB rally in Gabiley, Interior Minister, Ismail Adan, tried to demonize KULMIYE by saying that the party was against Somaliland’s recognition.

The minister seemed very concerned about how UDUB would perform in the upcoming parliamentary elections. UDUB lost Gabiley to KULMIYE in the last presidential poll and according to most observers, the ruling party is expected to fare even worse in this election.

Adan tried to woo voters by saying that they would serve themselves a favor if they voted for UDUB instead of the opposition.

“A political party that is not in government and not led by an incumbent president, vice-president and ministers can’t do anything for you”, said the Interior minister, adding that it won't be a big deal if the opposition emerged with majority seats. “Remember it is us who will still be paying their salaries,” he asserted.
The political atmosphere was further poisoned by the stinging attacks launched against KULMIYE by Somaliland’s Information Minister, Abdillahi Mohamed Duale, who was still campaigning with vice-President Ahmed Yassin in the eastern regions for the third week.

In an apparent bid to chip away at Kulmiye's identification with the SNM, both Duale and Adan resorted to personal attacks against Ahmed Silanyo, the longest-serving chairman of the former guerilla organization.

The incitement speeches against the opposition were first started by Vice-President Ahmed Yassin while he was campaigning in Berbera early this month.

Speaking to a crowd of supporters in the center of the town, he said that the government was about to fulfill its old pledge to supply Berbera with 2 power generators. “Those of you who feel jealous about the 2 generators should better be dead,” added the vice-President in an apparent reference to the opposition.

The onslaught on the opposition was shown unedited on the government’s newly acquired television station. The 2 opposition parties were unable to respond through the new local TV channel as they were denied access. The ministry of information is supposed to run the station. But in reality it is directed by the office of the president. The TV’s manager, Ali Fuad, has recently clashed with Radio Hargeysa staff over programme selection.

Ali Fuad who was transferred to the information ministry on secondment from the ministry of planning, insists that the TV is a parasatal organization that doesn’t come administratively under the ministry of information. It is not unusual to notice Fuad taking orders from his former boss, Ahmed H. Dahir, with regard to the type of programmes that need not be shown for the day.

The Election Monitoring Board said it has noticed, with regret, the irresponsible behavior of some UDUB officials last Tuesday. The monitoring board called upon all political parties to refrain from public incitement. It also urged the government to provide equal and balanced access to the state-controlled media.


We Are United Against Terrorism

Somaliland Times, Issue 192, Sep.24, 2005


Somaliland has foiled yet another major terrorist attack. Obviously the operation was intended to create a situation of utmost havoc and despair in the lead up to two events both scheduled to take place in the last week of this month: the Sept 25 sentencing by Hargeysa regional court of 10 people suspected of killing aid workers between 2002 and 2004 as well as the Sept 29 parliamentary elections.

The terrorists’ dual target was, of course, to disrupt the country’s first legislative elections in over 35 years and blackmail the Somaliland government into freeing their comrades who could face the death penalty.

Considering the lethal nature of the large amount of weapons seized from them following Thursday’s raid by the Somaliland security forces on their hide-outs in Hargeysa, there is no doubt that the terrorists sought to stage their biggest attack in Somaliland so far. That they failed this time around however doesn’t mean they will not try again in the future, as long as rich Wahabists from the Arabian Peninsula continue to pour money into the pockets of thugs like Hassan Aweys and Adan F. Eiro and Somaliland remains an unrecognized country. But the truth is that Somaliland’s march toward a fully-fledged democratic system of governance of its own cannot be slackened, let alone stopped, by a bunch of terrorists calling themselves Mujahideen.

In fact the only Mujahideen that this country has known are the SNM veterans who led the armed resistance against the Faqash government (Siyad Barre’s regime). Today’s terrorists are yesterday’s Faqash. That is why they hate free and independent Somaliland. That is also why these Faqash turned terrorists will never have sympathy among Somalilanders and are doomed to fail.


Elusive Terrorist Abdirahman Indho-Ade Finally In Police Custody

Somaliland Times, Issue 192, Sep.24, 2005

Elusive Terrorist Abdirahman Indho-Ade Finally In Police Custody

At least 4 More Suspects Arrested After Thursday’s Gunbattle
With Somaliland Security Forces

Hargeysa, Somaliland, September 24, 2005 (SL Times) – Abdirahman Indho-Ade, one of the most wanted terrorists in the Horn of Africa was arrested yesterday by the Somaliland security forces. Indho-Ade was wounded in his right hand following a night raid by armed security police on a suspected terrorist hide-out in the most easterly part of Hargeysa city.

According to Somaliland police authorities, 4 more terrorist suspects were also arrested in this incident. Three police officers were wounded during the firefighting while an assortment of lethal weapons such as plastic anti-tank and anti-personnel landmines and remote-controlled exploding devices were seized. Included in the cache were also communication equipment, telephone mobiles, walkie talkis and video cassettes. However four terrorist suspects fled the scene of the raid which began around midnight Thursday.

Sources close to police investigators have confirmed to the Somaliland Times that the 5 suspects belonged to a Mogadisho-based terrorist group headed by Hassan Dahir Aweys, Aden Hashi Farah known as Eiro and Ahmed Abdi Godane. It is the same group that has been accused of planning and carrying out the 2003 assassination of Italian aid worker Annalena Tonelli and British teachers Dick and Enid Eyeington in Somaliland.

5 members of this group were arrested in March 19, 2003 for the killing of a Kenyan woman who worked as a consultant for the German aid agency, GTZ. The leader of this team called Jama Kuutiye had confessed to investigators that he went to Sheikh High School at Sheikh on reconnaissance missions several times before the killing of the Eyeingtons, but wasn’t part of the actual assassination squad. The information obtained led investigators to the arrest of 3 more main suspects in the case of the Eyeingtons murder. Three other suspects who were arrested in October 2003 following a day time robbery of money at Wajaale village were indicted for taking part in various terrorist related activities. One of these 3 was particularly accused of being an accomplice in the murder of Annalena Tonelli in October 5, 2003. Abdirahman Indho-Ade was the main suspect wanted for Tonelli’s murder. But he escaped arrest and remained at large until his capture on Friday.

According to investigators he was involved in the killings of the Eyeingtons, Annalena Tonelli and the Kenyan woman. From time to time Indho-Ade would come to Somaliland’s main cities and then slip back into Mogadisho, eluding his pursuers. He fled the house where he was hiding with other members of his team following the raid. He was caught on Friday some 135km to the east of Hargeysa. When Somaliland police chief Mohamed Ege said to him, “So you came back”, Indho-Ade replied, “Oh yes.” Neither of them seemed to be interested in saying anything further.


“Parliamentary Elections Are Another Significant Step Forward For
Somaliland And The Region”
Bob Deware, UK Ambassador to Ethiopia

Somaliland Times, Issue 191. Sep.17, 2005

Hargeysa, Somaliland, September 17, 2005 (SL Times) – The British Ambassador to Ethiopia, Bob Deware left Hargeysa on Thursday after a 24 hour visit to the country.

Mr. Deware praised Somaliland’s preparations for the parliamentary elections slated for September 29. While urging leaders of all the political parties to demonstrate responsible leadership, mutual respect and tolerance, he reiterated the UK’s readiness to continue to help Somaliland’s democratization process.

“It is in the interests of all to have a calm, peaceful election, to respect the process and have confidence in the eventual outcome,” the Ambassador said.

On this visit, Ambassador Deware was accompanied by Daniel Drake, second political secretary and David Charters, military attaché.

Here is the full text of the Ambassador’s statement before his departure:

I have been very grateful for the warm friendship and hospitality.

I have had the opportunity to meet political parties and the NEC and learn how the process is proceeding leading up to polling day on the 29th September. This is an important time for Somaliland and its people- and indeed the diaspora. These Parliamentary elections are another significant step forward for Somaliland and for the region. All parties and institutions should do their best to ensure that they are genuine elections which are free and fair.

Your elections are breaking new ground in many ways including the fact that you are likely to elect some women to Parliament, which is an important step forward.

In my discussions, including with the authorities, I have emphasized the need to ensure a level playing field for all parties. For example this means balanced media access; not using official resources for party purposes; codes of ethics and conduct should be respected; the strict independence and effective action by the NEC. It is important for all political leaders to be behave maturely and responsibly, avoiding dangerous or over-personalized rhetoric or incitement of violence or hatred. Now is the time for mutual respect, tolerance and responsible leadership. The great Somali tradition is one of peaceful dialogue to resolve any differences. If there are complaints these should be put to the Electoral Monitoring Board, which is the body set up to look into such issues. It is in the interests of all to have a calm, peaceful election, to respect the process and have confidence in the eventual outcome.

But these elections, however important, are only part of your on-going democratization process. You have already shown the region what is possible through your local and Presidential elections. The task after these elections will be to move forward yet further to make the new Parliament as vibrant and dynamic as possible, so that it can play its proper role. The UK stands ready to continue to help.

Of course there will be winners and losers. The overall winner must be the people. Their voice must be heard. Whatever the outcome, all parties should work together in the future in a spirit of cooperation, rather than confrontation. Making your democracy work for the people, with mutual respect between the House of Representatives, the Gurti and the authorities, will be important.
I wish all Somalilanders a successful election.”



Somaliland Times, Issue 191. Sep.17, 2005


With all the problems facing the country, one would think that a political campaign would be the right time for Somaliland’s political parties to present their ideas about how to solve at least some of those problems. Unfortunately, that has not happened yet. Instead, Somalilanders are getting a lot of empty and unconvincing rhetoric, which really shows that Somaliland’s ruling party, as well as the ones who want to replace it, have not given serious thought to the thorny issues facing the country.

Since they have not thought about the issues, and therefore have no solutions for the basic problems of daily life in Somaliland, politicians have concentrated on tearing each other apart and often making absurd statements. One such statement was the one made by UDUB’s high official, Mr Bullale in which he accused UCID party of being composed of diaspora people who do not know the traditions and real conditions of this country. In addition to being absurd, Mr Bullale’s statement is contradictory, for if Somalilanders in the diaspora do not know what is going on in the country, why would they get involved in the first place by supporting UCID or any other party?

Another example of an unconvincing statement was the one made by one of Kulmiye’s leaders, Abdirahman Aw Ali in his recent visit to Berbera. In a speech over there, Abdirahman Aw Ali said that Berbera and Awdal regions are the two most neglected regions, and that the present government has done nothing for them. While it is debatable if those are the two most neglected regions in the country, it is true that the government has done nothing or very little for them. But that is not where the problem with Abdirahman Aw Ali’s rhetoric lies. Simply put, the problem is with his confession in that speech that the current administration is not the only one that has neglected the two regions, and that the previous administration, in which he was a vice-president, had also done nothing for those two regions. It was of course laudable that Mr Aw Ali admitted the part he played in the existing terrible conditions in those two regions, but it seems that he never asked himself if he were given a chance to do something about this problem and did not do anything about it, why should he be given another chance?

The last of these absurd statements that we would like to draw attention to was made by Somaliland’s Minister of Interior, Mr Ismail Aden Osman, while campaigning in Gabiley. The minister’s statement had two parts. In the first part, the minister claimed that opposition leader, Mr Silanyo is unhappy with the international recognition that Somaliland’s government is going to secure for the country. This statement is relatively easy to dispose of because the recognition that he is talking about has not yet taken place.

In the second part of his statement, he claimed that if the opposition wins a majority in the parliament, it would bring no benefits for the citizenry because the presidency and the ministries would still be in UDUB’s hands, and the only change would be that his government would give salaries to the new opposition in parliament. There are so many things wrong with the minister’s statement it would require more than a brief editorial. Suffice it to say that if the opposition wins a majority in the parliamentary elections, it would mean among other things a vote of no confidence in his government with all the attendant consequences that could flow from that. If the minister won’t admit that or can’t see it, he is either not leveling with the electorate or he is completely out of touch. That is why his statement is not only absurd but also dangerous.


Awil’s Early August Rendezvous With Geedi In Djibouti

Djibouti, September 17, 2005 (SL Times) – Somaliland’s Finance Minister Hussein Ali Dualle (a.k.a Awil), has met again with Ali Mohamed Geedi, the Premier of the Abdillahi Yusuf-led faction in the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia.

The secret meeting between the two took place this time in Djibouti during Awil’s trip to the neighboring country in early August 2005, reliable sources have disclosed to the Somaliland Times.

It was also reported by this newspaper (August 6 edition) that Awil met secretly with Mr. Geedi in Addis Ababa’s Sheraton Hotel on July 20, 2005. Awil had denied the report, describing it as baseless.

On August 2, 2005, Mr. Awil left Hargeysa for Djibouti ostensibly to take part in a meeting between a US Congress delegation visiting Djibouti at the time, and Somaliland’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Edna Adan Ismail. Ms Edna Ismail had to fly from Cairo, Egypt, to meet with the group of American legislators. She arrived in Djibouti on August 4 and on the next day flew to Hargeysa. However, Awil overstayed in Djibouti for 3 days during which he was believed to have met Geedi.

There is growing suspicion in Hargeysa that Awil might have conducted many more clandestine meetings with TFG officials than the two mentioned above.

Mr. Awil was often criticized in the past for spending more time on suspicious trips to east African capitals, particularly Addis Ababa, Nairobi and Djibouti than on his work at the ministry of finance.

It has been the policy of successive Somaliland governments, including the incumbent Administration, not to meet with officials of any Somalia government that claims jurisdiction over Somaliland, such as the current one headed by Abdillahi Yusuf and Geedi.

It is not yet clear whether the present Somaliland government headed by President Dahir Rayale Kahin has decided to reconsider the policy of no talks with Somalia’s governments that claim sovereignty over Somaliland.


Examination Results For Grade 8 and 12 Announced

Hargeysa, Somaliland, September 10, 2005 (SL Times) – Somaliland’s School Examination Board announced Friday the results of the examinations held for grade 8 and grade 12.
A total of 3,723 students took part in the grade 8 exam while 1,547 sat for the secondary leaving certificate examination.

At the G8 level 3,083 students (83%) were reported passed, 479 failed (13%) and 161 (4%) didn’t appear for the examination.

The results of the secondary leaving examination were reported as 1,050 passed, 373 failed and 104 absent.

The names of the ten top students of the G8 were 1) Khaalid Haaruun Cabdillaahi Kaahin, Qudhac Dheer School, Hargeysa 659 marks; 2) Cabdiraxmaan Xuseen Ibraahim Wacays, Qudhac Dheer School, Hargeysa, 655 marks; 3) Isaaq Axmed Cabdi Ismaaciil, Axmed Dhagax School, 655 marks; 4) Cabdiraxmaan Cismaan Faahiye Ducaale, Aloog School, Awdal, 654 marks; 5) Sakariye Axmed Caynaanshe Odowaa, Arabsiyo School, Hargeysa, 650 marks; 6) Cabdiraxmaan Yuusuf Cismaan Magan, Qudhac Dheer School, Hargeysa, 641 marks; 7) Cabdinaasir Axmed Jaamac Xasan, Gurya-samo School, Hargeysa, 638 marks; 8) Cabdicasiis Maxamed Cilmi Xasan, Sheekh Madar School, Hargeysa, 635 marks; 9) Axmed Abiib Jibriil Kaahin, Axmed Dhagax School, Hargeysa, 632 marks; 10) Khadar Xaamud Jaamac Kibaar, Aadan Isaaq School, Awdal, 623 marks.

