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Published On: Sat, Mar 28th, 2015

Somaliland:SL-Somalia Talks has been paralyzed by Mogadishu leaders, confirms the President

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DSC_0191He appeals for the presence of wider international communities in case of further talks as Mogadishu reneges in all agreements and commitments

By M.A. Egge
The President of the Republic H.E. Ahmed Mohammed Mohamud Silanyo has made it clear that SL-Somalia Talks have been paralyzed due to the reneging of all agreements and commitments by the Mogadishu leaders hence has appealed for the presence of wider international communities in case of further talks.
He also said that contrary to the rumours doing rounds, the state has not leased the Berbera ports management to any foreign agency.
Similarly, the President once more shed light on the pragmatic steps the government has taken to develop the country and make changes for the better amongst the society and has appealed for concerted efforts to curb further environmental degradation.
In his fifth speech to the joint parliamentary assemblies, the President made it clear that his government was always at hand to solve any issue that needs being addressed in conciliatory mode at any time.
He at the same made it clear that the schedule of the forthcoming general elections has to be re-stated following hints from the electoral commission that sheds light on its demand.
The president also supported the Arab League’s stand as concerns the Yemen situation and reiterated on SL’s stance on cooperating with the international community as concerns the general security of the region.
Generally, the President’s speech was as in the following loosely translated excerpts:-
In the name of Allah the most merciful the most Beneficient,
Assalamu Aleikum,
Honourable Speaker and Honourable members,
This is the fifth constitutional speech that I hereby give to the assemblies in almost the five years that I have been the Head of State.
He also called for the addressing of any national political hiccups through consultative dialogues and in brethren ship but within the ambits of the constitution.
A lot of development has taken place in this period that has reflected positively on the lives of the populace.
Examples of such developments are the water resources and distribution projects going on all over the country.
That (water project) of the city alone is expected to reach 90% of the residents by the mid of 2016 (next year).
It is well known to you that the educational and health sectors have made tremendous steps.
On the economic side we have put more efforts on roads infrastructure on both, within the towns, and those networking across the provinces.
So far 300kms has been dealt with and 100km more are planned for this year.
Two ultra-modern airports of international standards have been established (through upgrading) at Berbera and Hargeisa.
30 buildings that headquartered ministerial and state agencies have been rehabilitated (or reconstructed) thus phasing out the old colonial buildings.
All the developments that have taken place have been facilitated by the blessing of God and the solidarity of/ between the state and the members of the public.
Registration and Elections
We have reached at the time when the general elections were to take place (presidential and parliamentary).
However according to hints brought forth by the National Electoral Commission, the day of the elections will have to be re-scheduled.
I would like to clarify it here categorically that my administration and political party had kept our part of the bargain hence have fully fulfilled it such that the elections could have been held in the time frame prescribed.
We were indebted to:
1. The formulation [(completely) or amend], the laws on registrations of persons and those of the electorate.
2. The disbursal of the electioneering fund (budget) that was required from the government.
3. The creation (naming) of the new N.E.C board.
I make it clear that we have done (made) hence dispensed with tall the three issues (conditions) required from us in its time frame as per constitution for elections to be held.
(In retro respect), however, I trust that in the occurrence of whatever hiccups (political), SL would sail through it by indulging in conciliations, dialogues, understanding, perseverance, acknowledgements, and togetherness -whether pro-government or oppositionists.
I put forward the addressing of (such) issues through consultation and in brethren ship hence within the ambits of the constitutions.
Brethren, uppermost to be prioritized are the need to put the national interests first and fore most.
Honourable Speaker and Honourable members,
You are privy to the fact that I made a long journey to the country’s’ borders along the mainland frontiers and along the coast line both in 2014 and 2015- such that I may contemplate on the needs of the populace and the country.
Our coastline is 850km long and the coastal areas from Seila to Lasqoray have special needs just as they have special resources.
Sadly we do not fish in our marines’ backyard instead outsiders massively pilferage the resources.
Our pastoralism nature is one reason we don’t have sea (water) experiences.
It is to this end and under such background that my government has planned for the salvaging and developing of the sector through SDF funding of 1.8m dollars. This is coordinated by the planning, finance and marine ministries and the coast guards.
Similarly, an ambulance that would ferry the sick through the sea has been established in the coastal areas to alleviate transportation problems.
