Somaliland CyberSpace Freedom of Speech Now

That Freedom Shall not Perish


Africa News. December 27, 2001

Refugee Returns a Strain On Somaliland - USCR

BYLINE: UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

Somali refugees are returning from Ethiopia to the self-declared republic of Somaliland, northwestern Somalia, with little international help, the US Committee for Refugees (USCR) stated in a report on Wednesday, 26 December.

"With negligible help from the international community, Somaliland continues to absorb tens of thousands of refugees repatriating from eastern Ethiopia," according to USCR. Such a massive return of refugees, albeit welcome, was "placing additional stress on Somaliland's fragile, war-torn infrastructure," it added.

Some 4,000 Somali refugees - many from the Burao area, in the Toghdeer Region of northwestern Somalia - returned to Somalia on 22 and 23 December, according to the UN refugee agency.

The Somali refugee population in Daror, eastern Ethiopia, now stands at just 2,437, and the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) hopes to be able to close the camp before the end of the month.

Since the process of voluntary repatriation of refugees to northwestern Somalia started in 1997, over 181,000 had left camps in eastern Ethiopia,

The continuing lack of meaningful assistance to returning refugees was curtailing the already weak capacity of Somaliland's government and international agencies "striving to properly reintegrate returnees", according to USCR.

Returning refugees receive an assistance package to help them get started in their former homes, including basic household items and a nine months' supply of food, according to UNHCR.

If Daror becomes the third of eight Ethiopian camps for Somali refugees to be shut this year - Teferiber and Darwanaji were closed in June - the five sites remaining will host a total of 66,876 refugees: 11,642 in Hartisheik, 11,634 in Kebribeyah, 19,849 in Camaboker, 9,811 in Rabasso and 13,940 in Aisha.


Brothers Hold Book Drive to Aid Somaliland: PSU students to host benefit party ot fund the humanitarian effort

Portland Skanner 11/14/2001 V.XXVI; N.58 p. 1

The international charity Education WithOut Borders, together with the Association of African Students at Portland State University, launches a benefit party this week to send thousands of math and science books to the African nation of Somaliland.

The benefit, Books Not Bombs, is a multimedia art and music celebration featuring photographs by Isaka Shamsud-Din, Bette Lee and Regina Jones, as well as African food, political speakers and a dance party. It's from 7-12 p.m. Friday on the third floor of PSU's Smith Center Ballroom, 1825 S.W. Broadway Ave.

Admission is free, but a donation is suggested to help pay the cost of shipping the 25,000 to 30,000 books to Somaliland, an emerging nation that is still rebuilding after years of civil war. The books are destined for the newly established Education WithOut Borders library in Somaliland, and the University of Hargeisa.

Books Not Bombs is the brainchild of three dynamic brothers born in the war-torn country formerly known as Somalia. Abdi, Mohammed and Mohamoud Hassan, all graduates of PSU, were raised in the United States. This is the result of their first campaign.

"Somaliland, which right now is the nation we're sending the books to, went through civil war," said Mohammed Hassan. "Our educational system was destroyed, as was our medical system and the entire infrastructure of the country - you're looking at a nation that has no libraries, no bookstores."

They started Education WithOut Borders in 1999, Mohammed Hassan said. "We saw a lot of organizations that are not really concentrating on humanitarian issues - they're more interested in making money."

Part of the point of their effort, Hassan said, is to promote the idea of not profiteering from relief efforts. The books they will send were donated from many sources, including Powell's City of Books employees union, the PSU library, and the Centennial School District, as well as local residents cleaning our their shelves.

Hassan said the project is also a statement against war. During the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, Somalia was like a political football kicked back and forth. Eventually, it came to rest with a dictatorial president under American control.

"The whole decade of the 1980s, the United States supported the Somali dictator, building up the nation's military but not building any schools for infrastructure," Hassan said. "Imagine if somebody bombed Portland? All the people ran away, thousands ran into the country.

"Somaliland has now been peaceful since 1991," Hassan said. "It's a dilemma: there's no war, no starvation, but the government is not recognized by any other nations right now."

The nation once known as Somalia is today divided into separate north and south section, like Ireland, Hassan said. "Death squads" control the south, but the north has progressed to the point of forming its own government with elected leaders. It is that portion residents call "Somaliland."

Somaliland is described by the United Nations as a "self-declared autonomous state." According to the United Nations Integrated Regional Information Network, last week Somaliland held democratic elections for a new leader.

Also last week, the United Nations reported that more Somali expatriates are coming home to the northern province from 12-year-old refugee camps along the Ethiopian border.

So far, an estimated 43,000 refugee displaced by violent conflict have returned to their native country, and U.N. officials have expressed hope the other 80,000 will go back home by the end of this year.

According to Hassan, the time is right for a massive effort to rebuild the former British colony's educational system. Many Somalis speak English, he said, and there is a great need for the used, but not out-of- date, science and math texts now waiting for shipment from Portland.

"When the students go to class they don't have textbooks," Hassan said. "The teachers write something on the board and the students copy those things."

Part of the difficulty in sending the books is that since Sept. 11, Hassan said, officials they'd been working with to arrange the shipment now are balking at the job

"That's the trick," Hassan said. "We collected all these books from all kinds of people of all races and religions, and now the shipping companies are saying, this place is not stable, we need insurance - it's going to cost $10,000."

Hassan said the books are to be shipped by container to Africa on Dec. 2.


The mad mullah who shamed us in Somaliland

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH(LONDON) December 20, 2001.BYLINE: By TERENCE KEALEY

American troops are now scouting the al-Qa'eda nests of Somalia. Eighteen US Rangers were murdered in 1993 in Mogadishu, the capital, and America may now settle the score. But, as in Afghanistan, so in Somalia did we Brits precede the Yanks.

It was in 1899 that Mad Mullah Mahomed bin Abdillah Hassan declared a jihad. The territory, then known as British Somaliland, was our protectorate, but the mullah wanted us out. The mullah was a precursor of Osama bin Laden. Initially our ally in various tribal skirmishes, he turned on us after he had collected some 5,000 militants. Promising his followers eternal paradise on dying in battle, the mullah wrote to the British vice-consul at Berbera, the local capital: "I like war, you do not."

Actually, we British are a violent bunch. We do like war, and by 1904 we had driven the mullah into exile in Italian Somaliland. But in 1909 he returned, bolstered by fresh men and renewed propaganda: "The country is a useless jungle. There are many stones. There are many ant heaps. The sun is very hot."

Shamefully, on the mullah's return, we withdrew our soldiers from the interior. But the mullah's cruelties drew us back to re-establish order, and in 1912 the Camel Constabulary marched on him. Yet it took until 1920 - and deaths on both sides - before we eventually rooted him out. He hid in caves, and only after the RAF bombed him did he again retreat into Italian Somaliland. There he died, of the flu.

The best account of these campaigns can be found in the Memoirs of Lord Ismay, published in 1960. General Hastings "Pug" Ismay was one of Britain's great military administrators, rising to be Churchill's chief of staff during the Second World War and, later, secretary general of Nato. Churchill wrote that they were friends who "worked for many years hand in glove".

Ismay was a decade and half younger than Churchill and, having as a youth read Churchill's books, he modelled his own career on his. Like Churchill, Ismay attended an excellent school (Charterhouse to Churchill's Harrow) and, like Churchill, he was fiercely intelligent. But he was another duffer at exams, so he was reduced to following Churchill into an Indian Army cavalry regiment, then an unintellectual branch of military life.

It was on India's unruly North-West Frontier, facing Afghanistan, that Ismay learnt to fight - and where, like Churchill before him, he played much polo. But in 1914 Ismay was sent to Somaliland and, despite his many requests to transfer to France, he was kept there until 1920. It was, though, because he was fighting the mullah and not the Germans that he survived the First World War.

On returning to Britain, Ismay discovered that he loved high-level staff work, but despite his eminence he could not save British Somaliland from subsequent mal-administration. He was appalled when, in 1940, in the face of Italian aggression, we yet again withdrew our soldiers from the interior to Berbera. There, the Italians overwhelmed us, whereas we could have held out indefinitely in the hills with friendly tribes.

We eventually retook the protectorate, but after the war - anxious to shed our imperial burdens - we gave it, remarkably perhaps, to the Italians. They left in 1960. Ismay always felt that, had British rule been maintained without disruption, the region would have been pacified and tribal warfare could have been expunged.

If America moves in now, let it show the commitment we did not. Let it prepare for a long involvement, and let it establish the institutions of order, secure government and the rule of law that we failed to implant firmly.

The author is vice-chancellor of the University of Buckingham


Meningitis Outbreak Reported in Somaliland

Africa News. December 12, 2001/BYLINE: UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

An outbreak of meningitis has been reported in Hargaysa, the capital of the self-declared independent state of Somaliland, northwest Somalia, according to the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) Weekly Epidemiological Record (WER).

Since 13 October 49 cases of the disease have reported with 6 deaths, said WHO. Laboratory tests have confirmed and identified the disease as Neisseraia meningitides serogroup A, according to the WER. This type of the disease if not controlled quickly can spread rapidly and become an epidemic, "specially in a crowded setting of a city like Hargaysa", a local doctor in Hargaysa, told IRIN on Wednesday.

In order to control the spread of the disease, 19 health facilities have been provided with surveillance and case management guidelines and local crisis committee has been activated, said WER. Local health authorities, WHO, UNICEF and nongovernmental organizations in the area are monitoring the situation.


Somalia: Somaliland Radio Hargeysa Internet service continues

BBC Monitoring Service;Dec 16, 2001/Source: Radio Hargeysa in Somali 1700 gmt 15 Dec 01 /BBC Monitoring/ c BBC.

A statement issued by the Ministry of Information today disclosed that the Radio Hargeysa Internet service would continue proving its services.

The Internet was meant to provide a service to the Somaliland community in the diaspora. In the recent past, the Jamhuuriya newspaper has highlighted allegations by the former manager of the Radio Hargeysa Internet that the radio has stopped its Internet service.

The former manager was dismissed from his job for pursuing a policy that was against the government's policy. The ministry, therefore, would like to assure citizens that the national interest will not be affected because of one person.

The radio therefore would like to assure its esteemed audience, both within and abroad, that Radio Hargeysa will continue providing the normal free Internet service.


Somaliland: Meningitis outbreak leaves six people dead in Hargeysa

BBC Monitoring Service;Dec 13, 2001/Source: Somaliland Net web site in English 12 Dec 01 /BBC Monitoring/ c BBC.

An outbreak of meningitis has been reported in Hargeysa, the capital of the self-declared independent state of Somaliland, northwest Somalia, according to the UN World Health Organization (WHO) Weekly Epidemiological Record (WER). Since 13 October [2001], 49 cases of the disease have reported with six deaths, said WHO. Laboratory tests have confirmed and identified the disease as Neisseraia meningitides serogroup A, according to the WER.

This type of the disease, if not controlled quickly, can spread rapidly and become an epidemic, "specially in a crowded setting of a city like Hargeysa", a local doctor in Hargeysa told IRIN on Wednesday [12 December].

In order to control the spread of the disease, 19 health facilities have been provided with surveillance and case management guidelines and local crisis committee has been activated, said WER. Local health authorities, WHO, UNICEF and non-governmental organizations in the area are monitoring the situation.


Somaliland: Aviation minister on official visit to Kenya

BBC Monitoring Service;Dec 10, 2001/Source: Somaliland Net web site in English 8 Dec 01 /BBC Monitoring/ c BBC.

The minister of civilian aviation, Muhammad Abdi Dheere, has left to the Kenyan capital Nairobi on official visit today.

The minister is expected to meet officials of international civilian aviation organizations to discuss the relationship between the ministry and their organizations.


Somaliland: Interior minister says death of UN official was suicide

BBC Monitoring Service;Dec 10, 2001/ Source: Radio Hargeysa in Somali 1850 gmt 10 Dec 01 /BBC Monitoring/ c BBC

Somaliland Minister of Home Affairs Abdullahi Umar Egeh today held a press conference at his office in Hargeysa and said a senior UN official, whose body was last night found at his Hotel Maan-Soor room, committed suicide. The minister said the UN official, a Portuguese national, had been sick when he arrived in the country yesterday. The official complained of throat pains and a woman working with the UN brought him some medicine.

The dead official, Fernando Sami [phonetic], was one of the UNDP staff. The home affairs minister further said the suicide was also confirmed by a Canadian expert who was accompanying the dead official.

The body of the dead official and the Canadian expert left Hargeysa Airport today at 7.30 a.m. [local time].


Somaliland president approves electoral laws

BBC Monitoring Service;Dec 8, 2001/ Source: Somaliland Net web site in English 6 Dec 01 /BBC Monitoring/ c BBC.

The president of Somaliland, Muhammad Ibrahim Egal, has released a presidential decree on awareness for the enforcement of presidential and local government electoral laws.

The president released the decree referring to the article 2283 and 11 of the constitution, after considering the approval of the electoral laws by the cabinet, and decision number GW/KF 15/200/2001 of the House of Representatives on 14 November 2001, in which they approve these electoral laws.

The president also held a press conference on awareness of the enforcement of the electoral laws in his resident today. The president said it was not easy to disguise and approve the electoral laws.

The president commenting on the constitution describing it as basic foundation of the existing of the republic of Somaliland, which is followed by the electoral laws that allow the citizen of Somaliland to elect their leaders.

He added that the constitution officially states political freedoms and the independent of the republic, and he stated that it is upon the people of Somaliland to elect in or vote out leaders and approve legal issues.

The president said it is a great honour to officially sign this electoral laws to be a law.


Somaliland president reshuffles two cabinet ministers

BBC Monitoring Service;Dec 6, 2001

Somaliland's Radio Hargeysa on 6 December

The president of the republic of Somaliland, Muhammad Ibrahim Egal, today issued two presidential decrees reshuffling the minister of finance, and minister of planning.

The presidential decree was as follows: Muhammad Sa'id Ges who was the republic of Somaliland's minister of finance was moved and is now the minister of national planning, while Husayn Farah Dodiye who was the minister of national planning is now the minister of finance.

Source: Radio Hargeysa in Somali 1700 gmt 6 Dec 01 /BBC Monitoring/ c BBC.


Yemen lifts livestock ban on Somaliland, Somalia

BBC Monitoring Service;Dec 2, 2001/ Source: Somaliland Net web site in English 1 Dec 01 /BBC Monitoring/ c BBC.

Yemen has lifted a ban on imports of livestock from Somaliland and Somalia imposed nine months ago due to an outbreak of Rift Valley Fever.

The first Somaliland livestock has left Berbera port last evening, aboard the vessel MB Salah-al-Din carrying 610 cattle and 1302 head of sheep and goats has left to Yemen.

A number of other vessels are waiting at port to ferry livestock. Since the Yemenis lifted the ban activities at the port and the livestock market have increased.

In Somaliland, where 50 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) depends on livestock production and trade, the ban has had a devastating effect on livelihoods.

Saudi Arabia, Yemen and the UAE had jointly imposed the ban on imports of livestock from the Horn of Africa last September following an unprecedented outbreak of Rift Valley Fever in Saudi Arabia and Yemen that killed more than 100 people, the first time it was seen outside Africa.


Somalia: People displaced by fighting in Puntland enter Somaliland

BBC Monitoring Service;Nov 26, 2001
Somaliland's Radio Hargeysa on 26 November
The deputy police commander of Sanaag Region [western Somaliland], Ahmad Adan (?Dahir), who toured the region with senior police officers from Baraan, Las Qori and Dahar districts returned to Ceerigaabo District yesterday.

The Ceerigaabo deputy police commander said many people, fleeing from the recent fighting in Puntland [northeastern Somalia], have crossed the common border between Somaliland and Puntland, making life difficult and causing economic hardships in Dahar District.

Speaking to our reporter in the region, [word indistinct] the commander said the police force has been deployed in several parts of the district to monitor and check the movement of people in and out of the district.

During their tour, the officials made a thorough assessment of the regional police force and the general security.

Source: Radio Hargeysa in Somali 1700 gmt 26 Nov 01 /BBC Monitoring/ c BBC.


Somaliland: Muslims clerics condemn terrorism, 11 September attacks

BBC Monitoring Service;Nov 25, 2001/ Source: Somaliland Net web site in English 24 Nov 01 /BBC Monitoring/ c BBC.

A meeting between the minister of information and ulemas [religious leaders] from various mosques in Hargeysa and a team of German journalist was held this morning in the Ministry of Information conference room.

Minister of Religion Shaykh Muhammad Sufi told the German journalists Somaliland view on the recent attack in America that the attack was inhuman and act of terrorism.

The local ulemas, replying to the German press, denied the war in Afghanistan is between Muslims and Christians. The ulemas farther stated that this is a coalition against terrorism. The minister of information, who also spoke to the journalist, said that Somaliland was against the 11 September attacks on America.


Somaliland: New independent radio, TV reportedly launched in western town

BBC Monitoring Service;Nov 22, 2001
An independent shortwave radio station and a TV station were for the first time opened in Boorama, Awdal Region [Somaliland]. The stations officially started their broadcasts this week. The radio, which went on air on Friday night, 16 November, can be heard on shortwave one, 5.5 Mhz. The radio broadcasts for 10 hours.

The new radio station was initiated by some Boorama technicians.

The head of the new Boorama radio station, Deq Mahmud Du'ale, who spoke to Jamhuuriya said the station is equipped with electronic equipment and unlike other radio stations doesn't need a transmitter or antennas.

It's also a light mobile radio and doesn't require mains power...


Somalia: Faction leader Ato on "private" visit to Somaliland

BBC Monitoring Service;Nov 20, 2001/ Source: Radio Banaadir, Mogadishu, in Somali 1700 gmt 20 Nov 01 /BBC Monitoring/ c BBC.

The chairman of the USC-SNA [United Somali Congress-Somali National Alliance], Usman Hasan Ali Ato, today flew from [Mogadishu's] Number 50 airstrip and headed for Hargeysa, the capital of the self-declared administration of Somaliland.

Ato was escorted to the airport by senior officials of his organization who described Ato's visit as a private one. Ato is expected to stay in Somaliland for three days.


BBC Monitoring Service;Nov 20, 2001/ Source: Qaran, Mogadishu, in Somali 20 Nov 01 /BBC Monitoring/ c BBC.

Somaliland: Airport, port being cleared for possible US troop deployment - paper

Ships and private aircraft which operate from the coastal town of Berbera in the self-declared republic of Somaliland have been ordered to keep off from the area. The private ships were told to stop their operations two days ago, while planes had been prevented from landing at the Soviet-constructed military base and airport long before that. The airport reportedly has the longest runway in the African continent.

Reliable sources said operations at the two ports were halted to pave way for the expected American forces, which would be carrying out operations inside Somalia. Earlier, a German newspaper reported that American and German forces were to arrive in the town of Berbera.

Recently, Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal [Somaliland's president], toured the provinces and held talks with senior American officials in the town. During his seven-day tour, Egal discussed the American forces with the area residents.

The Ethiopian government is reportedly behind the success of this arrangement. The American government had earlier disseminated reports which claimed that Somalia was harbouring terrorists.


Failures in Somalia provide cautionary lesson: Disastrous attempts to impose western solutions in the Horn of Africa should be a warning to those pondering Afghanistan's future

Financial Times; Nov 19, 2001. By MARK TURNER

For the past half century, Somalia has been a testing ground for all the political theories the outside world could throw at it: colonialism, European-style statehood, Soviet and, later, American cold war philosophies. None worked.

After its state collapsed in 1991, idealistic foreigners tried a host of new approaches - promoting "community-based organisations" and regional "building blocks". They also failed. Exasperated at a lack of progress, the outside world largely threw its hands up in despair in the mid-1990s and retreated to a position of - as one US official put it - "benign neglect".

Through it all, Somalia has remained what it always was: a rugged clan-based society in the parched Horn of Africa, where militia and tribal elders compete for influence with cross-cutting religious and business interests, and where only traditional dialogue and slow- dawning compromise brings lasting change.

As outsiders ponder a new future for Afghanistan, political analysts are saying they could do worse than to look at the lessons learned from a history of engagement, then disengagement, in this highly complex failed state.

"If, as US President George W. Bush said, the United Nations should take over the so-called nation-building in Afghanistan after the current military action is finished, then maybe it can draw some lessons from Somalia's instructive experiences," says Randolph Kent, the UN's resident co-ordinator for Somalia, from his Nairobi office.

There are many parallels. Modern Somalia is one of the most intimidating places on earth: a dangerous and bewildering mosaic of competing factions and warlords, backed by a host of different regional interests.

A Mogadishu-based transitional government (TNG) - set up last year after months of Somali-driven talks in Djibouti, and whose main aim is to end warlord fighting - is struggling to impose some semblance of state control. But it faces continuing opposition from Ethiopian-backed warlords, who accuse it of following an Islamist agenda. The capital's port and airport remain closed, the cars have no number plates, and Somali passports - the symbol of statehood - can be bought by visitors for a few dollars.

Somalia's north-west has declared its independence as Somaliland, with its own government, and the north-eastern region of Puntland has also built a separate federal administration. While both regions had seen greater stability than the south, they now face internal power struggles and an uncertain future.

Amid this apparent anarchy, powerful businessmen across Somalia have made some remarkable advances, such as the cheapest telephones in Africa, but are accountable to no regulator. State services such as health and education have collapsed, allowing a host of religious and commercial interests to fill the gap.

On balance, say analysts, Somalia has become a living testament to the futility of political solutions driven by outsiders, where western-style state institutions have little meaning and attempts by foreigners to introduce societal change have faced constant failure.

In the early 1990s, for example, the UN was convinced that "community-based organisations" were the key to building democracy. Local groups, delighted at the prospect of funding, mushroomed. Every day UN officials would place new red pins on to aboard and delight at their progress.

But within a few years the approach had collapsed.The US retreated in ignominy after a disastrous attempt to capture a warlord in 1993, and the international mission finally pulled out of Mogadishu in 1995.

Many countries, smarting at their failure, gave up on Somalia altogether. With hindsight, UN officials talk of their naivety in thinking western-style democracy could replace clan allegiances. But since September 11, the west has also learned that disengagement has serious costs. As Somalia's state retreated, Islam filled many gaps, offering schools, courts and in some places the only source of order. That was an entirely reasonable reaction by an overwhelmingly Muslim nation looking for stability, says Ibrahim Disuqi, a member of Al-Islah, a moderate Islamic organisation, who sits in the transitional national assembly.

But government opponents and many analysts say that extremism also rose. One organisation in particular, Al-Itihaad, effectively took over large swathes of territory and allegedly forged links with anti-western networks.

Although TNG supporters argue that its military power and influence has waned over the past two years, suspicions of a secret Al-Itihaad agenda, pursued through business and non-governmental organisations, remain strong. Within days of the September 11 attacks, the US placed Al-Itihaad on a terrorist list. Last week Washington and its allies also closed down Al-Barakat, Somalia's largest company and remittance bank, claiming it was funding Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network.

The question facing the west now is how to re-engage with Somalia without repeating past mistakes.

Walter Kansteiner, the US undersecretary of state for Africa, believes the US has learned from experience. The US will initiate a more pro-active dialogue with Somalis in future, but it has no intention of reviving its early-1990s zeal.

"The lesson learned is this," he says. "Total benign neglect is problematic; but total engagement and obsession is problematic as well."

The challenge now, he and others argue, will be to offer support for Somali-bred solutions where needed but to resist any temptation to push the process in any one direction, and to engage with reasonable people looking to restore stability, but not to take sides.

If it happened, it would be little short of revolutionary in a region where outsiders tend to teeter from one extreme to the other and pick local allies to achieve their aims. But unless it does, Somalia will remain a constant thorn in the west's side, Kent believes. "We have to learn how to engage, but not impose," he says.

It is a lesson gleaned from hard experience. Whether it will also be applied in Afghanistan is another matter.
Copyright: The Financial Times Limited 1995-1998


BBC Monitoring ;Nov 16, 2001; Radio Hargeysa in Somali 1700 16 Nov 01/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

Somaliland: Expired drugs incinerated in central town

Burco [central Somaliland] town's mayor, yesterday participated in an exercise in which the two tonnes of expired drugs belonging to Liban Pharmacy, which is owned by Burco's businessmen community, were incinerated.

The drugs were discarded by Liban Pharmacy soon after they expired. Burco's mayor Muse Abdi Muhammad, who spoke during the occasion, urged drug dealers to safeguard people's health by exposing expired drugs. The mayor hailed Liban Pharmacy which carried out the exercise.

The mayor urged other companies to follow Liban's example and said the health department of Burco's local authority will inspect drugs stores for expired drugs.


BBC Monitoring ;Nov 16, 2001; Radio Hargeysa in Somali. 1700 16 Nov 01/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

Somaliland: New political party sets up youth wing

A function which marked the creation of UDUB [United People's Democratic Party] Party's youth and students wing, was last evening held at the HQ of a workers' organization in Hargeysa.

Husayn Hirsi, UDUB's Hargeysa regional chairman, who spoke during the occasion, thanked the youth who organized the function and said current peace, which needed to be strengthened, was realized through hard work, suffering and a long liberation struggle. Husayn Ali Hirsi briefed UDUB's youths and students on the current transition to multi- party politics, stressing that students should shun clanism, devote most their time in studies and not get too involved in politics.

The chairman of UDUB party's students and youth wing, Mubarak Abdi Farah, who spoke during the occasion, said the youths were from the country's six regions, higher institutions in Hargeysa and Hargeysa university's faculty of education.


BBC Monitoring ;Nov 12, 2001; Xog-Ogaal web site, Mogadishu, in Somali 12 Nov 01/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

Somaliland: President visits northeastern district

Muhammad Ibrahim Egal, the president of Somaliland's administration yesterday visited Ceerigaabo [northeastern Somalia] town, Sanaag regional HQ.

He was received by thousands of his supporters, including Suldan Sai'd Suldan Abdisalam. A string of horses was at the airport to mark his first visit to the town. Egal, who had visited Togdheer Region [central Somaliland], will today hold a meeting with elders and professionals from Sanaag Region. Egal's tour of the two Somaliland regions is seen as an election campaign for early next year's presidential polls.

This will however, not be appreciated by his political opponents who want to contests the presidency. His opponents claim Egal is using his position to favour his party to win the next presidential elections - his fourth presidential term.


Financial Times; Nov 9, 2001.By EDWARD ALDEN, ROBERT SHRIMSLEY and MARK TURNER

Closing down bank 'will hit Somalis' TERRORIST FINANCE:

Aid agencies and economists in Somalia have warned that the US decision to close Barakat, the country's largest remittance company, could push the country, already reeling from civil war and famine, into the hands of extremists.

The US and its allies this week began shutting down the company's operations, saying it had skimmed off tens of millions of dollars to fund the terrorist operations of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network.

US officials said the Dubai company's chairman, Ahmed Nur Ali Jim'ale, was a close bin Laden associate. But to many ordinary Somalis, living in a country without formal banks, Barakat - a business that encompasses financial services, telecoms and construction - is the only way to access money from their relatives abroad. Remittances are the country's largest source of foreign exchange, estimated at Dollars 500m a year, and dwarf foreign aid flows. The transfers are highly efficient and attract fees of up to 6 per cent.

The impact of closing Barakat on Somali citizens underscores the dilemmas of the US war on terrorism. Much as Afghani civilians have become victims of the war between the US and al-Qaeda, the effort to crack down on terrorist financing is likely to produce many unintended victims.

Even before this week's announcement, international attention on Somalia's remittance banks after September 11 had caused money transfers to decline by as much as 50 per cent in some areas, and the United Nations, which also uses the banks, raised concerns last month.

"In the region we work, 50 per cent of people are completely dependent on these funds," warned Elkhidir Daloum, Save the Children's Somalia programme manager.

"If people are not transferring money, matters could get drastically worse."

While other Somali remittance operators could help bridge the gap, such as Dahab-Shil and Amal Express, their operations are also likely to be affected.

Somalia's economy has already suffered severely over the past year from bad weather, border closures and a ban on livestock exports to the Gulf.

Daloum and others fear that Somalis, many of whom condemned the September 11 attacks in the US, might be driven into the hands of extremists.

Roland Marchal, from the Paris-based Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales, said: "If the US wants to marginalise the fundamentalists and get support from the Somalis, they are acting once again in the wrong way," he said. "The US focus on Barakat has had two major effects. Somalis in the diaspora are very reluctant to send money since they could be targeted, and the agents are stopping operating at a time when fresh money is needed more than ever.

"It is easy to see demonstrations in the coming week in Mogadishu: fundamentalists will use that to get social support, and secular or open-minded Muslims will be easy targets for them."

While acknowledging that Barakat is used for both legitimate and illegitimate purposes, US Treasury officials believe the economic impact on remittances to Somalia will be limited.

"There are alternative remittance systems to Somalia," said one official. "Moneygram has an office in Mogadishu. Western Union operates on the borders. There are plenty of opportunities to find alternative remittance systems which will ensure there will be no adverse collateral consequences to families in Somalia."

Yusuf Jumale, Barakat's vice-chairman, said he was "dismayed and really shocked" at the US action - and denied any link with al-Qaeda or bin Laden.

"The first time we heard of this man was when the Americans bombed him in Afghanistan," he said. "We are surprised the American government listened to the propaganda put out by our enemies."

No US authority had asked the organisation anything, said Jumale, reiterating the bank's willingness to open its books to any authorities. "Our lawyers even called the State Department recently and asked if there were any problems - they said no."

But a US Treasury official yesterday reiterated that "we are confident in the intelligence information we have".

The US had begun tracking the operations of Barakat as far back as 1999, suspecting links to al-Qaeda financing, according to former US officials.

In criminal charges laid on Wednesday against the president and treasurer of Barakat's North American operations, US customs officials alleged that the company was operating an illegal wire transfer business and appeared to have structured the transactions to avoid detection by US law enforcement.

UK offer to co-ordinate intelligence

Gordon Brown, the UK chancellorof the exchequer, has offered London as an international clearing house for all intelligence on terrorist finances, writes Robert Shrimsley.

He has told Paul O'Neill, the US Treasury secretary, Britain's National Criminal Intelligence Service could collate and distribute information on possible terrorist money laundering. "It will be necessary to build up an international database on this so we can take effective action against all groups involved in terrorist action," Brown said.

He plans to use next week's meeting of the IMF's international monetary and financial committee to ask all member countries to ratify in their domestic laws, the eight principles governing surveillance and seizures of suspicious transactions.


Agence France Presse.November 6, 2001.ADDIS ABEBA

Some 47,500 Somali refugees return home from Ethiopia

Almost 47,500 Somali refugees have been voluntarily repatriated from neighbouring Ethiopia this year, the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, said in Addis Ababa on Tuesday.

Some 4,900 of them were taken home from eastern Ethiopia in late October in three UN road convoys, according to a UNHCR official. About 6,400 others are this month due to leave a camp at Daror, also in the east, for Hargeisa, the capital of the self-declared autonomous state of Somaliland, which lies to the northwest of the rest of Somalia.

Most of the refugees left Somalia three years ago to flee factional fighting there.

The UN's World Food Programme gave them food and household tools to last them nine months as well as plastic sheeting and 30 US dollars each.

Daror camp is due to close by the end of the year, becoming the third of eight camps for Somali refugees in Ethiopia to do so.

Last year, some 139,000 Somali refugees were voluntarily repatriated.


BBC Monitoring; Nov 5, 2001; Jamhuuriya web site, Hargeysa, in Somali 4 Nov 01/BBC Monitoring/(c)BBC

Paper says Somaliland-Djibouti border reopened following talks

The Djibouti government has officially reopened its common border with Somaliland, according to a government statement at a news conference which was reported on Djibouti radio.

Last evening's [3 November] decision by the Djibouti government follows a meeting by officials of the two countries in Djibouti, in which recent differences between the two sides were discussed. Djibouti is fulfilling resolutions reached during the talks and expects Somaliland to reciprocate.

The statement also dealt with issues concerning Somalia. The statement said Djibouti was giving special consideration and full support to the outcome of the Arta conference which was held in Djibouti.

The Somaliland-Djibouti border was closed in April following misunderstandings between the two sides.


BBC Monitoring ;Nov 5, 2001/Jamhuuriya web site, Hargeysa, in Somali 4 Nov 01/BBC Monitoring/(c)BBC

Somaliland: Government says visa not necessary for ethnic Somalilanders

The Internal Affairs Ministry has clarified that ethnic Somalilanders holding foreign passports will not require visas to enter Somaliland.

This clarification was prompted by a decision made by the Somaliland government on holders of foreign passports wishing to travel to Somaliland.

Fourteen organizations owned by Somalilanders in the Scandinavian countries led by the Somaliland Information Centre, which had its HQ in Copenhagen, have contacted Jamhuuriya on the matter. We contacted the director-general of the Internal Affairs Ministry, Abdirahman Muhammad Ajab and the head of the immigration department, Ali Qodah.

The two officials said the government's decision on holders of foreign passports would not affect Somalilanders and that Somalilanders in the diaspora would not require visas...


Somaliland: Seminar on circumcision held in Hargeysa

BBC Monitoring ;Nov 5, 2001/Jamhuuriya web site, Hargeysa, in Somali 4 Nov 01/BBC Monitoring/(c)BBC

A seminar on protection and reproductive health of young girls was formally closed on the evening of 3 November at Hargeysa Club.

The seminar which was held from 29 October to 3 November at Hargeysa's Mansur Hotel, was attended by over 150 participants from international organizations and some African countries where Pharonic circumcision, now referred to as female genital mutilation, is practised. Participants came from Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan, Djibouti, Somaliland and Somalia...

Shamis Dirir , who is the director of [UK's] Black Women Health and Family Support, which organized the meeting, thanked participants for their presentations...


Djibouti: Government reopens common border with Somaliland

BBC Monitoring ;Nov 4, 2001; ADI news agency web site, Djibouti, in French 4 Nov 01/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

The Djibouti government has decided, with effect from today, to officially reopen the common border along northwestern Somalia [Somaliland].

A Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation press statement said that the government decision was a humanitarian response to the wishes of local people living on both sides of the common border...


BBC Monitoring ;Nov 4, 2001; The Republican newspaper,Nov 3, 2001

Somaliland: Brief Analysis and Evaluation of the Country's Educational status.

Background.
The declaration of the government of Somaliland coincided with a time when the country's economy, education and culture were grossly deformed by a period of reactionary government followed by a period of anarchy. The embryonic government that had just came into existence had serous challenges to face; the huge task of reversing a social system that was completely ruined. On its way to achievement, the government has undergone quite unpredictable and uncertain future. After almost a decade from its establishment, it can be praised for its great success in managing to sort out these state-hindering knotty problems, and on top of that, re-establishing the collapsed social integral system.

Educational sector had its own share of setback inherited from the demise of Somali national government. The highly centralized government-run system of education that used to exist during Barre's era had served poorly for the purpose of the community. Its collapse and disintegration offered a special opportunity for the development of an educational system that is more attuned and adjusted for the political system and cultural outlook of Somaliland people. As with other social services, the absence of effective and functional educational authorities led first and foremost to the broad privatisation of education, with both negative and positive consequences.

Formal education was officially restored in Somaliland in 1991, following the establishment of Ministry of Education, whose major responsibility was to revive and co-ordinate the country's disoriented educational system. Since that time the status of the country's education started to refurbish considerably. The number of schools, students and teachers that are in the system continued to rise gradually. The system of education became somewhat more co-ordinated then ever, the people, especially the young, regained hope and sense of direction after years of despair and new forms of education began to evolve.
System of Education.

Somaliland education puts a heavy emphasis on producing individuals with enriched moral and cultural aspects of life. It also priorities the need for training people with acquisition and application of relevant skills with life. Education of this country is structured like a pyramid, with broad base primary education, a narrower selection of secondary schools and a very small number of universities and colleges at the top. The curriculum of these educational institutions, except for privately owned ones, is a unified one designed by the government.

Somaliland a country where 70% of its population are illiterate, spotlights on basic education, which as they say, provides every citizen, the necessary skills to exploit his/her surrounding environment effectively. Nonetheless, there is a long way to go. In rural population, more than 95% of them have education below the minimun level.

To make matters worse, the condition of higher education is not much better. The country has got only two recently established universities; Amoud University and University of Hargeisa. Apart from few Somali national university alumni and few other expatriate educators from abroad, most of the white-collar professionals, whether in public or private institutions, have no education beyond secondary. Trade, the main sector of employment and productivity in this country, is exclusively dominated by inept and untrained blue-collar workers.

The system of education in this country is non-selective. As there is no diversified choices in education, all students must take one path and end up with the same results. According to many educationists, this highly restricted educational system suppresses personal talent and preference , encouraging educational wastage at the same time.
School, Teacher and Curriculum: A comparative Perspective.

Although there has been significant progress made for the last ten years, school education in Somaliland is still of poor quality. Most of the schools that exist in Somaliland, whether public or private, lack at least some or most of the attributes that make schools effective. Thus, most of them fail to serve the purpose for which they were established.

Since 1991, when formal education was officially restored, the number of teachers who were in the teaching profession was increasing substantially year by year. As the Ministry of Education started from scratch and didn't have much control over the country's educational system, the recruitment of teachers was not organized in a systematic way and they have not set any objective criteria for the selection of new teachers.

Consequently , a large proportion of our teachers are untrained and unqualified. The yearly statistical report of the Ministry of Education indicates that in the academic years 1992/93 and 1999/00 the percent of untrained teachers who were in the system were 84% and 52% respectively. The government has not made much effort to classify teachers and let effective ones remain in the system. As in many countries, teaching is imperilled profession that doesn't receive the incentive and moral building factors it deserves. The government hadn't allocated any budget for the salary of teachers and other educational staff until the turn of this year. The only source of income that teachers used to have was parent's limited donations, which still play an important role in teacher motivation.

For the first years of its existence, Somaliland, with its haphazardly evolved system of education, used the curriculum of former Somalia as a temporary pattern that guides the country's educational structure. In 1997, the Ministry of Education started to discuss the idea of developing curriculum that is unique for Somaliland, transmitting the ethical and moral values to its young generations. After complex and intensive task, the Ministry of Education succeeded to publish the first full textbooks ever prepared for Somaliland primary schools. This became an important factor in encouraging students and enhancing their learning capacity.

The scheme of designing and writing curriculum for secondary schools started in 1998 and was expected to be completed in two-year time. Soon after its completion, the new curriculum began to function in all secondary schools throughout the country. These two projects were both funded by international organizations and implemented and facilitated by the Ministry of Education.

The government has not made much effort to classify teachers and let effective ones remain in the system. As in many countries, teaching is imperilled profession that doesn't receive the incentive and moral building factors it deserves. The government hadn't allocated any budget for the salary of teachers and other educational staff until the turn of this year. The only source of income that teachers used to have was parent's limited donations, which still play an important role in teacher motivation.

For the first years of its existence, Somaliland, with its haphazardly evolved system of education, used the curriculum of former Somalia as a temporary pattern that guides the country's educational structure. In 1997, the Ministry of Education started to discuss the idea of developing curriculum that is unique for Somaliland, transmitting the ethical and moral values to its young generations. After complex and intensive task, the Ministry of Education succeeded to publish the first full textbooks ever prepared for Somaliland primary schools.

This became an important factor in encouraging students and enhancing their learning capacity. The scheme of designing and writing curriculum for secondary schools started in 1998 and was expected to be completed in two-year time. Soon after its completion, the new curriculum began to function in all secondary schools throughout the country. These two projects were both funded by international organizations and implemented and facilitated by the Ministry of Education.
Student Perspective.

As time lapsed, the number of students who are in the system was increasing considerably. This encouraging and progressive trend can be sequel to many factors, the most important ones being peace and stability, improved educational quality, relatively secured economic situation and the development of more flexible system of education.
Student Dropout.

One of the most serious problems that hold sway in Somaliland education and needs to be addressed directly is student drop out rate. The extent and the severity of the problem are quite unimaginable. This can be illustrated by the fact that in some academic years student dropout reaches as high level as 60%. In other words, in these years, only 34% of the students manage to successfully complete several consecutive grade transactions. However, in the scholastic year of 1999/00, the rate was only 4. 9%, which is obviously much lower than all previous years. In the light of these shocking information, there need to be developed a strategy to combat educational wastage.
Women Education.

Officially there is no gender discrimination in Somaliland. Girls and boys are equally welcome to schools and co-education is practiced in almost all-public educational sectors. However, the number of female students lathe system is lagging a very behind that of boys. According to the data provided by the Ministry of Education, the proportion of women in public educational institutions ranges from 24 to 29%, which is relatively small.

At the same time, women's quota in the total number of professional teachers in Somaliland is still quite negligible, scratching from 6 to 10% of all teachers in the country. Although there hasn't been any scientific study aimed at revealing the underlying premises of the problem, the factor that are believed to be of great importance are generally rooted in culture, political and financial circumstance, and of course, Somali family lifestyle.
Urban-rural Student Distribution.

Primary schools in Somaliland are based in two different localities; the urban centres and rural settings. The yearly date of the Ministry of Education indicates that students are unevenly distributed throughout these two main areas. This data signifies that in the academic year of 1999/2000, 18% of students in Somaliland were found in urban centres. This insinuates the disproportionality and the seriousness of the situation. For a shift in the deteriorating condition to be seen, these need to be intensive effort to be applied in extending primary education to remote urban areas.
Private Education.

Private system of education is the second largest educational sector that exists in Somaliland. Before civil wars, the only private educational schools that used to function were Qur'anic schools. However, when the wars and social problems compelled the public system of education to cease, the need for new forms of education became astronomically higher than ever. As an immediate reaction to tackle the worsening problem, Somaliland educators managed to establish schools with wide range of subjects and that cater to the interest of the community.

As a matter of fact these new forms of institutions use widely varying didactic methods as well as medium of instruction and they conform to no common standards. These resulting diversities in curricula, teaching standards, language and quality of instruction pose obvious problem with respect to teacher training, evaluation, certification and formation of global education policy.


BBC Monitoring ;Nov 4, 2001; The Republican newspaper,Nov 3, 2001

Reliable population census is essential for successful electoral system.

In his 23rd, October press conference, President Egal said, in a respond to a question whether we need population census for the coming national elections, "it is an excuse used by those who do not want elections to take place. Before the referendum, five elections took place in Somaliland, non-of them-whether it was local or national one, had census".

He proceeded to explain what population census is used for: "We do need to have census we need it for knowing the number of our children, our schools and the unemployed but not for elections". Reliable population census has political significant, and in Somaliland lack of it remains an obstacle for achieving fair and proportional representation in government. . Egal a veteran Somali statesman-who has been involved in Somali politics for more than half century; to say population census has on political importance or use is misleading-even dangerous.

He is someone who knows very well the real nitty-gritty of Somali politics. So I don't think-unless he is out of his mind- that he is unaware of the fact that one of the root causes of Somali political crisis or discontent is and has been related to the issue of political representation. No one can deny that unfair representation on government was a key grievance of many people during the previous civilian and military governments and which eventually led to the disintegration of the Somali State. In

Somaliland, the issue of political representation has re-emerged many times and remains to be a point of contention. The parliamentary seats were allocated arbitrarily since there was no reliable census- in order to achieve a consensus among the different clans. Though in this scheme all clans are represented in the parliament and in the executive branch, many clans or beelo - the numerically the large ones-are not satisfy with their allocation, and feel that they are under-represented in the central institutions of government. Such political grievance has been one of the causes attributed to the outbreak 1994 civil conflict in Somaliland. And whether such claims are legitimate or not are very difficult to ascertain, as there is no reliable national census.

Therefore, as long as there is no reliable national census the discord within the Somaliland clans over this issue will not subside. Though Somaliland, by ratifying the constitution and legalising the political association, has taken decisive steps towards multiparty election and away from shir beeleed, the elaboration of a future electoral system remains one critical element in Somaliland's transition from "beel-based" politics towards a more formal mechanism for representation. Overcoming such an important hurdle won't be easy.

For more than one year, the lawmakers were unwilling to bring the bill on the election laws to House of Representative floor. May be due to its complexity, since some aspects of the law particularly that pertaining to apportioning of seats, and regional as well as district distribution, are controversial and divisive, could be one explanation for their reluctance.

Fearing that any debate on such controversial bill-though an early debate on the bill could have been helpful- may not produce any breakthrough and it may turn into intense and emotional exchanges, which eventually ends up in a deadlock. Similar to what we have witness when the law was brought to the House floor this month. In order to overcome the expected stalemate, it became necessary to designate a committee that explores an arrangement, which is acceptable to all.

For the comminute it was back to the drawing table without precedent or formula to follow that is acceptable to all. After going through many options and menus, they have proposed a proportional representation based on the parliamentary seats of 1960, which was based on the sixth districts that existed at that time. The proposal raised more questions than it answered. For instances, if the 1960 arrangement was fair enough, the question is did all the districts grow population wise proportionally? In another words is the current population proportional to that of 1960 in each district? Certainly, proportionally some have lost population whereas some have gained, which one is which is anybody's guess.

Feeling under-represented, at least, one clan beel has indicated publicly its opposition -justifiably or unjustifiably -to the proposed representation, before making it to the floor of House of Representative. Reliable population census is a necessary pre-condition, among other things, for designing successful electoral system, as it provides the basis for power sharing, number of parliamentary seats, bolling stations, and above all, fair proportional representation. All established democracies do conduct on regular basis population census.

In USA, recognising the significance of reliable population censes has for political representation, it has been mandatory to conduct population census in every tens years since its independence. Congressional seats are then allocated in every tens years in accordance with the new census and in the process the states that gain population pick up extra congressional seats whereas those, which lose population, lose some of their congressional seats. Nevertheless, no one can underscore its other significance, as stated by . Egal.

It appears that . Egal is determined to finish the transitional process before the end of his term. Right now, for him, the transitional process means just organising any kind of election in Somaliland-albeit that has its own risks. So he has already secured that (1.e. organising elections) for Somaliland: ultimately the parliament will reach consensus on the electoral laws and realistically elections can be held without reliable population census. In December, a round of voting will take place to elect local councils, and then at the beginning of next year, two more rounds of voting one to elect a new House of Representatives and the second to elect new President.

. Egal understands the importance of these polls. I think that he also understands the importance of reliable national census, of building political parties, and of generally establishing the institutional frame that the transitional process demands. Because he is a man with a political mission; he wants to finish what he has just started if time permits him, so that he can leave a political legacy for his people. But he is in a dilemma he is running out of time, and to complete the process successfully he needs more time- at least one more term. And that he has to seek it through ballet boxes since he ruled out any form shir beeleed conference.

His opponents and critics do not think so. They maintain that he is motivated by personal interest (process that works for his advantage) rather than promoting democratic principles. So they are consistently casting doubts about his readiness to relinquish power and his commitment to democratic transitional process or for that matter to a practical one. They see . Egal as someone who wants to hang on to power at any cost. And the ongoing transitional process as bogus process designed to make him stay in office beyond the end of his second term next year, either by election or on constitutional grounds.

In any case, history is not on . Egal's side. After ten years in the rein, the country is more or less confronting with the same political issues and uncertainty that it did ten years ago. Five more years of him may not bring any dramatic changes. Probably "more of the same" and then again back to square one. So the question is what he was not able to deliver in tens years, will he be able to do it in five years?


The Economist; London; Nov 3, 2001; Volume/Issue: Vol. 361, Issue: 8246, Pg:70

International: A patchwork of fiefs; Somalia's government and warlords

Somalia's parliament has voted out the government. So what?

BEST known for having no government to speak of, Somalia lost what it had this week. On October 28th, the prime minister, Ali Khalif Galaid, lost a vote of no-confidence, which has given him and his 84- member cabinet a month's notice to step down.

His transitional government, which was elected last year at a conference of businessmen, academics and former officials, is recognised by the United Nations, but not by many Somalis. It controls half of Mogadishu and a short strip of coastline. Southern and central Somalia is a patchwork of fiefs. The north has broken away into two separate entities: Somaliland and Puntland.

The parliament which voted Galaid out, by 141 votes to 29, meets in a former police-training college. Its old building is now in the possession of Hussein Mohamed Farah Aideed, a warlord who does not recognise the government, though he drives, with his artillery, unmolested through the capital's rubble-strewn streets.

Somalia's "opposition" consists mainly of similar gunmen, who are prepared to oppose the government but only if it dares step on their particular patch. Musa Sude Yalahow, a former driver who controls much of Mogadishu, says that a central government might be a good idea--so long as it recognised his sub-clan's ownership of the capital. Not far away is Muhammad Qanyare's turf. He joined the government--being minister of fisheries is handy for his fishing fleets--but is hardly more committed to it. He will allow the police into his area "if they can give me a good enough reason". So far they have not.

The government set about soothing tribal rivalries by sharing cabinet posts between clans and sub-clans. But the result was that ministers owed allegiance not to the government but to the clan elders who nominated them. Galaid then tried to rule dictatorially. But this did not work, either.

Most Somalis are fed up with tribal politics. Some speak nostalgically of the days of Siad Barre, the despot toppled in 1991. Many welcomed the new lot, even though the president, Abdiquassim Salad Hassan, was Barre's interior minister. But the government has failed to unite the country against the warlords. Instead, it has tried to buy them off in various ways: 15,000 ex-militiamen are now paid as policemen.

This has cost the government most of its money, and it still dare not deploy the new policemen throughout Mogadishu for fear they will return to their former masters. The Arab League has promised $400m to rebuild Somalia, but not until order returns. Peace talks began in Kenya on November 1st, but without several key warlords or much optimism.


Somaliland president reportedly ailing

BBC Monitoring ;Nov 1, 2001; Mogadishu Times, Mogadishu, in Somali 1 Nov 01/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

Reports reaching from the capital of Somaliland, Hargeysa, say [president] Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal, is ailing.

The reports suggest that Egal is suffering mainly from a liver ailment and is being treated in his native home.


Somaliland: Heavy rains wash away key bridge linking two major towns

BBC Monitoring ;Oct 28, 2001/Jamhuuriya, Hargeysa, in Somali 28 Oct 01/BBC Monitoring/(c) BBC

The heavy rains that have been pounding the western districts of Sool Region in recent days have caused the collapse of Jaleelo Bridge, eight kilometres west of Caynabo District, Sool Region.

Similarly, the heavy rains in Sahil Region in recent days have caused widespread destruction, killing livestock and inundating farmland.

Speaking to Jamhuuriya on VHF radio from Caynabo town, the deputy commissioner of Caynabo District, Muhammad Ali Ubahle, said the bridge, which was 10-metres-high, collapsed after heavy rains on 25 October. He said many vehicles that have been plying the main road linking Burco and Laascanood were stranded...


Djibouti.

Source: BMJ: British Medical Journal , Vol. 323 Issue 7315, p759, 2/3p,
Author(s): Martin, Edwin ; Martin, Peta

Abstract:Relates the author's experience working as a physician in the Somali town of Arhiba. Rate of malnutrition in the area which leads to the deaths of many children; Living conditions in the area; Lack of sanitary medical facilities and medical supplies.

It has been Eid, the Muslim festival, in Arhiba recently. People greeted each other, there was a great deal of noise, children were everywhere, and there was a perceptible lightening of the spirits.

Nothing much else changed. Arhiba, where we work, is the poorest area of one of the poorest countries in the world. The rate of undernutrition in the Somali area of the horn of Africa is 78%, compared with 68% in Afghanistan and 52% in North Korea (figures from the United Nations). In Arhiba the rate is about 90%. Twenty per cent of all children we see are so severely undernourished that they would probably die without special feeding; 26% of children in any case die before they are five years old.

Children suffering from kwashiorkor consult us every day, brought in by walking skeletons of parents. The area consists of huts and tiny houses made of tin sheets, wood, blocks, and stones. The ground is so arid that nobody can grow the odd tomato plant in his or her backyardif you don't have money you starve.

The unemployment rate is 90%. The tracks between the houses are full of large puddles of raw sewage, unless it rains, of course. On the few days a year that it rains the whole place becomes a sea of mud. Forget the pictures of refugee camps you have seen on television. There are no neat rows of tents here put up by competent Save the Children Fund staff, and no well built latrines. You see, this isn_ht an emergency.

This is normal. This is the way things are here.

We work in a clinic in the middle of this area. The clinic is built out of concrete, and has washbasins and taps, but when we arrived there was no water. Also when we arrived there was no light in the health education room, or the doctors_h room.

We are told that the level of HIV infection in Djibouti is about 10%, and about 10% of people have tuberculosis, but as we are unable to wash our hands easily between one dirty dressing and the next, we may well be spreading rather than curing disease. At the end of December a sign appeared outside the clinic saying that the World Bank was to refurbish it. If that happens it will be a luxury to have running water.

If you see a half dead babywe see about four a dayand if you want to admit it to hospital, the parents often haven_ht got the money to go across town by bus (50 francs, equivalent to 20p sterling) to get to the hospital, let alone the 3000 francs (o12) to get into the hospital. So they go away and the babies die. But they die quietly, so nobody really notices. This week we have seen a two year old baby weighing 2.9 kg and another weighing 4 kg. So far this week, as far as we know, only two babies whom we have seen have since died. You can only do so much with rehydration salts and education when you often have an empty pharmacy.

So what?_h one might say. Chest la vie, terribly sad and all that. The only problem is that it doesn't seem like that at all when you work out here. Walking away from insoluble problemssomething that seems logical when you are in the United Kingdomsuddenly seems less logical when you have a dying baby held by a marasmic mother in front of you.

The trouble is not an uncaring government. There are several excellent projects such as the polio eradication and AIDS awareness programmes run by the government. But what can any government do in a tiny country, totally desert, surrounded by wars, and therefore swamped by refugees? Add to that only one source of income, the port, and the result is misery and starvation on a scale beyond belief.

By Edwin Martin, previously general practitioner, Bedford and Peta Martin, previously health visitor, Cranfield, Bedfordshire

Source: BMJ: British Medical Journal, 9/29/2001, Vol. 323 Issue 7315, p759, 2/3p,


Copyright Economist Newspaper, NA, Inc. Source: Economist, 9/22/2001, Vol. 360 Issue 8240, p42, 1/3p.

Somalia: INTO THE VACUUM

Islam's influence is increasing

Mogadishu: HOPING to cash in on the bogeyman of the day, some of Somalia's warlords are accusing the one-year-old interim government of turning this battered country into an Islamic state. Their clan-based militias still rule large tracts of fragmented Somalia, 11 years after the overthrow of its dictator, Siad Barre. They used to fight each other, until some of them formed an alliance against the new government.

But the government has had little to do with the rise of Islam. Traditionally, Somalia had a strict and sometimes brutal social code, but its version of Islam was relaxed. The trauma of the war and the destruction of the state made people turn to God and to the only institutions still standing, Islamic ones.

Before the war, for example, only married women wore headscarves. Now virtually no woman goes bareheaded, and even young girls wear the Arab chador (many of them obtained in relief packages from Arab NGOs) wrapped nunnishly around the head and neck. In Mogadishu 50 of the 70 girls' schools are run by Arab NGOs. For 90% of Somali children, the only available schools are koranic.

Post-colonial Somalia used sharia, the Islamic legal code, for its family law and, since the breakdown of the state in 1991, it has been the only law of any kind. The first courts were established in 1993 as an emergency response to disorder in north Mogadishu. One of its judges, Sheikh Ali-Dheere, cut off a dozen or so hands and reportedly cleaned up the streets overnight. More courts sprang up, backed by Arab NGOs and policed by militias.

The government recently announced that the sharia courts would be taken over and their judges retrained alongside qualified lawyers. In theory, the new courts will have three judges, including one for sharia elements. In practice, of the 100 judges who applied for the government refresher course, 80 were from the sharia courts. So, for the time being, sharia remains.

One member of the government, Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, predicts that sharia will one day be recognised as the law of the land. But he says it will not be applied to Somalia's war criminals. "If we try the warlord killers, Americans will say, _eFundamentalists are killing people'," he claims. "So we say, _eYou do it, then'."


The Indian Ocean Newsletter, October 6, 2001, N. 966

Safety Control at Hargeysa Airport

The terrorist attacks on New York and Washington have caused Ethiopian authorities to worry about the security of the national airline's aircraft and passengers flying to Somaliland. In the middle of the week, an Ethiopian Airlines (EAL) anti-terrorist expert flew to Hargeysa to check up on the company's twice-weekly flight service which opened in late March 2001. According to information obtained by The Indian Ocean Newsletter, the man in charge of the task is Workalemhu Bogale, a specialist in mine-detecting and terrorist-fighting.

The reason for his visit to the Somaliland city close to the Ethiopian border was to determine the risks run by the EAL aircraft whose pilots already know the need to pay close attention to the acacia shrubs which surround the airport, which now may add the additional danger of serving as hiding places for terrorists. If Workalemhu Bogale's report is other than positive, EAL might simply decide to suspend its flights to Hargeysa, at least temporarily.

ION - Workalemhu Bogale is said to have been trained by the Soviet Union and its Eastern European allies in the various ways of dealing with plane hijackers. An expert renowned for his knowledge in aerial security, he was living in Germany when the Ethiopian Peoples' Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) took power in 1991. After forming a new government, its leaders asked him to come work for EAL in Addis Ababa, which he agreed to, several years ago.


Somaliland: Refugees return from Ethiopia

BBC Monitoring Service;Oct 24, 2001/ Source: Radio Hargeysa in Somali 1700 gmt 23 Oct 01./BBC Monitoring/ (c)BBC. The UNHCR, in conjunction with the Somaliland Ministry of Resettlement, today repatriated people who have been refugees in the Daror [phonetic] refugee camp in eastern Ethiopia.

The refugees, numbering 153, were welcomed in Qorburale village [untraced] by UNHCR and government officials.

Some of the refugees contacted by Radio Hargeysa said they were happy to return to their homeland.


Somaliland: President says "Islam does not condone terrorism"

BBC Monitoring Service;Oct 23, 2001/ Source: Radio Hargeysa in Somali 1700 gmt 23 Oct 01./BBC Monitoring/ (c)BBC.

The president of the republic of Somaliland, Muhammad Ibrahim Egal, today held an extensive press conference in his office. The president said Somaliland is progressing well and should not retreat from its current position.

Egal said that the self-proclaimed prime minister of the Arta faction [Somali Transitional Government], Ali Khalif Galayr, while at the UN Security Council few days ago, asked for financial assistance. But the chairman of the Security Council, a Belgium national, called the Ethiopian envoy to the UN to verify [Galayrs'] appeal.

President Egal further added that the Ethiopian envoy said that funds given to the Arta faction by Saudi government was used to destabilise and destroy the only peacefully set up Puntland administration, which has emulated Somaliland as a shining example. And now, the Ethiopian envoy said, they [the Arta group] wants funds to destroy Somaliland, when they are not even a government.

President Egal said he is very much grateful and congratulates the Ethiopian government for the appropriate and important role it is playing in the Security Council.

The president further said people of Somaliland are self-determined and know their destination.

Commenting on the international events, President Egal said that Islam does not condone terrorism, and it is a religion of understanding.

On the economy, the president said a Saudi company would be buying [Somaliland's] livestock. Regarding oil, he said the government is hopeful that Western companies would come to prospect oil. He said the work of the Chinese companies were already showing good progress.


Ethiopian envoy says Al-Itihad terrorist group exists within Somali government

BBC Monitoring Service;Oct 23, 2001/Source: Walta Information Centre web site, Addis Ababa, in English 23 Oct 01/BBC Monitoring/ (c)BBC.

Addis Ababa: Dr Abdulmajid Husayn, Ethiopia's permanent representative to the United Nations has told the UN Security Council that his county was not partial to any group in Somalia, but that it has been and will be definitely with only the people of Somalia.

Addressing the Security Council meeting, last Friday [19 October], on the situation in Somalia, Abdulmajid said: "Ethiopia was not for the Transitional National Government nor for the Somali Reconciliation and Restoration Council (SRRC). We are not with "Somaliland" or "Puntland" to be against others."

He declared: "Ethiopia has been and will be definitely with one group only: the people of Somalia".

Reacting to the position held by those he said, regarded the Arta process as the only genuine attempt at making peace and reconciliation in Somalia, Dr Abdulmajid said Ethiopia disagrees with such a position, although it too, like the UN secretary-general believes that the process was an important milestone in the search for peace and reconciliation in Somalia.

In this connection, the Ethiopian envoy to the UN took note of the numerous attempts made in Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya and Yemen towards paving the way for the Arta meeting, which he said, Ethiopia supported from the beginning.

He said Ethiopia worked hard so that this process will not be unravelled, adding that other members of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) did too. The result, he said was the 8th IGAD Summit of Heads of state and government which met in Khartoum on 23 November 2000.

Dr Abdulmajid recalled that the clear message from the Khartoum summit was that "the peace process in Somalia must continue" by including "those parties" who "have not participated in the national reconciliation efforts so far". It goes without saying, therefore, he said that for a politically legitimate national government to be in place, not only the TNG but the parties who were not at Arta have to be on board.

He further pointed out that to follow up on its decision, an IGAD delegation went to Somalia to continue the reconciliation process. The TNG rejected this. It called those who are opposed to them as "rebels" and "warlords." For, their part, the other side also reciprocated by referring to the TNG as just another faction, Dr Abdulmajid stated. He declared that, so long as the reconciliation process is not completed, no single group will command political legitimacy throughout Somalia.

Dr Abdulmajid noted that during the last 10 years, there were many occasions when Ethiopia's national security interest was threatened by terrorists with bases in Somalia and that following one such occasion in 1997, Ethiopia was forced to go after the terrorists and destroyed their camps including their headquarters. He revealed that intelligence gathered during those operations, earlier and recently have clearly established links between the Al-Ittihad al-Islamiya and Al-Qa'idah and that these terror organizations were still in Somalia.

Members of Al-Ittihad together with Al-Islah also fully participated in the Arta peace process, which involvement also made them part of the TNG, Dr Abdulmajid pointed out.

Dr Abdulmajid also took note of what he said was the "dire humanitarian needs in Somalia" describing it "a question of immediate life and death", and expressed hope that relief will reach all those in need in time.

Dr Abdulmajid however also warned that for Somalia to tackle problems of humanitarian nature and many others, including terrorism, the reconciliation process has to be completed.


BBC Monitoring Service;Oct 23, 2001/ Source: ADI news agency web site, Djibouti, in French 22 Oct 01./BBC Monitoring/ (c)BBC.

Djibouti, Somaliland reach "apparent" accord on reopening of border

Djibouti: A six-point agreement between the government of Djibouti and a high-level two-member delegation from the self-proclaimed "Somaliland" authorities, implicitly announces the apparent reopening of the border between the Republic of Djibouti and the northeast of Somalia.

The press statement issued by the Djibouti Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation dated 21 October 2001, says: "Following the 5 October 2001 visit to Djibouti by a Somaliland delegation composed of Ahmad Yusuf Du'ale, the education minister; and Abdihamid Garad Djama, the foreign minister; and following talks with the Djibouti government, the two sides reached agreement on the following:

  1. Put an end to any action capable of endangering the relations between the two countries, be it verbal, written or any other form of hostile propaganda;
  2. Facilitate the movement of goods and people between both countries;
  3. Establish permanent relations mainly, by putting in place a follow up commission;
  4. Carry out jointly maximum vigilance with regard to all that may constitute a danger to the security of both countries;
  5. Resolve disputes through consultations and dialogue;
  6. Oversee on both sides, the protection of private property belonging to citizens of both countries.
This is the press statement in its entirety as received by Djibouti news agency and signed by the minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation, Ali Abdi Farah.

Ethiopia? new look Cabinet named

BBC Monitoring Service;Oct 20, 2001/ Source: The Republicannewspaper, Hargeysa, in Somali 20 Oct /BBC Monitoring/ (c)BBC.

The new cabinet named by Prime Minister Meles Zenawi on Tuesday could help ease regional tensions in Ethiopia, because it is characterised by relative ethnic balance, a Western diplomat in the capital, Addis Ababa, told IRIN. Unlike the previous cabinet, which was dominated by members of the Tigrayan community, the new 18-member line-up includes the former president of the Amhara Regional State and Meles's adviser, Adisu Legese Kerekurat, as deputy prime minister and rural development minister. The cabinet now includes five members of the Tigray community: Prime Minister Meles Zenawi; Seyoum Mesfin, who retains the foreign affairs portfolio; Bereket Simon Woldergerima, the minister of information and culture; Abay Tsehaye (who has also been a senior adviser to Meles), the minister of federal affairs; and Getachew Belay, the head of the inland revenue authority. A former vice-president of the Oromiya Regional State, Sufyan Bakr Ahmad (an ethnic Oromo), is minister of the merged finance and economic development ministry.

The former manager of Dire Dawa branch of the Djibouti-Ethiopia Railway Corporation, Girma Biru (an ethnic Oromo), is the minister of trade and industry, and retired army officer, Maj-Gen Abadula Gemada (an ethnic Oromo, who, until August 2001, was the army chief-of-staff), is named as defence minister. Also named were a former deputy prime minister, Tefera Walwa (an ethnic Amhara), as minister of the new ministry of capacity building; a former ambassador to Kenya, Teshome Toga Chamka (an ethnic Welayita), as minister for youth affairs; former Vice Minister for Economic Development, Mulatu Teshome (an ethnic Oromo) as agriculture minister; Genet Zewde Biru (an ethnic Amhara) who continues as education minister; the former minister in the prime minister's office, Kebede Tadese (an ethnic Amhara and husband of Genet), as health minister; Harka Haroye Oda (an ethnic Sidama) as justice minister; Hasan Abdullah Ali (an ethnic Afar) as minister of labour and social affairs; Mahmud Dirir (an ethnic Somali) as minister of mines and energy; Shiferaw Jarso (an ethnic Oromo), who continues as minister of water resources and development; and Kasu Ilala (an ethnic Gurage) as minister of the new ministry of infrastructure development.
Poverty reduction plans.

Describing Prime Minister Meles Zenawi's proposals to parliament last week as "dynamic, comprehensive, and impressive", senior World Bank officials have hailed Ethiopia for developing a programme with "good prospects for sustained growth and poverty reduction", a statement from the Bank released on Thursday said. World Bank officials, including Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist Nicholas Stern, Africa Region Chief Economist Alan Gelb and Director of the Human Development Department for the Africa Region Oey Astra Meesok, visited Ethiopia from 12 to 15 October. They discussed with government officials, the cabinet and Meles proposals presented to parliament, which contained strategies to strengthen rural development, capacity building, provision of infrastructure, private-sector development, and further decentralisation of decision-making to local governments.

" Stern congratulated the government for its comprehensive and impressive vision for reducing poverty in Ethiopia. [He] said the government's programme constitutes a dynamic and comprehensive strategy, with very good prospects of generating sustained long-term growth, and empowering the poor to participate in this process," the statement said. The Bank pledged to work with the government "on developing a strong and sustained support, focusing on infrastructure (especially roads), capacity building and rural development." Newly elected president hospitalised Ethiopia's newly elected president, Girma Wolde-Giorgis, has been hospitalised in Saudi Arabia, AFP reported on 14 October. He went there on Saturday, according to the Ethiopian foreign ministry. Girma, 76, was elected to the mostly ceremonial post six days ago and was reportedly hospitalised after suffering minor health problems, said AFP. He had been a surprise choice for the presidency and was elected unopposed by parliament. Girma has previously served as parliamentary Speaker during the reign of the late Haile Selassie, the last Ethiopian emperor, said AFP.


BBC Monitoring Service;Oct 20, 2001/ The Republican Newspaper /Oct 20, 2001 The Republican Newspaper

ERITREA: Economy will be hurt by crackdown on dissidents.

Desperately in need of foreign aid for a vast variety of development projects, Eritrea's recent crackdown on dissidents could hurt its economy, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) warned on Wednesday. In a worst-case scenario, GDP growth would be highly unlikely to reach one to two percent. According to the EIU, the crackdown, to which a large number of government critics and journalists have fallen victim, largely reflects the kind of domestic turmoil which had been expected to occur after the end of the Eritrea-Ethiopia war in December 2000. "With the Ethiopians more or less safely separated by 4,200 UN peacekeepers, Eritrea's politicians have begun to turn to issues of democracy and good governance within the country. The detention in September of leading members of the ruling People's Front for Democracy and Justice, after they signed an open letter criticising President Isayas Aferwerki, and calling for improved transparency, has been followed by the closure of all the country's private newspapers. Although these events clearly do not bode well for democracy, the real damage may be to the economy," the EIU's latest country briefing on Eritrea states. Although World Bank funding and humanitarian projects under the European Union are likely to continue, project funds dedicated to improving infrastructure, rebuilding hospitals and schools, and providing technical support for various government agencies could fail to materialise.Remittances from Eritreans living abroad - which are the largest source of current transfer inflows in the balance of payments - could also be affected if Eritreans living abroad began to think their government was becoming undemocratic, the EIU said. Source: The Republicannewspaper, Hargeysa, in Somali 20 Oct /BBC Monitoring/ (c)BBC.
The Republican Newspaper, Oct 20, 2001

SOMALIA: Over 450,000 people face food crisis in the south

BBC Monitoring Service;Oct 20, 2001/ Source: The Republicannewspaper, Hargeysa, in Somali 20 Oct /BBC Monitoring/ (c)BBC.

The failure of the main Gu rainy season (May-July) in key food-producing areas of southern Somalia has created a serious humanitarian crisis for over 450,000 people. Urgent assistance is now needed to prevent major loss of life, a press release issued on Tuesday by the Somali Aid Coordination Body (SACB), which brings together UN agencies, NGOS and donor partners, warns. The worst-affected area is Gedo Region, southwestern Somalia, where NGOs are reporting "a shocking rise in the number of malnourished women, children and displaced people".

The situation is only marginally less acute in Bay and Bakol regions of south-central Somalia, said the statement. The chairman of SACB's food security and rural development committee, Eddie Boyle, said. "Over 40,000 mt of food is urgently required to prevent a major humanitarian crisis." Action contre la faim (ACF), which is running a feeding centre in Luuq town, the only such centre in the region, had reported that attendance levels had increased five-fold in the past two months, said the SACB statement.

According to ACF, 4,300 patients were now receiving supplementary and therapeutic treatment, with 200 new people now being screened for admission. The situation would deteriorate further if, as forecast, the Deyr short rains (October-November) also failed, the statement warned.

Due to the increase in the number of undernourished people in Gedo Region, CARE is now increasing its programme to assist 240,000 people there. CARE has appealed for 22,000 mt of food to meet humanitarian needs over the next year. According to the statement the UN's World Food Programme (WFP) issued an appeal for 20,000 mt of food in July, but has so far received pledges of only 4,300 mt. The statement quoted the SACB partners as "stressing the urgency of the situation" and "making an appeal for immediate support to CARE and WFP food relief programmes".

SACB was also calling for the establishment of additional health and supplementary feeding programmes in Gedo Region, including services in rural areas to reduce "the dangerous concentration of vulnerable groups in urban areas", said the statement.


SOMALIA: Southern town taken by opposition militia

BBC Monitoring Service;Oct 20, 2001/ Source: The Republicannewspaper, Hargeysa, in Somali 20 Oct /BBC Monitoring/ (c)BBC.

The regional capital of the Middle Juba Region, Bu'aale, was reportedly captured on Tuesday by forces loyal to the Somali Reconciliation and Restoration Council (SRRC), sources in Kismayo, 500 km south of Mogadishu, told IRIN. The SRRC is a grouping of southern factions opposed to the Mogadishu-based administration. Bu'aale, 250 km north of Kismayo, was captured in August by the pro-TNG Juba Valley Alliance (JVA), which controls Kismayo and its environs, from SRRC militia led by General Muhammad Sa'id Hirsi Morgan. Husayn Ibrahim Ahmad Ilal, the Bu'aale district commissioner, who is currently in Kismayo, confirmed to IRIN that the town had fallen to the SRRC forces. "We lost radio contact with the town early this morning, and believe that it is in the hands of pro-Morgan forces," he told IRIN on Wednesday.

Ilal said there had been no fighting in the town and that the SRRC forces had simply walked in. Other sources told IRIN that the militia claiming to have taken the town were locals. "Those who came in on Monday were Ogadeni militia, and not from outside," said the source on Wednesday. Ogadenis are the dominant clan in Bu'aale. The SRRC and the JVA fought for the control of the port city of Kismayo in late July and early August, until the JVA expelled the Morgan-led SRRC force on 7 August.


Puntland conference approves charter

BBC Monitoring Service;Oct 20, 2001/Source: The Republicannewspaper, Hargeysa, in Somali 20 Oct /BBC Monitoring/ (c)BBC.

The conference of the representatives of the constituent regions of the self-declared autonomous region of Puntland, northeastern Somalia, has approved the Puntland charter, and is now drawing to a close, Puntland's "acting president", Yusuf Haji Nur, has told IRIN. The Puntland general congress, which opened on 26 August in Garowe, the regional capital, was due to have ended on 1 October, but was suspended several times for various reasons. The conference had been struggling in the past few days to resolve differences within one of the sub-clans participating, a local journalist told IRIN.

Some of the delegates of the Dulbahante sub-clans of the main Harti clan had been questioning the legal status of 15 of their members, he said. "It looks likely that the problem will be resolved today," he said on Thursday. According to this source, inasmuch as the charter had been approved, "only the election of the president, vice-president and parliament remains", which should not take very long. "I expect the conference to wind up by next week" and a new Puntland administration to be in place by then, said Yusuf Haji.


BBC Monitoring Service;Oct 20, 2001/ Source: The Republicannewspaper, Hargeysa, in Somali 20 Oct /BBC Monitoring/ (c)BBC.

Sudanese Army recaptures Raga

The Sudanese armed forces claimed on 14 October to have recaptured the strategic town of Raga, Western Bahr al-Ghazal, news agencies reported. An army statement said that troops loyal to Khartoum had forced the rebel SPLM/A (Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army) out of the town on Sunday morning, inflicting "huge losses in men and equipment".

The acting armed forces spokesman, Lt-Gen Faruq Hasan Muhammad Nur, was quoted by Sudan TV as saying government forces were now pursuing the SPLM/A as they fled the town. "After they [government forces] succeeded to capture Raga, they are still pursuing the remnants of the rebels to further the victory outside Raga town and to enlarge the circle to secure the town," he said.

The SPLM/A on Monday admitted to the loss of Raga to government forces. In a statement, the rebel movement said its forces had made a "tactical withdrawal" from Raga on Sunday, and had now redeployed in the surrounding area with the aim of "flushing out the enemy once more". The SPLM/A seized control of Raga and the nearby town of Daym Zubayr during a major offensive in the region in early June. According to WFP, some 20,000 people have fled fighting around Raga since late September, taking refuge in the village of Mangayath. The WFP on 7 October criticised Khartoum for allowing bomb attacks on Mangayath as emergency relief food was being distributed to IDPs in the area.


BBC Monitoring Service;Oct 20, 2001/Source: The Republicannewspaper, Hargeysa, in Somali 20 Oct /BBC Monitoring/ (c)BBC.

Somali Aid Coordination Body Food Security & Rural Development Sectoral Committee.News Release

Aid urgently needed to protect thousands of Lives In Southern Somalia.

16 October 2001 Nairobi. More than 450,000 people face a serious humanitarian crisis in southern Somalia, following the failure of the main Gu season (May - July) rains in key food producing areas. The widespread drought has left thousands of families without food, and urgent assistance is now needed to prevent major loss of life.

Particular concern is being raised in Gedo region where NGOs are reporting a shocking rise in the number of malnourished women, children and displaced people. The situation is only marginally less acute in Bay and Bakol regions. Recognizing the urgency of the situation, and repeating appeals already made by various agencies over recent months, United Nations agencies, NGOs and donor partners of the Somalia Aid Coordination Body (SACB) today made an urgent appeal for immediate food aid and additional health services to save lives.

The need to provide assistance to poor families immediately, otherwise it will be too late to protect their lives, said Eddie Boyle, Chairman of the SACB Food Security and Rural Development Committee. Over 40,000 MT of food is urgently required to prevent a major humanitarian crisis.? Action Contre la Faim (ACF), based in Luuq town, and running the only feeding centre in Gedo region, warned that attendance levels have increased five-fold in the past two months. Over 4,300 patients are now receiving supplementary and therapeutic treatment, and the agency screens 200 new persons for admission every day. However, given the overall food deficit in the area, recovery rates are poor and rural populations are crowding into urban centres. In addition, the UNICEF supported maternal and child health center in Baidoa has seen a rapid increase in the number of severely malnourished children screened since July.

The failure of the rains has already led to acute food shortages, water scarcity, lack of pasture and a rapid deterioration in livestock conditions. Many young men have already moved out of the region with their cattle and camels in search of water for their livestock. This has left women, children, elderly and displaced populations behind with rapidly dwindling food supplies and few sources of income. The situation is exacerbated by the continuing closure of the Kenya-Somalia border, and the sharp devaluation of the Somali Shilling.

The humanitarian crisis in southern Somalia will continue to worsen if, as is now widely expected, the current deyr rains also fail. There is also concern that Somalia? annual cholera outbreak will take an even heavier toll than normal, if these conditions prevail.