Top secondary school form IV students were as follows:

1) Mahmoud Abdi Gas Gutaale, 26th June School, marks 723;
2) Mustafe Moh’oud Hassan Iman, 26th June School, marks 716
3) Ayanle Moh’d Omar Osman, Sh. A. Jowhar School, marks 715
4) Moh’d Yussuf Warsame Farah, Ilays School, marks 711
5) Mustafe Awil Jama Moh’d, Ilays School, marks 701
6) Ahmed Abdi Jama Ahmed, Timo-Ade School, marks 693
7) A/Rasak Ab/hi Ibrahim Rage, Bin Ka’ab School, marks 691
8) A/kadir Moh’d Ahmed Muhumed, 26th June School, marks 689
9) Jimale Ali Nur Farah, Farah Omar School, marks 687
10) Sa’ad Ab/hi Yussuf Warsame, Timo-Ade School, marks 687


Prospects For The 7 Women Candidates Said To Be Dim

Somaliland Times, Issue 190, Sep.10, 2005

Hargeysa, Somaliland, September 10, 2005 (SL Times) – Prospects for the election of the only 7 women candidates running for Somaliland’s House of Representatives are dim, a panel of human rights, civil society, and political activists have concluded.

During a debate organized by East Africa Human Rights Watch at Haraf restaurant in Hargeysa on Thursday, the penalists said that the 7 women candidates contesting the parliamentary elections on 3 different party tickets are faced with tremendous challenges in campaigning for votes. The report blamed the clan system for discriminating against women’s participation in the political process.

Somaliland elections are contested along clan lines which are basically patriarchal in nature. Candidates running for election depend on tribal allegiance for wooing support. All the 3 political parties are extensively utilizing the traditional clan system in deciding who should be nominated as candidate for the legislative election. No clan selected a woman candidate and women were expected to vote not for their own clans, but for the clans of their husbands. The 7 women candidates were nominated by leaders of the political parties.

At last Thursday’s Haraf meeting, politicians, human rights activists, traditional leaders, women representatives and officials from the ministry of justice, have all agreed that getting the 7 women candidates elected should be promoted as a patriotic cause that deserves support.

“Unless we do something before it is too late, we will end up with a 100% male House of Representatives,” said Hassan Mohamed Jambir one of Hargeysa’s traditional leaders.

The penalists pointed out that the women running for office need immediate financial support in order to improve the impact of their campaign strategies quantatively and qualitatively. They also recommended that 2 specific days in the election campaign schedule be exclusively assigned to the 7 women candidates for the purpose of propping up voter support and highlighting the grave socio-political consequences of the electorate’s failure to vote women into parliament.

Women participants also called upon women voters to cross clan lines and rally to their sister candidates.


Candidates Lack Campaign Agenda

Hargeysa, Somaliland, September 10, 2005 (SL Times) – The Parliamentary elections campaign has entered the second week but most candidates have yet to come forward to explain their agenda to the electorate.

So far, all party candidates have focused on wooing voters belonging to their sub-tribal constituencies. But appealing to tribal allegiance is no longer a safe bet for securing voter support as almost ever parliamentary seat is being contested by at least 2 or 3 different party candidates who share a common lineage. Setting a competitive agenda for one’s campaign and then trying to sell it to the tribal community could have made a difference in terms of which direction the majority of votes should go. But the campaigns have until now been dominated by the rhetoric of political parties’ leaders and senior government officials.

Last week UCID party chief Faysal Ali Warabe and KULMIYE Chairman, Ahmed Sillanyo, were both criss-crossing the country to shore up support for their party candidates. In the last 10 days, Somaliland’s Vice-President and UDUB’s deputy chairman, Ahmed Yusuf Yassin, was campaigning on behalf of his party candidates in Berbera, Sanag region, Einabo, and Togdheer, while Information minister, Abdillahi Dualle, has been urging voters in eastern parts of the country not to vote for KULMIYE.

While the top political brass was required from time to time to lend support to the politicking, many candidates, particularly those from UDUB, have remained reluctant to start a campaign trail to urge people to vote for them. Some of the candidates of the incumbent party were still unknown by the public as they were completely over-shadowed as a result of aggressive campaigning on their behalf by ministers.

It is noteworthy though that there have been no major violations of the election campaign regulations.

At the start of the campaign on August 30, the state-owned media has tried to be impartial in its covering of the exercise. In the last few days, however, the opposition’s criticism of the government has been subjected to censorship. Both the minister of information and interior were frequently spotted using their government-owned vehicles in campaigning activities.

Two pick ups donated to the government by the international community were given private plate numbers and put under the disposal of UDUB party.

On Thursday KULMIYE’s candidate, Mohamed Mahmud Omer Hashi, returned from abroad to a heroic welcome at Hargeysa airport by thousands of his supporters who flocked to the streets chanting campaign slogans. As this ran against the NEC-approved schedule regulating political parties’ election campaign events, the boss of KULMIYE Hargeysa branch apologized yesterday about the action which he described as unintentional.

Meanwhile, the Center for Innovative Ideas headed by Dr. Hussein Bulhan, is expected to hold political debates between candidates from the 3 political parties. The programme will start tonight at 7:30pm with 2 candidates from each party. It will be held twice weekly.

Among the topics for discussion tonight will be:

- What distinctions exist between the 3 political parties and why they deserve to be voted for.
- The candidates’ qualifications, vision, capabilities and agenda.
- The candidates’ views on tribal vs. public interests, how to differentiate between them and find a balanced and acceptable mix of the two.


Kulmiye’s Contradictions

Somaliland Times, Issue 190, Sep.10, 2005


KULMIYE’s Contradictions

Five factors will probably decide the outcome of the parliamentary elections: economics, clan, personality, party affiliation and stand on issues, not necessarily in that order. From talking to some UDUB bigwigs, it seems that they think voting is going to be actually decided by two of the five factors we mentioned, namely economics and clan. Furthermore, they believe that they represent the largest coalition of clans, and have the biggest economic resources, and therefore their candidates will do well in the elections. With this kind of attitude, it should not come as a surprise that they don’t give much attention to issues, and when they do, it is at the level of generalities and promises that they will take care of this or that problem soon. Besides, UDUB has never claimed to have much interest in rigorous analysis or thinking outside the box. It is happy with what it is: a conglomeration of clans and clan interests that operate under a skeletal party structure. Kulmiye on the other hand, projects itself as a modern party that only accepts clanism as a necessary concession to the realities of Somaliland, and ultimately aims to transcend the constraints of clannism. One indication of its modernist orientation, is that it has made considerable efforts towards recruiting educated Somalilanders, especially from the diaspora, which brings us to our topic.

From this type of party, i.e. Kulmiye, one would expect a more rigorous analysis and creative ideas on how to handle some of the challenges facing Somaliland. Unfortunately, in two key issues, that has not happened. The first one is that of Majeertenya’s occupation of Las Anod. If one goes by the many statements made by Kulmiye’s leaders, including its Chairman, Mr Silanyo, their position rests on two main elements: (1) the issue should be solved peacefully, (2) a blistering condemnation of the government for taking a weak position toward Majertenya. As the saying goes, it does not take a rocket scientist to figure that the two main elements of Kulmiye’s position are contradictory. In other words, it is logically inconsistent to tell the government to pursue a peaceful approach, and at the same time, castigate it for being weak. If the two elements could be reconciled, then they should have explained how, something they have not done.

The second issue in which Kulmiye fell short is that of Djibouti-Somaliland relations. For quite some time, Kulmiye’s leaders, including its Chairman, Mr Silanyo, have been critical of Somaliland’s current government for being too friendly with Djibouti. More recently though there have been very conciliatory statements towards Djibouti by Kulmiye’s shadow Foreign Minister, Dr. Ahmed Hussein Isse. An example, of such statements is the one Dr. Isse made in South Africa: “Djibouti Waxay Maanta Ka Jeceshahay In Ay Ina Ictiraafto Ma Jirto Ee Dawlad Xumo Ayaa Somaliland Ka Jirta”. Clearly, the shadow Foreign Minister’s recent statements and Kulmiye’s old position vis-à-vis Djibouti do not match. Something is amiss. Either Kulmiye’s position on Djibouti has changed, or if it hasn’t, they need to explain how the two positions don’t cancel each other. Moreover, as in the case of the problem of Las Anod, it is illogical to criticize the government for being soft on Djibouti and then turn around and say things that are even more conciliatory than the government.

The upshot of all this is that Somalilanders are used to muddled thinking, or even no thinking, by their government. As the largest opposition party that wants to replace the government, Kulmiye has to offer something better. Intellectual coherence will be a good place to start.


How To Decide Who To Vote For

Somaliland Times, Issue 189, Sep.3, 2005


How To Decide Who To Vote For

With the date of the parliamentary elections getting closer and closer, Somalilanders will soon have an opportunity to reshape the political landscape for the better or the worse. It will all depend on one decision: who they vote for. This is not only an important decision, but a difficult one. So we thought of a way that may help people decide. We will call it voting by categorization and elimination using a set of criteria.

The first category is the easiest one. It is those who held public office before. The voter knows, or should know, the record of these candidates, then decide whether to vote for them or not based on that record. It does not matter whether they were parliamentarians, ministers or held some other public office. What is important is how well they did their job.

The second category is those who have not held public office. Although it is difficult to predict future behavior of political candidates, there are some relevant pointers. For example, the voter could ask himself how did this candidate get on the party list. Was he approved by his community elders? Was he a party activist? Or did he pay a bribe or use some other crooked way to get on that party's list. If the answer is that the candidate got on the list through some irregular means, then chances are that he will commit bigger irregularities once in office, therefore, the voter should avoid voting for such a candidate.

In addition, the voter could ask himself the following questions:

- Has the candidate displayed a sense of civic duty in the last few years? For example, did he initiate or participate in projects that help the community?
- Has the candidate shown entrepreneurship and initiative?
- Is the candidate employed, self-employed or is he an idler who probably looks at being in the parliament as an opportunity to make easy living?
- Is the candidate disciplined and goal-oriented in his personal life?
- Is the candidate addicted to qat or any other drugs?


Three Ministers Fighting over a House

Hargeysa, Somaliland, September 3, 2005 (SL Times) – Three ministers in President Rayale’s cabinet have been quarreling over which government official was going to move into a house located in Hargeysa and owned by the state.

The 3 ministers are the Minister of Public Works, Saeed Sulub, the Minister of Finance, Hussein A. Dualle (Awil) and the Minister of Commerce, Nuh Sheikh.

The house was one of 3 buildings rehabilitated by the EU four years ago. The EU then rented the house from the government and has been using it as an office for $1000 per month. The EU’s rent contract expires on September 15, 2005.

President Dahir Rayale Kahin initially granted the speaker of Somaliland’s House of Representatives, Mr. Qaybe, permission to move into the house. But later he issued two more separate orders allowing the minister of Commerce and minister of Finance to live in the house.
This was the situation until few days ago when the Finance Minister Dualle (Awil), stealthily and without notifying anyone moved some of his belongings into the house in question. He also posted some armed guards at the house. When the minister of commerce found out about it he was so irate, he went to the house threatening the armed guards that if they didn’t leave he would bring a larger number of armed men to kick them out.

The minister of Public Works was unable to sort out which of the 2 ministers should be allowed to move into the house. Early this year he had himself moved into one of the 2 other houses rehabilitated by the EU after the tenant, an international NGO, was told to evacuate it. The minister of Family Affairs, Fadumo Sudi, has recently established her office in the second building which was also evacuated by another international NGO.

The latest reports say that the two ministers took their dispute to President Rayale who in his characteristic fashion still has not decided who, if any, should move into the house. Each of the three ministers that are fighting over the government’s house already owns a house in Hargeisa. The Finance Minister, Mr. Awil rented his house to AGRO-TECH, a German aid organization. The only one among those promised the house who does not own a house in Hargeisa, is the Speaker of the House, Mr. Qaybe, who has lived, since 1997, in a rented house located behind the presidency.

Why did the European agency that was renting the house move out, if the contract does not expire until 15 Sep, 2005? The answer is: they had to move because of pressure from some of the ministers who wanted the house. The European Agency, which is the largest donor to Somaliland, moved into a rental house belonging to a private individual.

According to a political analyst, this sordid story shows two things. One, how President Rayale's indecision and cavalier manner encourages the greed and irresponsibility of his ministers; two, the focus and single mindedness that Somaliland's ministers exhibit when pursuing personal gain and the utter lack of energy or commitment when it comes to doing their job.


Letter to Dr. Ghanim Alnajjar

Dr. Ghanim Alnajjar
Independent Human Rights Commissions
C/o Sandra Macharia, Information Officer
UN Resident & Humanitarian Coordinator’s Office for Somalia

Re: Human Rights issues in Somalia

Dear Dr. Ghanim Alnajjar

We are glad to hear you visiting Somalia again to assess human rights issues. We would like to take this opportunity to highlight some issues which we are concerned about. Human rights issues have not been better since your last visit of the country.

We believe that human rights abuses were one of the main reasons for the collapse of the former Somali Democratic Republic. Similarly, taking no account on human rights issues and humanitarian law in the Somali peace negotiations are some of the main reasons for the failures of setting a working government in Somalia for the last fourteen years.

Our concerns is shared by the majority of Somalis as they feel that those believed responsible for the worst human rights atrocities in Somalis have been rewarded with high office government office. One of this is President Abdullahi Yusuf who on 23 March 2005 lost damage case to the widow and children of the late Sultan Ahmed Mohamed Mohamud (known as Sultan Hurre) in the UK Court. The respected Sultan was killed on the 17th of August 2002 at Kala-bayrka, in Puntland state of Somalia, by the personal bodyguards of Colonel Abdullahi Yusuf.

The real intention of the killing of Sultan Hurre was intended to threaten and curb the grassroots development from taking root in Somalia. This trend has not ceased as they are still in many part of Somali regions.

It is unfortunate that after two years of Somali reconciliation in Kenya, Somalia is embracing a renewal of violence as there is a build up of tension and political hostility within the new Somali institutions. Since the formation of the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in 2004, two main problems seem to have stalled its activities. These are: (i) The deployment of foreign peacekeeping troops in Somalia, and (ii) The temporary relocation of the capital until it is cleared of militia and freelance gangs. These matters have divided the government, the parliament and the presidency into two or more groups.

The real losers are the Somali people while the warlords, turned to ‘statesmen’, are employing media rhetoric tension to shore up their position. SHHRF believes that a warlord is a warlord and he should be held responsible for his deeds.

Sultan Hurre Human Rights Focus (SHRRF)


Campaigning for Somaliland’s 2005 Parliamentary Elections Launched

Hargeysa, Somaliland, Sept 3, 2005 (SL Times) – The campaign for Somaliland’s 2005 Parliamentary elections has been officially launched. The campaign was kicked off on Tuesday by the opposition’s Justice and Welfare party known by its Somali acronym UCID.
The largest opposition party KULMIYE (solidarity) and the ruling party UDUB (pillar) followed suit on Wednesday and Thursday respectively.