The coast guards have been fortified (through enhanced capacity building and strength). In the same breath the fishery industry in Lughaya, Seila, Tokhoshi and Bullahar will benefit from a 3.1m USD fund from the EU through four planned projects in the sector.
Hon. Speaker and members,
This year’s (2015) long journey that I took up-country crisscrossed pastoral areas.
It came to my attention that the pasture-lands are now limited to the livestock and given that the industry is the country’s economic back bone, vis-à-vis the changed social lifestyles of urbanizing the country-sides, the situation is bleak.
So, too, the vast areas of illegally fenced-off lands by individuals have compounded onto the situation.
It is a fact that if the state, the people, the pro-government and the oppositionists do not work in unity and in solidarity to address environmental issues, the country will certainly turn into pure desert.
The state has made efforts in thus area of environmental issue by directing the ministry concerned in connection with that of livestock and agriculture to revitalize the efforts.
I appeal to both assemblies of the August House to support us in this endeavour and help in curbing further degradation of the environment.
Berbera Port
We have, for a while, been indulging in the search for the ways and means of soliciting for the investiture in/of major state coffers, amongst them the Berbera port.
However to allow any agency to run the port, we have to engage in a rigorous task of evaluations such that we can get the right choice; as such advisory and consultancy help are sought from the likes of the World Bank hence entails numerous and complex feasibility studies.
Those in the fore-front are:-
1. Bollore (France)
2. DP World (UAE)
3. Prime Africa (KSA)
4. Kuwaiti Logistics (Kuwait)
So far there is not even one agency that has been given any lease in the remotest sense.
At the same time there is no one who is more patriotic (or has the country’s interests at heart) more than us who have already been sworn to uphold it.
If a deal goes through to this effect, I believe it will go a long way in uplifting the standards of living for the populace.
Foreign Affairs
We have gone a long way in stepping up the lobbying and advancing of SL interests to the international community.
So far we have fledged the bilateral relations with neighboring countries, Arab countries and those in the European continent and the Americas.
The latest is the local council of Cardiff who have forwarded to both the British Premier and the House of Commons (UK Parliament) motion that seeks the formal recognition of SL.
They emulated a similar gesture made by their colleagues in Sheffield.
I thank them profusely for their gesture. And so to do we thank the Diaspora.
You know that the international community has come to terms with the notion of two separate entities of Somaliland/ Somalia.
SL-Somalia Talks
SL- Somalia talks have been going on for the past three years. It is here that the government, parliament, political parties and members of the public augmented it.
The important essence and understanding of the meetings was of the fact that there was to be respect between the parties that development issues were not to be sabotaged (including investments/ investiture), and that an independent committee was to be set up and reside in Hargeisa to run the aviation sector.
Sadly, the talks have been paralyzed, have not borne fruits and have been undermined by Somalia whose leaders have reneged on all agreements.
I call upon the Somalia government to acknowledge truths and facts on the ground that we are two different entities since the 18th of May 1991 when our independence was reasserted.
Somaliland is always ready to have issues addressed in dialogues that entail two separate entities.
We thus call upon the international community to be present {part and parcel (observers)} on any further ongoing talks.
The Yemeni situation
There is security breakdown in Yemen and battles are going on.
The Yemeni war has directly adverse effects on the general security of the Red Sea and countries on its coasts, which we are part of.
SL has always worked with neighboring countries and international community especially on security along this major international business marine corridor.
The SL government supports the Arab league on their stand and is hereby against the banditry groups who are wrecking Yemen.

Security enhancement
Since I have held the country’s reins, the security arms have had their capacities and strengths greatly enhanced viz;- the armed forces, the national police, prisons and coast guards.
It is disgusting that leaders should write to friendly foreign countries and demonize our security arms such that support may be curtailed.
I say that all our security arms uphold security and maintain it. It is to them that we owe our peaceful stability.
RRU (Rapid Reaction Unity) are anti-terror Special Forces and go after serious threats to the nation.
They are not there to steal from the people, they don’t kill the members of the public and are not enemies of the people.
They were not established for such.
Puntland
Recently there has been anti-SL sentiment peddled by Puntland senior officials.
Despite the fact that their President talked to me while apologizing (and I welcome the apologies), SL is convicted to the fact that it should live in harmony with its neighbours and cooperate with them on security issues.
Conclusion
Honorouble members, as I thank you for the smooth inter-working relations between the government and the assemblies, I ask you to pass the bills before you: Viz:-
1. Anti-terror bill
2. Aviation bill
3. Gender and Minority bill
I lastly appeal to the members of the public to work with the security departments and be vigilante at all times.
Thank you.

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