CARE has reported a major increase in the number of undernourished people in Gedo region and is now increasing its programme to assist some 240,000 people in the region. CARE has appealed for 22,000 MT of food aid to meet humanitarian needs over the next year. WFP has similarly initiated a very significant increase in its support programme in Bay and Bakol regions, and is preparing to assist over 200,000 people over the next few months. However, available food stocks will soon be exhausted. WFP had issued an appeal for 20,000 MT of food aid in July 2001. To date, only 4,300 MT has been pledged. SACB partners, stressing the urgency of the situation, are making an appeal for immediate support to CARE and WFP food relief programmes. In addition, the establishment of additional health and supplementary feeding programmes is essential in Gedo Region, including services in rural areas to reduce the dangerous concentration of vulnerable groups in urban areas.

For further information, please contact: Eddie Boyle, Chairman of the SACB Food Security and Rural Development Committee, Tel. (254 2) 714 146.


BBC Monitoring Service;Oct 20, 2001/Source: The Republicannewspaper, Hargeysa, in Somali 20 Oct /BBC Monitoring/ (c)BBC.

We still have a chance to complete the constitutional process

Even after the referendum on the Somaliland constitution is ratified, there are some people who are calling for a shir beeleed conference in order to effect a peaceful transition of power. And when President Egal launched his own political association UDUB, the voices of supporters of the shir beeleed conference - led by some traditional leaders became louder and more defiant, culminating in a military stand-off in Hargeisa between the protesters and the government putting the country on the brink of civil strife. Fortunately, the deadlock between the two sides was diffused through a lengthy and tedious mediation that ended without reaching final settlement.

The proponents of shir beeleed conference argue that the government has held the referendum on the constitution before the completion of the constitutional process. Key electoral and other important laws were not defined, the government did the process single-handedly without wider participation and public awareness was at minimum- because people thought that they were casting their ballots for Somaliland autonomy rather than ratifying the constitution. In their view, the referendum on the constitution on May 31st and later on, the launching of UDUB by President Egal are basically two political cards that will pave the way for him to stay in power. Either through predetermined election or by invoking article 83, which extends the transitional period of his government.

The above mentioned concerns are legitimate, but they should have been raised before the referendum. The question is why now? Is it because the government didn? allow them? Or it is because a failure on their parts? Though on its part, the government in the whole constitutional process wasn? forthcoming and it didn? encourage significant public participation to legitimize the process. The oppositions, other government branch, civic organizations, and the public were in large part to blame. They have been disengaged or remained on the sidelines throughout the constitutional process.

The opposition has been blindly focusing on how to unseated ?r. Egal? The parliament seemed unwilling to be active participants and the judiciary was nowhere to been seen. Local NGO has been more interested in ?evelopment issues?and the public has been usually preoccupied with daily livelihood. Then it shouldn? be surprising if some quarters within these entities are now raising these legitimate issues, in order to cover up their failures for not playing their respective roles in the process before the referendum and to justify the need for shir beeleed conference.

They were caught off guard because they thought Egal? call for holding the referendum was just a bluff. The referendum has put an end to shir beeleed conference, but not to the constitutional process. The opportunity is still there to rectify and salvage the constitutional reform, to finalize the electoral laws and other laws.

Those who are critical of the process- especially the opposition - should be process oriented rather than being personal, that is they should see their participation as a contribution to the process not as something beneficial to . Egal. On the contrary the more they get involved in the process, the more their political base will increases at the expense of . Egal and the more they post a threat to him.

Also a successful completion of the constitutional process rest, in a large part on the level of public participation. An active public participation can be best accomplished through the involvement of local NGOs and other civil organization. To facilitate public participation and to exert pressure on the parliament, government, and the opposition so that, they can play their respective roles constructively.

Peaceful and democratic transition will mainly depended on the successful completion of the electoral laws. What is required to complete the process is the engagement of a committed parliament, forthcoming government, constructive oppositions, concern citizens and most of all, pro-active civic pressure groups-that act as catalyst for the process. Such engagement not only it puts back the process on the right track, but it also brings new voices into the process, and as result resolutions are likely to be based on a broader consideration of the issues and a fuller assessment of the alternatives. Moreover, it democratizes the process and every one or entity is part of the process including the government.

So, in case the process is not completed within the time frame remaining-which is the most likely, . Egal and the Guurti can? act alone and without the consultation other concern parties. One of the outcomes could be the creation of a broad base coalition government, which has the confidence of the populace, that conclude the process. We have a chance to complete the on going constitutional process. Every one of us has a role to play, so we mustn? now shrink from our duty to put the process on the right track. We should put the national interests above everything else and should stop undermining the process by either rushing it or impeding it and that does serve any one. Let? make no mistake, if we fail to fulfill our respective roles at this critical juncture in Somaliland political reconstruction, we may not get another chance and we may lose what we have already achieved.


BBC Monitoring Service;Oct 20, 2001/Source: The Republicannewspaper, Hargeysa, in Somali 20 Oct /BBC Monitoring/

UN in Horn corpse appeal.

By Nita Bhalla in Addis Ababa.

The United Nations has appealed to Ethiopia and Eritrea to collect the bodies of hundreds of dead soldiers from the front lines between the two countries. The UN peacekeeping mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (Unmee) said the two countries should respect their war dead. More than a year has passed since Ethiopia and Eritrea signed a ceasefire agreement ending a brutal two-and-a-half-year border conflict. But the corpses of those who perished in bloody battles, which cost up to 100,000 lives, are still scattered throughout the buffer zone separating the two neighbours.

The UN also said the rotting corpses are posing a serious health threat to peacekeepers, who are mandated to monitor and patrol the entire security area. Mortal remains According to Unmee, the remains of at least 300 dead soldiers are still lying out in the open. Most died early last year, when some of the fiercest battles took place on the eastern Bure-Assab front. For months now, the UN has been requesting both Ethiopia and Eritrea to come and reclaim the mortal remains, but so far neither party has come forward.

"These remains should be considered properly," UN spokesman Jean Victor told a video-link news conference from the Eritrean capital Asmara on Friday. "These are the remains of human beings, who had families, who had countries, and who were people," he said. "They should be given all the respect that they deserve".

Practical problems

Unmee says the bodies are also posing practical problems to the peacekeeping mission. Aside from the serious health risk posed to UN troops, especially now that the rainy season has arrived, the bodies are also hampering demining operations.

Due to the prolonged period of exposure, it is also becoming increasingly difficult to ascertain which army different bodies belonged to. Both sides deny that the soldiers belong to them, claiming that they have retrieved and buried all their dead.

But Unmee says this is not the case and recently took journalists into the Temporary Security Zone to see the rotting remains of hundreds of young men. The soldiers signed up in the prime of their lives to fight for their country, but now that their value has diminished, it seems they have been abandoned.


BBC Monitoring Service;Oct 20, 2001/Source: The Republicannewspaper, Hargeysa, in Somali 20 Oct /BBC Monitoring/ (c)BBC.

Zambian president's salary stolen

Zambian police have arrested three men suspected of stealing President Frederick Chiluba's last 16 months' pay. The three, a businessman and two employees of Barclays Bank in Ndola, are accused of conspiring to divert the president's salary from his account. According to the independent Post newspaper, which first came out with the story, the total sum stolen from President Chiluba was 82 million kwacha ($21,578). There was no immediate comment from the president, who appears not to have missed his last 16 months' pay until the fraud was discovered.
Same names

Police said the businessman's account bore exactly the same names as those of the president, and the bank employees were therefore able to change account numbers on order slips without any questions asked. "Each time the salary came into the bank, the employees... would cross out his account number and put it in the name of their friend with similar names to the president," a bank source told the Post.

"The friend would then withdraw the money and [they would] share it amongst themselves. It seems this has been going on for the last 16 months," the source said. Bank repays president Barclays Bank of Zambia Managing Director Margaret Mwanakatwe told Reuters news agency that the bank had launched an investigation after a formal complaint had been issued by the presidency. "We received a complaint from State House. We investigated and found the money had been diverted to an account of a man bearing similar names to the president's," she said.

"We have credited the president's account with the missing money. Two bank employees and the businessman whose account was inadvertently credited with the president's salary have been arrested over the case," Ms Mwanakatwe told Reuters.

A bank source quoted by the Post said the president had not drawn any money from his account in the past 16 months and the fraud was only discovered when one of the bank employees went on leave. "It was discovered because the new man questioned why the president's account number was being cancelled out," the source said.


BBC Monitoring Service;Oct 17, 2001/ Source: Jamhuuriya, Hargeysa, in Somali 17 Oct 01./BBC Monitoring/ (c)BBC.

Somaliland government, opposition leader deny holding talks

Hargeysa: A prominent [Somaliland] opposition leader, Sulayman Mahmud Adan (Sulayman Gal), has denied holding direct talks with President Muhammad Ibrahim Haji Egal. He said the suggestion to hold direct talks with President Egal was made by Awil Ali Haji Du'ale, but they did not materialize. Sulayman Gal is one of those politicians who are strongly opposed to the political leadership of President Egal.

Similarly, a press release issued by the spokesman for the Somaliland presidency, Abdi Idris Du'ale, said there were no talks between the president and Sulayman Gal, and there are no initiatives in that direction...


BBC Monitoring Service;Oct 16, 2001/Source: Jamhuuriya web site, Hargeysa, in Somali 15 Oct 01/BBC Monitoring/ (c)BBC.

Somaliland: Seven women die of childbirth complications

Medical services at the Ceerigaabo [northeastern Somalia, northwestern Somaliland] Hospital, Sanaag Region, have been at their lowest ebb in the last few months leading to the deaths of seven women dying during delivery due to lack of medical attention...

This matter has caused a lot of anxiety among the people of Sanaag Region. According to a report by our Sanaag Region reporter, Abdirashid Hasan Absiye, at least seven women were reported to have died owing to lack of doctors in Ceerigaabo, Sanaag regional HQ in the last two months"...

At the same time the number of women, who have died in the last two or four years as a result of malnutrition and anaemia or childbirth complications arising from lack of doctors, is unknown. Some of them are so poor that they cannot travel to places where medical services are available.

Women in other parts of Sanaag are in a more serious predicament. They receive no health services at all and are worse off than those in Ceerigaabo and are in need of humanitarian assistance to overcome their problems. Their problems are: Lack of doctors; poverty and bad roads.

These problems are not limited to women only. Many people suffer from injuries and require surgeries. The number of people who die from such complications every year are over 100. There are also no qualified personnel to attend to young children.Many children die every year from diarrhoea, malaria, and asthma.

These problems have caused a lot of anxiety to the people of Ceerigaabo, particularly to women. This issue has become the subject of discussion and thought among the people. Lady Qamar Taleh, who is a member of Sanaag Region's health committee, says that they have met to discuss the matter and briefed the government and the Health Ministry on the matter.

"We are urging doctors from Sanaag, particularly gynaecologists and paediatricians to rescue the region", said Abdullahi Sufi, who is a member of Ceerigaabo's youth and intellectual's committee... Dr Arabayte, who is the surgeon in charge of Ceerigaabo and the regions medical coordinator, has been away in Hargeysa for over four months for unknown reasons. A second doctor, who is the director of Ceerigaabo district hospitals, has also been away in Hargeysa for months...


BBC Monitoring Service;Oct 15, 2001/Source: Himilo, Hargeisa, in Somali 15 Oct 01/BBC Monitoring/ (c)BBC.

Somaliland: Two opposition parties form joint political alliance

Hargeysa: The reformist party, SNM [Somali National Movement] and UGBAAD [expansion untraced], a new party which was recently announced in Boorama town, have agreed to form a joint political alliance. The two parties formed a new party called Alliance Party. The new party was announced after lengthy consultations between their leaders. The alliance party elected officials for top posts.

The new alliance party elected Sulayman Mahmud Adan (Sulayman Gal) chairman while Abdirahman Aw Ali Farah and Fuad Adan Ade were elected first and second vice-chairmen respectively. However, the party is expected to elect its executive officials in the course of this week.

Meanwhile, Sulayman Mahmud Adan, (Sulayman Gal), a prominent political rival of President Muhammad Ibrahim Egal, is expected to pursue the ongoing political dialogue with Egal with a view to ending the long standing political hostility between them...


BBC Monitoring Service;Oct 13, 2001/ Source: Mandeeq, Hargeysa, in Somali 13 Oct 01/BBC Monitoring/ (c)BBC.

Somaliland: Government, political parties discuss conduct of future elections

The vice-president of the Republic of Somaliland, Dahir Riyale Kahin, who chaired a meeting attended by leaders of the seven political parties to discuss issues regarding elections has issued its resolutions. Reports from reliable sources from the political parties said, among the resolutions adopted were:
  • Elections must be conducted in all parts of the country on the same day.
  • All political parties should adhere to the country's constitution.
  • The seven political parties should jointly work towards [words indistinct] so that elections are conducted in a peaceful environment.

    Other reports from members of the seven political parties who held a meeting say that all political parties should jointly fight any act which could sabotage instability in order to conduct free and fair elections...


    BBC Monitoring Service;Oct 11, 2001/ Source: Himilo, Hargeisa, in Somali 11 Oct 01 p 1/2001 BBC Monitoring/ (c)BBC.

    Somaliland: Multiparty politics kick off

    Hargeysa: The political struggle in Somaliland has this week officially kicked off countrywide. UDUB [United Democratic Party] opened its HQ office in Hargeysa yesterday, while UCID [newly registered party, expansion untraced] opened its office in Burco and Berbera towns. SAHAN [new party, expansion untraced] also opened its office at Gabilay town and held a public rally at Kharyriyah Grounds in Hargeysa. Since the new multiparty era started in the country the registered opposition parties and the government have twice held talks at State House, Hargeysa, in the past two weeks but no outcome of their discussions has been made public yet.

    However, according to reliable sources, the two sides failed to agree on a way forward. Other reports say some politicians are still pursuing more rounds of talks with the government through a joint committee.

    President Egal, rival hold indirect talks

    Reports from reliable sources say among those pursuing talks with a view to bridging the gap between them are President Muhammad Ibraham Egal and Mahmud Adan (Sulayman Gal) [prominent Somaliland politician and Egal's rival]. The two leaders have not yet held direct talks, and it is not known whether the mediating committee will succeed in bringing together the two leaders, the report added.

    However, sources close to both sides say the time is not yet ripe and it is too early to predict the outcome of the mediation efforts. So far much progress has been made and we are very optimistic about the outcome of the process, the committee members said. Unless miracles happen, the result is definitely going to be positive, they added.

    Meanwhile, other opposition political parties are engaged in how to source financial support for their political activities.

    Prominent Somaliland politicians are reportedly preparing themselves to join unidentified but already registered opposition parties. These leaders include Ahmad Muhammad "Silanyow" [former Somaliland minister of planning and international cooperation] and Umar Arte Ghalib [former Somali foreign minister and one time presidential candidate of Somaliland, currently living in Saudi Arabia]. Further reports say if these two prominent politicians join the opposition political fray then the future of the Somaliland political struggle will be very tough, not like what it is today.

    The prevailing political situation is currently tilted to one side in view of current economic resources and political power in the country, the report further said.


    BBC Monitoring Service;Oct 10, 2001/ Source: Radio Hargeysa in Somali 1700 gmt 10 Oct 01/BBC Monitoring/ (c)BBC.

    Somaliland: President Egal appoints new assistant minister of health

    The president of the republic of Somaliland, Muhammad Ibrahim Egal, today issued a presidential decree appointing an assistant minister of health. The decree issued by the president was as follows:

    The president of the republic of Somaliland, Muhammad Ibrahim Egal, today issued a presidential decree appointing Mahmud Jama (?Awes) Farah assistant minister of health.


    BBC Monitoring Service;Oct 9, 2001/ Source: Jamhuuriya web site, Hargeysa, in Somali 8 Oct 01/BBC Monitoring/ (c)BBC.

    Somaliland: Visiting rights activist wants probe into "massacre by Barre regime"

    The head of an international organization in charge of human rights, African Rights, Ms Rakiya Omaar, who is currently in Hargeysa for a visit, yesterday held a meeting with an organization called Volunteers Without Borders which is in charge of collecting evidence on the massacre of the people of Somaliland and the prosecution of the perpetrators.

    A member of the organization's executive council, Samsam Abdi Adan, submitted a report on the work done by the organization on the massacres carried out by Siad Barre regime in former Somalia.

    The officials of the volunteers organization expressed their desire to see that the massacres of the people of Somaliland are exposed to the world and that the perpetrators are prosecuted.

    The head of African Rights, Rakiya Omaar, said her organization will assist the people of Somaliland to ensure that there is an international investigation into the massacres of the people of Somaliland, to convince the world about it, and to bring the people concerned to justice...


    BBC Monitoring Service;Oct 8, 2001/ Source: Mogadishu Times, Mogadishu, in Somali 8 Oct 01 p 2/BBC Monitoring/ (c)BBC.

    Somaliland: American officials in talks with president

    The defence minister of the self-declared republic of Somaliland, Ahmad Ali Mahmud, has received some American officials who have arrived on a ship docked at the Berbera port.

    The American officials held a closed-door meeting with the president and his deputy at State House, on how Somaliland could make its stand on terrorism known.


    Somaliland, Djibouti agree to reopen borders as reconciliation talks end well


    BBC Monitoring Service;Oct 8, 2001/ Somaliland newspaper Jamhuuriya on 8 October
    Somaliland's ministers of foreign affairs and education, Abdihamid Garad Jama and Ahmad Yusuf Du'ale respectively, yesterday returned home following a two-week visit to Djibouti. The two ministers are reported to have travelled to Djibouti to discuss the political differences between Somaliland and Djibouti.

    Last night we asked the foreign minister, Jama, about the results of the talks, and what had been achieved in the discussions with Djibouti government officials. He declined to comment saying: "I will not comment on this matter now, but I will later."

    However, reports from important sources say the two sides agreed on most of what was discussed. The two countries have agreed to reopen their land and sea borders, and airspace, which had been closed since last April.

    The first plane, owned by Daalo Airline, in which the two ministers travelled, including 14 other passengers, flew from Djibouti's international airport. [Rest of item not received].
    Source: Jamhuuriya, Hargeysa, in Somali 8 Oct 01/BBC Monitoring/ (c)BBC.


    Somaliland: President Egal appoints two new ministers


    BBC Monitoring Service;Oct 7, 2001
    The president of the republic of Somaliland, Muhammad Ibrahim Egal, yesterday appointed two new cabinet ministers.

    In a press statement, he said the two - Hasan Isma'il Yusuf, and Ahmad Jama Botan - will be the new Somaliland ministers for health and labour, and industry respectively.

    Dr Hasan Isma'il Yusuf will fill the position left vacant by Dr Abdi Aw-Dahir, who was the minister for health and also the secretary-general of UDUB [United People's Democratic Party] party, who was left to run the party's programmes independently.

    Ahmad Jama Botan (Daniye) will take over the position which was made vacant by Husayn Farah Dodi. who took over the Ministry of International Relations after the position fell vacant following the resignation of Muhammad Osman Fadal last week.
    Source: Jamhuuriya, Hargeysa, in Somali 7 Oct 01/BBC Monitoring/ (c)BBC.


    Somaliland: President, party leaders in talks after complaints over elections

    BBC Monitoring Service;Oct 5, 2001/ UN regional information network IRIN on 4 October

    Nairobi, 4 October: The president of the self-declared state of Somaliland, northwestern Somalia, Muhammad Ibrahim Egal, held talks with leaders of the officially registered political parties on Wednesday [3 October], a local source told IRIN.

    The meeting follows recent accusations levelled by the opposition that the recently formed Udub (meaning pillar) party of President Egal would have an unfair advantage, in its capacity of being the ruling party, over the opposition parties in elections scheduled to be held in 2002.

    There are seven officially registered parties in Somaliland, including the ruling Udub. The opposition was complaining that "Udub cannot be trusted to conduct free and fair elections", and should not, therefore, be the only organization preparing the election laws, the source said. A Somaliland parliamentary committee had been tasked to prepare the election laws, but the opposition was "arguing that they should have an input into the process".

    There has been no information on what the president and party leaders discussed, but they agreed to meet again on 7 October, the source told IRIN. Attempts by IRIN to obtain comment from the Somaliland administration were unsuccessful.
    Source: UN Integrated Regional Information Network, Nairobi, in English 4 Oct 01/BBC Monitoring/ (c)BBC.


    Somaliland, Djibouti begin talks to improve strained relations

    BBC Monitoring Service;Oct 4, 2001
    A Somaliland government delegation which included the minister of foreign affairs of Somaliland, Abdihamid Garad Jama, and the minister of education, Ahmad Yusuf Du'ale, is currently in Djibouti city, the capital of the Republic of Djibouti, for official talks with the government of Ismael Omar Gelleh.

    The ministers, whose trip was not made public, last week paid an official visit to the UAE. It is believed that their trip to Djibouti was conceived while they were in Dubai.

    The spokesman of the Somaliland presidency, Abdi Idris Du'ale, yesterday confirmed that the delegation led by the two ministers was in Djibouti to represent the Somaliland government. He, however, declined to comment on the purpose of their visit and the agenda of the talks with Djibouti officials.

    Reports we obtained from sources close to the government indicate the visit by the two ministers followed an official invitation made to the [Muhammad Ibrahim] Egal government by the president of Djibouti. The invitation followed the proposal by the president of Somaliland in July this year calling for talks with President Gelleh aimed at resolving and reaching an accord on the political tensions that engulfed the two countries following the decision by the Djibouti government to convene a conference for some Somali groups in the town of Arta in April 2000.

    Some diplomatic sources suggest that President Gelleh is being pushed into starting dialogue with the administration of President Egal by pressure from the American government, which had blamed the government of Ismael Omar Gelleh for the deterioration of the relations between Djibouti and Somaliland and which also questioned why the border between the two countries remained closed.

    The Washington government was recently reported to have criticized the Djibouti-based regional body, IGAD [Inter-Governmental Authority on Development], for denying development assistance and funds to Somaliland. IGAD seeks to do something about the problems facing the people of the Horn of Africa, of which Somaliland is a part. The American government funds 70 per cent of IGAD's economic assistance [programmes]...
    Source: Jamhuuriya, Hargeysa, in Somali 4 Oct 01/BBC Monitoring/ (c)BBC.


    BBC Monitoring Service;Oct 3, 2001/ Source: Jamhuuriya web site, Hargeysa, in Somali 2 Oct 01/BBC Monitoring/ (c)BBC.

    Somaliland: Seven political parties licensed

    The republic of Somaliland's political party registration commission yesterday issued certificates of registration to seven political parties which had officially fulfilled the registration requirements. The parties, which included UDUB [United People's Democratic Party], UCID BIRSOL, SAHAN, UMAD, Hormood and Iiyas [all expansions untraced] were all issued with registration certificates at a meeting attended by the chairmen and secretaries of the political parties, in the commission's office, which is based at the centre of workers' union building in Hargeysa.

    The political parties registration and legalization commission chairman, Muhammad Jama Bodle, who gave a brief speech, told the leaders of the political parties that they had embarked on the second phase of their political undertakings. He said they had completed registering their political parties, and that the commission was issuing them with registration certificates that interpreted the legality of their political parties in the country...


    The Indian Ocean Newsletter. October 6, 2001

    Safety Control at Hargeysa Airport

    The terrorist attacks on New York and Washington have caused Ethiopian authorities to worry about the security of the national airline's aircraft and passengers flying to Somaliland. In the middle of the week, an Ethiopian Airlines (EAL) anti-terrorist expert flew to Hargeysa to check up on the company's twice-weekly flight service which opened in late March 2001. According to information obtained by The Indian Ocean Newsletter, the man in charge of the task is Workalemhu Bogale, a specialist in mine-detecting and terrorist-fighting.

    The reason for his visit to the Somaliland city close to the Ethiopian border was to determine the risks run by the EAL aircraft whose pilots already know the need to pay close attention to the acacia shrubs which surround the airport, which now may add the additional danger of serving as hiding places for terrorists. If Workalemhu Bogale's report is other than positive, EAL might simply decide to suspend its flights to Hargeysa, at least temporarily.

    ION - Workalemhu Bogale is said to have been trained by the Soviet Union and its Eastern European allies in the various ways of dealing with plane hijackers. An expert renowned for his knowledge in aerial security, he was living in Germany when the Ethiopian Peoples' Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) took power in 1991. After forming a new government, its leaders asked him to come work for EAL in Addis Ababa, which he agreed to, several years ago.


    Copyright 2001 Africa News Service, Inc. Africa News October 4, 2001 / BY UN Integrated Regional Information Network

    Somalia; Multiparty Talks in Somaliland

    The president of the self-declared state of Somaliland, northwestern Somalia, Muhammad Ibrahim Egal, held talks with leaders of the officially registered political parties on Wednesday, a local source told IRIN.

    The meeting follows recent accusations levelled by the opposition that the recently formed UDUB (meaning pillar) party of President Egal would have an unfair advantage, in its capacity of being the ruling party, over the opposition parties in elections scheduled to be held in 2002. There are seven officially registered parties in Somaliland, including the ruling UDUB. The opposition was complaining that "UDUB cannot be trusted to conduct free and fair elections", and should not, therefore, be the only organisation preparing the election laws, the source said. A Somaliland parliamentary committee had been tasked to prepare the election laws, but the opposition was "arguing that they should have an input into the process". There has been no information on what the president and party leaders discussed, but they agreed to meet again on 7 October, the source told IRIN. Attempts by IRIN to obtain comment from the Somaliland administration were unsuccessful.


    Copyright 2001 Africa News Service, Inc. Africa News.October 2, 2001/BYLINE: UN Integrated Regional Information Network

    Somalia; Value of Shilling Falls Steeply

    Between August 2000 and August 2001, the value of the Somali shilling in Mogadishu dropped from Ssh 9,500 to Ssh 20,500 per US dollar, a depreciation of nearly 116 per cent, while the value of the Somaliland shilling in Hargeysa fell from SLsh 3,000 to SLsh 6,000 per US dollar - a fall of 100 percent.

    In a report on the subject on Tuesday, the USAID-funded Famine Early Warning System (FEWS) network noted that "this is the sharpest annual drop in the value of the Somali/Somaliland shilling in the last six years".

    FEWS attributed the deterioration of the shilling to a "massive injection" of counterfeit banknotes into the main markets of southern and northeastern Somalia in 2001. The situation brought about in this way was then made worse by the ban on livestock imports from Somalia imposed by the Gulf countries in September 2000, which is estimated to have cost the country hard currency earnings estimated at US $120 million. Meanwhile confidence in the currency also waned as the result of the hardening of the attitude of faction leaders opposed to the Transitional National Government (TNG) in Mogadishu and strengthening their unity through the formation of the Somali Reconciliation and Restoration Council. The effect on commodities of the shilling's nose dive is that their prices have doubled, along with those of fuel and fares. "Reliable reports from Somalia/Somaliland indicate that many small businesses (bakeries, teashops etc) were forced to shut down because - on one hand - the owners were not able to buy the imported commodities with hard currencies - and on the other hand - consumers were not able to buy expensive goods," the FEWS report said. Hardest hit by the devaluation of the currency, according to FEWS, are the urban poor and internally displaced people living around the main towns.


    Copyright 2001 The Mining Journal, Ltd. Mining Annual Review .October, 2001

    SOMALIA: A Survey

    BYLINE: By Geoff Blackburn, Consulting Geologist, BSc, FAUSIMM, CPGeo, MMICA, FSEG, PO Box 6, Glen Forrest, Western Australia, Australia 6071, Tel: +61 8 92988990, Fax: +61 8 92989629, E-mail: geoffb@q-net.net.au

    Somalia is one of Africa's poorest countries. Located in the "Horn of Africa", it separates Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Kenya from the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean. Since the 1991 collapse of the central Somali Government based in Mogadishu, the country's development has been derailed by the lack of any cohesive government. On May 18, 1991, the former British Protectorate of Somaliland in the north declared itself an autonomous nation, with its capital at Hargeisa, completely independent of the former Italian colony of Somalia in the south, with its capital at Mogadishu. Since that time the self-proclaimed Somaliland-Republic has instituted a semblance of democratic order with a central government whereas the southern part has remained the provenance of competing factional (Clan-based) interests. At the national elections of the Somaliland Republic, held in February 1997, the current President of the Somaliland Republic, Mohamed Ibrahim Egal was re-elected for a second five-year term that expires in 2002.

    The Somaliland Republic has implemented a ministerial style of government in the northern part of Somalia and this includes a Ministry for Mineral and Water Resources. A new mining code for the Somaliland Republic was promulgated in 1996. This mining code provides for the grant of Exclusive Prospecting Licences (EPL) and includes provision to convert the EPL into a Mining Lease. The economy is, by world standards, very poorly developed. The cash/export economy is dominated by the export of livestock (60% sheep, 34% goats with camels and cattle making up the remainder) to neighbouring countries. The country has a high ratio of foreign trade to gross domestic product, a low level of monetisation and a dominant informal trade sector. More than 70% of the population live a nomadic existence and depend on pastoral pursuits for their subsistence.

    Prior to the break up of the country in 1991, there was a small mining industry that exploited limestone, gypsum, sepiolite and sea-salt for local markets.

    Basement rocks are exposed in two areas. The largest exposure is located almost wholly in the northern Somaliland Republic, while another small inlier, the Bur Complex, is located west of Mogadishu in southern Somalia.

    Interest in mineral production within these basement rocks currently resides with the discovery and artisanal production of gemstones such as emerald, aquamarine, sapphire, zircons and amethyst. Also attracting interest is the small-scale production of columbite-tantalite (coltan) from the Henweina Valley and the Bur Mado districts in the Somaliland Republic. Columbite had been discovered previously by the British Geological Survey and exploited in a small way in 1955-58.

    The presence of simpsonite (a high-grade calcic aluminium tantalate) in heavy mineral sands deposits developed along the beaches east of Berbera implies the presence of undiscovered tantalum resources in the adjacent basement rocks.

    These areas of basement rocks have significant potential for the discovery of economically important base and precious metal deposits. The northern basement complex consists of a series of high grade metamorphic rocks which enclose at least two "greenstone belts" that are known to contain evidence of volcanogenic gold rich base metal deposits. A number of layered and zoned mafic/ultramafic intrusive complexes are known and stream sampling has delineated PGM anomalies associated with these igneous complexes. This exploration potential is mirrored by the exploration interest in the similar Pre-Cambrian Pan African terrenes located across the Gulf of Aden in the Yemen, where greenstone-belts and younger volcanic-arc sequences are being explored for structurally controlled gold deposits (Medden) and gold rich volcanogenic base metal sulphide deposits.

    Other mineral occurrences of potential interest that are known to occur within the Northern Somali Basement include molybdenum and bismuth associated with intrusive syenites, as well as tin deposits previously exploited at Dalan (Somaliland Republic) and the adjoining area of Manja Yihin in Somalia.

    In the southern Somalian or Bur Basement complex, located west of Mogadishu, previous exploration has outlined some low-grade iron-ore resources at Bur Galan (indicated resource to 200m depth of 394 Mt at 38.7 % Fe) and Dahimir (indicated resource of about 30 Mt at a similar grade), also a small uranium (carnotite) deposit with a reported indicated resource varying between 10-25 Mt at 0.07-0.08% U[3]O[8]. Phosphate (apatite) occurrences are relatively widespread in the calc-silicate rocks of the region. At Modu-Mode grades averaging 24% P[2]O[5] have been located.

    * Long term, successful, independent mineral exploration consultancy

    * PGE & Gold

    * Base Metals

    * Tantalite (Coltan)

    * Western Australia

    * Africa

    * Regional Reviews & Assessments

    * Project Review and Audits

    * Valuations

    Despite the very prospective nature of the basement geology, serious mineral exploration will probably have to wait until the political future of the country has been resolved. Despite the semblance of government achieved in the breakaway northern province as the self declared Somaliland Republic, mineral explorers will probably be reluctant to spend serious funds there until that government achieves more formal widespread international recognition.


    Somaliland president invites political party leaders for talks

    BBC Monitoring Service;Oct 3, 2001/ Somaliland's Radio Hargeysa on 3 October

    The president of the republic of Somaliland, Muhammad Ibrahim Egal, has invited leaders of political parties for talks. He invited the seven political parties which have been officially registered by the country's commission of registration of political parties. The parties will participate in the general elections, as per the country's constitution.
    Source: Radio Hargeysa in Somali 1700 gmt 3 Oct 01 /BBC Monitoring/ (c)BBC.


    Somaliland: Central bank warns of counterfeit notes

    BBC Monitoring Service;Oct 1, 2001/ The Central Bank of Somaliland yesterday said in a briefing at its Hargeysa HQ, that counterfeit 500 shillings notes have been brought into the country. The bank urged the public, traders, NGOs, and the diplomatic corps to be careful and to take precautionary measures. The bank also outlined the distinctive colours of the counterfeit notes...
    Source: Jamhuuriya, Hargeysa, in Somali 1 Oct 01/BBC Monitoring/ (c)BBC.

    NGOs resume operations in Somaliland

    BBC Monitoring Service;Sep 29, 2001/

    [Somaliland's] Minister of National Planning, Husayn Farah Dodi [phonetic], today at Hargeysa airport, received some NGOs which used to work in the country and have returned back to Somaliland. The [word indistinct ] aid organization which left the country because of technical reasons today arrived in Hargeysa. Others will arrive in the country on Monday [1st October].

    A man speaking on behalf of the NGOs said they had left the country because of technical reasons and not because of security concerns. He said the Somaliland's security is manifested by their ability to freely move to any location.

    The minister of planning Husayn Farah Dodi who received them at the airport urged them to continue with their operations as usual.
    Source: Radio Hargeysa in Somali 1700 gmt 29 Sep 01/BBC Monitoring/ (c)BBC.


    Somaliland: Youths jailed for firing shots at police station

    BBC Monitoring Service;Sep 28, 2001/ Somaliland's Radio Hargeysa on 28 September

    The Togdeer Region security committee has sentenced three youths to one year in jail after it was established that they had fired shots at [word indistinct] police station in Burco.

    The three youths - Ahmad Ige, Abdullahi Isma'il Hasan and [name indistinct] - fired shots at the police station.

    The commandant of the police station which was attacked, Adan Ali Du'ale, said the shots caused no harm. He said the action by police to arrest the attackers was praised by the elders of the area. Burco's mayor has said that anyone who tries to cause insecurity will be brought before the law. He said the attack took place last night and the youths were immediately arrested and charged.

    Some other youths who were in possession of ammunition were also arrested.
    Source: Radio Hargeysa in Somali 1700 gmt 28 Sep 01/2001 BBC Monitoring/ BBC.


    Copyright 2001 Africa News Service, Inc. Africa News. September 27, 2001

    Somalia; Declining Nutrition in Puntland And Somaliland


    BY UN Integrated Regional Information Network

    There is a declining nutrition situation in the towns and poor pastoral villages of northeastern Somalia, the Food Security Analysis Unit (FSAU) said in its September nutritional update.

    The European Union-funded and FAO-implemented FSAU said health facilities, which had previously been recording low malnutrition levels as well as low children attendance figures, "are already noting a rising trend". The major urban centres in the self-declared autonomous region of Puntland - Bosaso port and Galcayo - continued to experience increased pressure from migrant labourers, "who are unable to get jobs" or who had been forced to survive on remunerations whose value had been substantially reduced, FSAU said. Prices had risen steeply, partly due to inflation, but also because of "the economic downturn in Puntland occasioned by the livestock ban [imposed by the Gulf Arab states in September 2000 in an attempt to control Rift Valley fever] and lately the mounting political tension".

    Meanwhile, the report also warned of vulnerable pockets in the self-declared state of Somaliland, northwestern Somalia, particularly the Haud area. Poor seasonal rains in the Haud had left the predominantly pastoralist population "in a vulnerable state". In Togdheer, Somaliland, there were "consistently reported higher proportions of malnourished children" compared to other health facilities. Mother and Child Health (MCH) clinics in Sool region had also reported a sharp increase in the proportions of malnourished children screened in the months of April to June. FSAU said this was partly explained by the fact that the Sool MCHs receive patients and malnourished children from the Haud area.


    Somaliland: Some 1,717 refugees return from Ethiopia

    BBC Monitoring Service;Sep 27, 2001/

    The 152nd group of Somaliland refugees residing in Ethiopia today returned to the country.

    The refugees, who numbered 1,717 persons, including 423 families, returned from Darure [phonetic] where they lived as refugees. The refugees who were returned by UNHCR were transported on lorries and other vehicles.

    The refugees were received at Qoboboley [phonetic] by official from the Resettlement Ministry, UNHCR, and Cadale District officials, where the refugees arrived. This the last group of Somaliland refugees to return in September. Up to 412 persons have returned from refugee camps in Darure, eastern Ethiopia.
    Source: Radio Hargeysa in Somali 1700 gmt 26 Sep 01/BBC Monitoring/ (c)BBC.


    BBC Monitoring Service;Sep 26, 2001/BYLINE: UN Integrated Regional Information Network

    Somaliland: Ruling party office in west reportedly bombed

    UDUB [Democratic Alliance Party, headed by President Egal] ruling party office in Boorama town, Awdal Region [western Somaliland], was bombed on Monday night, this week, as reported by the town's military intelligence department (CID).

    The bombing, which occurred late at night, caused no damages. It is reported that the explosion resulted from a hand thrown-grenade, which rocked the building and could be heard in the town's environs.

    The regional director of the investigation department (CID), Muse Abdullahi Hani, told Jamhuriya that the bomb was meant to create terror.

    The reason and people behind the act remains unclear. However, the police are still investigating the matter.

    Security around the office and the town in general has been tightened...


    Somaliland: President says elections to be held next year

    BBC Monitoring Service;Sep 24, 2001/ Somali newspaper Xog-Ogaal web site on 24 September

    The president of the self-declared Republic of Somaliland, Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal, yesterday briefed the assemblies of the Republic of Somaliland, saying that local authority elections will be held next September.

    He said this will be followed by parliamentary and presidential elections.

    He said that it was necessary for parliament to ratify the Electoral Commission, whose members have been appointed on merit.

    He said that Somaliland will not revert to clan-based conferences because this would take the country 10 years backwards.
    Source: Xog-Ogaal web site, Mogadishu, in Somali 24 Sep 01/BBC Monitoring/ (c)BBC.


    Djibouti: President Gelleh says dialogue the only viable option for Somaliland

    BBC Monitoring Service;Sep 23, 2001/

    Djibouti: Apart from commenting on the economic situation, the president of the republic, Ismael Omar Gelleh, also commented on existing problems with the self-proclaimed entity of Somaliland, in his exclusive interview published last Thursday [20 September] by the biweekly, La Nation, under the heading, Private Interview. The Djibouti news agency has produced the following excerpt of the interview with the head of state.

    [La Nation] My final question concerns Somaliland...[ellipsis as published] the self-proclaimed entity of Somaliland?

    [Gelleh] Since the word Somali appears in the name, is it truly different from "Somalia"? There is no difference. Why do they not choose another fundamentally different name to distinguish themselves from the original Somalia like the people of Puntland have done. That would be more logical.
    [La Nation] President, you appeared very close to and had ties with Somaliland. Your relations were excellent. You even facilitated the opening of a mission...[ellipsis as published]
    [Gelleh] A diplomatic mission.
    [La Nation] What really went wrong then?
    [Gelleh] Many things. It is said that people who are close never agree on anything. This is a harsh reality. The same applies to our people. If this analysis is true, then we have a problem of closeness and understanding.

    They thought that if Djibouti had made the effort to recognize them, all other countries would have followed suit. This was a fundamental error. To saddle Djibouti, the smallest state, with responsibility of such enormity, is simply in bad taste. This reaction is at the heart of our misunderstanding. We have shown our good will everywhere and always.

    During his last visit to the USA, [Somaliland president Muhammad Ibrahim] Igal personally told me that the Americans had promised him recognition on condition that Djibouti did so first. This is strange indeed.
    [La Nation] What do they have against you then?
    [Gelleh] Apart from the problem of recognition, there was no other point of misunderstanding. They asked us to recognize them and they were wrong to do so.
    [La Nation] Have you tried to advise them?
    [Gelleh] When they are told that the best solution is dialogue between them and southern Somalia, they became extremely annoyed. It is unbelievable. No separation has ever been witnessed without the mutual approval of both parties concerned. This is a universal truth. If you try to reason with them along these lines in an effort to create conditions for dialogue, in order to in turn convince the other party in the separation, they will tell you off in the strongest terms possible.
    [La Nation] What are they wary of?
    [Gelleh] I do not know. We have brought together many people in Djibouti to prepare the ground and create the right conditions. Everyone was ready to create new structures for the two states to make up a confederation. But this did not work as the proposal was met with resistance. As long as dialogue does not take top priority, as long as they do not negotiate between themselves, the problem will remain unresolved...
    [La Nation] Finally, the border has been closed for some time now and civilians seem to be suffering. When will you open the borders?
    [Gelleh] We are asking for nothing more than peace and security along the borders. We barricaded ourselves from their misdeeds for the sake of peace. We do not want to subject either people to suffering. Too much ego, misplaced words, have never helped anyone. All we want is to guarantee our peace and security.


    BBC Monitoring Service;Sept. 22, 2001/ The RepublicanNewspaper

    The British broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has began training for senior editors, producers ...

    BBC Monitoring Service;Sept. 22, 2001/

    The BBC has began training for senior editors, producers and reporters that represent the Somaliland Media in two simultaneously conducted workshops at Maansoor Hotel which are to be concluded on Monday, September 24. Ms Maria Frauenrath of the BBC Training and Development Department, who organized the Journalist?training workshops, opened Monday? workshops by first welcoming the Somaliland Minister for Information and National Guidance, Abdullahi Mohamed Dualeh, the press Secretary and Official Spokesman for the Presidency, Abdi Idiris Dualeh, and the Head of the EU Somaliland Mission, . Paul Crook. On the some taken, Ms. Frauenrath warmly welcomed the participants a number of whom have come from Bossasso, Galka'ayo, and Mogadishu. Ms Frauenrath, then, went on to give a brief outline of the trainings the BBC, Initiated and conducted in Somaliland and Somalia with the help of the EU, whose financial sponsorship made the Media workshops both feasible and a resounding success. Speaking of the project, which formally began in January, 2000, Ms Frauenrath established that - including the present number of participants - more than 220 Journalists from newspapers and TV and radio stations have taken advantage of the trainings.

    We're convinced that we should continue (the project); and we would like to I will meet with EU representatives in Nairobi later in the week because we are very keen from our side to get funding for a second phase? Ms Frauenrath said. Ms Frauenrath, however, said that how long the break between the two phases would take. That we have always been keen to stress is the ethics of our profession, to be fair, accurate, balanced, not to put out libelous statements and to really be professionals, Ms Frauenrath, herself a seasoned authority in the profession, said. Next came a few words from . Paul Crook, the EU Head of Mission here. Then I first came to Somalia, the only newspapers I saw were those that were wrapped around the Qat, . Crook said.

    It is great to see what gone on in the intervening years, the last ten years or so. It is fantastic? he said. He, then, expressed his hope that the present participants and trainers of the two workshops would provide the kind of positive, frank evaluation reports the preceding workshops received.

    The EC is happy to have stood by the project; and, as Maria said, it is being discussed as to how we can take it further forward? . Crook said, at another point. . Crook urged participants to keep contact among themselves open and alive, voicing, once more, that, on their part (EU, he will talk to the Minister for Information and his superiors, on how the project could be taken forward. His excellency the Minister for Information and National Guidance, Abdullahi Mohamed Dualeh, the guest of honor at the Occasion, next, took over the microphone to, first, express his pleasure and gratitude at the honor accorded him in the participation of an occasion that brought together such a great number of professionals from the media sector.

    This occasion is of tremendous to me and, as such, of great honor to me it being the first of its kind I participate in since I took over the Ministerial portfolio of Information a short while ago. Also, because of the vast number of professionals in the Information media/ occupation that are presently gathered here? the Minister said. The Minister then, went on to express his-and the government of Somaliland's appreciation of the roles each of the BBC and the EU have played in making the trainings possible. Welcoming all to Somaliland, he specifically underlined that the Somaliland Ministry for Information would extend all possible assistance and facilities to the participants who represented papers and radio stations of towns/ cities within the geographical boundaries of the old Italian Somalialand country. This offer, he said, would include air time with radio Hargeisa.

    I hope this training here would not be the last. The project has had a tremendous impact on Journalism, on Information... and we hope to put our appeal up to the EU, to the BBC and to all (authorities involved) to get the project rolling (once again)? Minister Abdullahi, informed, particularly, the EU Representative and the BBC team. The workshops, according to Maria Frauenrath, the BBC's head of training and development, wrap the first phase of up a series of trainings that began two years earlier for Somaliland and Somalia Journalists. The two, also, differ from their predecessors, as sources that closely followed the BBC trainings point out, on several much appreciated aspects.

    First, the sources say, this is the very first time the BBC includes a comprehensive training for reporters in the coverage of events and news events occurring in conflict areas. This workshop, led by . Nick Nugent, a long - time correspondent for the corporation before turning his hand on own consultancy entrepreneurship, runs participants through all the paces and techniques a reporter would require to handle volatile situations in order to retain the impartiality and ethical objectivity demanded of a good reported. In such difficult situations, it was noted, to keep a professional head needs a careful pen and a more cautions mobility that can tread factually between hard facts and, more importantly, a responsible treatment of those facts.

    Seventeen reporters from Somaliland, and Somalia attended this workshop. Secondly, the fact that the BBC has so practically provided for the sustenance and continued usefulness of trainings given in the form of another training was, also, widely approved of here. This second training gives space to training of trainers that will, it is hoped to carry the illumining torch of further trainings for more ethically, professionally and technically trained reporters aloft even long after these internationally sponsored workshops meander into a conclusive stop. Ten senior editors, Nine of whom are Somalilanders, make up the roster of participants in trainers?workshop.

    These include the three chief editors of The Republican, Himilo and Maandeeq, the senior Assistant chief Editor of Jamhuuriya; the two area correspondents for Somaliland and Somalia of the BBC? Somali Service (the Maandeeq chief Editor, also, doubles up as the Broadcasting Corporation? Focus on Africa national strings); the Director General of the Somaliland Ministry of Information and National Guidance a recognized hand in several departments in the media business; and three senior editors from Radio Hargeisa and Hargeisa TV. The trainers training workshop is again led by another BBC World Service veteran, . Michael Harrison, who, like his colleague, . Nugent, opted out as a private consultant/ trainer after service of over twenty years with the British Broadcasting Corporation - widely regarded as the world? leading news pundit for a long, long time.


    BBC Monitoring Service;Sept. 22, 2001/ The RepublicanNewspaper

    Political parties Gear up for forthcoming Elections

    According to the Secretary of the national Commission for the Registration of political parties, . Mohamoud Ibrahim Ahmed, seven parties have so far met the September 21, 2001, deadline for party registration. . Mohamoud told The Republican last night that, although any party could bring in the previously distributed registration forms up to the last minute before midnight, Friday, the probability was 10 to 1 that no more parties would come before midnight. Asked whether the registration deadline would be possibly extended or not, he said any talk of extension was not really valid or of great urgency before the deadline date and hour was reached. Any extension to the registration date is, from hereon, the prerogative of the House of Representatives with or without a written proposal coming from the President or the council of Ministers, . Hohamoud said.

    According to the general register and files at the commission? austere offices at the Service Commission? compound, here, only seven parties have, up to then, met criteria set for the registration of political parties. These are UDUB, the government? own party, UCID Justice and welfare party), SAHAN (the Somaliland Alliance for Islamic Democracy), BIRSOL (the Salvation and Protection of Somaliland's Aspirations), HORMUUD (champions for Peace and Prosperity), UMAD (the Unification of Somaliland) Viewpoints), and ILAYS (the Somaliland's beacon Light Party). SAHAN, one of the above, registered its existence the very first day it assumed its new identity, September 20, Thursday.

    SAHAN is, in fact, the name a coalition formed by the Somaliland Salvation Party (UBSL), the Somaliland Islamic party and very prominent independent opposition figures among whom are ex - colonel, SNM veteran Musa Bihi Abdi and ex - Mayor, ex - SNM chairman and candidate in the country's 1997 Presidential elections, Mohamed Hashi Elmi. Professor Mohamed Omar Jir, an emerging political figure in tomorrow's Somaliland, according to political observers, was nominated Interim Chairman of the new Party. Earlier last week, several other events, that could either mar or make a healthy climate for the elections expected to take place early next year, were noted. Saturday, September 15: UBSL, one those that later Joined the Islamic Party to form SAHAN, held its first congress. It was closed next day amid a raging controversy and damaging allegations hurled against its founder, . Mohamed Abdi Adan ?skerse? for mishandling the party's executive election procedures. Five of its more visible officers, including its interim secretary General, . Fuad Adan Addeh, walked out of it for good. Sunday, September 16:- UDUB, the government Party, continues its extension campaigns by opening a branch office in Burao, following others reportedly established fully in Berbera, Burao and Hargeisa, among others.

    Tuesday, September 18:- ex-vice president, Hassan Essa Jama, the Interim Chairman of the Somali National Movement (SNM). Organization, denounced the government? alleged attempts to discredit the organization that, with the broad ?based support of the public, brought about the downfall of the deposed military regime of Siyad Barreh that ruled Somalia for 21 years.

    The interim chairman precluded the registration of SNM as a political party saying that the government had no right to imply that the SNM organization would become defunct and unconstitutional if it did not register itself as a political party within the time the government set for registration which expired midnight, last night, Friday, September 21.

    How can the government demand anything of the Institution that legitimized it, in the first place? chairman Hassan said. Wednesday, September 19:- President Egal calls the two Houses of Parliament to meet in an Extraordinary Session on Sunday, tomorrow, September 23, to deliberate on the nation? Electoral law and the Electoral by law of local Council seats, both of which are yet to pass muster through the Houses of Parliament. BIRSOL, also, elects members of its executive committee. Ahmed Yussuf Hassan (Sandon) ?one of its founding fathers, emerges as Chairman, Mohamed Ibrahim Ahmed ?Deputy Chairman, Abdi Aziz Haji Yussuf was elected General Secretary and the role of Spokesman went to Nuh Ahmed Sheikh.

    September 20:- The SNM reform wing declares that it would neither register for it nor participate in the forthcoming elections. The organization's Executive Committee, chaired by ex-vice president, Abdirahman Aw Ali Farah, who was erroneously reported as Joining another party on Wednesday, stated that it would, instead, devote its resources to finding other avenues to salvage Somaliland from the government's ill-motivated designs.


    BBC Monitoring Service;Sept. 22, 2001/ The RepublicanNewspaper

    ICD builds LNGO advocacy techniques

    The International Co-operation for Development (ICD) Concluded a six day workshop for trainers on advocacy selected from local NGOs, the media and institutions that have a close working relationship with ICD on September 17, at Maansoor Hotel, here. Explaining why and how the training could help the general masses and the man on the street Dr. Adan Yussuf Abokor, ICD country Representative said he build the capacity if our local partners by organizing workshops, training programs, exposure visits to other countries and this advocacy training is part of that program which we began in 1995. This program, conducted by Dr. Stephen Kibble, came through a request from our local partners who identified a need for an advocacy training. Most of the work local NGOs and the media undertake is based on advocacy; and they have pointed out that they do not have the capacity to do it?

    Dr. Adan went on to define the word advocacy itself and what it stood for pointing out that most of the work Local NGOs do on a daily basis are advocacy activities that are, usually, of great importance to the beneficiary; the public here are important issues that people would really like to take them up and advocate for them. Issues like women? rights, human rights, children? rights; issues like environment, minority groups and disabled people? Dr. Adan Said to advocate for these all-Important issues, local institutions need the requisite skills to bring them off? Dr. Adan Said. Dr. Stephen Kibble, who comes from Leeds, England, with a great background in advocacy activities and trade Unions assignments, brought a fresh breath of life and an engaging way of making time fly into the workshop.

    The kind of advocacy we are talking about here is the kind poor people, minorities, other vulnerable groups, women and institutions that represent them can take up to help themselves and undertake for themselves? Dr. Kibble said. As to how the groups can possibly do such that, Dr. Kibble said; he can provide skills in negotiating, skills in formulating a problem, skills in talking to their natural allies, skills in lobbying the government, in presenting it a problem, or its solutions?all of which are useful in sustaining a blunt advocacy campaign. In a way, we are trying to work with the government in overcoming many of the problems that face the people of Somaliland. I think this is a wonderful country and whatever we can do from our side in providing people more skills, for instance, we would be very happy to do so. Dr. Kibble added. The September 12 advocacy training for trainers, Dr. Kibble said, was hoped to achieve a kind of a ripple effect where one throws in a stone on the pond and the ripple spreads outward in ever widening circles.

    Trainers at this workshop, we hope, will pass on these advocacy skills to others who, in turn, will train some more and so on and on? Dr. Kibble said. The Republican sounded Dr. Kibble - who visited Somaliland a year ago before his current on impressions he formed in the course of these two visits.

    "I am impressed by the energy and commitment of Somalilanders to rebuild their country after the tragic events of the Siyad Barreh regime, of the civil fighting" Dr. Kibble said. In direct contrast to some other peoples elsewhere, these people have faith in their abilities. They are not fatalistic. It is very exciting to work with such a people? he added. On the issue of Somaliland's right to self-determination and on how the issue is related to human rights advocacy, Dr. Kibble, aver so the perfect English gentleman, said.

    As an outsider, one is sympathetic to the plight of a state that appears to be running its affairs fairly competently with no formal, international recognition. This leaves it vulnerable, obviously? Dr. Stephen Kibble said that friends of Somaliland would continue trying, as they did, to raise the issue of the right of Somaliland to international recognition with any number of institutions and nations.

    There are a number of partners here with whom we are exploring on how best the issue can be taken up the issue on different international fora? Dr. Kibble said. ?hilst many people in Britain have a special fondness for Somaliland; and many people do try to face the issue, it is still a long haul? the trainer of trainers, Dr. Stephen Kibble said towards the end of our conversation, last week. Dr. Kibble, also, strongly recommended that the government on its part, should embark on an accelerated but concentrated campaign geared to wards the awakening and re-awakening of the international community to the rightful claims of Somaliland and Somalilanders.

    The workshop, besides Dr. Adan Abokor and Dr. Kibble, was competently facilitated by the ICD Advisor on local NGO's CB issues, Ms. Shukri Abdulahi and . Mohamed Barud Ali, an ex-Minister and an intellectual of impeccable reputation. Participants got certificates of participation at the end of the workshop.


    BBC Monitoring Service;Sept. 22, 2001/ The RepublicanNewspaper

    EC advises NGOs to temporarily withdraw staff

    The European Commission (EC) has recommended to international NGOs whose operations in Somalia it funds to temporarily withdraw staff, an EC source told IRIN. The recommendation to either "withdraw or reduce expatriate staff" was given to the NGOs on Wednesday "as a precautionary measure until the situation becomes more clear", said the source. International NGO sources told IRIN that there was concern that any action taken by the US government in reaction to the New York and Washington terrorist attacks of last week "may create unstable conditions in Somalia", a mainly Muslim country. "Our hope is that this will be over-precautious and that nothing will happen." All EC-funded projects would remain active and be carried out by national staff, one source said. There was, however, a worry within the NGO community that EC-funded ECHO flights, which transport the bulk of humanitarian and medical provisions to Somalia, might be suspended. "If that were to happen, our services to the needy people of Somalia will be seriously affected," another of the NGO sources told IRIN. The EC source said ECHO flights were still operating and "will continue to fly, and there are no plans to ground them". Most of the NGOs IRIN spoke to expressed the hope that the withdrawal of staff would be of short duration.

    Somaliland: New political party, UMADA, registered

    BBC Monitoring Service;Sep 21, 2001/

    A new political party known as UMADA [expansion unknown] was today registered with the country's board for the registration of political parties. The party, which was launched in Boorama town, brings the number of registered political parties to seven...

    The registration board, which was working from 8 a.m., told us that they will be working up to midnight to register all those parties which have met the requirements. The board said that the registration process will end at midnight tonight.

    Source: Radio Hargeysa in Somali 1700 gmt 21 Sep 01 /BBC Monitoring/ BBC.


    BBC Monitoring Service;Sep 20, 2001/ Somaliland's Radio Hargeysa on 20 September

    Somaliland refugees return home from Ethiopia

    The 149th batch of Somaliland refugees who were in refugee camps in eastern Ethiopia returned home today. The refugees, numbering 1,500, and comprising 300 families, returned from Dahor refugee camp.

    The repatriation of these people who fled the country many years ago was organized by the UNHCR and Somaliland's Ministry of Resettlement.

    The refugees were warmly welcomed by officials of the UNHCR, the Ministry of Settlement and Somaliland immigration, upon arrival at Qoolbulale village along the Ethiopia-Somaliland border. The refugees were transported home by vehicles hired by the UNHCR, while other batches of refugees who are currently in Dahor refugee camp are expected to return home next week. Source: Radio Hargeysa in Somali 1700 gmt 20 Sep 01/BBC Monitoring/ (c)BBC.


    Somaliland: President Egal forges ahead with plans to strengthen new party

    BBC Monitoring Service;Sep 18, 2001/ Somali newspaper Xog-Ogaal on 18 September

    Somaliland leader Muhammad Ibrahim Egal, who recently differed with Somaliland's traditional clan leaders, has rejected any changes to the multiparty political system which his government had adopted. He said he would not change his stand on the new political party, UDUB [United People's Democratic Party], which was launched recently, with him as the chairman.

    In the past weeks, Egal has been making firm statements that he would not change his stand on the party. In support of his firm stand on the party and with the aim of strengthening the party Egal launched an intensive campaign strategy and opened branches in most districts of Somaliland. Egal opened the last branch on 16 September in Boorama District of Awdal Region [western Somaliland].

    Meanwhile, on 17 September it was announced that only four days were left for the registration of new political parties for those who want to form their own parties.

    [ Egal's] new moves completely contradicts the traditional leaders' plans to block the launching of the UDUB party. The move also sabotages the efforts being made to mediate between Egal and the traditional clan leaders, a move that had failed earlier.
    Source: Xog-Ogaal, Mogadishu, in Somali 18 Sep 2001/BBC Monitoring/ (c)BBC.


    Somaliland: Committee advises political parties to register on time

    BBC Monitoring Service;Sep 17, 2001/
    The committee in charge of the registration of political and national parties today announced from its office that the registration period was nearly up for those parties interested in taking part in the country's [Somaliland's] multiparty system.

    The committee, through this announcement, [word indistinct] takes into consideration Section (3) of Article (14) of the constitution which deals with registration.

    The committee, once again, reminds those concerned that there are only four days left within which time registration, which ends 20 September 2001, will be accepted.
    Source: Radio Hargeysa in Somali 1700 gmt 17 Sep 01/BBC Monitoring/ (c)BBC.


    BBC Monitoring Service;Sep 17, 2001/ Somaliland's Radio Hargeysa on 16 September

    Somalia/UK: Somaliland information minister receives BBC official

    The minister of information and national guidance of the Republic of Somaliland, Abdullahi Muhamad Du'ale, today held a meeting in his office with Ms Maria Frauenrath from the training department of the BBC.

    The information minister explained the phases that Radio Hargeysa had gone through - noting that it serves all Somali speakers and those in Somaliland in particular - and the current state of the radio.

    Muhammad Du'ale also spoke of the need for modern journalistic training for the staff of Radio Hargeysa. The minister added that his ministry was in the preliminary stages of promoting the journalistic profession at the Ministry of Information and constructing its premises and equipment.

    Ms Maria Frauenrath said she will work hard to see what the BBC could do to help Radio Hargeysa.

    The meeting was attended by the director-general of the Information Ministry, Hasan Umar Hohe.
    Source: Radio Hargeysa in Somali 1700 gmt 16 Sep 01/BBC Monitoring/ c BBC.


    BBC Monitoring Service;Sep 17, 2001/
    Source: Radio Hargeysa in Somali 1700 gmt 17 Sep 01/BBC Monitoring/ c BBC.

    Somaliland: Committee advises political parties to register on time

    The committee in charge of the registration of political and national parties today announced from its office that the registration period was nearly up for those parties interested in taking part in the country's [Somaliland's] multiparty system.

    The committee, through this announcement, [word indistinct] takes into consideration Section (3) of Article (14) of the constitution which deals with registration.

    The committee, once again, reminds those concerned that there are only four days left within which time registration, which ends 20 September 2001, will be accepted.


    BBC Monitoring Service;Sep 17, 2001/ Somaliland newspaper Mandeeq on 17 September

    USA thanks Somaliland for its stand on terrorist attacks

    The White House has responded to an e-mail sent by the Somaliland government on 13 September following Tuesday's [11 September] terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.

    A response which was received from the White House said:

    "We thank you for your message of condolence that was sent through the US vice-president stating your sorrow over the attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon. The vice-president, who has been receiving message of condolences on behalf of the people and the government of SA, is satisfied with your stand on the attacks. We thank you again for the condolence message. The US government and Vice-President Dick Cheney are satisfied with your stand on the matter."


    Somaliland "State House" reportedly bombed

    BBC Monitoring Service;Sep 16, 2001/
    The presidential headquarters of the self-declared republic of Somaliland in northern Somalia has been partially destroyed in a bomb attack, the Somali newspaper Mogadishu Times reported on Sunday.

    The paper said police in Hargeysa, Somaliland's capital city, were searching "intensively" for those responsible for the bombing of the "State House".

    "Up to now it is not clear how many people have been injured in the attack, although the rear part of the building was completely destroyed," the paper said.

    It did not mention specifically when the bombing took place.

    Somaliland police commissioner, Mahmud Muhammad Warsame, was quoted as saying the perpetrators would be arrested and would face the law.

    The paper quoted Radio Hargeysa as saying that the whole police force had been put on alert and expected to arrest the culprits "very soon".

    Source: Mogadishu Times, Mogadishu, in Somali 16 Sep 01 /BBC Monitoring/ c BBC.


    Human Rights Training Recommended

    African Church Information Service.September 14, 2001 Osman Njuguna, Nairobi
    The teaching of human rights in schools is likely to surface in Somalia following a recommendation by a three-man delegation the UN had recently sponsored to the troubled country.

    Addressing a press conference here, Prof Ghanim Alnajjar, a UN-appointed independent expert on human rights in Somalia, said: "Some of the community leaders we met here were in favour of this idea and we intend to push their feelings to the UN for consideration".

    But the UN official was quick to add, "Not all regions would qualify for this. Some regions such as Mogadishu and Hargesia in Somaliland have what would qualify as "workable education systems, while other regions such as Baidoa have not".

    Priority will be given those regions with workable education systems, he stressed, adding that the three-man delegation visited the regions of Mogadishu, Baidoa and Hargesia.

    He added that during their stay in the country, they managed to have an audience with leaders of major political parties as well as community leaders at grassroots levels.

    According to Prof Alnajjar, many human rights issues were raised during the mission. Concerns touched upon the establishment of human rights commissions, the inclusion of human rights in school curricula, investigations into specific human rights violations and the deteriorating conditions of prisons.

    He added that other discussions were pegged on the development of the judicial system, the status of women, law enforcement, the separation of juveniles from adults in prison, and the ratification of international human rights treaties.

    Answering a question, Prof Alnajjar said he intended to write to the UN Secretary-General and Security Council, urging them to appoint an independent Committee of Experts to investigate various allegations and make recommendations to the Security Council.

    Prof Alnajjar said, however, that there is no pre-conceived model on how this concern should be approached, and the proposed committee would decide on this.

    The UN official announced that about 18,000 Somalis have so far been demobilised since last year. There is a great need for NGOs to assist the demobilised Somalis, he said, while stressing that " they are in great need of vocational training to lead them into a profitable new life".

    He added that the outcome of their fact-finding mission in Somalia will be included in a report to be presented to the 58th session of the Commission of Human Rights in April next year.


    Copyright 2001 African Church Information Service. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com).


    The Republican Newspaper Subtitle: Sept 13, 2001

    SAHAN castigates government policies

    BBC Monitoring Service;Sep 13, 2001/
    For the first time since the launch of registered political parties in Somaliland, SAHAN launched its campaign publicly on Saturday, October 6, at the Khayriya grounds here in Hargeisa. In an unprecedented move, three of the party's top leaders. Professor Mohamed Omer, Party Chairman, Dr. Mohamed Abdi Gabbooseh and Engineer Mohamed Hashi Elmi spoke at length of their Party's plans to change what they called the government's dismal record in mainly, the political and social arenas. The leaders, speaking to a sizeable audience at the Khayriya Plaza, which has been, hitherto, the exclusive stomping grounds of the government, hit the government back with its own short-comings, a tack, seen by many, as a most effective weapon given the more increasingly vulnerable fronts the government exposes to its detractors in these last few years. Mohamed Hashi, for instance, questioned why did the government limited polling stations for next year's general and municipal elections to the six regional capitals of Erigavo (Sanaag), Las Anod (Sool), Burcao (Togdheer), Berbera (Sahil) and Hargeisa, alone. Answering his own query, Mohamed Hashi dismissed it as another policy failure on the part of the government as it is, yet another manifestation of the government's lamentable record in fully extending the national administration to all areas within the geographical boundaries of Somaliland. Hashi put the estimated number of eligible voters, in all of the six towns the government proposed in the Electoral law it drafted, as 7%.

    All three SAHAN leaders most credibly pointed out, in one or another, the jointlessness of electing a government to office that failed to develop the country's political, administrative and social set-ups for 9 years its tenure in office since 1993. They specifically pinpointed many areas that extended over education, health, roads and other social welfare considerations.

    The three big names, for instance deplored what they called the government's lackadaisical, inconsiderate attitude?towards its constituents. They placed this cited anomaly in juxtaposition with the nation? oft-published runaway inflation figures, state of unemployment, low per capita income, the reported misuse of tax-payers' money on the promotion and operation of its own UDUB party and the dire absence of almost all social insurance and welfare policies.

    To illustrate the latter point and, perhaps, to hammer it home more firmly, Saturday three speakers asked an enraptured audience to picture for themselves the plight of the mentally disturbed roaming the streets with or without pitiful rags standing between them and inclement weather ?uncared for ridiculed and, often, misunderstood. They diverted attention to the main Group Hospital, smack in the centre of the capital, where inpatients are either medically attended to nor receive the requisite medications and drugs despite the huge amounts the public dutifully pays in taxes. SAHAN's successful public rally on last Saturday's Khayriya occasion, besides being a widely welcomed advent in the constitutional exercise of democratic electioneering programs, the more, as the speakers underlined, would put the government hitherto uncensored, exclusive use of national radio air-time, its print-space use of Maandeeq (governmental) and the open use of the government's printing shop, so much under more channelled, more concentrated public scrutiny from hereinafter, if nothing else.


    What US Government has against the Aljazeera Television

    BBC Monitoring Service;Sep 13, 2001/
    In the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks on New York city and Washington DC, the Bush administration has become pre-occupied with building up anti-terrorism coalition for its efforts to wage war against what Washington calls ?errorism and those who harbour them??namely Osama bin Laden and the ruling Taliban of Afghanistan. Since then world leaders began paying visits to Washington to pledge support and to be part of that coalition, including leaders from the Muslim and the Arab world, whose support the US administration considers crucial for the anti-terrorism coalition. To the US government no contribution or support is too small for the US led anti-terrorism coalition and it can be in any form. So on that pretext, the US government has urged the Amir of Qatar, the second Arab leader to visit Washington since 11 September attacks, to rein in Aljazeera the Arabic language cable network, which Washington believes fosters anti-American sentiment. The Arab monarch, in his public response gave the West some of its own medicine arguing that Aljazeera is a part of a democratisation process in which his government wants to promote freedom of speech.

    What irony, that a democratic government urging an absolute monarch to curb freedom of expression. Aljazeera has ascended within five years to prominence in the television journalism and has become a household name in the Arabic-speaking world. It known for its tendency to give its Arabic-speaking viewers a variety of perspectives and the perspectives of all the concern parties, in a region where freedom of expression is not a fact of life. Isn? that what America wants to promote in the region? So the question is what US government has against Aljazeera, or what has Aljazeera done wrong to have annoyed Washington? The US administration accuses the Arabic channel Aljazeera, which happens to be the only channel that has direct satellite broadcast facilities in Kabul, of spinning out anti-American sentiment by giving excessive coverage to Osama bin Laden and the ruling Taliban of Afghanistan. And consequently, turning the Arab and the Muslim public opinion against America? declared war on international terrorism. But the American government has somehow overlooked the fact that it does not enjoy favourable opinion and sentiment in the Muslim world due to its double standards in the Middle East ?especially the Arab Israeli conflict-in which innocent civilians are being terrorised by the Israelis with American blessing. Not to mention the on going suffering of the innocent Iraqi people due to the sanction placed on their country. What should be more troubling to the Bush administration is that the indignation that has been expressed within much of the Muslim and the Arab world resonates with the views of Osama bin Laden, the prime suspect on September 11 attacks which are distrust, humiliation, rage, and disenchantment.

    To the Muslim world, though there is no religion that condones, and no political justification for, the Sept. 11 attacks on the US. However, there is no point in denying that it was a product of US? unbalanced policy in the Middle East. And without solving the Palestine issue and easing or lifting the sanction against the Iraqi people, the war against terrorism will prove to be inadequate and misguided. In America the Sept. 11 attacks, have led to an upsurge of patriotism, there is a tendency for many Americans ?led by the media to jump-on patriotic bandwagon. In order to avoid public censure by either losing viewers/readers or being labelled unpatriotic, CNN and other major US news media depict the US as a victim of all the goodness it stands for: namely democracy, justice, liberty, freedom and generosity. But the dissenting voices among the media who have expressed the view that the US is being attack for some of its double standard foreign policies, have either lost their jobs or been labelled as unpatriotic. For fear of losing readers, an editor of major US newspaper was fired for writing an editorial criticising President Bush and the US government.

    If the American media are reflecting American public sentiment and opinion, why can? Aljazeera reflect the sentiment and the opinion of its viewers? As indicated by the US government, its war against terrorism will be fought on many fronts. The media war is one of them and certainly, it is a war the US government can? afford to lose-specially in early stages. It feels it is losing Muslim public opinion due to Aljazeera. So isn? surprising if the US administration tries to utilise its influence ?if it can get away with it ?to rein in the media, even if it is against the freedom speech. Usually in war like this the media are the ones who are caught in between and feel the pressure from both sides. Instead of attempting to curb the news media and tampering with the freedom expression, the US government should let its concern be known and let the responsible media decide. Aljazeera has already began to address some these concerns by introducing exclusive interviews with western leaders like the British Prime Minister Tony Blair, to present their prospectives to the Muslim world on the war against terrorism. It is very early to tell which side is winning the media war, but it looks that the US government is feeling the pressure.


    UCID Secretary General condemns Gebiley arrests and government's continued misuse of National Resources

    BBC Monitoring Service;Sep 13, 2001/ Somaliland newspaper The Republicanon 13 September

    Following spontaneous demonstration and some scuffles between the police and a few of the demonstrators at the opening ceremony of a branch office for the government? UDUB party in Gebiley on Thursday, October 11, the government, reportedly, led a number of the protestors to the district police station where, at least, one of them is still being detained. The arrests made quite a stir among the opposition parties here leading to an impromptu visit that brought the Secretary General of UCID, . Ahmed Musa Geeddi (Sanjab), to The Republican/Jamhuuriya offices in protest of the detentions.

    We are passing through a transitional period, politically, in which we are hoping to establish a multi-party environment based on democratic principles that permits citizens freedom of expression in accordance with Somaliland? National Constitution,?. Ahmed Musa, the General Secretary of the Justice and welfare political party (UCID), said. ?onsequently,?he said, ?he arrests (the government made) in Gebiley on the grounds given?hould be condemned and should not be allowed to be repeated in other places.? The General Secretary, reflecting the general policy lines of his party, was also visibly annoyed by what he termed as ?he government? continued, unconstitutional misuse of national resources.?This last allegations charged against the government is based, the GS says, on reports that all public offices and schools were given a day - off on Thursday in order to be shepherded to the town? main public plaza where the UDUB? function was later held. ?e consider the closure of government offices and schools for that occasion wrong and immoral since the opening of an UDUB office does not constitute a public function? Secretary General Ahmed Muse said.

    . Ahmed believes that there was an urgent need to separate party assets from those of the public. True enough, but how? ? believe that all regional and district government officials should be taught? the secretary General says ?ow and when public resources are to be used? ?ore importantly,?. Ahmed said, ?fficials holding public offices should maintain their impartiality to all political parties? In connection with the Gebiley events, . Mohamed Abdi Iskeerso, whose founded party-UBSL-along with the Somaliland Islamic party and a number of independent political figures of great repute, Joined forces to form and register as ?SAHAN, told The Republican last evening, Friday, that they would lodge a strong protest with local human rights offices against the government (or UDUB?) for its Thursday actions in Gebiley that constitute a direct, most foreboding threat to civil liberty either today or soon after wards. According to Separate reports, The Republican received on Friday evening, only . Jama Egeh Farah, a local trader in his Sixties, is still being held at the Gebiley police station cells on charges that include ?nciting a disturbance of the peace? Others, most of whom were youngsters, who at first, only shouted their allegiance to other political parties against the UDUB proponents before being joined by quite a number of the local audience, were said to have been led off to the police cells. They were tater released, according to independent sources, either on bail or after stiff ?autioning?statements were read them.

    But, Faysal Ibrahim Yussuf (Tigero), the district police commander, going through the usual motions police forces appear to make universally to deny the use of inordinate measures, said ?one other than Jama Egeh (Sawirleh) was ever arrested for Thursday? minor disturbances? Of the detained elderly gentleman, the police commander tells of an ?ngoing?police investigations into the charges levelled against him which will be concluded, either way, ?ithin the constitutionally 48 hours?that would come to end later today.

    UDUB, preceded by UCID and SAHAN parties in opening branch offices in Gebiley one of the most populated districts in Somaliland, was, at first, most encouragingly accorded the same warm reception the residents previously accorded the others. With the exception of a few protestors and hecklers interspersed among the gathered audience, no organized or even vaguely threatening situation was visible or perceived. But, according to reliable sources at the inauguration ceremony, a number of other voices Joined the hecklers during and after UDUB? own Secretary General, . Abdi Aw Dahir, speech. The SG, reportedly, made a big thing of a hatefully recalled socialist/dictatorial style of exhortions and ?ublic address harangues associated with the ousted regime of the late military strongman General M. Siyad Barreh. He is said to have made statements that riled the listeners such as ?DUB is Gebiley and Gebiley is UDUB?and ?ebiley is not foolish enough to go elsewhere? To the local residents, who have already welcomed two other parties to operate from there, the statements of the UDUB SG were not only patronizing and reminiscent of similar attitudes favoured by the oppressive officers of the deposed ?olice State?but ?ntentional slights to the people? collective intelligence?as they were a denigration from the ?reedom of choice?and democratic principles they fought for until - and since ?1991, according to the sources, a number of whom volunteered to send in signed faxes and affidavits if need be.


    Finance, UNDP/UNCTAD hold a joint Workshop on Transit Traffic

    BBC Monitoring Service;Sep 13, 2001/ Somaliland newspaper The Republicanon 13 September

    A one-day workshop on the transport of goods across the territory of Somaliland, especially, when this passage is a portion of a complete journey ?tarting and ending beyond the frontiers of Somaliland, was held at Ming Sing hotel, Hargeisa, on Thursday, October 11. His Excellency the Somaliland Minister for finance, Mohamed Saeed Mohamed Gees, blessing the workshop with the official go-ahead in a typically short, knowledge-able speech he gave at the occasion spoke of the accrued advantages the system, procedures and documents the UNDP/UNCTAD?rganized workshop would outline for participant officials held for the nation. The measures, the minister said, when implemented as intended would bring Somaliland so much nearer to the bosom of an international community that was slowly but surely awakening to the fact of Somaliland? place in a global village which had a place for every member within its immediate circle. The intellectual?inister?s he is popularly accepted entreated the participants to fully heed the steps MR. Peter Cabanius of UNCTAD would put them through during the day? proceedings based on the universally followed documents that are designed on the basis of what is known as the United Nations Layout key ?The workshop, going underway later on Thursday morning, confined itself ?as intended -- to the review of Customs Procedures and Customs Control aspects of transit traffic and, consequently, goods that are passing through Somaliland in transit. Customs procedure, for instance, involved ?and aimed at -- the harmonization, simplification of ?rocedures to be fulfilled at the customs offices?through all the points the transit goods are transhipped. Customs Control, on the other hand, is meant to ensure transit ?declared goods are either exported through as intended or that ?ustoms charges are paid if they remain in the country? Key participants at the workshop included the State Auditor, . Ahmed Daud, the Accountant General, . Dahir Salaan, head of customs, . Ali Qoorseef and a number of other prominent officials.