In the capital Hargeysa, the 3 parties have so far conducted their campaigns in the same style. Each party announced the launching of its campaign by vehicles mounted with loudspeakers that went through the streets as early as 7 o’clock in the morning. A long procession of vehicles carrying supporters of various party candidates for parliament, then filled the streets en-route to the Liberty Garden where rallies were held later. Pictures of candidates were sticked onto buses and cars that had been specially hired for the occasion or provided freely by supporters. Few political banners were visible and most candidates seemed as though they were not at ease with public campaigning. The majority of contenders still preferred campaigning through the Mafrish (Qat chewing place), as rival candidates from the same tribal constituency competed against each other to win as much support as possible from members of the common lineage.

Since no marches were held, it was difficult to guess the strength of the supporter turn-out for each candidate or party. However pressure is already mounting for the contenders in this parliamentary campaign to announce their policies with regard to some pressing issues such the country’s high unemployment rates, poor public services (education, health, judiciary, roads, land) and corruption within government.

The September 29 elections for the lower house of parliament (House of Representatives) will constitute Somaliland’s third experimentation with multi-party elections in less than 3 years, following the local council elections and presidential elections held in 2002 and 2003 respectively.

246 candidates will compete for the 82-seat House in all the regions of Somaliland including Sool and eastern Sanag. There are only 7 women candidates or less than 3% of the total test of candidates.

The upcoming elections are expected to witness a higher level of voter participation, compared to the previous two elections, given the greater number of candidates and polling stations available for this polling. However preparations for the conduction of these elections have already posed gigantic challenges for both the National Electoral Commission and the contesting political parties’ candidates.

The struggling NEC does not have enough money even to cover basic logistical, administrative and technical needs, while neither the political parties nor their candidates have funds for fielding their own monitors at polling stations. Although a donor delegation that visited the country few days ago was said to have pledged support, however the international community has largely remained indifferent to Somaliland’s democratic electoral process.

The next few days are expected to witness thousands of political activities going into action, campaigning for the candidates of their political parties by holding rallies and making speeches in towns and villages. Despite facing tremendous odds, Somalilanders however seem to be determined to seize this opportunity in order to elect their true representatives in parliament.


Graduation at University of Hargeisa

Hargeysa, September 3, 2005 (SL Times) – A New batch of students graduated from University of Hargeysa. Degrees were conferred on 52 graduates. A grand ceremony was held on Tuesday within the UOH campus and was attended by President Rayale, KULMIYE party leader Ahmed Sillanyo and UCID chairman Faysal Ali Warabe, as well as by many other dignitaries.


Arrest of a Norwegian Who Swindled African Leaders

Hargeysa, Somaliland, September 3, 2005 (SL Times) – A Norwegian national by the name of Magne Andreas Meier was arrested by police authorities in Oslo and taken to court on August 26 for involvement in financial fraud.

According to the Norwegian business journal Dagen Naeringsliv, Mr. Meier was accused of creating bogus business entities including a fake firm by the name Inverse International, purporting to be involved in oil exploration.

By claiming to be in the oil business, Meier was reportedly able to trick a number of African leaders including Somaliland’s President Dahir Rayale and Somalia’s factional Premier, Ali Gedi.
Meier visited Somaliland in December 2002. He was accompanied by another accomplice, Rakesh Rajan, a Briton of Indian decent. The two signed a deal on oil exploration in Somaliland with the then Minister of Water and Mineral Resources, Mohamed Abdi Farah (Malow). Meier and Rajan then met with President Rayale.

Dagens Naeringsliv ran a long story on Magne Andreas Meier’s fraudulent oil businesses in its August 27 edition. It referred to a front page article published by the Somaliland Times on December 28, 2002 under the banner “Fake Company Strikes Deal with Minerals Ministry”. The Norwegian publication said despite the Somaliland Times’ revelations, the Somaliland Minister of Water and Minerals at the time M. A. Farah [Malow] defended the deal by insisting that “Inverse International” was a genuine company. (see below the full text of the Times’ Dec 28, 2002 article).

More recently Meier was quick to establish ties with Somalia’s latest factional Premier Ali Mohamed Gedi.

Gedi became so impressed by Meier’s credentials that he appointed the Norwegian as his special advisor and Somalia’s Consular General in Norway. The 2 men were introduced by Abdirahman Libaan, one of Gedi’s supporters living in Norway.

Mr. Gedi announced last Sunday that his government was ready to start granting oil concessions soon. He also warned international oil companies against dealing with anyone other than his faction in the so-called Transitional Federal Government of Somalia.

Gedi cited an agreement under which an Australian oil company offered cash money to the authorities in Somalia’s Puntland region for oil exploration. Puntland reacted angrily to Gedi’s statement, saying that it wasn’t his business to interfere with the deal.

It isn’t yet clear what prompted Gedi to talk about oil concessions at this particular stage, or whether his relations with Meier had influenced him.

Below is the Dec 2002 article in which the Somaliland Times first blew the whistle on Meier:

“Fake Company Strikes Deal With Minerals Ministry
Inverse International Doesn’t Exist As A Real Company
The Somaliland Times, Issue 49 December 28, 2002

London (SL Times): A company by the name of Inverse International which had concluded an oil exploration deal with Somaliland Ministry of Minerals and Water earlier this month, has turned out to be fake.

"Inverse International" address has been traced to an apartment in Essex, England, dwelled by an Indian family. The company listed its executive officers as Magne Andreas Meier and Rakesh Rajan. It was registered in earlier this month as being located at 9 Clarendon Gardens, Ilford, Essex, IG1 3JN.

Two persons purporting to represent Inverse International came to Hargeisa two weeks ago. They were welcomed by Somaliland’s Minister of Mineral Resources, M. A. Farah. The Minister then announced that an oil deal has been concluded. Later, he was lavish in his praise of the "company" as one with the necessary financial and technical capabilities to do the job - oil exploration and drilling - "The people who used to come here were mostly brokers and not real companies. This is a real company with extensive experience in Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Europe."

It is not the first time that the Minister has been cheated by people pretending to represent an oil company. Out of 4 agreements he had signed since assuming office, none has been implemented.

However, following revelations that Rakesh Rajan has connections with Italian Mafia group engaged in toxic waste disposal, the faltering of Mr. Farah’s last deal could be a blessing from the sky.

Rakesh Rajan and a Somali holding an Italian passport by the name of Omer Osman are also listed among the directors of Bushido Security Services Ltd. The Somali lives in Italy but his address in Britain is 40 Montague Road Leytonstone, London E11 3EN. Bushido is registered as a toxic waste disposal company.

There were reports in the recent past that Somalis recruited by the Italian Mafia have been involved in international operations for dumping nuclear waste along the coast of Somalia. Mr. Osman had reportedly introduced "Inverse" to Somaliland’s Minister of Minerals. It is not clear yet whether Osman is the same man charged with taking part in nuclear waste dumping operations.”


Fellow Journalists, Let’s Play It By The Book This Time

Somaliland Times, Issue 188, Aug.27, 2005

By Yassin Ismail, Kent, UK

As a Somalilander living in Diaspora Internet is naturally the most convenient way of keeping closely abreast of the events taking place back home. I was reading Haatuf online the other day as I saw this compelling editorial piece under the heading of First Lady's Illegal Activities and having read it on a reported face value, the nature of the alleged illegal wrong-doings I felt gobsmacked and deeply disgusted that the wife of the very man that we allotted for our leadership is now being implicated of having a 'thief' wife. This is so sad and if proven true it illustrates the disturbing realities of moral decadence that we 'as a nation' are going through. The revelations also cast dim shadow of deception, dishonesty and pure pilfering of public resources.

On the other hand I felt proud of the valor and bravery of the local press in keeping a vigilant eye of the public interest and bringing such a story into light. Well done guys but let's prove it.
I also call upon the nation as a whole, urging them to play an impartial role in overseeing the progression of such a unique pursuit to bring our rulers accountable to the laws. Let’s see if they are worthy of our trust.

Personally I will follow up this matter with special interest, being a former journalist working for the local press and should the Government bring into play their high handed ways of dealing with free press, I will offer my services for free to apprehend any further abuse of local journalists and press houses from the Government by inviting other International Freedom of press groups to keep up as the situations unfolds its dramatic dimensions.

To my fellow journalists I say let's play it by the book this time.


Somalilanders Want Accountability, Not Denials

Somaliland Times, Issue 188, Aug.27, 2005


In the last few weeks, this journal and other Somaliland privately-owned media revealed a series of illegal activities by ministers of the Somaliland government, children of ministers, President Rayale, and the first lady. What was the government’s reaction? The minister of finance denied that he met with the so-called prime minister of Somalia. The minister of Fisheries denied that the first lady was illegally paid by Egyptians for fishing in Somaliland’s waters. The minister of information denied that the president’s brother-in-law overcharged the country $380, 000. Based on these and numerous previous denials one could conclude that Somaliland government’s policy towards any wrongdoing, regardless of how heinous, by high officials in the government, their spouses or children, is first to deny that it ever took place and hope that the public would forget about it.

If public interest in a story doesn’t die quickly or keeps growing, then the government takes the next step, which is to attack the newspaper or the person who made the information public. The government took this second step when it realized that the public’s interest in its violations of the law and fraudulent activities by government ministers, the president and the first lady are not going away, so they have decided to attack the Somaliland Times and Haatuf for revealing these unlawful activities. The point man in this campaign against the Haatuf and Somaliland Times is Somaliland’s Minister of Information, Mr. Abdillahi Dualeh who did not stop at the usual automatic denial of wrongdoing by the president or his wife and went on to accuse the journal of having been paid, by a third party, to smear the presidential couple’s reputation. When that did not seem to work, the government took the third step, which was to bring legal proceedings against Haatuf and its sister journal the Somaliland Times.

It is clear to us that the President of Somaliland and most members of his government think that they are above the law, and that the law is just an instrument that they could use against whoever does not do their bidding or dares to challenge them. Furthermore, they think they could cherry pick whatever laws they want, even if it is the much hated Siyad Barre’s dictatorial laws, and disregard the law of the land regarding the press that was passed by parliament and signed by the president. But just as they want to re-impose Siyad Barre’s laws, we reiterate that the only laws that we acknowledge regarding the press are those that were passed by the Somaliland parliament.

The series of illicit activities by President Rayale and his ministers have shown not only how deep is the corruption and lawlessness in his administration, but also how alien the notion of accountability is to his government. The worst offender in this regard is the president himself, who until now, has made no effort to honestly address the serious charges against him, his family and ministers. The president seems to think that the three-step tactics that had worked for him in the past would work for him this time, but he is mistaken. The illegal activities by him and people around him are too many, the looting of the public purse is too massive, and the number of people who are disgusted with what the president and those around him have done are too many and growing, the old tactics just won’t work. Denials won’t work. Blaming the press won’t work. Time for accountability.


Somaliland Government to Sue Haatuf Newspaper
in Connection With Article on Corruption Allegation

Hargeysa, Somaliland, August 27, 2005 (SL Times) – The Somaliland government has decided to take the Somali daily newspaper “Haatuf” to court for “publishing false information” in connection with the government’s procurement of equipment for a public television station recently established by the government.

Haatuf reported in its August 19, 2005 edition that the government paid “$380, 000 over the actual price” for the TV procurement project. According to Haatuf’s story, the contract for the provision and installation of the new TV station was awarded without bid to Mr. Mahmud Abdi Nasser who is married to the sister of Huda Barkhad, Somaliland’s first lady, allegedly for an amount of $450,000. However the government has, through its spokesman Abdillahi Mohamed Duale, Somaliland’s Information Minister, described the newspaper’s report as “false and a malicious attempt aimed at discrediting the government’s successful introduction of public television services as well as harming the reputation of the President’s family members through mudslinging."

Minister Duale disclosed last Saturday that " the government has taken legal action against Haatuf to challenge the validity of its report in a court of law.” Mr. Duale said he “has already requested the Attorney General to take the necessary legal steps towards bringing the newspaper in front of the law.”

Referring to previous press allegations that Mrs Huda Barkhad had bought a house in Cairo during her recent visit there, the Haatuf report also linked the first lady’s Egyptian trip to a shadowy business deal allowing a fleet of Egyptian fishing ships to operate off Somaliland’s Red Sea coast. According to Haatuf’s article, over 20 vessels operated non-stop day and night off the coast of Zaila to Lughaya without the slightest compliance with international rules and regulations for the protection of the environment and marine ecological system.

The article also quoted Somaliland and Djiboutian fishermen complaining that the Egyptians were using internationally forbidden fishing gear and methods. As a result coral reef formations in the sea water have already sustained considerable damage.

When the Haatuf story resurfaced in the Somaliland Times (August 20, 2005 edition), it drew a reaction from the minister of Fisheries, Mahmud Oday. At a press conference held on Monday, August 22, 2005, Mr. Oday described the Somaliland Times report on the Egyptian vessels’ fishing activities off the Somaliland coast as baseless. He also denied that the country’s first lady, Huda Barkhad, had anything to do with any fishing agreement.

Despite their lengthy statements of denial, however neither Mr. Duale nor Mr. Oday presented any concrete information to discredit the allegations carried in both Haatuf and Somaliland Times. For instance, the minister of information failed to come up with figures pointing out how much the new TV station cost the government or who purchased it for the state and from where.

The Somaliland Times can now confirm that Information Minister Duale was in contact with potential bidders for the supply of the TV equipment when he became aware that the procurement contract had already been granted. The procurement was funded from allocations in the budget of the information ministry without the knowledge of minister Duale. The budgetary allocation was originally earmarked for the purchase of a more powerful transmitter than the existing one at the government-run Radio Hargeysa.

The idea to buy a TV station instead of expanding the transmission capacity of Radio Hargeysa came from Huda Barkhad. The President then asked his Finance Minister, Hussein Ali Duale, to find the money, which he did. Upon learning about what had happened, the Information Minister, Abdillahi Dualle, was so upset, he didn’t report to office for nearly 2 weeks.

The Minister of Fisheries’ response to the Somaliland Times’ report was even less convincing. He avoided talking about the nature of relations between his ministry and the Egyptian fishing companies fishing in Somaliland waters. Nor did he mention the background and credentials of these companies.

Mr. Oday also failed to make a specific denial on press reports that the first lady bought a house in Cairo, allegedly from resources obtained as a result of the fishing concession awarded to the Egyptians.

Meanwhile, a Borama-based group calling itself “Almis Fishing Company” said on Thursday that they were going to sue the Somaliland Times for publishing false information about their fishing business. The group claimed that they were actually the ones fishing off the Somaliland coast in an area stretching from Lughaya to Zaila. However, the Somaliland Times has learned that the group serves as a local agent for the Egyptian trawlers. Members of the group have also links to Huda Barkhad.

Haatuf publisher “Haatuf Media Network” has issued a statement saying that the legal basis for any legal action brought against them should be the Somaliland press law which was passed by the Parliament and signed by the president. The statement warned that the HMN will not accept any attempt by the government to resort to laws dating back to the colonial era or the post-colonial rule of Siyad Barre. "The government should understand that this [the government's case against Haatuf] is a civil case and not a criminal one,” the statement added.

