|Zooming in Somaliland|
A DEMONSTRATOR OUTSIDE PARLIAMENT IN LONDON DEMANDS SELF-DECLARED REPUBLIC OF SOMALILAND TO BE RECOGNISED - March 17, 2004
SOMALILAND SEEKS RECOGNITION
President Dahir Rayaale
President Egal on Hopes for Somaliland Future
London BBC World Service in English
1830 GMT May 19, 1993
Mohamed Egal may live to rue the day the Somaliland elders, after a series of meetings in Boroma, finally elected him president to take over the running of the territory from Mohamed Abdirahman Tur, who was seen to be ineffective. But Mr. Egal may have been handed a poisoned chalice. Nobody yet recognizes Somaliland's independence unilaterally declared after the fall of Siad Barre two years ago. It is badly in need of development and aid in cash and kind, and has been going through something approaching a civil war in the past year.
In Boroma, journalist Hemish Wilson asked Mohamed Egal what he was going to do about it all:
[Begin recording] [Egal] What I intend to do is to institutionalize in the form of a government, a modern government, the achievements that the elders have established. I am going to establish an administration throughout the whole country, but I am not going to, you know, to go and establish something over the head of the people. The people have built up a rudimentary system of administration in their localities. I would like to take over that and then build it. They have got very high hopes that if we do that, you know, we will be able to establish a very effective administration within a very, very short time, perhaps within six months.
What will help us also very [as heard] in that process, is the establishment of the central police force which will be deployed in all the six regions of the country. The British Government – through the good offices of Baroness Chalker – have promised us some substantial assistance in the form of this police force.
[Wilson] So you are proposing a gradual transition from a traditional clan rule to a modern government?
[Egal] Exactly. That will be.... [pauses] That is my idea. You know, we will take .... [pauses] It is not really...[pauses] It is a modified clan rule.
[Wilson] Do you actually believe that Somaliland is capable of standing on its own feet economically? I mean, what resources do you intend to use to establish yourself as a government-as a viable country, for that matter?
[Egal] You know, in 1960 when we joined with Somalia, we had a very healthy economy in Somaliland. Our budget was balanced; we had some kind of reserves, you know, in England. At the moment, things are, you know, in a turmoil, and it will take us some time to reestablish the revenue system. But once we have established that, I am sure that we will be able to meet our immediate recurrent expenditures of the government. And once we have established that, then I think we will be able to get assistance, you know, from the World Bank, from the IMF, from the African Bank, from our friends across the Red Sea, -the Arabs.
In regard to the mineral resources of the country, there are indications from many of the experts and geologists, you know, who have researched, you know, in the country, that there is a possibility of commercially viable deposits of both oil and other minerals.
[Wilson] And how about responses from your neighbors? I mean, Djibouti and Ethiopia are obviously ...[pauses] have borders with Somaliland, and they are borders which are crossed regularly by Somaliland people. Have the governments of those two countries expressed any interest in the activities here in Boroma?
[Egal] Well, yes they have. And I have met with quite a number of people from the Ethiopian regime, you know, while I was in Addis Ababa. It is a very fortunate thing for us at this particular moment that the all-imperial regime in Addis Ababa has now been replaced by young, very forward-looking and very intelligent, and very dynamic young men. And all the problems we used to have with Ethiopia have completely disappeared. There are so many things we can share, we can use from each other. You know, they can use our port, we can use their grazing, we can, you know .... [pauses] There are so many things we can exchange.
[Wilson] And finally, how about Mogadishu? The south of Somalia, your brothers? Do you have anything to offer them?
[Egal] Yes. I think we.... [pauses] Once we establish ourselves here, I think we have a great deal to offer them. These are our people, our friends-both sides. You know, we have friends, colleagues, with whom we have worked and with whom .... [pauses] We have intimately known them. And I think we can handle the problem; we can mediate their problems much more effectively than anybody else can do. And it is one of my most urgent priorities that as soon as we establish ourselves here, we will try and give them a hand and try to bring them together and solve their problems. [end recording]
President Tuur on Hopes for Future Government
Mogadishu Voice of the Somali Republic in Somali
1700 GMT 30 Apr 1994
Tuur, First Somaliland President
Abdirahman Ahmed Ali [Tuur], the chairman of the Somali National Movement, SNM, has issued in Addis Ababa a press statement in which SNM has clarified its readiness to participate in future conferences held by Somali organizations. Mr. Abdirahman Tuur [The First President of Somaliland] said that the SNM delegation, led by himself, and the Somali National Alliance [SNA] delegation, led by Chairman Mohamed Farah Aydeed, met in Addis Ababa between 25-29 April this year, and discussed various issues including current efforts to reconcile the Somalis, the settlement of any unresolved problems, and the search for a solution that is satisfactory to all parties, which will bring the crisis to an end and prevent the further destruction of the Somali people.
In conclusion, the SNM chairman and his delegation thanked the chairman and the SNA delegation for their tireless efforts, the value that Mr. Aydeed places on the role of the SNM, and his constant invitations to talks concerning the reconciliation of Somali people. The SNM has issued the following clarifications in connection with the present situation in Somalia.
1. The experience gained during the last three years clearly shows that the path followed by the Somali people, whether in the north or south of the country, toward settling the differences which emerged from the struggle against the dictatorial regime of Siyaad Barre, have so far not achieved the goal of stability or created a government that is better than the former one for Somali people.
2. In looking at these issues, we should have realized that the Somali people cannot continue along a path that leads to national suicide or to a failure to create a reliable government or mini- states.
3. The international community has tried to help the Somali people in every way and assist them toward finding a way out of the current intolerable situation, but so far nothing has succeeded, and the international community has acknowledged that it should leave the Somali people to choose either a resolution of their differences or a reversion back to a primitive era, where they are unable to maintain sovereignty or government.
4. It is therefore indispensable that Somali organizations meet soon and realistically work together toward finding a middle ground for compromise, so as to save the Somali nation and people from ruin.
5. In considering the Somaliland situation in the north, Mr. Abdirahman said the time had come when people should realize that the international community does not accept the path so far pursued by Somaliland toward recognition. The international community has clarified that it is up to Somalis to decide whether they will remain as one country or disintegrate into smaller different countries. Mr. Abdirahman Ahmed Ali said that Somali people living in the north and south of the country should sit down together and settle (?differences) through the wishes and rights of the people of the north and decide whether they will secede or will strengthen the unity and brotherhood of Somali people.
6. At the time the Siyaad Barre regime was toppled in 1991, the SNM had succeeded in creating peace and reconciliation among those communities belonging to the SNM as well as with others in the north. During the last several months the SNM has established contact and understanding between the SNM and other political organizations in the north. He said the SNM is now ready to make official contacts.
7. It is important that these issues be dealt with directly and that further talks take place among the various Somali groups, so as to arrive at a tangible solution to the differences and misunderstandings that have so far deprived the Somali people of a stable, tangible government. He said that the SNM will participate in all future Somali reconciliation conferences, as it has done before.
8. The SNM will adopt a position of neutrality concerning differences among the various groups, and will strive to narrow these differences in the best way, while eliminating mistrust.
9. After the SNM carries out its internal consultations and after it consults with communities outside the SNM and other political organizations, it will present a proposal based on a Federal Government, with every state having regional autonomy.
A Somali trader Shukri Ismail, 46 (R) sells her wares at a big trade fair in the centre of Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland
Women line up to vote in Hargeisa during first multiparty parliamentary elections in breakaway Somaliland
U.N. emergency relief coordinator Egeland meets Somaliland President Dahir Ryale Kahin in Hargeisa.