    Interview With Dr Ghanim Alnajjar, Independent Expert

    UN Integrated Regional Information Network/INTERVIEW/September 11, 2001

    The UN-appointed Independent Expert on human rights in Somalia, Dr Ghanim Alnajjar, has met with Somali leaders to discuss investigations into past atrocities, and the possible establishment of a human rights commission, or truth commissions. On a fact-finding mission from 28 August to 6 September, he met leaders in the capital, Mogadishu, Baidoa in southern Somalia, and Hargeysa in the self-declared state of Somaliland, northwestern Somalia. As well as discussing human rights abuses before and after the civil war broke out in 1991, Alnajjar investigated conditions at prisons, the use of child soldiers, and the development of law enforcement. With pressure now being brought to bear on the international community to investigate atrocities in Somali territories, IRIN asked the Independent Expert what the next step should be:


    Answer: One of the issues we raised with political leaders is the issue of past human rights violations, and we got the impression that there is enough support to pursue this case. We deal with the issue as a larger Somali scale, not north versus south. The intention is to depoliticise the issue... not as if the only past human rights violations took place in Hargeysa, although we recognise that atrocities took place there on a large scale. But the same things happened also in Mogadishu and other places. I'm already in the process of writing a letter to the UN Secretary-General and the Security Council to ask for the appointment of a committee of independent experts to investigate these allegations.


    Question: What difference will that make to previous recommendations?


    A: It's a procedure, and there is a precedent. We have the war crimes tribunals for Bosnia and Rwanda, which went through that type of process. You can't just jump to create a war crimes tribunal without investigating the case first. The Security Council will be the suitable body to do that, and they will appoint experts who will investigate the allegations, and collect enough material, and then it will go back to the Security Council. They might be of the opinion to establish a tribunal, or they might be of the opinion to have truth commissions. This is a sensitive issue within the Somali community, and I think they have different opinions about it... As for myself, I'm not recommending creating any tribunal or anything like that, I'm just asking that the procedure should start.


    Q: Do you think this move indicates more seriousness on the part of the international community to address human rights abuses in Somalia?


    A: Well, I hope so. The office of the Independent Expert is not necessarily representing the international community. The Independent Expert serves the office on a voluntary basis... If the Secretary-General takes this on board, and if the Security Council accepts this recommendation and appoints that committee, then that is a message from the international community.


    Q: Some strong supporters of the peace process are very nervous of the issue of human rights. They say it will be disruptive...


    A: This is an opinion we heard - but not widely... Most of the opinions were supportive of pursuing the case. I don't think anyone should fear that, because first of all we talk of the committee of independent experts and then decide after consultation... They will definitely be sensitive to the issue... It's important for the Somali community to know that there is no clan base in terms of investigating human rights violations. There are certain individuals who committed crimes, and these individuals have to be questioned about

    what they have done. It is a long process, and it is not going to happen tomorrow.


    Q: Do you think there will be willingness in the international community to back this?


    A: I have no idea.
    Q: Do you think governments will be prepared to look at their immigration procedures, investigate those who fled abroad - is there that sort of seriousness about Somalia?


    A: When we talk about accountability and war crimes now, there is an international tendency there... maybe five or six years ago it would be more difficult to discuss... We have several international tribunals... This is coupled with the establishment of the international criminal court... Belgium,

    [for example], allows...to take a case in a Belgian court for crimes against humanity that were committed outside Belgium. There are some countries that are considering opening up their courts for such cases, so this is a very good move on the part of the world to go in this direction.

    What is going to happen in Somalia? ... the recommendation I am making I felt has enough support in the Somali community, and it is not an issue where there is a sharp disagreement - although there are dissenters, and there are... even people outside the Somali community who might feel it will have a negative affect on the peace process... In Somalia we are in a unique position, with no central government which is controlling the whole country. You can have discussions with everybody and come up with the best mechanism that serves the Somali case - the model is not necessary a tribunal.


    Q: What did you look at in Baidoa? The last report of the Independent Expert referred to "chilling evidence" of atrocities during the civil war.


    A: Well, we did not go deeply into that, because the person charged with atrocities against the people of Baidoa was in Baidoa himself - Husayn Aydid [Mogadishu-based faction leader Husayn Farah Aydid, currently chairman of the southern opposition grouping, the Somali Reconciliation and Restoration

    Council ]. Obviously, we discussed this with Shatigadud [Baidoa military leader Hasan Muhammad Nur Shatigadud, of the Rahanwien Resistance Army] and he said, well, we did this, and he did this, its fifty-fifty. It was strange...


    Q: Were you able to talk to people on the ground, rather than just the leaders?


    A: Yes, we talked to people on the ground and to NGOs. In Baidoa they have an organisation called "isha" - an eye with one tear... I was told this was the eye that can see, but cries because it can't change things. They gave us a report which says a lot of things, and they told us a lot. I think everybody we saw in Baidoa spoke about those things, and we went to a village which was completely destroyed - razed to the ground - and [this] was done by the people who occupied Baidoa at that time. But when I was there, the same

    leaders were sitting in the same place, next to each other. Well, is that the way to go forward? I don't know.


    Q: What other issues did you discuss?


    A: We talked about prisons, the separation of juveniles from adults, and we got a positive response. The point is that all the authorities in all the regions we visited were very cooperative with us. They gave us access to prisons, they did not say no to anything. We were in Mogadishu for about 24 hours, and I saw Abdiqassim [Salad Hassan] on my arrival, where I heard something about an incident where two boys were killed two days before our arrival.... I insisted on seeing the president before I leave. I saw him on my way to the airport. I raised this issue with him, and he said he knew about it. I told him we had been informed that the boys had been killed by a uniformed man who belonged to your [Abdiqassim's] militia. He said yes, this is correct, and we don't have concrete information... and this man had been arrested. I demanded that a proper investigation of the matter take place and the information be publicised, or at least I have to know the results. Which he accepted - he said he was really distressed about this, and he was trying to

    contact the father of these two, because they were brothers, eight and 10 years old. They [TNG] say it happened accidentally... they were shot near the beach.


    Q: What did you discuss in Hargeysa?


    A: I looked at was the arrest of the sultans in Hargeysa, and I also raised with [Muhammad Ibrahim] Egal the case about the killing of a boy. He promised to have a proper investigation. [A boy shot in the stomach during demonstrations related to the jailing of the sultans died]... I had to meet with the sultans after the president, and they were hesitant to meet with me, because they thought I had cancelled their appointment and gone to the president first... I explained the situation, and what I had raised with the

    president, and that I had asked the president that these incidents should not be repeated. They were obviously happy; they responded and explained their position...

    Other issues raised was the inclusion of human rights in the education curriculum. On that we got a positive response from both Abdiqassim and Egal. Also we raised the issue of establishing a human rights commission - a body established by the government with some independent status. It would collect information on human rights, and probably in the future monitor human rights. Then we will be able to communicate with one body about all concerns... This is also an issue with the opposition, since they say they have an organisation.


    Q: What was Egal's position on progress regarding human rights support? He has complained about the slow progress in investigating the mass graves [See IRIN WebSpecial

    http://www.reliefweb.int/IRIN/webspecials/somalijustice/index.phtml]


    A: He was not happy, not happy at all - and this is a problem where I cannot reassure him, it's not [within] my jurisdiction, it's with the executive branch of the human rights and the civil protection programme of UNDP...I think we are coming up with several proposals, trying to find someone who can fund them

    in training judges and all of that... You have other problems of who is going to pay the salaries, and how much they will get, and issues of bribery and corruption within the judicial system ....


    Q: One of the things recommended in 1999 by the previous Independent Expert was that the mass graves in Hargeysa be properly investigated. Why did that process stop?


    A: It didn't stop, it's still going on.... I could see a lot of progress has taken place in this regard. There is a government independent commission looking at the issue, and there is also a very active NGO. They are doing some work... We have seen a lot of progress in this regard. There are maps, locations, names, preservation for some of the sites... It's not been forgotten.

    One thing I did notice that was very positive was the civil society. It is really working hard and they are getting a lot of good results. Three years ago we trained some people, and now they are doing an excellent job in human rights. And I think there is a need to support pan-Somali organisations. There are two or three, but the international community is not putting the support to that type of model...it is a model that will bring people together more than the politicians, who have their own thinking and their own interests. We asked also for the ratification of the treaties, the international human rights treaties, specifically the TNG. I was informed that [the] Somaliland government had ratified the treaty on the rights of the child...


    Q:What is the position of an unrecognised government signing an international treaty?
    A: It's good for them, because they show that they are committed, but in terms of international law and UN, this has no value unfortunately...


    Q: It's a double standard, then - asked to ratify but told that it is worthless?

    A: Yes, exactly...it's an unfortunate situation where there is a contradiction between self-determination and - well, this is a shaky situation in the whole country... If you have a problem, there are certain parts of it where it is not secure, there is no civil administration, no law and order; and parts of it with civil administration, and asking to be recognised as an independent body. The international community says no, it will recognise only one single unit. For sure this brings [about] a contradictory situation...


    Q: How is it possible to talk to leaders in Somalia about human rights when so many have blood on their hands?

    A: Well , you see the problem is that those people control areas and have authority over people, so when your concern is the people, you have to try to forget about who you are talking to, and impress on them the need to respect human rights now... In international law - especially human rights norms - we always hold recognised governments responsible; but how about if a region is controlled by freedom fighters and they have, say, three or four million people under their authority? Should we just say, fine, they are not

    recognised, they have blood on their hands, we should not talk to them? No, within human rights, you have to deal with matters differently....


    Q: Although it is obviously in the interests of some of those leaders to pay lip service to what you say, but to make sure the procedures you want to establish do not go ahead.


    A: Well, as far as I am concerned, most of the things I asked [for] were granted, verbally. Now the struggle and the conflict in Somalia is taking different forms, and most of them would like to go in on the political side. If that is the case, then they will have to adhere to international norms of human rights. If they want to fight, there is no chance of me having an effect. But if they say they have a charter, and they assure me they are not interested in fighting, then human rights must be part and parcel of what they are talking about. They will have to listen.


    Nairobi, 11 September 2001/ Copyright c 2001 UN Integrated Regional Information Network. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com).


    Somaliland Seizes Cigarette Cnsignment

    UN Integrated Regional Information Network, September 11, 2001
    Police in the self-declared independent state of Somaliland, northwestern Somalia, have seized a consignment of cigarettes, the pro-Somaliland administration newspaper 'Mandeeq' reported on 8 September. The consignment, consisting of 132 crates of Benson and Hedges cigarettes reportedly originated from the port city of Bosaso in the self-declared autonomous region of Puntland, northeastern Somalia, a local source told IRIN on Tuesday.

    There were various versions of who owned the consignment, but no one had so far claimed ownership, the source said. 'Mandeeq', however, noted that the cigarettes were the same brand as those that a Djibouti businessman used to bring into the country. These were previously supplied to Somaliland by a Djibouti businessman, Abdulrahman Bore.

    Bore, who is close to Djibouti President Ismael Umar Guelleh, has had cigarettes worth US $800,000 confiscated by Somaliland authorities in April. Bore had reportedly helped to finance last year's Djibouti-hosted Somali peace talks, during which the Transitional National Government (TNG) was formed. The Somaliland administration boycotted the talks, relations with Djibouti soured, and the border was recently closed.

    Copyright c 2001 UN Integrated Regional Information Network. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com).


    Time International, Sept 10, 2001 v158 i10 p48+

    The Country That Isn't: Officially it doesn't exist, but Somaliland is an adventure for intrepid tourists.

    When commercial airlines in East Africa announced flights to Somaliland recently, airport police in Hargeisa, the breakaway republic's capital, realized they would need a metal detector to screen passengers and luggage. Such equipment is rare in Africa's impoverished Horn, and expensive to import. Mine detectors, on the other hand, are all too plentiful. "It does the job just the same," says a customs official, buzzing a departing visitor with a United Nations-donated detector that he carefully switches off between passengers to save battery power. "People shouldn't be put off. We are happy to have more visitors. If you want to come, we say, 'Welcome.'"

    Ten years after declaring independence from the war-ravaged south, the 3 million inhabitants of the former British colony have their own parliament, President, currency, flag, passport and universities. But it's tough developing an economy if you're a country that doesn't officially exist. In a recent referendum, 97% of voters endorsed self-rule, but still no foreign country will recognize Somaliland's independence. And because it relies heavily on livestock sales and remittances from Somalis living abroad, Somaliland's nascent economy remains vulnerable. Last year's decision by neighboring Arab Gulf States to ban the import of Somali animals following an outbreak of Rift Valley Fever hit hard. Now the government is encouraging investment in untapped areas of the economy. Its latest project: tourism.

    So far, growth is slow. In the last year, according to the director general of culture and tourism, Ahmed al Harun, Somaliland received just 30 tourists, most of them from Germany and South Africa. The U.S. warns its nationals against "all travel to Somalia," though it concedes that parts of the north are "relatively peaceful." Britain says Somaliland is "generally stable," but cautions that "the situation could change without warning." Even the Lonely Planet, the bible for backpackers and intrepid travelers the world over, advises would-be tourists that they will be "spoilt for choice in the number of things that can go wrong." Counters Minister of the Environment Mohammed Musa Awale: "We cannot offer something to those people who are old women. We want people who are not worried about fancy hotels with furniture, people who can go around the country and see it as it is."

    What the adventurous will find is a country poor in furniture but rich in natural beauty. Attractions include the wondrously pristine coral reefs off Saylac Island in the Red Sea, the rugged mountains that squeeze up south of the coastal strip and the starkly beautiful nomad-dotted plains. History buffs may want to visit the "Mad Mullah's fort," built by a 19th century Somali nationalist who fought the British for more than 20 years. "We also have camels, which are very rare in Europe," says Minister of Information Ali Mohammed Waranade. "Before, the world knew Somalis only because of our fighting and problems. Now, if you come you will see that we are good people, honest, with a beautiful country and interesting way of life."

    Somaliland once boasted five national parks teeming with cheetahs, leopards, lions, hyenas and antelopes. But overgrazing by nomads' herds and Somalia's violent breakup have caused animal numbers to decline. Mohammed Egeh Killeh, 61, joined Somaliland's forestry department in 1959 and remembers the hundreds of big cats that once prowled Gacanlibaax (Lion's Paw) National Park in central Somaliland. Today, locals are lucky to spot a lion once a year. "We still have more than 600 birds found only here and 580 plant species not found outside our country," says Killeh. "But the big animals, most of them have gone."

    Those that remain are traded freely. Visitors to Hargeisa can order baby cheetahs or pay nomads to catch animals to order. Even Minister of Information Waranade keeps a pet lion, Tchi Tchi, and four cheetahs at his house. In 1999, a group of hunters, including a prince from Qatar and several Europeans, rounded up a menagerie of animals to stock a new game reserve in Qatar. "They took gazelles, ostriches, kudus, lizards. Anything they could find," says Killeh. "They had a ship to take it all back to Qatar. People think they can come to Somalia and there are no rules. We want to change that."

    Killeh and a crew of workers employed by a local aid group are rehabilitating Gacanlibaax and hope to rebuild its guesthouses, once used by the British governor as a weekend retreat but destroyed during the civil war. Local businessmen and members of the Somali diaspora are also starting to invest money in tourist facilities. Hargeisa's Hotel Maan-Soor more than doubled its capacity to 40 rooms recently, while a nearly completed luxury hotel near the airport promises competition. "Somalis who live in the Western world will expect a high standard when they come to visit," says Kayse Jama, a Somali software engineer from Australia who heads the construction firm building the new hotel. "A lot of bad things happened here. But the people have learned, and the worst times are over." Just be ready for an adventure or two.

    -QUOT-

    "We want people who are not worried about fancy hotels with furniture, people who can go around the country and see it as it is."


    Sultans Released in Somaliland

    UN Integrated Regional Information Network. September 10, 2001 Authorities in the self-declared independent state of Somaliland, northwestern Somalia, have released senior traditional elders arrested on 23 August. Somaliland's official radio station, Radio Hargeysa, said five clan leaders had been released from the central prison on 30 August. The report said the five clan leaders had set up a council of clan chiefs in Burao, central Somaliland. It said the government had also freed nine clan chiefs who had been under house arrest since 21 August in Hargeysa for "holding an illegal meeting".

    Local sources told IRIN that Sultan Muhammad Sultan Abdiqadir of the Ide Galle, Sultan Muhammad Sultan Hirsi of the Habar Yunus, Sultan Ahmad Shaykh of the Habar Awal (all sub-clans of the main Isaq clan) and Sultan Hadi of the Gadabursi clan, were released after promising to abide by the Somaliland constitution. The elders reportedly refused to accede to the Somaliland President Muhammad Ibrahim Egal's demand that they disband their organisation, the Sultans' council, said the source. The elders had argued that the existence of such an organisation is permitted by the constitution.

    Copyright c 2001 UN Integrated Regional Information Network. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com).


    Somaliland not to rejoin Somalia, says its president

    BBC Monitoring Service;Sep 10, 2001/ Somali newspaper Qaran on 10 September

    The UN secretary-general's envoy to Somalia, David Stephen, and his delegation , have held talks with the president of the self-declared Republic of Somaliland at his office in Hargeysa.

    The delegation is on a fact-finding mission to Somaliland. The delegation is also expected to hold talks with Somaliland's governing councils.

    [Somaliland President] Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal briefed the delegation on the position of the people of Somaliland and said the people of Somaliland will never rejoin Somalia, which he described as a neighbouring country facing crisis.

    Source: Qaran, Mogadishu, in Somali 10 Sep 01 p 2/BBC Monitoring/ c BBC.


    Somalia: Police in Somaliland's town of Berbera seize cigarettes consignment

    BBC Monitoring Service;Sep 10, 2001/ Somaliland newspaper Mandeeq on 8 September

    Police in Berbera [northwestern Somaliland] have seized a consignment of cigarettes that was ferried [into the country] through the eastern border point last week.

    The consignment composed of 132 containers was carrying the illegal Royal and Benson cigarette brands which a Djibouti businessman used to bring into the country before he was expelled.

    The Sahil region deputy police commander, Wardi Ali Hasan, who spoke to our reporter in Sahil region said the vehicle had an entry permit and a clearance letter issued at Cernabo control point of Burco [in central Somalia].

    The officer further said they had allowed ferrying of the cigarettes to Hargeysa after getting permission to do so from the police commissioner.

    Source: Mandeeq, Hargeysa, in Somali 8 Sep 01/BBC Monitoring/ c BBC.


    UNIFEM to Promote Women's Role in Peace Building

    UN Integrated Regional Information Network , September 8, 2001
    Three independent experts are visiting the DRC, Rwanda and Somalia to assess the impact of armed conflict on women and women's role in peace building, the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) announced on Wednesday.

    Former UN Under-Secretary-General Elisabeth Rehn, former Assistant Administrator and Director of the UN Development Programme regional bureau for Africa Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Associate Foreign Editor of the UK-based newspaper The Guardian, Victoria Brittain, will be traveling from 5 - 9 September in Rwanda and Somalia and from 10 - 15 September in DRC to consult with women "to understand and articulate their experiences during and after conflict," according to UNIFEM.

    "The assessments are in response to [prominent Mozambican women's and children's rights advocate] Graca Machel's call to mobilise a gender dimension in conflict resolution, and part of UNIFEM's ongoing efforts to engage women's participation in [resolution of] crisis situations and to facilitate consultation with grassroots, national and regional organisations involved in peace building, protection and assistance," UNIFEM noted. This is the second of six field visits to countries affected by conflict in Africa, the CEE/CIS, Asia and Latin America due to be completed by 30 January 2002. The first such visits were to East Timor and Cambodia last July.

    The assessments will complement efforts already underway following the October 2000 Security Council resolution 1325 on Women and Peace and Security and will contribute to the preparation of a study by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

    Copyright c 2001 UN Integrated Regional Information Network. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com).


    Copyright 2001 Janet Matthews Information Services. Quest Economics Database Africa Review World of Information.
    September 7, 2001

    SOMALIA: REVIEW

    Somalia is one of the poorest countries in the world. War and famine has destroyed the country's infrastructure and economy, leaving a country in a complete state of anarchy and at the mercy of warlords and regional states. However, hopes for a better future for Somalia were given impetus during 2000 when a new consensus emerged among some of the key players in Somali politics to start working towards gaining a peaceful resolution to Somalia's problems and, in turn, its long-term stability.

    Political Developments

    Attempts to end the inter-clan violence, which has dogged Somalia since 1991, came to a head at the Djibouti peace conference at neighbouring Arta in Djibouti during August 2000. Somali Islamic and civil society leaders agreed to the formation of a three-year transitional national government (TNG) and the appointment of an interim president, Abd Al- Qasim Salad Hassan. The TNG assembled for the first time in the Somali capital of Mogadishu in October 2000, with Hassan appointing Ali Khalifa Galad as the interim prime minister. Apart from trying to govern Somalia, the TNG's goal is to maintain the momentum of the peace process by continuing the reconcilitary dialogue between the militias, clans and governments of the self-styled republics of Somaliland and Puntland. In March 2001, the Chairman of the Somali National Alliance (SNA), Hussein Aideed, formed the Somali Restoration and Reconciliation Council (SRRC) in Ethiopia. While the SRRC claims that it wants to work towards restoring order in Somalia and establishing an elected national government, it remains bitterly opposed to the faction-dominated TNG.

    Somaliland votes on independence

    The Somaliland republic is located in the north-west of Somalia. Headed by President Mohamed Ibrahim Egal, it has enjoyed more stable conditions than the rest of Somalia. It already possesses the many symbols of the nation-state including an elected government, governmental institutions and currency, but is not recognised by the international community.

    On 31 May 2001, Somaliland held a referendum on its constitution. The referendum effectively re-confirmed Somaliland's desire for independence with voters overwhelmingly supporting the constitution. Independent observers from the US and Europe confirmed it was conducted in a free and fair manner. It is hoped by Somaliland's leaders that the referendum result will send a clear signal to the rest of the world, demonstrating the people's clear will for self-determination - an essential ingredient to gaining international recognition. However, the Somali TNG is opposed to Somaliland's independence. One Somaliland Islamic leader, Sheikh Ali Warsama of the Al-Ihad group, declared his opposition to the Western-style constitution. Somaliland opposition leader, Suleiman Mohamoud Aden, was arrested and imprisoned by the Somaliland administration in May 2001 on charges of conspiring with the TNG to sabotage the referendum. The referendum was also opposed by the Djibouti government and the administration of the Puntland state, led by Colonel Abdullahi Yusaf, in the north-east of Somalia.

    Violence continues

    Despite a genuine desire for peace among the majority of Somali people, inter-clan fighting continues unabated. In early 2001, the Rahanwein Resistance Army (RRA) was engaged in fighting with rival militias in the central and south of the country. In May 2001, a gun battle exploded in Mogadishu between rival militias loyal to the TNG and the SRRC's Hussein Aideed when Aideed made a visit to the main port. Ethiopia has also been accused of entering Somalia on a number of occasions, taking control of towns close to the Ethiopian border and arming local militias in a proxy war based on its own long-running border dispute with Eritrea.

    The present peace overtures between the two countries are unlikely to see less involvement in Somalia's internal affairs as both Ethiopia and Eritrea continue to have an interest in Somalia's long-term political future. The continued fighting, coupled with famine, is continuing to place pressures on neighbouring states through an influx of refugees. Indeed, during June 2001, 15,000 Somali refugees were ordered to return to Somalia by the Kenyan government. The UN estimates that there are 451,000 Somali refugees in neighbouring states and 350,000 persons displaced within Somalia.

    Aid assistance

    The ravages of war and famine in Somalia have taken their toll on the Somali economy. International help in the form of loans to assist in the rebuilding of the economy is virtually non-existent because of the lack of a stable central government and due to the substantial debts that Somalia has accumulated over the years. However, around 100 international aid agencies do continue to work in the region assisting the Somalis under the constant threat of starvation and war. Working under the umbrella group, the Somali Aid Co-ordination Body (SACB), the aid agencies had a budget of around US $ 115 million to work with in 2000. Many of its staff face daily risks from the inter-clan violence. In April 2001, for example, two British aid workers working for the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) were taken hostage in Mogadishu. Nonetheless, the SACB is working hard to relieve the effects of recent famine under the UN's Operational Plan to Support Governance and Peace Building in Somalia programme. The programme is also attempting to re-build Somalia's economy in areas such as agriculture.

    Somalia's shattered economy

    Agriculture remains the main contributor to Somalia's small GDP with over 65 per cent of the population working on the land and is the most important factor in determining whether Somalis will face the threat of another year of starvation. Somalis are reliant on the weather to ensure a good crop yield. The 2000 season produced around 212,000 tonnes of cereal which was better than the 1999 season, which suffered due to the lack of rains and pest infestation, and much improved over the dreadful harvest of 1997. Despite some hopes that the 2001 rainy season would provide a successful harvest, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) warned that famine could hit the south-central regions of Somalia where the important maize and sorghum crop had failed due to the lack of rain and pest infestation. The WFP estimated that the region would only produce as little as 40,000 tonnes of cereal as a result of the poor harvest. Other factors also threaten the farming in the region including the high cost of fuel, shortage of water supply and the high prices of local and imported food due to the devaluation of the Somali shilling. If the WFP's fears proved to be right, up to 1.2 million Somalis could face the threat of starvation.

    Livestock, one of Somalia's main exports, also continues to face difficulties due to a ban which was introduced by the Gulf states in 1998 owing to an outbreak of Rift Valley fever. The ban continues to affect central and northern parts of Somalia.

    The high inflation rate and the depreciation of the Somali shilling are proving to be barriers to Somalia's economic development. In April 2001, the UN reported that the market value of the shilling fell to an all-time low against the US dollar of SoSh20,000. The prospect of famine and shipments of fake shillings by local businessmen into Somalia continues to prevent any long-term prospect of recovery. According to reports, Somalia's GNP currently stands at around US $ 1.4 billion, although accurate statistics are unobtainable in a country where economic, financial and political structures are in chaos.

    Outlook

    Although the first seeds of Somalia's future have been planted with the early efforts to eventually establish a central government through the activities of the TNG, warlords, many still determined to maintain control of their regions, remain too much of a powerful force in Somali politics and life. Although unlikely, hopes still rest on some movement towards reconciliation between the TNG and SRRC which will go some way towards bringing stability to Mogadishu. Further peace around the region would surely rest on bringing in the other rival clans.

    Nonetheless, the lack of stability continues to threaten the Somali population and reduce the likelihood of the foreign investment needed to rebuild Somalia's shattered economy. There are many untapped resources awaiting foreign investors. The potentially lucrative oil market is already on offer with some foreign companies such as TotalFinaElf in discussions about undertaking oil exploration. However, the international community is unlikely to become embroiled in any attempts to solve the problems of Somalia again - leaving it to the factions and neighbouring states - due to the debacle of the UN peackeeping operation in the country during 1992-95 which has had so much effect on US foreign policy towards this area of Africa. In the meantime Somalia will have to continue to look forward to a very uncertain future.

    Risk assessment
    Economic: Poor
    Political: Poor
    Regional stability: Poor
    Copyright: Walden Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.


    Visit By UN-Appointed Expert On Women

    UN Integrated Regional Information Network. september 6, 2001
    Elisabeth Rehn, a United Nations-appointed Independent Expert on gender and women's issues, will, from 5 to 9 September, be looking into the impact of armed conflict on women and women's role in peace-building in Somalia. The United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) said in a press release on Thursday that Rehn, the former Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Finnish former minister of defence and equality affairs, would be meeting representatives of government, NGOs, civil society organisation and women's groups.

    The aim of the mission is to review gender roles and the role performed by women in a post-conflict and peace-process situation, and the gender dimensions of conflict resolution and reconciliation. "Conditions for women in Somalia are amongst the most difficult experienced anywhere in the world... after many years of civil conflict and in a situation of continuing extreme poverty," Rehn said.

    Findings of the mission will be published in a report sponsored by UNIFEM, scheduled for release next year. The report would also contribute to the follow-up to the October 2000 Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, which called for documentation on the impact of armed conflict on women, and the role of women in peace-building, UNIFEM said. Humanitarian sources said that Rehn was hoping to travel to a number of areas in Somalia, including the self-declared state of Somaliland, northwestern Somalia, and the capital, Mogadishu.


    Copyright c 2001 UN Integrated Regional Information Network. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com)


    BBC 6 September, 2001, 19:01 GMT 20:01 UK

    UN Calls for Somalia war crimes investigation

    The United Nations human rights envoy to Somalia, Ghanim Alnajar says he will recommend a full investigation into alleged war crimes in Somalia, during the deployment of UN troops there at the height of the civil war

    The envoy, who visited Somalia earlier this week on a fact-finding mission, said it was important for the UN to review its operations during its time in Somalia

    The enovy added that such an investigation was needed to help heal the divisions in Somalia's fractured society, where there have been years of heavy fighting between clan-based factions
    From the newsroom of the BBC World Service


    Amnesty Calls for Investigation

    UN Integrated Regional Information Network, September 5, 2001 Amnesty International has called on President Muhammad Ibrahim Egal, leader of the self-declared state of Somaliland, northwestern Somalia, to give assurances for the safety of four sultans and a supporter who had been detained on 23 August for political reasons. It said during the arrests a number of people were seriously injured and one person was reportedly shot dead. "President Egal is duty-bound to organise a prompt, thorough, independent, impartial and public investigation into these incidents."

    The statement from the London-based human rights organisation, said the elders had reportedly been arrested in connection with meetings held by a number of sultans to discuss recent political developments, "including the formation of political parties in the run-up to elections later this year".

    Amnesty International said the fact that they had been detained without being taken to court or charged with any offence contravened the legal requirement that a person suspected of a criminal offence should be brought to court and charged within 48 hours.

    Amnesty gave the names of those arrested and detained as Sultan Muhammad Sultan Abdiqadir, Sultan Muhammad Sultan Hirsi, Sultan Ahmad Shaykh, Sultan Hadi and Abdullah Farah Harbi. According to official Somaliland radio, they were released on 30 August.

    Copyright c 2001 UN Integrated Regional Information Network. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com).


    Four killed in land dispute in central Somaliland

    BBC Monitoring Service;Sep 5, 2001/ Four people were killed yesterday evening following clashes between two armed groups over land in Burco town [in central Somaliland]

    The disputed empty land was the site for Shaykh Bashir's monument, but has since been neglected

    It is said that the warring groups belonged to two different families who have been wrangling over the piece of land for some time. The dispute intensified after one of the groups began fencing off the land.

    Four people died on the spot, including a three-month old baby, who had been strapped to his mother's back as the two sides fought...
    Source: Jamhuuriya, Hargeysa, in Somali 5 Sep 01 /BBC Monitoring/ c BBC.


    (Correction) Somaliland: Government releases detained clan chiefs

    BBC Monitoring Service;Sep 1, 2001/ [Reissue correcting source; also correcting "cell" to "prison" in paragraph one]

    The government of Somaliland last night released from the central prison in Hargeysa five clan leaders who set up a council of clan chiefs in Burco [central Somaliland], recently. The government has also freed nine clan chiefs who were under house arrest since 21 August in Ahmad Dagah estate in Hargeysa. They were found holding an illegal meeting.

    The releasing of the clan chiefs comes at a time when a committee composed of religious leaders, businessmen, elders and heads of the two councils were engaged in mediation efforts to solve differences between the government and the clan chiefs.

    The committee has been making efforts to convince both parties to renounce their stand in order to solve their differences through dialogue...

    Source: Radio Hargeysa in Somali 1700 gmt 31 Aug 01 /BBC Monitoring/ c BBC. All Material Subject to Copyright


    Detained Sultans Should Be Given Fair Trial Or Released

    Amnesty International/PRESS RELEASE/August 31, 2001
    Amnesty International today urged President Mohamed Egal to either bring to trial or release without further delay the four sultans and a supporter currently held in incommunicado detention in Hargeisa, Somaliland.

    Sultan Mohamed Sultan Abdiqadir, Sultan Mohamed Sultan Hirsi, Sultan Ahmad Sheikh, Sultan Hadi and Abdullah Farar Harbi were arrested in Hargeisa in the early hours of Thursday 23 August and are reportedly being held in Central Prison in Hargeisa without access to a lawyer or their families.

    They were reportedly arrested in connection with meetings held by a number of sultans, including themselves, to discuss recent political developments, including the formation of political parties in the run up to elections later this year.

    According to Amnesty International's information, none of the five detained have so far been taken to court or charged with any offence. This contravenes the legal requirement that a person suspected of a criminal offence should be brought to court and charged within 48 hours.

    "The detainees should either be tried fairly and promptly on recognizably criminal charges or released without delay," An Amnesty International said.

    During the arrests a number of people were seriously injured and one person was reportedly shot dead. "President Egal is duty-bound to organize a prompt, thorough, independent, impartial and public investigation into these incidents," the organization added.

    On Thursday 23 August, three unsuccessful attempts were apparently made by the army and police to arrest nine further sultans from the same group of 18, who are currently in a house in Hargeisa. The residence is reportedly guarded by militia allied to the sultans. The house is very near an army barracks and there are fears for their safety in view of the tense situation and the reported presence of members of the security forces in the vicinity. Amnesty International is seeking clarification as to whether their arrests are being sought and if so, on what grounds.It has asked President Egal for assurances for their safety.

    Copyright c 2001 Amnesty International. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com).


    Agence France Presse. August 31, 2001/

    Somaliland officials arrive in Addis Ababa

    ADDIS ABABA --- A high-ranking delegation from Somalia's breakaway republic of Somaliland has arrived here for talks with the Ethiopian authorities, an Ethiopian official said Friday.

    The delegation, led by information "minister" Abdulahi Duale, arrived late Thursday, said the official. It was not immediately clear at what level the talks would be held.

    A diplomatic source told AFP that the delegation would brief Ethiopian officials on latest developments in Somaliland, where on Sunday Somalilanders opposed to Mohamed Ibrahim Egal's administration took the streets to demand the release of clan elders.

    The leaders were detained for claiming to be the breakaway republic's highest authority.

    In a counter-demonstration on Monday, Egal's supporters called on the government to prosecute the elders for "deceiving the people of Somaliland."

    On Thursday last week, at least one person was killed and six wounded in the Somaliland capital Hargeisa when police exchanged fire with a group of civilians accused of holding an illegal meeting.

    The self-declared republic broke away from the rest of Somalia in May 1991, five months after dictator Mohamed Siad Barre was toppled.

    Somaliland authorities do not recognise the transitional administration established in Mogadishu last year. Somaliland itself enjoys no international recognition as a sovereign state.

    However, in April this year, an Ethiopian ministerial delegation travelled to Hargeisa for talks with Egal, who in March indicated he was in favour of wide-ranging talks with both Ethiopia and Somalia.


    Child Casualties in Hargeysa Clashes

    UN Integrated Regional Information Network, August 31, 2001
    Children were seriously wounded during recent clashes between police and demonstrators in Hargeysa, capital of the self-declared state of Somaliland, northwestern Somalia. In response to the woundings - including that of a 12 year-old boy who was shot in the stomach - a UNICEF press release urged "greater attention to the safety and protection of children throughout Somalia". The UNICEF Somalia Representative, Dr Gianfranco Rotigliano, appealed to all parties to bear consider "the grim and cruel consequences that innocent children all too often bear in such circumstances".

    The statement was issued after children became involved, and wounded, in the recent unrest in Hargeysa. On 23 August, a 10 year-old girl was hospitalised in the first of a series of clashes, when police arrested and detained four sultans, whom the authorities accused of challenging the government. On 27 August, two processions of children marched to where the sultans were being held to call for their release. "The two columns of demonstrating children met, there were scuffles between armed escorts and shots fired in the air," humanitarian sources told IRIN. Many children were caught up in the panic and confusion, and a stray bullet caught one 12 year-old boy in the stomach. He was operated on immediately, and was now in a stable condition, the source said. In a statement released on Wednesday, UNICEF said it had become all too clear in Somalia "that whenever and wherever violent clashes have recently taken place... very young children have consistently been numbered amongst the casualties".

    Copyright c 2001 UN Integrated Regional Information Network. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com).


    Somaliland: New political party formed

    BBC Monitoring Service;Aug 30, 2001/ Somaliland newspaper Mandeeq on 30 August

    A new political party called Hormood, (Hormodka Nabadda iyo Barwaaqada) [Vanguards of Peace and Prosperity], was yesterday launched in Hargeysa.

    Some members of Hormood issued a press statement in which they said their party was different from other opposition parties and the status quo.

    The statement said: "If we look back into the history of Somaliland since its independence in 1960, we will see that the leadership has failed to translate into reality the ambitions and aspirations of the nation. This fact has led to setbacks in all fronts and across the wider society. In order to realize the aspirations of the nation, we found it necessary to create a new party that will raise excellent leaders who are capable of winning the confidence of the nation and bring about tangible progress. The party will put before the public its manifesto and constitution when it convenes its inaugural congress. It is our hope the party's manifesto and constitution would reflect the views and aspirations of the people of Somaliland."

    Source: Mandeeq, Hargeysa, in Somali 30 Aug 01 /BBC Monitoring/ c BBC.


    Somaliland: Talks between government, detained clan chiefs going on well

    BBC Monitoring Service;Aug 29, 2001/
    The committee mediating in the dispute between the government and the arrested traditional clan leaders which has been shuttling between the government and a house where the clan leaders have been confined since Saturday, has spoken about its achievements.

    The self-appointed committee which is composed of religious leaders, businessmen, and two of the three [governing] councils, which has been liaising between the two parties yesterday briefed the media. Adan Barado and Shaykh Muhammad Dini spoke on behalf of the rest. Barado said, "We are the envoys who are mediating in the disagreement between the clan chiefs and the government, which is going on and progressing well. We are hopeful that it will end up successfully..."


    Source: Himilo, Hargeisa, in Somali 29 Aug 01 /BBC Monitoring/ c BBC.


    Agence France Presse. August 29, 2001/

    Children seriously hurt in Somaliland clash: UNICEF

    GENEVA -- A number of children were seriously wounded in the capital of breakaway Somaliland last week when police exchanged fire with a group of civilians accused of holding an illegal meeting, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said Wednesday.

    Police reported one person killed and six wounded in the clashes in Hargeisa last Thursday. UNICEF did not say how many children were wounded in the clashes, or whether they were in addition to or part of the statistics reported by police.

    "It has become all too clear that whenever and wherever violent clashes have recently taken place in the country, very young children have consistently been numbered among the casualties," UNICEF's Somalia representative Gianfranco Rotigliano said in a statement.

    "We urge all parties to exercise vigilance to protect vulnerable children, and for the community at large -- community leaders as well as parents -- to ensure that innocent children do not become the victims of violence."

    Somaliland announced its secession from the rest of Somalia following the overthrow of the government of president Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991, but has yet to attain international recognition.


    Somaliland citizens abroad call on President Egal to resign

    BBC Monitoring Service;Aug 29, 2001/ Somali newspaper Qaran on 29 August

    More than 187 people from the self-declared [Republic of] Somaliland in northwest Somalia, who live in Europe and America, have issued a joint statement and sent it to the government of [Somaliland President Muhammad Ibrahim] Egal and the [Somaliland] parliament, calling for his immediate resignation.

    The members accuse President Egal of violating the country's constitution and misusing public resources. They also demand an immediate release of the jailed clan leaders, describing the arrest as similar to those of the regime of [former President] Siyad Barreh...

    They say the only solution towards achieving peace is for Egal to hand over office.

    Source: Qaran, Mogadishu, in Somali 29 Aug 01 p 2 /BBC Monitoring/ c BBC.


    Somaliland: Human rights body calls on President Egal to release detainees

    BBC Monitoring Service;Aug 28, 2001/ The [Mogadishu-based] human rights organization, the Dr Isma'il Jim'ale Human Rights Centre [IJHRC], has expressed concern over the Somaliland administration's recent conduct, in particular the arrest of community leaders. The leaders are being held in jails the towns of Hargeysa, Berbera, which come under the [Muhammad Ibrahim] Egal's administration.

    A press statement issued today on the increasing problems in Somalia also touched on the problems of clan revenge attacks, the excessive land mines being planted in various regions of the country, the massive inflow of weapons into various districts and regions of the country and the kidnapping of civilians, which, the centre said, existed in the south of the country, Puntland and Somaliland...

    The IJHRC said in another statement that up to 23 people, among them Suldan Muhammad Suldan Abdulqadir, Suldan Mahmud Ahmad Shaykh, Suldan Abdighani Suldan Hirsi and Suldan Abdi were being held in jails in Hargeysa and Berbera towns, for their freedom of conscience and speech.

    The IJHRC finally called for the protection of life, freedom and [word indistinct] at the same time respect the UN policy on arms sanction [on Somalia]. The group further requested President Egal to release the jailed civilians unconditionally.

    Source: Radio Banaadir, Mogadishu, in Somali 2000 gmt 27 Aug 01 /BBC Monitoring/ c BBC.


    Somaliland: Pro-government rally held in Hargeysa

    BBC Monitoring Service;Aug 28, 2001/ Somali newspaper Qaran web site on 28 August

    A demonstration was yesterday held in Hargeysa in support of [Somaliland President] Muhammad Ibrahim Egal's call for a transition from clan-based politics to pluralism.

    The demonstrators chanted among other slogans "Away with those who received dollars", "We don't want Arta [Mogadishu-based interim Somali government created in Arta, Djibouti]". The demonstrators were addressed by Hargeysa mayor who said they [as published] were opposed to anything detrimental to peace in Somaliland.

    Meanwhile, a demonstration opposed to the arrest of clan leaders was yesterday held in Burco, the demonstrators called for the immediate release of clan leaders.

    Egal yesterday afternoon held a news conference and thanked the people who had [earlier] gathered at the Khayria Square in support of his stand on the affairs of Somaliland.

    Source: Qaran web site, Mogadishu, in Somali 28 Aug 01 /BBC Monitoring/ c BBC.


    Somaliland minister denies government planning to attack clan elders' residence

    BBC Monitoring Service;Aug 28, 2001/ Somaliland's Radio Hargeysa on 27 August

    The [Somaliland] minister of resettlement, Abdullahi Husayn Iman Darawal, today made clear that the government had no plans whatsoever to attack and use force against a house where a clan leaders' group is staying.

    The minister said this during a news conference he held today at the Hotel Hargeysa Club.

    He said there were people visiting the elders' bodyguards at night telling them to start shooting, that there was enough support for them, and that they will be attacked.

    Denying this, the minister said the government believed that the issue [the dispute between the government and the clan elders] would be settled through dialogue. He described as inconsequential those who thought they were indispensable. He added that these men were those who incited troublemakers and even today want the same.

    Source: Radio Hargeysa in Somali 1845 gmt 27 Aug 01 /BBC Monitoring/ c BBC.


    Somaliland: Pro-government rally held in western district

    BBC Monitoring Service;Aug 28, 2001

    A huge rally in support of the president of Somaliland [Muhammad Ibrahim Egal], the constitution and the country's peace was today held in Boorama, Awdal regional HQ [western Somaliland].

    The rally which was attended by many people, traditional elders, clergymen, intellectuals and many other people was also attended by the minister of culture and tourism, Uthman Ali Bile, the regional administrator, Muhammad Mahmud and the Boorama town mayor Muhammad Dahiye Isma'il.

    According to our Boorama reporter, Abubakr Afe, the public rally voiced opposition against anything detrimental to the existence and sovereignty of the country.

    The minister told the rally about the political situation in the country, the government's decision and the need to respect the constitutional referendum which was passed by 97 per cent of the population and was supported by the people who are opposed to anything that affects it... [passage omitted on names of speakers at the rally]

    Source: Radio Hargeysa in Somali 1845 gmt 27 Aug 01/BBC Monitoring/ c BBC.


    Somaliland: Demonstrations held in Hargeysa, Burco against arrest of elders

    BBC Monitoring Service;Aug 27, 2001/ Somali newspaper Xog-Ogaal web site on 27 August

    There is still tension between the president of the self-declared Republic of Somaliland [Muhammad Ibrahim Egal] and traditional leaders who have had some of their colleagues imprisoned. The latest reports from Hargeysa say a demonstration, which was not big, was held in the town last night, calling for the release of elders who had been arrested.

    Meanwhile, traditional leaders in Burco spoke over the radio with elders in Hargeysa who had differed with Egal and delivered a strong message to elders imprisoned in Hargeysa who said they would not change their stand even if they were killed [sentence as published].

    A self-appointed mediation committee has failed to resolve the differences between the two sides, prompting Egal to threaten to resign if some of this propositions are not heeded. These are:

    Traditional leaders should rescind decisions reached at the Burco meeting and also those reached at the Hargeysa meeting, in which they said they were the highest authority in Somaliland; and should withdraw claims that they were a body belonging to traditional elders of Somaliland.

    Egal also said that the elders' aim was to destroy the country and that it was unacceptable that the arrested men should give conditions for talks. He said talks could only be held when they are freed.

    Meanwhile, a huge demonstration was held yesterday in Burco calling for the release of the traditional elders. Among those who spoke during the demonstration were Col Muhammad Kahin, one of the founders of the SNM [Somali National Movement, which led the fight for Somaliland's independence], and the scholar Muhammad Ibrahim Hadrawi who said "the aim of the liberation [of Somaliland] was not have the public suppressed and intellectuals and traditional leaders arrested."

    Source: Xog-Ogaal web site, Mogadishu, in Somali 27 Aug 01 /BBC Monitoring/ c BBC.


    Somalia: Minister criticizes Somaliland for detaining clan elders

    BBC Monitoring Service;Aug 26, 2001

    The Transitional Government of Somalia [TGS] has expressed regret at the detention by Muhammad Ibrahim Egal's administration [Somaliland] of Somali clan elders who were meeting in Hargeysa.

    The TGS minister of information, Zakariya Haji Abdi, said the government deeply regretted the political tensions that had emerged in the northwestern regions of Somalia following Egal's decision to arrest the Somalia clan elders. He said the elders were arrested for merely meeting to express their views and their arrest therefore violated human rights and the freedom of expression.

    The minister called upon international organizations who advocate for human rights to witness and condemn the violations that Egal practises on the residents of the northwestern regions of Somalia...

    Source: HornAfrik Online text web site, Mogadishu, in Somali 25 Aug 01 /BBC Monitoring/ c BBC.


    Somaliland: Police confront protesters in Hargeysa, wound three

    BBC Monitoring Service;Aug 24, 2001/

    Text of report in English by Somali HornAfrik Online text web site on 23 August

    Three people were wounded some of them seriously in clashes between demonstrators and Somaliland police in Hargeysa.

    This follows when the president of the self-proclaimed Republic of Somaliland, Muhammad Ibrahim Egal, ordered the arrest of Sultan Muhammad Sultan Abdukadir, Sultan Muhammad Hersi Abdiqadir and several other public prominent personalities.

    The protestors were demanding the immediate release of the arrested men when they clashed with the police. Egal ordered the arrests of the men when they took a different position over the issue of a new political party recently announced in Somaliland (UDUB) [United People's Democratic Party].

    Source: HornAfrik Online text web site, Mogadishu, in English 23 Aug 01 /BBC Monitoring/ c BBC.


    Somaliland "Severely Malnourished" Need Resources

    UN Integrated Regional Information Network, August 24, 2001

    A move by humanitarian agencies to help severely malnourished children in resettlement camps in Hargeysa, in the self-declared state of Somaliland, northwestern Somalia, will depend on how quickly resources can be mobilised, a UNHCR official told IRIN today.


    Agence France Presse.August 23, 2001

    One dead, six hurt as police clash with civilians in Somaliland

    NAIROBI -- At least one person was killed and six wounded in the capital of breakaway Somaliland on Thursday when police exchanged fire with a group of civilians accused of holding an illegal meeting, police said.

    "Some of those in the meeting were armed and were against police questioning a few elements suspected of undermining the security of Somaliland," a police officer who asked not to be named told AFP by telephone from Hargeisa. He said that five of the "anti-peace personalities" were arrested and that police were still looking for several others.

    The deceased succumbed to injuries he sustained during the clashes, hospital sources in Hargeisa said.

    Somaliland announced its secession from the rest of Somalia following the overthrow of the government of president Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991, but has yet to attain international recognition.


    Somaliland leader "narrowly" avoids impeachment over formation of new party

    BBC Monitoring Service;Aug 23, 2001/ UN regional information network IRIN on 23 August

    Muhammad Ibrahim Egal, the leader of the self-declared state of Somaliland, northwestern Somalia, is facing criticism for establishing his own political party. Accusations against Egal, including those of using government funds and misappropriating money to found his own party, have led to an attempt to impeach him. Thirty-seven MPs placed a proposal before parliament calling for him to be removed from office. The proposal included a complaint that he had been too "ambiguous" in pushing for Somaliland independence.

    Diplomatic sources told IRIN that Egal had only "narrowly" averted impeachment.

    Egal was criticized for forging ahead with the founding of his own political party, the Allied People's Democratic Party (or UDUB, meaning "pillar"), by holding a conference in early July in Hargeysa with representatives from the regions, districts, parliament and current administration. The participants reportedly prepared and approved the party rules and regulations, and established a central committee.

    Critics of Egal said he was using "state" resources to establish his party, and had brought in leading members of the present government, giving him an unfair advantage in upcoming multiparty and presidential elections. However, diplomatic and humanitarian sources told IRIN that the main thrust of the complaint put forward in parliament was based on a package of written "evidence" that Egal had given interviews, made speeches and written letters demonstrating a lack of commitment to Somaliland independence. Of the 37 MPs, 24 were described by the source as "hardcore secessionists".

    Source: UN Integrated Regional Information Network, Nairobi, in English 23 Aug 01/BBC Monitoring/ c BBC.


    BBC news. Thursday, 23 August, 2001

    UN warns of hunger in Somalia

    Somalis face more misery in the coming months.

    Half a million people in southern Somalia face a serious shortage of food as a result of insufficient rains, say the UN's food agency, the World Food Programme.

    A statement released by the WFP said this year's harvest of the staple food sorghum will fall below 10% of the expected average.

    "I have seen for myself that many of the underground food stores are now empty." --Kevin Farrell, WFP

    Kevin Farrell, country director for Somalia said in the statement:: "I have seen for myself that many of the underground food stores, which should be full by now are empty."

    The dry weather in March and April have forced some families to begin early migration in search of food and grazing land for their cattle. Food appeal

    At feeding centres an unusually high number of women are now turning up for assistance. In some villages men have left their families behind and headed for the city seeking food. Milk, an essential part of the Somali diet, is also drying up.

    Women have been making their way to feeding centres

    The regions worst affected by the drought conditions, the WFP said, are those bordering north eastern Kenya and south eastern Ethiopia.

    They include Gedo, Bay and Bakol.

    The organisation is appealing for donors to provide at least 40,000 metric tonnes of food in order to halt a "humanitarian tragedy and stop more people from leaving their homes".

    It said the remaining 20,000 would come from other aid agencies.

    Animals dying

    The UN food agency said there has not been any deaths from starvation in the country as a result of the current drought but fear that if donors do not urgently respond to their appeal, the situation might change in the coming months.

    Underground food stores are empty

    A correspondent for the BBC in Somalia says the food situation in the central region is also causing concern.

    He says in Galgudud the water wells have dried up and that their are reports of animals dying.

    Our correspondent also points out that insecurity in the south and central regions of the country have also accounted for the shortage of food.


    Somalia: UN agency appeals for food aid as drought bites

    BBC Monitoring Service;Aug 23, 2001/

    Somali HornAfrik Online text web site on 23 August

    The World Food Programme has appealed for 22,000 tons of food aid for Somalia in order to save over half a million Somalis who are facing a severe food shortage. The WFP director in Somalia said lack of rain in the country had led to a shortage of food. As a result, Somalia will need food aid in the coming months in order to avert a human catastrophe, particularly in Gedo, Bay and Bakool regions [in southern Somalia].

    Source: HornAfrik Online text web site, Mogadishu, in Somali 23 Aug 01 /BBC Monitoring/ c BBC.


    Africa News.August 21, 2001 Tuesday

    Somalia; Condition of Somaliland Returnees "Worrying"

    BYLINE: UN Integrated Regional Information Network

    A nutritional survey on returnees in Hargeysa, capital of the self-declared state of Somaliland, northwestern Somalia, has provoked concern over the level of malnutrition in several resettlement camps in and around the town.

    The survey, carried out by UNICEF, the Somaliland health ministry and the Food Security Analysis Unit (FSAU - funded by USAID and implemented by FAO), predicted a bleak outlook for children already malnourished and lacking special care. "Many of these children are, in fact, likely to die," said the FSAU August Nutrition Update. Of an estimated total population of 30,500 in seven resettlement camps, 901 children were surveyed using a 30-by-30 two-stage cluster sampling methodology. The report said about 300 - or 5 percent - of children who were severely malnourished at the time of the survey were "unlikely to recover without intensive feeding, and most of them will never reach their full mental or physical potential".

    The Somalis have returned to Hargeysa from refugee camps in Ethiopia, and are finding it difficult to get housing, employment and basic amenities after congregating in several resettlement camps around the town. Repatriation had been taking place over a number of years, but had recently intensified following the closure by UNHCR of the camps in Ethiopia, humanitarian sources said. The report warned that most families were living in the camps without adequate shelter, clean water or sanitation. "In an environment of generally better food security, stability and infrastructure such as Somaliland, a nutrition rate of 15.1 percent is certainly worrying," FSAU said. The report posed that it was unlikely that this population of around 30,000 would recover and re-establish their lives and livelihoods without assistance. [For full details of FSAU monthly update of information on nutrition report see http://www.reliefweb.int


    Somaliland: Information minister dismissed

    BBC Monitoring Service;Aug 15, 2001/ Somaliland's Radio Hargeysa on 15 August

    Somaliland President Muhammad Ibrahim Egal today issued presidental decree number 164/8/2001, relieving Ali Muhammad Waran-Ade from his post as Somaliland's minister of information.

    Source: Radio Hargeysa in Somali 1700 gmt 15 Aug 01

    /BBC Monitoring/ c BBC.


    Somaliland president dismisses his interior minister

    BBC Monitoring Service;Aug 15, 2001/ Somaliland newspaper Jamhuuriya on 15 August

    According to a statement from the Somaliland Presidency, the president of the Republic of Somaliland, Muhammad Ibrahim Egal, relieved his internal affairs minister, Ahmad Shambir Sultan, of his duties yesterday.

    A statement issued by the Somaliland presidential spokesman, Abdi Idris Du'ale, says the president has relieved Sultan of his duties with immediate effect. However, the statement did not say why the minister was relieved of his duties.

    Source: Jamhuuriya, Hargeysa, in Somali 15 Aug 01 p 1

    /BBC Monitoring/ c BBC.


    Somaliland: President invites clan elders for meeting

    BBC Monitoring Service;Aug 14, 2001/ Somaliland newspaper Mandeeq on 14 August

    Sultans and clan elders from eastern and western Burco yesterday afternoon held a meeting and agreed to honour an invitation by the president of the republic of Somaliland, Muhammad Ibrahim Egal.

    Reports from Burco say clan elders told the clan committees and others who took part in the meeting that turning down an invitation by the head of state would be detrimental to their status.

    The report said the elders who reached this decision were anticipating to meet the president and discuss the issues that had brought the differences. The elders said anyone who turned down the invitation by the president had a hidden agenda and was mistaken. The meeting was attended by Sultan Abdullahi Sultan Ali, Sultan Mahmud Guled and Mahmud Ali Arab who are expected to travel to Hargeysa...
    Source: Mandeeq, Hargeysa, in Somali 14 Aug 01 p 1 /BBC Monitoring/ c BBC.


    Africa News. August 15, 2001/BYLINE: UN Integrated Regional Information Network

    Ethiopia; Drought Conditions Cause Migration

    People are migrating long distances because of drought conditions in the Ethiopian Somali Regional State, and in neighbouring Somali territories, humanitarian sources said. "Migration is normal, but this year it is happening far too early - there are thousands of animals congregating in Gashamo," Yves Guinand from the UN Emergency Unit in Ethiopia told IRIN. He said available pastures were being rapidly depleted and no new rains were expected until October-november. "Nomads are having to trek far greater distances than normal, some have walked in excess of 200 kms," one humanitarian source warned. A humanitarian team that returned from Warder zone said areas east of Gashamo, southeastern Ethiopia, had received little of no rain, and that similar conditions were being experienced in neighbouring Somalia. Lack of rain had hit communities in the self-declared autonomous region of Puntland, northeastern Somalia, and the self-declared state of Somaliland, northwestern Somalia, causing abnormal cross-border migration. Conditions had been exacerbated by the long-term effects of a ban on livestock exports by the Gulf states, which had led to an "over concentration of unproductive male animals", one humanitarian source warned. [For further details see ETHIOPIA-SOMALIA: Drought-affected people seek dwindling resources]
    BBC News. 11 August, 2001, 12:38 GMT 13:38 UK

    Somaliland's endangered animals

    Chichi may not be the ideal family pet

    It is often difficult to clamp down on the trade in endangered animals in the Horn of Africa. The BBC's East Africa correspondent Andrew Harding discussed the issue with the minister of information in Somaliland, and his pet lion.

    The minister was sitting in his back garden, in a comfy deckchair with his favorite pet, Chichi, lying on his lap.

    Chichi purred, then growled, then clamped her jaws firmly round the minister's crotch.

    The minister emerged from his bungalow and walked towards me, smiling like some benign zoo keeper. Waranade stopped talking rather abruptly, and looked down at the fully-grown lioness that was sprawled between his legs.

    For about five, mesmerising seconds, I waited to see how hungry Chichi was feeling.

    The minister's garden was in Hargeisa, a dusty brown city in the hills of Somaliland, in the Horn of Africa.
    Clamp down

    Rather fittingly, I'd come to see Waranade to ask him what his government was doing to clamp down on rare animal poaching.

    The Horn of Africa may have more pressing problems like anarchy and starvation, but the animal trade is a growing worry.

    Cheetahs are on sale openly in Somaliland

    I'd just been to a Chinese restaurant on the outskirts of Hargeisa where there were two injured baby cheetahs on sale, tied to a tree. One could barely walk because its back had been smashed by its captors.

    The animals had been brought into town by a group of nomads living in the dry plains that stretch all the way to the Indian Ocean.

    When I arrived at the minister's gate, Chichi was the first to welcome me with a casual sniff. She turned and wandered off to a corner, to taunt the three adult cheetahs which were chained to the garden wall.
    Hostile environment

    From time to time, journalists at the BBC get sent on something called a "hostile environment course". It basically involves running round the English countryside for a few days pretending to avoid snipers, minefields, and crazed Balkan kidnappers.

    Somaliland is stuck in limbo - a would-be country, with its own currency and passports already printed, waiting for the world to let it join the club

    Apart from being a bit of a laugh, it's actually quite useful. But for some reason, the ex-army types who dreamt up the course failed to include even the most basic lion-handling exercise.

    The minister emerged from his bungalow and walked towards me, smiling like some benign zoo keeper. By then, three helpers were trying to keep Chichi under control with the assistance of a snarling, snappy dog, who just seemed to make the lioness more irritable. I noticed that one of the men had an eye missing.

    Fear is catching. But so is confidence - and Waranade seemed so thoroughly relaxed that I decided, with one eye on the door, to stay for tea.

    "Yes," said the minister, as a pacified Chichi finally snuggled into his lap, "I suppose our country does have an image problem. People always confuse us with Somalia. But we are Somaliland."

    Fighting to be recognised

    He wasn't being pedantic. The distinction is crucial. Ten years ago, Somaliland declared that it was breaking away from greater Somalia - to become an independent country in its own right.

    Since then, Somalia has descended into anarchy and poverty while Somaliland has become the proverbial island of peace and stability.

    Somalia has other problems apart from the illegal animal trade

    The trouble is that no one will recognise Somaliland as an independent country. Not even Britain, which used to run the place as a protectorate until 1960. Even the spell check on my computer has underlined the country with a dismissive red line.

    And so Somaliland is stuck in limbo, or maybe purgatory. A would-be country, with its own currency and passports already printed, waiting for the world to let it join the club.

    It turned out that Chichi wasn't feeling too hungry that afternoon. The minister pounded on her head a few frantic times with his fist and she opened her jaws and let him go.

    The minister smiled - a small, embarrassed smile - like a parent apologising for a naughty child.

    Chichi was given to the minister as a present

    "Soon," he said, "I will pull her teeth and her claws out. She is getting a little big. But she loves to play, and so do I."

    It seemed a good moment to ask him about the wildlife trade. But he insisted there wasn't a problem. Chichi had been given to the minister as a present, along with two other lions. But they both died. In fact rumour has it that Chichi killed one of them. The light was fading by the time I headed to the gate.

    Chichi and the minister had started a game of tug of war. He was holding the tail of a stuffed dead lion - straw poking out of its stomach. Chichi was gripping a front leg firmly between her bright white teeth.


    Africa News.August 8, 2001 / BYLINE: UN Integrated Regional Information Network

    Somalia; Livestock Mission Suggests Veterinary Links

    The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has conducted a joint mission with the government of Italy to devise future livestock marketing strategies for the Horn of Africa. The mission travelled and made recommendations for livestock certification and marketing in the self-declared independent state of Somaliland, northwestern Somalia, and in the self-declared autonomous region of Puntland, northeastern Somalia, as well as in Ethiopia and Djibouti. It follows other initiatives by the UN Development Programme and FAO to counter the effect of the livestock ban on imports from the Horn of Africa imposed last year by the Gulf states.

    Humanitarian sources said the aim of the mission was to look at marketing, health and ecology issues, and ways to maximise the returns for the pastoralist - the producer of all animals sold for export. Where there was an absence of government structures - or a government for that matter, it was suggested that certain international organisations like FAO and the OAU could be used in the field in conjunction with local authorities to implement codes and regulations.

    Early recommendations by mission members include linking veterinary authorities in the Horn with veterinary authorities in the Arabian peninsula, and comparing the live export market with the chilled trade. Changing tastes and trends in purchasing meat and meat products in the importing countries should also be examined, mission members said. Marketing information useful to traders and pastoralists in remote areas should be gathered and made available, which could be done through print media, television and radio, mission members suggested.


    Ethiopia: About 25,000 Somali refugees to be repatriated over next four months

    BBC Monitoring Service;Aug 5, 2001/ Text of report in English by pro-Ethiopian government Walta Information Centre web site on 5 August

    Addis Ababa, 5 August: The Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs [has] disclosed that about 25,000 Somali refugees found in eastern Ethiopia will be repatriated over the coming four months.

    The repatriation of the Somali refugees found in Darur camp will be undertaken in cooperation with the World Food Programme and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR. The administration said the camp is scheduled to close down in October on completion of the repatriation programme. The Somali refugees will be settled in Somaliland, where relative calm prevails, it said. The refugees will receive food ration, household utensils and transportation allowance.

    Meanwhile, the administration disclosed that more than 10,500 Ethiopian refugees were repatriated this year from the Sudan.
    Source: Walta Information Centre web site, Addis Ababa, in English 5 Aug 01/BBC Monitoring/ c BBC.


    BBC Monitoring Service;Jul 30, 2001/ Somaliland Net web site in English

    Somaliland: Public Works minister inaugurates new bridges

    The Somaliland Minister for Public Works and Transport, Yusuf Aynab Musa, declared five EU-funded bridges a national construction company, SOMCON [expansion unknown], reconstructed officially open for traffic on Thursday, [26] July.

    The reconstruction of the bridges which were, previously, demolished during the protracted war between the Somali National Movement (SNM) and the then reigning military administration of Somalia in the, 80s, were implemented on the 3rd phase of the protocol between the government of Somaliland and the European Union office. The honourable minister for public works, Engineer Aynab, spoke of his delight in an occasion where several main links were being added to the reconstruction, rebuilding effort of Somaliland.

    The minister, profusely expressed his appreciation and gratitude to the European Commission  which, he said, really extended a vital service to the Somaliland people. Minister Aynab, also, spoke glowingly of SOMCON-s commendable and highly professional abilities as manifested in its faultless finishing of the technically demanding, time constrained bridges it has reconstructed from ground zero.

    The Somaliland ministers for Civil Aviation and Health, Abdullahi Muhammad Du'ale and Abdi Aw Dahir, respectively, who also spoke at the opening ceremony, did not hesitate in expressing their unstained gratitude and happiness at attending such an occasion.

    Where four bridges along the treacherous Sheikh Pass and another big one that linked Sheikh town to Burco, were being formally opened to traffic.

    The two ministers on the same vein, ecstatically commended the respective roles each of the EU office and the contractor company played in the project. The chairman of SOMCON, Jibril Ahmad Ali, a promising, charismatic business tycoon, who recently diverted some his parent company-s Saudi based ventures to Somaliland, revealed that although the work they have undertaken was as demanding as expected, his team really enjoyed putting the job on the road and implementing it too with plenty of time and resources to spare. . Jibril disclosed that, in fact, his company was not only able to conclude its contractual terms per agreement but was also able to do it way below the granted 746,000 US dollars granted in contract. The chairman-s disclosure of his company-s actual costs on the bridges was in fact unprecedented in firms of SOMCON-s size and diversity.

    Phase IV of the EU program in the rebuilding of bridges along Somaliland is heavily used main roads is expected to take off later in the year. The EU representative here attended Thursday's opening ceremony as were the governor of Sahil. The CEO of the Somaliland Road Authority (SRA) and a number of other dignitaries [as published].


    BBC Monitoring Service;Jul 18, 2001/Source: Jamhuuriya, Hargeysa, in Somali 18 Jul 01 p 1 /BBC Monitoring/ c BBC.

    Somaliland: Parliament to debate motion to impeach President Egal

    Thirty-six Somaliland MPs yesterday, during a session of the House of Representatives, tabled a motion accusing President Muhammad Ibrahim Egal of high treason and urged the House to strip him off all presidential powers

    The MPs accused the president of various crimes, including violation of the constitution, high treason and mismanagement of public funds. Submitting a six-page report to the Speaker, explaining their accusations and reasons for seeking the removal of the prerogatives of the president, the MPs cited Article 36, section (1) of the constitution which stipulates that a sitting president can be impeached and his powers revoked...

    The Speaker of the House, Abdiqadir H. Ismai'l Jirde, who chaired the session yesterday said the House would debate the motion tabled by the 36 MPs within the next 24 hours

    ''Since the report is long, the House has the right to consider the motion within a maximum period of 48 hours as stated by the standing order of the House so that [word indistinct] names of the 36 members and other details,'' he said.

    It was agreed that after a period of 24 hours the House will open the debate on the motion


    The Guardian;Jul 16, 2001/BY JAMES ASTILL @ NAIROBI

    Somalia's Air-traffic is plagued by goats: comments ....

    Joe Brunswig, Somalia's chief air traffic controller, is plagued by goats: "My fire trucks spend all day chasing them off the runways," he says: "Those herdsmen can't seem to keep away."

    The reason, says Brunswig, is simple. "A couple of goats ended up under the wheels of a KingAir once and according to Somali compensation law the herder got paid double their value. I guess they're all in on it now."

    The Mogadishu flight information centre, Brunswig confesses with an alarming chuckle, "is a bit of a Mickey Mouse operation". That's alarming, because every month 1,600 commercial flights pass through Somali airspace. Stretching far into the Indian ocean, it is twice the size of Somalia's land mass, and takes up to three hours for an airliner to cross.

    Major carriers like Air France and Air Kenya pass through. British Airways may soon be joining them, says Brunswig, because Somalia is on a direct flight path from London to the Seychelles, a British holiday favourite.

    The flight information provided by the centre falls short of full air traffic control only in that it leaves pilots free to choose their own course in an emergency. This is the case throughout most of Africa. More unusually, when Brunswig looks up, he sees Kenyan airspace: the centre is in Nairobi. Brunswig and his small team transferred operations there in 1995 after the UN's hasty pullout from Somalia and the country's prompt descent into warlordism and terror. He knows that running a country's airspace from another country is "a bit unique". "I'm afraid people thought I was mad when I suggested it."

    There is something of the amateur enthusiast about the whole operation, which is located in a modest whitewashed house. Brunswig's office should be a bedroom, and the control room a sittingroom. In front of an elegant fireplace, the duty controllers plot flights on a wooden control board. "We got a local furniture maker to knock it up for us," says Brunswig with a wink. "Saved us a load of money."

    Despite the lack of radar, the system works well.

    "For the volume of traffic we have it's perfectly able to do the job," says Brunswig. The only serious weakness is the crudity of the radio system. Most of the region's aviation communication is on the same frequency, which makes it congested and often misleading. As the radio rattles and buzzes to life, a controller leaps to the control panel. But it is a false alert, a message to Kenyan air traffic control down the road.

    The team's only work on the ground is in the relatively peaceful breakaway states of Somaliland and Puntland. When they are occasionally called on by planes using Somalia's few working airstrips, there is more to worry about than goats.

    Last year, a group of Malaysian businessmen in a chartered Airbus persuaded their pilot to swoop low over Mogadishu for a photo opportunity. They knew they had entered small-arms range when a hail of bullets crippled the steering. Brunswig's team managed to guide the plane down the Kenyan coast to Mombassa, just. "They were very, very lucky not to end up in the ocean with that thing. It couldn't even taxi off the runway after it landed," says Brunswig.

    Mogadishu's transitional government has started talking of reopening the capital's airport and getting its air traffic control back. But while there are reports of warlords fighting mortar battles inside the airport compound, the Nairobi team will stay put.

    Brunswig's team is unfunded, just about finding the pounds 1.8m per year it needs from what it charges the airlines. "It's a day-to-day crisis operation," he says. What would those British honeymoon couples, a mile high and bound for the Seychelles, think of that? "I don't suppose the passengers really think about what's going on on the ground," says Brunswig. "Probably just as well."


    BBC Monitoring Service;Jul 16, 2001/ Source: Mandeeq, Hargeysa, in Somali 16 Jul 01 p 1 /BBC Monitoring/ c BBC.

    Somaliland: Clan leaders hold meeting in central town

    A qat chewing session yesterday marked the beginning of a clan leaders' meeting in Burco's [central Somaliland] London Estate, which is located in the eastern part of the town.

    Our reporter from Burco said clan leaders from Sool Region who were invited [southeastern Somaliland] to the meeting did not attend. The duration of the meeting is unknown

    Speaking at the meeting, Sultan Abdullahi Sultan Ali, said the meeting was neither clan-oriented nor political. The sultan further said the meeting was to counsel elders and would discuss peace and brotherhood among the people.

    According to our Burco reporter, Yusuf Ilka-A'se, the meeting was attended by journalists based there. Sultan Muhammad Hirsi said the agenda of the meeting was:

    1. To restore the role of clan leaders in the community
    2. To lay a clear path for the people's destination or discuss future strategy
    3. To discuss cooperation and teamwork

    Somaliland: Government approves clan leaders' meeting

    BBC Monitoring Service;Jul 16, 2001/ Somaliland Net web site on 15 July

    The [Somaliland] government today released a report saying it would fully authorize a clan leaders' conference in Burco [central Somaliland] town as long as it was not going to discuss politics.

    This decision followed an agreement between a government delegation in the town and clan leaders preparing for the meeting. The meeting is expected to begin tomorrow.

    The report has put to an end the anxiety and speculation that the meeting would create a rift between the government and clan leaders.


    Source: Somaliland Net web site, in Somali 15 Jul 01 /BBC Monitoring/ c BBC.


    BBC Monitoring Service;Jul 10, 2001/ Source: Jamhuuriya, Hargeysa, in Somali 10 Jul 01 p 1 /BBC Monitoring/ c BBC.

    Somaliland: Clan leaders to hold meeting in central town

    Burco [central Somaliland] town's clan chief and other clan leaders yesterday released a press statement stating the objectives of a clan leaders' meeting which will be held there.

    The press statement follows a stern warning from the minister of internal affairs, Ahmad Shambir Sultan, who stated that any activity that involved clan meetings or to invite other clan leaders from outside was illegal in Somaliland.

    The clan meeting is set to discuss the following:

    1. Strengthen security in the country.
    2. Cooperation and coexistence among clans.
    3. Ways and means of confronting anything that is likely to threaten the clans.

    ''Coordination and invitation of the clan leaders has been the work of leaders in Burco. They have been working on this for some time because it is in the interest of the nation", added the statement...


    Somaliland leader bans political clan meetings

    BBC Monitoring Service;Jul 9, 2001/ Somali newspaper Ayaamaha web site on 9 July

    Hargeysa: The president of the self-declared Somaliland republic, Muhammad Ibrahim Egal, has issued a circular banning the holding of any political clan meetings in areas of Puntland.

    "The time for clan politics is over. We are in the era of multiparty politics now," the circular added. The circular further urged members of the public to form their own political parties independent from clan politics.

    A political party was recently launched in Hargeysa which named Somaliland leader Muhammad Ibrahim Egal as its chairman, and Egal's vice-president, Dahir Riyale Kahin, as its vice-chairman. The new party intends to participate in the next Somaliland presidential elections to be held early next year, in 2002.

    Source: Ayaamaha web site, Mogadishu, in Somali 9 Jul 01 /BBC Monitoring/ c BBC.


    Somaliland: Mayor says people possessing unlicensed arms to be prosecuted

    BBC Monitoring Service;Jun 29, 2001/ Somaliland's Radio Hargeysa on 29 June

    A statement was released today by the mayor of Hargeysa Awil Ilmi Abdallah on the illegal possession of light weapons in the capital city.

    The mayor said the possession of unlicensed arms would not be tolerated. The mayor said anyone in possession of light weapons required a license and anyone with illegal weapons would be prosecuted.

    Source: Radio Hargeysa, Voice of the Republic of Somaliland, in Somali 1700 gmt 29 Jun 01 /BBC Monitoring/ c BBC.


    Somaliland: President Egal launches political party

    BBC Monitoring Service;Jun 27, 2001/ The government of President Muhammad Ibrahim Egal yesterday for the first time announced the formation of a political party named UDUB [Somali acronym for National Democratic Alliance, NDA]. The move comes barely seven months before the end of its five-year term of office.

    Somaliland's minister of health, Abdi Aw Dahir Ali, officially declared the formation of the NDA, whose general convention is scheduled to be held on Saturday, 30 June 2001 in Hargeysa.

    The minister made the announcement yesterday when he addressed a news conference at the Civil Service Commission HQ during the closure of a one-day seminar for the party's steering committee.

    The committee consists of ministers, other leaders and members of the public. Among the ministers who attended the meeting were the ministers of finance, education and health.

    Dr Dahir informed the meeting that up to 350 members, from all corners of the country, were expected to attend the convention. He said the convention will continue for a week...

    Source: Himilo, Hargeisa, in Somali 27 Jun 01 p 1 /BBC Monitoring/ c BBC.


    Somaliland: Launch of BBC FM station in Hargeysa delayed

    BBC Monitoring Service;Jun 27, 2001/ Somali newspaper Ayaamaha web site on 26 June

    The head of the BBC Somali Service, Yusuf Garaad Umar Ahmed, has commented about the setback in the plans by the BBC to launch an FM station in the city of Hargeysa, which was scheduled to become operational today, 26 June. The head of the BBC Somali Service attributed the setback to technical reasons.

    "The radio equipment was expected to be brought in from South Africa, however, the engineers decided that the equipment should first be taken to the UAE before being brought to Hargeysa," Yusuf Garaad said. According to him, Hargeysa will become one of the 150 cities where the BBC can now be heard on FM.

    Yusuf said the FM station to be opened in Hargeysa was different from the ones they had opened in Mogadishu and Djibouti, because it would operate using solar energy instead of using fuel and electricity.

    Source: Ayaamaha web site, Mogadishu, in Somali 26 Jun 01

    /BBC Monitoring/ c BBC.


    Somaliland bans vehicles with foreign registration

    BBC Monitoring Service;Jun 22, 2001. Somaliland's Radio Hargeysa on 21 June

    The Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Somaliland today sent a copy of a circular to Radio Hargeysa announcing the banning of all vehicles with foreign registration and driving licences from operating in the country as from 1 July 2001.

    The circular, which was sent to all the provincial and district chairpersons and the police commissioner, states that any vehicle not bearing local registration, whether newly brought from another country or old, should immediately carry Somaliland's registration number to conform with the existing laws of the land.

    The circular has further ordered the provincial and district leaders to impound vehicles having foreign numbers or expired ones until they carry the country's registration.

    The circular noted that many people in the country were driving without driving licences, thus causing many accidents. On the other hand, it added that the government had lost much revenue in the process.

    Therefore, as from 1 July 2001, the police have been ordered to impound unregistered vehicles, those being driven illegally and those without road licences. At the same time, the ministries of transport and of finance have been informed that people applying for driving licences or renewing them, should be easily issued with them.

    The circular further asked the police traffic department to implement the contents of the circular.
    Source: Radio Hargeysa, Voice of the Republic of Somaliland, in Somali 1700 gmt 21 Jun 01 /BBC Monitoring/ c BBC.


    Somaliland: Malaria outbreak reported in southwest

    BBC Monitoring Service;Jun 21, 2001/ Somaliland's Radio Hargeysa on 21 June

    The mayor of Durukhsi District [in southwestern Somaliland], Ali Abdulahi, has said that the district was facing a serious outbreak of malaria. He said the district was also facing a severe shortage of anti-malarial drugs and could not afford to meet the need on its own. He appealed to the Ministry of Health and other humanitarian health agencies to lend a helping hand in curbing the disease in the district, and further said that the disease had adversely affected the region.

    Source: Radio Hargeysa, Voice of the Republic of Somaliland, in Somali 1700 gmt 21 Jun 01

    /BBC Monitoring/ c BBC.


    Somaliland paper raps UN envoy as talks open in New York to discuss Somalia

    BBC Monitoring Service;Jun 21, 2001. the Somaliland newspaper Mandeeq on 21 June

    A two-day meeting opens at the UN HQ in New York today attended by experts on Somalia and some UN officials. The meeting is expected to discuss the UN's role in the post-Arta period.