The HMN also said it was regrettable that the government decided to go to court even after Haatuf had published their denials. "The government should stick to the provisions of the press law,” HMN stressed.


Human Rights Expert Secures Funds For New Prison

Hargeysa, Somaliland, August 27, 2005 (SL Times) – The United Nations Independent Expert on human rights for Somaliland and Somalia has disclosed that there are funds now available for the construction of a new prison in Hargeysa.

Ghanim Al Najjar who has been in the country since Wednesday, said that the Somaliland government has already promised to make the necessary plot of land available for the construction of Hargeysa’s new central prison. The new prison facility is to replace the existing one which has been over-congested and without basic utilities and services over the years. Al Najjar described the state of the prison as on the border of a real humanitarian tragedy.
Ghanim Al Najjar who was appointed by Kofi Anan in 2001, has taken upon himself to secure funds for the establishment of a new Hargeysa prison. “Green light will be given for the project once a site has been assigned” he said.

The international expert on human rights for Somaliland and Somalia arrived in Hargeysa on Wednesday on a 4-day visit. His mission is to look into a variety of issues ranging from human rights, including the rights of women and children, to the administration of justice as well as the situation of minorities. He will be expected to meet government officials, human rights activists and political as well as civic leaders.

On Thursday Dr. Ghanim Al Najjar met with leaders of the Somaliland Society for Independent Journalists & Writers (SSJW) and the Somaliland Journalists Association (SOLJA) to discuss issues related to freedom of expression.

The UN expert is also expected to follow up an earlier offer to mediate exchange of prisoners of war between Somaliland and Puntland.


Government Denied Warrant To Search Haatuf Offices

Hargeysa, Somaliland, August 27, 2005 (SL Times) – The Hargeysa Regional Court Thursday declined a government request for issuance of a warrant to search the offices of Haatuf Media Network in Hargeysa.

The HMN publishes 3 newspapers: the Somali language daily “Haatuf”; the Arabic weekly Al-Haatef and this newspaper.

The Somaliland government announced earlier this week that it was going to sue Haatuf for false information. The announcement came after the newspaper published allegations of corruption and nepotism in connection with the procurement of television equipment.

There was no information as to why the government wanted to search HMN offices. It was also unclear whether the government would appeal the regional court’s decision denying the search warrant.

Meanwhile, the government-owned media continued its attacks on Haatuf and the Somaliland Times through most of the week. But the government campaign has so far been counterproductive, instead of triggering sympathy for the government, it resulted in tremendous public support for the two sister newspapers.


Consolidating Somaliland-South Africa Relations

Somaliland Times, Issue 187 (Aug.20, 2005)

Press Release

9-14 August 2005

1. The Director of the Institute for Practical Training and Research in the Republic of Somaliland, Dr. Ahmed Esa, visited the Republic of South Africa from 9 to 14 August 2005, as part of the larger bi-lateral momentum to consolidate educational, political and economic ties between the two countries.

Dr. Esa responded positively to a call made by the University of South Africa to Somaliland educational institutions, to attend the 1st African Council for Distance Education (ACDE) conference, which was hosted in the City of Tshwane (Pretoria).

At the inaugural ACDE Conference, which was attended by leading university Vice Chancellors from the continent, African education ministers and the Deputy President of South Africa, Dr. Esa contributed to the discussions on mobilizing African leadership, economic growth, capacity building, health and the organic link with education.

During the ACDE Conference, Dr. Esa shared ideas on Somaliland’s growth and growing challengers with a range of delegates, such as the Vice Chancellor of the University of Abuja, Professor Nuhu Yaqub, and the British High Commissioner, the Rt. Hon Paul Boateng.

2. Particular focus was given to discussions with the University of South Africa’s Head of Religious Studies and Arabic, Professor Yousuf Dadoo, on ways to initiate joint Islamic studies workshops, as part of the on-going efforts by Somalilanders to deepen Somaliland’s democracy, traditional structures and good governance.

3. The up-coming Somaliland parliamentary elections on 29th September 2005, attracted particular attention. In this respect, Dr. Ahmed Esa responded to invitations to appear on South Africa’s SABC Africa TV, and Channel Africa Radio programme Tam Tam Express.
This opportunity was also utilized to explore ways to initiate the exchange of radio programmes between South African radio stations and Somaliland.

4. During his visit, Dr. Esa visited the headquarters of the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) and held discussions with its Director, Ms Elizabeth Sidiripoulis. Dr. Esa expressed his appreciation of the events and good research work of SAIIA on Somaliland, such as the South African Yearbook of International Affairs 2003/04, and the The Security Intersection, which explores Somaliland’s political and economic trajectory. Discussions also focused on ways to deepen Somaliland’s parliamentary elections by possible joint capacity-building programmes between the South African Institute of International Affairs and Somaliland’s Institute for Practical Training and Research.

Dr. Esa was briefed on the programmes of the Academy of Self-Knowledge and also addressed members of the South African Muslim Community at the Rasooli Centre mosque in Centurion.

5. On his concluding day, Dr. Esa addressed members of the Somaliland community at the Suleiman Nana Memorial Hall in Johannesburg and up-dated the community on developments in Somaliland.

6. Finally, Dr. Esa made a courtesy call to Dr. Jandayi E. Frazer, the Ambassador of the United States of America to South Africa and newly appointed US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs. Furthermore, a valuable meeting was held with the visiting Nigerian Minister of Education, Her Excellency Mrs. Chinwe Obaji, on developing educational links and exchanges between Nigeria and Somaliland.

7. On his departure, Dr. Ahmed Esa expressed his appreciation to the Somaliland Liaison Office, in Tshwane (Pretoria), “for all the support extended to him, that made this visit valuable and possible”.

Issued by: Somaliland Liaison Office, Tshwane (Pretoria), South Africa
14 August 2005
Enquires: Telephone: + 27 82 880 8603
Further information on Somaliland, see :


The First Lady’s Illegal Activities

Somaliland Times, Issue 187, Aug.20, 2005


First a confession: in order to write this editorial, we had to overcome a lot of our own self-imposed resistance. One source of the resistance was that the person we are writing about does not hold public office. Another source was that she is Somaliland’s first lady, Huda Barkhad, and we believe we should not rush into putting her on the spot without enough evidence. But we finally overcame our resistance when it became clear that we are not dealing with a mistake here and an allegation there, but rather with a persistent and deep-seated problem. We also realized that if we do not write about the first lady’s felonious and harmful activities, we maybe indirectly encouraging her to continue in her reprehensible path.

What is the first lady’s persistent problem? Answer: she has engaged in unethical and illegal financial as well as political activities. First, her political irregularities:

1- The first lady constantly meddles in very sensitive political issues. In a previous editorial we had briefly touched on how she was responsible for removing some parliamentary candidates from UDUB’s Hargeisa list, and how she replaced them with others as a favor to some of her friends.

2- The first lady is known to have her own favorite clique of ministers who execute her wishes, and who in turn rely on her to champion their cause with the president.

Now the financial ones:

- The first lady has insisted on posting some of her close relatives to the customs collections posts.

– During her recent visit to Egypt, she went to follow up a controversial agreement signed with Egyptian fishing companies to fish in Somaliland’s territorial waters. Needless to say, the first lady pocketed the fees that the Egyptians paid for their illegal fishing activities. There are also reports that she bought a house in Egypt while she was there.

We must say this about the first lady: she is no ordinary embezzler. To give some idea of how well-versed in the art of looting she is, one has to look back on how she decided to throw some crumbs from her loot to worthy and charitable causes such as the Gabiley hospital. By giving away a tiny fraction of what she claimed was her own private money, she figured she could hit two birds with one stone: on the one-hand, it would be good public relations, and on the other hand, it would trump the few hundred dollars that were donated to the same hospital by the rival UCID party shortly before she did. The first lady’s move was so clever, it made the UCID party Chairman’s question of where she got the money, look irrelevant, even foolish.

What do the first lady’s illegal activities say about President Rayale? The short answer to this is that given the extent and frequency of these activities, it is very unlikely that they are taking place without his knowledge, which means he is part of the racket; and even if he does not know about them, he is culpable for negligence. After all, how could Somalilanders trust someone who does not know what is going in his own household, to run their affairs?

The other important question is what Somalilanders are going to do about these blatant and endless violations of the law by the president’s wife? We suggest that Somaliland’s citizens and civic organizations should petition the courts to look into the first lady’s illegal activities. The coming parliament should also hold hearings on this matter as soon as it is sworn in.

President Rayale and Somalilanders in general, often, and rightly so, blame Egypt for not treating Somaliland right. But when Somaliland’s first lady engages in shady activities in Egypt, clearly, the blame belongs more to Somaliland than Egypt. Aside from its legal implications, blaming someone assumes that they still have a sense of shame, something in short supply at the presidential household. An Egyptian saying captures this lack of sense of shame “Illi yikhtashu matu (those who had a sense of shame died)”, the implication being, if you want to get ahead, do whatever it takes, which is exactly the presidential couple’s motto.


Somaliland Gov’t Paid $380,000 Above Actual Price for Procurement of TV Station

Hargeysa, August 20, 2005 (SL Times) – The Somaliland government paid $450,000 for the procurement of its newly installed local television station. However the procurement actually cost around $65,000.

The contract for the purchase, provision and installation of the TV station was awarded without a bid to a a man called Mahmud Abdi Nasser who happens to be the husband of Ilhan Barkhad Adan, the sister of Somaliland’s first lady, Huda Barkhad.

The TV station has now been established at the Radio Hargeysa compound. Transmission will only cover Hargeysa city and its surrounding areas. Though broadcasting started earlier this month, most of the material shown consists of pre-recorded video songs and old Somali plays. The contractor simply didn’t bring along the studio facilities needed for programme production and news broadcasting. Only a transmitter and an old antenna have been provided.

According to reliable sources, the procurement contract for the TV station was awarded as a result of pressure put by the first lady on the president who in turn pressured the finance ministry into compliance with the wishes of his spouse.

The first lady was also reported to have been involved in an agreement allowing Egyptian Fishing companies to fish in Somaliland waters. As a result, an Egyptian fleet of over 20 ships has been engaged in intensive fishing in the Somaliland coast, particularly off Zaila, Lughaya and Eil-Sheikh.

Ms. Huda Barkhad recently returned from a visit to Cairo and according to press reports she bought a house while in the Egyptian capital.


Film On Somaliland To Be Shown On BBC World Today

Hargeysa, August 20, 2005 (SL Times) – Simon Reeve’s series “Places That Don’t Exist” starts this Saturday, August 20, 2005 on BBC World.

The first programme of this BBC produced documentaries will be on Somaliland. The first episode will be shown at 17:30 and 00:30 today and 12:30 in the morning on Sunday (all Hargeysa times).

The second episode is on 17:30 and 00:30 on Saturday 27th, and 12:30 on Sunday, 28th, with the other 3 episodes on the following 3 weekends at the same times.


Ethiopian Airlines to Expand Its Somaliland Operations

Hargeysa, Somaliland, August 20, 2005 (SL Times) – An Ethiopian Airlines delegation left Hargeysa on Thursday after concluding a short visit to Berbera’s airport and harbor facilities.
According to a Somaliland government statement issued on this occasion, Ethiopian Airline is expected to expand its operations in Somaliland in the near future. “The purpose of the visit by this high-level delegation was among other things to assess the condition of Berbera’s airport which is being considered for use by Ethiopia” the statement added.

Ethiopian Airlines currently operates regular daily flights between Addis Ababa and Hargeysa. The route was introduced 4 years ago.

Essentially designed to meet the traveling needs of thousands of diaspora Somalilanders who annually spend their holidays here, the route has since turned into a highly lucrative business.
As the runways of Hargeysa airport were technically unfit to receive jet planes, only small and medium size aircrafts were utilized for the Addis Ababa – Hargeysa route. However Berbera airport could easily handle large aircrafts.

In August 2003, Ethiopia had reached an agreement with Somaliland over the use of Berbera port. The agreement has been formalized recently and will enable Ethiopia to import goods and fuel through the Somaliland port.

Meanwhile a youngman carrying 2 knives was stopped from boarding Ethiopian Airlines Thursday afternoon flight. The Airlines security staff discovered the 2 knives while being hidden under the shoe socks worn by the youngman, who was identified as Ali Hussein Ali. Later it was revealed that he was actually the son of Somaliland’s Finance Minister, Hussein Ali Duale. The flight was delayed for about 45 minutes as passengers and their luggage went through another security checking before the plane was finally given green light for take off.


Lady, it does matter

Somaliland Times, Issue 186, Aug.13, 2005


Three things are noteworthy about Somaliland foreign minister’s most recent press conference. First, it came after visiting Egypt, a country that, like the Middle East in general, has not received the right amount of attention from Somaliland’s foreign ministry. It was therefore, an important and welcome step to see Somaliland’s foreign minister diplomatically engaging that country, and we hope more steps will follow, not only toward Egypt, but other Middle Eastern countries as well.

The second issue that drew our attention was the foreign minister’s answer to a question about reports in the press regarding a meeting between Somaliland’s Finance Minister, Mr Hussein Ali Duale (Awil) and the Prime Minister of the so-called government of Somalia, that took place in Addis Ababa. Somaliland’s Foreign Minister, Edna Adan, said she was not in Addis Ababa at the time, and does not know about such a meeting. A diplomatic answer one might say. But in the context of existing reports about the meeting, it only raised more questions than it answered.

But the most disappointing part of the foreign minister’s press conference was her answer as to how she sees the constant interference of the finance minister in foreign affairs. The foreign minister totally trivialized the issue. She recounted how she often talks about finance, health, livestock, forestry and many other subjects; the implication being that since she regularly talks about these subjects even though she is not in charge of those ministries, then Mr Awil could also “talk” about Somaliland’s foreign policy. Needless to say, the foreign minister is mixing apples and oranges here. The question is not whether the finance minister or any other minister can “talk” about topics that do not fall within the immediate purview of his ministry, but rather, whether it is proper or in the country’s interests, for the finance minister to conduct foreign policy.

In addition to trivializing the issue of who is in charge of Somaliland’s foreign policy, the foreign minister also showed one of the major weaknesses of her approach to foreign policy, in that she utterly personalized the issue. She talked about her self-confidence, how she does not see the finance minister as a threat, and how she and her fellow ministers are members of a team. The inescapable conclusion from her explanation is that, not only does she think it is all right for one minister to share in, or do the work of another, but that she also sees herself as a minister but not as the head of a ministry. For one thing, if she saw herself as not just a minister or a member of an exclusive club but the head of a ministry, she would have thought of officials in her ministry as the logical candidates to share in the work-load, to take a visible part in formulating and executing policies, and to fill in for her when she is away, instead of justifying the finance minister’s intrusion into her work.

As if to emphasize how she is not bothered by the finance minister’s involvement in foreign policy, the foreign minister used the phrase “it doesn’t matter”. That phrase summed up the weaknesses in Lady Edna’s approach to foreign policy. Somaliland must move from this thin, anemic, personal approach to a more substantive approach that emphasizes institution building. Whether Somaliland follows its current personality oriented foreign policy or adopts an institutions-oriented framework will have serious consequences. That is why we disagree with the foreign minister when she said, “it does not matter.” We say, “Lady, it does matter.”


