|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
Egal Views Recent Hargeysa
London BBC World Service in English
1705 GMT 17 Nov 1994
[Interview with Muhammad Egal, Somaliland leader, by correspondent Robin White on 16 November; place not given-from the "Focus on Africa" program]
It has been a bad week for the Somaliland's leader, Muhammad Egal. A militia group that had been dislodged from the airport launched an attack on the center of the capital, Hargeysa, hitting the police station and the central market. The Army moved in and pushed the gunmen out of the center of the town but there were reports of continuing clashes in the outskirts. Last night, Muhammad Egal told us that today the Army would continue mopping-up operations and finish the job. Well, it seems there has not been much fighting today but that it is far from over. Robin White asked Muhammad Egal what was going on:
[Egal] At this particular moment, the leadership of our security forces are in session, and they are planning how best to do the flushing out of the remnants of these young militiamen and those who mistakenly and foolishly threw their lots in with them yesterday. So, the mopping up, you know, is postponed for today. It is going to start, you know, I don't know, perhaps tomorrow or the (?day after).
[White] So, the rebels are still in control of parts of Hargeysa?
[Egal] No, no, they are not in control; even they are all in hiding, you know. They are all in hiding; they are being hidden and abetted, you know, by.... [pauses] in certain areas, you know, but they are not in control of anywhere.
[White] But they are still in Hargeysa?
[Egal] Some of them are.... [pauses] Yes, some of them are still in Hargeysa, yes.
[White] Are you prepared to?
[Egal] No, no, no [laughs]. That is out of question. Was John Major prepared to negotiate with the IRA? That is the same thing here, you know. Over one year and a half, you know, I have been following a policy of peaceful persuasion of these people, and I have been singularly successful. Most of the other militia groups have accepted my peaceful overtures, you know, and they have disarmed voluntarily. This particular group has proved recalcitrant. What they have done now, you know, they have killed over 100 people, you know. Since last month, they started becoming terrorists, terrorizing people all over Hargeysa. I think they have gone beyond the belt. There is no question of talking to them anymore, except through the point of a gun.
[White] What exactly do they want? Do you know?
[Egal] Well, the whole thing, you know, these people are young people, you know, who have been living in the south of the country by their guns for the last two, My predecessor, who was so unbelievably incompetent you know, could not do what Isaias Afwerki has dog Eritrea. Since 1991, these young boys have been free fighters. He could have told them like Isaias did; down your arms and take a shovel and build the country and they would have done the same, exactly like Eritrean freedom fighters have done. But unfortunately that incompetent man has missed that opportunity they are for two years-no, three years now-they It been living a lawless life, and unfortunately, the cult of violence has taken root in them, and, now that they are a cancer which must be (?extricated), you know must be cut off from the community.
[White] But the truth is that you have not been able to deal with them yet? Are you sure you can deal with them?
[Egal] Put that question to me three days from now.
[White] So, it will be over in three days?
[Egal] It will be over, yes, definitely. [end recording]
Somaliland's Egal Comments on Continued Fighting
London BBC World Service in English
1515 GMT 1 Dec 1994
[Telephone interview with Somaliland leader Mohamed Egal by correspondent Elizabeth Ohene on 1st of December/1994; place not given; from the "Focus on Africa" program first paragraph announcer introduction]
It's two weeks since militiamen stormed into the center of the Somaliland capital, Hargeysa, attacking the police station and the central market, apparently bent on the overthrow of the territory's leader, Mohamed Egal. Egal's forces drove them out of the center, but although he keeps saying the mopping up operation is all but over, sporadic fighting keeps breaking out. And today, Mohamed Egal says there have been more clashes. On the line, Elizabeth Ohene asked him what has been going on.
[Begin recording] [Egal] These are the young militia who used to be in control of the international airport in Hargeysa.
[Ohene] And who are they loyal to?