    Powerful members of the UN Security Council and donor countries are fed up with the group set up in Arta [Transitional Government of Somalia]. The meeting is also expected to discuss the role of IGAD [Inter-Governmental Authority on Development] member states in the reconciliation process.

    Among the experts on Somalia attending the meeting are Algerian -born Ambassador Mohammed Sahnoun, Sir Kieran Prendergast, a Briton who has prepared numerous reports on Somaliland and Somalia, French expert on Somalia and Somaliland Ronald Murschad [as published], American Kenneth Monkhouse and the UN envoy for Somalia David Stephen, whose office is organizing the meeting.

    Stephen was one of the organizers of the Arta conference and is keen not to see the group he had helped to set up fail. Stephen has made it a habit to write non-existent things about Somaliland. He has refused to recognize Somaliland as a nation. He has sought to hide the real situation in Somalia and Somaliland from the international community and the senior officials of the UN.

    Asked whether Somaliland was attending the meeting in New York, an official told us that Somaliland was not invited to the meeting...
    Source: Mandeeq, Hargeysa, in Somali 21 Jun 01 p 1/BBC Monitoring/ c BBC.


    BBC Monitoring Service;Jun 15, 2001/ Source: Radio Hargeysa, Voice of the Republic of Somaliland, in Somali 1700 gmt 15 Jun 01 /BBC Monitoring/ c BBC.

    Somaliland: Refugees return home from Ethiopia

    Some Somaliland refugees who were living in eastern Ethiopia yesterday returned to Boorama town, Awdal Region [western Somaliland]

    Up to 283 families composed of 1,471 refugees, returned from Dorwanaaji [phonetic] refugee camp in eastern Ethiopia. They were transported back in 27 vehicles hired by the UNHCR.

    They were received at the Ethiopia-Somaliland border by officials from the ministry of resettlement, UNHCR and officials from Awdal Region.


    Minister Ainab declares five EU/SOMCON reconstructed bridges open

    BBC Monitoring Service - Jun 20, 2001/Source: The Republican, Hargeisa, July 28, 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    The Somaliland Minister for Public Works and Transport, Yusuf Ainab Musa, declared five EU - funded bridges a national construction company - SOMCON - reconstructed officially open for traffic on Thursday, July.

    The reconstruction of the bridges which were, previously, demolished during the protracted war between the Somali National Movement (SNM) and the then reigning military administration of Somalia in the, 80s, were implemented on the 3rd phase of the protocol between the government of Somaliland and the European Union office. The Honourable Minister for Public Works, Engineer Ainab, spoke of his delight in an occasion where several main links were being added to the reconstruction, rebuilding effort of Somaliland.

    The Minister, profusely expressed his appreciation and gratitude to the European Commission - which, he said, really extended a vital service to the Somaliland people. Minister Ainab, also, spoke glowingly of SOMCON's "commendable and highly professional" abilities as manifested in its faultless finishing of the technically demanding, time - constrained bridges it has reconstructed from ground zero.

    The Somaliland Ministers for Civil Aviation and Health, Abdullahi Mohamed Dualeh and Adbi Aw Dahir, respectively, who, also, spoke at the opening ceremony did not hesitate in expressing their unstained gratitude and happiness at attending such an occasion. Where four bridges along the treacherous Sheikh pass and another big one that linked Sheikh town to Burao, were being formally opened to traffic.

    The two Ministers, on the same vein, ecstatically commended the respective roles each of the EU office and the contractor company played in the project. The Chairman of SOMCON, Jibril Ahmed Ali, a promising, charismatic business tycoon who recently diverted some his parent company's Saudi based ventures to Somaliland, revealed that although the work they have undertaken was as demanding as expected, his team really enjoyed putting the job on the road and implementing it, too, with plenty of time and resources to spare. . Jibril disclosed that, in fact, his company was not only able to conclude its contractual terms per agreement but was, also, able to do it way below the granted 746,000 US dollars granted in contract. The Chairman's disclosure of his company's actual costs on the bridges was, in fact, unprecedented in firms of SOMCON's size and diversity.

    Phase IV of the EU program in the rebuilding of bridges along Somaliland's 'heavily' used main roads is expected to take off later in the year. The EU representative here attended Thursday's opening ceremony as were the Governor of Sahil. The CEO of the Somaliland Road Authority (SRA) and a number of other dignitaries.


    Impressions of a distinguished scholar

    BBC Monitoring Service - July 28, 2001/Source: The Republican, Hargeisa, July 28, 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    ON UNITED NATIONS' SOMALILAND STAND.

    It is unfortunate, very misleading and factually inaccurate to (Call Somaliland Northwest Somalia, NW Zone or any name other than Somaliland). Let us just say that the United Nations has shown itself for the last fifty years as a rather conservative institution when it comes to the international order.

    One thing might be that the United Nations - and its bureaucrats - is really still stuck in a pattern of thinking that was very strong in the 1960s, '70s and' 80s which is about the maintaining of colonial boundaries. (It takes a special effort to remind those officials about the uniqueness of the Somaliland protectorate in June of 1960. Somalilanders are very aware of it. The international media, I'm afraid, does not care. They did not look at it closely.

    It does not do much good to compare Somaliland/Somalia to Yugoslavia or the Soviet Union (and the rest). I think it is best to stop that comparison. A more interesting comparison is Ethiopia and Eritrea. And there the difference, somebody would say, is that the central government of Eritrea.
    ON CONSOLIDATING RELATIONS AND.. GAINS.

    Therefore, I think, a key step for Somaliland to encourage in the future is that, since Ethiopia remains the headquarters of the African Union and is a major player as one of the largest countries (in the continent), carries weight and symplism in Africa, whatever can be done should be done to encourage the normalization of relations with Ethiopia and the Somalis who live there. In terms of trade, in terms of citizenship, in terms of cross - border exchanges and movement of goods, this would be, in the long run very good for Somaliland.

    Now, that would be the impact of that on Djibouti, on Puntland or Southern Somalia?

    If I was advising some people I would say that, "we have to go with what we already have." Somaliland has to be for Somaliland. It cannot worry about Puntland or Mogadishu any more than Mogadishu seems to worry about Somaliland or Puntland appears to be worrying about the well - being of Somaliland(!).

    Another sign of sovereignty and the consolidation of independence will be of the elections, i.e., on the domestic scene. As for the foreign affairs, the two most crucial thing seem to be: (a) getting the Saudis to lift the livestock ban which is an economic issue; and (b) a political issue which is tied to the economic issue is the continuing normalization of relations with whatever government is in Addis Ababa.

    ON PROMOTING SOMALI ABROAD.

    I had a meeting with the President a few days ago and be summed it up very nicely. He said that Somaliland's enemies are very active and Somaliland's friends seem to be rather quiet, rather passive. That is the area where there needs to be some reversal. But, for the time being. I would say Somaliland is going in the right direction, for sure.

    The I no doubt about it. You could feel it. Sure, you can feel it in the air. I would say: "Keep Going!.." The world is in a twilight period. The twentieth century practically came to an end in the late '80s or early 90s'. the concepts and principles from the 20th century linger on into the 21st century (for the world). And it is particularly acute in the case of Somaliland (and especially), because of what I said about Mogdishu's image and how the world intervened and (that) nothing was resolved. And, secondly, because those people who are close observers of Africa or the Horn remember that if any thing characterized Somalis from the 1960s to the 1980s, it was this notion that the Somalis were one nation in search of a state. That is the legacy that much of the world remembers. Eventually, they will come to overcome that and transcend it.

    It was the American novelist William Faulkner who once said that 'the past in never dead. In fact, it never really passed'. That is the problem. Somalilanders remember their history .. and are very fond of it. In fact, Somaliland was independent for four or five days in 1960. the fact (remains however) that the Union (with Italian Somalia) was never really ratified. Somalilanders are very up to date on that. I don't think that the audience is Somalilanders.

    The audience is the rest of the world. Those of us who are friends of Somaliland try to make that as clear as possible.

    A sustainable grassroots scheme successfully takes root in Las Anod.

    In places where central or local institutions have not yet launched any noteworthy services, it is, indeed, a star - crossed town or village where local or international NGOs take up the slack.

    In Las Anod of Sool, for instance, one particular local NGO appears to have succeeded as a surrogate public services department for a largely cosmetic municipality. The Steadfast Voluntary Organization (SVO) has, specifically, targeted ways and means to rid the 50,000 - resident town of garbage since 1991. "Now we have arrived at a stage where we can confidently leave this angle of our work in the good hands of the people," Engineer Sa'eed Aw Abdi, the Founder - Director of SVO, told The Republican on Friday.

    The Engineer recalls the humble and often futile efforts of the NGO to involve residents of Erigavo, Sanag, and Las Anod both of which regional capitals SVO has offices - in a systematic collection and disposal of household garbage as well as refuse and left - overs at public eating places, said:-

    "The long years of toil and tedium have paid off nicely and in the most mutually beneficial way possible for us and for the local residents of Las Anod. For us, that people have at last realized the significance of garbage disposal, incineration pits and the like is reward enough. That they have agreed to the implementation of a sustainable system that would keep up the work SVO has started long after it has concluded this particular phase of its Social Service obligations, makes, in a way, heroes that we are not!"

    SVO has developed a fool -proof routine where each household adds 10,000 of the old Somali Shilling notes at the and of each month to a central pool where, also, a 100,000 each from resident Garaads (Sultans) and restaurants, teashops and the big communication outfits and remittance firms make up a nice enough package at final tally day. The money pays, largely, for the wages of garbage collectors and fuel for the trucks that, according to Engineer Sa'eed, pick up 5 to 6 loads each day to distant dumping/garbage incineration pits.

    "Garbage disposal rounds, also, include food, vegetable and meat markets as well as street boulevards," Sa'eed said. "We have employed around 50 garbage collectors full time. At the other end, usually a woman is selected as cashier for each 50-60 households. The other households bring their monthly contributions to her and, in turn, she hands over the collected money to whoever is then responsible for the overall accounts of system," Eng. Sa'eed explained.

    With an arrangement like that revolving around a street - block method, the overall garbage disposal method has more than a fair chance of survival beyond the life span of current project. SVO plans to move on to Erigavo to start a similar kind of scheme based on a system that will principally follow along the Las Anod time - tested lines, more or less.


    Municipality officers Clear Shelves of Unsavoury food items

    BBC Monitoring Service - July 28, 2001/Source: The Republican, Hargeisa, July 28, 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    On Thursday, the first of a seven-day city sanitation campaign, Hargeisa Municipality Department of Sanitation and Social Services pulled out a number of spoiled food items from retailer shelves, inspected the premises and key attendants and waiters serving in restaurants and tea - shops and stiffly admonished a number of proprietors to abide by regulations or else face the consequences.

    Municipality Officers, supported by units of the city police force, carried out a blitz - like operation that, at the end of the day, pulled out more than 100 cartoons of assorted foodstuffs and beverages from warehouses and shops. The blemished goods were found to be either negligently stored or carrying dates that have long expired or whose stamped dates did not leave much of a margin for save consumption due to other variables that include bad or inadequate storage arrangements.

    "If clients, the consumers, the general public.. do not become more fastidious, more caring of what they paid good money for, nothing much can be achieved by sporadic food sanitation forays such as this one we have started today," Abdiwahab Abdi Jama "Nkruma", the Director of the Public Sanitation Services who spearheaded this latest of the Municipality's campaigns said. The Director, however, made it clear that his department had no complaints against the general public or its shopping habits. To the contrary, he said, his department only wishes to caution people against the snares of callous profiteers that can be found among any sizeable business community all over the world.

    The Director said that they will continue to undertake campaigns and on - the - spot checking operations such as the one his department has begun on Thursday. . Nkruma was also full of praises for elements from the business establishment here and the general campaign who assist municipality operatives come on top whenever they carry out such street checks.

    On a related operation, municipality officers cleared city streets of vendors, hawkers and small business owners who have lately taken over the sidewalks of almost all the main streets of Hargeisa. The congestion they created eased off somewhat.

    Hospital.

    On February this year, the Director of the Somaliland Ministry for Health, Ahmed Abdi Jama, requested of the Ministry of planning to make the necessary documents that would waive Ministry of Finance's Import duties from a consignment of medical drugs and other supplies that were, ostensibly, meant to be rushed to the greatly beleaguered, seldom - stocked general hospitals of Hargeisa, Burao and Erigavo. The supplies, after five long months, have yet to see the insides of an in - patient ward, let alone the inside of a suffering patient.

    The most trusting , most kind member of the public we have asked of the whereabouts of these medical supplies told us that they were under lock and keys at the Hargeisa Central Medical Stores. What they were doing there, after so long a time, or if they are still there, was, however, put in a shroud of doubt by every interviewee, medical officer and in - patient we talked to. In fact, the members of the general public and almost all of the in - patients did not show much faith in ever witnessing these medical provisions performing medical wonders where needed, including the three above - mentioned hospitals.

    "The February, 2001, supplies, I believe, were, in respect to costs declared, over - inflated. The supplies are said to have been purchase at a cost of 22000 US dollars according to the ministry. I don't believe it," a medical officer, who wishes to remain anonymous told us. The truth, though it might be a bit exaggerated is not far from there.

    The three main hospitals of Hargeisa, Burao and Erigavo would have each reccived its share of a government allocated sum that amounts to 100,000 US dollars per year. None of the hospitals got it for the second year running. The presently questioned supplies might have been purchased as part of the hospital's allocations but, strangely enough, not one of the hospitals they are supposed to benefit have been consulted. Perhaps, this oversight on the part of the Ministry, which entered into an agreement of supply with an importer on its own counsel, is, largely, responsible for the supply of drugs that do not include the disinfectants, plaster strips, gauzes, gloves and the like that are so indispensable to the treatment of the sick or the administering of the drugs.

    But this 'generous' opinion, that gives the benefits of a doubt to both contractor and contractee, is not shared by a great many of people who know a good deal about today's health matters in Somaliland. It is not very hard to understand such suspicious minds in the light of some of the Ministry's recent and not so recent - flurry of activities that fairly justify any number of aspersions casted against it.

    For instance, a tonne of medical supplies that same Director General declared a donation to the Ministry of Health and Labour a year earlier to secure a free duty status from the Ministries of Planning and Finance disappeared without a trace. The Director's letter, reference number MH&L/122/2-W/2000 and dated 17/3/2000, states that:-

    "Dr. Mohamed Mustafa, a Sudanese national, is donating to the Ministry of Health and Labour, medical supplies weighing 278 kgs, that will arrive at Hargeisa airport - which donated supplies follow another that same source donated to the Ministry. In light of above, we request that you process the necessary documents for duty exemption." . Ahmed Abdi Jama Director General of the Ministry of Health & Labour. This is followed by the Director of Customs' grant of duty exemption in a letter dated 10/4/2000 with a Facsimile of an Ethiopian Airlines manifest of goods (air waybill) that shows its doubts under its 'description of goods' column in its phrasing: SAID TO CONTAIN PHARMACEUTICALS(!).

    On April 28, 2000, the head of the Ministry's logistics section, Mukhtaar Dheeg Ahmed, declares the supplies (Misappropriated) and lost to old, bad Fraud! . Dheeg writes that all 23 cartoons of that particular consignments were not to be found. "Following a Mansoor management's mistaken clearance of said goods out of Hargeisa's Central Customs depot." The letter was addressed to the Director General.

    Next day April 29, the Director of the MOH & L, Administration and Personnel, Ahmed Abdi Musa, wrote to the DG in support of that of the logistic section. Again, this letter was again addressed to the DG as the one it referred to. Neither letter was graced with even a single line of acknowledgement from the Director General who so assiduously denied the nation of both its due duty charges and medical supplies in a single stroke of his penned signature.

    The Director General happens to be the same officer who earlier this year banished and struck off from the Ministry's practising doctors' list three of this nation's most able doctors: Dr. Suleiman Mohamoud Gulaid, Dr. Ahmed Ibrahim Bedeh "Obols" and Dr. Dahir H. Dahir. The three doctors were expelled for joining the Islamic Party when the Minister of that very Ministry, himself, Dr. Abdi Aw Dahir remains not only the Minister after accepting the Post of Secretary General of President's own UDUB Party but is believed to have instigated another hasty expulsion of a key figure in the Somaliland's medical profession.

    Dr. Abdi Ismail, a Director of the Hargeisa Hospital for less than two months was summarily dismissed over the telephone by the President himself. As if that was not enough, the Vice President, Dahir Riyaleh Kahin, wrote to the MOH & L in a letter dated 16/07/2001 (Ref. No: RSL/VP/ACC/39-00419/072001) asking the DG to "temporarily relieve" the doctor from the Group Hospital's Directorship.

    The Director General was only happy to oblige promptly on that very day. And again, the nation is deprived of an experienced hand for talking loud of the sorry state of the Hospital. Dr. Abdi Ismail has done nothing criminal or offensive or seditious but only granted a frank, factual account of the Hospital's state of affairs to Jamhuuriya and The Republican. The question remains how long it will take concerned authorities to distinguish between wrong and right; between an ailment and an aliment.


    City Mayor puts up a real killer on public display

    BBC Monitoring Service - July 28, 2001/Source: The Republican, Hargeisa, July 28, 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    On the small hours of Thursday, July 26, Mayor Awl Elmi Abdalla, put up the hulk of a soviet-manufactured MiG-17 that has participated in bomb-and-starve missions against civilians in the same city whose runways it took off from. The plane is one of the few that remain of squadrons of fighters that flew from their Hargeisa air force airstrips to carry out in discriminatory bombing missions against the unarmed civilian population of same city during the May - June battle over Hargeisa between the superiorly equipped troops of the former military and Kamikaze fighters of the Somali National Movement in 1988.

    The battle, though short-lived, brought out the true devilry and hitherto ill-concealed plans of the reigning regime's top echelon politicians against the northern regions of a doomed Somali led by a megalomaniac general. At midnight, Thursday, we found a dead tired Mayor Awl sitting grimly beneath the brick and metal-bar pedestal prepared to receive the fighter at the Khayriya square in front of the Somaliland Bank. The Mayor was watching over the final welders' touches to a plane he transported earlier in the evening from the Hargeisa hangars seven kilometres away where it sat forlorn and broken since a short white before its tyrannical masters were finally driven off of what was once a badly trampled, heinously battered "northern Somalia" but is now a triumphant, spiritidly rejuvenated Republic of Somaliland.

    The Mayor, a mid the deafening din and clamour of a midnight working party racing against a not - too - distant sunrise, was not a likely subject for an interview with reporters but we finally prevailed him to do just that with a considerable effort. "I met a stiff opposition from innumerable quarters to but one of the very planes that reduced its host city to rubble for reasons I can nto fathom or care to investigate at the moment" a hoarse Mayor whispered into the microphone of our small tape - recorder.

    "it is, mainly, due to the determination and astute civic - mindedness of his excellency the president that we succeeded to this last lap to a tangibly feasible finish line against the odds", the Mayor added, warning up to the subject. "This plane you see in front of you is neither a fake our a factory manufactured replica of an original but one of many like it that have decimated thousands of badly scared, unarmed civilians who had very little to do with the fighting raging around them. They were bombed and machine - gunned because of their origins apart from being where and when they were at the time.

    They were killed because the warped retaliatory policies of a tyrant chalked them up as enemies that sympathized with the sons, brothers and husbands that took up arms when they could no longer protect themselves, their families and the sanctity of their homes from an occupation army' of cut - throats," the Mayor pointed out. The Mayor pointed at the damaged Plexiglas of the plane's control canopy and said:

    "that has been done by vandals sent to thwart our efforts to get the plane to where it has arrived at tonight. There need be no further testimony to what laughs people who oppose this project can go to". Asked whether this project would speed up the government's often criticized, largely lackadaisical attempts at bringing known war criminals to justice, the Mayor responded with: "the government, as far as I know of, need no further catalysts to awaken it to its obligations. "As I rightly recall, it has


    Puntland elders turn down new term for president

    BBC Monitoring Service - July 28, 2001/Source: The Republican, Hargeisa, July 28, 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    NAIROBI, 26 July (IRIN) - Senior traditional elders in the self-declared autonomous region of Puntland, northeastern Somalia, who were debating the controversy surrounding the extension of the mandate of President Abdullahi Yusuf and his administration, have come out in support of new elections and named an acting president, local sources told IRIN. The elders, who have been meeting in Garowe, the regional capital, since 18 July, decided on Wednesday to confirm the Puntland chief justice, Yusuf Haji Nur, as "acting president of Puntland until 31 August", when he is to call a general congress of representatives of all Puntland regions to a elect a new administration, the sources said. The chief justice told IRIN on 1 July that he was "the legitimate authority in Puntland" with effect from that day, after issuing a decree on 26 June putting all security services and other government agencies under the high court's jurisdiction.

    The chief justice said at the time that his actions were in line with the Puntland Charter. The elders called on all heads of governmental agencies and institutions to work with the new administration, the sources said. Yusuf Haji Nur told IRIN on Thursday that he had already started sending instructions to regional officials to uphold the elders' decision. "We are receiving calls of support from all regions of Puntland," he said. The commanders of the security forces are "telling us that they will respect the elders' decision" and work with the new administration, he added.

    The mandate of the Abdullahi Yusuf administration, which was to have expired on 30 June, was mandated by clan elders for a three-year extension, which was in turn approved by the Puntland House of Representatives on 27 June, according to the administration. The extension was, however, challenged by opposition figures and aspiring presidential candidates, who accused the administration of manipulating the vote. Meanwhile, the administration has accused the elders of encroaching on areas outside their normal mandate, saying that their decisions were not constitutionally binding on the administration. Isma'il Warsame, the chief of cabinet of the Puntland president, told IRIN on Thursday, that the administration "will ignore the elders' call" and continue with business as usual. "We have already stated that whatever decisions they reach will change nothing," he said. Warsame insisted that "Abdullahi Yusuf is still the president and all branches of government are reporting to him".

    A Somali legal expert told IRIN that article 30.1 of the Puntland Charter states that "any disputes within the community that cannot be resolved by any other means available shall be sent to the titled elders [Isimada] for advice". Since there was no constitutional court in Puntland, "the elders are within their mandate to resolve what is essentially a constitutional matter" he added. This meant they could override any Puntland institution, "including the presidency and the House of Representatives", since they themselves had created them and, in the eyes of the people, had the most legitimacy, explained the expert.

    A diplomatic source said the order established in Puntland was based on the charter, ratified on 15 May 1998, and should therefore be respected. According to this source, international aid agencies based in Nairobi with offices in Puntland are expected to engage in consultations on how to react to this new development. "We have to wait for the elders' official statement before we can comment" on the situation, the source said.

    The elders' decision had thrown Puntland into a state of confusion and uncertainty, a local journalist told IRIN. "No one knows what is going to happen now. We were hoping that the elders were going to resolve things, but it looks as if we are back to square one." There was fear that the decision could lead "to a serious power struggle", which would undermine Puntland's stability, he said. Everything would depend on whom the commanders of the Puntland security forces chose to support. If they were "to split, with one group siding with Abdullahi Yusuf and another with the other side, then we have a serious problem".

    So far, the security forces as a group had not issued any statement regarding this issue, "and we are all holding our breath", said the journalist.



    Kenya police 'executed' robbers

    BBC Monitoring Service - July 28, 2001/Source: The Republican, Hargeisa, July 28, 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    Kenyan police say they have launched an investigation into reports that their officers carried out roadside executions of seven suspected robbers. Eyewitnesses and the Kenya Human Rights Commission claim police officers shot and killed the suspects after disarming them and making them lie face down along a busy road. Police spokesman Dola Indidis contradicted that account.

    He said his officers had intercepted the minibus on which the suspects were travelling. The suspects "came out and fired at the police, trying to escape. The police returned fire and seven were shot dead".

    'Most horrific scene' But local newspapers spoke to various people at the scene who all gave the same account. A taxi driver said: "It was the most horrific scene I have ever seen. The suspects did not fire a single shot at the police." The police spokesman told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme: " If we are given the evidence we will prosecute any police officer using fire arms or excessive force".

    The shootings come amid growing concern over the rise in armed and violent crime in Nairobi. The independent Kenya Human Rights Commission claims that in the past six years Kenyan police have killed more than 1,000 people.

    Elite response unit In April last year, a minister of state told the police to operate a shoot-to-kill policy, saying it was the only way to deal with violent crime. The human rights commission says innocent bystanders, as well as armed and unarmed robbers, have all fallen victim to the police's use of excessive force and shootings. The officers involved in the latest killings are in the elite response unit but the human right body says police generally lack training in human and civil rights.


    British and American Oil Companies to Invest in Somaliland Oil Industry

    BBC Monitoring Service - July 28, 2001/Source: The Republican, Hargeisa, July 28, 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    According to the American Petroleum Institute in Washington monthly magazine. It is reported that Great Wall Chinese oil company will arrive in the port of Berbera, Somaliland, after British investors, and American oil Company based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, agreed with Somaliland government oil drilling, and production of first phase. First phase will be seven deep wells inland Somaliland: well 1,sl1005 2, sl006 3, 1sl1007 4, s1008 5,sl1009.6, sl2001 6,sl2002.

    Those wells, located, Sahil sail, sanag sail, Taleh, Gabiley and Borama. Test pit and bore hole done by Conoco oil company early 1980. Conoco oil company agreed to provide geological data, site location maps of test pits, well provide and well elevation to American oil company, Great Wall Chinese oil contractors and Somaliland government. Team leader and petroleum senior engineer, Chloe Young said, "we three partners, will work hard together, we will renegotiate any change order, and we will be open to reconsider new sub - contractors if three party agree, or if it is necessary. Great Wall Oil comes from Southern Sudan having completed well production there.

    We are 40 staffed and 1 ship or vassal, engineer and heavy equipment operator, piles driver and material require well production in Somaliland. The closing statements of . Young were, "Somaliland oil production will be much easier when I compare it to Southern Sudan as far as safety, climate, well elevation, sea port and storing equipment are concerned."

    American Society Petroleum Engineers Michael A. Withers" Mike_withers@scmyers.com


    EC support repatriation of Somali refugees

    BBC Monitoring Service - July 28, 2001/Source: The Republican, Hargeisa, July 28, 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    An operation to repatriate a further 43,800 Somali refugees from eastern Ethiopia to northwestern Somalia by the end of the year is on schedule to resume in the next few days, a UNHCR spokesman told IRIN Thursday. The confirmation follows a contribution to the programme from the European Commission Humanitarian Office (ECHO) of Euro 1.5 million (about US $1.3 million).

    Since the operation commenced in November 1997, UNHCR have supported the voluntary return home of 164,000 Somali refugees, many of whom had lived in camps in Ethiopia for more than a decade. In June, UNHCR announced the closure of Teferi Ber and Derwanaje, camps that at their peak in the 1990's housed more than 200,000 refugees. With the start of the latest round of voluntary repatriations, UNHCR hope to close a further three camps within twelve months and bring the number of Somali refugees remaining in Ethiopia to around 15,000.

    SUDAN:

    Weekend march to highlight children's needs The Sudanese Movement for Children, which comprises governmental and nongovernmental agencies and civil society organisations, will next Friday organise a march to start from Wad Madani, the capital of Al-Jazirah State, and end at the Friendship Hall in Khartoum, as part of the global campaign "Say Yes for Children". A procession of artistes, youth and women's groups will visit selected villages and depressed communities, giving theatrical performances and gathering pledges. The march is patterned after the long walk of displaced children to cities in the north, UNICEF stated in a press release.

    The message of the "Say Yes for Children" campaign is that citizens of the world care about children and expect governments to keep the promises they make to them, according to UNICEF. It is the first major initiative of the Global Movement for Children, a broad-based coalition of organisations and individuals dedicated to children's rights and wellbeing. The movement aims to build a groundswell of support that will push leaders to renew and honour their commitments to children at the UN General Assembly's Special Session on Children from 19 to 21 September.

    More than 3.2 million people worldwide have signed a pledge on the theme since April, including scores of celebrities, heads of state and other leading citizens. The campaign asks people to agree to 10 fundamental principles on improving and protecting the lives of children, which are part of the Special Session's draft outcome document - a critical plan of action for children over the next decade. From education to HIV/AIDS and discrimination to armed conflict, the campaign spotlights the serious issues facing children. [For more details on the "Say yes" campaign, including a copy of the pledge form, go to: www.gmfc.org]


    Rebuilding the basket case

    BBC Monitoring Service - July 28, 2001/Source: The Republican, Hargeisa, July 28, 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    When it comes to African disaster stories, Somaliland is among the worst. Yet, RANJENI MUNUSAMY found people rolling up their sleeves and getting on with the daunting task of rebuilding their land. This article appeared on the Sunday Times.

    VISITORS to the mass graveyard just outside the Somaliland capital of Hargeisa have to tread carefully to avoid tramping on pieces of human bones and the mass graves of countless Somalis executed under the military regime of former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.

    Finger bones, a jawbone, a piece of someone's shoulder half eaten by scavengers, and bits of skull lie scattered, exposed by erosion and rain. "When I first came here, I used to have nightmares. It's like walking in a horror movie," says Fatima Ibrahim, a Somali human rights activist.

    The shallow graves of what is believed to be a conservative estimate of 40 000 people, are a grim reminder of a bloody era when the people of Somaliland were tortured and killed by their power-mad president. After prompting clan-based conflict, Barre went on a killing spree targeting, in particular, intellectuals and businessmen to avoid an uprising.

    Although 10 years have passed since Barre was overthrown, the horror stories of mass executions, bombings, rapes, poisoning of drinking wells and the destruction of normality are still vivid in the minds of most Somalis. Women tell tales of how whole families were herded to the killing sites to watch their husbands and sons being shot. They were not allowed to cry as their children would also be killed by the soldiers. As the guns were fired, they were forced to ululate to show they were rejoicing at the murder of their loved ones.

    Many fled the country to neighbouring Ethiopia and spent years of misery in refugee camps. Somaliland today is a different place. The former British protectorate split from Somalia in the south in 1991 and is a self-declared independent state. The independence is not recognised by the rest of the world, in particular the United Nations and the Organisation of African Unity, which still pretend Somalia is one united country.

    But the people of Somaliland are rebuilding the country themselves - with or without the help of the outside world. Educated exiles have abandoned successful careers in western countries and returned home to help reconstruct the country. Those still living abroad send money back home to the tune of US300-million (R2.4-billion) to US500-million (R4-billion) a year. With livestock, charcoal and frankincense as the only viable industries, this money is the main contributor to the country's budget.

    And although there are crumbling buildings on every street and roads that have not been maintained for 20 years, there are signs of life shining through. There are newly constructed houses and shops in the place of bullet-ridden, collapsing structures. There is a functional education system, the blossoming of small enterprise and a society at peace with itself. This is a far cry from the Somaliland that Hussein Bulhan returned to in 1991 when he left a lecturing post at the University of Boston in the US.

    Bulhan, the director of the Somaliland Academy for Peace and Development, says his countrymen are prepared to endure hardship in return for independence because they have seen the worst. "When you've touched the bottom of hell, you don't need much to make you happy," says Bulhan. Although South African mercenary pilots took part in the bombing raids on its people, this country is the one of the few foreign powers the Somalis are prepared to trust. They look to South Africa as the great hope to lead the country out of political and economic isolation.

    Somaliland is angling for a form of legal status as a first step to formal recognition. This week saw the formation of the first political party in the country - UDUB, meaning pillar - under the leadership of President Mohamed Egal. Within seven months, the first national elections since the formation of the state are scheduled, even though there is no sign of an opposition movement.

    "We are moving towards permanent democracy and we have fulfilled all the necessary criteria to gain full recognition. The international community can't keep us in limbo," argues Abdullahi Duale, Somaliland's minister of civil aviation and one of Egal's acolytes. He says the US is considering giving Somaliland interim status while several South African Cabinet ministers and leading members of the ANC have given them an ear. "We have lots of friends pushing our case. We have a contribution to make in stabilising the region and are in a strategic position for trade. We also have the experience of putting together a country from scratch."


    The Biography

    BBC Monitoring Service - July 28, 2001/Source: The Republican, Hargeisa, July 28, 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    The biography of President Mohamed Haji Ibrahim Egal; was born in 1928, son of Haji Ibrahim Egal and Hajia Khadija Mohamed Osman; married Asha Saeed Abby in 1946 with three sons and two daughters. Educated Koranic School, Sheikh intermediate School, and higher education in the United Kingdom; in 1956 he became the Secretary of Somali National League (SNL) Party at Berbera branch; then Secretary General of Somali National League (SNL) Party in 1958 - 1960.

    Prime Minister of Somaliland in 1960; after the former British Somaliland Protectorate merged with the former Italian Somalia and formed Somali Republic. He became Minister of Defence of the former Somali Republic in 1960 - 1962, Minister of Education in 1962 - 1963; resigned from the cabinet in 1963.

    Formed Somali National Congress (SNC) Party in 1963; re-elected to parliament in March 1964; Leader of Parliament Opposition 1963 - 1965; resigned the leadership from the Parliament Oppostion in 1965; became member of Somali Youth League (SYL) Party in 1966; Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs, of former Somali Republic in 1967 - 1969.

    In detention following military coup in October 1969, released October 1975; appointed Ambassador to India in July 1976, rearrested in October 1976, released in February 1982; appointed Chairman: Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture. Elected as a President of the Republic of Somaliland in May 1993, due to the state of national emergency he stay on in power until 1997, re-elected in early 1998 for five more years in the office until June 2002, President offered to resign in 1998, but the parliament refused to accept his resignation. Egal is now married to Kaltun Haji Dahir (The First Lady). The president speaks fluently Somali, Arabic and English; Leisure Interests : golf, reading and films.

    Here are selected excerpts from most emotionally some of his charged speeches, Interviews, Press conferences and Press Releases :-

    ["The issue is not a power struggle between me and Abdulkassim. I'm 70 years old and I'd like to give up this post, but I won't run away ".] Nita Bhalla from the BBC interviewed President Egal on 13th November 2000 in Addis-Ababa.

    ["We will not bring to Mogadishu the sovereignty of Somaliland as a gift as we did last time (1960 unification) and I advise you Somali leaders to get the short-sighted believe that Somaliland and its population can be subjugated again from your minds ".] President Egal's speech on the occasion of the opining of a new building for the Somaliland Parliament on 24th January 2001 in Hargeisa.

    ["We have never been citizens of Somalia because we joined willingly with Somalia in 1960 and formed the State of the Somali Republic to be the basis for a Greater Somali State. This dream is dead and we have regained our Sovereignty ".] president Egal meeting with the Executive Secretary of IGAD and Representative of EU on 26th January 2001 in Hargeisa.

    ["We are not invisible, we are here, we are functioning, and we are doing very well ".] Roger Hearing from the BBC interviewed His President Egal on 5th February 2001 in Hargeisa.

    ["Our history and our identity have completely disappeared from the world for 30 years. And now we are telling the world that there is a country called Somaliland ".] Dr. Bob Arnot from NBC interviewed President Egal on 18th May 2001 in Hargeisa.

    ["If the world tries to force us it will creat an instability. We would rather fight Somalia than go back ".] Dr. Bob Arnot from NBC interviewed President Egal on 18th May 2001 in Hargeisa.

    ["If the International Community failed to recognize Somaliland, We have no atomic bomb to explode but we will continue to exist".] A Press Conference held President Egal on 2nd June 2001 in Hargeisa.

    ["Somaliland was no longer just a collection of clans but a nation in its own right".] A Press Conference held by President Egal on 4th June 2001 in Hargeisa.
    Compiled by :- Omar Hussein Yusuf.


    A Call for Reflection:

    BBC Monitoring Service - July 28, 2001/Source: The Republican, Hargeisa, July 28, 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    It is human nature to be swept away by the euphoria of the moment and lose perspective. But it is prudent to never give into idealistic attitudes that are flawed and unrealistic. Notwithstanding the fact that, Somaliland is blessed with a resilient citizenry that reconstituted a modestly vibrant, free and healthy society against the backdrop of fratricide and attempted annihilation. One has not to look far to see the unenviable conditions of many African nation-states.

    From stagnation to regression, from virtual disintegration to Gulag State the aliments are many and the prospect bleak. And though some of the reasons for their failure might vary from one nation-state to another and each country may have its particular dynamics. However, there is some overriding communality that is shared by many if not all the countries.

    Of paramount is our colonial experience and the legacy self-doubt and self-estrangement we inherited. Therefore, a dispassionate appraisal of whom we are, as a society is very much needed. For without a through self-knowledge any achievement attain will be illusionary. When one engages in the arduous task of self-knowledge and appraisal, one has to avoid succumbing to either idealizing our pre-colonial society or to its total negation. Both sentiments are corrosive psychological mindsets born out of our colonial legacy and their destructive manifestations are wrecking havoc on our society.

    One such manifestation is the uncritical desire to embrace any and every phenomenon conjures up by the dominant world culture in the name of progress and on the other hand a corresponding vehement loath toward anything indigenous. The other manifestation is the desire to equate change, open-mindedness, dynamism and progress with self-abandonment and betrayal of one's culture.

    The presence of one of the mindset is a tremendous psychological barrier for a fragile post-colonial society to overcome. However, when both mindsets co-exist in the same society and simultaneously contends violently for dominance, the result is a total schism in every facet of the society. And such a toxic outcome is not aberration or the normal painful process of reconstructing a colonized society. No, it is the natural outcome of a society plagued by fundamental flaws and serious psychological problem.

    Though any worth endeavored is difficult nothing is beyond the reach of a determined people and an astute leadership. However, we should always avoid the temptation of reconstructing our society hastily and without due diligence. An apt example of this loath for things indigenous is the understandable desire to urgently dismantle the Somali clan social construct. Now a day it is trendy in most Somali intellectual circles to decry tribalism and attribute all that ails our society to the clan social construct's irredeemable nature.

    This blanket and unexamined denunciation of the clan social construct and the desire to purge it from the Somali society. Better yet, to wish it just vanished is nothing less than a tale-tell sign of serious impotence in the face of adversity. Although it is a generally accepted premise that (tribalism) for a lack of better term is a Somali social norm that through the ages prior to our colonization served the Somali society reasonably well.

    Nevertheless, what is overlooked is its relevance today and it's enormous influence in molding the Somali individual. And more importantly the slow and difficult process of constituting a new social construct to replace clan based and furthermore the lack of better alternatives. But one might be tempted to say what lack of better alternatives when Human history is littered with myriad of social constructs. From western liberal democracy to socialism, from nationalism to hybrid feudalism and of course Islam the options are many. And that is true. Nonetheless an option need not only be better conceptually but also be compatible with the essence of our people.

    Due to the limited nature of this article I will only briefly examine the relative merit or lack thereof of western liberal democracy due to its world ascendancy, hybrid feudalism due to its prevalence in our part of the world and Islam.

    Here is a brief and limited overview of western liberal democracy's social tenets and its pertinence to Somaliland's society. Western liberal democracy is a concerted effort by the elite to regain for the individual man his innate autonomy lost in the name society, state, progress and lot of other human trapping. By the nature of the process itself i.e. "regaining as oppose to maintaining mans autonomy" the process is top-down. This process is a gradual and controlled reintegration of the elite to the common man without abolishing the socio-economic disparity that exists.

    This ideal is relatively achieved and maintained by the introduction and steady expansion of the middle class. And also, by the elite's constant cultivation of humanistic social consciousness and the indoctrination of the mass in regard to their rights. However by over emphasizing the individual man's unrestrained rights without due consideration to man's need for a community and the community's demand of the individual man. And by also, submitting to man's rationality and accepting it as the sole guidance and the arbitrator of human affairs.

    This genuinely emancipating social construct is bedeviled by its own contradiction and leaves humanity's wellbeing at whims of the individual man's unbridled appetite. Thus, excess, perversion and the alienation of all are some of the unforeseen negative social outcomes. Moreover, as a humanistic world-view it is only conducive in secular society and therefore incompatible with our Somali society.

    Furthermore, one of its most redeeming qualities beside its unparalleled economic success i.e. "emancipation of the individual man is redundant in case of the Somali nomad man".

    As a Somali it is awkward to see Islamic social tenets as an alternative whilst its precepts are one of the most influencing force in shaping our social construct. Nevertheless, for a better understanding of the essence and shortcomings of our Somali clan culture. I will compare and contrast Islamic social tenets with our Somali social construct and highlight the Somali social construct's failings and limitations. Islam's social tenets are simple and timeless precepts in human affair revealed to humanity through Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) by Allah (SWT) the creator and sustainer of the universes. And can simply be stated as a social tenet that enjoys into the individual man his due right without divorcing him from his community by inoculating in the individual man a life of purpose.

    Where in the Somali clan social constructs the individual man relates to humanity only by a bond of kinship obligation and as such is very exclusionary. In Islam the individual man relates to humanity by a bond of obligation and a spirit of compassion first to his kin. Then to his immediate community of believers, then to the believer community as a whole and finally to humanity at large. And while Somali egalitarian notion is intuitive. In Islam equality between men is a decree.

    Brilliantly articulated in so many verses it is difficult to quote them all in this short article. However, if I can humbly extrapolate from Islamic precepts, men are equals in the eye of Allah (SWT) except those who possess the quality of piety, an acquired and acquirable quality by all through personal deed. In light of Islam's social precept superiority and the Somali clan social construct compatibility with it albeit with serious shortcomings. And the fact that, according to Islam the Somali clan social constructs is within the pale of the tolerable social norms.

    The solution is not if but how best to encourage the Somali Nomad to absorb the Islamic virtue of tolerance, inclusiveness and compassion without losing his uniqueness.

    And here is a quick look at hybrid feudalism social construct's essence and its relevance to Somaliland's society. Feudalism as a system is the complete subjugation of the mass by a tiny minority. In its extreme when it is not glossed over it is a slave master relationship. And except to catering to the interest of a tiny minority (The Elite) the only virtue this system has is its relative stability. However, stability acquired on the backs of a vanquished mass is morally reprehensible.

    As to its relevance to Somaliland social construct, if there were any misguided would be Somalilander elite contemplating hybrid feudalism as an option. Let the fate of Siad Bare and the unending chaos of South Somalia serve as a food for thought.

    It is a fairly accepted supposition that, one of the driving forces behind Siad Bare's tyrannical regime was to achieve tribal hegemony. And the same can be said of the many opposition groups that rebelled against him, though some were there to thwart the hegemony others were there to replace it. Although, this vicious tribal rivalry for power and resource and the ensuing struggle were the most visible cause for the collapse of the Somali State. What is usually overlooked is the under current cultural clash that took place when Somaliland and Somalia merged and formed the union. This oversight is due to the predominant myth that the Somali society is a homogeneous society that is pastoral in its mode of production and egalitarian in its social construct.

    This assertion of homogeneity is a distortion of the reality of the Somali society. For one it negates the existence of a different pre-colonial Somali culture that was anything but pastoral or egalitarian. As well as the significant cultural corruption the Italian colonization introduced into the Somali society. A corruption that severely compromised the egalitarian nature of the Somali culture. By introducing concept unbecoming to the spirit of equality. Violent rivalry for meager resource were always part of our clan culture but hegemony and domination are alien concepts that the Somali nation inherited from the Italian colonial legacy.

    In light of this reality of difference, the unsettling and swift merger of an unruly nomad culture and a sedated agrarian culture was a harvest destines to disappoint. Moreover a state domineered by a non-egalitarian tribal culture, emasculating and unequal was viscerally revolting to the untamed egalitarian camel herder. As such the struggle of Somaliland to extricate itself from the union with Somalia was more to preserve it's egalitarian culture rather than anything else. An egalitarian clan cultures that, though tension-prone and relatively unstable is bulwark against hegemony and dictatorship.

    For some reasons that are going to be self-evident the Somalilander elite alienation from his society is minuscule compare to most other nation-states elite. However the same social/cultural forces that curtailed the alienation phenomena are a serious impediment to societal progress if they are not adequately addressed.

    A case in point is Somaliland's perceived and actual grievance in regards to the union with South Somalia prior to the Somaliland's insurgence. A person aquatinted with the inequity that exists in any Third-World country will find Somaliland's grievance trivial. Nonetheless, that the Somalilanders do not see it as such is the riddle that is the Somali culture " highly influenced by tribal social mores the Somali society is an interwoven bond of kinship obligation".

    Where as in most nation-state, especially in hybrid feudal state the elite is an individual man, concerned only with personal agenda. Even if the elite in a feudal state is enlightened with social consciousness and is engaged in the welfare of the mass. The elite will still be estranged from the masses since there is no active bond "like egalitarian clan society "or adequate mechanism "like Western Liberal Democracy" that ties him to the mass. Therefore, the feudal elite engagement with the mass is marginal at best. However in Somaliland the elite, if there is any such entity should be qualified and hence rename a tribal elite. Moreover due to active bond of clan obligation. Unlike the alienation that fractures the feudal elite from his downtrodden brothers. The Somali tribal elite is relatively speaking theoretically one with his particular Somali mass (tribes' men) and thus, this alienating phenomenon is contained. Hence when one evaluates Somaliland's grievance through the prism of kinship obligation and the egalitarian society's social tenets what seemed a relatively banal disparity would change into ominous injustices.

    Hence for peace to prevail in an egalitarian clan society the system need not only be just to the individual man but also just to the tribal man which by extension means to every particular clan.

    In Conclusion:

    Though it is difficult to rehabilitate a war-ravaged society and build a viable state where none existed before under any circumstance. However, it is that much more difficult to accomplish this task in the shadow of globalization and its seductive vortex. With technological and economic progress so dazzling and social liberty confounding to say the least. We live in an age where instant gratification is attainable and at the same time illusive to all.

    Why herd camels when I can just soar to the moon, why be a mere mother when I can clone a sheep and why! Why! Why! In this age of possibilities patience and perspective are virtues in short supply. Though it is understandable to desire a strong, moral and benevolent state that can administer justices, provide services and marshal our society into a great leap of progress.

    Nonetheless, in our egalitarian society that is not entrenched in the concept or reality of nation-state and its demands. It is wise to be patient. And since States by nature are coercive and at time suffocating entities even when they are benevolent. They are anathema and a threat to the Somali nomad.

    Therefore, the best and safest way to build a state for the proud, untamed and unruly Somali nomad is to take the road less traveled. By fostering an environment that is conducive to the voluntary and gradual self-domestication of the Somali nomad. This can only happen within the framework of a decentralized and minimalist state embodying the spirit of Islam.

    By Said O Moussa Saidbour@hotmail.com


    Environment:- Marine resources and terrestrial resources management.

    BBC Monitoring Service - July 21, 2001/Source: The Republican, Hargeisa, July 21, 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    When we say Marine Resources, it can simply mean "Ocean Resources", Terrestrial Resources on the other hand simply also may mean "Land Resources - or plant Resources". For the last several years, readers of the beloved - Weekly English News Paper - "The Republican" and its sister of Jamhuuriya, were focused on the terrestrial sector of Somaliland environment e.g;

    -The impact of fuelwood production (charcoal) from live trees on Somaliland plant resources. -The impact of the Saudi livestock Ban on pastoralists - by diverting rural people to burn trees to sell charcoal to urban charcoal merchants, for food availability and security.

    -Awareness on protection of our unique wildlife for posterity and for future generations.

    -Awarenes raising for the protection of our environment, lobby/advocacy at local, regional and national levels.

    -Inculcating into their minds by educating our masses the benefits of our pasturelands better management and the consequences that may result from selfish and unintellegeny use of our vegetation cover, which is the main source of our livelihood.

    Today, our environmental discussion or paper relates to the Marine Resources of Somaliland. But, why from the land to the sea. The answer is that the sea is equally important as the land to people as Marine Resource. In compilig this paper, I had to refer or cited several world main environmental publications or organisations on the subject hence:

    1.PERSGA (The Regional Organisation for the Conservation of the Environment of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden).

    2.World Wide Fund (WWF), Towards a Sustainable Future (Environmental Impact 2000).

    3.Dimension - of - need (FAO 1945-1995). Today's environmental paper main ideas are extracts from the abovementioned environmental sources, which I wholeheartedly acknkowledge their service to me and use their material thoughts as a conservationist.

    PERSIGA: In its issue No.13, January 2001 - AL-SANBOUK, we can get the principles of "Living Marine Resources". This regional organisation for the conservation of the environment of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden is an intergovernmental organisation dedicated to the conservation of the coastral and marine environment in the region. Its legal basis stems from the Regional Convention for the conservation for the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden Environment, known as the Jeddah Convention and signed in 1982. The PERSIGA member countries include Djibouti, Egypt, Jordon, Saudi Arabia, Somaliland, Sudan and Yemen.

    Main activities: Institutional strengthening, reduction of navigation risks and marine polluction, sustainable use for living marine resources, conservation of habitats and biodiversity, the establishment of a network of marine protected ereas. Support for integrated coastal zone management, and the enhancement of public awareness. And participation.

    The writer participated in the Berbera RERSIGA Coastal and Marine protection awareness raising occasion of 9-14/6/01.

    Fisheries at the limit? Fishing is an important source of highly nutritious food, income and employment. Millions of people in Asia get most of their dietary protein from the aquatic harvest. In all, marine and inland fisheries provide nearly 30 percent of the region's animal protein; in Africa the proportion is 21 percent; in Latin America, 8 percent. About 30 percent of world production is turned into fishmeal to fatten livestock or farmed fish rather than eaten directly by humans.

    About 60 percent of the world fish harvest is caught by developing countries where 100 million people depend on fishing and related industries for their livelihoods. By far the majority of world fish taken, some 85 percent, comes from the oceans. Although fish farming is gaining ground, fishing is still the main expression of man's ancient role as a hunter-gatherer.

    Since 1950 the world fish catch, excluding aquaculture, has increased fivefold - rising from 20 million tonnes to peak at slightly less than 90 million tonnes in 1989. This period of expansion was made possible in large part by the introduction of new technologies and the spread of fishing fleets from traditional fishing areas to new ones, many of them in the southern hemisphere. No major cammercial fish stock remains untouched. By the beginning fo the 1990s, about 69 percent of the stocks for which data were available to FAO were either fully to heavily exploited (44 percent), overexploited (16 percent), depleted (6 percent) or very showly recovering from overfishing (3 percent). As a result, the world catch has fallen in recent years although it now seems to be levelling off at around 85 million tonnes per year.

    The world's fishing fleet has grown twice as fast as catches and there awre now about 3.5 million vessels worldwide. Asia has the largest fleet with 42 perecent of the total registered tonnage, followed by the republics of the former USSR with 30 percent. Africa has the smallest one at 2.7 percent.

    Government subsidies have helped keep most big fishing fleets afloat: in 1989 the world's 20 largest fishing nations paid out US$ 54 000 million in subsidies to catch US$ 70 000 million worth of fish. Such overcapacity has led to chronic overfishing with too manay boats chasing too few fish.

    Responsible fishing.

    Nearly 70 percent of the world's marine fish stocks are in trouble and urgently in need of conserevation. Catches have collapsed in the Black Sea; less than 200 000 tonnes of fish were landed in 1991, compared to 1 million tonnes in the late 1980s. stocks of bottom-living fish in the East China and Yellow Seas have fallen to between one-fifth and one-tenth of their highest levels. Other crisis areas include the Northwest and Northeast Atlantic, the North Sea, the Central Baltic, the Gulf of Thailand and the Western Central Pacific.

    Nearly all the inland fisheries fo Asia and Africa also show signs of overexploitation. Attempts to manage marine fisseries have generally failed. Instead conflicts have frown as stocks have fallen. Developed country fleets have clashed over fisheries in both the Northwest and Northeast Atlantic while large-scale artisanal fishermen off many developing countries. The international fishery commissions, established under the auspices of FAO (the first in 1948), have broadened the scope of management options and included many developing countries, but have so far had little success other than trying to impose quotas and regulate fishing gear and boat size. But they provide the mechanisms for sustainable fisheries management if countries would show the necessary cooperation and political will.

    The third UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, which came into force in 1994, enables coastal states to establish exclusive economic zones, usually stretching 200 miles from their shores, where they have complete control of resources - providing a new opportunity for better regulation. In 1994 work started on drarting a Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries under the auspices of FAO, offering hope - if it is observed - of a new era in fisheries management. To be continued next week..


    A Jigjiga-yar road to receive a gravel coat

    BBC Monitoring Service - July 21, 2001/Source: The Republican, Hargeisa, July 21, 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    A busy stretch of road that veers off northwards from the main thoroughfare, which connects Hargeisa and other cities to the West, is currently undergoing a municipality repair work that began on Wednesday, last. "This particular length of the Jigjiga-yar (Koodbuur district) road is one of the roughest but busiest in the whole city," the Mayor of Hargiesa told our reporters, at the site where he arrived to supervise and witness the project take-off.

    Elaborating on why the municipality have chosen to begin with this specific section of the Jigjiga-yar road, the Mayor said: "The road is heavily used by traffic the bulk of which are public conveyances. Buses and their passengers, particularly, are subjected to bone-jarring experiences and heavily laden vehicles can no longer negotiate the pot-holes and ruts which qualify it as one of the worst in Hargeisa considering its importance to public service."

    "Furthermore," the Mayor said, "Visitors from the outside world as well as a great number of expatriates working here use it to and from Maansoor Hotel off the northernmost end of the road," said the Mayor, Awl Elmi Abdalla. The Mayor believes that this gravel surfacing that they have planned or the road will better withstand the traffic and inclement elements that have previously reduced it to the abominable condition it has gradually eroded to since then. Like this metal-pipe, bars and plywood arches, the repairs will enhance the overall look of a city whose total recovery from past ravages would certainly, require a great deal more than is presently offered.

    The road was given largely similar kind of coating shortly before Mayor Awl took over the Hargeisa Mayoralcy from his predecessor and co-defendant in recent misappropriation charges - . Abdirahman Isma'il 'Adami'.


    Registration of Parties to begin today

    BBC Monitoring Service - July 21, 2001/Source: The Republican, Hargeisa, July 21, 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    In public announcement broadcasted and published on respectively, Tuesday and Wednesday, lastweek, the National Committee for the Registration and ratification of Political Parties will begin today, Saturday, July 21, and continue for a period of two months that will end on Friday, September 21. Following the House of Representative's final ratification of by - law No_ 14/2000 of August 6, 2000, that details processes and procedures, that regulates the formation and practice of Political Parties, earlier this year, the President of the Republic of Somaliland, .Mohamed Haji Ibrahim Egal, nominated a seven - member Committee later swelling to nine - to lay the first foundations for a democratically contested, multi-party elections expected to get underway early next year.

    The Committee, political analysts believe, has been given an unenviable cake to curve among a hardly trusting public that are not likely to abide by regulations that have already been broken several times over by the incumbent administration - in - power.

    To illustrate one of the latest such violations of the law, analysts point out the President's own declared Party - UDUB. They say that the single, most lavishly, most conspicuously displayed political association that has far proclaimed an existence that did not exist before it was legally and naturally delivered was UDUB of the government. That, they say, a government in reign - from the President down to the lowliest civil servant - can credibly separate or acquit itself of mishandling, miss management, miss use and/or misappropriation of national resources to promote the interest of its members is hard to swallow.

    For, they say, the highest public figures in the administration flagrantly flaunted both temporal, material and human resources to hold a Party conference for a party that was not even registered as such.


    Burao Conference

    A controversial conference called by Burao Sultans to, initially, bring together top Clan chiefs from all over Somaliland, ended on July 18 with some high-note resolutions that raised a few eyebrows here. The Conference hosted by Sultans Abdullahi Sultan Ali, Mohamed Guleid, Mohamoud Abdulahi Arab and Mohamed Sultan Hersi - Qani (spokesman), declared at the beginning that it had nothing to do with politics. It was broadcasted as a meeting of Clan chiefs that had some creases to iron out among themselves regarding traditionally resolved matters among the respective Clans.

    The Conference, attended, as reported earlier, by 14 Sultans, 2 special emissaries from non - attending Sultans and a Chief "Aqil", issued a seven - point resolution that produced mixed reactions. Among these, the third, for example, declares "the (very) formation of the Party - UDUB - the President proclaimed (as such) is illegal."

    The big chieftains point out that this particular resolution of theirs rests on the premises that the President's Party:

    - Jumped the House of Representatives, recently passed Bill that called for the formation of a national commission to oversee registration and constitutional screening of Political Parties.

    - Pulled in into its fold the highest government executives, top members of the national legislative and judiciary, Mayors and governors which fact is tantamount to a "highjack" of the nation's destiny.

    - All resources upon which UDUB was built and continues to use up to now were those of the nation (Finances, premises, transport, security forces, broadcasting station and time).

    -It is unconstitutional that top echelon government officers in key positions hold two equally demanding Political Posts which can only result in the compromise of public responsibilities entrusted to said executive. And this single point among the Sultan's resolutions is only the tip to the ice - berg.

    Others sound as if a fourth national Council to be formed among the country's Clan leaders should assume responsibilities that divest the other Houses of most of theirs in a single stroke. But, as things turned out, the President, inordinately suspicious of such a meeting immediately dispatched a band of ultra-loyal Ministers, coveys after convoys of heavily armed troops and a flood of equally prepped undercover agents and trouble-shooters to, ostensibly, persuade Burao residents to throw out the congregating Sultans.

    The Sultans, prepared for such, an onslaught of words and guns and a heavy - weight tug - of - war politics, pre-empted the government's propaganda tack by buying time with innocuous announcements of their own. And Burao nearly went under for all the wrestling, match of hot words, confusedly oscillating folks a top and the primed explosives in the form of heavily - laden troops whose trigger fingers Burao remembers only too well.

    A great deal of government led offensives and counter - offensives escalated, what could have otherwise simmered down to a political get - together of Clan chiefs, to unprecedented stages of hostility. The head of the government Ministerial delegation, Dr. Abdi Aw Dahir, Minister for Health and Labour, for example, declared that he and his delegation were speaking not as government Ministers but, also, as delegates of UDUB - the government's newly formed Party. This announcement, delivered publicly to the masses, incensed a great number of people.

    The Honourable Minister was not particularly popular with Burao residents who could remember his role in internecine battles that pitched Burao against Burao as at Clan spokesperson. This fact was singularly made the more painful by the doctor's abrogation of fall ethics of the medical profession which frown upon activities such as those entailed by the good doctor's previous Clan position.

    Not only Burao, but intellectuals, well - wishers legislators and all of Somaliland could still vividly remember the Minister's stand against doctors joining Political Parties. Dr. Suleiman M. Gulaid, a surgeon and a former Minister of Health, Dr. Obolos and Dr. Dahir Hassan Dahir were expelled on the sole offence of declaring membership of UDUB's predecessors.

    The Director General under Dr. Abdi Aw Dahir, the Minister, signed the doctors' marching papers. That, paradoxically, the Minister who so recently gave those orders displays new credentials as Party Secretary of a similar political entity to the very people he originally hailed from, defied all logic as it made naught of moral decency since he is still at the helm of Health.

    The fact that the Minister (or Party Secretary) was instrumental in the President's (strange!) called in dismissal of a very promising doctor from the post of Hargeisa Group Hospital couldn't be denied. The Director was summarily dismissed over the phone for giving The Republican and Jamhuuriya a heart-wrenching but true account of the Hospital's current, lamentable state - and for revealing the true facts.

    That UDUB - the President - chaired 'Party', in which he is the Number three, has intentionally violated Electoral codes and regulations that call for registration before public proclamations and conferences was, also, a factor that can not be credibly justified. But what may yet decide whether the Four - day Burao Conference is a manageable damage for government or the first forceful shower of an impending avalanche would be decided here in Hargeisa. It is doubtful, though, that a government, who has lately been increasingly obtuse to public sensitivity, could rally the necessary mechanisms for effective damage control; especially in the face of it's ever - growing opposition.

    For the first time, for instance, thirty-six members of the National House of Representatives joined forces to demand the President's impeachment on a three - point motion they submitted for deliberation. The Deputy House Speaker, though, returned the Honourable members' widely publicized motion to them for revision on Wednesday, July 18. Political Parties that formed before the President's own UDUB, but unlike it did not call for Party Conferences in deference to the registration laws that starts today, condemned the government's actions on many occasions previously.

    The SNM's own Reform Party, UBSL and the Islamic Party were in the past the most vocal in this group. The only Party that sides with the government's stand on the Burao Conference is BIRSOL. In a statement its Chairman delivered to The Republican and Jamhuuriya offices on Friday evening, July 20, declared that; "BIRSOL strongly disapproves of the Burao Conference's resolutions."


    Impressions of a distinguished scholar on Somaliland

    BBC Monitoring Service - July 21, 2001/Source: The Republican, Hargeisa, July 21, 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    Dr. Charles Geshekter of California State University is a scholar, writer and an avid researcher in Somali Studies, attended the 8th conference of the SSIA at the Hargeisa University campus here from July 4 to July 13, 2001.

    . Geshekter, one of the most renowned founders of the Somali Studies International Association is an American who did not show much in common with either the US or the UN when it came to a Somaliland that he fell in love with on first sight.

    The Chief editor of The Republican had a chat with the eminent Scholar/writer on a number of areas that are of great concern to Somaliland. Following is the first part of a synopsis made of . Geshekter's stand in the issues discussed expressed in frank, easy flowing language.

    On SSIA Conference Organization "I was not sure how well the overall level of day-to-day administration would be. And I did not know how enterprising the conference centre would be. "Now I am here to be in this conference. It is very important for the government (of Somaliland) that the conference goes on very well. Obviously, a lot of public resources were put into making this a success. It was really all very successful.

    I wasn't really sure if they could pull it off. If they could make this happen because of everything I have read about stress, livestock ban, other reservations about the government itself. I was not sure if this could be accomplished. "But I found out (different) the moment I arrived in Hargeisa airport. I was met there and taken to town. I have had good food.

    I have met interesting people. "Obviously, this is a poor part of the world. It has got any number of obstacles and hindrances and yet. One has to compare Somaliland with some ideal. Or idealized version of a government. One has to compare it with what has preceded it. "I think when you do that, one cannot help but be very impressed.

    On first impressions Somaliland "I don't think it is, really, a Somaliland problem or question (that little is known of it outside). "You are a scholar and a Journalist, you correct me here if I get it wrong but, I think, generally, the media of the world when it covers the world, the press is very good at reporting disaster news. It is very good at reporting catastrophes, destruction, mayhem, and loss of life, natural calamities, wars, and atrocities. The media reports those kinds of things. "Good news from Africa is usually spiked. And so, that is the kind of problem Somaliland is up against.

    "Unfortunately, (for instance) the way the American press has been reporting Africa since the cold war is over, the main stories have been UNISOM and Somalia. Which is a story of death destruction, mayhem, collapse of the government, chaos, killing and so forth? "Number two, in the nineties, the press reported of Rwanda. Once again, ethnic genocide, killing, devastation and loss of life.

    "The third story of the nineties, of course, the transition to multiracial democracy in south Africa. Leaving apartheid on to multiracial democracy. I have been shocked, however, and angered by the way the media coverage of South Africa, in the last three years or so, has shifted to what, in my opinion, is very artificial and very contrived issue about so - called AIDS. And the issue of transition and larger public health issues in South Africa and the rest of Africa has been lost.

    "I think what is peculiar to Somaliland is that many readers and probably many Journalists - failed to distinguish between Somalia and Somaliland. And to that extent, information about Somali politics or Somalia rehabilitation or Somali way of life. In Somaliland is confused with that of Somalia. "And to that extent, again, Somalilanders suffer badly from the excuses and the lawlessness of the Somalis of the South - all you have to do is be in Somaliland and you realize that most Somalilanders do not seem to think very much of Mogadishu. They think very much about Somaliland .. About their future.

    "But I am afraid that Somalia was in the news for such a long time - between 1991 and 1995, and most of that news was disaster news. It is that the world (now) hungers for good news from Somalia. And then they invest a lot of hope a lot of optimism in the TNG, which is a waste of time, in my opinion that they tend to overlook the small but very encouraging steps that have been taken in Somaliland.


    Faisel Omer: Somaliland music icon and king of "Oud"

    BBC Monitoring Service - July 03, 2001/Source: The Republican, Hargeisa, July 03, 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    Faisel Omer, is surrounded by musicians and singers in a smoky house in Saudi Arabia. In one of the rooms of the house is turned into a studio of sorts. It is in 1984, less than four years before he leaves Saudi Arabia for good, and finds himself in the middle of the Civil war in Somalia, and the program is to record what many Somaliland music critics call the best Somaliland tape ever to be recorded.

    In the daunting company of Somaliland music icon and king of "Oud", Xodeydeh", Faisel has the presence of symphony conductor. Listening to that long ago cassette tape, one gets the impression that he had not been a Somaliland singer of incalculable influence and a legend of his own time; Faisel would have found some other way of changing the world. The 56-year-old singer/song writer/composer/teacher and poet, is by Somaliland standards the indisputable male vocalist alive!

    Much has been said about Faisel's love to "Shamis", the woman who inspired his songs and poetry, which incidentally transformed him into a folk hero, a legend and mythic figure of enormous popularity both among the young and the old, women and men of Somaliland. This true, but rather exaggerated account has perhaps distracted people from his art. But in the four decades since Faisel's first song, he has come to represent the essence of the music: its beauty, its richness and yes, it's danger. His hauntingly sensual voice could transform even the most ephemeral Somaliland song, for instance, a song called "intii aan ku baryaayey", sung Abdillahi "sooraan", was later sung by Faisel, and no one believes it is the same song into a work of overwhelming emotion.

    Unlike most Somaliland singers, Faisel is considered better than those in the Bandstand. The only musician of equal stature is "Xodeydeh", who when they play together literally transforms the "Oud", sound into Faisel's voice. Faisel is praised by many as the definitive modern Somali singer, after whom most Somali singing styles, since "Qaraami" in the fifties have been fashioned. He is without a doubt the best singer alive, after Mohamed Mogeh. True, he has his rivals, Mohamed Ahmed, Mohamed suleymaan, Ahmed Ali "Drum"; but Faisel has a way of touching listeners and of interacting with musicians, as if, he is simply another instrument. His hands, mouth, fingers, palms and feet make sounds that are close imitations of rhythmic percussions.

    In a Faisel performance, lyrics and music are interwoven and intertwined in his voice. When he sings "Subcis", for instance, it is all but impossible to imagine a more affecting rendering. In creating his distinctive style, he built upon, (1) the works Abdillahi Qarsheh, one of the foremost Somaliland Nationalist singers, which many people regard as the father of Somaliland song and music, (2) his close Sudanese, "Nubian" national singers and musicians i.e., Mohamed Wardi, and Mohamed Al-Amin.

    Like Wardi, Faisel could re-invent and improve upon the melody of a song. Not only did he evoke his raspy delivery, but he also shared his habit of lagging behind the rhythm, only to rush ahead without warning. From Wardi and Al-Amin, Faisel borrowed an instinct for the Sudanese/"Nubian" style, and performs Sudanese/Nubian tunes to this day. His recordings must have one or two "Nubian" songs or it would not be complete. Finally, Faisels fluid singing exudes longing and melancholy.

    Teenage Days

    Faisel was born in 1945, to Omer Mushteeg and Amina Mohamed Bulxan. Both his parents were respectable community members in the city of Hargeisa, Somaliland. Amina's father was the great Berbera poet of Somaliland, during the late 19c and the beginning of the 20c, Mohamed "Bulxan", who coined the famous Somaliland poem "Abtirsiimada Guud baa loo Gu laaf tamayaa" or "people are fighting for their family tree".

    He finished his grade school at Sheekh Bashiir Elementary School in Hargeisa, Somaliland, where he had the opportunity to be taught by such great teachers and world famous people. Late Sheekh Ali Ibrahim, an Islamic scholar who has written many books and Arabic and Omer Arteh Qaalib, who became a foreign minister of what, were once known as "Somalia". He later went to a boarding school in Amoud, which is located thirty-five miles northwest of Hargeisa, Somaliland. He finished both his intermediate and teacher training at Amoud. Again, he had the good fortune obeying taught by such teachers as Sheekh Yuusuf Sh Ali Gurey, the 1982-83 President of Somali National movement and Mohamed Ali "Sheef", who became an Ambassador.

    As a teenager, his peers knew Faisel as a talented singer. But it was not until he finished school that he was discovered by the then- Minister of Education, Yuusuf Ismail Samates "Ghandhi". "Gandhi" took him to the then capital city of Somalia, Mogadishu. One night, "Ghandi" threw a party in order to show off to his friends this wonder kid, who could sing like no one else. The Sudanese Ambassador who was present at the party heard him sing "Sudanese/Nubian" songs and could not believe his ears. He offered Faisel an opportunity to go to Sudan and study there. But upon hearing he would have to wait another six months in Mogadishu before he can go, Faisel declined the offer and headed back to Hargeisa.

    Faisel didn't want to leave yet because he fell in love with Shamis while he was in school at Amuud. What he did not know at the time was Shamis would become his life long love and the only woman he loves to this day. With a collection of Mohamed Wardi and Al-Amine songs that were given to him as a gift from the Sudanese Ambassador, Faisel got a job as a teacher in Arabsiyo ten miles from Hargeisa.

    Most Productive Years:

    1960 - 1974

    From early 60's to early 70's, Faisel recorded quite a number of excellent tapes; for instance, he recorded his most famous song "subcis", three times. Those years were also the most productive years of his life. The songs he recorded at the time always displayed a cool hallucinatory appreciation of Somaliland music and song. On stage, he had a visually spellbinding presence equivalent to a James Brown or Miles Davis concert. This period is also characterized by many Somaliland music critics, as the "Golden Age of Somaliland music and song".

    The group that was in the forefront or the Vanguard was called "Barkhad Cas". This group in which Faisel was a member, included almost all of Somaliland's best and brightest singers and musicians. The group was combined of a nine man and a one-woman dynamo that played for huge, adoring crowds, in national theaters and clubs across the country. The group included singers, such as; Mohamed Mogeh, Ahmed Mogeh, Abdullah Zag Zag, Xodeydeh Abdi-Qays, Cabdirahmaan Hassan, Ahmed Ali "Drum", Ahmed Mohamed Good "Shimber", Faisel Qamar Mushteeg and last, but not least, Sahara Siyaad. Sahara Siyaad is considered by many Somaliland singers and musicians as one of the top female singers of all time.

    During one of their tours across the country in 1971, which was the last tour of the group. Faisel and his co-stars enticed the crowds with a mixture of songs, poetry and romantic ballads. When the group pulled into a small town, it was big news. Teenagers and music lovers of all ages would race through the dusty streets, spreading the word, though the group was named after the late nationalist poet and playwright, Moxamed Ismail Barked Cas, the government of Siyaad Bare, the brutal dictator from 1969-1991, considered the group subversive, but the group never paid attention. Faisel' s sense of humor, winning smile and buttery smooth voice was always visible. His demeanor, which was both humble and dignified on stage, won the group friends and disarmed their toes.

    During the net couple of years "Barkhad Cas" performed many times together by recording tapes that had become collector items by Somaliland music lovers. However, government interference and intrusion was becoming more viscous everyday. To Faisel it was time to move on. By 1973, both Abdi Qays and Mohamed Ibrahim Hadraawi were in prison for composing what Siyaad Bare, called anti-governmental songs. Faisel knew it was a matter of time before they came to him as they did for Mohamed Mogeh. He decided to migrate to Saudi Arabia in 1974.

    Artist in Transition

    1974 - 1988

    Faisel left Somaliland in 1974. He came to Saudi Arabia where he stayed for 14 years. Faisel never intended to stay in Saudi Arabia that long and showed his distaste and dislike to their rigid interpretation of Quranic texts. But Faisel did not stop making music, because Somaliland culture was always in his mind. When we use the word `culture' he says, "we are not referring to something wedded to the past, but to the living, breathing everyday culture of Somaliland music and song that welcomed even actively pursues the creation of new musical styles that is based on our heritage and history".

    Having said this, Faisel's songs and creative energies can be traced to a distinctive style and gen. He is never willing to stake out styles allegiances and is not likely to go anywhere the musician is going to take him, unless the musician "Xodeydeh", or to a lesser extent Abdi Nasser Macalan Aideed, another "Oud" player. He has a strong commitment to rigid issues of Somaliland style and genre.

    But when it comes to "Nubian" music, Faisel has an innate ability to hear connections, and to make these connections apparent through his music and song. You can hear this style through some of his songs.

    But if you want to hear Faisel and "Xodeydeh" in action, you must find the tape they recorded during Faisel's long stay in Saudi Arabia, which we have mentioned in the introduction. This was quite a historic tape. It was well recorded and noteworthy for "Xudeydi loose-limped, spacey oud, and Faysal's clapping, humming, drumming, chanting, exhilarating, moving and down home blues, Louis Armstrong like voice.

    In the tape, Faisel plays with his old friend and co-singer, musician, Ahmed Ali Drum. He performed older work that he has played only rarely or not at all since the 1960's.

    Included in the hour long set were his favorites, "Subcis", Lacageey" and Riftoon", all pieces from the 1960's. They are also his most inward, enigmatic work, driven by tunes punctuated by "Xudeydi" plucking, in a call and response fashion. In this recording, Faisel pulled off a glimpse of his genius and also, of what has become his most too familiar signature, a rare show of strength and enthusiasm, working out brooding emotionally ridden improvisations.

    On the other side of the tape, Ahmed Ali Drum", ripped into pieces like "Weli Waa Caroroo" and "Hordo gama ma Lada oo". This tape shows a perfect balance between the singing and the oud on the one hand, a clear and un-oblivious vision both the singers and the oud player to let each other relax into their modes of provocation and discovery. This was a phenomenal performance by any standard.

    By 1988, Faisel had enough of Saudi Arabia and its puritanical culture. Once more, it was time to leave, but this time, he decided to head home for good, come what might be!

    War and Peace: 1988 - 2000
    When Faisel arrived in Hargeisa, he was immediately embraced by the local artists. On the night of May 27, 1988, he was featured as the main attraction in a concert labeled as the "concert of the century", held at the National Theater. It was the happiest night of his life, for he was performing in front of his fans, after an absence of almost two decades. The happiness did not last though, because it was the same night that the Somali National Movement (S.N.M.) stormed their way to the city center. The rest is history!

    Faisel remembers that night clearly. What follows is a brief description of the events of that night and the following weeks. "Around two in the morning", he says, "I was still awake and dressed when the Somali National Movement stormed the military garrisons around the city and came in from the cold". He continues, "It was unbelievable"! I still can not believe to this day, how a small guerrilla group, most of the urban youngsters could defeat the strongest Army in Africa, south of the Sahara. Ethiopia with its one million standing army could not defeat them and was scared like hell of the Somali National Army. Faisel describing the strength of the Somali army said, "Hargeisa was the center of twenty thousand strong army, three hundred or more tanks, mig fighter planes, South African mercenary pilots, not less than a thousand militia artillery guns, victory pioneer units, military police units, red berets (siynad Barre's special body guard units), prison army units, Dhaber Jabinta Army Units, Hangash Army Units, Filly Foos Army Units, Western Liberation Army Units, Somali Salvation Army Units called, "Dhafoorqiiq", Ogadeen Liberation Army Units, Oromo Liberation army Units, N.S.S. Army Units and other military Units, I can not recall now". He continues, "You know, Hargeisa was not a city, when you come to think about it, it was rather a military Base".

    "I could not go to sleep that night", Faisel adds, "so I left my room with all my belongings early in the morning to check out the city. It was not clear who was in control of the city. The S.N.M. gave the Somali government a knockout. It became apparent tome when I met some of my friends and my ex-students in the streets of Hargeisa. They were S.N.M. GUIRRELLA warriors and I was happy to see so many of them alive. It was as if everyone I knew was an S.N.M. fighter".

    After a few days, he illustrates the defeated military government, who was not stationed in the airport unleashed artillery bombardment to the city and its inhabitants. They also hired South Africa mercenary pilots, who were too keen to kill black people. Within a few days the rocker propelled grenades and the aerial bombardments leveled the city, forcing the lucky ones to flee to the border. Thousands of innocent children, women and elders who could not flee were killed. It was too much for me to watch so much death and destruction inflicted on innocent women and children. I decided to run for my life, leaving everything I owned behind. Faisel concludes, "It took me twenty-eight days of dodging bullets from both planes and people rugged mountains, thirst, thorns and thick bushes, empty plains with snakes and mosquitoes and man eating hyenas. I must have weighted about two hundred pounds when I was performing on that eventful night, but by the time I reached the Ethiopian border, I weighed about one hundred thirty pounds, a loss of seventy pounds in four weeks of hell on earth! I was just thankful to Allah that I was still alive! After a few months in the refugee camp in Ramaso Ethiopia, I knew I could not wait for things to happen, so I joined the Somali National Movement. My weapon (music and song) was the only thing I knew how to do, in order to stir and awaken the masses, so that they could fight back against the genocidal military dictatorship of Somalia.

    On May 18, 1991, the Somali National Movement liberated the northern part of Somali and declared it as an independent country with its own flag, national anthem, national assembly, internationally recognized borders. Since they north was colonized by Britain and had its own borders, standing army, police and independent judicial system. Faisel was one of the first S.N.M. fighters to come back to victorious to his homeland. As usual, Faisel began to make his music in a civilian life far removed from the ravages of civil war, death and destruction.