Somaliland Editors Adopt New Code of Conduct For Elections

Somaliland Times, Issue 186, Aug.13, 2005

Hargeysa, Aug 08, 2005 (International Journalist's Network) – Print and broadcast editors in Somaliland, recently drafted a new code of conduct to guide their coverage of upcoming elections. They worked on the code as part of a workshop organized by press freedom group Article 19.

The workshop took place in early July. The aim was to help ensure fair and balanced monitoring of the upcoming elections in Somaliland, which has declared independence from Somalia but is not recognized internationally.

The new code calls for news media to "avoid excessive and privileged coverage of incumbent politicians from both the ruling and opposition parties" during the electoral campaign. It also calls for the use of "neutral words for impartial, dispassionate election reporting."
Since declaring its independence in 1991, Somaliland has been more politically stable than the rest of Somalia. However, authorities still prohibit private radio stations and sometimes harass independent journalists, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
The full text of the code is as follows:

Media Code of Conduct for the 2005 Somaliland Elections
The media plays an important role in monitoring the electoral process. By covering the election events and the political campaign, the media insures that the public is aware of what is happening.
Good media coverage of the electoral process can increase public knowledge and information on the elections, the candidates and the issues. The coverage of elections in the media, and its analysis of candidate platforms and election issues, provides voters with the information they need to make an informed choice on voting day. It can also provide factual information needed by voters to participate, such as the day, hours and locations of polling stations.
In order to fulfill this role several conditions must be met:
· All media must have access to the electoral process and its participants.
· Reporters must have access to electoral managers, electoral sites, candidates and voters.
· It is essential that the media have access to public information.
· The media must be able to investigate and report in a safe environment, without fear of intimidation or retribution.
· The media should be free to cover and report on election events without restrictions or censorship.
· The media needs to be able to circulate freely throughout the country so that it can follow national campaigns or candidates and see how the election administration is working in outlying areas.
· All media should be treated equally, whether it is the government media or private. This applies to access to political parties, candidates, the electorate, electoral sites and information.
· Public authorities and other concerned parties should refrain from interfering with the activities of journalists and other media personnel with a view to influencing the elections.
· In order to combat the Danger of speculation the election results must be released in a timely manner
The foreign broadcast media, particularly the BBC Somali Service, have significant geographic coverage, listenership and potential influence on voters. For this reason, these services should be encouraged to report on the Somaliland election campaign in a considered and in depth manner giving due regard to their own codes for election coverage and the code adopted by the Somaliland media below.
The NEC is encouraged to monitor the election coverage of foreign broadcast media and establish a liaison mechanism for dealing with complaints.
In return and with due respect for editorial freedom, the Somaliland media has adopted the following code of conduct for the election period.
· To cover the electoral campaign in a fair, balanced and impartial manner.
· To ensure accurate, balanced and impartial coverage of the news and current affairs and in the content of interviews and debates that may have an influence on the attitude of voters.
· To avoid excessive and privileged coverage of an incumbent politicians from the both the ruling and opposition parties..
· Not to disseminate any partisan electoral messages on the day preceding voting, to allow voters to take a decision without pressures.
· As far as possible, to report the views of candidates and political parties directly and in their own words, rather than as others describe them.
· To guarantee a rapid right of reply to a candidate or political party, if so required, in order that this right can be exercised during the campaign period.
· To ensure that news content is factually accurate, complete, relevant and in context.
· To use neutral words for impartial, dispassionate election reporting and take care with technical terms and statistics and ensure headlines reflect the facts of the story.
· To avoid inflaming emotions over controversial issues through impassioned handling of these issues.
· To label opinions and personal interpretations as such, and limit opinions and editorials to the editorial and opinion pages/programmes.
· To label advertising clearly so it is not confused with the news and to ensure that advertising coverage complies with the code of conduct for political parties adopted between by the NEC.
· Journalists are obliged to introduce themselves as such and to be honest and fair in the way news is gathered, reported and presented.
· To honour pledges of confidentiality to a news source, otherwise identify sources of information.
· Not to plagiarise and to give due credit to secondary sources of information.
· Not to alter photographs or graphics to mislead the public.
· Not to accept any inducement from a politician or candidate
· Not to give favourable advertising rates to one political party and not to another.
· Not to give money for sources of stories
The National Elections Commission should consult with the media select two representatives from the media to serve on the Election Board of Monitors. In return the media will respect the Board’s right to monitor and adjudicate on the media’s compliance with this code of conduct.
Adopted by members of the Somaliland media –Hargeisa, 6 July 2005.


Parliamentary Election Postponed To Sept 29

Somaliland Times, Issue 186, Aug.13, 2005

Hargeysa, August 13, 2005 (SL Times) – President Rayale issued a decree on Wednesday postponing the Somaliland parliamentary elections from September 15 to September 29, 2005.

The postponement was requested by Somaliland’s National Electoral Commission. The NEC said it was unable for technical reasons to meet the original Sept 15 deadline.

A dispute over the number of seats to be allocated to some parts of Sanag and Sool regions and the selection of the official sign to appear opposite the portrait photo of each candidate had also been cited as one of the causes of the delay.

Political parties were also blamed for taking too long to replace the candidates who failed to meet the NEC criteria.


Egypt To Send Observers To Somaliland

Somaliland Times, Issue 186, Aug.13, 2005

Hargeysa, August 13, 2005 (SL Times) – The Egyptian government will send observers to Somaliland to monitor the parliamentary elections scheduled to be held here on September 29, 2005, Somaliland Foreign minister Edna Adan Ismail told local reporters last Saturday.
Ms. Edna, who returned from a recent trip to the Egyptian capital Cairo, also disclosed that Egypt agreed to send a fact-finding team and a trade delegation to Somaliland.

The minister said she had talks with Arab League Secretary General Amr Musa and discussed with him various issues including education, Somaliland livestock exports and Somaliland’s independence.

Edna was received by the Egyptian Foreign minister in charge of African Affairs. She said it was the first time the two had talks at ministerial level. The minister said the talks dealt among other things with the security of the Red Sea.

She also said she had met with the Foreign minister of South Africa and several diplomats in Addis Ababa.


Winning The Hearts And Minds Of British Muslims

Somaliland Times, Issue 186, August 13, 2005


In one of his first statements to the press following the July 7 blasts in London, British Premier, Tony Blair, had referred to the importance of winning the hearts and minds of British Muslims as part of an over-all long-term strategy for defeating terrorism. To prove that they were genuinely interested in mobilizing their Muslim citizens against terrorism, Mr. Blair and his senior ministers hosted a series of meetings with so-called leaders of Muslim communities in Britain. But these meetings produced nothing as to prevent young Muslim terrorists from striking back again on July 21. This doesn’t mean that the British government’s policy, seeking a broader Muslim engagement and support in the fight against domestic terrorism, has been theoretically wrong. However for this policy to become fruitful, the UK government must ensure that it actually deals with the right representatives of various British Muslim communities. The present self-styled Muslim leaders have willingly or unwillingly failed to do something about the spread of the philosophy of the newly-coined extremist versions of Islam among a significant number of Muslim youth in Britain.

Obviously, extremists disguised as moderates, have succeeded in establishing themselves as respectable Muslim community leaders. In fact some of the Muslim communities in the UK, such as the sizable Somaliland one, have been deprived of even a nominal representation on Britain’s Islamic Council. The pan-Islamists on the council consider Somaliland’s withdrawal from its 1960 union with Somalia as weakening the “Islamic cause”. It is not a coincidence that Al-Itihad, an extremist Somali Group linked to Al-Qaeda, also cites the same reason for its opposition to Somaliland’s de facto independence.

Mr. Blair’s government should create the necessary environment for British Muslim communities including the marginalized Somaliland one, to elect their own truly representative leaders. Only leaders who enjoy the support of the moderate mainstream Muslims could be relied on to successfully challenge the homicidal cult culture advanced by terrorists.


Eyro Emerges As Islamic Courts’ New Leader

Mogadishu, August 6, 2005 (SL Times) – Adan Hashi Farah, better known as “Eyro” was nominated as the new boss of Islamic Courts’ armed militia in southern Mogadishu last Wednesday.

Eyro succeeds Hersi Abdi (Lugey) who was slain by gunmen earlier last month.
A ceremony held to mark Eyro’s appointment as the new chief of the Eyr subclan’s Islamic Courts militia was held in the presence of Sheikh Hassan Awais, who is widely held as Al-Qaida’s top leader in Somalia, and Sheikh Nur Ma’alin.

Until recently, Eyro headed a small terror group that targeted foreigners and Somalis who worked with them. According to the International Crisis Group, Eyro’s group has been implicated in the assassination of a number of aid workers in Somaliland during 2003 and 2004.

When Abdulkader Yahya, a prominent peace mediator, was assassinated at his home in Mogadishu on July 18, 2005, Eyro was suspected of carrying out the killing. Eyro’s predecessor, Lugey, was gunned down a day later. Jama Kutiye the leader of the group currently on trial in Somaliland for the murder of Kenyan GTZ consultant Ms Florence Cheriout on March 19, 2005 as well as for participation in the plotting and execution of other assassination attempts against foreign aid workers, had confessed to interrogators that Eyro was their commander.

During last Wednesday’s ceremonies in Mogadishu, the names of Eyro’s assistants in the Islamic Courts hierarchy were also read and acknowledged by the attendants.


Britain, Europe And The US Should Not Be Safe Havens For ONLF Terrorists

Somaliland Times, Issue 185, Aug.6, 2005


Since the July 17 failed attack in London, when it was revealed that the terrorists involved were originally from the Horn of Africa, there has been increasing media attention on the Horn of Africa as an exporter of terrorism to Europe. This view of terrorism as a one-way traffic is simplistic. For many years, both Ethiopia and Somaliland were subjected to terrorist attacks by the so-called Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), most of whose leaders reside in Britain and other western countries. These leaders of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), many of whom were former officers, soldiers and plain mercenaries in Somalia’s now defunct army, have taken advantage of the West’s liberal asylum laws and openness and used them as bases from which they directed and financed their deadly activities.

The ONLF claims that it is a national liberation movement, but its tactics and actions show that it is a terrorist organization whose main targets are innocent civilians. Just like the terrorists who attacked London’s subways and buses, the ONLF often attacks public transportation. According to the latest count, it has, so far, set on fire 38 trucks that were owned by civilians from Somaliland. ONLF head, Mohammed Omar Osman even boasted on BBC Somali Radio Service that they did carry out those attacks and warned that they will set more trucks ablaze unless their demands were met. Their chief demand from Somaliland is that it allow its territory to become a playground for ONLF terrorists, something Somaliland refuses to do.

Although the ONLF’s terrorist activities were previously directed at Somaliland and Ethiopia, lately, it has expanded its targets to include other Somali communities such as the Sheekhal and the Harti of Ethiopia. In the past, Britain and western countries had looked at the ONLF as a Horn of Africa problem. But bitter experience has shown that terrorists from remote countries may at some point decide to target their host countries. That is why Britain and western countries must now move against the ONLF and dismantle it before it becomes deadlier and more intractable. But this is only part of the solution. Another part of the solution is to help in finding a political settlement that addresses the legitimate grievances of Somalis in Ethiopia. The ONLF’s alienation of so many Somali clans, its unwinable fight against Ethiopia, and the death and destruction it brought on one of the poorest regions of the world, has finally convinced some Ogadeni elders to take the initiative and open peace talks with the Ethiopian government. It is in Britain and the west’s interests to encourage those peace talks between the Ethiopian government and Ogadeni elders, and at the same time, deny the ONLF a safe haven in Britain and the west in general. The third part of the solution is that Britain and the west must engage with Somaliland Republic at a level that reflects its importance to the global fight against terrorism and the stabilization of a dangerous part of the world. It just doesn’t make practical or ethical sense to expect Somaliland to continue being a positive force in the region while at the same time keeping it unrecognized and diplomatically isolated.


Awil’s Secret Meeting With Geedi

Somaliland Times, Issue 185, August 6, 2005

The Full Story

Addis Ababa, August 6, 2005 (SL Times) – Somaliland’s Finance Minister Mr. Hussein Ali Duale, widely known as Awil, had reportedly held a secret meeting in Addis Ababa last month with Mr. Ali Geedi, premier of the Abdillahi Yusuf-led faction in the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia.

News that the secret meeting took place was first reported by our sister newspaper “Haatuf” in its July 26, 2005 edition. Mr. Awil denied that the meeting took place. In a written response to Haatuf, (see the full text in Haatuf’s July 27, 2005 edition), Mr. Awil described the news about his purported meeting with Geedi as baseless. Accusing Haatuf of following a pattern of habitual fabrication of lies about national leaders, Mr. Awil also instructed his staff to cancel the finance ministry’s subscription to the country’s leading independent daily with immediate effect. However, the Somaliland Times can now confirm that Mr. Awil actually met with Geedi in Addis Ababa’s Sheraton Hotel shortly after the arrival of the latter in the Ethiopian capital on July 20, 2005. Officially, there is no information yet on the nature of the topics that the two men had actually discussed during their meeting. But one of Somalia’s news websites quoted Mr. Geedi last week as saying that he was highly satisfied with the outcome of his talks with Awil.

An investigation conducted by the Somaliland Times revealed that Awil arrived in Addis Ababa a few days before Mr. Geedi got there. (Geedi’s visit to Addis Ababa was reported in a news dispatch datelined July 21 by the official Ethiopian News Agency). The Somaliland finance minister concealed his arrival in Addis Ababa as well as his intention to meet Geedi from officials of the Somaliland mission in the Ethiopian capital. Word about Awil’s pre-arranged meeting with Geedi first surfaced when 2 TFG supporters living in Addis Ababa started looking for the Somaliland finance minister’s whereabouts. For this purpose, the 2 men contacted a number of the members of the Somaliland community in Addis Ababa. When asked why they were so interested in finding Awil, the 2 TFG agents disclosed that they were supposed to inform minister Awil that Mr. Geedi was in town and ready to receive him at the Sheraton Hotel. How Awil was finally located remains unclear. But according to highly reliable sources, he eventually managed to meet with Geedi, in the latter’s residence, at Addis Ababa Sheraton Hotel on Wednesday July 20, 2005.

Officials of the Somaliland mission in Addis Ababa contacted by the Somaliland Times on July 24, stayed non-committal on the whole affair. But after being pressed the next day by the Somaliland Times for a response, at least one of those officials conceded that the meeting between Awil and Geedi did happen. He however quickly pointed out that no one from the mission had prior knowledge about the meeting between the duo or had taken part in it. Credible independent sources confirmed to the Somaliland Times that the head of the Somaliland Liaison Office, Mr. Yusuf Jama Burralle, was actually unaware about the meeting. Since becoming finance minister in June 6, 2003, Mr. Awil was often criticized for spending more time on suspicious trips to East African capitals, particularly Addis Ababa and Nairobi, than on his work at the ministry in Hargeysa.

Omar Haji Mahmoud, a former chief of Somaliland mission in Addis Ababa recalled by saying, “It wasn’t unusual for Awil to appear unannounced in Addis, and then be seen conducting meetings with the strangest kinds of peoples.” When recently the US consulate in Addis Ababa declined to issue him a US visa, Awil insisted to friends that his application was still being considered.