[Egal] They are at nobody's service, but the international airport they were controlling was a very lucrative thing for them. They were taxing the incoming planes, they were charging immigration fees to the people who were coming into the country. They were, you know... [pauses] it was a very lucrative activity, you know, for them and having been evicted from there, you know, that's just the reason why they are fighting. Now coming back to yesterday, it was the third time that they have launched such an attack on the city.
[Ohene] Were there any casualties yesterday?
[Egal] As far as the other side's casualties is concerned, which are supposed to have been too... [pauses] quite a number, you know, I don't know many, I don't have any headcount, but as far as the security forces are concerned there are six deaths and about 20 wounded.
[Ohene] Now, President Egal, many people have been calling us and telling us that you don't really control much of Hargeysa any more.
[Egal] Well, unfortunately, you know your representative here, you know, that young lady came here and she should have been the one to... [pauses], you know, to stand witness to that, you know. She was all nervous, you know that even when she came to my office and was asking me a few questions, you know, she was (?an old berry), you know, her eyes were jumping from one end of the room to the other, you know, as if there were cobras, you know, buried in every place. But the point is that I am in control not only of Hargeysa, I am in control of all the country.
[Ohene] Do you know what kind of size are fighting young men? How many are they?
[Egal] (?I don't know).
[Ohene] How many of these young men are there?
[Egal] Well, I didn't count them but the group who used to hold the Hargeysa International Airport used to be about 200 I think.
[Ohene] So what are you proposing to do about all this, Mr. Egal?
[Egal] Ah well, you know, our security forces, we have not taken any initiatives so far, you know, all the initiatives were coming from them, you know. They were attacking and every time, you know, we were reporting their attacks, you know, and they were losing a lot of people and a lot technicians. Yesterday was the worst day for them. Our intention is within the next... [pauses] within this coming week, to just to drive them out of the whole city, destroy all their vehicles, and try to write the final chapter of this very, very sorry problem.
[Ohene] Now, you know your predecessor, do you think that his point of view has any support in Somaliland now?
[Egal] It is very difficult to answer that, you know, I would be a magician you know, because really how can you answer, how can you read into the mind of a man who led the country for two years and then three years before that as freedom fighter? And then all of a sudden, you know, turns around, you know, and says that this country does not deserve independence, you know, and to have sovereignty and stand on its own? It is very, very difficult thing, you know. How can you read into a mind like that, you know? I mean even Milton-you know, he was writing about Lucifer, you know, in hell-you know, he was at a loss to get the proper adjectives, you know, for that because you can't read into evil minds like that. [end recording]
Egal Imposes State of Emergency
Hargeysa: Radio Hargeysa
Voice of the Republic of Somaliland in Somali
1200 GMT 2 Dec 1994
A statement released by the presidency of the Republic of Somaliland, says that a state of emergency has been imposed on the Republic of Somaliland. The statement added that after considering the Public Protection Law No. 21, enacted on 21 October 1962; after taking into account Article 30 on the pledge made toward the Republic of Somaliland; in line with the approval made by the Somaliland Council of Elders; and after considering the situation in the Republic of Somaliland; the president of the Republic of Somaliland decreed:
1. The implementation of the state of emergency;
2. The state of emergency will stay until it is clear that the country has returned to normal;
3. During the state of emergency the president of the Republic of Somaliland has the power to order the arrest and detention of anyone believed to have been involved in activities detrimental to peaceful coexistence and the very existence of Somaliland;
4. Anyone found guilty of anti-government propaganda and other anti-Somaliland activities through the use of telephone, radio, or by means of land, sea, and air transport shall be arrested and detained and then brought to court to answer for their crimes;
5. Telephones, radio equipment, vehicles and transport, the ones mentioned above, shall be confiscated;
6. Before the president reaches decision to confiscate assets, he will seek advice and suggestions from the security committee;
7. During the state of emergency, the security committee composition is as follows: the president of the Republic of Somaliland, the vice president, the minister of internal affairs, the minister of defense, the commander of the National Armed Forces and the commandant of the national police force;
8. This decree shat: be known as the Executive Decree for the State of Emergency;
9. This decree shall last as long as the state of emergency is in place.
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.