    Faisel recorded several new tapes with Abdi Nasser Macalan Aideed, who is incidentally a good Oud player. Faisel feels lucky, since two of his best fiends and co-singer, Mohamed Mogeh and Ahmed Muhamed Good Shimber died during the liberation war and were not lucky to see a free Somaliland!


    Minister Ainab declares five EU/SOMCON reconstructed bridges open

    BBC Monitoring Service - Jun 20, 2001/Source: The Republican, Hargeisa, July 28, 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    The Somaliland Minister for Public Works and Transport, Yusuf Ainab Musa, declared five EU - funded bridges a national construction company - SOMCON - reconstructed officially open for traffic on Thursday, July.

    The reconstruction of the bridges which were, previously, demolished during the protracted war between the Somali National Movement (SNM) and the then reigning military administration of Somalia in the, 80s, were implemented on the 3rd phase of the protocol between the government of Somaliland and the European Union office. The Honourable Minister for Public Works, Engineer Ainab, spoke of his delight in an occasion where several main links were being added to the reconstruction, rebuilding effort of Somaliland.

    The Minister, profusely expressed his appreciation and gratitude to the European Commission - which, he said, really extended a vital service to the Somaliland people. Minister Ainab, also, spoke glowingly of SOMCON's "commendable and highly professional" abilities as manifested in its faultless finishing of the technically demanding, time - constrained bridges it has reconstructed from ground zero.

    The Somaliland Ministers for Civil Aviation and Health, Abdullahi Mohamed Dualeh and Adbi Aw Dahir, respectively, who, also, spoke at the opening ceremony did not hesitate in expressing their unstained gratitude and happiness at attending such an occasion. Where four bridges along the treacherous Sheikh pass and another big one that linked Sheikh town to Burao, were being formally opened to traffic.

    The two Ministers, on the same vein, ecstatically commended the respective roles each of the EU office and the contractor company played in the project. The Chairman of SOMCON, Jibril Ahmed Ali, a promising, charismatic business tycoon who recently diverted some his parent company's Saudi based ventures to Somaliland, revealed that although the work they have undertaken was as demanding as expected, his team really enjoyed putting the job on the road and implementing it, too, with plenty of time and resources to spare. . Jibril disclosed that, in fact, his company was not only able to conclude its contractual terms per agreement but was, also, able to do it way below the granted 746,000 US dollars granted in contract. The Chairman's disclosure of his company's actual costs on the bridges was, in fact, unprecedented in firms of SOMCON's size and diversity.

    Phase IV of the EU program in the rebuilding of bridges along Somaliland's 'heavily' used main roads is expected to take off later in the year. The EU representative here attended Thursday's opening ceremony as were the Governor of Sahil. The CEO of the Somaliland Road Authority (SRA) and a number of other dignitaries.


    Municipality officers Clear Shelves of Unsavoury food items

    BBC Monitoring Service - July 28, 2001/Source: The Republican, Hargeisa, July 28, 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    On Thursday, the first of a seven - day city sanitation campaign, Hargeisa Municipality Department of Sanitation and Social Services pulled out a number of spoiled food items from retailer shelves, inspected the premises and key attendants and waiters serving in restaurants and tea - shops and stiffly admonished a number of proprietors to abide by regulations or else face the consequences.

    Municipality Officers, supported by units of the city police force, carried out a blitz - like operation that, at the end of the day, pulled out more than 100 cartoons of assorted foodstuffs and beverages from warehouses and shops. The blemished goods were found to be either negligently stored or carrying dates that have long expired or whose stamped dates did not leave much of a margin for save consumption due to other variables that include bad or inadequate storage arrangements.

    "If clients, the consumers, the general public.. do not become more fastidious, more caring of what they paid good money for, nothing much can be achieved by sporadic food sanitation forays such as this one we have started today," Abdiwahab Abdi Jama "Nkruma", the Director of the Public Sanitation Services who spearheaded this latest of the Municipality's campaigns said. The Director, however, made it clear that his department had no complaints against the general public or its shopping habits. To the contrary, he said, his department only wishes to caution people against the snares of callous profiteers that can be found among any sizeable business community all over the world.

    The Director said that they will continue to undertake campaigns and on - the - spot checking operations such as the one his department has begun on Thursday. . Nkruma was also full of praises for elements from the business establishment here and the general campaign who assist municipality operatives come on top whenever they carry out such street checks.

    On a related operation, municipality officers cleared city streets of vendors, hawkers and small business owners who have lately taken over the sidewalks of almost all the main streets of Hargeisa. The congestion they created eased off somewhat.

    Hospital.

    On February this year, the Director of the Somaliland Ministry for Health, Ahmed Abdi Jama, requested of the Ministry of planning to make the necessary documents that would waive Ministry of Finance's Import duties from a consignment of medical drugs and other supplies that were, ostensibly, meant to be rushed to the greatly beleaguered, seldom - stocked general hospitals of Hargeisa, Burao and Erigavo. The supplies, after five long months, have yet to see the insides of an in - patient ward, let alone the inside of a suffering patient.

    The most trusting , most kind member of the public we have asked of the whereabouts of these medical supplies told us that they were under lock and keys at the Hargeisa Central Medical Stores. What they were doing there, after so long a time, or if they are still there, was, however, put in a shroud of doubt by every interviewee, medical officer and in - patient we talked to. In fact, the members of the general public and almost all of the in - patients did not show much faith in ever witnessing these medical provisions performing medical wonders where needed, including the three above - mentioned hospitals.

    "The February, 2001, supplies, I believe, were, in respect to costs declared, over - inflated. The supplies are said to have been purchase at a cost of 22000 US dollars according to the ministry. I don't believe it," a medical officer, who wishes to remain anonymous told us. The truth, though it might be a bit exaggerated is not far from there.

    The three main hospitals of Hargeisa, Burao and Erigavo would have each reccived its share of a government allocated sum that amounts to 100,000 US dollars per year. None of the hospitals got it for the second year running. The presently questioned supplies might have been purchased as part of the hospital's allocations but, strangely enough, not one of the hospitals they are supposed to benefit have been consulted. Perhaps, this oversight on the part of the Ministry, which entered into an agreement of supply with an importer on its own counsel, is, largely, responsible for the supply of drugs that do not include the disinfectants, plaster strips, gauzes, gloves and the like that are so indispensable to the treatment of the sick or the administering of the drugs.

    But this 'generous' opinion, that gives the benefits of a doubt to both contractor and contractee, is not shared by a great many of people who know a good deal about today's health matters in Somaliland. It is not very hard to understand such suspicious minds in the light of some of the Ministry's recent and not so recent - flurry of activities that fairly justify any number of aspersions casted against it.

    For instance, a tonne of medical supplies that same Director General declared a donation to the Ministry of Health and Labour a year earlier to secure a free duty status from the Ministries of Planning and Finance disappeared without a trace. The Director's letter, reference number MH&L/122/2-W/2000 and dated 17/3/2000, states that:-

    "Dr. Mohamed Mustafa, a Sudanese national, is donating to the Ministry of Health and Labour, medical supplies weighing 278 kgs, that will arrive at Hargeisa airport - which donated supplies follow another that same source donated to the Ministry. In light of above, we request that you process the necessary documents for duty exemption." . Ahmed Abdi Jama Director General of the Ministry of Health & Labour. This is followed by the Director of Customs' grant of duty exemption in a letter dated 10/4/2000 with a Facsimile of an Ethiopian Airlines manifest of goods (air waybill) that shows its doubts under its 'description of goods' column in its phrasing: SAID TO CONTAIN PHARMACEUTICALS(!).

    On April 28, 2000, the head of the Ministry's logistics section, Mukhtaar Dheeg Ahmed, declares the supplies (Misappropriated) and lost to old, bad Fraud! . Dheeg writes that all 23 cartoons of that particular consignments were not to be found. "Following a Mansoor management's mistaken clearance of said goods out of Hargeisa's Central Customs depot." The letter was addressed to the Director General.

    Next day April 29, the Director of the MOH & L, Administration and Personnel, Ahmed Abdi Musa, wrote to the DG in support of that of the logistic section. Again, this letter was again addressed to the DG as the one it referred to. Neither letter was graced with even a single line of acknowledgement from the Director General who so assiduously denied the nation of both its due duty charges and medical supplies in a single stroke of his penned signature.

    The Director General happens to be the same officer who earlier this year banished and struck off from the Ministry's practising doctors' list three of this nation's most able doctors: Dr. Suleiman Mohamoud Gulaid, Dr. Ahmed Ibrahim Bedeh "Obols" and Dr. Dahir H. Dahir. The three doctors were expelled for joining the Islamic Party when the Minister of that very Ministry, himself, Dr. Abdi Aw Dahir remains not only the Minister after accepting the Post of Secretary General of President's own UDUB Party but is believed to have instigated another hasty expulsion of a key figure in the Somaliland's medical profession.

    Dr. Abdi Ismail, a Director of the Hargeisa Hospital for less than two months was summarily dismissed over the telephone by the President himself. As if that was not enough, the Vice President, Dahir Riyaleh Kahin, wrote to the MOH & L in a letter dated 16/07/2001 (Ref. No: RSL/VP/ACC/39-00419/072001) asking the DG to "temporarily relieve" the doctor from the Group Hospital's Directorship.

    The Director General was only happy to oblige promptly on that very day. And again, the nation is deprived of an experienced hand for talking loud of the sorry state of the Hospital. Dr. Abdi Ismail has done nothing criminal or offensive or seditious but only granted a frank, factual account of the Hospital's state of affairs to Jamhuuriya and The Republican. The question remains how long it will take concerned authorities to distinguish between wrong and right; between an ailment and an aliment.


    City Mayor puts up a real killer on public display

    BBC Monitoring Service - July 28, 2001/Source: The Republican, Hargeisa, July 28, 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    On the small hours of Thursday, July 26, Mayor Awl Elmi Abdalla, put up the hulk of a soviet-manufactured MiG-17 that has participated in bomb-and-starve missions against civilians in the same city whose runways it took off from. The plane is one of the few that remain of squadrons of fighters that flew from their Hargeisa air force airstrips to carry out in discriminatory bombing missions against the unarmed civilian population of same city during the May - June battle over Hargeisa between the superiorly equipped troops of the former military and Kamikaze fighters of the Somali National Movement in 1988.

    The battle, though short-lived, brought out the true devilry and hitherto ill-concealed plans of the reigning regime's top echelon politicians against the northern regions of a doomed Somali led by a megalomaniac general. At midnight, Thursday, we found a dead tired Mayor Awl sitting grimly beneath the brick and metal-bar pedestal prepared to receive the fighter at the Khayriya square in front of the Somaliland Bank. The Mayor was watching over the final welders' touches to a plane he transported earlier in the evening from the Hargeisa hangars seven kilometres away where it sat forlorn and broken since a short white before its tyrannical masters were finally driven off of what was once a badly trampled, heinously battered "northern Somalia" but is now a triumphant, spiritidly rejuvenated Republic of Somaliland.

    The Mayor, a mid the deafening din and clamour of a midnight working party racing against a not - too - distant sunrise, was not a likely subject for an interview with reporters but we finally prevailed him to do just that with a considerable effort. "I met a stiff opposition from innumerable quarters to but one of the very planes that reduced its host city to rubble for reasons I can nto fathom or care to investigate at the moment" a hoarse Mayor whispered into the microphone of our small tape - recorder.

    "it is, mainly, due to the determination and astute civic - mindedness of his excellency the president that we succeeded to this last lap to a tangibly feasible finish line against the odds", the Mayor added, warning up to the subject. "This plane you see in front of you is neither a fake our a factory manufactured replica of an original but one of many like it that have decimated thousands of badly scared, unarmed civilians who had very little to do with the fighting raging around them. They were bombed and machine - gunned because of their origins apart from being where and when they were at the time.

    They were killed because the warped retaliatory policies of a tyrant chalked them up as enemies that sympathized with the sons, brothers and husbands that took up arms when they could no longer protect themselves, their families and the sanctity of their homes from an occupation army' of cut - throats," the Mayor pointed out. The Mayor pointed at the damaged Plexiglas of the plane's control canopy and said:

    "that has been done by vandals sent to thwart our efforts to get the plane to where it has arrived at tonight. There need be no further testimony to what laughs people who oppose this project can go to". Asked whether this project would speed up the government's often criticized, largely lackadaisical attempts at bringing known war criminals to justice, the Mayor responded with: "the government, as far as I know of, need no further catalysts to awaken it to its obligations. "As I rightly recall, it has


    Puntland elders turn down new term for president

    BBC Monitoring Service - July 28, 2001/Source: The Republican, Hargeisa, July 28, 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    NAIROBI, 26 July (IRIN) - Senior traditional elders in the self-declared autonomous region of Puntland, northeastern Somalia, who were debating the controversy surrounding the extension of the mandate of President Abdullahi Yusuf and his administration, have come out in support of new elections and named an acting president, local sources told IRIN. The elders, who have been meeting in Garowe, the regional capital, since 18 July, decided on Wednesday to confirm the Puntland chief justice, Yusuf Haji Nur, as "acting president of Puntland until 31 August", when he is to call a general congress of representatives of all Puntland regions to a elect a new administration, the sources said. The chief justice told IRIN on 1 July that he was "the legitimate authority in Puntland" with effect from that day, after issuing a decree on 26 June putting all security services and other government agencies under the high court's jurisdiction.

    The chief justice said at the time that his actions were in line with the Puntland Charter. The elders called on all heads of governmental agencies and institutions to work with the new administration, the sources said. Yusuf Haji Nur told IRIN on Thursday that he had already started sending instructions to regional officials to uphold the elders' decision. "We are receiving calls of support from all regions of Puntland," he said. The commanders of the security forces are "telling us that they will respect the elders' decision" and work with the new administration, he added.

    The mandate of the Abdullahi Yusuf administration, which was to have expired on 30 June, was mandated by clan elders for a three-year extension, which was in turn approved by the Puntland House of Representatives on 27 June, according to the administration. The extension was, however, challenged by opposition figures and aspiring presidential candidates, who accused the administration of manipulating the vote. Meanwhile, the administration has accused the elders of encroaching on areas outside their normal mandate, saying that their decisions were not constitutionally binding on the administration. Isma'il Warsame, the chief of cabinet of the Puntland president, told IRIN on Thursday, that the administration "will ignore the elders' call" and continue with business as usual. "We have already stated that whatever decisions they reach will change nothing," he said. Warsame insisted that "Abdullahi Yusuf is still the president and all branches of government are reporting to him".

    A Somali legal expert told IRIN that article 30.1 of the Puntland Charter states that "any disputes within the community that cannot be resolved by any other means available shall be sent to the titled elders [Isimada] for advice". Since there was no constitutional court in Puntland, "the elders are within their mandate to resolve what is essentially a constitutional matter" he added. This meant they could override any Puntland institution, "including the presidency and the House of Representatives", since they themselves had created them and, in the eyes of the people, had the most legitimacy, explained the expert.

    A diplomatic source said the order established in Puntland was based on the charter, ratified on 15 May 1998, and should therefore be respected. According to this source, international aid agencies based in Nairobi with offices in Puntland are expected to engage in consultations on how to react to this new development. "We have to wait for the elders' official statement before we can comment" on the situation, the source said.

    The elders' decision had thrown Puntland into a state of confusion and uncertainty, a local journalist told IRIN. "No one knows what is going to happen now. We were hoping that the elders were going to resolve things, but it looks as if we are back to square one." There was fear that the decision could lead "to a serious power struggle", which would undermine Puntland's stability, he said. Everything would depend on whom the commanders of the Puntland security forces chose to support. If they were "to split, with one group siding with Abdullahi Yusuf and another with the other side, then we have a serious problem".

    So far, the security forces as a group had not issued any statement regarding this issue, "and we are all holding our breath", said the journalist.


    Fighting in Somalia: 9 dead

    BBC Monitoring Service - July 28, 2001/Source: The Republican, Hargeisa, July 28, 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    Reports from southern Somalia say at least nine people have been killed during fighting between rival factions.

    Forces loyal to General Mohammed Morgan and their rivals from the Juba Valley Alliance are reported to have clashed on Wednesday in two districts - Dinsor and Bu'aleh. Twenty other people are reported to have been injured in the battle, which involved about 400 fighters and about 30 battle wagons. General Morgan is a member of the Somali Reconciliation and Rehabilitation Council, which opposes the transitional government in Mogadishu that is backed by the Jubba Valley Alliance. From the newsroom of the BBC World Service


    Kenya police 'executed' robbers

    BBC Monitoring Service - July 28, 2001/Source: The Republican, Hargeisa, July 28, 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    Kenyan police say they have launched an investigation into reports that their officers carried out roadside executions of seven suspected robbers. Eyewitnesses and the Kenya Human Rights Commission claim police officers shot and killed the suspects after disarming them and making them lie face down along a busy road. Police spokesman Dola Indidis contradicted that account.

    He said his officers had intercepted the minibus on which the suspects were travelling. The suspects "came out and fired at the police, trying to escape. The police returned fire and seven were shot dead".

    'Most horrific scene' But local newspapers spoke to various people at the scene who all gave the same account. A taxi driver said: "It was the most horrific scene I have ever seen. The suspects did not fire a single shot at the police." The police spokesman told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme: " If we are given the evidence we will prosecute any police officer using fire arms or excessive force".

    The shootings come amid growing concern over the rise in armed and violent crime in Nairobi. The independent Kenya Human Rights Commission claims that in the past six years Kenyan police have killed more than 1,000 people.

    Elite response unit In April last year, a minister of state told the police to operate a shoot-to-kill policy, saying it was the only way to deal with violent crime. The human rights commission says innocent bystanders, as well as armed and unarmed robbers, have all fallen victim to the police's use of excessive force and shootings. The officers involved in the latest killings are in the elite response unit but the human right body says police generally lack training in human and civil rights.


    British and American Oil Companies to Invest in Somaliland Oil Industry

    BBC Monitoring Service - July 28, 2001/Source: The Republican, Hargeisa, July 28, 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    According to the American Petroleum Institute in Washington monthly magazine. It is reported that Great Wall Chinese oil company will arrive in the port of Berbera, Somaliland, after British investors, and American oil Company based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, agreed with Somaliland government oil drilling, and production of first phase. First phase will be seven deep wells inland Somaliland: well 1,sl1005 2, sl006 3, 1sl1007 4, s1008 5,sl1009.6, sl2001 6,sl2002.

    Those wells, located, Sahil sail, sanag sail, Taleh, Gabiley and Borama. Test pit and bore hole done by Conoco oil company early 1980. Conoco oil company agreed to provide geological data, site location maps of test pits, well provide and well elevation to American oil company, Great Wall Chinese oil contractors and Somaliland government. Team leader and petroleum senior engineer, Chloe Young said, "we three partners, will work hard together, we will renegotiate any change order, and we will be open to reconsider new sub - contractors if three party agree, or if it is necessary. Great Wall Oil comes from Southern Sudan having completed well production there.

    We are 40 staffed and 1 ship or vassal, engineer and heavy equipment operator, piles driver and material require well production in Somaliland. The closing statements of . Young were, "Somaliland oil production will be much easier when I compare it to Southern Sudan as far as safety, climate, well elevation, sea port and storing equipment are concerned."

    American Society Petroleum Engineers Michael A. Withers" Mike_withers@scmyers.com


    EC support repatriation of Somali refugees

    BBC Monitoring Service - July 28, 2001/Source: The Republican, Hargeisa, July 28, 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    An operation to repatriate a further 43,800 Somali refugees from eastern Ethiopia to northwestern Somalia by the end of the year is on schedule to resume in the next few days, a UNHCR spokesman told IRIN Thursday. The confirmation follows a contribution to the programme from the European Commission Humanitarian Office (ECHO) of Euro 1.5 million (about US $1.3 million).

    Since the operation commenced in November 1997, UNHCR have supported the voluntary return home of 164,000 Somali refugees, many of whom had lived in camps in Ethiopia for more than a decade. In June, UNHCR announced the closure of Teferi Ber and Derwanaje, camps that at their peak in the 1990's housed more than 200,000 refugees. With the start of the latest round of voluntary repatriations, UNHCR hope to close a further three camps within twelve months and bring the number of Somali refugees remaining in Ethiopia to around 15,000.

    SUDAN:

    Weekend march to highlight children's needs The Sudanese Movement for Children, which comprises governmental and nongovernmental agencies and civil society organisations, will next Friday organise a march to start from Wad Madani, the capital of Al-Jazirah State, and end at the Friendship Hall in Khartoum, as part of the global campaign "Say Yes for Children". A procession of artistes, youth and women's groups will visit selected villages and depressed communities, giving theatrical performances and gathering pledges. The march is patterned after the long walk of displaced children to cities in the north, UNICEF stated in a press release.

    The message of the "Say Yes for Children" campaign is that citizens of the world care about children and expect governments to keep the promises they make to them, according to UNICEF. It is the first major initiative of the Global Movement for Children, a broad-based coalition of organisations and individuals dedicated to children's rights and wellbeing. The movement aims to build a groundswell of support that will push leaders to renew and honour their commitments to children at the UN General Assembly's Special Session on Children from 19 to 21 September.

    More than 3.2 million people worldwide have signed a pledge on the theme since April, including scores of celebrities, heads of state and other leading citizens. The campaign asks people to agree to 10 fundamental principles on improving and protecting the lives of children, which are part of the Special Session's draft outcome document - a critical plan of action for children over the next decade. From education to HIV/AIDS and discrimination to armed conflict, the campaign spotlights the serious issues facing children. [For more details on the "Say yes" campaign, including a copy of the pledge form, go to: www.gmfc.org]


    Rebuilding the basket case

    BBC Monitoring Service - July 28, 2001/Source: The Republican, Hargeisa, July 28, 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    When it comes to African disaster stories, Somaliland is among the worst. Yet, RANJENI MUNUSAMY found people rolling up their sleeves and getting on with the daunting task of rebuilding their land. This article appeared on the Sunday Times.

    VISITORS to the mass graveyard just outside the Somaliland capital of Hargeisa have to tread carefully to avoid tramping on pieces of human bones and the mass graves of countless Somalis executed under the military regime of former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.

    Finger bones, a jawbone, a piece of someone's shoulder half eaten by scavengers, and bits of skull lie scattered, exposed by erosion and rain. "When I first came here, I used to have nightmares. It's like walking in a horror movie," says Fatima Ibrahim, a Somali human rights activist.

    The shallow graves of what is believed to be a conservative estimate of 40 000 people, are a grim reminder of a bloody era when the people of Somaliland were tortured and killed by their power-mad president. After prompting clan-based conflict, Barre went on a killing spree targeting, in particular, intellectuals and businessmen to avoid an uprising.

    Although 10 years have passed since Barre was overthrown, the horror stories of mass executions, bombings, rapes, poisoning of drinking wells and the destruction of normality are still vivid in the minds of most Somalis. Women tell tales of how whole families were herded to the killing sites to watch their husbands and sons being shot. They were not allowed to cry as their children would also be killed by the soldiers. As the guns were fired, they were forced to ululate to show they were rejoicing at the murder of their loved ones.

    Many fled the country to neighbouring Ethiopia and spent years of misery in refugee camps. Somaliland today is a different place. The former British protectorate split from Somalia in the south in 1991 and is a self-declared independent state. The independence is not recognised by the rest of the world, in particular the United Nations and the Organisation of African Unity, which still pretend Somalia is one united country.

    But the people of Somaliland are rebuilding the country themselves - with or without the help of the outside world. Educated exiles have abandoned successful careers in western countries and returned home to help reconstruct the country. Those still living abroad send money back home to the tune of US300-million (R2.4-billion) to US500-million (R4-billion) a year. With livestock, charcoal and frankincense as the only viable industries, this money is the main contributor to the country's budget.

    And although there are crumbling buildings on every street and roads that have not been maintained for 20 years, there are signs of life shining through. There are newly constructed houses and shops in the place of bullet-ridden, collapsing structures. There is a functional education system, the blossoming of small enterprise and a society at peace with itself. This is a far cry from the Somaliland that Hussein Bulhan returned to in 1991 when he left a lecturing post at the University of Boston in the US.

    Bulhan, the director of the Somaliland Academy for Peace and Development, says his countrymen are prepared to endure hardship in return for independence because they have seen the worst. "When you've touched the bottom of hell, you don't need much to make you happy," says Bulhan. Although South African mercenary pilots took part in the bombing raids on its people, this country is the one of the few foreign powers the Somalis are prepared to trust. They look to South Africa as the great hope to lead the country out of political and economic isolation.

    Somaliland is angling for a form of legal status as a first step to formal recognition. This week saw the formation of the first political party in the country - UDUB, meaning pillar - under the leadership of President Mohamed Egal. Within seven months, the first national elections since the formation of the state are scheduled, even though there is no sign of an opposition movement.

    "We are moving towards permanent democracy and we have fulfilled all the necessary criteria to gain full recognition. The international community can't keep us in limbo," argues Abdullahi Duale, Somaliland's minister of civil aviation and one of Egal's acolytes. He says the US is considering giving Somaliland interim status while several South African Cabinet ministers and leading members of the ANC have given them an ear. "We have lots of friends pushing our case. We have a contribution to make in stabilising the region and are in a strategic position for trade. We also have the experience of putting together a country from scratch."


    The Biography

    BBC Monitoring Service - July 28, 2001/Source: The Republican, Hargeisa, July 28, 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    The biography of President Mohamed Haji Ibrahim Egal; was born in 1928, son of Haji Ibrahim Egal and Hajia Khadija Mohamed Osman; married Asha Saeed Abby in 1946 with three sons and two daughters. Educated Koranic School, Sheikh intermediate School, and higher education in the United Kingdom; in 1956 he became the Secretary of Somali National League (SNL) Party at Berbera branch; then Secretary General of Somali National League (SNL) Party in 1958 - 1960.

    Prime Minister of Somaliland in 1960; after the former British Somaliland Protectorate merged with the former Italian Somalia and formed Somali Republic. He became Minister of Defence of the former Somali Republic in 1960 - 1962, Minister of Education in 1962 - 1963; resigned from the cabinet in 1963.

    Formed Somali National Congress (SNC) Party in 1963; re-elected to parliament in March 1964; Leader of Parliament Opposition 1963 - 1965; resigned the leadership from the Parliament Oppostion in 1965; became member of Somali Youth League (SYL) Party in 1966; Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs, of former Somali Republic in 1967 - 1969.

    In detention following military coup in October 1969, released October 1975; appointed Ambassador to India in July 1976, rearrested in October 1976, released in February 1982; appointed Chairman: Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture. Elected as a President of the Republic of Somaliland in May 1993, due to the state of national emergency he stay on in power until 1997, re-elected in early 1998 for five more years in the office until June 2002, President offered to resign in 1998, but the parliament refused to accept his resignation. Egal is now married to Kaltun Haji Dahir (The First Lady). The president speaks fluently Somali, Arabic and English; Leisure Interests : golf, reading and films.

    Here are selected excerpts from most emotionally some of his charged speeches, Interviews, Press conferences and Press Releases :-

    [ "The issue is not a power struggle between me and Abdulkassim. I'm 70 years old and I'd like to give up this post, but I won't run away ".] Nita Bhalla from the BBC interviewed President Egal on 13th November 2000 in Addis-Ababa.

    [ "We will not bring to Mogadishu the sovereignty of Somaliland as a gift as we did last time (1960 unification) and I advise you Somali leaders to get the short-sighted believe that Somaliland and its population can be subjugated again from your minds ".] President Egal's speech on the occasion of the opining of a new building for the Somaliland Parliament on 24th January 2001 in Hargeisa.

    [ "We have never been citizens of Somalia because we joined willingly with Somalia in 1960 and formed the State of the Somali Republic to be the basis for a Greater Somali State. This dream is dead and we have regained our Sovereignty ".] president Egal meeting with the Executive Secretary of IGAD and Representative of EU on 26th January 2001 in Hargeisa.

    [ "We are not invisible, we are here, we are functioning, and we are doing very well ".] Roger Hearing from the BBC interviewed His President Egal on 5th February 2001 in Hargeisa.

    [ "Our history and our identity have completely disappeared from the world for 30 years. And now we are telling the world that there is a country called Somaliland ".] Dr. Bob Arnot from NBC interviewed President Egal on 18th May 2001 in Hargeisa.

    [ "If the world tries to force us it will creat an instability. We would rather fight Somalia than go back ".] Dr. Bob Arnot from NBC interviewed President Egal on 18th May 2001 in Hargeisa.

    [ "If the International Community failed to recognize Somaliland, We have no atomic bomb to explode but we will continue to exist".] A Press Conference held President Egal on 2nd June 2001 in Hargeisa.

    [ "Somaliland was no longer just a collection of clans but a nation in its own right".] A Press Conference held by President Egal on 4th June 2001 in Hargeisa.

    Compiled by :- Omar Hussein Yusuf.


    A Call for Reflection:

    BBC Monitoring Service - July 28, 2001/Source: The Republican, Hargeisa, July 28, 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    It is human nature to be swept away by the euphoria of the moment and lose perspective. But it is prudent to never give into idealistic attitudes that are flawed and unrealistic. Notwithstanding the fact that, Somaliland is blessed with a resilient citizenry that reconstituted a modestly vibrant, free and healthy society against the backdrop of fratricide and attempted annihilation. One has not to look far to see the unenviable conditions of many African nation-states.

    From stagnation to regression, from virtual disintegration to Gulag State the aliments are many and the prospect bleak. And though some of the reasons for their failure might vary from one nation-state to another and each country may have its particular dynamics. However, there is some overriding communality that is shared by many if not all the countries.

    Of paramount is our colonial experience and the legacy self-doubt and self-estrangement we inherited. Therefore, a dispassionate appraisal of whom we are, as a society is very much needed. For without a through self-knowledge any achievement attain will be illusionary. When one engages in the arduous task of self-knowledge and appraisal, one has to avoid succumbing to either idealizing our pre-colonial society or to its total negation. Both sentiments are corrosive psychological mindsets born out of our colonial legacy and their destructive manifestations are wrecking havoc on our society.

    One such manifestation is the uncritical desire to embrace any and every phenomenon conjures up by the dominant world culture in the name of progress and on the other hand a corresponding vehement loath toward anything indigenous. The other manifestation is the desire to equate change, open-mindedness, dynamism and progress with self-abandonment and betrayal of one's culture.

    The presence of one of the mindset is a tremendous psychological barrier for a fragile post-colonial society to overcome. However, when both mindsets co-exist in the same society and simultaneously contends violently for dominance, the result is a total schism in every facet of the society. And such a toxic outcome is not aberration or the normal painful process of reconstructing a colonized society. No, it is the natural outcome of a society plagued by fundamental flaws and serious psychological problem.

    Though any worth endeavored is difficult nothing is beyond the reach of a determined people and an astute leadership. However, we should always avoid the temptation of reconstructing our society hastily and without due diligence. An apt example of this loath for things indigenous is the understandable desire to urgently dismantle the Somali clan social construct. Now a day it is trendy in most Somali intellectual circles to decry tribalism and attribute all that ails our society to the clan social construct's irredeemable nature.

    This blanket and unexamined denunciation of the clan social construct and the desire to purge it from the Somali society. Better yet, to wish it just vanished is nothing less than a tale-tell sign of serious impotence in the face of adversity. Although it is a generally accepted premise that (tribalism) for a lack of better term is a Somali social norm that through the ages prior to our colonization served the Somali society reasonably well.

    Nevertheless, what is overlooked is its relevance today and it's enormous influence in molding the Somali individual. And more importantly the slow and difficult process of constituting a new social construct to replace clan based and furthermore the lack of better alternatives. But one might be tempted to say what lack of better alternatives when Human history is littered with myriad of social constructs. From western liberal democracy to socialism, from nationalism to hybrid feudalism and of course Islam the options are many. And that is true. Nonetheless an option need not only be better conceptually but also be compatible with the essence of our people.

    Due to the limited nature of this article I will only briefly examine the relative merit or lack thereof of western liberal democracy due to its world ascendancy, hybrid feudalism due to its prevalence in our part of the world and Islam.

    Here is a brief and limited overview of western liberal democracy's social tenets and its pertinence to Somaliland's society. Western liberal democracy is a concerted effort by the elite to regain for the individual man his innate autonomy lost in the name society, state, progress and lot of other human trapping. By the nature of the process itself i.e. "regaining as oppose to maintaining mans autonomy" the process is top-down. This process is a gradual and controlled reintegration of the elite to the common man without abolishing the socio-economic disparity that exists.

    This ideal is relatively achieved and maintained by the introduction and steady expansion of the middle class. And also, by the elite's constant cultivation of humanistic social consciousness and the indoctrination of the mass in regard to their rights. However by over emphasizing the individual man's unrestrained rights without due consideration to man's need for a community and the community's demand of the individual man. And by also, submitting to man's rationality and accepting it as the sole guidance and the arbitrator of human affairs.

    This genuinely emancipating social construct is bedeviled by its own contradiction and leaves humanity's wellbeing at whims of the individual man's unbridled appetite. Thus, excess, perversion and the alienation of all are some of the unforeseen negative social outcomes. Moreover, as a humanistic world-view it is only conducive in secular society and therefore incompatible with our Somali society.

    Furthermore, one of its most redeeming qualities beside its unparalleled economic success i.e. "emancipation of the individual man is redundant in case of the Somali nomad man".

    As a Somali it is awkward to see Islamic social tenets as an alternative whilst its precepts are one of the most influencing force in shaping our social construct. Nevertheless, for a better understanding of the essence and shortcomings of our Somali clan culture. I will compare and contrast Islamic social tenets with our Somali social construct and highlight the Somali social construct's failings and limitations. Islam's social tenets are simple and timeless precepts in human affair revealed to humanity through Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) by Allah (SWT) the creator and sustainer of the universes. And can simply be stated as a social tenet that enjoys into the individual man his due right without divorcing him from his community by inoculating in the individual man a life of purpose.

    Where in the Somali clan social constructs the individual man relates to humanity only by a bond of kinship obligation and as such is very exclusionary. In Islam the individual man relates to humanity by a bond of obligation and a spirit of compassion first to his kin. Then to his immediate community of believers, then to the believer community as a whole and finally to humanity at large. And while Somali egalitarian notion is intuitive. In Islam equality between men is a decree.

    Brilliantly articulated in so many verses it is difficult to quote them all in this short article. However, if I can humbly extrapolate from Islamic precepts, men are equals in the eye of Allah (SWT) except those who possess the quality of piety, an acquired and acquirable quality by all through personal deed. In light of Islam's social precept superiority and the Somali clan social construct compatibility with it albeit with serious shortcomings. And the fact that, according to Islam the Somali clan social constructs is within the pale of the tolerable social norms.

    The solution is not if but how best to encourage the Somali Nomad to absorb the Islamic virtue of tolerance, inclusiveness and compassion without losing his uniqueness.

    And here is a quick look at hybrid feudalism social construct's essence and its relevance to Somaliland's society. Feudalism as a system is the complete subjugation of the mass by a tiny minority. In its extreme when it is not glossed over it is a slave master relationship. And except to catering to the interest of a tiny minority (The Elite) the only virtue this system has is its relative stability. However, stability acquired on the backs of a vanquished mass is morally reprehensible.

    As to its relevance to Somaliland social construct, if there were any misguided would be Somalilander elite contemplating hybrid feudalism as an option. Let the fate of Siad Bare and the unending chaos of South Somalia serve as a food for thought.

    It is a fairly accepted supposition that, one of the driving forces behind Siad Bare's tyrannical regime was to achieve tribal hegemony. And the same can be said of the many opposition groups that rebelled against him, though some were there to thwart the hegemony others were there to replace it. Although, this vicious tribal rivalry for power and resource and the ensuing struggle were the most visible cause for the collapse of the Somali State. What is usually overlooked is the under current cultural clash that took place when Somaliland and Somalia merged and formed the union. This oversight is due to the predominant myth that the Somali society is a homogeneous society that is pastoral in its mode of production and egalitarian in its social construct.

    This assertion of homogeneity is a distortion of the reality of the Somali society. For one it negates the existence of a different pre-colonial Somali culture that was anything but pastoral or egalitarian. As well as the significant cultural corruption the Italian colonization introduced into the Somali society. A corruption that severely compromised the egalitarian nature of the Somali culture. By introducing concept unbecoming to the spirit of equality. Violent rivalry for meager resource were always part of our clan culture but hegemony and domination are alien concepts that the Somali nation inherited from the Italian colonial legacy.

    In light of this reality of difference, the unsettling and swift merger of an unruly nomad culture and a sedated agrarian culture was a harvest destines to disappoint. Moreover a state domineered by a non-egalitarian tribal culture, emasculating and unequal was viscerally revolting to the untamed egalitarian camel herder. As such the struggle of Somaliland to extricate itself from the union with Somalia was more to preserve it's egalitarian culture rather than anything else. An egalitarian clan cultures that, though tension-prone and relatively unstable is bulwark against hegemony and dictatorship.

    For some reasons that are going to be self-evident the Somalilander elite alienation from his society is minuscule compare to most other nation-states elite. However the same social/cultural forces that curtailed the alienation phenomena are a serious impediment to societal progress if they are not adequately addressed.

    A case in point is Somaliland's perceived and actual grievance in regards to the union with South Somalia prior to the Somaliland's insurgence. A person aquatinted with the inequity that exists in any Third-World country will find Somaliland's grievance trivial. Nonetheless, that the Somalilanders do not see it as such is the riddle that is the Somali culture " highly influenced by tribal social mores the Somali society is an interwoven bond of kinship obligation".

    Where as in most nation-state, especially in hybrid feudal state the elite is an individual man, concerned only with personal agenda. Even if the elite in a feudal state is enlightened with social consciousness and is engaged in the welfare of the mass. The elite will still be estranged from the masses since there is no active bond "like egalitarian clan society "or adequate mechanism "like Western Liberal Democracy" that ties him to the mass. Therefore, the feudal elite engagement with the mass is marginal at best. However in Somaliland the elite, if there is any such entity should be qualified and hence rename a tribal elite. Moreover due to active bond of clan obligation. Unlike the alienation that fractures the feudal elite from his downtrodden brothers. The Somali tribal elite is relatively speaking theoretically one with his particular Somali mass (tribes' men) and thus, this alienating phenomenon is contained. Hence when one evaluates Somaliland's grievance through the prism of kinship obligation and the egalitarian society's social tenets what seemed a relatively banal disparity would change into ominous injustices.

    Hence for peace to prevail in an egalitarian clan society the system need not only be just to the individual man but also just to the tribal man which by extension means to every particular clan.

    In Conclusion:

    Though it is difficult to rehabilitate a war-ravaged society and build a viable state where none existed before under any circumstance. However, it is that much more difficult to accomplish this task in the shadow of globalization and its seductive vortex. With technological and economic progress so dazzling and social liberty confounding to say the least. We live in an age where instant gratification is attainable and at the same time illusive to all.

    Why herd camels when I can just soar to the moon, why be a mere mother when I can clone a sheep and why! Why! Why! In this age of possibilities patience and perspective are virtues in short supply. Though it is understandable to desire a strong, moral and benevolent state that can administer justices, provide services and marshal our society into a great leap of progress.

    Nonetheless, in our egalitarian society that is not entrenched in the concept or reality of nation-state and its demands. It is wise to be patient. And since States by nature are coercive and at time suffocating entities even when they are benevolent. They are anathema and a threat to the Somali nomad.

    Therefore, the best and safest way to build a state for the proud, untamed and unruly Somali nomad is to take the road less traveled. By fostering an environment that is conducive to the voluntary and gradual self-domestication of the Somali nomad. This can only happen within the framework of a decentralized and minimalist state embodying the spirit of Islam.

    By Said O Moussa Saidbour@hotmail.com


    Environment:- Marine resources and terrestrial resources management.

    BBC Monitoring Service - July 21, 2001/Source: The Republican, Hargeisa, July 21, 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    When we say Marine Resources, it can simply mean "Ocean Resources", Terrestrial Resources on the other hand simply also may mean "Land Resources - or plant Resources". For the last several years, readers of the beloved - Weekly English News Paper - "The Republican" and its sister of Jamhuuriya, were focused on the terrestrial sector of Somaliland environment e.g;

    -The impact of fuelwood production (charcoal) from live trees on Somaliland plant resources. -The impact of the Saudi livestock Ban on pastoralists - by diverting rural people to burn trees to sell charcoal to urban charcoal merchants, for food availability and security.

    -Awareness on protection of our unique wildlife for posterity and for future generations.

    -Awarenes raising for the protection of our environment, lobby/advocacy at local, regional and national levels.

    -Inculcating into their minds by educating our masses the benefits of our pasturelands better management and the consequences that may result from selfish and unintellegeny use of our vegetation cover, which is the main source of our livelihood.

    Today, our environmental discussion or paper relates to the Marine Resources of Somaliland. But, why from the land to the sea. The answer is that the sea is equally important as the land to people as Marine Resource. In compilig this paper, I had to refer or cited several world main environmental publications or organisations on the subject hence:

    1.PERSGA (The Regional Organisation for the Conservation of the Environment of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden).

    2.World Wide Fund (WWF), Towards a Sustainable Future (Environmental Impact 2000).

    3.Dimension - of - need (FAO 1945-1995). Today's environmental paper main ideas are extracts from the abovementioned environmental sources, which I wholeheartedly acknkowledge their service to me and use their material thoughts as a conservationist.

    PERSIGA: In its issue No.13, January 2001 - AL-SANBOUK, we can get the principles of "Living Marine Resources". This regional organisation for the conservation of the environment of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden is an intergovernmental organisation dedicated to the conservation of the coastral and marine environment in the region. Its legal basis stems from the Regional Convention for the conservation for the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden Environment, known as the Jeddah Convention and signed in 1982. The PERSIGA member countries include Djibouti, Egypt, Jordon, Saudi Arabia, Somaliland, Sudan and Yemen.

    Main activities: Institutional strengthening, reduction of navigation risks and marine polluction, sustainable use for living marine resources, conservation of habitats and biodiversity, the establishment of a network of marine protected ereas. Support for integrated coastal zone management, and the enhancement of public awareness. And participation.

    The writer participated in the Berbera RERSIGA Coastal and Marine protection awareness raising occasion of 9-14/6/01.

    Fisheries at the limit? Fishing is an important source of highly nutritious food, income and employment. Millions of people in Asia get most of their dietary protein from the aquatic harvest. In all, marine and inland fisheries provide nearly 30 percent of the region's animal protein; in Africa the proportion is 21 percent; in Latin America, 8 percent. About 30 percent of world production is turned into fishmeal to fatten livestock or farmed fish rather than eaten directly by humans.

    About 60 percent of the world fish harvest is caught by developing countries where 100 million people depend on fishing and related industries for their livelihoods. By far the majority of world fish taken, some 85 percent, comes from the oceans. Although fish farming is gaining ground, fishing is still the main expression of man's ancient role as a hunter-gatherer.

    Since 1950 the world fish catch, excluding aquaculture, has increased fivefold - rising from 20 million tonnes to peak at slightly less than 90 million tonnes in 1989. This period of expansion was made possible in large part by the introduction of new technologies and the spread of fishing fleets from traditional fishing areas to new ones, many of them in the southern hemisphere. No major cammercial fish stock remains untouched. By the beginning fo the 1990s, about 69 percent of the stocks for which data were available to FAO were either fully to heavily exploited (44 percent), overexploited (16 percent), depleted (6 percent) or very showly recovering from overfishing (3 percent). As a result, the world catch has fallen in recent years although it now seems to be levelling off at around 85 million tonnes per year.

    The world's fishing fleet has grown twice as fast as catches and there awre now about 3.5 million vessels worldwide. Asia has the largest fleet with 42 perecent of the total registered tonnage, followed by the republics of the former USSR with 30 percent. Africa has the smallest one at 2.7 percent.

    Government subsidies have helped keep most big fishing fleets afloat: in 1989 the world's 20 largest fishing nations paid out US$ 54 000 million in subsidies to catch US$ 70 000 million worth of fish. Such overcapacity has led to chronic overfishing with too manay boats chasing too few fish.

    Responsible fishing.

    Nearly 70 percent of the world's marine fish stocks are in trouble and urgently in need of conserevation. Catches have collapsed in the Black Sea; less than 200 000 tonnes of fish were landed in 1991, compared to 1 million tonnes in the late 1980s. stocks of bottom-living fish in the East China and Yellow Seas have fallen to between one-fifth and one-tenth of their highest levels. Other crisis areas include the Northwest and Northeast Atlantic, the North Sea, the Central Baltic, the Gulf of Thailand and the Western Central Pacific.

    Nearly all the inland fisheries fo Asia and Africa also show signs of overexploitation. Attempts to manage marine fisseries have generally failed. Instead conflicts have frown as stocks have fallen. Developed country fleets have clashed over fisheries in both the Northwest and Northeast Atlantic while large-scale artisanal fishermen off many developing countries. The international fishery commissions, established under the auspices of FAO (the first in 1948), have broadened the scope of management options and included many developing countries, but have so far had little success other than trying to impose quotas and regulate fishing gear and boat size. But they provide the mechanisms for sustainable fisheries management if countries would show the necessary cooperation and political will.

    The third UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, which came into force in 1994, enables coastal states to establish exclusive economic zones, usually stretching 200 miles from their shores, where they have complete control of resources - providing a new opportunity for better regulation. In 1994 work started on drarting a Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries under the auspices of FAO, offering hope - if it is observed - of a new era in fisheries management. To be continued next week..


    A Jigjiga-yar road to receive a gravel coat

    BBC Monitoring Service - July 21, 2001/Source: The Republican, Hargeisa, July 21, 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    A busy stretch of road that veers off northwards from the main thoroughfare, which connects Hargeisa and other cities to the West, is currently undergoing a municipality repair work that began on Wednesday, last. "This particular length of the Jigjiga-yar (Koodbuur district) road is one of the roughest but busiest in the whole city," the Mayor of Hargiesa told our reporters, at the site where he arrived to supervise and witness the project take-off.

    Elaborating on why the municipality have chosen to begin with this specific section of the Jigjiga-yar road, the Mayor said: "The road is heavily used by traffic the bulk of which are public conveyances. Buses and their passengers, particularly, are subjected to bone-jarring experiences and heavily laden vehicles can no longer negotiate the pot-holes and ruts which qualify it as one of the worst in Hargeisa considering its importance to public service."

    "Furthermore," the Mayor said, "Visitors from the outside world as well as a great number of expatriates working here use it to and from Maansoor Hotel off the northernmost end of the road," said the Mayor, Awl Elmi Abdalla. The Mayor believes that this gravel surfacing that they have planned or the road will better withstand the traffic and inclement elements that have previously reduced it to the abominable condition it has gradually eroded to since then. Like this metal-pipe, bars and plywood arches, the repairs will enhance the overall look of a city whose total recovery from past ravages would certainly, require a great deal more than is presently offered.

    The road was given largely similar kind of coating shortly before Mayor Awl took over the Hargeisa Mayoralcy from his predecessor and co-defendant in recent misappropriation charges - . Abdirahman Isma'il 'Adami'.


    Registration of Parties to begin today

    BBC Monitoring Service - July 21, 2001/Source: The Republican, Hargeisa, July 21, 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    In public announcement broadcasted and published on respectively, Tuesday and Wednesday, lastweek, the National Committee for the Registration and ratification of Political Parties will begin today, Saturday, July 21, and continue for a period of two months that will end on Friday, September 21. Following the House of Representative's final ratification of by - law No_ 14/2000 of August 6, 2000, that details processes and procedures, that regulates the formation and practice of Political Parties, earlier this year, the President of the Republic of Somaliland, .Mohamed Haji Ibrahim Egal, nominated a seven - member Committee later swelling to nine - to lay the first foundations for a democratically contested, multi-party elections expected to get underway early next year.

    The Committee, political analysts believe, has been given an unenviable cake to curve among a hardly trusting public that are not likely to abide by regulations that have already been broken several times over by the incumbent administration - in - power.

    To illustrate one of the latest such violations of the law, analysts point out the President's own declared Party - UDUB. They say that the single, most lavishly, most conspicuously displayed political association that has far proclaimed an existence that did not exist before it was legally and naturally delivered was UDUB of the government. That, they say, a government in reign - from the President down to the lowliest civil servant - can credibly separate or acquit itself of mishandling, miss management, miss use and/or misappropriation of national resources to promote the interest of its members is hard to swallow.

    For, they say, the highest public figures in the administration flagrantly flaunted both temporal, material and human resources to hold a Party conference for a party that was not even registered as such.


    Burao Conference

    BBC Monitoring Service - July 21, 2001/Source: The Republican, Hargeisa, July 21, 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    A controversial conference called by Burao Sultans to, initially, bring together top Clan chiefs from all over Somaliland, ended on July 18 with some high-note resolutions that raised a few eyebrows here. The Conference hosted by Sultans Abdullahi Sultan Ali, Mohamed Guleid, Mohamoud Abdulahi Arab and Mohamed Sultan Hersi - Qani (spokesman), declared at the beginning that it had nothing to do with politics. It was broadcasted as a meeting of Clan chiefs that had some creases to iron out among themselves regarding traditionally resolved matters among the respective Clans.

    The Conference, attended, as reported earlier, by 14 Sultans, 2 special emissaries from non - attending Sultans and a Chief "Aqil", issued a seven - point resolution that produced mixed reactions. Among these, the third, for example, declares "the (very) formation of the Party - UDUB - the President proclaimed (as such) is illegal."

    The big chieftains point out that this particular resolution of theirs rests on the premises that the President's Party:

    - Jumped the House of Representatives, recently passed Bill that called for the formation of a national commission to oversee registration and constitutional screening of Political Parties.

    - Pulled in into its fold the highest government executives, top members of the national legislative and judiciary, Mayors and governors which fact is tantamount to a "highjack" of the nation's destiny.

    - All resources upon which UDUB was built and continues to use up to now were those of the nation (Finances, premises, transport, security forces, broadcasting station and time).

    -It is unconstitutional that top echelon government officers in key positions hold two equally demanding Political Posts which can only result in the compromise of public responsibilities entrusted to said executive. And this single point among the Sultan's resolutions is only the tip to the ice - berg.

    Others sound as if a fourth national Council to be formed among the country's Clan leaders should assume responsibilities that divest the other Houses of most of theirs in a single stroke. But, as things turned out, the President, inordinately suspicious of such a meeting immediately dispatched a band of ultra-loyal Ministers, coveys after convoys of heavily armed troops and a flood of equally prepped undercover agents and trouble-shooters to, ostensibly, persuade Burao residents to throw out the congregating Sultans.

    The Sultans, prepared for such, an onslaught of words and guns and a heavy - weight tug - of - war politics, pre-empted the government's propaganda tack by buying time with innocuous announcements of their own. And Burao nearly went under for all the wrestling, match of hot words, confusedly oscillating folks a top and the primed explosives in the form of heavily - laden troops whose trigger fingers Burao remembers only too well.

    A great deal of government led offensives and counter - offensives escalated, what could have otherwise simmered down to a political get - together of Clan chiefs, to unprecedented stages of hostility. The head of the government Ministerial delegation, Dr. Abdi Aw Dahir, Minister for Health and Labour, for example, declared that he and his delegation were speaking not as government Ministers but, also, as delegates of UDUB - the government's newly formed Party. This announcement, delivered publicly to the masses, incensed a great number of people.

    The Honourable Minister was not particularly popular with Burao residents who could remember his role in internecine battles that pitched Burao against Burao as at Clan spokesperson. This fact was singularly made the more painful by the doctor's abrogation of fall ethics of the medical profession which frown upon activities such as those entailed by the good doctor's previous Clan position.

    Not only Burao, but intellectuals, well - wishers legislators and all of Somaliland could still vividly remember the Minister's stand against doctors joining Political Parties. Dr. Suleiman M. Gulaid, a surgeon and a former Minister of Health, Dr. Obolos and Dr. Dahir Hassan Dahir were expelled on the sole offence of declaring membership of UDUB's predecessors.

    The Director General under Dr. Abdi Aw Dahir, the Minister, signed the doctors' marching papers. That, paradoxically, the Minister who so recently gave those orders displays new credentials as Party Secretary of a similar political entity to the very people he originally hailed from, defied all logic as it made naught of moral decency since he is still at the helm of Health.

    The fact that the Minister (or Party Secretary) was instrumental in the President's (strange!) called in dismissal of a very promising doctor from the post of Hargeisa Group Hospital couldn't be denied. The Director was summarily dismissed over the phone for giving The Republican and Jamhuuriya a heart-wrenching but true account of the Hospital's current, lamentable state - and for revealing the true facts.

    That UDUB - the President - chaired 'Party', in which he is the Number three, has intentionally violated Electoral codes and regulations that call for registration before public proclamations and conferences was, also, a factor that can not be credibly justified. But what may yet decide whether the Four - day Burao Conference is a manageable damage for government or the first forceful shower of an impending avalanche would be decided here in Hargeisa. It is doubtful, though, that a government, who has lately been increasingly obtuse to public sensitivity, could rally the necessary mechanisms for effective damage control; especially in the face of it's ever - growing opposition.

    For the first time, for instance, thirty-six members of the National House of Representatives joined forces to demand the President's impeachment on a three - point motion they submitted for deliberation. The Deputy House Speaker, though, returned the Honourable members' widely publicized motion to them for revision on Wednesday, July 18. Political Parties that formed before the President's own UDUB, but unlike it did not call for Party Conferences in deference to the registration laws that starts today, condemned the government's actions on many occasions previously.

    The SNM's own Reform Party, UBSL and the Islamic Party were in the past the most vocal in this group. The only Party that sides with the government's stand on the Burao Conference is BIRSOL. In a statement its Chairman delivered to The Republican and Jamhuuriya offices on Friday evening, July 20, declared that; "BIRSOL strongly disapproves of the Burao Conference's resolutions."


    Impressions of a distinguished scholar on Somaliland

    BBC Monitoring Service - July 21, 2001/Source: The Republican, Hargeisa, July 21, 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    Dr. Charles Geshekter of California State University is a scholar, writer and an avid researcher in Somali Studies, attended the 8th conference of the SSIA at the Hargeisa University campus here from July 4 to July 13, 2001.

    . Geshekter, one of the most renowned founders of the Somali Studies International Association is an American who did not show much in common with either the US or the UN when it came to a Somaliland that he fell in love with on first sight.

    The Chief editor of The Republican had a chat with the eminent Scholar/writer on a number of areas that are of great concern to Somaliland. Following is the first part of a synopsis made of . Geshekter's stand in the issues discussed expressed in frank, easy flowing language.

    On SSIA Conference Organization "I was not sure how well the overall level of day - to -day administration would be. And I did not know how enterprising the conference centre would be. "Now I am here to be in this conference. It is very important for the government (of Somaliland) that the conference goes on very well. Obviously, a lot of public resources were put into making this a success. It was really all very successful.

    I wasn't really sure if they could pull it off. If they could make this happen because of everything I have read about stress, livestock ban, other reservations about the government itself. I was not sure if this could be accomplished. "But I found out (different) the moment I arrived in Hargeisa airport. I was met there and taken to town. I have had good food.

    I have met interesting people. "Obviously, this is a poor part of the world. It has got any number of obstacles and hindrances and yet. One has to compare Somaliland with some ideal. Or idealized version of a government. One has to compare it with what has preceded it. "I think when you do that, one cannot help but be very impressed.

    On first impressions Somaliland "I don't think it is, really, a Somaliland problem or question (that little is known of it outside). "You are a scholar and a Journalist, you correct me here if I get it wrong but, I think, generally, the media of the world when it covers the world, the press is very good at reporting disaster news. It is very good at reporting catastrophes, destruction, mayhem, and loss of life, natural calamities, wars, and atrocities. The media reports those kinds of things. "Good news from Africa is usually spiked. And so, that is the kind of problem Somaliland is up against.

    "Unfortunately, (for instance) the way the American press has been reporting Africa since the cold war is over, the main stories have been UNISOM and Somalia. Which is a story of death destruction, mayhem, collapse of the government, chaos, killing and so forth? "Number two, in the nineties, the press reported of Rwanda. Once again, ethnic genocide, killing, devastation and loss of life.

    "The third story of the nineties, of course, the transition to multiracial democracy in south Africa. Leaving apartheid on to multiracial democracy. I have been shocked, however, and angered by the way the media coverage of South Africa, in the last three years or so, has shifted to what, in my opinion, is very artificial and very contrived issue about so - called AIDS. And the issue of transition and larger public health issues in South Africa and the rest of Africa has been lost.

    "I think what is peculiar to Somaliland is that many readers and probably many Journalists - failed to distinguish between Somalia and Somaliland. And to that extent, information about Somali politics or Somalia rehabilitation or Somali way of life. In Somaliland is confused with that of Somalia. "And to that extent, again, Somalilanders suffer badly from the excuses and the lawlessness of the Somalis of the South - all you have to do is be in Somaliland and you realize that most Somalilanders do not seem to think very much of Mogadishu. They think very much about Somaliland .. About their future.

    "But I am afraid that Somalia was in the news for such a long time - between 1991 and 1995, and most of that news was disaster news. It is that the world (now) hungers for good news from Somalia. And then they invest a lot of hope a lot of optimism in the TNG, which is a waste of time, in my opinion that they tend to overlook the small but very encouraging steps that have been taken in Somaliland.


    Faisel Omer: Somaliland music icon and king of "Oud"

    BBC Monitoring Service - July 03, 2001/Source: The Republican, Hargeisa, July 03, 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    Faisel Omer, is surrounded by musicians and singers in a smoky house in Saudi Arabia. In one of the rooms of the house is turned into a studio of sorts. It is in 1984, less than four years before he leaves Saudi Arabia for good, and finds himself in the middle of the Civil war in Somalia, and the program is to record what many Somaliland music critics call the best Somaliland tape ever to be recorded.

    In the daunting company of Somaliland music icon and king of "Oud", Xodeydeh", Faisel has the presence of symphony conductor. Listening to that long ago cassette tape, one gets the impression that he had not been a Somaliland singer of incalculable influence and a legend of his own time; Faisel would have found some other way of changing the world. The 56-year-old singer/song writer/composer/teacher and poet, is by Somaliland standards the indisputable male vocalist alive!

    Much has been said about Faisel's love to "Shamis", the woman who inspired his songs and poetry, which incidentally transformed him into a folk hero, a legend and mythic figure of enormous popularity both among the young and the old, women and men of Somaliland. This true, but rather exaggerated account has perhaps distracted people from his art. But in the four decades since Faisel's first song, he has come to represent the essence of the music: its beauty, its richness and yes, it's danger. His hauntingly sensual voice could transform even the most ephemeral Somaliland song, for instance, a song called "intii aan ku baryaayey", sung Abdillahi "sooraan", was later sung by Faisel, and no one believes it is the same song into a work of overwhelming emotion.

    Unlike most Somaliland singers, Faisel is considered better than those in the Bandstand. The only musician of equal stature is "Xodeydeh", who when they play together literally transforms the "Oud", sound into Faisel's voice. Faisel is praised by many as the definitive modern Somali singer, after whom most Somali singing styles, since "Qaraami" in the fifties have been fashioned. He is without a doubt the best singer alive, after Mohamed Mogeh. True, he has his rivals, Mohamed Ahmed, Mohamed suleymaan, Ahmed Ali "Drum"; but Faisel has a way of touching listeners and of interacting with musicians, as if, he is simply another instrument. His hands, mouth, fingers, palms and feet make sounds that are close imitations of rhythmic percussions.

    In a Faisel performance, lyrics and music are interwoven and intertwined in his voice. When he sings "Subcis", for instance, it is all but impossible to imagine a more affecting rendering. In creating his distinctive style, he built upon, (1) the works Abdillahi Qarsheh, one of the foremost Somaliland Nationalist singers, which many people regard as the father of Somaliland song and music, (2) his close Sudanese, "Nubian" national singers and musicians i.e., Mohamed Wardi, and Mohamed Al-Amin.

    Like Wardi, Faisel could re-invent and improve upon the melody of a song. Not only did he evoke his raspy delivery, but he also shared his habit of lagging behind the rhythm, only to rush ahead without warning. From Wardi and Al-Amin, Faisel borrowed an instinct for the Sudanese/"Nubian" style, and performs Sudanese/Nubian tunes to this day. His recordings must have one or two "Nubian" songs or it would not be complete. Finally, Faisels fluid singing exudes longing and melancholy.

    Teenage Days

    Faisel was born in 1945, to Omer Mushteeg and Amina Mohamed Bulxan. Both his parents were respectable community members in the city of Hargeisa, Somaliland. Amina's father was the great Berbera poet of Somaliland, during the late 19c and the beginning of the 20c, Mohamed "Bulxan", who coined the famous Somaliland poem "Abtirsiimada Guud baa loo Gu laaf tamayaa" or "people are fighting for their family tree".

    He finished his grade school at Sheekh Bashiir Elementary School in Hargeisa, Somaliland, where he had the opportunity to be taught by such great teachers and world famous people. Late Sheekh Ali Ibrahim, an Islamic scholar who has written many books and Arabic and Omer Arteh Qaalib, who became a foreign minister of what, were once known as "Somalia". He later went to a boarding school in Amoud, which is located thirty-five miles northwest of Hargeisa, Somaliland. He finished both his intermediate and teacher training at Amoud. Again, he had the good fortune obeying taught by such teachers as Sheekh Yuusuf Sh Ali Gurey, the 1982-83 President of Somali National movement and Mohamed Ali "Sheef", who became an Ambassador.

    As a teenager, his peers knew Faisel as a talented singer. But it was not until he finished school that he was discovered by the then- Minister of Education, Yuusuf Ismail Samates "Ghandhi". "Gandhi" took him to the then capital city of Somalia, Mogadishu. One night, "Ghandi" threw a party in order to show off to his friends this wonder kid, who could sing like no one else. The Sudanese Ambassador who was present at the party heard him sing "Sudanese/Nubian" songs and could not believe his ears. He offered Faisel an opportunity to go to Sudan and study there. But upon hearing he would have to wait another six months in Mogadishu before he can go, Faisel declined the offer and headed back to Hargeisa.

    Faisel didn't want to leave yet because he fell in love with Shamis while he was in school at Amuud. What he did not know at the time was Shamis would become his life long love and the only woman he loves to this day. With a collection of Mohamed Wardi and Al-Amine songs that were given to him as a gift from the Sudanese Ambassador, Faisel got a job as a teacher in Arabsiyo ten miles from Hargeisa.

    Most Productive Years:

    1960 - 1974

    From early 60's to early 70's, Faisel recorded quite a number of excellent tapes; for instance, he recorded his most famous song "subcis", three times. Those years were also the most productive years of his life. The songs he recorded at the time always displayed a cool hallucinatory appreciation of Somaliland music and song. On stage, he had a visually spellbinding presence equivalent to a James Brown or Miles Davis concert. This period is also characterized by many Somaliland music critics, as the "Golden Age of Somaliland music and song".

    The group that was in the forefront or the Vanguard was called "Barkhad Cas". This group in which Faisel was a member, included almost all of Somaliland's best and brightest singers and musicians. The group was combined of a nine man and a one-woman dynamo that played for huge, adoring crowds, in national theaters and clubs across the country. The group included singers, such as; Mohamed Mogeh, Ahmed Mogeh, Abdullah Zag Zag, Xodeydeh Abdi-Qays, Cabdirahmaan Hassan, Ahmed Ali "Drum", Ahmed Mohamed Good "Shimber", Faisel Qamar Mushteeg and last, but not least, Sahara Siyaad. Sahara Siyaad is considered by many Somaliland singers and musicians as one of the top female singers of all time.

    During one of their tours across the country in 1971, which was the last tour of the group. Faisel and his co-stars enticed the crowds with a mixture of songs, poetry and romantic ballads. When the group pulled into a small town, it was big news. Teenagers and music lovers of all ages would race through the dusty streets, spreading the word, though the group was named after the late nationalist poet and playwright, Moxamed Ismail Barked Cas, the government of Siyaad Bare, the brutal dictator from 1969-1991, considered the group subversive, but the group never paid attention. Faisel' s sense of humor, winning smile and buttery smooth voice was always visible. His demeanor, which was both humble and dignified on stage, won the group friends and disarmed their toes.

    During the net couple of years "Barkhad Cas" performed many times together by recording tapes that had become collector items by Somaliland music lovers. However, government interference and intrusion was becoming more viscous everyday. To Faisel it was time to move on. By 1973, both Abdi Qays and Mohamed Ibrahim Hadraawi were in prison for composing what Siyaad Bare, called anti-governmental songs. Faisel knew it was a matter of time before they came to him as they did for Mohamed Mogeh. He decided to migrate to Saudi Arabia in 1974.

    Artist in Transition

    1974 - 1988

    Faisel left Somaliland in 1974. He came to Saudi Arabia where he stayed for 14 years. Faisel never intended to stay in Saudi Arabia that long and showed his distaste and dislike to their rigid interpretation of Quranic texts. But Faisel did not stop making music, because Somaliland culture was always in his mind. When we use the word `culture' he says, "we are not referring to something wedded to the past, but to the living, breathing everyday culture of Somaliland music and song that welcomed even actively pursues the creation of new musical styles that is based on our heritage and history".

    Having said this, Faisel's songs and creative energies can be traced to a distinctive style and gen. He is never willing to stake out styles allegiances and is not likely to go anywhere the musician is going to take him, unless the musician "Xodeydeh", or to a lesser extent Abdi Nasser Macalan Aideed, another "Oud" player. He has a strong commitment to rigid issues of Somaliland style and genre.

    But when it comes to "Nubian" music, Faisel has an innate ability to hear connections, and to make these connections apparent through his music and song. You can hear this style through some of his songs.

    But if you want to hear Faisel and "Xodeydeh" in action, you must find the tape they recorded during Faisel's long stay in Saudi Arabia, which we have mentioned in the introduction. This was quite a historic tape. It was well recorded and noteworthy for "Xudeydi loose-limped, spacey oud, and Faysal's clapping, humming, drumming, chanting, exhilarating, moving and down home blues, Louis Armstrong like voice.

    In the tape, Faisel plays with his old friend and co-singer, musician, Ahmed Ali Drum. He performed older work that he has played only rarely or not at all since the 1960's.

    Included in the hour long set were his favorites, "Subcis", Lacageey" and Riftoon", all pieces from the 1960's. They are also his most inward, enigmatic work, driven by tunes punctuated by "Xudeydi" plucking, in a call and response fashion. In this recording, Faisel pulled off a glimpse of his genius and also, of what has become his most too familiar signature, a rare show of strength and enthusiasm, working out brooding emotionally ridden improvisations.

    On the other side of the tape, Ahmed Ali Drum", ripped into pieces like "Weli Waa Caroroo" and "Hordo gama ma Lada oo". This tape shows a perfect balance between the singing and the oud on the one hand, a clear and un-oblivious vision both the singers and the oud player to let each other relax into their modes of provocation and discovery. This was a phenomenal performance by any standard.

    By 1988, Faisel had enough of Saudi Arabia and its puritanical culture. Once more, it was time to leave, but this time, he decided to head home for good, come what might be!

    War and Peace

    1988 - 2000
    When Faisel arrived in Hargeisa, he was immediately embraced by the local artists. On the night of May 27, 1988, he was featured as the main attraction in a concert labeled as the "concert of the century", held at the National Theater. It was the happiest night of his life, for he was performing in front of his fans, after an absence of almost two decades. The happiness did not last though, because it was the same night that the Somali National Movement (S.N.M.) stormed their way to the city center. The rest is history!

    Faisel remembers that night clearly. What follows is a brief description of the events of that night and the following weeks. "Around two in the morning", he says, "I was still awake and dressed when the Somali National Movement stormed the military garrisons around the city and came in from the cold". He continues, "It was unbelievable"! I still can not believe to this day, how a small guerrilla group, most of the urban youngsters could defeat the strongest Army in Africa, south of the Sahara. Ethiopia with its one million standing army could not defeat them and was scared like hell of the Somali National Army. Faisel describing the strength of the Somali army said, "Hargeisa was the center of twenty thousand strong army, three hundred or more tanks, mig fighter planes, South African mercenary pilots, not less than a thousand militia artillery guns, victory pioneer units, military police units, red berets (siynad Barre's special body guard units), prison army units, Dhaber Jabinta Army Units, Hangash Army Units, Filly Foos Army Units, Western Liberation Army Units, Somali Salvation Army Units called, "Dhafoorqiiq", Ogadeen Liberation Army Units, Oromo Liberation army Units, N.S.S. Army Units and other military Units, I can not recall now". He continues, "You know, Hargeisa was not a city, when you come to think about it, it was rather a military Base".

    "I could not go to sleep that night", Faisel adds, "so I left my room with all my belongings early in the morning to check out the city. It was not clear who was in control of the city. The S.N.M. gave the Somali government a knockout. It became apparent tome when I met some of my friends and my ex-students in the streets of Hargeisa. They were S.N.M. GUIRRELLA warriors and I was happy to see so many of them alive. It was as if everyone I knew was an S.N.M. fighter".

    After a few days, he illustrates the defeated military government, who was not stationed in the airport unleashed artillery bombardment to the city and its inhabitants. They also hired South Africa mercenary pilots, who were too keen to kill black people. Within a few days the rocker propelled grenades and the aerial bombardments leveled the city, forcing the lucky ones to flee to the border. Thousands of innocent children, women and elders who could not flee were killed. It was too much for me to watch so much death and destruction inflicted on innocent women and children. I decided to run for my life, leaving everything I owned behind. Faisel concludes, "It took me twenty-eight days of dodging bullets from both planes and people rugged mountains, thirst, thorns and thick bushes, empty plains with snakes and mosquitoes and man eating hyenas. I must have weighted about two hundred pounds when I was performing on that eventful night, but by the time I reached the Ethiopian border, I weighed about one hundred thirty pounds, a loss of seventy pounds in four weeks of hell on earth! I was just thankful to Allah that I was still alive! After a few months in the refugee camp in Ramaso Ethiopia, I knew I could not wait for things to happen, so I joined the Somali National Movement. My weapon (music and song) was the only thing I knew how to do, in order to stir and awaken the masses, so that they could fight back against the genocidal military dictatorship of Somalia.

    On May 18, 1991, the Somali National Movement liberated the northern part of Somali and declared it as an independent country with its own flag, national anthem, national assembly, internationally recognized borders. Since they north was colonized by Britain and had its own borders, standing army, police and independent judicial system. Faisel was one of the first S.N.M. fighters to come back to victorious to his homeland. As usual, Faisel began to make his music in a civilian life far removed from the ravages of civil war, death and destruction.

    Faisel recorded several new tapes with Abdi Nasser Macalan Aideed, who is incidentally a good Oud player. Faisel feels lucky, since two of his best fiends and co-singer, Mohamed Mogeh and Ahmed Muhamed Good Shimber died during the liberation war and were not lucky to see a free Somaliland!


    Somaliland paper raps UN envoy as talks open in New York to discuss Somalia

    BBC Monitoring Service - Jun 21, 2001

    A two-day meeting opens at the UN HQ in New York today attended by experts on Somalia and some UN officials.

    The meeting is expected to discuss the UN's role in the post-Arta period. Powerful members of the UN Security Council and donor countries are fed up with the group set up in Arta [Transitional Government of Somalia]. The meeting is also expected to discuss the role of IGAD [Inter-Governmental Authority on Development] member states in the reconciliation process.

    Among the experts on Somalia attending the meeting are Algerian -born Ambassador Mohammed Sahnoun, Sir Kieran Prendergast, a Briton who has prepared numerous reports on Somaliland and Somalia, French expert on Somalia and Somaliland Ronald Murschad [as published], American Kenneth Monkhouse and the UN envoy for Somalia David Stephen, whose office is organizing the meeting.

    Stephen was one of the organizers of the Arta conference and is keen not to see the group he had helped to set up fail. Stephen has made it a habit to write non-existent things about Somaliland. He has refused to recognize Somaliland as a nation. He has sought to hide the real situation in Somalia and Somaliland from the international community and the senior officials of the UN. Asked whether Somaliland was attending the meeting in New York, an official told us that Somaliland was not invited to the meeting...

    Source: Mandeeq, Hargeysa, 21 Jun 01 p 1


    Somalia: Ethiopian officials visit Puntland, Somaliland

    BBC Monitoring Service - Jun 20, 2001/ Source: HornAfrik Online text web site, Mogadishu, 20 Jun 01 /BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    BBC Monitoring Service - Jun 20, 2001

    Somali HornAfrik Online text web site on 20 June

    Mogadishu: A large Ethiopian delegation led by the Ethiopian deputy foreign minister and the Ethiopian army chief of staff arrived yesterday in Garowe, the capital of Nugaal Region [Puntland, northeastern Somalia].

    The Ethiopian delegation earlier visited Hargeysa, the capital of the Northwestern Region [Somaliland]. The visit is said to be linked to efforts being made to mediate between the transitional government and the factions opposed to it.

    The Ethiopian delegation last night met the president of the Puntland regional government, Abdullahi Yusuf, to discuss issues of reconciliation in Somalia. The HornAfrik correspondent in the region says the delegation is expected to leave for Mogadishu in the coming days for talks with officials of the interim government.

    Source: HornAfrik Online text web site, Mogadishu, 20 Jun 01 /BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.


    Source: UNDP. Date: 18 Jun 2001

    Somalis face vicious cycle of poverty and desertification

    Thousands of Somalis are struggling to survive in an often harsh environment, made worse by the ever-growing danger of environmental degradation and desertification.

    Ironically, some efforts to earn a living - clearing land for agriculture, producing charcoal, overgrazing herds on shrinking pastureland, selling timber for construction - contribute to the problem, are jeopardizing Somalis' ability to eke out a living from the land in the future.

    "Somalia is caught in a vicious cycle where poverty and desertification are intertwined," said Randolph Kent, UNDP Resident Representative. "You can't address one problem without addressing the other."

    Several practices are contributing to desertification. Clearing land along riverbanks to create more area for agriculture is causing rivers to change course and eroding nutrient-rich soil. Land clearing is now especially intense along the Juba river, as the population of the southern port town of Kismayo swells and the demand for agricultural produce grows.

    The sudden rise in Kismayo's population is related to an influx of people engaging in the booming charcoal trade, a profitable but environmentally devastating export business. Three large forested areas comprised mainly of acacia bussei trees are quickly being cut down to feed the charcoal export market. Local estimates indicate that as many as 1 million 25-kilo bags of charcoal, worth approximately $6 per bag, leave Kismayo each month destined for the Gulf states.

    The clearing of mangrove trees along the coast, in the northwest and parts of southern Somalia, is contributing to sand dune encroachment, which threatens farm land and the network of coastal roads. The trees are cut for timber and also to create more agricultural land.

    Overgrazing of pasturelands and, in the northeast and northwest, gully erosion, are also contributing to desertification.

    UNDP, along with environmental and development partners, is planning intervention strategies aimed at addressing these and other environmental concerns, with a focus on helping to preserve land and water resources. Such measures can halt the spread of desertification and mitigate the impact of drought.

    For more information please contact Sonya Green, UNDP Somalia.


    The Indian Ocean NewsletterJune 16, 2001 N. 954

    Havoc Attempts Fail to Disturb Vote

    The May 31 referendum on the independence of Somaliland led to a series of diplomatic jousting between Hargeisa and its neighbors. It all started with the president of Somaliland, Mohamed Ibrahim Egal, tactlessly jailing his old opponent, Suleimen Adan "Gal", on the grounds of intelligence with Djibouti and declaring that "he had an excellent intelligence network on the premises" in Djibouti. This led to disaster for high-ranking members of the Issaq ethnic group in Djibouti: foreign minister Ali Abdi Farah, governor of the Central Bank (and President Ismael Omar Guelleh's brother-in-law) Jama Mohamed Haid, and secretary general of the government Mohamed Abdillahi were suspected of spying for Hargeisa, with an article of La Nation, Djibouti's governmental daily, calling the Issaqs "the Jews of the Horn of Africa ... Collaborators of the colonialists."

    Panicked, the Issaq circles in Djibouti told Egal that his information concerning Suleiman "Gal"'s so-called subversion was false and was in fact the result of a disinformation campaign imagined by Abdourahman Boreh. The Djibouti businessman had bragged in private of the ability to topple Egal with the help of Suleiman "Gal" in view to create havoc on the eve of the referendum. Realizing he had been tricked, Egal freed Suleiman "Gal" on June 4. In the meantime, the referendum had taken place in an atmosphere of calm, with a strong toll of participation (over 90% in most of the 37 districts) and resulting in 97.09% in favor of independence on the national level.

    ION - The only problem occurred in Sool province, the main point of contention between Somaliland and its Puntland neighbor in the Northeast of Somalia. Originally, the region's Dolbahante elders refused the installation of voting booths in Las Anod. The Hargeisa government gave in, but opened booths in surrounding villages as well as a special office in the small harbor of Badhan, near the Puntland border, allowing Somaliland citizens living in Puntland to cross the border to vote. As it happens, most of the region's Warsangeli (a non-Issaq ethnic group who the Dolbahante hoped would join them in their abstention campaign) voted Yes in Badhan, and by the end of the day, the Las Anod officials changed their mind and demanded their voting booths. These were installed the following day and the city's voters voted on June 1, a day later than the rest of the country. However, that is where, at 45.27%, the number of No votes was the highest. But with the more agreeable attitude of the surrounding countryside, the toll of Yes votes in Sool province finally grew to a respectable 84.30%.