Despite Awil’s poor performance, whether as finance minister or as a special diplomatic emissary, he continued to enjoy blind support from President Rayale. Instead of distancing himself from Awil’s latest blunder in meeting Geedi, Mr. Rayale not only remained silent about the issue but bizarrely enough commissioned his controversial finance minister to fly to Djibouti last Tuesday to meet with a visiting US Congressional delegation. A lot of people now believe that Awil wouldn’t have met with Geedi had he not received a green light from Mr. Rayale. The President’s passive response to the whole affair of the meeting between Awil and Geedi has already led many people to question for the first time his true stand on the issue of Somaliland’s independence. While the Somaliland government returned Osman Atto from Hargeysa airport on July 11 on the pretext that he was a member of the Mbagathi government, the Awil-Geedi meeting is seen as though Mr. Rayale is up to something fishy.

It has been the policy of successive Somaliland governments, including the present one, headed by President Dahir Rayale Kahin, not to meet with the officials of any government of Somalia that claims jurisdiction over Somaliland. Since its liberation from Somalia and declaration of independence in 1991, Somaliland has never participated in the series of internationally and regionally sponsored attempts to resolve the conflict in Somalia. The country’s position has been that independent and peaceful Somaliland should not allow itself to melt into the externally-led efforts to form a central government for Somalia. Somaliland held that any such attempts to form a government for Somalia, should deal with the former Italian colony of Somalia only. According to this policy, Somaliland and Somalia can talk about their future relations as two equal and sovereign countries, a position that Premier Geedi’s government has not yet accepted.

As predicted by most political analysts, Mr. Awil’s clandestine meeting with a senior official of a government officially claiming to have legal jurisdiction over Somaliland territories is likely to spark further public backlash against President Rayale’s government, which is already faced with widespread popular discontent.


President Rayale’s Credibility Gap

Somaliland Times, Issue 184, July 30, 2005


Somalilanders who voted for President Rayale knew that he was not the candidate with the most experience or the best education, but they were hoping that, through hard work, discipline and a sense of fair play, he would make up for what was lacking in his resume. Lately, through a series of decisions, actions and inaction, Rayale has been intent on proving that his supporters were wrong and his worst critics were right. The most recent example is the UDUB candidate selection fiasco in which Rayale gave his word to community elders, and his own ministers, about the list of candidates from Hargeisa, only to violate the agreement later, which resulted in the resignation of the Minister of Aviation, Mr. Abiib Diiriye Nuur, in disgust over what the president did. This was not the first time that Rayale had broken his word either. Another instance of such underhanded behavior by President Rayale was his giving a green light to one of Somaliland’s highly respected elders, Haji Abdi Warabe, to run for the position of the head of the Gurti after Sheikh Ibrahim passed away, only to pull the rug from under Haji Abdi Warabe once he had publicly expressed his interest in the position. Well-informed sources also attribute the recent conflict between the President and the Speaker of the Parliament, Mr. Qaybe, to Rayale’s failure to uphold certain understandings between them. There are other examples too.

In addition to this pattern of duplicity and broken promises, there is another thread that runs through Rayale’s performance as president: an inability to work with the various branches of government. His conflict with the speaker of the House, Mr. Qaybe, was already mentioned. There was also the conflict with the parliament that almost resulted in impeachment proceedings against him, despite the fact that the majority of the parliamentarians belonged to his own party, which made plain either his lack of political skills or lack of accurate information about what is going around him (his inability to work effectively with a parliamentary majority from his own party should give many a pause about what is going to happen when the new parliament, a substantial percentage of which is expected to belong to the opposition parties, takes office). It is also no secret that his relations with the Head of the Gurti, Mr. Sulayman Gaal is often strained. President Rayale has even failed to manage relations with his vice-president in a satisfactory manner, and embarrassing disputes between them has become public knowledge.

President Rayale’s habitual deception and repeated breaking of his word has created a serious credibility gap for him, and less and less people are willing to believe him. When one adds to this his inability to deal effectively with the various branches of government, the picture of his presidency that is emerging is disturbingly grim. Rayale has already done enough damage to Somaliland’s body politic, the question now is: does he want to continue in the same destructive path or is he going to change direction before it is too late?


Ex-Aviation Minister Accuses Rayale of Poor Leadership

Somaliland Times, Issue 184, July 30, 2005

Hargeysa, Somaliland, July 30, 2005 (SL Times) – Somaliland's minister of aviation, Abib Diriye Nur, issued a press statement in Hargeysa last Sunday 24/7/2005 to announce his resignation.
Abib Diriye Nur said he had sent his resignation letter to President Dahir Rayale Kahin.

The minister expressed his unhappiness with the president's leadership, adding he feared this could undermine his health. The minister complained about the manner in which Dahir Rayale Kahin chose members of the House of Representatives [candidates to contest forthcoming parliamentary polls]. He said the hope of the UDUB [ruling party] to continue ruling was waning.

The aviation minister who has resigned was regarded as one of the closest ministers to President Rayale, although signs have been emerging recently of a growing rift between the two men.

According to a statement issued Monday by the presidential spokesman, Abdi Idris Du'ale, President Rayale has accepted the resignation of Abib Diriye Nuh, minister for aviation and air transport. In his acceptance of the resignation statement, the Somaliland president said: I inform you that I have accepted your resignation which you announced through the media, although it would have been better if you presented your resignation letter to the office [of the president], and as a result, I am now relieving you from the ministerial post that you held for the state, and you should quickly hand it over to the assistant minister of aviation and air transport.


Somaliland Civil Society Visit to South Africa 20-26 July 2005

Somaliland Times, Issue 184, July 30, 2005

Tshwane, SA, July 26, 2005 (Press Release by Somaliland Liaison Office) – The Republic of Somaliland’s Committee for Concerned Somalis, appointed Mrs. Amran Ali Haji Mahmoud to attend the preparatory consultation on the UN Secretary Generals’ Study on Violence against Children. This UN Conference was hosted by the South African Presidency’s Office of the Rights of the Child and UNICEF, which was held in Johannesburg and, was attended by governments, NGOs, the African Union, and Pan-African Parliament.

On this occasion, Mrs. Amran Ali Haji Mahmoud met with South Africa’s Deputy Minister for Social Development, Dr. Jean Benjamin and exchanged ideas and experiences.
Mrs. Amran Ali Haji Mahmoud also had the opportunity to attend a welcome cocktail in honor of the visiting South Sudan delegation from the SPLM/A, which was hosted by the South African Deputy Foreign Minister, Her Excellency Ms. Sue van De Merwe in the South African capital Tshwane (Pretoria).

Mrs. Mahmoud in her capacity as head of human resources at Hargeisa University also visited the University of South Africa’s Centre for African Renaissance Studies to explore ways to further co-operation between the two universities in the field of international law and capacity building. The head of the University of South Africa’s Centre for African Renaissance Studies, Prof. Shadrack Gutto, welcomed ways to initiate new avenues of co-operation between the two universities.

Mrs. Mahmoud visited the offices of the Academy of Self-Knowledge to up-date herself on the development initiatives of the world acclaimed Islamic scholar, Shaykh Fadhalla Haeri.
On her concluding day, Mrs. Mahmoud attended the national day of Egypt, where she had an opportunity to exchange ideas on Somaliland with South Africa’s Minister of Public Administration, Her Excellency Ms. Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi. Productive exchanges were also made with Britain’s new High Commissioner to South Africa, the Rt. Hon. Paul Boateng, African ambassadors and the Director of the Africa Institute of South Africa, Dr. Eddy Maluka.
Briefings were given to members of the Somaliland community in South Africa on recent developments in Somaliland, and on ways for the Somaliland Diaspora to play an active role in advocacy issues in Southern Africa and the up-coming September 15 parliamentary elections in Somaliland.

Issued by: Somaliland Liaison Office, Tshwane (Pretoria), South Africa
Enquires: Telephone: + 27 82 880 8603


President Rayale’s Double Dealing

Somaliland Times, Issue 183, July 23, 2005


The conventional view among educated Somalis is that the uneducated clan-oriented people are the cause of many of Somaliland’s problems. This may be true in many cases, but there are many other cases, where Somaliland’s ruling elite that is supposed to mitigate potential clan problems are the source that is actively stirring up conflict among clans, subclans, and lineages as well as between clans and the government. A case in point is the current selection of parliamentary candidates. We all know Somaliland is supposed to be moving away from representation according to clans to representation by parties. We also know that in the transition period, clan considerations will have to be taken into account while moving from the old clan system to the new party system. That is why the three parties devised an informal system whereby parties ensure that a candidate has the support of his lineage before he is selected as a candidate. As a matter of fact, UDUB, has even gone a step further and asked different clans and lineages to submit lists of their candidates. In some instances this arrangement worked, but there have been disturbing cases where this system was flagrantly abused by the very people who devised it. For example, in Hargeisa, a subclan that was asked to submit a list, did so, only to find out that some members were removed from the list, at the last minute, and were replaced with new people chosen by President Rayale (some say it was actually his wife who did the removing and replacing as personal favors). This is what we meant by Somaliland’s ruling elite abusing the very system they devised. The president, as the head of UDUB, has the right to have a say in who should be a candidate and who should not. But neither he, nor his wife, has the right to solicit lists from clans and promise them that their wishes will be honored, then turn around, and impose on them different candidates.


Confusion Over Selection And Screening Of Candidates

Somaliland Times, Issue 183, July 23, 2005

Hargeysa, July 23, 2005 (SL Times) – There is still confusion as to the identity of party candidates to stand in the upcoming elections (Sept 15) for Somaliland’s House of Representatives. Though each of the country’s 3 political parties submitted its list of candidates to the National Electoral Commission, however, both the parties and the NEC have so far refrained from officially disclosing the names of the finalized candidates.

The 3 parties had reportedly submitted their lists just minutes before the deadline was about to expire at 6pm on July 17.

According to electoral commissioner Abdillahi Jawan, the lists were still being screened by the NEC to ascertain that party nominees met the qualification criteria for candidates running for legislative elections.

NEC officials refused to comment further on the issue. However after most of the names of candidates were published by local daily newspapers earlier this week, none of the parties came forward to confirm or deny whether the press revelations were true.

Meanwhile, the 3 political parties signed a code of conduct for the election period on Monday. Similarly a media code of conduct for election coverage was also signed on Monday by representatives of the two Journalist associations, the Somaliland Society for Independent Journalists and Writers (SSJW) and the Somaliland Journalists Association (SOLJA).

The media code of conduct was formulated with the assistance of Article 19’s John Barker.


Col. Abdillahi Yusuf Receives Another Blow


Somaliland Times, Issue 182, July 16, 2005

Even when one takes into account the inherent difficulties of governments that are formed in exile, the performance of Col. Abdillahi Yusuf and his Prime Minister, Mr Gedi has been so pitiful it is really a misnomer to call theirs a government. This is after all a government that has split into at least two main factions, one based in Mogadishu and the other floating between Nairobi, Jowhar and Garowe. It is also a government that is not interested in governing as such, but in forcing a military solution on Somalia. Most Somalis, of course, reject this military approach, and the international community knows it. Many Somalis also thought that this issue was put to rest months ago when the front line states were excluded from sending troops to Somalia, and when the United States made it plain that it is opposed to lifting the arms embargo against Somalia.

The fact that Abdillahi Yusuf insisted on bringing the issue of the arms embargo in front of the Security Council in such an unfavorable international environment is just another indication of his diplomatic illiteracy. As expected, his request was turned down, just as his previous request for troops from the front line states was turned down. This is the second blow that Abdillahi Yusuf received within a few months, and both blows were a direct result of his own miscalculations. The colonel seems to have mistaken the international community’s willingness to subsidize his pretend-presidency for a commitment to back him militarily. The international community was willing to indulge his pretensions, but once he forced the issue, they made it clear that they consider him just one of the Somali factions, and that another round of Somali bloodletting is, to use their own words, “unacceptable”. The result is that Abdillahi Yusuf is in a much weaker position than he started with, because whereas the international community was previously only reluctant to provide him with troops, the situation now is that the international community would neither provide him with troops nor allow him to engage in any military activities.


Mr Ahmad Silanyo visits Seattle

By Jamal Gabobe

On July 4th 2005, the Chairman of Kulmiye Party, Ahmad Silanyo, met with Somalilanders in Seattle. The meeting took place at NW Somaliland Society’s community center. People came from all over the Pacific North West to attend this event. The Program for the evening was as follows:

1- Verses from the Quran recited by Mohammed Bade
2- Briefing on the activities of NW Somaliland Society by Abdirahim Koofiyad Dheere
3- Welcome remarks by the President of NW Somaliland Society, Jamal Gabobe
4- Announcement by the Somaliland Student Union
5- Speech by Ahmad Silanyo

In his speech, Mr. Silanyo touched on many topics, such as Somaliland’s search for recognition, peace and security, foreign policy, and the coming parliamentary elections. Mr. Silanyo highlighted the need for:

- Greater efforts by Somaliland’s government to win support among Arab and Islamic countries
- An independent board to run Radio Hargeisa
- Abolition of emergency laws
- Establishment of private banks

Mr Silanyo stressed the two ideas of struggle (halgan) and reconciliation (isasaamax) as some of his guiding principles.



Somaliland Times, Issue 181, July 9, 2005


Somalilanders were shocked and disgusted by the news of Thursday’s terrorist strike against the people of London. Killing innocent people is so abhorrent and unjustifiable, most Somalilanders here felt as though they had been violated by the blasts as well. After all, the cowardly act had targeted the lives of innocent people who were commuting to their places of work, in a city that is home to a half of the estimated 300,000 Somaliland-born population currently living in Britain. These were mostly people who, during the eighties, had been forced to flee their homes to escape persecution and genocide in the hands of General Siyad Barre, Somalia’s former dictator.

Since liberation from Somalia and its declaration of independence as a sovereign state in 1991, unrecognized Somaliland has crucially depended for its reconstruction on the half a billion dollars that its diaporra in the West, particularly in Britain, send annually back home. With Saudi Arabia’s decision to ban import of Somaliland livestock (this country’s only hard-currency earning export) entering the seventh year in a row, at least 1/3 of Somaliland’s households rely on the income support money they regularly receive from relatives living in the West, particularly Britain. For the above reasons and others, it wasn’t a surprise at all to notice how the impact of the explosions in London was widely felt by Somalilanders here. There is no doubt that the terrorists who were behind the carnage wanted to disrupt the G8 summit in Scotland where Tony Blair is trying to persuade the leaders of the richest nations in the world to commit substantial resources for the eradication of poverty in Africa! The terror strike also came in the aftermath of the Live 8 concerts that Bob Geldof and his friends had recently organized in order to make the citizens and leaders of rich countries aware about the extent of human suffering taking place in Africa. It is not yet clear whether the blasts were also designed to sabotage London’s bid for holding the 2012 Olympic Games. But why anyone should be so inhuman as to want to undermine an international gathering such as the one held in Gleneagles whose prime purpose is to help Africa salvage itself from the misery of poverty and under development? Neither is there any sense in depriving London of the opportunity not only to host the 2012 Olympic Games but also to earmark close to $2 billion for developing some of the predominantly Muslim run-down boroughs in east London, the site where most of the games were planned to be staged.

