It has been a contrasting week for Somaliland, on the one hand the recently completed agreement with Dubai World Ports on the Berbera facilities, is juxtaposed against the dreadful events in Las Anod.
The Dubai World deal is a first for Somaliland. It is the most comprehensive and lucrative investment in Somaliland, ever.
After more than 26 years of pinching every penny and surviving on its meager resources and remittances, along with a few generous support from friendly nations and international organisations. Somaliland is able to aggressively seek investments, and the Berbera agreement will be the first of many.
Somaliland is and has always been open for business.
But for every silver lining, there is always a dark cloud. The recent events in Las Anod are not only regrettable but they are also sinister and odious. It is quite clear that some of the people of that city are being instigated by nefarious elements from outside.
There have been recent assassinations of prominent local people in the city, with the specific intention of placing the blame on the Somaliland authorities. It is a classic tool of the insurgents, designed to foster hatred and enmity between the local residents and the regional administration.
We all know that Somaliland’s “neighbors” do not want voter registration to take place in Sool, because they are not able to hold their own free and fair elections. They must try and lower Somaliland to their base level. But, there will be a voter registration and the people of Las Anod and Sool, as well as, all of Somaliland will exercise their right to a free and fair vote.
But, there also must more efforts by the administration of President Ahmed Mohamed Mohamud “Silaanyo” to win the hearts and minds of those who seem to be disgruntled among the populace.
Although we have the Eastern Regions Development Tax, I sincerely doubt those angry people are interested in hand-outs. Their concerns must be addressed and resolved. Above all, they must be convinced to ignore the entreaties of those who want to see the peace, progress and democracy in the country damaged.
Allaa Mahad Leh