    Africa News, June 16, 2001/Source: UN Integrated Regional Information Network

    Somaliland; US Observer Team Says Referendum 'Fair'

    Observers from the US-based Initiative and Referendum Institute (IRI) said they were impressed with the manner in which the referendum on 31 May was conducted in the self-declared independent state of Somaliland, northwestern Somalia. A statement released on 7 June said the observers were "impressed by the level of effort the government and the people put forth in seeing that the election was conducted in a fair and open manner". But it said it was too early to definitively state whether or not the referendum on the constitution, which included an article on independence, had achieved its goal. IRI said the referendum was conducted without violence, and commended "neighbouring governments for not interfering with Somaliland's efforts at becoming a true democracy".

    The 11-person team, which travelled to a number of regions, consisted of American, Swiss and British observers. The Somaliland government said on 5 June that 97 percent of voters had endorsed the constitution.

    Controversy continues over the success of voting in two regions - Sool and Sanag. Somaliland officials told IRIN that four districts out of five in Sool went ahead with the referendum, an assertion which some local elders have contradicted. International observers confirmed voting in Erigavo in Sanag, but avoided Sool, citing insecurity.

    Members of the IRI team told IRIN the institute was approached and financed by the Somaliland Forum, a diaspora group, to observe the referendum. Before agreeing to observe the elections, the civic group said it had talked to the US government. "The position of the US government was, we don't recognise Somaliland, but go ahead," one observer said. The travel and accommodation expenses of the IRI team were paid by the Somaliland Forum, which is a diaspora group running a political and media campaign for Somaliland independence. Remittances from the Somaliland Forum had provided crucial support for the present administration, Somaliland sources said. Its financial contribution towards the referendum, and general support, were acknowledged by Somaliland President Muhammad Ibrahim Egal when he addressed observer teams from the US and South Africa, and dignitaries, after the referendum.


    Somaliland: Refugees return home from Ethiopia

    BBC Monitoring Service - Jun 15, 2001/ Source: Radio Hargeysa, 15 Jun 01 /BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    Some Somaliland refugees who were living in eastern Ethiopia yesterday returned to Boorama town, Awdal Region [western Somaliland] Up to 283 families composed of 1,471 refugees, returned from Dorwanaaji [phonetic] refugee camp in eastern Ethiopia. They were transported back in 27 vehicles hired by the UNHCR.

    They were received at the Ethiopia-Somaliland border by officials from the ministry of resettlement, UNHCR and officials from Awdal Region.


    Africa News, June 15, 2001/Source: UN Integrated Regional Information Network

    Somalia; Eighteen Jailed for "Undermining National Security"

    The authorities in the self-declared independent state of Somaliland sentenced 18 people to six months each in prison on suspicion of "undermining national security", AFP said on . The 18 who were arrested on 9 June at the port town of Berbera were sentenced before a Berbera court, said AFP.

    The 17 men and one women, flew in from Mogadishu, the Somali capital, after participating in last year's Djibouti-hosted Somali peace conference. The peace conference, which was boycotted by the Somaliland administration, resulted in the establishment of the TNG was established. The Somaliland authorities consider any Somalilanders who attended the conference as "associates of the enemies of the nation", said AFP.


    UNICEF PRESS RELEASE
    June 14, 2001

    "CARING FOR OUR CHILDREN - THE SOMALI TRADITION"

    BY SAFIA GIAMA


    "laguma toosiyo"

    UNICEF Somalia has released a new publication entitled "Caring for Our Children - the Somali Tradition" by Safia Giama. It describes the ways in which Somali tradition supports, protects and promotes the development and well-being of children in their first months of life and through the years of early childhood.

    The research done by Safia Giama reveals how these early childhood care practices are often encapsulated in song, poetry and folktales, underlining the enduring significance of the rich Somali oral tradition.

    Numerous proverbs and sayings are used to illustrate the text, which clearly sets out how Somali traditional nurturing of the young child - right from the moment of birth - recognises and protects the infant's special status and needs. One proverb sums this up extremely aptly as it declares, "A tree that grows sideways when young cannot be straightened out when old - geed yaraan ku qallocday weynaan laguma toosiyo."

    The text is introduced with a message from the UNICEF Somalia Representative, Dr Gianfranco Rotigliano. It includes a short section re-telling folk-tales which demonstrate the emphasis placed by families and communities on celebrating and carefully fostering the young child's development. Striking full colour photographs by Liba Taylor and Radhika Chalassani are used as illustration. "the very earliest years of a child's life influence how the rest of childhood and adolescence unfolds."

    This publication is being issued in conjunction with the launch of the annual UNICEF report "The State of the World's Children 2001" which has early childhood care and development as its theme. The report notes how "the very earliest years of a child's life influence how the rest of childhood and adolescence unfolds." Stressing the importance of early childhood development programmes, it details the lives of parents and other caregivers striving to protect the rights and meet the needs of these young children. With regard to policy formulation the report states, "No reasonable plan for human development can wait idly for the 18 years of childhood to pass before taking measures to protect the rights of the child."

    SAFIA MOHAMED GIAMA IS A SOMALI-CANADIAN TRAINED AS A FOOD SECURITY SPECIALIST. A STUDENT OF SOMALI CULTURE, IN HER QUEST FOR POSITIVE ASPECTS AND COMMONALITIES SAFIA COLLECTS SOMALI CHILDREN'S STORIES AND NURSERY RHYMES. THESE, IN PREPARATION FOR PUBLICATION, FOCUS ON THE ASPIRATIONS AND HOPES FOR PEACE OF THE SOMALI COMMUNITY. SAFIA HAS TWO CHILDREN, A SON AND A DAUGHTER - HER FIRST AUDIENCE IN LISTENING TO HER STORY COLLECTION. SHE LIVES IN NAIROBI, KENYA WHERE SHE WORKS AS A FREELANCE CONSULTANT.

    Further copies of "Caring for Our Children - the Somali Tradition" (English text) and the State of the World's Children Report 2001 are available free of charge from the UNICEF USSC address above. Please contact the Communication Section. A Somali language version of "Caring for our Children" is planned for publication during 2001.


    Somalia: Government urges Arab League to reject Somaliland referendum

    BBC Monitoring Service - Jun 13, 2001

    In a sudden move that reflects its worry about the overall situation in Somalia, the transitional government of Somalia called on the Arab League to reject and condemn what it described as "the ridiculous referendum carried out by the government of Somaliland to strengthen its secession since 1993 from the central authority in Mogadishu".

    Abdallah Hasan, the ambassador of Somalia in Cairo, and its permanent representative in the Arab League told Sharq al-Awsat [newspaper] that he has sent an official memorandum to Amr Musa, the general secretary of the Arab League to inform him about the government of Somalia's rejection of the actions being carried out by Muhammad Ibrahim Egal, president of Somaliland.

    The memorandum considers the referendum which was carried out last week as "politically and legally void as well as being contrary to all Arab League summit resolutions which affirm respecting the sovereignty and independence of Somalia and non-interference in its internal affairs".

    The memorandum pointed to the existence of foreign entities that support the warlords and secessionist leaderships that reject the outcome of the national reconciliation conference which was held last year in Djibouti, and which resulted in the election of a transitional parliament and a national government, which cleared the way for the emergence of [Somali] President Abdiqasim Salad who began performing his duties during last September.

    The ambassador of Somalia in Cairo told Ashaq alAwsatthat he requested from the general secretary of the Arab League to announce his rejection and condemnation of the referendum which took place recently in the republic of Somaliland, noting that the two of them will meet this week to make further representations and consultations on the situation in Somalia.

    Ashaq alAwsathas learned that Somalia will ask the general secretary of the Arab League to make immediate contacts with the Ethiopian government in light of reports coming from Bakool region (300 km north of Mogadishu) which show Ethiopian regular army incursion into Somalia in connection with Ethiopia's support of factions opposed to Somalia's legal authority.

    Somalia's move towards the Arab League coincides with a similar move towards Egypt in order to give full assessment of the current situation in Somalia. Ahmad Maher, Egypt's foreign minister, had met on with the ambassador of Somalia in Cairo wherein they discussed the events on the scene in Somalia.

    It is also expected that Ali Khalif, prime minister of the transitional government of Somalia, will arrive in Cairo early next month on an official visit which will last for four days, on an invitation from his Egyptian counterpart, Dr Atif Obeid, to explore ways of supporting and invigorating the economic and commercial relations between the two countries.
    Source: Somaliland Net web site, 12 Jun 01 /BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.


    Somaliland: Referendum results officially announced

    BBC Monitoring Service - Jun 13, 2001/Source: Radio Hargeysa, 13 Jun 01 /BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    The chairman of the republic of Somaliland supreme court, Uthman Husayn Khayre Sonu [last element phonetic] today officially released the results of the national constitutional referendum.

    The supreme court chairman said this following the court's adherence to article 125 of the interim constitution of the republic of Somaliland which calls for referendum on article 130. The article becomes effective following the referendum's approval of article 40, part four and article 42, part three, of the constitutional referendum number 16 of year 2000 which was released on 12 December last year. At the same time he said there were no complains that reached the supreme court.

    The chairman said the court had thoroughly ascertained the authenticity of the referendum held in all districts of Somaliland...

    Total number of registered voters were 1,188,747.

    Total number of voters in the country's districts were 1,187,833. The number of valid votes were 1,183,282 while the number of spoilt votes were 4,591. The number of voters who said "yes" to the constitution were 1,148,940 while the numbers of voters who said "no" were 34,302.

    Uthman Husayn Khayre, the chairman of the Somaliland supreme court, officially announced that the constitution becomes effective in all regions of Somaliland beginning today 14 [as heard] June 2001.


    Africa News, June 13, 2001/Source: UN Integrated Regional Information Network

    British Airways Inspects Hargeysa Airport

    As part of its recently announced alliance with the Kenyan-based Regional Air service, British Airways (BA) is looking into the use of Hargeysa airport, capital of the self-declared independent state of Somaliland, northwestern Somalia. Local sources confirmed to IRIN that a British Airways representative recently stayed in Hargeysa to inspect the security standards of the airport, which is now used for international flights.

    Regional Air recently began direct flights from Nairobi to Hargeysa. Under the BA-Regional Air alliance, the local airline will use the BA code, and the planes will be painted with BA colours, the Kenyan 'Daily Nation' said on 8 June. Access by air to Somali territories has been extremely limited - and in some places completely absent - since the collapse of the central government in 1991. Somali sources said international flights would significantly reduce international isolation, and improve economic development.


    Somaliland: Observers say they are impressed by efforts to hold free referendum

    BBC Monitoring Service - Jun 12, 2001

    On behalf of the American, Swiss and British observation team assembled by the Initiative and Referendum Institute, we wish to express our deepest appreciation to the Somaliland Government and people for their help and support during our visit.

    Our purpose in being in Somaliland was to witness the historic election held in May 31, 2001 that was intended to give the citizens of Somaliland the opportunity to freely cast their vote in support of or in opposition to the nation's proposed constitution. Even though it is too early to definitively state whether or not this goal was achieved, we can state that we were impressed by the level of effort in which Government and the people put forth in seeing that the election was conducted in a fair and open manner.

    We must also commend the Somaliland Government and the citizens for conducting this election free of violence and must also commend the neighbouring governments for not interfering with Somaliland's efforts at becoming a true democracy. This election demonstrated the Somaliland government's understanding that no government can be considered legitimate without allowing the citizens the opportunity to freely show their support or opposition to the proposed constitute! ! [as published] on and the rules and procedures in which the government will operate.

    Our role in Somaliland was not to comment on the contents of the constitution, but to ascertain whether or not the citizens of Somaliland were allowed to participate fully in a fair and open election. Our final report which will be issued over the coming weeks, will hopefully help the government and the people learn valuable lessons from this election and prepare them for future elections.

    No election is problem free and this election was no exception, but based on our initial observations, the election seems to have been conducted in a manner that was consistent with recognized international practices for referendum elections. Again, we would like to express our sincere appreciation to the Somaliland government and the Somaliland people. We are honored that they would allow us the opportunity to help them in their struggle for international recognition and wish them well. We hope that when our report is issued that it will help in their struggle.
    Members of Obsevation Team

    1. Dennis Polhill, Denver, Colorado, USA, Initiative and Referendum Institute, 001-303-278-3636.Others as follows:
    2. David Byrd USA, Washington, DC
    3. Adrian Schmid Zurich, Switzerland
    4. Alex Mundt USA, Washington, DC
    5. David McCuan USA, San Francisco, California
    6. Derek Cressman USA, Sacramento, California
    7. Stacie Rumenap USA, Washington, DC
    8. Scott Kohlhaas USA, Chicago, Illinois
    9. Sasha Bruce USA, Washington, DC
    10. Alison Puranik Great Britain, London
    Source: Somaliland Net web site, 12 Jun 01
    Africa News, June 11, 2001/Source: UN Integrated Regional Information Network

    Djibouti; Impoverished Groups Hit by Djibouti Border Closure

    There has been a slight recovery of the Somali currency following the announcement by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that it had lifted the ban on imported livestock, imposed in September 2000 because of an outbreak of Rift Valley fever.

    The joint FSAU (European Commission funded- and Food and Agriculture Organisation-implemented Food Security Assessment Unit) and FEWS-NET (USAID-funded) monthly Food Security Report for Somalia said in June that despite a slight recovery, the lifting of the ban in May was expected to have a "limited impact on the food security situation in northern Somalia", which had deteriorated since the Rift Valley fever ban was imposed by the Arab states.

    In normal circumstances, the UAE market accounted for only about 2 percent of the total livestock exported from Somalia to Arab countries, the report said. Humanitarian sources confirmed that following the lifting of the ban, about 6,000 sheep and goats and a small number of cattle had left by boat from Bosaso, the commercial capital of the self-declared autonomous region of Puntland, northeastern Somalia, on 29 May.

    There had been further impoverishment of vulnerable groups in the north by the border closure between Djibouti and the self-declared independent state of Somaliland, northwestern Somalia, the report noted. It said in Awdal Region, near the Djibouti and Ethiopian borders, the poor food-economy group, who rely on petty trade, had felt the impact of the border closure, as all locally produced cereals and vegetables were usually marketed in Djibouti.

    Imported food commodity prices were expected to further increase in the coming months because of the seasonal monsoon closure of the seaports in Somalia. Over the last six months, the price of fuel had dramatically increased, especially diesel, which had affected mechanised agriculture, water pumping and transport. Rains had been well distributed in the Shabelle valley with the exception of Hiran, southern Somalia, and weather conditions had been favourable to agriculture from Lower Juba to southern Gedo.

    However, conditions had been "abnormally dry" in most parts of Gedo, Bakool and Bay, "seriously inhibiting crop establishment", the report warned. (For further information on rainfall estimates through satellite imagery contact: somalia@fews.net)


    Africa News, June 10, 2001

    Somaliland Releases Detained Politician On Bail

    The administration of Somaliland has released on bail a prominent politician arrested last month. Sulayman Muhammad Adan, also known as Sulayman Gaal, was released after spending two weeks in jail, AFP reported on. Sulayman Gaal was arrested on 22 May on arrival at Hargeysa airport, and was reportedly accused by the authorities of "undermining Somaliland" by holding a meeting in Djibouti with President Ismael Omar Guelleh. Sulayman Gaal, who is well known throughout Somalia, served as a minister in both the Siyad Barre regime and the Somaliland administration. He was among the Somali National Movement (SNM) leaders who declared the unilateral independence of Somaliland in May 1991, and came second to President Muhammad Ibrahim Egal in the 1997 presidential elections, political sources said.
    Africa News, June 10, 2001

    New Somaliland Constitution Endorsed

    The authorities in the self-declared independent state of Somaliland, in northwestern Somalia, have announced that the final results of last week's referendum showed that 97.09 percent of the voters supported the new constitution, a senior official told IRIN. The new constitution contains a clause which confirms Somaliland's independence. Somaliland declared unilateral independence in May 1991, but has so far received no international recognition.

    Abdi Idris Du'ale, press secretary to President Muhammad Ibrahim Egal of Somaliland, said the results were announced at a ceremony in the Somaliland parliament, and would be officially endorsed by Somaliland's Supreme Court at a later date.

    Meanwhile, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) reported on that a yes vote in the referendum was highly unlikely to change foreign attitudes. EIU said donors continued to hope for a reunited Somalia and were "highly unlikely to give Somaliland international recognition", as long as the Transitional National Government (TNG) in Mogadishu continued to exist.


    BBC World Service. 10 June, 2001

    Somaliland arrests 18 on subversion suspicion

    The authorities in Somaliland have arrested 18 people on suspicion of working to undermine the status of the breakaway republic.

    A police spokesman said they were detained when they arrived in the port town of Berbera on a flight from Mogadishu on .

    They were questioned but were not charged with any offence.

    The police said they had taken part in a conference in Djibouti that led to the formation of the transitional national government in Mogadishu last August. Somaliland has denounced delegates who took part in the negotiations that formed the transitional government.


    Agence France Presse, June 10, 2001

    Authorities in Somaliland arrest 18 alleged subversion suspects

    MOGADISHU -- Police in the breakaway republic of Somaliland have arrested 18 people on suspicion that they were "undermining national security", a police spokesman said.

    The 17 men and one woman were picked up when they arrived in the Gulf of Aden port town of Berbera by air from Mogadishu on.

    "They are not charged with any offence but they will be questioned to make sure that they do not pose any threat to our national security," the police officer, who asked not to be named told AFP by telephone from Berbera.

    The 18 were among delegates who took part in negotiations in neighbouring Djibouti that led to the formation of Somalia's Transitional National Government (TNG) in Mogadishu last August.

    The TNG became the first central government in Somalia after a decade of clashes among rival warlords following the ouster of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in January 1991.

    Somaliland, which took its name from the former British protectorate, unilaterally declared independence from the rest of Somalia following Barre's overthrow.

    But the new entity has never secured international recognition.

    Somaliland's administration in Hargeisa and the TNG in Mogadishu do not recognise the each other's authority. Somaliland denounced delegates from the region who took part in negotiations that culminated in the transitional government's formation.


    Clan elders in Somaliland oppose referendum, call for Somalia's unity

    BBC Monitoring Service - Jun 9, 2001

    Two prominent clan elders in Hargeysa yesterday issued a statement over their opposition to the Somaliland referendum.

    The leaders said that it was obligatory for the Somaliland people to conserve the unity of Somalia.

    The clan elders accused Egal's [Muhammad Ibrahim Egal, Somaliland president] administration for transporting Ethiopian citizens from the towns of Harti Shaykh and Dharwaanje [place names as published] in order to rig the referendum. The clan elders further said that the people living in the towns of Hargeysa, Burco, [central Somaliland] and Ceergaabo [northern Somaliland] fully supported the unity of Somalia.
    Source: Ayaamahaweb site, Mogadishu, 9 Jun 01


    FT Asia Intelligence Wire.Source: THE HINDU June 7, 2001

    Vote settles dispute, says Somaliland leader

    CAPE TOWN -- Last 's referendum on the Draft Constitution of "Somaliland", the territory in the north of Somalia which was once the colony of British Somaliland and which, after a brief union with Somalia, declared itself "independent" ten years ago, has received an overwhelming 97 per cent "Yes" vote.

    According to the "preliminary results" from Hargeisa, the main city and capital of "Somaliland", of the total 1,188,154 votes cast in the referendum, as many as 1,148,399 voted "Yes", as against a "No" vote of 34,460, with just 5,292 votes being "spoilt". The estimated population of "Somaliland" being 2.5 < million (out of Somalia's estimated population of a little over ten million), this means that a little over 47 per cent of the total population voted in the referendum - a fair reflection of the strength of the adult population of the country.

    However, according to another report, also from Hargeisa and also apparently official, the "final results" were announced at a ceremony in the "parliament of Somaliland" yesterday. The results were due to be "officially endorsed" by the Supreme Court of Somaliland "at a later date", the report said. When the referendum was held, the final results were expected to be available "after about ten days".

    The outcome of the referendum, according to Mohammed Ibrahim Egal, the "President of Somaliland", brings to an end the question of whether Somaliland should ever reunite with Somalia. It also meant that Somaliland was no longer "a collection of clans" - the description of the State of Somalia as a whole according to conventional wisdom and which led to its apparent collapse as a nation-State a decade ago - but was a "nation in its own right".

    The one-day referendum was held on May 31, the 10th anniversary of "Somaliland" breaking away from Somalia. Less than two years earlier, Egal, the last democratically elected Prime Minister of Somalia, had been overthrown in a military coup staged on October 21, 1969, by the commander of the armed forces, Gen. Siad Barre, a former intelligence officer in the Italian fascist administration now claiming to be a Marxist.

    The decision of Egal, a leader from the former British Somaliland, to break away from a united Somalia, was an initiative which was both natural and forced. The "independence" of Somaliland has not been recognised by any country or international body. Both Somalia nor Djibouti, the two neighbouring States whose populations are overwhelmingly Somali and which indeed together constitute the historical homeland of the Somali people, have denounced the exercise.

    However, Ethiopia, another important neighbour which waged a long war against Somalia, has been ambivalent about the exercise, influenced as it is by apprehensions about claims on its territory by Somali irredentism. The beginning of regular commercial flights by the State-owned Ethiopian Airways between Addis Ababa and Hargeisa a few weeks ago certainly facilitated the conduct of the referendum, in particular the passage of several "unofficial" observer teams, including from the United States, Ethiopia and South Africa, to Somaliland. A report from Radio Hargeisa on June 1, 2001 described the team from South Africa as "supervising the counting" in Gabiley region in Western Somaliland.


    Africa News, June 7, 2001/Source: UN Integrated Regional Information Network

    Somaliland Releases Detained Politician on Bail

    The administration of the self-declared independent state of Somaliland, northwestern Somalia, has released on bail a prominent politician arrested last month. Sulayman Muhammad Adan, also known as Sulayman Gaal, was released on after spending two weeks in jail, AFP reported on.

    Sulayman Gaal was arrested on 22 May on arrival at Hargeysa airport, and was reportedly accused by the authorities of "undermining Somaliland" by holding a meeting in Djibouti with President Ismail Omar Guelleh.

    Sulayman Gaal, who is well known throughout Somalia, served as a Minster in both the Siyad Barre regime and the Somaliland administration. He was among the Somali National Movement (SNM) leaders who declared the unilateral independence of Somaliland in May 1991. Sulayman came second to President Muhammad Ibrahim Egal in the 1997 presidential elections, political sources said.


    Africa News, June 7, 2001

    Somalia; Amnesty Calls for the Release of Former Presidential Candidate

    Amnesty International has repeated its call for the "immediate and unconditional release" of former presidential candidate in the self-declared independent Somaliland republic, Sulayman Muhammad Adan, also known as Sulayman Gaal. In a statement the Amnesty described him as "a prisoner of conscience", detained solely "on account of his non-violent opinions and for peacefully exercising his rights to freedom of expression and association".

    Sulayman Gaal was arrested on 22 May at Hargeysa airport. Amnesty says that according to unofficial reports he is accused by the authorities of treason, or plotting to sabotage the 31 May referendum on amendments to the Somaliland constitution. He was also accused of holding a meeting in Djibouti with President Ismail Omar Guelleh and a representative of the Transitional National Government (TNG) of Somalia. No charges have yet been made against him in court.

    Sulayman was held incommunicado for seven days. On he was finally granted access to a lawyer, but prison guards refused to allow them to communicate in confidence, said the statement.


    Africa News, June 7, 2001

    Polling in Somaliland Referendum Proceeds Smoothly

    Long queues of voters could be seen around polling stations in Hargeysa, capital of the self-declared state of Somaliland on. Pro-referendum demonstrations, with women singing and waving branches, took place on evening and on . Voters at polling stations told IRIN they had come to vote "yes" for the "motherland". One man, who said he would not be voting, said he supported independence, but complained about the administration of President Muhammad Ibrahim Egal, saying he feared the president would use the constitution - which includes an article on the independent status - for "self-interest".

    In Borama, the capital of Awdal Region in the east, the referendum proceeded peacefully, but was characterised by lively debate among pro- and anti-referendum camps in restaurants and teashops. A number of the voters at the Borama polling stations confidently voted "no" without apparent interference from small groups of armed guards. People in Borama told IRIN that a group of pro-referendum youths had taken anti-referendum elders to task on night. "It's as much a generational issue as a clan one," said one student.

    Security presence had been increased in Borama town after last week saw a referendum vehicle stoned, and an anti-referendum demonstration which ended in about 20 arrests. Borama is inhabited by the Gadurbursi clan, who have complained that the politically dominant Isaq in Somaliland are depriving them of resources and representation.

    Ahmed Mahmud Muhammad, the Awdal regional governor, told IRIN he felt confident that people were voting as they wished and were exercising their democratic choice. "We have agreed locally over the last two days to maintain good security and to go ahead smoothly," he said. He told IRIN the ballot boxes would be counted by a committee of four, comprising civil and local representatives.

    The results from the region's 90 polling stations would be submitted to Hargeysa and also to the local authorities. He said every region "has the right to publicly announce the results of the referendum".

    Observers from the United States and South Africa watched the procedure at the polling stations both in Hargeysa and the regions, including Borama and Erigabo. Voting continued into the evening, and counting will start on Friday with results expected on.


    Somaliland: Government releases detained politician

    BBC Monitoring Service - Jun 6, 2001/Ayaamahaweb site on 6 June

    [Leading Somaliland politician who contested the presidency in 1997] Suleyman Muhammad Adan (Suleyman Gal), and who was detained in Hargeysa town for several days, was released yesterday.

    Adan who was detained by [Somaliland President] Muhammad Ibrahim Egal's administration was released on bond issued by the Somaliland attorney general. Other reports say that Egal had came under pressure from human rights groups and Adan's clan elders who forced Egal to release him. The groups claimed that Adan was detained because of his political ideology.

    Egal's administration had accused Adan for opposing the Somaliland secession and for sabotaging peace.
    Source: Ayaamahaweb site, Mogadishu, 6 Jun 01 /BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.


    Somaliland: Clan leader approves referendum result in south

    BBC Monitoring Service - Jun 6, 2001

    One of the clan chiefs from Sool Region [southern Somaliland] who supports Somaliland's secession [from Somalia] has said he is satisfied with the result of the constitutional referendum which took place on 31 May.

    The leader, Garad Isma'il Du'ale was speaking to a Jamhuuriyareporter in the region who interviewed him on the matter. Earlier, leaders from the region had reportedly asked President Egal [Somaliland president] to postpone the referendum for the people of that region. Du'ale said that nobody had been forced to participate in the referendum. He further advised the residents, both those for and against the referendum to work towards peace.

    Commenting on the stand of his community, Du'ale said they supported Somaliland's principle [of secession] and were ready to give any assistance required of them...

    Source: Jamhuuriya, Hargeysa, 6 Jun 01 p 1 /BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.


    Financial Times, Asia Intelligence Wire/ Source: THE HINDU. June 5, 2001

    Letter to Editor: Ethiopia's stand

    Sir, - The report, 'Referendum on statute of breakaway Somaliland' (May 31): the writer states that "Somaliland has received considerable help from Ethiopia in its quest for legitimacy." He further asserts that "Ethiopia sees in an eventual sovereign Somaliland a useful buffer against Somalia". It has been the long-standing and principled position of Ethiopia that a divided Somalia does not only serve Ethiopia's interest but would be a horrifying and unpleasant dream for Ethiopia and the region. In fact, the thrust of Ethiopia's policy towards Somalia is to encourage and support the various Somali rival political groups to engage in a genuine national reconciliation and meaningful dialogue to restore peace, stability and unity of Somalia.

    Several initiatives were taken by Ethiopia to achieve this objective. It was Ethiopia that had initiated the Sodore peace process and initiated a number of moves aimed at creating the necessary conditions for peaceful dialogue among Somalis. This is firm evidence that Ethiopia is for a peaceful and prosperous Somalia with its territorial integrity and unity fully ensured and respected. It also needs to be emphasised that a stable Somalia is the foremost necessity for Ethiopia as the two countries are not only close neighbours but, as reality shows, are linked with blood ties. This is the backdrop against which the writer needs to view and assess Ethiopia's position on the issue he has raised.

    The article is in full contradiction with the thrust of Ethiopia's policy and harmful to the ongoing peace process in Somalia and fraternal relations between the peoples of Ethiopia and Somalia.
    Demeke Atnafu, Ethiopian Embassy, New Delhi


    Agence France Presse, June 6, 2001

    Detained Somaliland politician released on bail

    NAIROBI-- Authorities in Somaliland have released on bail a prominent politician detained in Hargeisa last month because he had met Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh, officials and relatives said .

    Suleyman Mohamud Aden, a former minister both under the deposed dictator Mohamed Siad Barre and in Somaliland's administration, was released after spending two weeks in prison accused of "meeting enemies of Somaliland".

    Somaliland is a self-styled independent state whose 1991 secession from Somalia proper went unrecognised internationally.

    Relations between Djibouti and Somaliland have worsened since Djibouti hosted a conference last year that led to the establishment of a transitional government in Somalia, the war-torn's country's first government since 1991.

    The governments in Hargeisa and Mogadishu do not recognise each other's authority.

    Aden's release followed a bail application by his lawyer, although Somaliland president Mohamed Ibrahim Egal has been under pressure inside and outside the region to release him.

    Aden, respected as one of the politicians who spearheaded the secession campaign in 1991, had vied for the presidency in 1996.


    Associated Press, June 6, 2001

    Somali president calls Somaliland referendum illegal

    by OSMAN HASSAN

    MOGADISHU -- A constitutional referendum in the breakaway region of Somaliland was illegal, but it will not lead to the dissolution of Somalia, President Abdiqassim Salad Hassan said.

    ''Despite the destruction in Somalia, the national constitution is still in place, and anything that leads toward the disintegration of Somalia is illegal,'' he told The Associated Press, . ''Unless there is a national referendum, no one can separate this country.''

    On May 31, Somaliland held a referendum on a new constitution aimed at cementing the region's self-declared independence and paving the way for the introduction of multiparty politics. Four days later, referendum chairman Ahmed Jambir Suldan said 97 percent of voters had backed the initiative.

    Somaliland a British protectorate that united with Italian Somaliland in 1960 to form Somalia declared its independence from the rest of Somalia in 1991, shortly after the ouster of Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre in January that year.

    Since then, as the rest of the country descended into violence and chaos and went almost a decade without a central government, the region has enjoyed relative stability under the leadership of President Mohamed Ibrahim Egal has created a regional administration and state institutions, but Somaliland has never been officially recognized as an independent state.

    In theory, Abdiqassim's administration is the country's first central authority since 1991. But the transitional government has little control outside Mogadishu. A number of faction leaders, including Egal, have refused to recognize it. Hassan and 245 legislators were elected at a peace conference in neighboring Djibouti last August.

    The fledgling Somali government has described the referendum as a foreign plot intended to dissolve the troubled nation in the Horn of Africa. Egal has close ties with neighboring Ethiopia. Abdiqassim's administration accuses Addis Ababa of meddling affairs and supporting anti-government factions.

    The referendum has also been criticized in Puntland, another breakaway region that borders Somaliland. Puntland, which broke away from the rest of the country in 1998 under the leadership of Col. Abdullahi Yussuf, disputes some of Somaliland's borders. No voting took place in several contested areas in southeast Somaliland.

    Others have questioned the figures and results of the referendum.

    Suldan said 1.2 million people voted, but the population of the region is unknown. The last nationwide census in 1975 put the population at 7.1 million, and Somaliland is one of the country's least populated regions.

    ''This (the voter numbers) is not logical and bizarre,'' said Abdurahman Mohamed Hassan, an independent political analyst in Mogadishu.


    XINHUA GENERAL SERVICE, June 6, 2001

    Constitution Referendum in Breakaway Somaliland Concluded

    MOGADISHU -- The referendum for the constitution in the breakaway republic of Somaliland has been concluded with final results.

    Ahmed Jambir Suldan, the chairman of the central committee for the referendum, said that among the 1,188, 154 voters, 1,148,399 persons voted "yes" to the constitution of Somaliland, while 34, 111 voted "no".

    The administration of Mohamed Hajji Ibrahim Egal, the leader of the secessionist policy, amended the constitution aimed at legalizing the self-independence of Somaliland from Somalia.

    The Supreme Court of the breakaway Somaliland will legalize the voting results over the next few days.

    Somaliland, a former British protectorate, split from Somalia 10 years ago after that country's brutal civil war.

    Yet Somaliland's independence has never been recognized by the international community.

    Last year, clan leaders from all over Somalia elected a new transitional national government led by President Abdiqasin Salad Hassan after a lengthy meeting in neighboring Djibouti.

    Abdiqasin's government, which sits in the Somali capital Mogadishu, is fiercely opposed to the idea of a referendum in Somaliland, which it claims as part of Somalia.


    The New York Times June 5, 2001 Section A; Page 10

    Somalia: Region Affirms Independence

    By Ian Fisher (NYT) Somaliland voted overwhelmingly -- 97 percent in favor -- to remain independent from the rest of the nation, according to official results from a referendum. The region, once a British colony in the northwest of what is now Somalia, declared its independence 10 years ago and has been more stable than the rest of Somalia, although it has not been recognized by outside nations. The vote is, in many ways, a formal rejection of a Somali government formed last summer that has had trouble asserting its control over the entire country. Ian Fisher (NYT)
    Agence France Presse, June 5, 2001

    Somaliland votes overwhelmingly for independence in referendum

    NAIROBI -- Voters in Somaliland have overwhelmingly opted to endorse the territory's self-proclaimed independence in a referendum on a new constitution, a poll official said on .

    "Ninety-seven percent of the voters said 'yes' to the constitution that declared our independence as a state, which is peaceful and free," the vice president of the organising committee, Abdulkadiq Jirdeh, told AFP.

    Jirdeh, speaking by telephone from Hargeisa, said the 'yes' vote accounted for 1,188,460 voters in the Horn of Africa territory, which unilaterally broke away from the rest of Somalia in 1991.

    The new constitution enshrines the independence espoused by local leaders after the remainder of Somalia plunged into anarchy, but unrecognised by the international community.

    Jirdeh said that three percent of the electorate voted 'no' -- a total of 34,460 people -- while 5,295 votes were spoiled.

    "The exercise was free and fair and gave political freedom to each and every individual in Somaliland," Jirdeh said.

    During the vote, cars equipped with loudspeakers and decorated with posters moved through the streets urging residents to come out to vote, but in the end, only 1,226,909 out of the 1.3 people estimated as qualified to vote came out to cast their ballots.

    Poll organisers used red indelible ink to stam the arms of people whose names were then crossed off lists in the polling stations.

    The poll was hailed by officials as the first free election in more than two decades in this former British protectorate, which united with the Italian colony in the south in 1960 to form the independent Republic of Somalia.

    Those waiting to vote told journalists: "No more Mogadishu" and "This is now a free country," while women chanted over and over: "Somaliland, Somaliland."

    Mohamed Ibrahim Egal, the president of the self-proclaimed republic, said that the referendum was a matter of the country's very presence on the map.

    "We do it for our existence. We'll have a hundred percent participation," Egal said on polling day.

    The poll in Somaliland was staged by a regime which seceded five months after dictator Mohamed Siad Barre was ousted in January 1991.

    Since then, most of Somalia has been carved up among rival clan factions.

    The neighbouring regional self-proclaimed state of Puntland has since described the vote exercise in Somaliland as "unmonitored and aimed at misleading international opinion."

    Somalia's Transitional National Government (TNG), which was formed last year as the first central authority in a decade, had said the endorsement of the constitution in Somaliland is "a setback to Somalia's national unity".

    The United Nations and Organisation of African Unity have to date supported the TNG, formed after a reconciliation conference in Arta, Djibouti, and seek what they see as a "national solution" to the chaos in Somalia.

    Somaliland's authorities and several major warlords in Somalia have refused to endorse the TNG set up in Arta, stressing that the TNG has a tenuous hold in the capital Mogadishu and some parts of the rest of the country.


    BBC World Service, 4 June, 2001

    Somaliland: No way back

    President Mohamed Ibrahim Egal of the breakaway region of Somaliland, has commented for the first time on the results of last week's independence referendum in which voters backed cessation from Somalia. President Egal said Somaliland was no longer just a collection of clans but a nation in its own right.

    He said the results of the referendum also brought to an end the question of whether Somaliland should ever reunite with Somalia.

    The president said his message to the international community was that Somaliland is worth doing business with. Somaliland broke away from Somalia at the start of the civil war 10 years ago, but is still unrecognized by the the international community.


    Financial Times, (London) June 4, 2001 (USA Edition) Pg. 6

    Somaliland seeks backing

    By MARK TURNER

    Nairobi -- The president of the self-declared republic of Somaliland - the north-western part of Somalia and formerly a British protectorate - has called for international recognition after claiming overwhelming support in a referendum on the state's independence. Organisers said 99 per cent of voters backed a constitution enshrining Somaliland's separation from Somalia, in defiance of efforts to create a united government based in Mogadishu.

    While most of Somalia remains in a state of semi-permanent conflict, Somaliland has been praised for relative stability and economic progress.


    Somalia: President Abdiqasim says Somaliland referendum is "unconstitutional"

    BBC Monitoring Service - Jun 3, 2001

    The president of the Transitional Government of Somalia, Dr Abdiqasim Salad Hasan, disclosed that he was optimistic about the ongoing talks between his government and the faction leaders.

    The president said that Uthman Ato and the speaker of parliament had met and their discussions had been successful.

    The president also said the recently formed reconciliation committee was making commendable effort to restore the unity of the Somali people.

    Commenting on the referendum that was conducted by the self-declared Somaliland involving the people living in that region, the president said it was unconstitutional and would create problems among the Somali people. He added that anything that will sabotage the unity of the Somali people would not be tolerated.

    President Abdiqasim further said that a delegation from the interim government will soon leave for different regions of the country with the role of setting up provincial administrations.

    The president also affirmed that preparations in the regions were under way to create troops in order to complete the setting up of the national defence force.

    Commenting on the Ethiopian interference in Somalia's internal affairs, President Abdiqasim said, Ethiopia became an obstacle to peace in Somalia and many countries had raised this with Ethiopia.

    " We are also saying that Ethiopia should desist from interfering in the internal affairs of Somalia", he said.
    Source: HornAfrik Online text web site, Mogadishu, 2 Jun 01


    Deutsche Presse-Agentur June 3, 2001

    Somaliland votes for new constitution

    Nairobi/Hargeisa -- The population in the self-declared republic of Somaliland has voted in a referendum in favour of a new constitution, the Election Commission announced .

    The Commission said 99 per cent of voters voted in favour of cementing the independence of the "Republic of Somaliland" in Thursdays referendum.

    Somaliland President Mohamed Ibrahim Egal called on the international community to recognise his state.

    "People here have the right to secede from a brutal Somalia," Egal told reporters in Hargeisa.

    The northeastern African region broke away from the rest of Somalia ten years ago after the collapse of the Siad Barre regime. It has achieved a high level of stability despite failing to be recognised by the international community, according to analysts.


    BBC Monitoring Service - June 02 2001

    Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 02 June 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    31st May signified more to more!

    This time round the world may have little or nothing to say against Somaliland's latest efforts to convince it of its determination to continue the march towards what Somalilanders call a "Re-affirmation of sovereignty," but a little informed outside world insists to label a "Secession." The editors and reporters of Jamhuuriyaand The Republican were up with the crow long before any of the polling stations opened. We did not expect to find a great number of people there, but it turned out, the joke was on us. Not Only were they there, but in many stations long queues were already formed.

    The longest lines were, however, at polling stations nearer to the city centre where a good number of people from Hargeisa districts like Mohamoud Haybe, Ahmed Dhagah and Ga'an-libah normally come quite early in the morning to attend to businesses-big and small- in and around the city centre. At one such station on the way to Hargeisa's International Airport, a group of old men were casting their vote. One of them Gulaid Jama, 80, walking towards the nearest polling station to his home a quarter of a mile away, told us: "Today is probably my last chance to have a say in my destiny. I am going to vote 'Yes!' and 'Yes!'"

    On our way to remote Sinai quarter of Ahmed Dhagah district, Hargeisa, we found a group of old women who were helping each other along the road back to their homes after casting their votes. Halima Nour, 70, the mother of the first Vice-President of the Republic of Somaliland and the incumbent leader of the Somali National Movement war veterans, Hassan Essa Jama (middle with walking staff), said: "My sons, for me there is only the one box. The white box. The box of my identity!" Hassan, himself, arrived home that morning in time for Thursday's voting.

    Perhaps, it was for people like Halima and Nour that the two ballot boxes at each polling station were painted differently: one black (the 'No' votes) and one white (for the 'Yes' votes). In a country where the illiterate population accounts for more than 75%, to expect people to read the small print in a ballot paper is an over-estimation (if not an outright abuse) of their ability to exercise their constitutional rights. To the very old, too indeed, the colours helped.

    In other polling stations political rivalry was, for once, set aside and erstwhile fencers rubbed elbows. The President, Mohamed Haji Ibrahim Egal, and his Vice-President, Dahir Riyaleh, and their respective ladies, Kaltun and Huda, cast their votes at the CRC Hall, here, where SNM opposition leaders like Abdirahman Aw Ali, Musa Bihi, Hasan Younis and others took their places in the lines.

    In fact, Musa Bihi was the first in line to cast "Yes" at that station. Observers were not in the opinion that the polling stations made both foes and friends, alone, but that history was made there and then. For once no dissonant voices were heard anywhere in the Republic. People were quite adamant in their belief that May 31 would add some more titles to its many hard-earned titles: "Somaliland Unification Day" and "Somaliland's Political Assertion Day".

    The Mogadishu-based Arta (so-called) TNG leaders may rest in peace if the "doom and dire consequences" they prophesied of Sool and Sanaag regions did not come true. The Mogadishu Hotels Faction- as they are known here in Somaliland-predicted bloodshed and "renewed" strife in places like Las-Anod, Erigavo, Buhodleh, Badhan, Dhahar, Bo'ame and Huddun, if any kind of balloting was attempted in those places. Except for Bo'ameh where a man was reported injured after he and his group in a feeble thrust to thwart due voting process to proceed was stopped by the district Police forces, neither fighting nor discord of any type was reported.

    In the Sool region- where, unfortunately- international journalists and observers did not go mainly due to the ominous clouds detractors painted about it, Las-Anod, the regional capital, went to two polling stations. Bo'ameh, Taleh, Huddun, Yagori and Ainabo of same region went to theirs. Buhodleh of Togdher region is contested. Its Mayor told us that people casted their votes at the town itself while others claim "No, voting took place in Qorilugud!"- nearly town in Buhodleh's immediate vicinity.

    Sanaag's voting is not a subject to doubts any more. A team led by Iqbal Jhazbhay flew there on Thursday and came back on Friday. The Republican reached Derek Cressman of the Initiative and Referendum Institute (IRI), USA, and . Jhazbhay, South Africa, on the phone after their return to Hargeisa- and neither told of stations that did not open in region. The Saeed Jama Ali, Second Deputy Speaker of the House of Elders (Senate) and a member of the Constitution Referendum Commission and a number of ministers that include finance, industry, aviation, sports, minerals and animal husbandry did not report in any changes to either schedule or locations of polling.

    The earliest polling results will only be made public; it is expected, later today.


    BBC Monitoring Service - June 02 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 02 June 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    UAE Lifts Ban on Somali Livestock

    The Khaleej Times Of May 27 wrote that the United Arab Emirates lifted the ban imposed on livestock from Somali territories; Ethiopia and Sudan following a ministerial decree to that effect issued a week before. The ban, slapped on sheep, goats, cows and camels exports from those countries, was enforced by all Gulf States from September last year to, ostensibly, curb the much-feared Rift Valley Fever from spreading to the Arab nations' soils. This was put into effect despite earlier certified reports indicating that no such fever was evident livestock exports.

    Other countries that were adversely affected by the ban included Uganda, Tanzania Eritrea, Nigeria, Yemen, Djibouti and Kenya.


    Agence France Presse, June 2, 2001

    Somaliland's 'yes' for secession a 'setback': Mogadishu

    MOGADISHU -- A referendum approving the secession of the breakaway state of Somaliland was "an abuse to the northern Somalia people," the head of Somalia's transitional government has said.

    "The latest referendum in the self-declared Republic of Somaliland ... is a setback to the national unity of Somalia and also an abuse to the northern Somalia people," Abdulkassim Salat Hassan was quoted as saying in a report by Radio Hornafrique on .

    "The Somali people approved a constitution that proclaimed the unity of Somalia in 1960 after the unification of the Italian colony in the south and British protectorate in the north," said Salat, president of the Transitional National Government (TNG) in Mogadishu.

    "The move would create bad relations between the people of north and those of other parts of Somalia," he told the private radio station.

    In the referendum , the people of Somaliland voted overwhelmingly to approve a constitution formalizing the territory's secession from the rest of Somalia in May 1991, five months after the dictator Mohamed Siad Barre was toppled from power.

    Somaliland has yet to be recognised by the outside world.

    The referendum was widely opposed internationally, not least by Somalia, whose acting Prime Minister Osman Jama Ali described it as "a ploy to divide Somalia by the help of unfriendly foreign countries and opportunist individuals."

    Somaliland's authorities have refused to endorse the TNG, the first central government of any kind since 1991 in Somalia, which has been wracked by interclan warfare.

    The TNG enjoys the backing of the international community but, in the absence of support from most Somali warlords, has failed to exert its control far beyond the capital Mogadishu.


    BBC Monitoring Service - June 02 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 02 June 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    Bi-Party Dialogue initiated; Differences Not Insurmountable

    Suleiman Mohamoud Aden, the closest runner-up to President Egal in the 1997 elections was put in Jail on May 22 by the man he nearly unseated! The President and his Minister of Interior, Ahmed Jambir, did not agree on what he would be accused of, apparently, but made noises about "high treason" and "Conspiratorial meetings with foes". Read the following reproduction of an interview Hilin weekly Gazette made with the jailed statesman in Mogadishu in 1991, where he was at that time, on an official visit right after the Buroa conference of May 18, same year, and judge for yourself.

    Q. Can you specify the primary objectives behind your delegation's visit here?

    A. We came to discuss with our Southern brethren the outcome of the Burao Conference, at the end of which, Northern Communities' envoys approved the formation of a Somaliland Republic. The talks are, so far, proceeding quite smoothly with no manifest differences expected. The two sides are in complete accord. Bilateral discussions initiated here and now will not cease with these sessions, however. They will be further developed into the future. The essence, as it is, of the Buroa Northern Communities Accord (BNCA) was the establishment of two equipollent republics with resilient bilateral relations.

    Q. If the driving theme behind the BNCA was forgiveness and trust forged among hitherto warring communities, why don't you apply similar standards to the South and discount past grievance in order to safeguard the union.

    A. We Specifically fought against the Siyad Barre regime for its despotic strategy which introduced perennial strife among communities of a kind; and we succeeded to transform erstwhile foes into cooperating friends. We affected an atomosphere of understanding, and remorse for past aggressions, among them after the evil regime's deposal. As regards the South, we will inform the people of Somaliland the boundless love and show of goodwill their southern brothers have expressed them through us. On the same token, we ask the South that the decision resolved by Northern communities is a measure they deemed more amenable to lasting North-South relations and so merits respect on its own. That resolution was arrived at after careful deliberations and we wish to impress our counterparts not to treat it lightly especially in the light of recent developments and present reality.

    Q. During your struggle against the deposed regime you professed a pro-union stance while that regime incessantly accused you of harbouring secassionist sentiments. Doesn't it now appear that Siyad Barre was in the right all along?

    A. You are completely disregarding a lot of facts that adversely affected the North which happened after the deposal of the Barre regime. History expedited the BNCA resolutions because they had but one way to go and one decision to reach after what they came through. I believe that the USC is well acquainted with the circumstances that led to the formation of Somaliland Republic.

    Q. Is it possible to retract your proclamation of independence? Are you prepared to be swayed in favor of USC unification?

    A. No, we are not. I do not think the on-going exchange of views on an existing reality signifies a volte-face on our part. I see [it] more as an amicable process in the elucidation of a de facto reality.

    Q. There was a Somali National Movement (SNM) wing fighting against Siyad Barre in the South. Isn't your secession leaving them in the lurch since they are southerners themselves?

    A. Secession is not the most objective interpretation of our action. Ours indicates the best possible path to the salvation of what is left of both peoples' dignity and towards reconstruction and development. We did not, and will not, forget our southern fighters who shared with us testing times since 1983. Cooperation and integral bonds that cemented us together before will remain as they are. B.

    We are not leaving anybody behind since it was never [our] intention or design to severe brotherly relations with the South.

    Q. If your point of view is endorsed here, wouldn't it appear as though your declaration of independence is given a tacit support?

    A. This issue is of equal purport to both of us. Each side should really confine itself to what best suits its people and their priorities at present. It is one thing if the consensus is to leave things as they were. It is totally a different fare if post Barre, as well as preceding events, are to be seriously taken into account. I am quite confident, however, that we and the USC, together, put matters in their proper perspective.

    Q. Is the SNM quitting the fight against Siyad Barre and his forces in the South once it recovered its land?

    A. We do not wish to be embroiled in proxy wars or be a party to more fraternal bloodletting needlessly. That is an issue we cannot brush aside flippantly. But in mopping up the misguided forces still loyal to, and led by, Siyad Barre, I believe it is obligatory on the SNM to lend a helping hand. We will hold with neither Siyad Barre, his remnants, nor any other faction still brazenly loyal to him, any unilateral talks.

    Q. Some sources here allege that Somaliland's minister for Water and Mineral Resources, the , . Mohamed Ali Ateye, held secret talks with Ahmed Suleiman Dafle (son-in-law to Siyad Barre) in Nairobi, Kenya, where he is currently on a visit. How far is that true?

    A. We have absolutely no information or knowledge about such a meeting. If at all there is any substance to the allegation, it is not with the permission of either the Movement or the Government. To me, this lack of prior authorization more than repudiates such an unlikelihood.

    Q. Why did you boycott the Djibouti reconciliation conference? A. We aired our opinion on that conference time and again. Resolutions reached there have no bearing whatsoever, on us or our internal affairs. Consequently they would neither dampen our spirits nor tether us in any way.

    Q. How would you react to the appointment of a northern premier for the head of the "National Government" to be formed here soon (as has been announced in Djibouti)?

    A. Northern communities charted their own destiny in the decisions they mutually reached. It is not novel to see a Northern Prime Minister at the helm, either, there were precedents. Such appointments never put undue hardship on us and to classify this matter, it will be of little concern to us. The on-going, comprehensive discussions between us and the USC on matters of mutual benefit to the two republics far outweigh perpipheral distractions.

    Q. Your declaration of a republic may have an adverse impact on Northerners residing in Mogadishu and the south. Do you have any plans for them? A. It is a humanitarian obligation to assist Northerners here to attain what their hearts desire, i.e., to facilitate the way for those who wish to go home and to extend human assistance to others who wish to remain where they are.

    Q. what word would you leave to those who will be reading this interview?

    A. I sincerely wish, that they find their way to what is truly good for them, what would serve their developmental aspirations greater. That they dig deeper into the essential and see reality in its true light; to believe for a fact that both people have a common umbilical cord that will never countenance one's neglect of the others need: that it is not possible to forget each other like fleeting acquaintances.


    BBC Monitoring Service - June 02 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 02 June 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    20th Century Tragedy

    In the Somali civil war, Northern cities were liberated by the freedom fighters of the SNM. Southern Somali were historically an Italian colony, and later, UN Trusteeship Territory. Although the union was Somaliland's offer for the purpose of creating GREATER SOMALIA, yet that dream melted away, or was turned back by International Communities, though it was a British State Secretary to whom this idea belongs.

    Having adopted the dialogue of the southern Somalis and made all properties of the north belong to the Somali Democratic Government, the dictator held the title of **Jaale** or **Friend.** But he was in fact worse than any other dictator in the world. Dictator Siyad Barre, who was a senior military officer came from a nomandic clan, which is a sub-clan of the Darod tribe.

    When the late elected President Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke died by assassination at Las Anod in 1969, Mohamed Siyad Barre claimed to be the head of the state of Somalia. While throwing the last elected Prime-Minister Mohamed H.Ibrahim Egal, who was from the northern Somalia as he belonged to Isaak tribe, in jail. In due time, oppositions were initiated in Somalia. One of the liberation movements was S.S.D.F. The leaders of the S.S.D.F. were mostly colonels of the Somali National Army. As Siyad has been defeated in the war against Ethiopia, he turned all of his attention to the elimination of the organization named S.S.D.F. Siyad won the bloody battle of Hastings in 1978-89 with the S.S.D.F. of the Majertan tribe, the family of the late president.

    At this stage, Siyad Barre the so-called head of state declared that every inch of the north belongs to him, and he is the sole owner. He then gave much of these areas to his men from the Marehan tribe, i.e., his family members; while at the same time he began to welcome members of the Ogaden tribe, the majority of whom came from the eastern part of Ethiopia.

    These Ogadenians used to call their fighters against Ethiopia the WSLF or the Western Somali Liberation Front. In exchange for his assistance, they promised absolute loyalty to him.
    To be continued next week...
    By: Mohamed-Amen.


    BBC Monitoring Service - June 02 2000

    Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 02 June 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC. The Republican Newspaper on 02 June 2001

    READERS' CONTRIBUTION:Reform the System at the Polls

    The British public emerging from the victory of the allies and awash with triumph over fascism, instinctually perceived that for British democracy, confidence in their institutions had to be the basis for the rekindling and renewal of British political life. To allow for this political process to establish itself, among the ruins of pulverized and destroyed Great Britain, the British public displayed a profound knowledge of what the idea of democracy has meant to them over the centuries. Indeed, that idea has been the basis of many a country trying to come to grips with the need to discipline power and force to the will of the citizenry. In short, political change constitutes the basis of renewal and affirming the power of citizenship.

    Winston Churchill, probably the most outstanding Englishman of his age, lost a re-election bid to be prime minister at the height of his political popularity to this recurring theme of change in British political life. Change constitutes renewal, and renewal one should add, constitutes the very basis of a democratic society.

    This country was a British colony for nearly a century, yet it never was a colony in its daily description. It never was "a white man's burden", despite power relations being ultimately in the hands of colonial Whitehall, it never succumbed to that daily humiliating examples of colonial life elsewhere; and, it never, never, lost it's own fierce and independent streak of what I have come to believe is a concept of democracy that is both radical and profound. This country has always been a society of autonomous, self-directing and sovereign breed of democrats.

    It is not improbable for one to use this rather seemingly contradictory example as basis to argue for a certain political line or to intervene in the broad discourse about democracy around the world given the remoteness and isolation that we as a country traverse in at the beginning of the millennium. One can argue with merit that to use as an example a people with such an imperial history as the British, and the British Empire's role in that sickness of European civilization, namely colonialism, exempts any patriot of Africa from linking a particularly European - or to use the modern comprehensive term popularized by Afrocentrics, Eurocentric - example to describe a far-away and distant land. However, one might beg to differ, beckoning the human experience, or the life and times of democracy, to illustrate a political point that may have validity in describing what ought to be done in one's own political society.

    This country then, one can argue, without engaging in the darkness and backwardness that is clannism, that modern and truly nationalistic impulses are part and parcel of our collective political psychology. One does not suggest here that some plastic incorporation of Western political systems into our own landscape is warranted, rather, and foremost, the debate about what type of political dispensation we desire ought to be front and center in arguing for renewal in our politics.

    How is this alleged dispensation towards democratic life benefit from the example of a defeated Churchill and the impulse towards an institutional civilization that mediates the citizen with political life. By what stroke of genius can citizens in this country assert their own form of democracy? I argue two critically important points, a building of an institutional form of government and the elimination of what really are the remnants of indirect rule inherited from the British Empire, the Guurti.

    By institutional renewal one means the challenge of developing a political system that absorbs the shocks and fault lines in our politics and creating the wherewithal to mediate politics through a political process. It is impossible to countenance a form of government that thrives on balancing only the power needs of social groups in a developing country like this country. In a developing country one needs an activist government, the urgent questions that confront us demands this type of government. One critical structure must, at all costs be the foundation of any attempt at constructing a healthy and vibrant polis: a competent government, which is above all, decent and honest with the country.

    As we look at the achievement of the century, we must all pay tribute to the end of colonialism. Too often, however, the end of colonialism has also meant the end of effective government. Particularly in Africa, colonialism frequently gave way to corrupt government or no government at all. Nothing so ensures hardship and suffering as the absence of a responsible, effective, honest polity....

    Economic aid is important, but without honest, competent government, it is of little consequence. We have here one of the major unfinished tasks of the century. An unfinished task indeed, for this country the horizon is dominated by the urgent and profound concerns of the people that need the attention of a responsible and effective government. Unless these political issues are dealt with, institutionally, this country will continue to be at the whim of a few men whose ability to really understand change is limited if not absent.

    As we look towards the coming election and as we look towards the future, I urge the political groupings in the country to merge under a single political movement so as to present a credible alternative to the current government. This is in the interest of democracy and a challenge for the opposition to establish itself institutionally in the country. Calls for the resignation of the current president is not politics, reform the system and beat the government at the polls. This is the answer to change in the country.

    If the Guurti and the system of indirect rule that continues to dominate the country remains firmly in place, the government will win one election after another. The democratic opposition ought to sell the message of principle and of democracy, and test the political maturity of the people. The government cannot be held accountable if the country does not have a political opposition it is that simple. Governments by nature normally cherish a weak and divided opposition, however, if the opposition wants to govern it must go out to the people, to endeavor to educate the people about politics. The opposition out to seek a political terrain that is different from the government's and then prepare the ground work for seeking an electoral mandate. This will show their commitment to the country as a whole and their desire to create in the political conditions in the country a normalized form of politics. Again, it can only accomplish this by directly and politically confronting cultural and traditional symbol of the remnants of colonial in-direct rule: the Guurti. Either abolish it, or reform it into an elected and effective senate of the most outstanding citizens of the country. The Guurti is the political basis of the Government, without it, the Government will not survive for long, for, politics in the country will be shared and thus accountability and transparency will have a foothold.

    When Winston Churchill was well in his eighties a young schoolboy asked him, "Sir, what's the greatest thing you have done in your life?" Churchill said the greatest thing he had done in his life was to survive because to survive is to begin again. This message of being undaunted must be the message, for Churchill's own concept of new beginnings and his peoples commitment to it, saw them through the best and worst of times.

    To the citizen of this country, you are the custodians of your democracy; no matter what institution is crafted, in the end, you, the citizens of this country remain the final arbiters of your collective political future. If the British could once end Churchill's mandate, then you can end the long reign of the current president, not through ill will, nor to settle political scores, nor as a chance to simply rid one political leader for another, but rather to show that sovereign men and women dwell therein and government ought to be about the people, for the people and by the people. As long as these ideas remain, no army - in Victor Hugo's memorable saying - can stop an idea whose time has come!

    Dhimbil, Ottawa, Canada.


    BBC Monitoring Service - June 02 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 02 June 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    The enduring shame!

    Economically, politically and socially I am suffering and my resources have been misused for the last 37 years, I am Somaliland. During the time of the clan based regime of Siyad Barre, the riches of my land went to Mogadishu in the form of revenues from taxes, intellectuals, wise men and goods. In return, I was isolated from sharing the wealth of that time. I was rewarded with bombs, massacres of my children, destruction of my cities and institutions, roads and schools. My children were displaced. In spite of my hard won victory over the oppressor, I still suffer an enduring shame. I am Somaliland.

    As Somaliland I have many challenges. Roads, schools, hospitals and other institutions need to be rebuilt. My economy remains fragile and my revenues few. Have I suffered for nothing? I am Somaliland.

    My few resources are not solely dedicated to rebuilding my infrastructure for my successful future. Instead, bribes are paid to those clan leaders who would challenge my hard earned right to independence and rocognition from the international community. I am robbed and shamed once again; I am Somaliland.

    Instead of utilizing the evidence gathered by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch to rightfully prosecute those who assisted Siyad Barre in his scorched-earth policy against my people, I became a refuge for those criminals, and my limited resources are squandered on those who caused such pain and disruption to those who loved me enough to spill their blood for my independence from tyranny. I am Somaliland.

    Surely this money would be better spent to advance my cause and my right to existence through intensive lobbying through the United Nations. The world must be reminded of all I went through to get where I am today. I am Somaliland. Long ago, an African king, plagued by many worries and harassed on every side, called his wise men together. He asked them to invent a motto, a few magic words that would help him in times of trial or stress. The wise men thought carefully and came up with the magic words; words that would fit every situation, good or bad. The words they offered to the king were, "This, too, shall pass".

    As Somaliland I became like that long ago African king, I say to you, "This enduring shame shall not pass".
    Ibrahim Jibah Isma'il.
    2450 Coolidge Ave Oakland, Ca 95601 U.S.A.


    BBC Monitoring Service - June 02 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 02 June 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    A letter of thanks to WFP

    The "Yufle Community Board" in the Sanag region are appreciating the WFP, after WFP provided successful humanitarian assistance during the dry and drought seasons; The (Yufle Community Board) said "we Yufle Community Board, Women groups, Elders, Youngsters, Intellectuals and all the community divisions of the area; are saying we cannot thank enough the WFP to compensate for the humanitarian assistance that the Organization provided to Yufle area, and how the W.F.P extended Aid/Assistance to the whole Sanag region.

    We have the honour to show our great appreciation for the big role of food aid and assistance such as: food distribution for the affected drought area, and rehabilitation of several well/water post of Yufle area. For their kind and full consideration, hard work, and their effective manner as humanitarian workers".

    The result and impact of those golden activities were soon felt in Yufle area, after the implementation complied. There was a mother among the residents of Eil-arro, who was interviewed by implementing partner (Yufle Community Board). She was asked about the water scarcity of the wells before the rehabilitation started. She replied, the cow that I milked for my children can't say thanks to W.F.P, but it is me who have seen the great change and the doubled amount of milk that my cow provides.

    Lastly, the Yufle Community Board, are also offering thanks to some of the W.F.P's officers, and said: Apart from the common activities of W.F.P we are extending special thanks to Ms. Knass khan, Officer in charge of W.F.P. (OIC), . Charmanyo senior program officer of W.F.P, . Mouse, program officer of W.F.P. and . Suufi. Yufle Community Board Coordinator, Ahmed Ibraahim Osmaan.


    BBC Monitoring Service - June 02 2001 Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 02 June 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    Is President Egal's unbalanced peace growth policy in Somaliland applicable in case of Somalia?

    Let everybody bark but to say the fact it's not an easy task to establish any peace process in Somalia, a country that was completely destroyed by the worst civil war. Basically there are two major arguments that exist side-by-side in solving the root-cause problems in Somalia. The first idea is related to the doctrine of balanced peace growth. The idea of balanced peace growth emphasizes that any peace process is to be developed simultaneously throughout Somalia without consideration of the cultural barrier within the borderline of Somalia.

    Those people who support specifically the idea of balanced peace growth argue that the whole peace process must be developed and encouraged simultaneously throughout the different regions in the country. For example, during the United Nations so-called peace operation in Somalia (UNISOM), they had adopted the idea that reflected the doctrine of balanced peace growth, leading to the total collapse of the whole United Nations Peace Operation in Somalia. In fact it's well known to everybody that the failure of the United Nations' so-called peace operation mission in Somalia has been based on the following reasons:

    1. The United Nations adopted the strategy of balanced peace growth which was basically not a real solution to the problems of Somalia.
    2. Many Somalis treated the United Nations as a foreign intervention forces, which was not acceptable to the majority of the people.
    3. Many people regarded the United Nations as an entity that wanted to impose its own rules and regulations in Somalia.

    However, adopting the unbalanced peace growth strategy, the policy of President Egal, was more relevant to transform and formulate that clan-based system into a modern government system. In such circumstances, his model has gradually moved from the northwest throughout the whole of Somaliland successfully. Furthermore, he has devoted more of his time and energy to set-up and develop the peace process from one region to another, so that later on, the repercussions of the whole peace process spread throughout Somaliland. In addition, President Egal who was more popular and familiar about how to deal practically with traditional elders, has organized many meetings with different sub-clans and militia commanders separately in order to bargain and to meet their own separate demands.

    Therefore, to conclude, in my view the theory of unbalanced peace growth practically adopted in Somaliland is more applicable in Somalia because basically any peace process shall be developed from the bottom level.
    Dr. Mohammed Haji Abdullahi said. (an economist)


    BBC Monitoring Service - June 02 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 02 June 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    A Witness To Somaliland's Referendum Day

    Representing my fellow Somalilanders in the twin cities of Minneapolis/St Paul and the Metro area of Minnesota, USA, I was fortunate enough to have been present in Hargeisa on May 31 - Somaliland's Constitution Referendum Day. I am a Director of Somaliland media for Minnesota. I represent Sahan TV and KFAI Radio ofMinneapolis/St Paul. I am, also, a very active member of the Somaliland communities there.

    I was in Hargeisa, yesterday, to witness the referendum activities in town where I saw the happiness and joy on people's faces at three different polling stations I visited. What I saw and read on people's countenances and in the expressions made by their singing voices and dancing feet were very impressive indeed. The cheerfulness with which they welcomed the opportunity given them and their stoic patience in the forty-fifty-feet long queue lines was mind-boggling, something to gladden any patriotic heart.

    It was a very beautiful day: not hot, not cold. With everything going as smoothly as could be in a most orderly manner. When I started taking pictures and doing interviews, the people welcomed me as a long lost brother with the banter and good-natured camaraderie so characteristic of the hospitable Somalilander, which nearly moved me to tears on more than one occasion. I could understand what a people who were long so ignored felt at being noticed at long last - even though I was poor me alone!

    "Convey our best to our brothers out there!" Many of them cried.
    Harbi Ahmed Kaylo, Minneapolis/St Paul, USA, Journalist


    BBC Monitoring Service - June 02 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 02 June 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    Voting Against the world

    It was really unbelievable. For a country and a people that have not been witness to a great many unchaperoned polling days, May, 31 dawned a bright and smiling harbinger of great things to come, the end of too many unrequited promises. The festivities, dancing and songs that started the day before continued unabated till polling time at six in the morning, local time. Even then, the revelries did not stop but were pitched up by others who, perhaps had more than the proverbial forty winks of rest the night before.

    At the 61 polling stations in Hargeisa, the people were not only voting for their own constitution: 'Yes" if they found it workable, "No" if it was not to their liking. The people in the NW region of Somaliland in which the Capital Hargeisa was situated, as well as those in the other five regions of Awdal, Sahil, Togdheer, Sanaag and Sool, were, in fact, collectively voting "No" against a remorseless international community that for over two decades chose to side with its foes. A world that helped the ousted dictator and his blood-curdling atrocities to freely mass-execute its innocent in the dark of the night, allowed its hired mercenaries and Soviet trained Mig-fighter pilots to bomb-strafe, machine-gun and hunt down frightened civilians scurrying away to God knows where from wasted homes and dismembered babies.

    At all 600 polling stations all over a country that is inexorably drawing nearer to a legitimate use of its chosen title: The Republic of Somaliland that it adopted a fortnight over ten years ago in Burao of Togdheer, Somalilanders had but one verdict for a world that could only hear the whispers of conspirators against a whole nation's pleas for mercy "No to mendacity and double standards", "Yes" to my individual and national rights".

    That people have come from near and far to ballot boxes straight as the arrow flies should be equally enough to sway the hearts of the most hardened to the Somalilander cause, the land-grabbers and so-called 'envylanders', the pundits of woe, war and disarray and all fences-traders who appear to be waiting for a "Go for it !" cue from the UN chief, Ghelleh of Djibouti, Abdullahi Yussuf of Puntland and Abdikassim of the Mogadishu Hotels.


    Somaliland: Observers witness referendum counting in northern, western regions

    BBC Monitoring Service - Jun 1, 2001

    Counting of votes on the constitutional referendum started today in the town of Berbera, the Sahil [northern Somaliland] regional HQ Counting started after ballot boxes from all over the districts in the region were gathered in Berbera town. We received reports from Berbera today which said counting was done smoothly and was witnessed by two observers from America. The work is been supervised by the regional electoral commission headed by the deputy governor of Sahil Region.

    Counting of votes has also started in Gabiley [western Somaliland], where votes from 34 stations in Gabiley were gathered according to a report from the area. A heavy rainfall that occurred in the past two days hampered vehicles transporting ballot boxes to the region causing a delay The report added that two observers from Switzerland and South Africa were supervising the counting in the region.

    Source: Radio Hargeysa, 1 Jun 01 /BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.


    THE DAILY TELEGRAPH(LONDON) June 01, 2001 Pg. 19

    Somaliland queues to vote on breakaway

    By Tim Butcher, Africa Correspondent

    MORE than a million voters in the former British protectorate of Somaliland turned out to vote yesterday in a referendum on independence from the rest of Somalia.

    The leaders of Somaliland hope the vote will lead to formal international recognition of the independence proclaimed in 1991 and end a decade of bloody turmoil in the country. Early indications from the polling suggested overwhelming popular support for independence.

    Somalia's acting Prime Minister, Osman Jama Ali, challenged the validity of the referendum, insisting that the country must remain united. The vote was "a ploy to divide Somalia by the help of unfriendly foreign countries and opportunist individuals", he said.

    Somaliland was officially independent for four days between the end of British colonial rule and integration with Somalia, a former Italian colony, in 1960.


    The Toronto Star, June 1, 2001 Friday, Edition 1

    VOTERS EXPECTED TO BACK independent Somaliland

    HARGEISA, Somalia (Reuters) - Somaliland's people turned out in large numbers yesterday to vote in a referendum on a new constitution and were expected to give overwhelming approval to a 1991 declaration of independence from the rest of Somalia.

    Somaliland, a former British protectorate in the Horn of Africa, split unilaterally from Somalia 10 years ago after a long and bloody independence struggle, taking advantage of the chaos that followed the fall of Somali dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.

    In the years that followed, much of the rest of Somalia descended into clan-based anarchy, while the people of Somaliland rebuilt their country in peace.

    Yet Somaliland's independence has never been recognized by the international community.

    Yesterday's referendum is aimed in part at advancing Somaliland's international campaign for recognition by demonstrating popular support for independence.

    "We are establishing our existence and that is what we are going to do," President Mohamed Ibrahim Egal told reporters. "Once we do that, we are here to stay."

    Women performed traditional dances outside polling stations as queues built up in urban areas. Government officials said turnout had exceeded expectations.

    "I lost three of my sons and two grandchildren in the war against Siad Barre," said 70-year-old woman Fadumo Elmi who voted in favour of the independent constitution. "I am getting what they fought for, a mental and spiritual consolation."

    The referendum has encountered some opposition, especially from outside the territory. The government of Somali President Abdiqassim Salad Hassan is fiercely opposed. It claims Somaliland as part of Somalia.

    The government of neighbouring Djibouti has also come out against the referendum.

    GRAPHIC: PEDRO UGARTE/AFP. INDEPENDENCE VOTE: Women in Somaliland, which declared independence from Somalia 10 years ago after a long struggle, line up in Hargeisa yesterday to vote in a referendum on a new constitution.


    Agence France Presse, June 1, 2001

    Overwhelming support for self-determination of Somaliland

    HARGEISA -- Somaliland's voters have overwhelmingly supported self-determination for the breakway Somalia state, according to the initial results Friday of a referendum held the day before.

    The results, from the capital Hargeisa, showed that 98 percent of voters had said "yes" to endorsing the territory's internationally unrecognised independence, according to the vice president of the committee organizing the poll, Abdulkadiq Jirdeh.

    An observer of the Initiative and Referendum Institute, a private group from the United States, said that at Gabelay, about 50 kilometres (30 miles) from the capital, 52 "no" votes had been counted against 5,900 "yes" votes.

    "There is no going back," said Jirdeh, who hailed what he described as the "tremendous participation" in the referendum.

    "Ten years to be an invisible state is too long," he said.

    The process of gathering and counting ballots from the 600 polling stations used in 's vote was continuing Friday, with final results only expected in about 10 days.

    The referendum was widely opposed internationally, not least by Somalia, whose acting Prime Minister Osman Jama Ali described it as "a ploy to divide Somalia by the help of unfriendly foreign countries and opportunist individuals."

    He appealed to the outside world not to recognise the outcome of the referendum in Somaliland, which declared itself independent from the rest of Somalia five months after dictator Mohamed Siad Barre was toppled in January 1991.

    Ten years on, its independence has yet to be recognised by the outside world.

    Somaliland's authorities, meanwhile, have refused to endorse the new Transitional National Government in Mogadishu since it was founded in Djibouti last year after a lengthy Somali reconciliation conference.


    M2 Communications Ltd. M2 PRESSWIRE, June 1, 2001

    AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL Somaliland - Suleiman Mohamed Adam must be released immediately

    "President Muhammad Ibrahim Egal of Somaliland should immediately and unconditionally release former presidential candidate Suleiman Mohamed Adam,"Amnesty International reiterated today.

    Suleiman Mohamed Adam, 66, is considered by Amnesty International as a prisoner of conscience, detained solely on account of his non-violent opinions and for peacefully exercising his rights to freedom of expression and association.

    He was arrested at Hargeisa Airport on 22 May 2001. He has not so far been taken to court or charged with any offence, in contravention of the international legal requirement that a person suspected of a criminal offence should be brought to court and charged within 48 hours.

    According to unofficial reports Suleiman Mohamed Adam appears to be accused by the authorities of "treason" or "plotting to sabotage a planned referendum" on 31 May 2001 on amendments to Somaliland=s Constitution. He is said to have also been accused of having met in Djibouti with President Ismail Omar Guelleh, who is known not to support the referendum.

    Suleiman Mohamed Adam was held in incommunicado detention for seven days. On 30 May he was finally granted access to a lawyer. However, prison guards refused to allow them to communicate in confidence. Both Suleiman Mohamad Adam and his lawyer refused to talk in the presence of prison guards. He has not been allowed access to his family or medical treatment.

    "The illegal detention of this prisoner of conscience puts in jeopardy everyone's right to freedom of expression and association in Somaliland,"Amnesty International said.

    You may repost this message onto other sources provided the main text is not altered in any way and both the header crediting Amnesty International and this footer remain intact. Only the list subscription message may be removed.

    ((M2 Communications Ltd disclaims all liability for information provided within M2 PressWIRE. Data supplied by named party/parties. Further information on M2 PressWIRE can be obtained at http://www.presswire.net on the world wide web. Inquiries to info@m2.com)).


    BBC World Service, 31 May, 2001

    Somaliland votes on independence

    Somaliland is not officially recognised The people of the self-declared republic of Somaliland have voted on a constitutional referendum aimed at cementing the area's independence and paving the way for the introduction of multiparty politics. Officials said they did not know when the result of the referendum would be announced. Reports in Mogadishu said the turnout for the referendum had been high in some places, while no voting took place in three southwestern districts where clans are against the region's self-styled independence.

    The tiny African region broke away from the rest of Somalia 10 years ago, but its secession has never been internationally recognised. The vote is controversial both inside and outside Somaliland. But Somaliland's leader, President Mohamed Ibrahim Egal, is determined that what he terms a successful new state is allowed to disassociate itself from war-torn Somalia. The referendum will determine whether independence is supported by the majority of people in Somaliland, but it remains to be seen whether the result will be endorsed by the international community. Voters were queuing up when the 600 polling stations opened at 0600 local time (0300 GMT), the news agency AFP said. The vice-chairman of the national constitutional commission said he was hoping for a turnout of 60%. But the vote is not straight forward: There is no census, so community elders are deciding who should


    2001 FT Asia Intelligence Wire/Source: The Hindu. May 31, 2001

    Referendum on statute in breakaway Somaliland

    CAPE TOWN -- A controversial referendum is taking place on in the 'Republic of Somaliland', the territory in the north of Somalia which under colonial rule was known as British Somaliland and which broke away from Somalia in May 1991 declaring itself an independent country, seeking endorsement of a 'Draft Somaliland Constitution'.

    The exercise has not received any support from any international structure like the United Nations or the Organisation of African Unity. Even Ethiopia, which has cosy relations with Somaliland, has not come out openly in support of the referendum. The Transitional National Government of Somalia (TNG) based in Mogadishu has condemned the exercise as a "violation of international and national law", with the aim of "legitimising the secession of the north from Somalia".

    However, despite the lack of international support, and the repeated calls by the TNG for abandoning the exercise, there is little doubt that the referendum, which has been in preparation for nearly a year. Indeed, in a letter addressed to the President of the U.N. Security Council in January this year. Mohammed Egal, the veteran Somali politician and the last democratically elected Prime Minister of Somalia and now President of Somaliland, took exception to the formulations in the U.N. Secretary General's report to the Security Council on Somalia, including what he described as its errors and inaccuracies about his alleged opposition to the formation of the new Interim Government in Somalia. "Any discussions between the Republic of Somaliland and the 'Transitional National Government' on future relations can only proceed with prior, unconditional acceptance by the 'Transitional National Government' of the Republic of Somaliland", Egal declared.