We consider the explosions that ripped through London during rush hour on Thursday morning an attack on all human beings irrespective of their color, race and religion. It would be foolish to see it otherwise. While our sympathy goes to the families, relatives and friends of the victims, we express our solidarity with the people and government of Britain. It is to be hoped that people in the UK will emerge from Thursday’s terror attacks as more united and resolved in not allowing the terrorists to change British values of tolerance, democracy and compassion.


President Rayale Condemns London Blasts

President Rayale Condemns London Blasts

Hargeysa, July 9, 2005 (SL Times) – Somaliland President, Dahir Rayale Kahin, yesterday sent a message of condolences to British Prime Minister Tony Blair, the British government and people, following Thursday’s blasts in London.

Mr. Rayale also expressed sympathy for the families of those who were either killed or injured in the terrorist incident.

Mr. Rayale said, “the government and people of Somaliland were deeply shocked by the terrorist acts that occurred in London.”

President Rayale stressed Somaliland’s sympathy and solidarity with Britain in the wake of the explosions that rocked London on Thursday morning.

The president pointed out that there is a clause in Somaliland's constitution that commits Somaliland to the fight against terrorism..

The message was sent through the British Embassy in Addis Ababa.


Somalilanders Hold A Successful Convention In LA

Somaliland Times, Issue 180, July 2, 2005


Reports reaching us say the Somaliland Convention that took place in Los Angeles June 24-26, 2005 was a success. About 500 Somalilanders and foreigners from around the world gathered and discussed for three days subjects ranging from business and politics to health, education, and Somaliland’s goal of international recognition. Although there was initially some concern that the conference might be marred by political disputes, those fears proved to be false. Of course, there were heated discussions and tempers occasionally flared but the exchanges were mostly conducted in a serious but civil manner. This is what was expected of the Somalilanders at the conference, and they did not disappoint their people.

Another noteworthy aspect of the conference was that in addition to the foreign and Somali academics, the conference had credible representation from both the American government and the Canadian parliament.

One way to gauge the success of events held by Somalilanders is to look at what Somaliland’s adversaries are saying. Judging by what Somaliland’s opponents have been scribbling in the internet, it is clear that this convention was a bitter pill for them. Worse yet (for them that is) there is nothing they can do about it. So, in their impotent rage and envy they alternate between trying to guilt-trip Somalilanders with a non-existent fake nationalism, castigating Somalilanders for getting together without consulting them first, and predicting failure for Somalilanders, undeterred by the fact that their predictions are often false. We say to them: get used to it. Somalilanders don’t need anybody’s permission to meet. We decide when and where we want to meet, and the days of using Somaliweyn nationalism as a trick to deceive people are over.

We salute the Somaliland Policy and Reconstruction Institute (SOPRI) for organizing a successful conference. We hope it is the beginning of greater efforts on the part of Somalilanders in the United States to help their country, especially in its quest for international recognition.


Eng. Faysal Cali Waraabe and Dr. Mohammed-Rashid visit Seattle

By Jamal Gabobe

Saturday evening, July 2, 2005, The Chairman of UCID Party, Eng. Faysal Cali Waraabe and Dr. Mohammed-Rashid Sh. Hasan met with the Somaliland community in Seattle. The meeting took place at the headquarters of the NW Somaliland Society. The Program for the evening was:

1- Verses from the Holy Quran recited by Mohammed Bade

2- Remarks by the President of NW Somaliland Society, Jamal Gabobe, in which he welcomed and introduced the distinguished leaders

3- Briefing by the Secretary of NW Somaliland Society, Mowlid Magarre, on the various educational and community programs that the NW Somaliland Society has undertaken

4- Outline by Abdirahim Koofiyad dheere of the future direction of NW Somaliland Society and the need for the community’s involvement

5- Announcement by Said Mursal about the Somaliland Student Union

6- Speech by Dr. Mohammed-Rashid Sh. Hasan

7- Speech by Eng. Faysal Cali Waraabe

8- Questions and answers

The speeches by Faysal Cali Waraabe and Mohammed-Rashid had several themes in common. For instance both stressed the need for unity, the importance of the role of the diaspora, the contradictions between clan and citizenship, and Somaliland’s search for international recognition. Faysal Cali Waraabe focused mostly on political issues. He was especially proud of the fact that his party is fielding several women and oppressed minorities as candidates in the coming parliamentary elections. Mohammed-Rashid highlighted the importance of citizenship, nation-building and the activities of the African Renaissance Center for Social Science Research, Media and Development (ARECSMED) which he founded and directs. Both Faysal and Mohammed-Rashid commended the NW Somaliland Society for the good work it is doing in the field of education and for establishing a center in which Somalilanders can gather and discuss issues.


Somaliland, Countdown To The July Summit Of The AU
The fact-finding mission undertaken by the Deputy Chairperson
of the African Union Mr. Patrick Mizimhaka
An exclusive Interview – The Sub-Saharan Informer

In the beginning of May the African Union had undertaken a fact-finding mission headed by the Deputy Chairperson Mr. Patrick Mizimhaka to Somaliland. The purpose of the mission was to assess the state of affairs of the country specifically with its quest for international recognition as independent country and draw a report, which will be presented to the chairperson and so to the heads of state for their consideration and deliberations. The team visited different regions of Somaliland where thousands of crowds flocked out to the open to express their feelings. The Deputy Chairperson and his team met with all government bodies, civil society and law making bodies of both houses. They had the opportunity to talk to all sections of the community. They also had the opportunity to gauge the state of security and stability of the country.

The Sub-Saharan Informer had accompanied the AU mission in most of their visits and had the chance to touch base with the head of the delegation and Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Mr. Patrick Mizimhaka in an exclusive interview to talk; about what his impressions were.

SSI: Why did it take this long for the AU to send this delegation because we have learnt that you were supposed to undertake this mission sometime last year? What is the reason that it took so long? Was it a logistic problem or other commitments?
Mr. Patrick Mizimhaka: You know that this problem lasted for very many years and the wars that went on around here were not very simple. Therefore the continent had an opinion. During the Cold War Somalia become client of Soviet Union and of United States of America. So the cold war kind of muddled the waters for African countries. The OAU was stuck with a policy of preservation of member states and now the African union came into scene in 2002 and in 2003 we were able to, as the interim lasted for about four years from 1999 all the way to 2003, when the present commission was put in place and so the commission that is implementing what was set out in the constitute act, which is different form the charter. Complementing the charter but with the new mandate. So the government of Somaliland engaged in discussions with the African union during that transition period started about four years ago. When we came-in in September 2003, we started engaging with the government of Somaliland, so that we developed an approach of-course the commission only serves the member countries therefore it takes time to get to a level where you get this kind of mission authorized. So there were no problems of logistics but I would say it was just a problem of processes. We agreed that the mission to take place sometime in around December 2004 but we have been late for four months because of other commitment, we had a summit in January in 2005 to meet and so on. Otherwise, we have been preparing to undertake this mission ever since the decision was reached. So even if it said that we have taken so long, I would say still it isn't that long, Of-course for the people who are suffering we cannot claim that we came to their rescue fast enough. Generally those are the causes of the delay.

SSI: What are your perceptions before you landed here? What did you think of Somaliland and what did you find out that is astonishing or surprising to you?
Mr. Patrick Mizimhaka: I think what was really amazing is that for somebody who doesn't visit or live here will be amazed to find out the way these people have been able to recover from the still very visible devastation of their villages, cities and facilities. But they have been able to keep the country running in normal fashion. Not only that, but in the institutions of government, particularly in the area of governance, if you look at the scenario in the other parts of Somalia, people understood War-Lordism as an ideology and one finds it difficult how this has been handled. Here, these have settled and new institutions, based on different approaches have established. Somalilanders have been able to stabilize the country that way; they have been able to enter democratization process and that is very robust. This is very obvious from the houses of representatives and the parliament, its obvious from the local councils, and its very obvious from the community organization. So we found that are very astonishing, there is advancement in those directions and also recovery and rehabilitation from the devastations. Something you cannot be able to see when you go to the other parts.

SSI: Why has there been so much silence from the African countries or the west on the issue of Somaliland and its achievement in maintaining peace and stability without any external assistance? Some intellectuals argue that in Europe when things did not workout, specially in the former eastern block, the international community had to reconsider the borders of the countries whose unity did not work, and let each one of them go their own directions and he asked why that could not be the case with Somaliland/Somalia affairs. What do you have to say about this?
Mr. Patrick Mizimhaka: I think when you say Europe; we are talking about Western Europe. Western Europe had an interest in the collapse of Soviet Union and other communist countries like Yugoslavia. Africa has no interest in the collapse of any of its member states; we come from different points of view, it would be unfair to compare the two. Africa is actively and ideologically working for the stabilization of each of its members, in the end to facilitate a union of the people of Africa. But to be able to unite the people, you must be under a situation that works towards that objective and therefore stable countries are very important. That is where Africans are coming from, where Europe was very interested in dismantling the soviet empire.

SSI: It is obvious that the fate of the country is going to lie on your hands - your assessment and recommendations would definitely influence the AU head of states decision. Although you and your team may have made sincere and professional assessment of their situation and achievements and table the report in the July summit, the decision of the summit may somehow delay the recognition of Somaliland as an independent country putting some requirements and modalities. How would you feel if this happens? And what do you think the logical conclusion of the summit should be?
Mr. Patrick Mizimhaka: As you may know the commission is a secretariat and its staff are not decision makers on such issues. What we are doing here is to assess and compile a report to the AU commission chairperson and it is the Chairperson who would present the case as one of the agenda during the summit. There are processes that are involved in looking at the issue and they should be fulfilled at the secretariat level. The report my team and I would be compiling will without any prejudice include all that has been investigated and assessed. I think the head of states will make their deliberations responsibly and make the needed recommendations. As for the logical conclusion, it would be premature to comment and as you know, I am a civil servant of the Commission, so it would be appropriate to leave it to those who will deliberate on it to come up with conclusion.

SSI: Will the AU be assisting Somaliland in social and economic development?
Mr. Patrick Mizimhaka: The AU has clear mandate of assisting its member states and communities in economic and social development so as to alleviate poverty. Within such framework, it will definitely assist Somaliland and this mission is just the beginning of such activity. So I am sure the AU will extend its assistance in whatever aspect it may be deemed.



Who is worse Col. Abdillahi Yusuf or his supporters?


Somaliland Times, Issue 178, June 18, 2005


To get a sense of the parlous situation Col. Abdillahi Yusuf is in, one has to just take a glimpse of the headlines. The British Times wrote: “President is told to pack bags after outstaying his welcome.” After his much awaited re-location to Somalia turned out to be a hoax, Reuters wrote: “President fails to arrive in Somalia, plane diverted.” These headlines only confirm what many Somalis already knew, that Abdillahi Yusuf’s presidency, like those of Ali Mahdi, Aidid Sr, Aidid Jr, and Abdiqasim Salad Hasan , was in name only, and that the facts on the ground tell another story. Abdillahi Yusuf repeatedly announced that he was going to change those facts on the ground by conquering the south, especially Banadir region, with foreign troops. Instead of showing him the folly of his plan, his supporters saw it as their long overdue chance to conquer Mogadishu and to exact revenge on its people for past crimes. Finally, they had a man with a plan, and they egged him to march on to Mogadishu. They began writing about how Somalia needs a strong leader, and how the colonel was exactly such a man. The clock kept ticking, and they kept writing about how decisive, how strong-willed he is. Days, months went by, and they kept writing about how determined he is, how he has a plan. Then came the hour of decision, and it turned out to be not his decision but a Kenyan decision. The Kenyans were tired of him and the rest of the Somalis, so they kicked them all out. As if that were not bad enough, instead of going to Somalia as he had said he would do, Abdillahi Yusuf landed in Djibouti. The hero in shining armor whose supporters expected him to conquer Mogadishu for them, turned out to be a tired old warlord with no political skills who would rather be a guest, even an un-wanted guest, in one foreign country or another than deal with the problems of a broken country.

This bleak picture has led to big disappointment among his supporters. Whereas they used to write some pretentious and long-winded letters paving the way for the iron-fisted rule that Colonel Abdillahi Yusuf was going to impose on Somalia, they now write rambling notes about how Somalis don’t want a government, about the death of Somali nationalism and how Kipling may have been right about Africans. The fact is, when they thought they could pull it off, they had shown no qualms about using foreign troops to spill Somali blood. Now that their designs have fallen apart, and their hero is homeless, they are playing a different tune to cover up what they stood for earlier, but it won’t work because today’s maudlin musings are being drowned by yesterday’s war cries.


Total’s Action Is An All-Out War Against Somaliland’s Economy

Somaliland Times, Issue 176, June 4, 2005

Total’s Action Is An All-Out War Against Somaliland’s Economy

Berbera, Somaliland, June 4, 2005 (SL Times) – TOTAL, the oil company that provides oil to Somaliland, suddenly stopped selling oil to its customers on June 2nd 2005. Gas stations in Berbera and around the country and individual customers complained about TOTAL’s behavior, and the absence of any information to explain their sudden decision to stop selling oil to the public.

A source close to the oil company, who wanted to be anonymous explained, how the company was busy lately to root out any competition from other companies. For instance, he mentioned how TOTAL demanded from RED SEA Company; a small privately owned oil company will be allowed to use the fuel tanks only, if they paid $500,000 or deposited oil of equal amount in the fuel tanks.

At the beginning of March this year, RED SEA Company decided to bring a tanker to the Port, in order to use the fuel tanks, following TOTAL’s initial demands. TOTAL refused to allow the tanker to use the fuel tanks. According to our source, the Port Manager, Mr. Ali Xoor-xoor intervened and gave permission to the tanker, after two days.

Another bizarre act by TOTAL was to dismantle five sophisticated, state-of-the-art oil pipes, built by the Soviet Union during the late seventies in Berbera for refueling purposes and later rebuilt by the United States military to refuel, during the 1980s, when they used Berbera as a military base. The pipes were built to provide quick supply of fuel to tankers, vehicles and aircraft all at the same time.

According to some political analysts, the EU advised TOTAL and its government sponsors about the high cost of repair and maintenance of oil pipes. In addition the EU estimated that Somaliland uses only 2000 tons of oil each month and that small amount of oil can be used by only one pipe, they argued.

TOTAL decided to dismantle the sophisticated system, in order to use an old system, built by the British Shell company in the 1950s.

Other analysts, call the dismantling of the 5 pipes high noon robbery. They accuse TOTAL of selling the five sophisticated oil pipes to the Arab Financiers of the Port in Djibouti for the amount of 90 million dollars. How else can you justify the elimination of such incredible oil pipes and replace it for an old pipe that has to be maintained once every five years, they say. Many intellectuals call TOTAL’s action an economic war, geared towards hurting the Ethiopia – Somaliland agreement on May 28. According to these groups, TOTAL, which is based in Djibouti has an economic stake in the area. They argue that TOTAL was the only oil company serving Ethiopia’s oil needs from Djibouti, during the past decade, and that Ethiopia will be free to deal with other oil companies, if it uses Berbera as her main port of entry. Therefore, when Ethiopia decided last week to use Berbera port, TOTAL began to sabotage the agreement between the two countries, by destroying the main oil pipes and, essentially forcing Somaliland's government to use its oil fuel tanks for local consumption purposes only. Furthermore, Somaliland’s inability to handle Ethiopia’s economic needs, will force her to use Djibouti facilities. This will in turn, force Ethiopia to use TOTAL as its main source of oil, they maintain. TOTAL will not only dominate Ethiopia’s oil needs but the company’s aim is to control Somaliland’s economy by becoming the only company that owns both the wholesale and retail of the oil in the country, the intellectuals conclude.

According to reliable sources, TOTAL rented several gas stations around the country already. They are also in the process of eliminating the competition entirely through their refusal to use the fuel tanks. If they succeed in doing that, they will become the only source of oil, which makes them a monopoly. In a free market economy, monopoly is not allowed, because it cripples the economy which leads to stagnation and political instability. The economic ties between Ethiopia and Somaliland will come to a standstill, if TOTAL gets away with its sinister moves, many analysts argue. It also reminds many people of the economic and political hurdles that Somaliland went through during her recent past, including the international ban of Somaliland livestock, and the role EU played. It was the EU’s research claims about Somaliland’s livestock trade, which was published on March 1997 that led to the livestock ban on November 1997. Many people are wondering if TOTAL’s war on our economy is a result of EU’s advice to limit Berbera Port for local consumption only.


The disgraceful end of the Somali conference in Kenya

Somaliland Times


Wednesday at 10 a.m, members of the Somali government-in-exile were finally kicked out of the Nairobi hotels where they have been staying for the last three years. The Kenyan government’s action may seem a bit harsh and humiliating but then again, it is highly unlikely that Somalis would have vacated the hotels on their own. Moreover, the Somali politicians in Kenya have shown again and again that they have no sense of shame. This is a crowd that is used to assassination attempts on their head honcho and bloody fights among its parliamentarians, so being forced out of a hotel should be a minor thing by their standards. Initial reports confirm that is exactly how a lot of them look at it, and that many of them have reacted by simply taking their luggage to the Isli slum to join the Somalis who live there. This is a fitting end for a reconciliation meeting that had lost its way long ago. Even those who don’t like this miserable ending cannot honestly claim it came as a surprise, for the writing was on the wall for a long time.

Now that the party is over, we can safely say this about the conference:

1- It was a great waste of time, money and energy

2- The selection of Col. Abdillahi Yusuf as president contributed a lot to the failure of the outcome. Abdillahi Yusuf’s strategy was to get foreign troops to conquer the south for him. Barring a last minute change of heart, that strategy looks like it has failed because he could not get any foreign troops to do the dirty work for him. The fact that his calculations about getting foreign troops turned out so wrong, is an indication of his shallowness as a strategist.

3- With the end of the Nairobi saga and future action shifting to Somalia, the politics of southern Somalia is going to be mostly focused on Mogadishu, where Abdillahi Yusuf has no base, which will result in even more marginalization for him and his supporting cast.


A Norwegian National Supports Somaliland’s Struggle To Rebuild its Country

Somaliland Times

Issue 176, June 4, 2005

I have just visited Hargeisa again, and it’s always a pleasure to come back. Since my first visit in 1991, when everything was destroyed, and Yusuf Gaboobe was my guide, much has been achieved and I see great improvements each time I return.

This time we were a group, people working with Somalis in Norway, from local authority refugee offices and different organizations. Apart from Hargeisa we visited Las Geel, Berbera, Sheikh and Burco. After the rains the countryside was beautiful and green, and for those who were first time visitors to Somaliland it was wonderful and surprising!

The purpose of the trip was to get an impression of the country, and to create a better understanding and knowledge of the background of the people who are now our fellow countrymen. We have 15 000 Somalis in Norway, a large proportion from Somaliland.
After spending some time in the country, and having been welcomed so generously everywhere, our group has already developed a keen interest in the people, the history and the developments here, an interest which will have an effect on further contact between our two nations.

There were plenty of warnings about security and so on, but we never felt uncomfortable or threatened in any way, on the contrary, we were met with kindness and hospitality wherever we went.

One evening I realized I had lost a wallet containing nearly $ 500 and my return ticket to Norway. I tried to think where I might have lost it, feeling quite sure it hadn’t been stolen. If I had accidentally left or dropped it somewhere, I wouldn’t have blamed a person in need if he or she had been tempted and kept the money. As the days went by, I was beginning to think that had happened. Then I got a message from Bile Restaurant that it had been found by an employee there, and that they had taken time finding me. I went to pick it up, and everything was there! Imagine my relief and gratitude! I doubt if the same would have happened in Oslo, where I have had my bag stolen on several occasions!

It was a pleasure to introduce my Norwegian group to this city and country, which I have grown so fond of during several visits in the last 14 years, and from my work and friendship with Somalis in Norway, and to see what a positive impression they got, thanks to the brave and hospitable people.

About a hundred people who are now Norwegian citizens, but have returned to their original homeland, celebrated the Norwegian national day, May 17. in the NRC compound, along with us. It was a wonderful, emotional occasion.

I hope the good relations between our two nations will continue and develop further, that we can support you in your struggle to rebuild your shattered country.

The word has already spread about our successful stay, and I hope to bring many more Norwegians to Somaliland in the future, the fan club is growing!
Until next time, thank you!

Ingeborg Vardøen,
Oslo, Norway.


The Somaliland Convention in Los Angeles


Somaliland Times


The Somaliland Convention in Los Angeles

According to the latest information we have received, preparations for the upcoming Somaliland Convention scheduled to take place in June 24-26th at the Hilton hotel in Los Angeles, are going smoothly, and the list of would-be participants is getting longer. The participants include some of the most distinguished personalities in Somaliland as well as an impressive number of foreign academics, politicians and experts.

Three aims of this conference stand out:

1- To promote dialogue between Somalilanders
2- To discuss ways of improving Somaliland’s education and economy
3- To contribute to the efforts toward Somaliland’s recognition

The fact that this conference is taking place in the United States is of great significance, for although Somalilanders in the United States played a crucial part in the anti-Siyad Barre struggle, lately, they have not been as active as they used to be and are lagging behind Somalilander communities in Europe. We hope this conference is the beginning of the kind of involvement that Somalilanders in the United States had shown during the height of the anti-Siyad Barre struggle. If they were able to do it then, surely they can do it now.


Briton's Widow Seeks Arrest Of Somali President

Guardian, London, UK — 27 May, 2005

Duncan Campbell
Friday May 27, 2005
The Guardian

The widow of a man allegedly killed by members of the militia of Somalia's president is attempting to have him arrested for murder during his visit to London for medical treatment. Zahra Abdullah has won a civil action for damages from President Abdullahi Yusuf for her husband's death in the high court and she is urging Britain to detain him as it did the former president of Chile, Augusto Pinochet.

Mr Yusuf, 70, a warlord, is recognised by Britain as the head of the transitional government of Somalia in exile. He is in Britain for medical treatment following a liver transplant. The president has been accused in connection with the murder of Sultan Ahmed Mohamud Mohamed, a British citizen, who was killed in the village of Kalabeyr in Somalia in August 2002. He was a political leader who had returned from exile in London and was hoping to resettle in his country, his widow told the Guardian. He had been critical of Mr Yusuf.

According to evidence given earlier this year in a high court civil action, the murdered man had driven past a convoy led by Mr Yusuf and had been spotted. Two vehicles peeled off from Mr Yusuf's convoy, and their armed occupants tracked down Sultan Ahmed and shot him dead. Such deaths are not uncommon in Somalia and would not normally be investigated, but because Mr Yusuf was a frequent visitor to Britain, Sultan Ahmed's widow decided to pursue the case here.

Ms Abdullah lives with her four children in west London, where she works as an interpreter. She married her husband in 1986 in Nairobi. Both were granted refugee status in Britain and later citizenship. He studied accountancy and business in London but was unable to obtain regular employment here.

For this reason, she said, he returned to Somalia, which has been in political turmoil for the past 14 years. With the support of some people in the Somali community in London she brought a civil action against the president, accusing him of being responsible for the death of her husband and seeking damages.

Mr Yusuf, through his British lawyers, entered a written defence to the action. In it he denied direct or indirect involvement in the killing. He said the action was "politically motivated", the murder would be investigated in Somalia and "blood money" would be paid.

But the court did not accept that there was any redress possible in Somalia in its current state. The court referred to evidence that Mr Yusuf had met challenges to his presidential claims "with lethal force" and noted that "his supporters are reported to have carried out retaliations, including executions, against his opponents".

Last month judgment was given against Mr Yusuf on the grounds that he had failed to comply with a court order to produce documentation for his defence, and so there was no full trial. He was ordered to pay £10,000 "bereavement damages" to Ms Abdullah.

The judgment found "the evidence does not show that the defendant was personally responsible for the killing of the deceased but it appears that the killing was carried out by those acting under his authority and under his command".

Mr Yusuf has paid £30,000 in damages and costs. Now Zahra Abdullah wants him to face criminal charges and her lawyer, Michael Hanley, has sent a dossier on the case to Scotland Yard.

"All I want is some justice for my husband," she said at her home in White City. "The men who killed my husband were Abdullahi Yusuf's troops, under his command. My husband was unarmed and had no bodyguards - he was a civilian.

"It is three years since he was killed and there has been nothing. I think that he thought that by paying the money in the court case that would be an end of it but we want to see him detained so that he cannot go back to Somalia."

She said that she believed the case of General Pinochet, who was detained in Britain pending extradition proceedings because of crimes committed in Chile, set a precedent for the UK to act.

"Britain has a wonderful opportunity to help the peace process in a constructive way by prosecuting warlords," Mr Hanley said yesterday.

There was no response from Mr Yusuf to messages left for him at the contact numbers given on his behalf to the Guardian or via his legal representatives. The Cromwell hospital, in west London, where he was described as having treatment, said no one of that name was registered with it.

The Met's serious crime group has examined the case. The detective superintendent handling the inquiry told Mr Hanley that there were immense difficulties in any case in a war zone where there were problems finding impartial witnesses.


Somaliland’s self-inflicted wounds

Somaliland Times


If one looks at the latest parliamentary mess in isolation, one would be baffled by what is happening. But if one sees it in the context of what has been going on for the last few years, one will notice that it is part of a pattern of manufactured, unnecessary and avoidable crises which appear in Somaliland suddenly and out of nowhere every few months and inflict great damage on the young republic. First there was the dispute about the impact (or “saamaynta” to use a much abused Somali word) that the Embagathi conference was going to have on Somaliland. Then there was the maneuverings by some parliamentarians to sack the speaker simply because they were unhappy with him which precipitated his resignation. Now some members of parliament are at it again. This time they want to impeach the president for alleged corruption and losing control of Sool region.

On the face of it, these are serious charges. But they have several problems. The most obvious one is why they didn’t present their case against the president all these years and waited until now? Secondly, the reasons they gave for their drive to impeach the president are not the real ones. The real reasons, which are widely known, have to do with the coming parliamentary elections. Some of them are angry with the president for insisting on elections because they see little chance of being elected. Some are upset with him because his party, UDUB, would not back their candidacy. While others have some other misgivings about the elections or the president.

One of the unfortunate consequences of the impeachment drive was the disagreement that surfaced between the honorable speaker of the Parliament and his first and second deputies. These three gentlemen are some of the pillars of the country and we trust what happened was just a passing a cloud. Mr Qaybe is one of the elder statesmen of Somaliland and should always be accorded the respect and honor he deserves. We condemn any signs of disrespect, threats or intimidation toward him or any Somaliland citizen.

To the parliamentarians involved in the latest crisis, we say: the elections are going to take place soon. No amount of diversion and stumbling blocks are going to stop it. They are going to take place not just because the president wants it but because the people want it, the international community wants it and Somaliland’s democratic process requires it. So be good citizens and get ready for elections instead of doing further damage to your credibility.

There is an American saying: if it talks like a duck, walks like a duck, and feels like a duck, then it’s a duck. Somaliland today talks, walks and feels like a sovereign state. The latest symbol of this was the spectacle of one of modern Africa’s founding fathers, a former head of state, Dr Kenneth Kaunda disembarking from the Airlines of another sovereign state, Ethiopia, at Egal international airport.

Somaliland has come a long way, but it still has a long, hard road ahead of it. Somaliland’s people expect their political elite to focus on consolidating what has been achieved, and to make plans for the tasks ahead. One way Somaliland’s political elite can help the country is by breaking the habit of manufacturing one crisis after another.


African Union Discusses Somaliland’s Independence

Addis Ababa, May 14, 2005 (SL Times) – Somaliland’s Independence was brought to the table after a fact-finding mission came recently to Somaliland on an official trip that lasted one week. It has been reported that the fact-finding mission’s report was given to the AU’s Chairman, Mr. Alpha Omar Konare.

This is the first time that the Somaliland issue, including the question of its identity and self-determination, was brought to the forefront of the AU.

The AU’s fact-finding mission’s report was handed to the AU’s chairman, Mr. Alpha Omar Konare. But the contents of the report is not yet known. It has been reported, however, by African diplomats in Addis Ababa, that some African regional powers are pushing for Somaliland’s independence. Whether all 52 member states of the AU will vote for Somaliland’s independence remains to be seen.


Somaliland’s Diplomatic Progress and the President’s Speech

Somaliland Times


Somaliland’s patient and persistent diplomatic efforts seem to be finally paying off. One only has to look at the steady stream of high-level diplomats and statesmen that have been visiting Somaliland in the last few months. There was the vice-chairman of the African Union, the British delegation, and now one of the founding fathers of modern Africa, H.E Dr. Kenneth Kaunda is in Hargeisa. There was also President Dahir Rayale Kahin’s superb interview in al-Jazira where millions of Arabic-speaking people watched him explain Somaliland’s achievements. Right now while Somaliland is receiving statesmen, Somaliland’s foreign minister is in the United States discussing bilateral issues with the US government. Somaliland is definitely a country on the move. Even the BBC Somali Service had to admit the momentum toward recognizing Somaliland that is building up in the African Union.

President Dahir Rayale Kahin came to the May 18th celebration knowing full well that the diplomatic winds are now in Somaliland’s favor, which put him in a strong position from which to address a host of questions. His performance was robust and engaging. He worked his audience and they responded. The only sour note was some of the harsh language the President used against the opposition. As the President of Somaliland, he should have been more restrained. Parliament should also know that it’s not just the president, but many Somalilanders are fed up with their antics. Members of parliament should be busy preparing for elections instead of trying to blackmail the president with the threat of impeachment.


Col. Abdillahi Yusuf Asks US To Terminate The Trial Of Ali Samater
And Others Accused of Crimes Against Humanity

Hargeisa, Somaliland, May 14, 2005 (SL Times) – In a letter to the U.S Foreign Secretary, Col. Abdillahi Yusuf’s homeless government-in-exile requested from the United States government the termination of the legal proceedings against Ali Samater and others accused of war crimes against humanity.

Ali Samater was the former prime minister and secretary of defense during Siyad Barre’s dictatorial regime. He is now facing charges in the US of having committed crimes against humanity during the brutal war against the civilian populations in what was then called North Somalia and now is the Somaliland Republic.

Africa Watch estimated that 50,000 people were killed during the bombardment of the civilian population, and 300,000 had fled across the border to Ethiopia.