    The 'Republic of Somaliland' was one of the three colonised areas on the so-called Horn of Africa, inhabited by the Somali people. The other two colonial powers, France and Italy, occupied French Somaliland (now Djibouti) and Italian Somaliland (the rest of Somalia). The Somali people, with few ethnic, religious or linguistic divisions, have always striven for the unity and consolidation of the areas inhabited by them in the form of a unified Somali State, comprising all these admittedly Somali territories as well as Somali inhabited areas in Ethiopia and Kenya.

    However, the prospects for such a Greater Somalia look dimmer than ever, especially since the very viability of Somalia as a nation state has become problematic in the last decade. Somalia failed to secure the integration of French Somaliland (Djibouti) into its territory; and now another part of its territory, still viewed by Somalia as an integral part of the country, is poised to take yet another step in its apparently irreversible path to securing international recognition as a sovereign nation.

    A crucial actor in these developments is Ethiopia from which Somaliland has received considerable help in its quest for legitimacy. Ever mindful of the claims of Somali irredentism on its own territory, and with over three million of its Somali citizens indistinguishable from the Somalis across the border, Ethiopia sees in an eventual sovereign Somaliland a useful buffer against Somalia. A friendly Somaliland would also provide access to the sea, a crucial consideration for landlocked Ethiopia.

    Recent initiatives taken in this regard are the visits of ministerial delegations to Hargeisa and Addis Ababa, and the start recently of regular commercial flights between the two capitals. Describing Ethiopia as its "main trading partner" in a recent interview to the U.N. Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN), the Finance Minister of Somaliland, . Mohammed Said Mohammed, said: "With Ethiopia our borders are very peaceful. You can drive from here to Addis Ababa - it is very normal, with no check points. People can take their own cars from Berbera to Addis Ababa, to Djibouti and back to Somaliland." However, he also added: "If you go to Jijiga and Dire Dawa, all those small towns there, you see you are still in parts of Somaliland".

    As always, such moves to secure dismemberment of a neighbouring country turn out to be a two-edged weapon.


    Agence France Presse, May 31, 2001

    People of Somaliland vote on independence

    HARGEISA-- The people of Somaliland, 10 years after their leaders unilaterally seceded from Somalia, went to the polls to vote on whether to endorse their internationally unrecognised independent status.

    Voters were queuing up when polling stations opened at 6 am, an AFP reporter said.

    The referendum is widely opposed internationally, not least by Somalia, whose acting Prime Minister Osman Jama Ali described it as "a ploy to divide Somalia by the help of unfriendly foreign countries and opportunist individuals."

    Ali said in the Dadka newspaper, the mouthpiece of the Transitional National Government (TNG), that his country must remain united.

    He appealed to the outside world not to recognise the outcome of the referendum in Somaliland, which declared itself independent from the rest of Somalia five months after dictator Mohamed Siad Barre was toppled in January 1991.

    Ten years on, its independence has yet to be recognised by the outside world, but Somaliland's authorities have refused to endorse the TNG since it was founded in Djibouti last year after a lengthy Somali reconciliation conference.

    The polls were to close at 6 pm (1500 GMT) and the results were expected in around 10 days.


    Agence France Presse, May 31, 2001

    People of Somaliland vote on independence from Somalia

    By Bertrand Rosenthal

    HARGEISA -- People of Somaliland turned out in a festive atmosphere to vote on endorsing their internationally unrecognised independence, 10 years after their leaders seceded from Somalia.

    Voters were already queueing up in two lines, one for men and one for women, when polling stations in the hot Horn of Africa territory opened at 6:00 am (0300 GMT), an AFP reporter said.

    Mohamed Ibrahim Egal, the president of the self-proclaimed republic that was founded shortly as much of the rest of the country plunged into turmoil in 1991, voted with his wife at the chamber of commerce in the capital Hargeisa.

    "I'm very happy," Egal told AFP of the referendum, which is widely opposed internationally and particularly by the central authorities in Somalia itself.

    "We do it for our existence," he said. "We'll have a hundred percent participation."

    In the absence of a census and an electoral register, the number of potential voters is estimated at some 1.3 million, according to the vice president of the committee organizing the poll, Abdulkadiq Jirdeh.

    Red indelible ink was being used to stamp the arms of people whose names were crossed off lists in the polling stations.

    Cars equipped with loudspeakers and decorated with posters moved through the streets urging residents to come out to vote.

    Due to the large turnout, which saw throngs of people crowding polling stations, officials expected they would have to extend the vote beyond the scheduled 6:00 pm close.

    Voting queues were entertained by drummers and dancers, while those waiting to vote told journalists: "No more Mogadishu" and "This is now a free country."

    The women chanted over and over: "Somaliland, Somaliland".

    Somalia has been carved up among rival clans since the ouster in January 1991 of president Mohamed Siad Barre. It lacked a government until last year, when one was formed after talks among Somalis hosted by neighbouring Djibouti, but this team is opposed by most faction warlords.

    Compared with much of Somalia, the former British protectorate of Somaliland has seen relative peace since 1991.

    Somalia's acting Prime Minister Osman Jama Ali on described the self-determination referendum as "a ploy to divide Somalia with the help of unfriendly foreign countries and opportunist individuals."

    Ali said in the Dadka newspaper, the mouthpiece of the Transitional National Government (TNG), that the country must remain united.

    He appealed to the outside world not to recognise the outcome of the referendum in Somaliland.

    The United Nations and Organization of African Unity have to date supported the outcome of the reconciliation conference in Arta, Djibouti, and seek what they see as a "national solution" to the chaos in Somalia.

    Somaliland's authorities have refused to endorse the TNG set up in Arta. The TNG has a tenuous hold in the capital Mogadishu and some parts of the rest of the country.

    The polling stations -- some 600 of them -- were to close at 6:00 pm (1500 GMT) and the results were expected in around 10 days.


    Associated Press, May 31, 2001

    Somalis in northern region vote for Somaliland's ''independence''

    By OSMAN HASSAN

    MOGADISHU -- Somalis living in the northern region known as Somaliland on voted on a constitutional referendum aimed at cementing the area's independence and paving the way for the introduction of multiparty politics.

    Somaliland first declared its independence from the rest of Somalia in 1991 shortly after the ouster of the Horn of Africa nation's military ruler, Mohamed Siad Barre, in January that year.

    Since then, as the rest of the country descended into violence and chaos and went almost a decade without a central government, the region has enjoyed relative stability under the leadership of President Mohamed Ibrahim Egal has created a regional administration and state institutions, but Somaliland has never been officially recognized as an independent state by foreign countries.

    Officials said they did not know when the result of the referendum would be announced.

    Reports in Mogadishu said the turnout for the referendum had been high in some places, while no voting took place in three southwestern districts where clans are against the region's self-styled independence.

    A week ago, gunmen from the Dhulbahanteh clan, which opposes the referendum, briefly abducted Somaliland's foreign minister, Abdulhamid Gard Juma, while he was campaigning for the referendum in the Buhodleh region. After talks between clan elders and government officials, Juma was released and Egal agreed to cancel voting in the region.

    In other areas, people felt they were being pressured to vote for something they knew little about.

    Mohamed Saed, a businessman in Burco, a town 175 kilometers (110 miles) west of the Somaliland capital Hargeisa, said it could not be called a referendum because ''no one has ever seen the constitution which the people are now asked to vote for.''

    Saed told The Associated Press, in a two-way radio interview that he was not opposed to Somaliland's independence, but was against the ''fraudulent way'' it was being conducted.

    In a recent interview with the U.N. news agency, IRIN, Egal said that once people have accepted the constitution, they have accepted Somaliland's independence.

    ''Once that referendum is over and the constitution is approved, then the rest is a matter of routine holding the general elections for local government,'' Egal said. ''That will also inaugurate the multiparty system. We are authorizing the registration of political organizations, not political parties, then we are holding elections for local government.''

    What affect the outcome of the referendum will have is not clear, but Somaliland independence is opposed in other parts of Somalia.

    Officials in neighboring Puntland, which broke away from the rest of the country in 1998 under the leadership of Col. Abdullahi Yussuf, dispute some of Somaliland's borders. And in Mogadishu, the fledgling government of President Abdiqasim Salad Hassan has said the vote is a foreign plot aimed at disintegrating the troubled country.

    Hassan and 245-legislators were elected at a peace conference in neighboring Djibouti last August. In theory Hassan's administration is the country's first central authority since 1991, but the government has little control outside Mogadishu and a number of faction leaders, as well as Egal and Yussuf, have refused to recognize it.


    Deutsche Presse-Agentur May 31, 2001

    Breakaway Somaliland votes in constitutional polls

    Nairobi -- The population of the breakaway Somali territory of Somaliland voted on a new constitution designed to seal the region's claim to an independence that the international community does not recognize.

    The northwestern region cut loose 10 years ago from Somalia when its central government in Mogadishu collapsed and the rest of the warring country was carved up among clans and warlords.

    Calling itself the Republic of Somaliland, with its capital at Hargeisa, the region avoided bloodshed and remained stable.

    With results of the referendum due next week at the earliest, initial reports in Mogadishu described the turnout as good, at least in those areas where the referendum went ahead.

    The self-styled president of Somaliland, Mohamed Hajji Ibrahim Egal, cancelled the poll in several anti-secessionist regions following outspoken opposition from local tribes and neighbouring Puntland.

    In Buhodleh region, the Somaliland foreign minister, Abdulhamid Garad Jama, was briefly kidnapped in protest at the referendum.

    Tension was reported in the large town of Buro, where Somali loyalists accused secessionist referendum organisers of bias.

    Critics of the poll say the electorate has no access to details of the Somaliland constitution, which excludes clan or religion-based parties and outlaws all religions other than Islam, which is specified as the "national" faith.

    With the size of the Somaliland electorate unclear, President Egal is expected to claim a landslide victory when the results are announced.


    XINHUA GENERAL SERVICE May 31, 2001

    Somaliland Votes on Independent Status Controversial

    MOGADISHU -- Some people of Somaliland in Somalia have holding different views on voting in a referendum on whether its independent status will be endorsed.

    Somaliland, a former British Protectorate, split from Somalia 10 years ago after the brutal civil war in the country. But its independence has never been recognized by the international community.

    The administration of the referendum includes all the loyalists of Mohamed Hajji Ibrahim Egal, the self-styled president of Somaliland.

    Mohamed Saed, one of the local businessmen, said that they could not call this a referendum, "because no one has ever seen the constitution which the people are now asked to vote for."

    The tribes of Dhulbahanteh and Issa have declared their total opposition to the referendum and the secessionism policy of Egal.

    The two tribes also warned the administration of Egal against any attempt to distribute the ballot boxes in the areas they dominate.

    During the past few weeks, the constitutional referendum has faced serious setbacks and criticisms from its immediate semi- autonomous neighboring region of Puntland and the new interim government of Somalia who both characterized the referendum as "a foreign plot aimed at disintegrating Somalia".

    Voting in Somaliland began morning.

    It was reported that the turn out has been high in Hargeisa and some other places. But there has been tension in the large town of Buro where the casting of the ballots still continued, but with very much uncertainty.


    Agence France Presse, May 30, 2001

    Somalia's interim govt opposes referendum in breakaway state

    MOGADISHU -- Somalia's acting prime minister on rejected a planned referendum in the breakaway republic of Somaliland, saying his country must remain united.

    The referendum, set for , is "a ploy to divide Somalia by the help of unfriendly foreign countries and opportunist individuals," acting Prime Minister Osman Jama Ali said in the Dadka newspaper, the mouthpiece of the Transitional National Government (TNG).

    Ali appealed to the outside world not to recognise the outcome of the referendum in Somaliland, which declared itself independent from the rest of Somalia five months after dictator Mohamed Siad Barre was toppled in January 1991.

    Ten years on, its independence has yet to be recognised by the outside world, but authorities have refused to endorse the TNG since it was founded in Djibouti last year after a lengthy Somali reconciliation conference.

    Dadka (the people) also quoted Ali as saying: "Somalia is united and a renewed division cannot be accepted," adding that the Somali Transitional National Assembly was also apposed to the referendum.

    He urged Somalians to stage demonstrations all over the Horn of Africa country against the plebiscite, which will ask the people of Somaliland whether they approve of secession from the rest of Somalia.

    The neighbouring northeastern regional state of Puntland, which was founded in August 1998, has also rejected the referendum in Somaliland.

    Somaliland enjoyed official independence for four days between the end of British colonial rule and integration with Somalia, a former Italian colony, in 1960.


    Agence France Presse, May 30, 2001

    People of Somalia to vote on independence

    By Bertrand Rosenthal

    HARGEISA -- The people of Somaliland, 10 years after their leaders unilaterally seceded from Somalia, will vote on whether to endorse their internationally unrecognised independent status.

    The referendum is widely opposed internationally, not least by Somalia, whose acting Prime Minister Osman Jama Ali described it as "a ploy to divide Somalia by the help of unfriendly foreign countries and opportunist individuals."

    Ali said in the Dadka newspaper, the mouthpiece of the Transitional National Government (TNG), that his country must remain united.

    He appealed to the outside world not to recognise the outcome of the referendum in Somaliland, which declared itself independent from the rest of Somalia five months after dictator Mohamed Siad Barre was toppled in January 1991.

    Ten years on, its independence has yet to be recognised by the outside world, but Somaliland's authorities have refused to endorse the TNG since it was founded in Djibouti last year after a lengthy Somali reconciliation conference.

    Dadka (the people) also quoted Ali as saying: "Somalia is united, and a renewed division cannot be accepted."

    The Organisation of African Unity (OAU) and the United Nations also oppose the referendum, both organisations declaring that they fully support the TNG, though its control barely extends beyond a few pockets of the capital Mogadishu.

    OAU Secretary General Salim Ahmed Salim told AFP in Addis Ababa last week that the pan-African organisation "cannot support any action that will affect the unity and sovereignty of Somalia."

    The people of Somaliland are unlikely to heed their critics, pointing proudly to the peace that holds in what they describe as their "invisible state".

    While Mogadishu has yet to pull itself out of the chaos wreaked by competing and heavily armed rival factions, Somaliland's capital, Hargeisa, is one of the safest cities on the continent.

    The vice chairman of the national constitutional commission, Abdulkadir Hagi Ismail Jirdeh Abdulkadiq Jirdeh, told AFP that some 1.3 million people of Somaliland were of voting age.

    "We are hoping for a turnout of 60 percent," he said.

    In the absence of electoral lists, authorities wishing to ensure that everyone gets a chance to vote will open 600 polling stations across the territory.

    Voters will be asked to accept or reject a 1997 constitution which enshrines the independence that the rest of the world does not recognise, by casting a "yes" vote in a white ballot box and a "no" vote in a black box.

    Last week, clan and religious leaders gave the "yes" side a major boost by pronouncing that the text of the constitution conformed with Islamic Sharia law and calling on the population, which is almost exclusively Muslim, to endorse it.

    Officially, the international community's refusal to recognise Somaliland is rooted in the principle, espoused by the OAU charter, of the inviolability of colonial borders.

    More pragmatically, "everybody is afraid of a proliferation of mini-states that cannot sustain themselves and whose establishment could lead to a host of border disputes," said one Somalia expert based in Nairobi.

    Even if Somaliland has a good case -- it enjoyed official independence for four days between the end of British colonial rule and integration with Somalia -- recognising its independence would provide a destabilising boost to secessionists in other parts of the continent, such as Angola, Senegal and the Democratic Republic of Congo, analysts say.


    Africa News, May 29, 2001/Source: UN Integrated Regional Information Network

    Egal Says General Elections Will Follow Referendum

    President Muhammad Ibrahim Egal of the self-declared state of Somaliland said that once the referendum to approved the new constitution is over, the administration will proceed with general elections.

    The referendum is due to be held on 31 May, and includes confirmation of Somaliland's unilateral declaration of independence.

    In an interview published by IRIN on , Egal said the holding of the general elections would "inaugurate the multiparty system". He said Somaliland would "borrow from the Nigerian system" by restricting qualifying parties to "any organisation that wins at least 20 percent of the vote in at least four of the six regions in the country".

    Parties that qualified under these conditions would then stand in general elections for parliament "towards the end of 2001." Egal said presidential elections would be held in 2002.

    In the interview Egal told IRIN that he had been elected in 1993 because he had been seen "as a friend of western governments" and the most likely to get Somaliland international recognition. He admitted there were many people who liked "to construe that (absence of recognition) as a failure on my part", but that Somaliland's dilemma was "enmeshed with the quagmire next to us (in the south)".

    (For full interview see www.reliefweb.int/IRIN/webspecials/somalijustice/index.phtml )


    Africa News, May 29, 2001 /Source: UN Integrated Regional Information Network

    Somalia's TNA Says Referendum "Illegal"

    The Transitional National Assembly (TNA) of the Transitional National Government (TNG) of Somalia, on called on the president of the self-declared independent state of Somaliland in northwestern Somalia, Muhammad Ibrahim Egal, not to hold the referendum scheduled for 31 May. The TNA, set up in the Djibouti-hosted Somali peace conference last year, which was boycotted by Somaliland, is also calling on Somalis worldwide to demonstrate against the referendum.

    The referendum will ask the people of Somaliland to approve a new constitution, which includes confirmation of Somaliland's independence. Somaliland declared itself independent in May 1991, but has never received international recognition.

    Maryam Arif Qasim, a member of the TNA, told IRIN that the TNA had set up a nine-member committee to "study how best to approach" the issue of the referendum. Speaking on behalf of the committee, she described the referendum as a "foreign inspired conspiracy" being carried out with the help of their Somali collaborators. According to Arif, the Egal administration did not have the legal right to hold such a referendum. "It is contrary to the union constitution of 1960, which is still in effect," she said. It was also contrary to international law. "Only an internationally recognised country can hold a referendum, not a region," she added.

    Arif said that the committee had called upon Somalis worldwide not to "support this so-called referendum meant to dismember Somalia". She said that on 31 May Somalis should "go out and demonstrate to show their opposition". The committee was also asking the international community not to support a referendum meant to create mini-states, "particularly in this time of globalisation", she added.

    The referendum is also opposed by the self-declared autonomous region of Puntland in northeastern Somalia, which described it as "unwise and provocative" and likely to lead to violence, in a press statement on 26 April. However, Somaliland Information Minister Muhammad Ali Waran'ade told journalists at a press conference in Hargeysa on 28 April that the referendum would go ahead as planned, the BBC said.


    Africa News, May 29, 2001 /Source: UN Integrated Regional Information Network

    Puntland Says No Referendum in Sool And Sanaag

    There will be no referendum in Sool and Sanag according to the administration of the self-declared autonomous region of Puntland, northeastern Somalia.

    Puntland Commerce and Industry Minister Ahmad Abdi Habsade told IRIN that the referendum planned by the self-declared independent state of Somaliland, northwestern Somalia, would not go ahead in Sool and Sanaag - regions which geographically fall within the borders of Somaliland, but where the majority of the clans inhabiting them are associated with Puntland.

    Habsande said that Puntland believed people did not want the referendum, and said his administration would "support the wishes of the people". Habsade said the people of Sool and Sanaag were Harti, a Darod sub-clan, and "therefore are part of Puntland, and... do not want to be a part of the so-called Somaliland". He said Puntland would defend itself if necessary.

    The referendum, which is to take place in Somaliland on 31 May, will ask people of the region to approve a new constitution, which includes confirmation of Somaliland's unilateral declaration of independence. Somaliland declared itself independent in may 1991, based on the borders of the former British protectorate - but has never received international recognition.

    A Puntland press statement on 26 April described the referendum as "unwise and provocative". However, Somaliland Information Minister Muhammad Ali Waran'ade told journalists at a press conference in Hargeysa on 28 April that the referendum would go ahead as planned, and that the disputed regions were part and parcel of Somaliland, the BBC said.


    Africa News, May 28, 2001/Source: UN Integrated Regional Information Network

    IRIN Interview With Muhammad Ibrahim Egal, President of Somaliland

    Somalis in the self-declared state of Somaliland, northwestern Somalia, will be asked on 31 May to vote on a new constitution which includes an article on territorial independence. Somaliland independence was unilaterally declared in May 1991, but has never received international recognition. The declaration followed the collapse of Muhammad Siyad Barre's military dictatorship, which had pursued brutal policies in the north during the civil war of the 1980s. During a recent visit to the capital, Hargeysa, IRIN spoke to Somaliland President Muhammad Ibrahim Egal about independence, and the issue of past atrocities. A number of sites discovered in 1997 were identified by an international forensic team as having characteristics of mass graves, but no further investigation followed.
    (Link to the IRIN WebSpecial 'A Decent Burial: Somalis yearn for justice' www.reliefweb.int/IRIN/webspecials/somalijustice/index.phtmlfor more on the humanitarian consequences of impunity and human rights issues regarding Somali reconciliation. The WebSpecial includes personal accounts of survivors and witnesses, interviews with political players, and a resource section on UN and human rights material.)
    Q: Is the referendum seen as a vote on independence?
    A: Yes, the first article of the constitution establishes the independence and the sovereign status of the country, its borders and all. Once you have accepted that constitution, you have accepted Somaliland. So, indirectly, yes, it is also a referendum on the separation of the country and the renewal of (Somaliland's independent) status.

    We don't have resources, but we can give any observers transport and local accommodation while they are here - but they will have to get funding from their own government... We would like it to be a proper affair... It will be a very major undertaking, and we are trying to accumulate the resources for it. It is going to cost us about a billion and a half shillings, which is about a million dollars.

    Once that referendum is over, and the constitution is approved, then the rest is a matter of routine - holding the general elections for local government. That will also inaugurate the multiparty system. We are authorising the registration of political organisations, not political parties, then we are holding elections for local government. We will borrow from the Nigeria experience: any organisation that wins at least 20 percent of the vote in at least four of the six regions in the country can qualify as a national political party. These will be the parties that will stand in the general elections for parliament towards the end of 2001. Then, in 2002 there will be the presidential elections.
    Q: In terms of you standing again - Hargeysa is booming, there is stability and a free press, but still no international recognition. Does that constitute a success or a failure?
    A: Originally, when I was elected in Borama (in 1993), one of the main reasons I was so unanimously elected and the whole country approved of my election, was the fact there was a sense that this man is a friend of the western governments and he is much more likely than anyone else to get recognition from them. That was an idea that has proven to be false. There are many people who like to construe that as a failure on my part. But I think the vast majority of the people don't attribute it to me as a failure; rather each will give their own reason as to why there is this reluctance to recognise Somaliland. It is enmeshed with the quagmire next to us (in the south). I think the vast majority of people in Somaliland still think I am the most likely man to put Somalia back on the road.

    Q: Do you think it is important to investigate mass graves discovered in Somaliland now?
    A: Yes, but... the international community is ambivalent over the affairs of Somaliland. When these graves were discovered, the facts of what happened to the people of Somaliland were well known - there was an attempted genocide... (yet) the international community has been somewhat reluctant to follow it up. It appears the discovery of the graves was somewhat embarrassing to the international community. I never understood why... Two forensic experts visited the mass graves and testified that atrocities had taken place in the area, and that these mass graves contained people who were summarily executed. From their report, a major investigation should have taken place to establish what happened, why it happened and who did it - not individuals, but to establish facts and figures.

    But the international community, the United Nations, have flatly refused to provide funds for that investigation... I began to analyse, why this reluctance? Are they protecting Muhammad Siyad Barre? Well, there is no reason - Muhammad Siyad Barre is dead... I have now come to the conclusion that when this genocide was being executed here in Hargeysa and all over Somaliland, the international community watched with apathy. Nobody moved a finger to even object or condemn, let alone stop it. So, I think it is a sort of guilty conscience. If these things are investigated... indirectly the guilt of those who stood by and watched will be revealed too.
    Q: The point of justice is to lead to reconciliation. Is that the aim?
    A: We would have to start with the admission of error. The people of the south think we are telling a tall tale. They have no guilt about it. The people who were piloting the planes were taking off from Hargeysa airstrip and bombing Hargeysa, and Burao, and Berbera. They don't think they were doing anything wrong... The closest they come to an admission of error is when they say they were following orders... The whole population in the (former Italian-ruled) south, regard (British-ruled) Somaliland as a bonus that was given to them in 1960 with their independence. They don't regard it as an equal partner. That's why the unification of the Somali people has failed, because of that superior attitude of "we are the Somali nation - you are just splinter groups that are coming back home after the imperialist took you away for a period of time". But the history of the Somali people is (that) they have never had a central authority. We were independent tribes and we lived together in equality. We fought over water and over grazing now and then, but nobody ruled over anybody else.
    Q: If an investigation goes ahead, how would it affect the status of existing administrations and the Transitional National Government (TNG, established in Mogadishu October 2000 following Djibouti-hosted peace talks - which were boycotted by Egal's administration)?
    A: It depends on the investigation. I don't think an investigation would pinpoint any individuals. It might reveal the dates - for example, that people in a particular mass grave were killed (in) approximately June 1982, or 1985... Then the inference would be whoever was in charge at that time (was responsible). There would never really be an accusation of an individual - and we don't want to do that, anyway. We would like the world to know what has been done to us... That's what we want to establish.

    We don't want to take anyone to court from any administration. And (the Somali interim president,) Abdiqassim (Salad Hassan,) and people like that will always point the finger at Muhammad Siyad Barre, who is now dead and gone... But it will establish for us an end, and end of this tragedy. We will have proven it, established it, shown it to the world, and we can then bury our bones, and move on.
    Q: How would you handle the Somalilanders involved in that system?
    A: ... There were those who were members, who held portfolios, but I don't think they were in the know about what was happening here in Hargeysa, or about the instructions that the army and the special unit had. They (Siyad regime) copied the (Nazi German secret police) Gestapo, and established the NSS (National Security Service) - the instruments of oppression. The nearest Somalilanders who are here - for example, a few people from the Gadabursi (clan) and other people - were never really in the know. They were kept outside. Like our vice-president, who was a member of the intelligence group (NSS).

    ... There were many Somalilanders who were loyal to Siyad Barre, who worked with him - but I don't think they (were) confidants in terms of what was happening in the north. As far as we are concerned... what happened has happened. We are not going to take anyone to task... We have opened a new page and we are going to move on from there.
    Q: Some witnesses and survivors in Somaliland say they are nervous to talk about what happened because of those involved here. They say there was an official pardon to Somalilanders in the early 1990s, and that makes them worried to reveal all they know.
    A: ... It is true that in the meeting in Burao in 1991 an assembly consisting of all the clans of Somaliland had been brought together by the SNM (Somali National Movement). One of the first resolutions they passed is that everything is forgiven and forgotten. And it was the right thing to do, because at that time there were fingers being pointed at certain clans. If that had continued, the unity of Somaliland would have been completely undermined. So one of the first resolutions was that we were starting on a clean page, we are all brothers.

    But there are some troublemakers. For example, when these graves were discovered - when very, very heavy rains revealed shallow graves - I went there. The whole of Hargeysa went there to look. I made a speech there. Some politicians - some of the former colonels of the SNM and all that - made capital of that and said: "What is going to be done about this? How are we going to avenge these people?". And for a moment the atmosphere was very tense. I took the microphone and said to them: So whom are you going to wreak vengeance on? The people who informed upon them? The people who are standing here and sold them for a bundle of qat (catha edulis, a mildly narcotic shrub)? Or the people who pulled the trigger? Who is the guilty one? There was a hullabaloo... But I think among the people here in Somaliland there is a conspicuous lack of bitterness. Once the thing is established and it is recognised that we have been wronged, I don't think anybody will look for revenge.
    Q: From your point of view, is this a good time to investigate, when you have a referendum and elections coming?
    A: I think when the elections come there will be some irresponsible politicians who try to make capital (of the issue)... to build up a case for these martyrs, as they call them. But as far as we are concerned we will not let it become a political issue.


    Furor rages over a statesman's Arrest

    BBC Monitoring Service - May 26 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 26 May 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    Police vans lying in wait at Hargeisa's International Airport whisk off Suleiman Mohamoud Adan, returning from a family visit to the United Kingdom, to the notorious Mandhera Prison, seventy kilometres to the East of the Capital. That happened on Tuesday afternoon last week.

    Suleiman was bundled off minutes after disembarkation right there and then. He was not even accorded bare minimal formalities that, perhaps, would have allowed a figure of Suleiman's social standing in another country, enough time to reach home, and, at least, shower off the grime of a long journey. He was not taken to Hargeisa's Central Prison or Police Stations, but escorted under heavy guard to one of the former dictator's most notorious, maximum-security prisons. This Prison-Mandhera, by itself alone, smacks of political oppression since it was previously used to chiefly detain people deemed a threat to reining regimes, away from political eminence.

    These actions were further exacerbated by the minister of interior's "Press Release" later in the evening which only added to the shock waves, outrage and incredulity among people from all walks of life, both from within and without who started a serious discussion of the true motives behind the government's move.

    It is not an easy matter to assess which of the two May 22nd events-Suleiman's arrest and the government's 'attempted' justification of the event, angered the perplexed and largely offended public more. The fact, however, remains that the Minister of Interior, Ahmed Jambir Suldan's press release dissipated a lingering hope in people's minds that ascribed the statesman's arrest to a 'bureaucratic error'.

    Each of the five paragraphs on which the minister's release was built carried a message on its own. For instance:

    1."The Police arrested Suleiman Mohamoud Adan on the afternoon of May 22 upon his return from abroad."

    2."Suleiman was taken into custody due to meetings he held with the President of Djibouti, Isma'il Omer Ghelleh, and other Arta faction members like Hussein Salah."

    3."At the meeting between Suleiman and those men, they agreed to, together, Subvert the due course of Somaliland's Constitution Referendum and to, simultaneously, create upheavals and destabilise in country."

    4. "Documents and lists of names that include (Somaliland's) houses of Parliament and others that are here who are believed to be his accomplices were found on Suleiman."

    5. "On him (or is it personal effects?) Were, also, discovered assorted currencies that included dollars (US), the sterling pound (UK), Djibouti franc and Yemeni Rials? Criminal investigation department operatives are presently, investigating the matter and Suleiman would be taken to court as soon as possible."

    The Minister's statement, above, portrayed a picture that had nothing in common with the Suleiman who so nearly defeated President Egal in a presidential election four years ago. If Suleiman had beaten the president to the finishing line, then, or if the two switched shoes right now, supporters contend, Egal would not have been a victim of a similar infamy or to an undignified, under-handed treatment as that which met him [suleiman] head-on at the Airport here.

    The fact that the incumbent administration decided to rock public confidence and dropped its tolerance at a time Somaliland's future looks so much the brighter, its sovereignty and international recognition so much nearer, and its reputation in the eyes of the international community growing to new heights, is, if anything, more devastating than all the onslaughts and malign of Somaliland's foes combined.

    That the government did never declare meeting with Djibouti's president a criminal act on the proportions of 'High Treason' is another fact. A communiqu, the three topmost clan leaders of Burao-East sent the President, demanding Suleiman's release, appears to have incensed him more rather than sober him to the gravity of the matter. The Sultans Abdullahi Sultan Ali, Mohamoud Gulaid and (Boqor) Mohamoud Ali Arab said they only hold President Egal accountable for the arbitrary detention of Suleiman. They did not mince words on what they thought of the act, calling it, for example:

    a) Unconstitutional as it is based on unsubstantiated, trumped up charges;

    b) Politically motivated and spurred on by personal gains;

    c) A conspiratorial act intended to pit the clan (Burao-East) against their other brothers in Somaliland (other clans);

    d)A malicious, deeper-rooted malign aimed at a citizen to divest him of his constitutional rights and dignity. The three luminaries called on the immediate release of the detained statesman or lest.. accept the consequences!

    Again, thirty-two Parliamentarians were not any kinder or tolerant of the government action calling it an act that can easily "Jeopardize the stability and unity" of Somaliland, especially at this particular moment when Somalilanders where about to go to the polls on which Somaliland's very existence hinged.

    The Parliamentarians asked their House Speaker to call back the House from recess if the government fails to release the jailed politician immediately.

    The Deputy House Speaker, Abdulkader Haji Isma'il, who is also the Deputy Chairman of Somaliland's Commission for the Constitution Referendum, distanced himself from Suleiman's arrest by declaring that "the incarceration of Suleiman has nothing to do with the Referendum or its Commission." Pointing to the Minister of Interior, the Chairman of the SCCR, sitting nearby, he emphasized that "he (the Minister) alone is to be held responsible" for the arrest as opposed to a possible implication of the whole commission.

    Calls The Republican received from members of Somaliland societies and organizations in Europe who are currently in the midst of lobbying for Somaliland's diplomatic recognition abroad and canvassing for monetary contributions to the Referendum, expressed their dismay and utter incredulity at the government's untimely actions, using terms such as "counter-productive", "destructive" and a "repudiation of all their efforts." One particular caller from the Somaliland UK society told the paper the government's precipitate action threw them into momentary confusion and disarray. If not reassured by this paper, the caller said, all their plans, loyalty to the motherland and ardent advocacy of its rights would have flown out to God knows where. He told The Republican that, for example, they planned to hold a vigil in front of 10 Downing Street, the British Prime Minister's office throughout 31st May, voting day to pull international eyes towards Somaliland's cause.

    On the other hand, President Egal, in a reply addressed to Sultan Abdillahi, Sultan Gulaid and Sultan (Boqor) Mohamoud Arab's faxed letter, earlier, couched it in phrases and words that were unbecoming of a president. In fact, calling the Sultans' assertion of Suleiman's innocence both "primitive" and "idiotic" was downright vindictive of the president. The President did not, however, corroborate the Minister of Interior's detailed accusations but veered in other more far-reaching, far more alienating directions saying that: "Suleiman's intended treachery against Somaliland is much more devastating than those Tuur (Ex-president Abdirahman Ahmed Ali) and Jama Yareh (ex- General Jama Mohamed Qalib and a one time Somaliland member of Parliament) perpetrated against it".

    The President, also, accused Suleiman of meeting "the man whose cigarettes we burned" (meaning Abdirahman Borreh of Djibouti whom the president himself closeted with prior to the cigarettes tycoon's departure for Djibouti) in Yemen where, the president accused, Suleiman told Borreh to bring his cigarettes to Yiroweh (on the suburbs of Burao-Suleiman's hometown), where they will be distributed nationwide without, ostensibly, either government taxation or interference.

    Suleiman, though, might have already been moved again this time back to Hargeisa Central Prison, if last night's heavy guard details and tightened security around the prison are indicative of any thing.


    Stars favour school youth and Children at long last!

    BBC Monitoring Service - May 26 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 26 May 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    At least that is what almost all the participants of Friday morning's non-formal education workshop at the curriculum centre here agreed upon. That the turnout of participants was so encouraging at an early hour on a day that is traditionally set aside for prayers among Islamic cultures all over the world was, by itself, indicative of both the calibre of the educationists' and the genuine concern of all involved regarding the need for alternative channels of education to existing formal education facilities.

    As Mengistu Edo, a brilliant education specialist currently working for the SC-US Federation put it during his introductory, pace-through presentation at the beginning of Friday's session: Non-formal education only strengthened and complemented existing formal education facilities, because it provided alternative venues to children who could not find a place in the other.

    "NFE is neither a luxury nor an optional route but a necessity that can extend a new lease in life for the greater majority of children in Somaliland," the specialist told participants. . Edo took participants on a tour through the background, purposes and objectives of the NFE study report. He, also, at the end of his presentation, outlined salient points that necessitated the holding of the workshop. "We invite you- and would most humbly appreciate your comments and notes that would surely refine and improve content, add to, subtract or elaborate on findings outlined in the report of the NFE survey Hassan led in the hope that you will, at the end, come up with a strategy that the Somaliland ministry of education would use in the provision, facilitation and/or implementation of NFE in country," .Edo concluded.

    Earlier, the Director-General of the Ministry of Education, Hussein Elmi, a long-standing veteran educationist and administrator spoke of the viability of an initiative like the one in hand. He emphasized the fact that nearly 80% of youth and children in Somaliland are currently deprived of even the most basic of functional education due to the inherent inadequacies in the afore-planned, relatively rigid nature of formal schooling facilities and policies. "The only hope for the greater majority of our kids lies in finding them other routes to deliver them at class-room benches," the Director-General said at one point during his opening remarks.

    The Director-General was also full of praise and appreciation to the efforts of SCF-US which sponsored the study in partnership with the ministry [of education], the consultant who was assisted by another MoE seasoned officer, and all those who contributed to the successful completion of a colossal work that did not miss much-if anything-of major areas crucial to the implementation of a non-formal education strategy.

    The DG concluded his brief colloquy with the hope that participants would be rewarded with success in helping the NFE initiative further along the road towards a speedy implementation of project.

    Safiya Jibril Younis, the SCF-US Hargeisa office's Education Officer, spoke of the methodology and planned strategy the consultant and the whole education team evolved to arrive at objectives and targeted goals of survey.

    In fact, the two SCF-US educationists were preparing the ground for Hassan M. Jama (Heiss) who largely designed, and drew up the questionnaires and their resultant data in the report whose findings, conclusions and recommendations were to be discussed. This discussion was expected to add to and strengthen what the survey findings indicated. . Hassan got the workshop started by highlighting main areas upon which the report dwelled. These included respondents' profiles, program components, involvement figures, the status of teaching staff, sources of initial and operational costs at NFE learning centres, parental attitudes towards the schooling of children and a number of others.

    With that the workshop came to an end for the day. It will resume today and continue on till tomorrow afternoon, when it will be hopefully concluded successfully.


    The SNM Executive committee calls Egal's arrest of Suleiman 'A chip off an iceberg'

    BBC Monitoring Service - May 26 2001

    Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 26 May 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    The Republican Newspaper on 26 May 2001

    The Somali National Movement (SNM) is gravely concerned about the summary arrest and detention of Suleiman Mohamoud Adan, who was snatched from Hargeisa airport on the 22nd of May. It is our firm conviction that . Adam's imprisonment and the copycat arrests of Yusuf M. Ali (Arrested on the 24th of May, (but later on released), . Jama Ismail (Shabel) and Bo'ood Gahnoug both arrested on the 25th, who all belong to the Somali National Movement, constitute a purge against the SNM and other prominent people democratically opposed to Egal's government. It is a premeditated - and a sinister - it is a premeditated and a move to eliminate the opposition in a Gestapo-like style.

    Suleiman Adan is held incommunicado even to his immediate family members. It is a direct violation of the fundamental human rights and basic freedoms of Suleiman and the others, as it is unlawful and unconstitutional. Egal is pursuing a very totalitarian policy, antagonistic to the democratic principles on which Somaliland was founded.

    It is apparent that Egal took the law into his hands as proven by his unstatesman-like reply to the traditional Sultans of Burao-east community on the 25th of May.

    It is widely believed that Egal has laid and executed a very dangerous plan to weed out all opposition and use the state machinery to implant terror into the hearts of the people and institute himself as the sole ruler of Somaliland; thus undermining democratic institutions of this state.

    The Somali National Movement calls on the Somaliland people to preserve their stability, democratic rights and freedoms. We reiterate that the SNM stands for the independence and sovereignty of the Republic of Somaliland. The SNM demands the immediate release of Suleiman, Jama and Bo'ood urging the government to refrain from any further arrests and summary detentions. A breakdown of the law and order of this country and its stability would be the logical consequence of his ill- thought-of actions; if so was not his intention in the first place.

    Any such violations shall always remain unacceptable to the SNM and the people of Somaliland.


    BBC Monitoring Service - May 26 2000/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 26 May 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    Mass Communication, past and present

    A. A. Shunuf

    Lately there have been celebrations all around the world about the freedom of the press. The General Secretary of the U.N, participated in one such meetings. Even the Somaliland constitution, in which the public is expected to vote Yes or No at the end of this month (May 31) makes a cardinal rule about the sanctity of the freedom of the press.

    Yet, no one knows the philosophy behind mass communication. In this article, I want to highlight two divergent theories about the Freedom of the press.

    1.The Authoritarian Theory.

    In the oldest and most persistent concept of mass communication, the "establishment"- state, church the intellectual elite, and the wealthy-controls all media information. In earlier times control was vested in the Catholic Church, the protestant church, the Medici the Tutors or some similar authority.

    Today in many countries of the world, religion has been suppressed, royalty has been overthrown, the intellectual and artistic elite has been stripped of power, and no one can be called "wealthy." But the prevailing "establishment," no matter what it is, still controls the press.

    As Wilbur Schumann, in his book responsibility in mass communication, puts it, "In many parts of the world [authoritarianism] continues today, even though it might be disguised in democratic verbiage and in protestation of press freedom- wherever a government operates in an authoritarian fashion, there you may expect to find some authoritarian controls over public communication."

    Although [Schumann] does not specifically say so, the persistence of authoritarianism in mass communication shows that it is not tied to any particular religion, form of government, or economic system: authoritarianism flourishes wherever those who control communications lack faith in the ability of man to govern him.

    Such people, whether official censors in a totalitarian state or news editors in a democracy, make editorial judgments to serve a predetermined end. Having access to information and having decided how it ought to be interpreted, the authoritarian then selects, arranges, exaggerates, plays down, and/or slants it for the public. In many instances the authoritarian journalist is naively unaware of his modus operandi and justifies his editorial decisions as being "In public interest."

    2.the libertarian theory.

    As [Schumann] describes it, the libertarian theory of the press is the inevitable by-product of seventeenth and eighteenth-Century rationalism. As the ancient idea of the divine right of Kings gave way to the social central theory of government, more and more dependence was placed on the ability of man, as a rational animal, to make wise decisions concerning his own governance. Central to the exercise of good judgment, however, was the availability of relevant information. A free press, free speech, and an active "market place of ideas" were deemed essential to democratic government.

    John Locke, the European Philosopher at the end of the seventeenth Century and Thomas Paine, Jefferson and other American thinkers, a hundred years later, all emphasized the importance of a free and vigorous press. "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, wrote Jefferson in 1816, "..........it expects what never was and never will be."

    Except for defamation, obscenity, or wartime sedition, the Libertarian demands that no information be suppressed or censored for what ever exalted motives.

    John Stuart Mill, the great British thinker gave four sound reasons against censorship of opinion, which the libertarian theory applies also to information: "First, if we silence an opinion, for all we know we may be silencing the truth. Second, even a wrong opinion may contain the grain of truth that helps us find the whole truth. Third, even if the commonly held opinion is the whole truth, that opinion will not be held on rational surrounds until it has been tested and defended. Fourth, unless a commonly held opinion is challenged from time to time it loses its vitality and its effect."

    It is safe to say in Somaliland, the libertarian theory of the press predominates. How long will that last, no one is certain. But thanks to a vigilant press, and a well-informed public that won't take no for an answer!

    Next tissue, we will discuss the old communist theory of the press and the social responsibility theory. We will conclude with a 1969 UNESCO publication that outlines an international code of journalistic ethics combining the libertarian and social responsibility theories.


    BBC Monitoring Service - May 26 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 26 May 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    EDITOR'S NOTEPAD: Reading political winds wrong

    A raging controversy has already shrouded a number of moves the government made within the past seven days. An unprecedented chain reaction started after Suleiman Mohamoud Aadan, a statesman of enviable stature and the closest runner-up candidate to the incumbent President, Mohamed Ibrahim Egal, in the February Presidential elections of 1997, was arrested at Hargeisa airport on Tuesday, may 22. . Suleiman, seen as a staunch pillar of the Somali National Movement and the Somaliland cause it successfully fought for and promoted for nearly two decades now, was hustled into a police van right after disembarking from an Ethiopian Airline plane that brought him home at the end of a personal visit he made to the United Kingdom where his wife Anita Suleiman (British, too) and their children live.

    Suleiman is venerated by SNM veterans, for whom he served as their secretary for foreign affairs during that movement's long, bloody struggle for emancipation from the oppressive, heavy-handed regime of the Siyaad Barreh dictatorship that they caused its undignified flight in January, 1991.

    He is, also, remembered for his outspoken views regarding the Barreh regime's inimical policies against what was then the northern Somali region. Suleiman served as an education deputy minister for a number of years under that military administration before he denounced it for the popularly supported fighting ranks of the SNM. He assumed several ministerial portfolios under both Abdirahman Ahmed Ali's first government formed after the May 18, 1991, Burao conference reaffirmation of Somaliland's sovereignty and President Egal's administrations since 1993 following resolutions reached at the second all-Somaliland communities conference of Borama.

    Suleiman Mohamoud Aadan is neither the first dignitary to be detained nor the only one ensnared by this administrations ever-changing political philosophies. One may, then, be excusably humoured if he/she poses the question: "Why all this fuss is being made of this particular arrest?" What common factors do cultural leaders, parliamentarians, SNM war veterans and the ordinary citizen on the streets have since all of these sections in society have already made their displeasure on such matter known to all and Sundry?

    What is amiss, on another level, with the government's proffered explanations to the public? And, since the voices of Somaliland's expatriate communities have begun to make themselves known (since the night before last), too, would the president heed, correctly gauge or sagaciously read what this public outrage is signalling him "not to do'? Are they all wrong? Or rather compound the problem?

    The president, Mohamed Ibrahim Egal, remains one of a rare breed of African politicians that led this continent before and after 1960 at which time a good number of countries gained independence. I believe, however, that on this incident rests both Somaliland's future and the President's credibility and political helmsmanship...and how he would write himself into posterity and the annals of history!


    BBC Monitoring Service - May 26 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 26 May 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    Ali Khalif and True Knowledge

    By Suleiman Mohamoud, Sweden

    The classical ulama of Islam divided ignorance into two parts; namely; simple (basiit) ignorance and complex (murakab) ignorance. In simple ignorance one knows that one does not know whereas in complex ignorance one does not know that one does not know. Often people who do not have book knowledge, i.e., those who did not have the chance to study at universities are characterized by simple ignorance. This type of ignorance is not as deadly as complex ignorance since one does not have the arrogance and the pride that often accompanies the thought of considering oneself 'educated'.

    Subjectively, the dangerous nature of complex ignorance arises from the fact that one's perspective and outlook maybe permeated with false knowledge; hence, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to free one self from complex ignorance since one thinks that one is already 'educated'.

    Objectively, -since others may think that one is 'knowledgeable'- one may easily dupe others. The Somalis are, by and large, an easy prey for 'educated' people. It is in the culture of the Somalis to have an awe of anyone who seems to be 'educated'. The root of this awe is healthy because it reflects respect for knowledge which is derived from our religion. However, the knowledge which our religion enjoins us to seek is not the type of knowledge we see all around us. In fact, the type of knowledge we study in schools and universities today is an obstacle to true knowledge. It has been termed by some as 'false knowledge'. At best, it equips one with the means to make a living; and even this much it cannot guarantee. On the other hand, the type of knowledge which Islam values highly is a knowledge that transforms the person. It is a knowledge that makes one understand why one is here and what one is supposed to do with one's life; which from the point of view of ultimate reality is very short. It is a knowledge that makes one's vocation to seek to realize one's reason for being; namely to become the 'vicegerent' of Allah (swt) on earth. One of the signs of one who is endowed with this knowledge is that one is truthful and sincere; therefore one is not interested in positions, titles and what others may think of one.

    Let me hurry and say that Islam does not neglect 'worldly' knowledge. It only puts everything in its proper position. It enjoins us to discriminate between right and wrong and between the important and the less important. For example, all the horrors that had befallen Somalia in the recent past are a manifestation of the fact that the Somalis had neglected the attainment of true knowledge. The very vocal, self-styled and half-baked 'wadaads' had handed to the masses a truncated version of Islam in the form of 'Wahaabiya', 'Islaax', 'Itixaad', etc. These and many other groups are offshoots or variants of 'Salafiya' and are characterized by shallowness, intolerance and ugliness of character. Above all, they are anti traditional Islam. Somaliland is relatively free of these people, but they are wreaking havoc in Somalia and their tyranny is only beginning. Somalilanders should be cognizant of this fact; otherwise we will fall again and again into the pit we are trying to extricate ourselves from.

    After this brief digression let us come back to Ali [. Gallaydh, Prime Minister of the Arta Faction] and true knowledge. The above considerations regarding true knowledge came to my mind while reading the interview he gave IRIN on May 14, 2001. It is clear that Ali Khalif is a loyal creature of the dominant educational system, where out-right lies and cleverness are OK as long as one is not caught. It is also obvious that Ali does not know the implications of his words.

    Let us look at few examples:

    Regarding Somaliland he said, 'the territory (Somaliland) is not homogenous'

    Now according to Ali Khalif the criteria for statehood is homogeneity. This is the question: if Somaliland rejoins Somalia will Somalia become more homogeneous? Won't that make Somalia even more heterogeneous? Somaliland is relatively more homogeneous now, so Ali Khalif should (according to his logic) support Somaliland's independence. Not only that, he should also urge others like the RRA and Puntland to go their way.

    On the referendum he said that people (the government) might resort to stuffing ballot boxes.

    Clearly, it is Ali's mind which is stuffed since he had decided BEFOREHAND what would happen. Nothing will change his mind regarding the referendum and therefore what he says or thinks should not be given any credence. As the Somalis would say 'waa hal bacaad lagu lisay'.

    On the independence of Somaliland, he said, 'I don't believe there will be a majority vote on independence. I think the majority of people there are vehemently against this so-called secession'.

    This is simply not true. All indications refute this. Everyone knows the truth of this matter.

    There is an Arab proverb that says, 'you cannot hide the sun with your finger'..


    Africa News, May 25, 2001/Source: UN Integrated Regional Information Network

    Sulayman Gaal Arrested for "Undermining" Somaliland

    Security personnel from the administration of the self-declared independent state of Somaliland, northwestern Somalia, have arrested Sulayman Mahmud Adan - known as Sulayman Gaal - on criminal and political charges. Somaliland Interior Minister Ahmad Jambir Sultan told Reutersnews agency that Sulayman Gaal was "undermining Somaliland" by holding a meeting in Djibouti with President Ismail Omar Guelleh. The interior minister said Gaal had also met in Djibouti with a representative of the Mogadishu-based Transitional National Government (TNG).

    "We have seized documents that are incriminating, and a list of people, which include MPs and other personalities... who are believed to be conspirators to the sabotage," Ahmad Jambir told Reuters.

    Sulayman Gaal was arrested at Hargeysa airport on arrival from Britain, and was taken to the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) headquarters in Hargeysa, 'Jamhuriya', a local daily said.

    Sulayman Gaal held senior posts in the former government, before joining the northern-based Somali National Movement (SNM). He was among the SNM leaders who declared the unilateral independence of Somaliland in May 1991. Sulayman served as a senior cabinet official in Somaliland, and in the 1997 presidential elections came second to President Muhammad Ibrahim Egal, political sources said. Gaal had been transferred from Hargeysa to Mandhera prison, 70 km north of Hargeysa, the source said.


    Africa News, May 25, 2001/Source: UN Integrated Regional Information Network

    Somaliland Denies Capture of Foreign Minister By Puntland

    The Somaliland administration has denied that its foreign minister, Abdihamid Garad Jamma, is being held by Puntland security forces.

    The Puntland president's office said in a statement on that Puntland frontier forces had captured the Somaliland minister and ballot boxes allocated "for Sool and the district of Buhoodle in the so-called Somaliland referendum".

    The press secretary to the president of Somaliland, Abdi Idris Du'ale, told IRIN that the Puntland statement was "baseless" and that the minister was in Las Anod "safe and sound, carrying on with his duties".

    According to the official Puntland statement, those seized on morning included the minister, his entourage, and "a foreign lady".


    Agence France Presse, May 25, 2001

    Prominent politician arrested in Somaliland

    NAIROBI -- A prominent Somali politician has been arrested and detained in the Somaliland capital Hargeisa for meeting recently with Djiboutian President Ismail Omar Guelleh, his relatives said on Friday.

    Suleiman Mohamed Aden, a former minister in the government of president Mohamed Siad Barre ousted in 1991, was arrested three days ago after he returned from Britain, the relatives said.

    Somaliland accuses Djibouti of "destablising" Somaliland's independence.

    According to an official at the Interior Ministry of Somaliland, Aden met Guelleh in Djibouti before travelling to London.

    The ministry official, who declined to be named, further claimed to have received documents linking Aden to "crime against the nation of Somaliland."

    Somaliland elders have demanded his immediate release, prompting a top Somaliland official to say that he might be released and forgiven, because of his "historic contribution to the formation of Somaliland five months after Barre was overthrown."

    Aden was a candidate for the presidency in 1997, which was won by Mohamed Ibrahim Egal, the current Somaliland president.

    The breakaway state in norwest Somalia, which celebrated its 10th anniversary of self-rule on May 18, has yet to be recognised by the international community.

    Somaliland's voters go to the poll on May 31 to vote in referendum, which will approve or reject a provisional constitution adpoted in early 1997 by clan leaders, whose first article proclaims independence.

    The United Nations has been pressuring it to abandon its separatist ambitions and join a Transitional National Government (TNG) set up in Mogadishu last year after months of negotiations at a Somali peace conference in neighbouring Djibouti.


    Agence France Presse, May 24, 2001

    Peace but not prosperity for self-proclaimed Somaliland

    By Emmanuel Giroud

    BERBERA -- Berbera appeared to be set to enjoy a bright future as the main port of Somaliland not long ago, but has now been virtually abandoned in a country shunned by the international community and hit by a Gulf embargo on livestock exports.

    Somaliland, which took its name from the former British protectorate, unilaterally declared independence in 1991, and from 1995, after militias were disarmed, has become one of the most peaceful countries in Africa.

    But the new entity has never secured international recognition, depriving it of foreign aid.

    Situated close to the mouth of the Red Sea, in the Gulf of Aden Berbera is a scene of desolation, with its docks empty except for a ship discharging its cargo of European Union food aid destined for neighbouring Ethiopia.

    The dockers, waiting in the shade of the port's only crane, have no other ship to attend.

    In the ramshackle office of the director of the port, one of the few sectors of the economy not to have been privatised, records of port traffic show zero exports since October 2000.

    Two successive embargos, in February 1998 and then since September 2000 dealt a heavy blow to the whole country. They were imposed by Saudi Arabia and the Gulf emirates on the import of live animals to prevent the spread of Rift Valley Fever.

    Saudi Arabia used to take 90 percent of the sheep, goats and camels exported by Somaliland, responsible for virtually all its foreign exchange earnings, said economist Mohamed Hassan Gami.

    The embargo has directly or indirectly affected nearly 80 percent of the three million inhabitants of Somaliland.

    "Port activity in 2001 will be much lower that 2000 because we are exporting almost nothing right now. the only activity is imports, and there are few," said port director Ali Omar Mohamed.

    The government has recently tried to encourage diversification into meat processing and fish, but is handicapped by the shortage of international finance.

    Until recently the main hope for Berbera, 160 kms (90 miles) north of Hargeisa, the capital, was the transit trade with Ethiopia, because of congestion at the port of Djibouti, Ethiopia's main transit port.

    Since war broke out with Eritrea in May, 1998, Ethiopia has been deprived of its traditional outlets on the Red Sea, Massawa and Assab, and become totally dependent on Djibouti.

    Ethopia needs an alternative - and Berbera is 290 kms from its border, via a road that has just been refurbished with EU money. But the process is slow, and apart from food aid, traffic is almost nil, notably because of higher handling, storage costs and taxes at Berbera.

    Ethiopia's dilemma continues. Berbera is a small port and expensive compared well-equipped Djibouti. Into the bargain, relations between Djibouti and Somaliland are strained and their borders closed.

    Djibouti supports a reconciliation process in Somalia and its transitional government, which has been incapable of imposing its authority over warlords and faces hostility from Somaliland.

    Ethiopia meanwhile remains the main backer of Somailand and the warlords, but cannot afford to be deprived of Djibouti's port facilities.


    Agence France Presse, May 22, 2001

    UNHCR accelerates rapatriation of Somali refugees in Ethiopia

    JIGIGA, Ethiopia -- The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees plans to speed up the voluntary repatriation of Somali refugees in Ethiopia and will close three out of eight camps before the end of the year.

    The decision comes amid a shortage of funds for UNHCR operations worldwide, and greater stability in Somaliland, where a campaign of repression in the late 1980s by the former regime of Mohamed Siad Barre triggered the exodus of hundreds of thousands of Somalis into Ethiopia.

    The more aggressive repatriation schedule also comes at a time of heightened tension between Ethiopia and Somalia.

    Somalia, which last year established a transitional government after nearly a decade of anarchy, accuses Addis Ababa of arming opposition groups and warlords opposed to the new authorities.

    Some 139,000 Somali refugees left Ethiopia in 2000 and another 60,000 are expected to return by December 2001.

    "Our mandate is to provide international protection to refugees and seek durable solutions. The most durable solution for the people is to go back. We feel that things have changed and the situation is stable", the UNHCR's representative for the Great Lakes region, George Chaporo, told AFP.

    The returnees will receive food rations for nine months, as well as 330 birr (40 dollars) to ease their return, the head of the UN's World Food Programme in Jigaga, Anna-Maria da Silva.

    The UNHCR helped more than 630,000 refugees leave Somalia in 1988 and 1989 at the height of the exodus when Barre's troops and foreign mercenaries killed upwards of 40,000 people in Somaliland in a vain effort to crush forces opposed to his government.

    In the wake of the bloodbath, northwestern Somaliland declared unilateral independence from Somalia in 1991.

    Many of the refugees are due to return to their homeland, whose independence was never recognised and where financial aid is limited.

    "The capacity of absorbing of Somaliland is limited," a representative of the Ethiopian Refugee Agency, Ayalew Aweke, noted.

    "The international community must assist Somaliland which lacks infrastucture," he said, adding that the Organisation of African Unity should look at ways to assist the Somalis' reintegration.


    Africa News, May 22, 2001/Source: UN Integrated Regional Information Network

    Somalia; Death At Sea As Gunmen Panic

    A boat carrying 155 Somalis seeking a new life in Yemen capsized off the coast of Las Qoray, in Sanag Region of the self-declared independent state of Somaliland, northwestern Somalia, on 18 May. More than 80 people are believed to have drowned after gunmen panicked, forcing people into the water, before the boat capsized.

    A survivor told IRIN that trouble started when the engine of the boat stalled, and gunmen started to force people off the boat. "There was a lot of shooting and shouting to get people off the boat," Seynab Husayn Muhammad said by phone from Bosaso, commercial capital of the self-declared autonomous region of Puntland, northeastern Somalia. Later, the boat capsized, she said.

    Suvivors were picked by by four fishing boats from Las Qoray. Of the 71 survivors found, 35 on were being looked after at the Jamima former police training camp on the outskirts of the Bosaso town. Others had gone to Bosaso town, or remained in Las Qqoray, Seynab said. They include a six month-old baby and two children under 10 years old.

    "We survived by the grace of Allah, and the efforts of the people of Las Qoray", Seynab said. According to the survivor, four fishing boats from Las Qoray picked up all the survivors. Some brought to shore had bullet wounds, Muhammad Deq, a local journalist in Bosaso, who visited some of the survivors, told IRIN.

    Passengers had paid up to US $500 for the trip, but were horrified when they were forced off the boat when the engine stalled and the six-man crew turned their guns on the passengers. "They first forced 12 men, who argued with them, off the boat," Seynab said. More men were persuaded to "go for a swim", but were not allowed back on board, she said. Despite the large number of passengers, they could not confront the gunmen, who were perched on top of the boat.

    Local sources who visited the survivors said the majority of the passengers were from Mogadishu and Bay and Bakol regions in southern Somalia, who had been living in northern areas. Seynab said she paid US $300 for the trip to Yemen, where she hoped to move on to Saudi Arabia in search of work. "Almost everybody paid between $300 and 500 for the trip," she told IRIN.

    So far, 28 of the dead have been found by searchers in the area, with the rest still missing, local journalists told IRIN. There was little hope that any more survivors would be found - "I don't think they can survive. We were in high seas when they started throwing people overboard," said Seynab. According to Muhammad Said Kashawiito of Puntland daily 'Sooyal', the dead were all found around Las-Qoray, with five dying on the beach after they were rescued at sea.

    The fate of the six gunmen is not known. Local journalists and Puntland security say they are believed to have survived after hijacking a boat from the Las-Qoray fishermen. "We believe they are the Bosaso area", Kashawito told IRIN.

    Puntland security were treating the incident as a "criminal act", a police source told IRIN. "They never had any intention of taking these people to Yemen," the source said. Security sources said that "ruthless criminal gangs" charge high prices - often to displaced people - who want to try their luck in the Arab countries, either for work, or to try and seek refugee status. Often the boats are in poor condition, local sources said. Since the collapse of Somalia's central government in 1991, many Somali refugees and illegal immigrants have died at sea.


    BBC Monitoring Service - May 19 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 19 May 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    President Egal Blasts "Detractors" on Somaliland Sovereignty Restoration Day

    Friday, May 18, 2001 marked the tenth anniversary of that day in Burao in which the gathered clan leaders, religious scholars, Somali National Movement rank and file and the general public rose up as one to restore the hitherto northern Somali regions of the Northwest, Togdheer, Awdal, Sanaag, and Sool regions to their colonial name less the "Protectorate" part. Not only that but these regions which, together, shared internationally recognized borders with the Italian administered Somalia, Ethiopia and the then French Somali Coast (Djibouti Republic now) declared a re-affirmation of their status as a recognized independent state from June 26,1960 to that ill-fated day of July 1,1960 when they joined hands with the south to form the Somali Republic.

    On that historical day of May 18, 1991, the leaders successfully concluded a peace conference that settled once for all the armed conflicts, differing allegiances and divisive beliefs previously masterminded and financed by the ousted military regime to prevent an understanding such as the one just signed among all the communities of Somaliland. Somaliland and its administrations commemorated that day as circumstances permitted. It never lacked, for one thing, a speech from a President that usually underlined topical issues of the day delivered from the constricted Khayriya podium of the capital, Hargeisa. The May Day celebrations, also, never excused its police force, the custodial corps and the armed forces from their parade march through the capital's main streets, since 1994, when they first shed off their clan militia titles.

    Organizers of this Friday's anniversary celebrations did just that. None of these forces did their traditional stint which lent a sense of festivity as it revived the fervour of patriotism on such occasions. Why such an unexpected move was deemed necessary was not explained prior to the President's appearance at the Khayriya grounds yesterday.

    Before the President, Mohamed Ibrahim Egal, began his six-point, seven page speech, he stated: "military parades are, primarily, meant to convey two principal messages: to intimidate internal opposition, and, secondly, to cow external foes." The President justified this reasoning by saying that he did not feel that neither threatening factors existed to flex muscles here. The President added that such an ostentatious show force was a ploy, used by dictators and socialist states, and not an indispensable feature of a democratic state like Somaliland.

    The president then went into the first item on his anniversary speech: the issue of the Constitution Referendum that is slotted to take place on May 31 at 600 polling stations throughout the country.

    To take a public referendum for the constitution was adopted at the communities' Burao conference of 1991 and later re-affirmed at the Borama and Hargeisa conferences of 1993 and 1997, respectively. "I cannot, in all honesty, pretend to understand why, suddenly, such a fuss is being made for holding a referendum to legitimise the long awaited constitutional draft," the president said, showing his vexation in more ways than one.

    "I hear of a group of mullahs living in Burao whose primary argument against the constitution referendum is that they already have Allah's constitution, the Qu'ran. Somaliland is not the only muslim country in the world. There exists a great number of others who have adopted and enforce constitutions that are in line with their socio-economies and cultural inclinations. As some of the constitutions of those countries stipulate, nothing that in any way infringes on, encroaches upon, or detracts from Allah's divine edicts in the Qu'ran or the sunna of his prophet and messenger Muhammed is neither permitted nor included in this draft constitution," the president emphasized.

    The president was apparently irked by an incident earlier in the week where a man was killed by a stray bullet in Burao after an organized meeting between a group of religious scholars and the regional governor went out of hand turning into a rowdy riot. After that regrettable incident, a meeting was held at the ministry of Endowments and Religions Affairs' premises here in Hargeisa. At the end of the meeting, some of the most high profile religious leaders gathered there declared that the constitution was completely in line with Islamic teachings. They pointed out that Article five of the draft clearly prohibited the use of any law or regulation that in any way contravened Islamic shari'a laws.

    "I invite the Burao group's de facto leader, sheikh Ali Warsame, and any number of his followers to an open debate with him and the minister for endowments and Religious Affairs here in Hargeisa (or at any other place of their choice)," the president concluded.

    The masses gathered for the occasion who came out to listen to the president's speech, filling every available space several hundred metres on all sides of the Khayriya square, wished that the president invited all detractors, regardless, to a similar debate.

    A notable Garad (big chief) of one of the Dhulbahanta clans of Sool and Sanaag, Garaad Suleiman Garad Mohamed and another not-so-notable ex-officer of Siyad Barre's National security services, Abdullahi Ali Iid, claiming a title similar to that of Suleiman, but over the Warsangeli, voiced stringent and totally opposing views to the referendum polling on the BBC Somali Service's cueing.

    The president, dwelling on the subject at length, pointed out that the people's voice, wishes and thoughts could only be expressed through political platforms. The formation of political parties and their imminent emergence into the limelight would only be possible if there was a constitution already approved by the people in place. "Such is demanded by the democratic values that we cherish and promote," the president stressed.

    Alluding to the Arta TNG of Abdikassem's Mogadishu and the Somalilanders he included in his "cabinet of ministers", President Egal urged Abdikassem not to believe for one moment that the top posts he gave to Somaliland's sons, from some of Somaliland's most respected families, would ever induce them to sow strife and renewed unrest at their homes here.

    "You should have given those posts to those who oppose you on your own turf, such as the Ogaden, Murursade, Abgal and Rahanwein", the president told Abdikassem. "Why does anyone who claims ascendancy to a limelight position in the south, trouble his ill-advised thoughts on a Somaliland that has long put its affairs in order, is beyond me", President Egal wondered.

    The president was not any kinder to the United Nations and its Secretary General, Kofi Annan. "When in 1988, the first vice- president to the cruel military dictator, General Mohamed Ali Samater, admitted to the mass aerial bombing of civilians in Hargeisa and else where in the north, right at the doorsteps and seat of the United Nations, this venerable organization and its human rights departments chose to keep their counsel, and nary said a word in our defence. Why is it that those who were watching us killed then, cannot allow us to enjoy our hard won, long denied sovereignty, that blossomed on the rivers of blood we shed for its restoration", the president inquired.

    "The UN organization's mandate neither recognizes, nor impedes, the rightful prerogatives of peoples who demand self-determination; and yet, this high office has chosen to portray its partiality and abrogation of its professed principles, whenever the issue of Somaliland appears on the horizon", Egal said.

    He expressed his gratitude and esteem on behalf of Somaliland, however, to Mona Rashmawi who, the president said, "tried to put the mechanisms for the investigation of war crimes in Somaliland, but whose efforts were thwarted and spiked by UN minions with double standards. The lady in question, a top executive of the UN Human Rights office, visited mass graves in and around Hargeisa, where the remains of arbitrarily executed civilians were previously uncovered. "Today, the United Nations and our Arab brethren who doled out their wealth to our executors yesterday, collude to push us into arenas controlled and populated by the very tormentors from whom we wrenched out sovereignty," the president added.

    He went on to say that the anti-corruption commission he recently appointed, is mainly there to bring virulent corruption, widespread-fraud and run-away embezzlement in public institutions, back into line. The commission would only busy itself where it smells such malpractices lurking, to bring perpetrators to due justice, the president explained. Such morally bereft, debilitating habits, he believes were picked up from 'Xamar' Mogadishu; another negative fact chalked against a re-union with an unscrupulous Somalia.

    Towards the end of his two-hour long speech, the president exhorted Somalilanders to couple diligence with more efforts in the production sector. "Our people, egged on by their unswerving loyalty and devotion to their own nation, would not fail us," he concluded, wishing all Somalilanders happy anniversary and, well, cheerio!


    BBC Monitoring Service - May 19 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 19 May 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    The Mayor strikes off above hundred names from register

    In an exclusive interview the newly appointed Mayor of Hargeisa, Osman Haji Ibraahim Basbaas gave Jamhuuriyaand the Republican at his office here on Thursday, he revealed that there was much ground for improvement and correction regarding the local government, and that his job was cut out for him right from the beginning.

    Although he did not say so in so many words, the mayor's reference to the corruption rampant in many areas within the administration he took over on April 23, 2001 did not exactly help the defense being prepared for his jailed predecessor Awl Elmi Abdalle. There are a good number of people who have written of the former mayor's imprisonment contending that he was, perhaps, not behind bars for corruption and embezzlement charges as stated by the Attorney General's office. Among the former mayor's most vocal supporters is Sultan Mohamed Sultan Abdulkader who, himself, was released from jail last November following his return from the "Arta Greater Somalia" conference.

    The mayor, Osman Haji Ibrahim, talked at length of the knotty problem of land allotment, and the role the local government has played in further exacerbating an already existing tangle. One hears of 'warlords', but the "Landlords" or rather land-grabbers, are far worse than gun-toting warlords.

    There were no land related problems for the first few years following our return here (1991), the Mayor said. "Our people are basically honest, people of integrity. They only follow the example you set for them. If they find you receptive to corruption, fraud, bribery and the rest, they are not to blame," the Mayor explained.

    "Land for public use," he continued to say, "was never grabbed for private use. Public-use-land is reserved for schools, hospitals, recreation and sports grounds and such. Some such land that has been there for ages is now allotted to individuals for private use. Why? Only because the local government's land department encouraged them to do so, and helped them acquire land deeds in support of their claim. Ownership deeds were only given to an owner after a building was constructed. One sees nowadays the processing of legalizing documents alongside allotment procedures."

    The Mayor delved into the measures he has so far taken to curb such shenanigans. He said that in his capacity as Mayor, he should see himself as a servant to the public, and as such, should safeguard the trust they vested on him.

    The Mayor told the editors, that landscape clerks (Geometers) with or without the consent of their superiors, were most to blame for the illegal allotment of plots to the public.

    "One finds fifty claims to the same plot of land all because of the combined greed, clear disregard of regulations, and covetous nature of the land office clerks, and land-grabbing landlords whose rustling of banknotes lure many a clerk to hell and beyond."

    He stated that he caught some of these pseudo-engineer clerks red-handed. "After long pondering of how to punish them for their infractions, transferred them to garbage disposal duties, and that only for a humane consideration to their families, their wives and children, who only see them and love them as fathers and husbands, knowing nothing of their crooked habits."

    The Mayor also revealed that he found over a hundred names on the office's payment vouchers. "These names," he said, "were only names, and not personnel payable for services rendered or duties given them as properly documented employees".

    The proceeds of the taxes levied on the public were greatly misused in other ways, he said. "Last month's bill for mobiles used by local government officers came up to 27 million SL shillings (approximately 4600 US dollars). This amount of money can do wonders for the psychiatric Hospital or any other such institution if it is given them," he added, clinching his argument with " I put a stop to that, as well. I prohibited their use which I see as superfluous and an unprecedented squander of public funds."

    How far the new Mayor will take his reforms, or how long he would sustain them remains to be seen.


    BBC Monitoring Service - May 19 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 19 May 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    Kenya and Somaliland share Historical ties

    On Tuesday, May 15, Raila Amola Odinga, kenya's National Development Party (NDP) leader and chairman of the parliamentary select committee on constitutional reform elected by the langala (Nairobi) constituency arrived in Hargeisa, Somaliland, for a three days official visit. The editors of Jamhuuriyaand The Republican met him at Maansoor Hotel, Hargeisa, where he was staying on Thursday.

    The MP, the son of one of the most venerated African freedom fighters during the forties and fifties colonial era, the illustrious late politician Oginga Odinga, has apparently, long grown out of the huff and puff of today's politicians. The ease with which he conducted himself and the self-assured manner in which he delivered his facts were impressive enough to awe us into near silence. But that did not deter us from holding the following, most illuminating question/answer discussion with him a few hours before his return flight to Nairobi.

    Jam/Rep: what were the principal objectives behind your visit to Somaliland.

    Odinga: My visit is one of goodwill as well as a fact-finding mission.

    Jam/Rep: Can you be a bit more specific?

    Odinga: Yes. This sent me Excellency, the President of Kenya, Daniel Arap Moi to convey a message of goodwill to the president of Somaliland; wishing the people of Somaliland success in their endeavours to achieve lasting peace. As a member of IGAD, Kenya desires to see the whole region and the Horn of Africa co-existing in peace. The past few years were not exactly useful to the peoples in the region, in as regards living to any member in the region, either directly or indirectly, affects others. Stability or instability in Somalia or Somaliland leaves its mark in Kenya, either way. You find an influx of refugees in Kenya. You find that security or lack of it is enhanced because, primarily, smuggled weapons cross the border into Kenya. Therefore, it is in the interest of Kenya that there is a lasting peace in this whole sub region of Africa.

    Jam/Rep: Did president Moi underline any particular areas that needed immediate attention in his message to President Egal?

    Odinga (Smiling) There are no secret messages or such the two presidents are passing to each other. Absolutely none. I can show you a copy of that message. All it really expresses is the president's most sincere promotion and restoration of peace in the region, and the desire for the continuance of sustainable development in the region.

    Jam/Rep: Is your visit here in any way connected with President Moi's meeting with Abdikassem in Nakuru, Kenya, yesterday?

    Odinga: My visit has absolutely nothing to do with President Moi's purported meeting with Abdikassem. These are completely independent and unconnected events. But I can say that President Moi intends to convene a meeting among the various factions in the south who are at the moment engaged in fight against each other, with a view to promoting understanding between each other. The president (Moi) indicated that he would try bringing all these people to come sit down together, have a dialogue on differences to work out a lasting solution (to their problems) so that peace can be restored.

    Jam/Rep: What role or roles can Somaliland play in that reconciliation meeting among these factions in the south?

    Odinga: Same as other neighbouring states. As a neighbour. Somaliland has a role to play in the restoration of peace in the south.

    Jam/Rep: Kenya tacitly recognized Abdikassem's government by allowing it occupy Somalia's IGAD seat. What do you say to that?

    Odinga: Kenya has not recognized ... I want to emphasize the word "not" -the government of Abdikassem in the south. Kenya has not been a party to or allow him occupy the IGAD seat. When that took place Kenya did not participate. Our position is very clear.

    Jam/Rep: How does Kenya see the Somali Reconciliation Council whose seat of governance is Baidoa as opposed to Abdikassim's Mogadisho?

    Odinga: As I said before, Kenya's primary objective lies in the restoration of peace to the region. Whether an administration's seat is in Baidoa or Mogadisho is immaterial. That when President Moi meets one faction leader or another, that the faction leader's claims that he was recognized, would not deter Kenya from trying to bring all those faction leaders to the negotiating table. Their differences have already caused loss of lives and great suffering among innocents. That has to stop.

    Jam/Rep: Did you find the opportunity to go to town since your arrival here?

    Odinga: I can say that I am very impressed. Sitting in Nairobi one is led to believe that there is insecurity, fighting.... loss of lives in all parts of the former Somali Republic. In fact what I have seen here is the exact opposite. Life has not come to a standstill. There is complete security here. People can walk out and attend to their affairs without fear of being killed or of being robbed here. People are leading normal lives. In fact, I feel that this is more secure than Nairobi at night. One sees money- changers and sellers of gold with all these unbelievable wealth piled in front of them and the least afraid of any thing... anybody! It is amazing! Here you can see construction work going... I have seen great many houses under construction. I have also visited the mass graves where the remains of people who were shot and buried are found. I have seen the skeletons. I have taken pictures. I have seen the strings with which those people's hands were tied. It is a sad thing. A very depressing sight, which reminded me of what I saw in Rwanda back in 1996. There was genocide there. Another here. The difference is that the Rwanda was highlighted more which resulted in the setting up of a war crimes tribunal in Arusha.

    I think that if people were more informed of what happened here in Somaliland, they would have showed more concern. It is my belief that what makes a state is the collective wishes of its people, if a union can no longer be held together, people have a right to sovereignty and self-determination.

    Jam/Rep: You said you paid a visit to the mass graves. Do you see a role for yourself in bringing the perpetrators of those crimes to justice? How can you help?

    odinga: Since I am on a fact-finding mission I will naturally report, which I will not only submit to the government of Kenya but also to other governments in the region. I want you to know that I have done this before. I toured Burundi at the height of the sanctions exercised by the neighbouring countries. We saw evidence of what happened there and I prepared a report, which I sent to the regional leaders, Presidents Museveni, Chilupa, Zubawu and so on. I also held an international press conference in which I produced the report. I also showed a video film of what I found there. And by so doing I managed to bring the issue to the attention of the regional and international community. My view here is that the world should be more conscious of what happened here, and that the UN must be ill advised to force a re-union of Somalia and Somaliland without taking cognizance of the difficulties that exists.


    BBC Monitoring Service - May 19 2001 Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, May 19 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    EDITOR'S NOTEPAD: Given a Choice, prefer Peace to War (Cont'd)

    The six-column, full-page articles were so prominently positioned to waylay readers turning over from first-page headlines. In it, the writer strives to prove that the Republic of Somaliland is nothing more than a figment of the Isaq people's over-zealous imagination.

    To the writer (with the obvious support of his editor and the paper's patron, their very own Ghelleh), the Isaqs are:

    1. Chiefly to blame for the "destruction of the Somalia government";
    2. The sole stumbling block to the implementation and coming to fruition of . Ghelleh's brainchild (the so-called Arta Somali Reconciliation Conference);
    3. Covetous; vain-glorious
    4. People who so heinously subjugate others to toe their line of thought; to unconditionally accept them as their "Superiors". He specifically cites the Gadabursi, the Darood and the Essa's to hammer his point home.
    5. People who maintain close ties with Israel.

    The above epithets were so crudely delivered to sow ill feeling, conflicts and long-forgotten schisms among compatriots who know each other much better than a venomous snider does.

    Blindly inebriated by his perceived "Arta success", Ghelleh continues to sell the puppet administration he installed in Mogadishu to a world whose very ignorance of Somali issues at stake, is making naught of its professed human rights principles. Ghelleh and his ilk, so shamelessly exploit a world afraid of discovery of its geographical and political pretensions, make-believe rigmarole and contradictions. A world that is not troubled by the "Secessions" of states from what were so recently known as Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and the (mighty) Soviet Union but is so indignantly offended if the Republic of Somaliland - a state it diplomatically recognized at its inception in 1960, is raised.

    Ghelleh has his other agenda that he so adroitly camouflages from those he dupes: to project Somaliland and its people as hell-bent saboteurs and troublemakers despite all facts pointing to the contrary. Ghelleh, however, can never succeed in his ill-conceived, Mephistophelian machinations that include the fermentation of armed confrontations. The historical ties between the two peoples of Somaliland and Djibouti must - and will - prevail.

    The Puntland Caper

    At this age and hour, Abdullahi Puntland of the Regional Administration of Puntland, has fallen in love with clanism and outmoded macho postures. Abdullahi believes that the possibility of what he will eventually label as "Hartiland" is no longer a pet theory of his but an imminent reality. Abdullahi believes that by merely flexing his muscles over the geographically, historically and ethnically Somaliland regions of Sool and Sanaag he can win the loyalty of all sons of that clan. That he is foisting his unwanted attentions on a people that have so much in common with the rest of Somaliland is the least of his worries, apparently. That the Harti clan had always played its rightful roles in maintaining its ties with other clans is conveniently insignificant to the self-appointed "clan supremo."

    He chooses to conceal that the venerable Harti clan is neither confined to Somaliland regions nor to Puntland's Bari and Mudug regions. The Harti clan - one of the largest around - lives in parts of eastern Ethiopia, in parts of southern Somalia and elsewhere. If his claim that people in Sool and Sanaag belong to him by virtue of their Hartihood is to hold water, Ethiopia and southern Somalia should watch out.


    Africa News, May 18, 2001/Source: UN Integrated Regional Information Network

    Somalia; Interview With Somali National Movement Leadership

    The self-declared state of Somaliland, northwestern Somalia, is gearing up for a referendum on the constitution -- including an article on independence -- at the end of May. Unilateral independence was declared on 18 May 1991 by the northern-based Somali National Movement (SNM) after it had fought a successful insurgency against former President Muhammad Siyad Barre, whose government collapsed in January 1991. Hundreds of thousands of Somalilanders were displaced across the borders at the height of the 1988-1991 civil war when the government bombed Hargeysa, now the capital of Somaliland, and other towns. After declaring independence, the SNM agreed to demobilise and support a civilian government. It threw its weight behind the former prime minister of Somalia, Muhammad Ibrahim Egal, resulting in his election as Somaliland's president in 1993. Subsequently, however, the SNM became one of Egal's critics - despite the fact that stability and resources had been brought to the territory under his leadership - for failing to secure international recognition. IRIN spoke to Abdirahman Awale and Muhammad Hashi of the SNM leadership. Below are extracts from the interview.
    Q: How would you describe the Somali National Movement now? Is it still a political player?
    A: (Awale) Yes, it's a very important political player, and is working for Somaliland to be stable and to be led by a proper government. We need a government that can develop democracy, social justice and equality. SNM has always supported the independence of Somaliland. That was the goal...
    Q: Elections are expected to be announced after the referendum. Will SNM form its own political party?
    A: (Awale) We plan to have our own political party and have an alliance with all progressive forces in the country, especially the clans. The aim is to make some sort of a national coalition. We want to take a step up and develop a national coalition which represents all Somalilanders.
    Q: Credit was given to the SNM, as an armed group, in 1993 for supporting an elected administration, and demobilising -- for taking a back seat, in other. How do you see your role now?
    A: (Awale) Yes, it's true, SNM supported Egal -- well, SNM wasn't supporting Egal himself, it was supporting a kind of government that would be established in Somaliland. It was a move to support the people of Somaliland, and to back the intentions SNM had for the future of Somaliland... Egal was head of the government which SNM supported during the demobilisation period. After that, Egal, with bad intentions, began fighting with the SNM, because he saw SNM was uncompromised regarding Somaliland's independence. He was aware that it may block his way back to Somalia unification. So, he brought people (into government) who shared his opinion, and got rid of SNM members.

    Q: So you feel Egal is pro-unification, even though he says otherwise?
    A: (Awale) Yes. When he says he is for independence, it is for local consumption only. He tells the people here one thing, but in his speeches elsewhere he has clearly declared that Somalia will unite one day. He says we will talk to the southerners when they make their home clean and negotiate with them... He says one thing to the public, and a different thing to the international community. The SNM was fighting for a better life and a better govenrment, but unfortunately...(the) three institutions inscribed by the constitution - the executive, the legislative, and the judiciary - Egal overrules them all. It's the government of one man... The SNM sees grave signs of dictatorship in his deeds and administration, and we are against that.
    Q: But looking at Hargeysa now, it is booming. Many people have returned to their homes from abroad, there is peace, and the press is very outspoken - even if there is no international recognition. Doesn't that constitute a success?
    A: (Awale) Partly it's a success. But from the point of view of the public, it's the private sector that is booming -- telecommunications, big hotels, commerce, many commercial activities. Yes, the private sector has developed, but the public sector is very stagnant... There is misappropriation of public funds. The stability and peace you see is brought by the people, not the government... But if it continues like this, with no creation of jobs, bad administration, no social justice, I doubt stability will continue.
    (Hashi) As far as recognition is concerned, people will recognise a government when it is effective and has got the intention of being recognised Egal lacks both these criteria... He hasn't established an effective administration. The military and the police have no ranks, which means they are temporary. He printed passports, which he says are temporary ones...
    Q: How do people see the coming referendum on the constitution?
    A: (Hashi)... A referendum requires a lot of preparation -- people have to be registered, the election regulations have to be fulfilled, an electoral committee has to be formed, the areas and constituents and number of boxes have to be decided, the constitution itself has to be printed in sufficient number. The holding of the referendum and national elections are being crammed into a year, because Egal's term of office ends in February 2002. The referendum was postponed several times Egal will ask for an extension of the period, I believe.
    Q: What about the SNM - hasn't it been weakened lately by internal splits?
    A: (Hashi) No, I don't think so. Of course in every society some people will follow their personal interests, so those who have joined the government are following their personal interests rather than what SNM has fought for. These people might even form their own political parties...
    Q: Do you think new political parties will bring new tensions?
    A: (Hashi) Of course, yes, because they have to speak about what is going on in the country. It's an additional pressure, always. Whether they are accepted or not, and whether or not there is an election remains to be seen. But pressure is mounting; it is increasing by the day. People are fed up with the way things are going on now. People are forming their own political parties even now. Even if the government doesn't come up with registration and regulations, people will form their own institutions, which will be a political pressure on the regime. We already act as pressure groups, we meet, we issue joint communiques.
    Q: What, to you, is the significance of the new authority in Mogadishu?
    A: (Hashi) In fact... the Djibouti conference (which in 2000 resulted in the formation of the Transitional National Government in Mogadishu) didn't give due respect to the existing administrations - to either the Somaliland government or to Puntland (in northeastern Somalia). Somalilanders feel the Arta (Djibouti) conference is another way of inviting (back) the Siyad Barre regime... We need to convince the international community that our secession is based on atrocities that took place, and they have to consider that... (but) the UN drags its feet, the OAU (Organisation of African Unity) is silent, the Arab League is ignoring it. Even when the genocide was taking place, the international community was silent, the UN was silent. Some, like the Arab governments and the Western powers were assisting Siyad Barre,- because Siyad Barre had come back to the fold from the Soviet side. So many things have happened, and are still taking place... Why is the international community closing it's eyes to what happened here?... But we really don't care. We are in our land and we will never, never be back to that unity (with southern Somalia).

    Unity was formed, anyway, for the general, greater Somalia -- it was the concept of uniting Somalia... We united with (southern Somalia) not through compulsion, but of our own accord. But for 30 years we suffered atrocities, so we established our own state again - Somaliland. Now we are showing the international community the reason why we chose secession, we want to convince them.
    Q: But the reason for secession is based on the atrocities, or are there other reasons?
    A: (Hashi) The main reason is the suffering of the people under the Somalia regime, whether civilian or military. There has been a complete looting of property, there has been the genocide...

    But also, the international community, particularly the superpowers, refused the formation of greater Somalia. (Aspirations for a 'Greater Somalia' refer to post-colonial Somali territorial claims to parts of Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti)... The idea of greater Somalia was buried in the 1977-78 war (between Somalia and Ethiopia). Siyad Barre retreated from the claim of Somali Ogaden in Ethiopia, and he retreated from claiming the Somali part of Kenya. Djibouti went its own way. So the whole purpose of Somaliland joining with (southern) Somalia was the search for greater Somalia. That has gone.


    Agence France Presse, May 18, 2001

    Lacklustre celebratations mark decade of "independence" in Somaliland

    By Emmanuel Giroud

    HARGEISA -- The loud-speakers were broken so "president" Mohamed Ibrahim Egal had to shout his speech to the tens of thousands gathered Friday for the only official event marking a decade of Somaliland's self-declared and unrecognised independence.

    The head of this aspirant sovereign state chose the moment to lambast United Nations chief Kofi Annan for prolonging the world's rejection of Somaliland's independence and for trying to force the land back into the fold of rump Somalia.

    "I used to respect the secretary general, but now it is clear he is working for our independence to be ignored and for us to rejoin Somalia. That is unacceptable," Egal told the crowd.

    In the decade since its unilaterally secession, Somaliland, a former Italian colony in the northwest of modern Somalia, has built up most of the trappings of statehood: its own currency and flag and an administration encompassing a legislature, a police force and customs service.

    Much of the rest of Somalia spent the decade following the 1991 fall of dictator Mohammed Siad Barre disintegrating as competing warlords filled the vacuum left by the absence of a central government.

    Egal's vitriol is based on the international community's position that Somaliland should throw in its lot with the fledgling transitional government established in Mogadishu last year.

    Somaliland is doing nothing of the kind. Indeed, the absence of the military pomp that usually marks secession here has been attributed in part to the army's being too busy preparing for a referendum on independence due at the end of May.

    Somaliland, and in particular its capital, Hargeisa, still remembers Barre's military campaign of 1988 and 1989, in which troops and foreign mercenaries killed upwards of 40,000 people in a vain effort to crush the forces opposed to the him.

    The current president of Somalia, Abdulkassim Salat Hassan, whose regime enjoys the world's backing, was interior minister under Barre at the time of the slaughters.

    "The secretary general and the UN have decided to force upon us leaders who massacred our own people," accused Egal.

    President Salat "is fully responsible for the killings," according to Ali Nour Abdillahi, an aged member of Hargeisa's local government who lost two of his sons when a shell struck his house in 1998.

    Other officials explained the lack of an army parade by saying such displays smacked of military dictatorships and were simply too expensive for a country whose foreign earnings come almost exclusively from the exports of livestock.

    And these earnings have been considerably reduced by a health-scare embargo imposed by top export market Saudi Arabia. Somalilanders are clearly feeling the pinch. The few soldiers present during the speech wore faded uniforms and boots without laces while government ministers sported frayed suits or tee-shirts.

    Egal's own yellowed suit had seen better days as had the cars in his convoy.


    Kenya: Moi said mediating between presidents of Somalia, breakaway Somaliland

    BBC Monitoring Service - May 17, 2001

    Reports from Nairobi, Kenya, say Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi yesterday met the president of the Transitional Government of Somalia, Abdiqasim Salad Hasan, in Nakuru, west of Nairobi, to discuss President Moi's proposal to mediate between Abdiqasim and [Somaliland president Muhammad Ibrahim] Egal, a proposal which is said to be have been accepted by Abdiqasim.

    Meanwhile, the president of the self-declared republic of Somaliland, Muhammad Ibrahim Egal, yesterday met a special envoy sent by President Moi who delivered to him a message Egal read the message and told the envoy that he would write back to Moi. The envoy is still in Hargeysa waiting for Egal's reply. It is not yet clear whether Egal has accepted Moi's mediation.

    President Abdiqasim is currently in Nairobi and last night held a meeting with members of the Somali community there and briefed them on developments in Somalia.
    Source: Xog-Ogaal, Mogadishu, 17 May 01 p 2


    Africa News, May 17, 2001/Source: UN Integrated Regional Information Network

    Somalia; North-South Economic Divide Growing

    The combined effects of the continuing livestock ban and high inflation are leading to a growing "north-south economic divide" in Somalia, said a joint report by the USAID Famine Early Warning System (FEWS NET) and the European Union funded FAO/Food Security Assessment Unit (FSAU). The north and central parts of the country continue to suffer the impact of lost livestock exports to the Gulf states, whereas the ban has had a "negligible impact" in the south, FSAU said in its April monthly food security report (www.unsomalia.org).

    Internally displaced persons (IDPs) and the urban poor in Bosaso (commercial capital of the self-declared autonomous region of Puntland, northeastern Somalia) were "struggling to maintain a viable existence in the continuation of the ban and inflation", FSAU/FEWS said. Urban markets throughout Puntland, were reportedly closed by mass demonstrations, after a steep fall in the value of the Somali currency pushed up food prices. The seasonal Gu rains are also late, and expensive water trucking has begun in many areas, further restricting the ability of families to buy food.

    In the northwest, the price of imported rice has jumped as a result of the rapid currency depreciation. In Burao in the self-declared independent state of Somaliland, northwestern Somalia, FSAU/FEWS said that one day's labour could buy nearly eight kilogrammes of rice 12 months ago, but only bought about two kilogrammes in April. In other parts of Somaliland, the high inflation rates had made it difficult for farmers to access credit, and they have been unable to prepare land for cultivation. Many agro-pastoralists in these areas had resorted to feeding their cattle on "dry stalks" in order to survive, the report said.

    Southern regions had been able to partly offset the effects of high inflation and the livestock ban with good local harvests and access to the Kenyan livestock market. However, the inflation rate was in April at its highest point since the early 1990s, and markets and consumers were experiencing "extreme financial instability" as newly printed Somali shillings continue to enter the market, the report said. Reports from Mogadishu's main Bakara market indicate that the Somali shilling depreciated from 14,000 shillings to the US dollar in March to 20,000 to the dollar in one month. In April, about 4 million dollars' worth of Somali shillings had been imported into the country, FSAU/FEWS said.


    Africa News, May 17, 2001/Source: UN Integrated Regional Information Network

    No External Funding for Somaliland Referendum

    The self-declared independent state of Somaliland, northwestern Somalia, is gearing up for the forthcoming referendum on 31 May, Agence France-Presse (AFP)said on.

    Abdiqadir Haji Ismail Jirdeh, Somaliland's deputy parliamentary Speaker and vice-chairman of the national constitutional commission, was quoted by AFP as saying: "Everything is ready. All we have to do is transport voting materials to 600 polling stations across the country. It will definitely not be postponed." Jirdeh said the referendum "requires a lot of money to stage", and said that "the international community, especially the United Nations, are not willing to sponsor it". Jirdeh said Somaliland would welcome international observers.

    Most clan and religious leaders said the constitution conformed with shari'ah law, and called on the population, which is almost exclusively Muslim, to endorse it, AFP said. The people of Somaliland will on 31 May vote for or against the 1997 Somaliland constitution, which includes an article on the independence of the region. There has been no international recognition of Somaliland since it declared unilateral independence on 18 May 1991.


    Agence France Presse, May 17, 2001

    Mass graves bear witness to brutal chapter in history of Somaliland

    By Emmanuel Giroud

    HARGEISA -- Every year, heavy rains expose more evidence of a bloody chapter that helped convince a corner of the Horn of Africa to make a unilateral declaration of independence a decade ago.

    The annual deluges unearth the bones -- the skulls, femurs, entire skeletons -- of some of the 40,000 people slaughtered in and around this city by the army of Somalia's late dictator, Mohammed Siad Barre, in 1988.

    Hargeisa is the capital of Somaliland, a former British colony which, days after independence in 1960, was integrated into greater Somalia and which, in the wake of Barre's bloodbath, seceded on May 18, 1991.

    Many of his victims still lie in mass grave on the edges of the town, on hillocks shared by camels.

    In May 1988, Ethiopia's Colonel Mengistu Haile Mariam struck a deal with Barre, prompting Somali National Movement rebels who had set up bases on Ethiopian soil to cross back into Somalia.

    They made their way 70 kilometers (50 miles) east to Hargeisa, part of which they captured.

    Barre reacted by deploying South African mercenary fighter pilots who razed the city to the ground and strafed the columns of fleeing refugees and by sending troops there on a similar mission.

    Less than a year later, more than 40,000 people were dead as a result.

    Barre's campaign served to consolidate the forces opposed to him, which took Mogadishu in January 1991.

    Four months later, Somaliland broke away from Somalia, where only now has anything resembling an effective central government begun to take root.

    According to the young school children who serve as willing guides, the mass graves of Hargeisa's victims are dug along the bed of a seasonal river.

    Every time the annual rains come, dozens, if not hundreds of these remains are exposed.

    Some 200 mass graves have been found around Hargeisa, Berbera and Burao, according to Somaliland's government, which marks the 10th anniversary of independence on Friday.

    In 1998, the United Nations Human Rights Commission sent investigators to Somaliland with a view to preparing a case for war crimes, or even genocide perpetrated against the Issak clan, which Barre had targetted throughout much of the 1980s.

    Hargeisa bears other scars of the violence. Some buildings still show the damage wreaked by shells and machine guns. According to the government, the 2.5 million landmines left in Somaliland still kill and maim cattle herders, even though five international agencies are working to remove them.

    Memories of the massacre remain strong and continue to fuel animosity towards the new regime in Mogadishu, Somalia's capital.

    Somalia's transitional president, Abdulkassim Salat Hassan, served as interior minister under Barre during the Hargeisa killings.


    Agence France Presse, May 16, 2001

    Ten years after quitting Somalia, Horn's "invisible state" votes on independence

    By Emmanuel Giroud

    HARGEISA -- Ten years after their leaders unilaterally seceded from Somalia, the people of Somaliland will later this month decide whether or to endorse their internationally unrecognised independent status.

    Somaliland, a former British colony that became a northwestern province of greater Somalia in July 1960, has almost all the trappings of a sovereign state, including a relatively effective administration as well as its own national flag, currency and legislature.

    On May 31, Somaliland's estimated three million inhabitants will be invited to take part in a referendum on a 1997 constitution which enshrines the independence that the rest of the world, in the name of territorial integrity and out of fear of setting a dangerous precedent on the continent, does not recognise.

    "We are human beings but we are ignored. We call ouselves the invisible state. They don't see us, they deny our existence," said Abdulkadir Hagi Ismail Jirdeh, deputy parliamentary speaker and vice-chairman of the national constitutional commission.

    "Everything is ready," for the referendum, he said. "All we have to do is transport voting materials to 600 polling stations across the country. It will definitely not be postponed."

    The poll was originally slated for February 2000 but was put back after Saudi Arabia slapped a health-related embargo on livestock exports, the engine of Somaliland's economy.

    The embargo "deeply affected our economy and it requires a lot of money to stage a referendum. The international community, especially the United Nations, are not willing to sponsor this referendum," explained Jirdeh.

    Instead, the UN fully supports the government set up last year in Mogadishu, whose legitimacy Somaliland refuses to recognise and whose control barely extends beyond a few pockets of the capital.

    Somaliland's leaders believe the UN is trying to push them back towards reintegration with Somalia, which, since the fall of dictator Mohammed Siad Barre five months before the 1991 secession, has lacked an effective central government.

    "On what moral grounds they can ask us to unite? This is a reminiscence of the colonial period, we have to be shown how to be democrats," said the parliamentarian.

    While Mogadishu has yet to pull itself out of the chaos wreaked by competing and heavily armed rival factions, Somaliland's capital, Hargeisa, is one of the safest cities on the continent.

    Clan and religious leaders met and made a significant pronouncement, that the constitution conformed with Sharia law.

    They called on the population, which is almost exclusively Muslim, to endorse the text.

    While Jirdeh said Somaliland would be happy to play host to any international observers wishing to come for the vote, it seems unlikely that this offer will be taken up. The European Commission, which, like the United Nations, funds several aid projects in Somaliland, will not be sending observers, according to Jochen Knoth, of the EC's Nairobi-based unit for Kenya and Somalia.

    "Our aim is to contribute to a peaceful solution without interfering," he said, stressing that "it is not the role of the EC to recognise a government or a state."

    Officially, the international community's refusal to recognise Somaliland is rooted in the principle, espoused by the Organisation of African Unity's charter, of the inviolability of colonial borders.

    More pragmatically, "everybody is afraid of a proliferation of ministates that cannot sustain themselves and whose establishment could lead to a host of border disputes," according to one Somalia expert based in Nairobi.

    Even if Somaliland has a good case -- it enjoyed official independence for four days between the end of British colonial rule and integration with Somalia -- recognising its independence would provide a destabilising boost to secessionists in other parts of the continent, such as Angola, Senegal and the Democratic Republic of Congo.


    Agence France Presse, May 15, 2001

    Breakaway Somali state sets May 31 for referendum

    HARGEISA -- The breakaway state of Somaliland in northwest Somalia will hold a referendum on May 31 to ask voters whether they want independence from Mogadishu, officials said .

    "Everything is ready, the ballot boxes, the ballot papers. ... The only problem is the transportation to the 600 polling stations all over the country, but there is no way we will postpone it," said Abdulkadir Hagi Ismail Jirdeh, deputy speaker of Somaliland's parliament.

    Somaliland, which seceded from the rest of Somalia in May 1991 -- five months after the dicator Mohammed Siad Barre was toppled -- has yet to be recognised by the outside world.

    Along with Puntland, another breakaway state in the northeast, Somaliland has been spared from continued inter-clan warfare in the Horn of Africa country, which has lacked an effective central government since Barre's ouster.

    The Somaliland government estimates the electorate at about three million, who will approve or reject a provisional constitution adpoted in early 1997 by clan leaders.

    The United Nations has been pressuring Somaliland to abandon its separatist ambitions and join a Transitional National Government (TNG) set up in Mogadishu last year.

    Several key Somali warlords have rejected the legitimacy of the TNG, which was born out of a large conference of Somali clan leaders held in neighbouring Djibouti and has yet to extend its areas of control far beyond parts of Mogadishu.


    Somaliland: President Egal holds talks with World Food Programme director BBC Monitoring Service - May 14, 2001 The president of the republic of Somaliland, Muhammad Ibrahim Egal, yesterday held talks with Kevin Farelli [as published] - the WFP Africa director, who led a high-level visit to State House.

    Farelli told president Egal that he had visited the country to see WFP's work in Somaliland. He also said he had visited the country to find out about the ban on livestock which used to be taken to Arab countries and subsequently brief his seniors and donors.

    President Egal informed the WFP director that livestock trade was the bedrock of the country's economy and the ban was aimed at destabilizing the republic of Somaliland. He said the people of Somaliland were strong and could not be dissuaded from their principles and their independence which was realized through freedom and consensus. He also said a lot of impediments have been placed on Somaliland's path and continue to be placed, but all these have been defeated.

    President Egal urged the delegation led by Fareli to convey the feelings of the people of Somaliland to its HQ and to the international community.
    Source: Mandeeq, Hargeysa, 14 May 01 p 1 /BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.


    UN NEWS RELEASE

    SOMALI REFUGEES TAUGHT MINE AWARENESS AND SAFETY IN DJIBOUTI CAMPS

    Nairobi, 15 May 2001 UN Resident Coordinator's Office

    Thousands of Somali refugees living in two camps in Djibouti are being trained in mine awareness and safety measures, in order to reduce possible future injuries and fatalities should they encounter mines or unexploded ordnance upon their return home.

    Ten Somali refugees - eight men and two women - were selected to become trainers, and spent a week learning how to teach mine awareness to their fellow refugees. The refugees live in two camps in southern Djibouti: Holl-Holl, which holds approximately 10,455 refugees, and Ali Adde, which has approximately 11,587 refugees, most originally from the northwestern Somali region of Awdal.

    "The trainers will be able to reach 500 refugees per camp, per week," says Justin Brady, a consultant for the UN Development Programme (UNDP) Somalia office, which is implementing the project with logistical support from UNDP Djibouti, funding from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and assistance from the World Food Programme (WFP) and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

    At the end of May the training project will be evaluated to ensure that refugees understand what they have been taught. "The problem is that knowledge does not always equal modified behavior," Brady says.

    In order to re-enforce the message, Brady has developed visual teaching aids, including a Mine Model Box, which contains a real de-activated mine lying in dirt in a plexiglass box. Other materials, developed with Handicap International and Action Nord Sud, include a poster depicting various types of mines and unexploded ordnance, a poster showing places likely to hold mines, one explaining mine signs put up by de-mining experts, and one showing what to do if someone is involved in a mine accident, as well as children's story books, brochures, maps, and photos.

    In 1991 during the peak of landmine incidents in northwest Somalia, some 60 mine victims per month were being brought to the main Hargeisa Group Hospital alone. The Somaliland Mine Action Center (SMAC) was established, bringing together local authorities, the UN, and non-governmental organizations involved in mine clearance. By April 1998, doctors in Berbera Hospital indicated that on average they were treating just one new mine victim each month.

    The UNHCR has been promoting the voluntary repatriation of Somali refugees, and since 1997 has assisted 130,000 people to return to the area around the northwestern Somali city of Hargeisa -- mostly from refugee camps in Ethiopia.

    Still, the presence of mines has been a major impediment to the return of approximately 145,000 Somali refugees remaining in neighboring Djibouti and Ethiopia, who come from the northwestern Somali regions of Awdal, Galbeed, and Toghdeer.

    It is hoped that the current program of mine awareness in the Djibouti camps, along with similar initiatives in the Ethiopian refugee camps, will allow Somali refugees to return home with the vital knowledge of how to avoid the hidden danger of mines.

    For more information, please contact:

    Justin Brady, Consultant, UNDP Somalia, Somali Civil Protection Programme, Mine Action Tel: +253 356599, Email: buckey-balls@lycos.com

    Sonya Laurence Green, Information Officer, UN Resident & Humanitarian Coordinator's Office for Somalia,
    Tel: (254 2) 448434, Fax: (254 2) 448439, Email: sonya.green@undp.org, Visit the UN Somalia website at www.unsomalia.org


    Somaliland, Puntland solders fight over checkpoint in southeast

    BBC Monitoring Service - May 12, 2001

    At least 5 people were wounded in fighting between the Puntland and Somaliland soldiers at a checkpoint in Laas Caanood town of the Sool Region [Southeastern Somaliland]. The two sides fought for control of the checkpoint.

    The fighting stopped when society elders of the region started negotiating activities between the two sides.

    Both Puntland and Somaliland claim that the region belongs to their administration.
    Source: HornAfrik Online text web site, Mogadishu, 12 May 01 /BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.


    BBC Monitoring Service - May 12 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 12 May 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    The "Jezira Butcher" Seeks Asylum in the US

    General Ibrahim Hasan "Anjeh", a close relative of the late ousted dictator, is said to be going to the United States soon on forged documents. The General, now living in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, gave the American Immigration and Naturalization Service-"INS"-a fabricated account of himself to qualify for that agency's immigration criteria. To begin with, the notorious general, known as the "1989 Jezira butcher", wants to mislead the INS with a completely fictitious identity and background of a character by the name of Abukar Osman Noor.

    This new character that has assumed the old body and soul of the Butcher General, has obviously invented a plausible biography and heart-wrenching sob story to worm itself into the good books of the INS operatives. If not for that, the INS would not have informed him of his "acceptance" as a bona fide immigrant that merits asylum among the unsuspecting citizens of the "land of freedom and democracy"-the good, old US of A.

    Our contacts in Nairobi sent the Jamhuuriyaand The Republican newspapers, photographs of this brand new Abukar Osman Nuur character-- who happens to be the old Butcher General himself, leisurely strolling in Nairobi. The Butcher General is said to be quite satisfied with his travelling arrangements and imminent migration to the United States to begin life as the greatly oppressed, much persecuted, long beleaguered Abukar Osman who has no other hope but "to escape for his life" across the great oceans.

    The General's new identity is said to have been pushed and ceaselessly advocated for by a son of his living in the United States of America. It is not clear, however, on what specific grounds the Butcher's claim for asylum is based, or whether the son is similarly registered under the same false identity, as his father "Abukar" or, if not, how a son of a Ibrahim Hassan is related to this new Abukar Osman? an uncle? A father-in-law?

    The fact remains that both the Jezira Butcher and his son knowingly committed a premeditated crime under the law by: (a) bamboozling the venerable INS in their invention of a non- existent character named Abukar Osman Noor (Nur); (b) presentation of forged documents to the State Department as infallible facts and under a false pretense and, (c) the former General Ibrahim Hassan "Anjeh", a criminal of the worst type, is too well-known to escape justice in the guise of a storybook character going by the name of Abukar Osman Noor.

    Since the day the story of the Butcher's successful claim for asylum to the United States was published in our sister Somali paper- Jamhuuriya- on Tuesday, May 8, 2001 relatives of the slain victims were pouring into our offices here reliving their ordeal. The relatives, including brothers and parents, ask the United States not only to deny the Butcher visa papers, but to take him into police custody to await trial as a war criminal. The General has the blood of the victims listed below on his hands. These people were killed at the Jazira beach of Mogadishu right after a cousin of his - Colonel Abdulkadar, Head of Siyad Barre's secret anti-subversion Branch (Hangash) met his demise in the hands of a rioting mob on bloody Friday, July 14, 1989 in Mogadishu.
    Known victims of the Butcher General were:

    1. Ibrahim Hasan Gelle,US-OMC-Somalia
    2. Ibrahim H. Abdilahi Dirie, Businessman
    3. Mohamed Ismail Ahmed, Businessman
    4. Yusuf Mohamed Handulle, USAID Lafole S.N.U
    5. Saeed Mohamed Mumin, Ass. Pro. Lafole S.N.U
    6. Muse Abdi Gaas, Businessman
    7. Hussin Ali Aden, Businessman
    8. Saeed Nur Musa, Businessman
    9. Abdirahman Mohamed Bihi, Businessman
    10. Abdiwahab Farah Ahmed, Student
    11. Abdifatah Ahmed Jiir, Student
    12. Matan Abdi Habashi, Student
    13. Mohamed Mohamud Abdi, Businessman
    14. Ali Mohamed Abdi, Student
    15. Hassan Aw Nur Barud, Businessman
    16. Abdi Mohamed Abdi, Tecjmocoam
    17. Ahmed Yassin Omar, Businessman
    18. Mohamed Abdi Hassan, Businessman
    19. Ibrahim Hassan Ege, Technician
    20. Abdi Muhumed daud, Businessman
    21. Hassan Abdi Muhumed, Businessman
    22. Ali Mohamed Dirie, C. Serv
    23. Jama Mohamed Abdi, Trader
    24. Abdi Osman Dubad, Trader
    25. Husein Omar Husein, Trader
    26. Mohamed Musa Mohamed,Trader
    27. Ahmed Hassan Elmi, Sportsman
    28. Mohamed Bashe Abdillahi, Trader
    29. Abdirahman Ahmed Dhimbil, Civil Servent
    30. Hussein Muhumed Farah, Servent
    31. Mohamed Bacadle, Civil servent
    32. Jama Aden, Civil servent
    33. Abdirahman Mohamed Osman, Trader
    34. Abdirizaq Aydiid Mohamed, Trader
    35. Hussein Osman Jama, student
    36. Khadar Mohamed Ahmed, student
    37. Bihi Ibrahim Ahmed, student
    38. Hassan Nur Hersi, student
    39. Abokir Mohamed Yousuf, trader
    40. Hassan Guure Abdi, trader
    41. Khadar Nuur Jama, trader
    42. Ahmed Yusuf Ibrahim, trader
    43. Mohamed Osman Jama, trader
    44. Farah Ismail Awale, student
    45. Yusuf Abdillahi Roble, graduate Dr.
    46. Dayib Abdi Burale, trader
    47. Dahir Mohamed Jama, trader
    48. Ali Aw Muhumed Mohamed, trader
    49. Fuad Abdillahi Ibrahim
    50. Saud Sh. Ibrahinm,
    51. Hussein kheyre Abdi
    52. Rashid Mohamed Osman
    53. Abdi Barre Osman, graduate.

    BBC Monitoring Service - May 12 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 12 May 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    First lady visits Mass Graves

    The mass graves in Malko Durduro are located on the southwestern part of the capital city of Somaliland Hargeisa. It is known for its close proximity to the Head Quarters of the then much hated Somalia's Armed Forces. The mass graves in Malko Durduro, belonged to perhaps thousands of the estimated 50,000 people who were tortured and executed by Siyad Barre's forces in a vicious outbreak of ethnic cleansing during the civil war of 1988. Anyone who visits the mass graves of murdered civilians simply cannot have a human response to something so massive, staring at death in all its brutal, decomposed and utterly tragic reality. The rotting bones and ragged shreds of clothing that remained of what a decade ago, had been innocent human beings, is sobering, head-imploding and chilling.

    On May 11, 2001 the wife of the President of Somaliland, Madam Kaltuun, visited the mass graves. Madam Kaltuun who was a survivor of the mass killings during 1988, was visibly upset about the human tragedy that she witnessed. In a speech at the site, she said: "I was always aware of the work that was initiated by the committee to preserve the mass graves, and I am here to reiterate my promise that deep in my heart, I am willing to work with the committee in order to save and preserve the mass graves." Madam Kaltun was referring to a self-help scheme, organised by a community based voluntary group that has been busy lately in a project to save the mass graves in Malko Durduro.

    Recently, torrential rains damaged some of the most important mass graves, which were excavated by a team of U.N forensic experts. The rains, and the erosion, had led the voluntary group to believe that without a quick action, an important part of Somaliland's history will be lost forever. The voluntary group whose members include intellectuals and human rights activists, organized themselves, and with the help of community contributions and WFP's food for work program, built walls around the mass graves in order to save and protect these sites.

    In her visit to the mass graves, madam Kalthun concluded her speech with these words: "The government and this committee will not be able to do anything, if the public at-large doesn't participate. Therefore, I am appealing to the public and the business community to join us with this noble cause. Once again, I am willing to do my utmost in order to save these mass graves."

    Edward Johns who is the UNDP chief and UN agencies Focal Point have said at one point on the occasion: "when we see remains like these we think of politics and we think of how terrible a war is. But we forget sometimes that these were of living people, individuals and human beings..." . Johns expressed his impression of the committee's achievements calling it "dedicated" and "important".

    In conclusion, the Chairman of the committee to preserve the mass graves Abdirahman Ahmed Shunuf said, "I am the chairman of the voluntary group that built the walls around the mass graves. I want to thank the armed forces, ministry of public works and water bureau or agency who helped us with this project. We want to thank madam Kaltun for her visit, and request from the government to help us with the remaining work."

    It seems that anyone who visits these sites will agree with the statement that there appears to be an urgent need to take necessary steps to conserve and protect these historical, national sites.


    BBC Monitoring Service - May 12 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 12 May 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    Puntland trained troops attack a Somaliland position

    In the regional capital of Sool, Las Anod, a sizeable contingent of troops attacked Somaliland-held checkpoint on the western fringes of the town on Wednesday, May 10. Reliable sources in Las Anod said that the fighting started at 1500 hrs (1200 hrs GMT) when the Puntland troops tried to take over this strategic position, claiming they were passing through to encamp a few metres beyond them.

    Since there was no credible reason to necessitate the belligerence and aggravating attitudes of the Puntlandese soldiers, the Somaliland officers there understandably refused them passage, at which point the mounted troops tried to shoot their way out, sources say. Earlier during the week, a Puntland delegation led by a previous speaker of Somaliland's Parliament, Ahmed Abdi Haabsadeh, drove over from Garoweh of Puntland.

    Haabsadeh, who is now the incumbent minister for commerce in Puntland, and his delegation, were escorted into town by a 300-strong, fully-armed contingent that joined others who were previously sent there. The Puntland administration of ex-Majertenia has been claiming for some time, that the regions of Sool and Sanaag belong to it, despite the fact that the two regions are currently as well as historically part of Somaliland.

    The Puntland administration, also, vowed to forcibly bar the planned May 31 public referendum on Somaliland's constitution in those two regions.


    BBC Monitoring Service - May 12 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 12 May 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    EDITOR'S NOTEPAD; given a choice, prefer peace to war!

    The above sentiment may be true with a great many among us, but also, there are those who thrive and blossom on all types of confrontations. The more bitter, the more acrimonious a clash is, the greater their satisfaction. The latter type, mind you, are also in our midst. Same as those of the olive branch!

    The worst type among war-mongers (if scales are applicable at all), are those who gamble with other people's lives. Among these are dictators and tin-pot "State" heads. Playing with fire, so to speak, is their sweetest elixir. Directing "wars" from a safe distance is thrill for them. The further an armed clash is removed from their homes, the better.

    A case in hand nowadays is the secretly orchestrated, outwardly unrelated machinations of Djibouti's Guelleh, Puntland's Abdillahi Yusuf, and Mugdishu's Galaydh. These three are, principally, united in trying to put Somaliland under by all means. The top sons (one of them is adopted) of Djibouti, Puntland, and Mogadishu, have apparently decided that Somaliland's continued existence, as an independent, sovereign state is a threat to their precarious seats.
    The Ghelleh Escapade

    Each of them has, however, his own tack in dealing with what they consider a thorny eyesore: the Republic of Somaliland.

    Ghelleh, to begin with, first pleads with Somalilanders to help him ascend to the Guleid-vacated throne. Then, he whisks himself off to the United Nations and drums up support to "re-unite" a defunct Somalia. In his haste, he forgot that his beloved Djibouti cannot be possibly separated from the 1960s Somali dream which aimed for the liberation and eventual unification of British Somaliland, Italian Somalia, French Afar and Essa territories, Ethiopia's Ogaden and Hawd/Reserve areas, and Kenya's NFD.

    Ghelleh did not stop then and there, but thought a "reconciliation" conference he hosts, would pull the rug from under Somaliland's government, through the invitations he sent to all clan chiefs and a great number of other prominent Somalilanders. Then the man closes, opens, and again closes his country's borders with Somaliland. All of the above having, apparently, no discernible effect on a still friendly Somaliland, he embarks on an unabated campaign of slander and mud-slinging against Somaliland, the latest of which appeared on "La Nation", his government's official mouthpiece (Monday, April 30, 2001).


    Africa News, May 11, 2001/Source: UN Integrated Regional Information Network

    Somalia; Tension in Las Anod Over Referendum

    Militia from the Dulbahante clan in Las Anod (8.13N 48.16E) have clashed over the issues relating to the planned referendum by the self-declared state of Somaliland, northwestern Somalia. Local media reported that Dulbahante militia had attacked a checkpoint in the western part of Las Anod, which is on the border of Somaliland, neighbouring the self-declared autonomous region of Puntland, northeastern Somalia.

    Sources close to the Somaliland administration said that tensions had been rising over the last three days, with some 300 Dulbahante militia moving from the Puntland side into Las Anod. Rival Dulbahante militia clashed when those from Puntland tried to take over the western checkpoint, the source told IRIN. A three-hour battle resulted in at least two injuries, but much of the fighting was "posturing", the source said. According to Somaliland sources, tensions have heightened over a referendum planned at the end of May, which includes a vote on the independent status of Somaliland. Some Dulbahante clan representatives have refused to accept ballot boxes in the town. "Clan leaders will have to decide on this issue", the source said. The pro-Somaliland newspaper Mandeeqsaid on 10 May that a soldier from the Somaliland national army had been wounded in the attack, along with two of the attacking militia. No soldiers had been mobilised by the Somaliland administration, the source confirmed; Somaliland soldiers are stationed at most checkpoints.

    Sources close to the Puntland administration confirmed that Puntland militia were moved this week into all areas near the affected border to stop the arrival of ballot boxes. The Dulbahante are a minority clan within the boundaries defined by the Somaliland administration, and some Dulbahante representatives have expressed opposition to the self-declared status of the territory, the source said. Somali political sources told IRIN that the affected area is geographically in what was British Somaliland, which constitutes the Somaliland borders; but that the Dulbahante clan, along with the Warsangeli and the Majerten, form the Harti sub-clan of the Darod, which the Puntland area is based on.


    Africa News, May 11, 2001/Source: UN Integrated Regional Information Network

    Somalia; Preparations for Referendum Under Way

    President Muhammad Ibrahim Egal's administration in the self-declared state of Somaliland, northwestern Somalia, is heavily involved in preparing for the forthcoming referendum, planned for the end of this month. The administration had trained teams to ensure security of the ballot boxes, and to oversee the voting, sources in Hargeysa told IRIN. Elders in each region will observe the counting. In the absence of a population census or tax role, it will fall on elders to determine who will vote, the source said. All preparations are funded by the administration, which is also responsible for the training of the referendum teams. Ministers and officials would go out into the regions next week to campaign, the source said.

    The planned referendum concerns the new Somaliland constitution, in which the first article relates to the independent sovereignty of the territory, whose boundaries follow the old British Somaliland borders.

    Preparations for the referendum have sparked complaints in some areas, specifically Boroma to the west, bordering Ethiopia, and Las Anod (8.13N 48.16E) bordering the self-declared autonomous region of Puntland, northeastern Somalia. These are areas where minority clans have at times expressed opposition to the independence declared by Somaliland in 1991.


    Source: Reuters10 May 2001

    Rival regions' militias clash in north Somalia

    HARGEISA -- Somalia, May 10 (Reuters) - Soldiers from the rival Somali regions of Somaliland and Puntland clashed in a remote town in the north of the country, local journalists reported on.

    Reporters from local Somaliland papers said militiamen from Puntland had attacked a Somaliland government checkpoint on the outskirts of the town of Las Anod on Friday, with at least four soldiers wounded during a three-hour gun battle.

    The former British colony of Somaliland declared its independence from the rest of Somalia in 1991, but has never been recognised internationally.

    At the end of this month it plans to hold a referendum on a new constitution, which will ask for popular approval for its unilateral declaration of independence.

    The neighbouring autonomous region of Puntland opposes the holding of the referendum in several eastern regions of Somaliland, which it claims as its own on the basis of ethnicity.

    Local officials in Las Anod said the attack had been repulsed but independent reports said the militiamen from Puntland were still camped not far from the checkpoint.

    More than a year ago, militiamen from Puntland also tried to seize the same checkpoint as well as the prison and local council headquarters in Las Anod.

    Somaliland and Puntland are normally oases of stability in the chaos of Somalia, but observers say tension has risen between the two regions over the issue of the referendum.


    Somalia: Pro-Puntland militias attack Somaliland police post

    BBC Monitoring Service - May 10, 2001

    Militias supporting the Garowe [Puntland] administration are reported to have attacked yesterday afternoon at 3 p.m.[local time] a [police] post in the western part of Laas Canood. Reports from reliable sources say two of the attacking militias and a soldier from the Somaliland national army at the post were wounded in the attack.

    The militias wanted to take control of the post but failed to do so, the report further added.

    According to leaders and intellectuals from Lass Canood, the militias had arrived a week before with instructions to capture specific areas.

    Source: Mandeeq, Hargeysa, 10 May 01 p 1 /BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.


    Somalia: Somaliland signs oil prospecting contract with Chinese company

    BBC Monitoring Service - May 8, 2001

    The Ministry of Water and Natural Resources of the Republic of Somaliland signed an oil prospecting contract with Continental and Petroleum Engineering Company [CPEC] of China on 7 May 2001.

    According to the assistant minister in the ministry, Yusuf Isse Tallabo [untraced], the contract will last for a year after which the company will stop operating if no oil is found. Tallabo cited the exploration areas as Block35, 36 and MIO-A [expansion unknown] which are all located in the eastern part of Berbera.

    The assistant minister added that the company will start its operations within the first three months of the year and that the agreement allows either of the two parties to withdraw during this period if they find it necessary.

    Source: Mandeeq, Hargeysa, 5 Aug 01 /BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.


    Africa News, May 8, 2001/Source: UN Integrated Regional Information Network

    Somalia; Air Somalia Suspended for "Unsafe Practices"

    The recently established cross-clan national airline, Air Somalia, has been suspended from flying to the self-declared independent state of Somaliland, northwestern Somalia, pending an investigation into unsafe flight practices. Somaliland Minister of Civil Aviation and Air Transport for Somaliland Abdillahi Duale said that the present ban had nothing to do with the fact the airline was called Air Somalia and displayed a Somali star, as had been widely reported in local Somali media and on the internet.

    Duale said that on 17 April the aircraft arrived in Hargeysa, capital of Somaliland, from Galkayo, in the self-declared autonomous region of Puntland, northeastern Somalia. It then filed a flight plan for Bosaso in Puntland. After being advised by Bosaso not to land, it took off from Hargeysa. Attempts thereafter by flight control staff in Hargeysa, Bosaso and Mogadishu to contact the aircraft proved futile. It was later confirmed to be flying to Djibouti, but had changed its signal code mid-flight from TVR2302 to MCC9043, Somaliland authorities said. The incident was detailed in a letter to the UN-supported International Civil Aviation Authority in Nairobi, which has controlled the airspace in Somalia in the absence of a central authority since 1996. According to the letter, the Somaliland minister of civil aviation was "aware of the incident and has assured of appropriate action to prevent repetition of such unsafe air operation practices".


    BBC Monitoring Service - May 05 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 05 May 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    Why Somaliland's International Border with Puntland is Sacrosanct

    John Drysdale, who has written extensively on Somali international boundary disputes since his standard work on the subject in 1964 (John Drysdale, The Somali Dispute, Praeger, New York, 1964), was asked by The Republican his opinion on Somaliland's border with Puntland in its historical perspective. This was his reply:

    "Somaliland's border with Puntland dates back to the Anglo-Italian Protocol of 1894, part of which describes that section of the border with present-day Puntland as running from the intersection of 8o latitude and 48o longitude, following north-east to the intersection of 9o latitude and 49o longitude, then following that meridian northwards to the Gulf of Aden.

    "This boundary, likewise Somaliland's boundaries with Ethiopia and Djibouti, constituted the territorial boundaries of the State of Somaliland on June 26, 1960, when the former British Somaliland Protectorate won its independence from Britain. The State of Somaliland was internationally recognised by 35 states including Egypt, Ghana, and Libya.

    Somalia's Border with Ethiopia is not Recognised Internationally

    "The Organisation of African Unity has declared as inviolable all colonial borders on independence. The exception being Somalia's current international border with Ethiopia which has been a 'provisional administrative line' since it was drawn on a map by the British Military Administration in 1950. This 'line' is not internationally recognised. Thus Somalia has no internationally recognised border with Ethiopia.

    "Somaliland, having restored its 1960 sovereignty on May 18, 1991, in accordance with international law and in accordance with the OAU doctrine on the inviolability of ex-colonial boundaries, also restored its former border with its territorial neighbour now known as Puntland. Somaliland's border with Puntland is thus immutable".


    BBC Monitoring Service - May 05 2001 Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 05 May 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    Stern warning by the Somaliland government and the SNM to Abdillahi Yusuf

    Hargeisa -- The Administration of President Egal has warned Abdillahi Yusuf, the ruler of the regional state of Puntland against what it termed as the dangerous consequences that his interventions in the internal affairs of the Republic of Somaliland might bring about. The warning came in the aftermath of a recent statement issued by Abdillahi Yusuf that described the planned referendum on the current draft Somaliland constitution as provocative and hostile. Abdillahi Yusuf has challenged the Somaliland government to hold the referendum in the country's Sool and Sanag regions.

    During a press conference on last Saturday, Somaliland Minister of information, Ali Waran'ade, said if Abdillahi Yusuf wants war we are ready for him and he will solely bear the whole responsibility for the consequences.

    The SNM, the main opposition organisation in Somaliland, also warned Abdillahi Yusuf to refrain from laying claims to Somaliland territories. In a press statement issued on Sunday, the former guerrilla organisation reiterated its support of the territorial integrity of the Republic of Somaliland. "While we differ with the Somaliland Administration on policy issues and are often critical of the government's performance particularly in respect of reaching out to eastern regions in terms of government services and strengthening the presence of administrative structures in those areas, the SNM veterans will be at the forefront in defending the sovereignty of this country" the SNM statement said.

    The SNM had waged a decade-long armed struggle against Siyad Barre's regime that eventually led to the downfall of the late Somali dictator in Jan 1991. Abdilahi Yusuf headed another armed dissident group by the name of SSDF that was launched one year before the SNM inception. The SSDF, which used to receive very generous military and financial aid from Libya, collapsed in 1985 following a fierce power struggle emanating from Yusuf's refusal to step down as the organisation's leader. As a result of this development, the SNM remained the only armed group fighting Siyad Barre's forces. By 1990 about 80% of Somalia's armed forces had been destroyed in the north (present day Somaliland). In 1985 Abdillahi Yusuf was put in an Ethiopian prison after he was accused of masterminding the assassination of prominent dissidents within the SSDF such as Abdirahman Eideed. In 1991, Abdillahi Yusuf was released from prison following the EPRDF's take over Ethiopia.


    BBC Monitoring Service - May 05 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 05 May 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    First pre-service teachers training institute established in Somaliland

    Hargeisa -- The first teachers training institute, the Somaliland Teachers Education College (STEC) was officially opened on April 29, 2001 in Hargeisa.

    The STEC is expected to fill a widely felt vacuum in the area of teachers training which until now has been limited to short, uncoordinated in-service training courses offered by multitude of INGOs and UN agencies. Most of the qualified teachers in Somaliland had either left the profession for better paying jobs inside the country, or emigrated abroad during the time of oppression.

    According to the STEC policy, the in-take of trainees will be from junior secondary school students who successfully finished 2-years of secondary education. The training period will be for 2 years. Students to be trained for teachers will be offered an integrated type of education that would enable them to receive form 3 and form 4 secondary school education. Professional subjects like Education in addition to psychological aspects of teaching are also major components of the training program. The trainees will also be given special short courses on subjects like first-aid and hygiene, programs which have been designed with the intention of providing skills to teachers in rural areas so that they become competent enough to address multiple community needs. Parallel programs will also be endorsed by STEC including the increasing of girl's participation in education and other community awareness raising activities. The inauguration ceremony of the first teachers training college in Somaliland last Sunday, has attracted a relatively huge crowd of education advocates consisting of people with mixed backgrounds. The few government officials and ex-officials with intellectual interests outside their portfolios such as Sheikh Ahmed Sheikh Nuh, Gees, Yusuf Dualle, Fagadhe and Einab came to the occasion. So was Haji Abdi Hussein, one of the prominent members of Somaliland's House of Elders. Singers and poets like Hassan Ali Banfas were also there for the occasion.

    Edna Aden was among the keynote speakers in the inauguration ceremony. "It is very fortunate that we have universities and colleges today. This is amazing considering that just during the last 10 years our school children have been using imported milk cans to sit on".

    Edna Aden has built a hospital in Hargeisa to provide maternity services to mothers. A large percentage of mothers in Somaliland die during childbirth due to lack of proper medical care.

    The Somaliland teachers training college has been founded and is headed by Ahmed Abdi Da'r, a man with extensive educational background.


    BBC Monitoring Service - May 05 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 05 May 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    The Arta faction in disarray

    Mogadisho/London -- Osman Kallun, the deputy of Arta faction prime minister Ali Gulaydh, has now returned to London where he has been living as a refugee asylum seeker for the last 10 years.

    Kalun has come at logger heads with Ali Khalif Galaydh.

    Qassim Salad, the Hawiye President has sided with Kalun. The major differences between Kalun and Galaydh evolve around the former's conviction that both of them can no longer remain serving the Arta faction unless they show some kind of political power.

    Kallun, Ali Galaydh and Abdi Qassim have been widely reported of being partners of Borreh.


    BBC Monitoring Service - May 05 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 05 May 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    Committee for the Preservation of Mass Graves thanks WFP

    Hargeisa -- The committee for the preservation of mass graves (CPMG), a voluntary group founded by human rights activists in Somaliland, in a statement issued on Thursday has thanked the WFP for providing support to efforts for saving Malko-Durduro mass grave sites at Hargeisa. The CPMG which was established few months ago, has recently started installing gabion instructures to protect mass-graves at Malko-Durduro suburb from rain floods.

    The project is being implemented through assistance from WFP (in the form of food for work). The CPMG commended the WFP for having positively reacted to their request for assistance. "We particularly thank Ms. Kanis Khan head of WFP Hargeisa for the immediate collaboration she has rendered to our attempts to save the graves site", the CPMG statement said. The voluntary group also cited the WFP's prompt response to recent government drought appeals as another example of the organization's commitment in coming to the aid of those in need.

    Last year, the WFP had distributed food aid to drought stricken areas in several areas in Somaliland including some of the most remote areas in the country.


    BBC Monitoring Service - May 05 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 05 May 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    EDITORIAL:Abdillahi Yusuf and Galaydh

    At a time when he has already enough problems in his hands, Puntland's President Abdillahi Yusuf continues to lay claims to Somaliland's territories of Sool and Sanag. The colonel is known to be facing an internal opposition to his rule by a considerable section of the local population. And the Arta faction is obviously fishing in Puntland's troubled waters. In the meanwhile, Ali Khalif has vowed to dismantle Abdillahi Yusuf's government and the colonel is already feeling the heat. But Abdillahi Yusuf has since the SSDF days shown a tendency of shooting himself in the foot whenever confronted with political challenges. Last week, Col. Yusuf and the Arta faction's prime minister Ali Galaydh were on the same tune, at least politically, as both men not only condemned the referendum on Somaliland's constitution, expected to be held by end of May, but also come out against the implementation of the referendum particularly in Sool and Sanag. Why Yusuf and Galaydh should have singled out Sool and Sanag regions of Somaliland evokes some reflection.

    The appointment of Ali Khalif Galaydh as Arta faction's premier was contingent, among other things, on him securing the support of people in most of the eastern parts of Somaliland's territories for the so-called transitional government of Somalia. However Galaydh has so far failed to deliver on his promise to rally eastern Somali Landers behind the Arta faction. Afraid not to be able to retain his post much longer, the only thing he does these days is to attack Somaliland's scheduled referendum while not forgetting to incite hatred against Ethiopia.

    As to Abdillahi Yusuf, it has been obvious that the colonel wants to keep a foothold in nearly every Somali territory that matters. In the past the colonel has sent troops to places as far as Kismayo in the name of defending Harti interests. Since 1998, he has also kept sending armed militiamen across the border with Somaliland with the objective of challenging Somaliland's control in Sool and Sanag regions.

    The problem with Abdillahi Yusuf however is that while he is trying to project himself as the ultimate leader of Somalia, he seems not to be able to muster enough support from his Majerteen kinsmen. And while advocating a Harti homeland governed by him and that, according to his blurred vision incorporate parts of Sool and Sanag, Abdillahi Yusuf often finds himself shunned by the overwhelming majority of Somaliland's Harti communities who coexist peacefully with their countrymen from other Somaliland communities living in those areas.

    We believe that the Somaliland people have the right to work out their will without impediments or coercion. Holding a referendum is one of the most democratic methods for individual citizens to express their opinion freely. Unless Galaydh and Yusuf are planning to sabotage Somaliland's referendum on the constitution, we strongly disagree with their notion that by inviting people to decide on such an important issue as their country's future constitution, the Somaliland government is inciting communities to violence. Aren't people free to vote yes or no?

    We also feel that blatant violations of internationally recognised boundaries on the pretext of unifying members of a certain clan into a political entity would only set the stage for the re-ignition of tribally motivated hostilities. It is therefore necessary that all communities in Somaliland, no matter what are their clan affiliations, exercise caution and vigilance so that this doesn't happen again.


    Africa News, May 4, 2001/Source: UN Integrated Regional Information Network

    Somalia; Somaliland's Referendum Condemned

    The Transitional Government of Somalia (TNG) has condemned the planned referendum in the self-declared independent state of Somaliland, northwestern Somalia. The Deputy Information Minister Ali Muhammad Arale described the referendum as violating international and national law. In a press statement issued on 29 April, he said the aim of the referendum was to legitimise the secession of the north from Somalia, and that the division of Somalia into small fiefdoms was "unacceptable". The Mogadishu-based TNG called on the international community not to assist or encourage the holding of the referendum.

    Earlier, the self-declared autonomous region of Puntland, northeastern Somalia, warned Somaliland against holding the referendum in the regions of Sool, Sanaag, and the district of Buhoodle. A Puntland press statement issued on 26 April described the referendum, scheduled for May this year, as "unwise and provocative".

    The referendum, which is to take place throughout Somaliland, will ask the people of the region to approve a new constitution, which includes confirmation of Somaliland's independent status. In 1991, Somaliland declared itself independent, based on the borders of former British Somaliland. The regions specified in the Puntland statement are geographically part of the former British Somaliland, but the clans inhabiting them are associated with Puntland clans. "Historically, clan boundaries existed long before European colonial administrations, and remained intact after independence and eventual union of the southern and northern Somalia," said the statement. It said the "politically motivated" referendum may provoke violence.

    However, Somaliland Information Minister Muhammad Ali Waran'ade told journalists at a press conference in Hargeysa on 28 April that the disputed regions were part and parcel of Somaliland. He said the referendum would go ahead as planned, the BBC reported.


    Somaliland businessmen complain of being conned by Yemenis

    BBC Monitoring Service - May 2, 2001

    Two Somaliland businessmen have disclosed that they have lost 3.25m US dollars to their Yemeni business counterparts. The two men were involved in the livestock export business to Yemen and had exported 1,500 herds of cattle to Yemen between 1 May and 19 September 2000.

    The two businessmen, Abdirahman Aw Ali Farah and Mattan Mahmud Aw Adan, said in a written complaint that they had business counterparts in Yemen who had received their livestock in Yemen who owed them 3.75m US dollars for the period. According to our reporter in Berbera town [main commercial sea port of Somaliland] the two businessmen received goods valued by their counterparts in Yemen at 700,000 US dollars, but on arrival in Somaliland the value of the goods was only 500,000 US dollars. Their Yemeni counterparts later refused to pay the outstanding amount of the money. They, therefore, lost 3.25m US dollars to their Yemeni partners.

    Reports say the two Somalilanders registered a complaint with the Yemeni government but their complaints were dismissed by the Yemeni government. "The reason for the dismissal is because we are treated like refugees and our rights are flagrantly violated," they said.
    Source: Jamhuuriya, Hargeysa, 2 May 01 p 1 /BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.


    Somalia: Interim government minister condemns Somaliland's planned referendum

    BBC Monitoring Service - May 1, 2001

    The Transitional Government of Somalia has for the first time condemned the referendum proposed by [Somaliland leader] Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal's administration in the northern regions of Somalia [Somaliland].

    A press statement issued by the interim government's assistant minister for information, Ali Muhammad Arale, said the move was a violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Somali nation which was sacred. He said the motive for the planned referendum by Egal in the northern Somali regions was to legitimize the secession of the north from the rest of Somalia which was unacceptable. He said the division of Somalia into small fiefdoms was an unforgivable, treasonable and unparalleled offence which violated the sanctity of the Somali nation.

    Consequently, he said, the Transitional Government of Somalia considered the move an illegal step meant to cause renewed civil strife, destruction and more suffering for the residents of the northern regions in particular. He said the majority of the residents of the northern region were not supportive of the secession efforts by the Somaliland leader, Egal.

    Arale called upon the international community to counter the destructive moves spearheaded by Muhammad Ibrahim Haji Egal and called on them not to give a helping hand to Egal's divisive policies.

    He said at a time when the world was experiencing globalization and calls were being made for the unification of the world community, Egal was out to divide the Somali nation. He said this move was unacceptable to the new international community's initiatives based on respect for the sanctity of other nations, unity and cooperation among world nations.
    Source: Xog-Ogaal, Mogadishu, 30 Apr 01 p 3


    Somaliland: New foreign minister takes office

    BBC Monitoring Service - May 1, 2001 Somaliland's new foreign affairs minister Abdihamid Garad Jama' Garad Ali today officially took over from the former foreign minister, Mahmud Salah Nur Fagare.

    The handing over ceremony which was well organized took place in the ministry's HQ and was attended by officials and staffers from the various department of the ministry. Fagare spoke of the various stages that the ministry had gone through during his four-year tenure at the helm of the ministry.

    Fagare said the Foreign Affairs Ministry reflected the progress made by the country...

    Source: Radio Hargeysa, web site 30 Apr 01 /BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.


    Somalia: Northeastern town residents protest Somaliland-Puntland row

    BBC Monitoring Service - May 1, 2001

    Demonstrators opposed to the recent row by Somaliland and Puntland over Sool and Sanaag regions have said the regions were not under any of the two administrations.

    The demonstrators marched in Laas Caanood [northeastern Somalia, former British Somaliland territory bordering Puntland region] town waving placards that said they were opposed to squabbles over them, were not under any of the two administrations and would not take part in the either of the two regions' referendums or constitutions, currently being drafted...
    Source: Qaran web site, Mogadishu, 30 Apr 01 /BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.


    Somaliland: Elders from disputed region voice support for Somaliland

    BBC Monitoring Service - May 1, 2001

    Thirty-seven elders representing clans from Sanaag Region [territory in dispute between Somaliland and Puntland] yesterday released a statement in support of a [recent] news conference by information minister, Ali Muhammad Waran-ade who was reacting to a so-called news conference by Somalia's Puntland regional administration which has claimed some Somaliland regions.

    The Sanaag elders emphatically reiterated that the residents of Sool and eastern Sanaag regions have always been the indigenous people of Somaliland, and are fully preparing to participate in the forthcoming referendum and, as the information minister said, could not be obstructed by anyone.

    The Sanaag elders also told Radio Hargeysa's reporter Taraf [phonetic] that claims by Abdullahi Yusuf [Puntland president] to some Somaliland region were misguided and laughable. The elders included Bashir Diriye Abdi, Jama' Ali Arab Ashur, Jama Warsame Farah, Muhammad Ismai'l Bube...
    Source: Radio Hargeysa, web site, 30 Apr 01 /BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.


    Somaliland: Heavy rains destroy village in central region

    BBC Monitoring Service - May 1, 2001

    Reports from Ood Weyne, Toghdheer Region [central Somaliland], say that recent heavy rains have caused destruction of houses and death of livestock.

    The administrator of Abdidere village in eastern [word indistinct] region, Abdullahi Jama' Yusuf, told Radio Hargeysa today that a downpour that lasted for over three hours on Friday evening caused a huge local dam to over flow and sweep the village. Sixteen houses which included temporary structures were destroyed. Eight other houses were destroyed in another section of the village where four children were injured as houses collapsed.

    Jama' added that over 200 livestock including goats, cows and camels perished in the flooding...
    Source: Radio Hargeysa, 30 Apr 01 /BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.


    Somaliland: Demo held against Puntland in southeastern town

    BBC Monitoring Service - May 1, 2001

    Hundreds of people yesterday morning held a two-hour demonstration in Laas Caanood [ southeastern Somaliland, northeastern Somalia] against inflation and the interference of Puntland regional state in the internal affairs of the people of Sool Region.

    All the town's business premises were closed yesterday in the morning as protesters stoned vehicles...
    Source: Mandeeq, Hargeysa, 1 May 01 p 1 /BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.


    Africa News, May 1, 2001/Source: UN Integrated Regional Information Network

    Somalia; Puntland Challenges Neighbouring Referendum

    The self-declared autonomous region of Puntland, northeastern Somalia, has warned the self-declared independent state of Somaliland, northwestern Somalia, against holding a referendum in the regions of Sool, Sanaag, and the district of Buhoodle. A Puntland press statement issued on 26 April described the referendum, scheduled for May this year, as "unwise and provocative".

    The referendum, which is to take place throughout Somaliland, will ask the people of the region to approve a new constitution, which includes confirmation of Somalilands independent status. In 1991, Somaliland declared itself independent, based on the borders of former British Somaliland. The regions specified in the Puntland statement are geographically part of the former British Somaliland, but the clans inhabiting them are associated with Puntland clans. "Historically, clan boundaries existed long before European colonial administrations, and remained intact after independence and eventual union of the southern and northern Somalia," said the statement. It said the "politically motivated" referendum may provoke violence.

    However, Somaliland Information Minister Muhammad Ali Waran'ade told journalists at a press conference in Hargeysa on 28 April that the disputed regions were part and parcel of Somaliland. He said that the referendum would go ahead as planned, the BBC reported.


    Africa News, May 1, 2001/Source: UN Integrated Regional Information Network

    Somalia; Somaliland Referendum "Unacceptable"

    The Transitional Government of Somalia (TNG) has condemned the planned referendum in the self-declared independent state of Somaliland, northwest Somalia. The Assistant Minster of Information Ali Mohammed Arale described the referendum as violating international and national law. In a press statement issued on 29 April, he said the aim of the referendum was to legitimise the secession of the north from Somalia, and that the division of Somalia into small fiefdoms was "unacceptable." The Mogadishu-based TNG called on the international community not to assist or encourage the holding of the referendum.

    Director of information for the TNG, Abdirahman Dinari, told IRIN on that as far as the interim government was concerned, the 1960 union between British Somaliland and Italian Somaliland was still in effect. "Referendums are conducted by nations not regions," he said.

    Somaliland President Muhammad Ibrahim Egal had told IRIN in a previous interview that the referendum on the new Somaliland constitution planned for May was "also a referendum on the separation of the country and the renewal of (Somaliland's former independent) status." He said it would be a major undertaking that was likely to cost about US $1 million, and appealed for international assistance.


    BBC World Service 30 April, 2001

    Somaliland: Ten Years On

    This month, the people of the self-declared Republic of Somaliland, in the Horn of Africa, will mark ten years since they broke away from Somalia.

    The self-declared republic has a government, an army, a national flag and an anthem. It even has its own currency. But in the decade that has passed, Somaliland has been unable to secure international recognition as an independent state.

    Charles Haviland reports on how Somaliland is on the road to development despite its uncertain diplomatic status.

    In 1960, British Somaliland, on the Gulf of Aden, and Italian Somaliland, on the Indian Ocean, gained independence from their colonial powers. In a spirit of pan-Somali nationalism, they merged to form the United Republic of Somalia. The former British colony comprised its north western part.

    But that spirit of harmony did not last long. Hussein Bulhan, director of the Somaliland Centre for Peace and Development, explains:

    'The iniquity began from the very start. There was a very disproportionate representation in the Parliament. The capital city became Mogadishu - in the South. The president was a southerner...the prime minister was from the south. So frustration began from the start.'

    Internal Violence

    In 1969, Muhammad Siad Barre assumed power in Somalia. He began to elect people from his own clan (the Marehan) for governments posts, to the exclusion of other clans, such as the Mijertyn and Issaq.

    In the early 80s, opposition to Siad Barre's military regime began to emerge. Members of the Issaq clan formed a guerrilla group, to fight against southern rule. It was called the Somali National Movement (SNM). In 1988, the SNM launched an offensive in the northern cities of Hargeisa and Burco.

    The forces of Siad Barre's government responded by bombarding the cities and pursuing the separatist rebels. Schools were razed; water and electricity were made inaccessible. Half a million northerners fled into Ethiopia. Some fifty thousand people died. Those who returned, after the Somali army had left the north, found their homes looted and mined.

    Abdurrahman Ahmed Hassan, the chairman of a voluntary group recently set up to preserve the graves of civilians killed by government troops in 1988, describes what United Nations experts found during their excavations:

    'People were chained together. Women and children also. I think, about thousands.'

    Early in 1991, under pressure from opposition clans, Siad Barre fled Mogadishu. His departure offered the momentum for the north west to break away from Somalia and declare itself independent.

    Break-Away Region

    On 18 May 1991, Somaliland proclaimed itself independent with the slogan, 'No More Mogadishu.' Hargeisa was chosen as capital. In May 1993, a council of elders elected Mohammed Ibrahim Egal as the president.

    During its first years, Somaliland was convulsed by internal clan-based violence. However, recently, rival clan members have reached power-sharing treaties.

    Hussein Hassan Ali Mousseh, a clan elder from the town of Erigavo, in eastern Somaliland recalls:

    'All the clans came here and said let us forget claims, let us begin a new chapter.'

    In order for a new chapter to begin, clan members needed to be properly represented in the government.
    The Issue Of Representation

    Currently members of Somaliland's Parliament are chosen along clan lines. But this could change if a new draft multi-party constitution is approved by referendum at the end of May.

    The legal adviser to the parliament, Ahmed Ali Kahen, explains:

    'There has been an attempt to make a framework in which parties do not divide along those lines. There are going to be three main national parties and each party has to have representatives from all the other regions, where all clans are represented...It will resolve the issue of division along regional or tribal lines.'

    The referendum is due to be followed by elections in 2002.
    Unrecognised

    So far, the international community has not recognised Somaliland's independent status and is unwilling to endorse the fragmentation of the Horn of Africa.

    Because of its unofficial status, Somaliland can not enter into formal trade agreements with other nations or seek assistance from world financial institutions.

    The national revenue relies on two main sources: livestock exports and remittances from the Somali diaspora. A population of roughly 3.5 million depends on these. A large percentage of the population live in poverty.

    President Egal says Somaliland's unofficial status creates many obstacles:

    'The most disabling thing is the lack of communication with the international community. We have no ambassadors. We only have international agencies...We have no telephone code of our own. We are still using the Somalia code.'

    There are no proper banks but rather money traders who trade Somaliland currency - the shilling. As it is not a member of the international postal union, Somaliland must hire multinational companies, such as DHL, to deliver its mail abroad.
    Attracting Foreign Investment

    President Egal also says attracting foreign investment is difficult. Somaliland is believed to have rich oil deposits in the coastal region but companies interested in exploring them are hindered by the lack of proper insurance for their equipment and personnel.

    In a move to fuel the economy in the region, President Egal has endorsed a liberal economic regime. Foreign companies are allowed to buy stakes in local enterprises, and small and medium-sized businesses are in the making.

    The result is a thriving private sector. Somaliland currently has five private airlines, several electricity companies and as many as five telecommunications companies, which offer both mobile and landline telephone services.

    Despite this economic boom, Somaliland still awaits diplomatic recognition ten years after declaring itself a nation.

    More Highlights Educating The Girls Of Peru Pitch Black: Racism in Football Somaliland: Ten Years On Healing Powers Berbers: The Proud Raiders The Image of Rosita The Struggle For Childhood God: Speaker Of Many Languages Brian Keenan: Prisoner Turned Writer Fantasy Football Children And The Crucifixion Loving Men, Living Lies The PGD Baby Battle Caring For The Children of South Africa Tourist Traps Cardinal Newman In The 21st Century Japanese Juvenile Justice The Lost Children Of Argentina Sporting Passions Life As A Hunter-Gatherer Lidiya Lagutina: Russia's Domestic Goddess Goodbye Village, Hello City The Challenger Legacy A Radio History Of The World Frank Huyler's Emergency Medicine Sporting Stars Of The Future The Real Erin Brockovich Society of Friends Yoga: Head to Toe Sovitskaya: On A Wing And A Prayer
    At A Glance

    Article 2: The Revised Constitution of the Republic of Somaliland

    1. The territory of the Republic of Somaliland covers the same area as that of the former Somaliland Protectorate and is located between Latitude 8' to 11' 30' north of the equator and Longitude 42' 45 to 49' East...

    2. The Republic of Somaliland is bordered by the Gulf of Aden to the north; Somalia to the east; the Federal Republic of Ethiopia to the south and the west; and the Republic of Djibouti to the north west.
    Ban On Livestock

    In February 1998, Saudi Arabia banned livestock imports (mainly sheep and goats) from Somaliland.

    The ban was imposed after the discovery of an outbreak of the infectious Rift Valley Fever among Somali animals.

    The effects of the embargo are wide-ranging. The entire economy is dependent on the export of animals.
    (c) BBC World Service, Bush House, Strand, London WC2B 4PH, UK.


    Agence France Presse, April 29, 2001

    Somalia: one breakaway state warns another over referendum plan

    NAIROBI-- The breakaway state of Puntland in northeast Somalia has warned its neighbour Somaliland, another breakaway state, against holding a planned referendum, saying it could destabilise the region.

    In a statement sent to AFP here Puntland's regional administration warned Somaliland that its plans to hold a referendum on May 25 in certain areas was "unwise and provocative."

    The referendum has been called in the Puntland regions of Sool and Sanaag, along with the Buhoodle district, to ask residents whether they approve of secession from the rest of Somalia, which has lacked an effective central government since the 1991 fall of the dicator Mohammed Siad Barre.

    The three areas were all part of former British Somaliland before it unified with Italian Somaliland in the south to form the Republic of Somalia in 1960.

    In the statement, Puntland, which was founded in August 1998, said that the colonial border was abolished by the unification of the two Somalilands.

    "Puntland State of Somalia sees this provocative intention by Somaliland President Mohamed Ibrahim Egal intention to hold a nominal referendum as a naked interference in the internal affairs of the State of Puntland and a cause for alarm and Puntland's right for self-defense," the statement said.

    The statement said that Puntland's Council of Ministers held a special meeting on the issue last and decided that the move by Somaliland was "a recipe for disaster that could lead to renewed violence and destabilisation.

    "If Egal's administration goes ahead with this politically motivated and unrealistic referendum, the resulting violence would be the most unfortunate development in the only Somali regions that had succeeded in restoring peace and stability in a country torn apart by a vicious civil war," it warned.

    Somaliland, which seceded from the rest of Somalia in May 1991 -- five months after Barre was toppled -- has yet to be recognised by the outside world and declined to comment on the issue.

    However, Somaliland's information ministry spokesman told AFP on that the referendum would take place as planned, despite Puntland's opposition.


    Somalia: Police spokesman accuses UNDP of paying lips service

    BBC Monitoring Service - Apr 26, 2001

    A training programme sponsored by UNDP and aimed at morally rehabilitating more than 3,000 militiamen in the suburbs of Mogadishu was reportedly postponed by the UNDP which opened training camps in Somaliland instead. A spokesman of the Somali police force told HornAfrik that UNDP officials had entered into an agreement with the transitional government and pledged to contribute to the training of the Mogadishu militiamen.

    The spokesman accused UNDP of paying lip service for diverting its assistance to Somaliland.


    BBC Monitoring Service - Apr 26, 2001/

    Source: Horseed web site, 26 Apr 01 /BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    UN body sponsors police training in Somaliland

    The Police Training School in the Somaliland town of Mandera [central Somaliland] welcomed 350 new recruits yesterday to begin a four-month course. They are part of a larger programme sponsored by UNDP [United Nations Development Programme] aimed at training 1,000 new recruits this year and improving the police force countrywide.

    "These young men are dedicated," said Luca Rajola, chief technical advisor for the law enforcement component of the UNDP Somali civil protection programme. "They are interested in learning new skills and will raise even further the professional standards of the police force."

    Most of the recruits are former militia members, and the programme gives them an opportunity to get back to work in a productive way, said Rajola. "Before the civil war, Somali police were regarded as some of the best in Africa. We are glad to help them reach that high standard once again."

    The new class includes about 300 police recruits and 50 prison guards. They will learn the penal code and how to incorporate respect for human rights and the rights of women in their work. The course also provides practical exercises in riot control and traffic control. Specialized groups will train to work at the airport and seaport, and in border control and drug traffic control. Some will become police trainers for future classes.

    The Mandera Police Training School was founded in 1952, but is in disrepair. UNDP Somalia is providing funds to restore the barracks, install windows, build latrines, pipe in water, provide generators, and upgrade the classrooms and dining room. UNDP advertised yesterday for bids on the work. Meanwhile, the recruits will sleep on the ground and eat canned food. The UN World Food Programme is joining the effort by supporting the trainees while they are at school with its Food for Work programme.

    There are currently about 5,000 police in Somaliland, but around 1,000 are expected to retire soon. The new recruits being trained this year will replace them. The UNDP Somali Civil Protection Programme is aimed at supporting law enforcement, the judiciary, demobilization of militias and land mine clearance. Italy, Sweden, the US, Oxfam Canada and several other donors provide funding.


    Africa News, April 25, 2001/Source: United Nations

    Somalia; UN Development Agency Helps Former Militia to Promote Civil Protection

    A Somalian police training school supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has welcomed 350 new recruits - many of whom are former militia members - to begin training as part of a larger programme to improve the police force countrywide, the UN agency said today. "These young men are dedicated," said Luca Rajola, chief technical advisor for the law enforcement component of the UNDP Somali civil protection programme.

    "They are interested in learning new skills and will raise even further the professional standards of the police force."

    The four-month programme, which began yesterday in the Somaliland town of Mandera, gives the former militia an opportunity to get back to work in a productive way, . Rajola said. "Before the civil war, Somali police were regarded as some of the best in Africa.

    We are glad to help them reach that high standard once again."

    The new class includes about 300 police recruits and 50 prison guards. They will learn the penal code and how to incorporate respect for human rights and the rights of women in their work.

    The course also provides exercises in riot and traffic control. Specialized groups will train to work at the airport and seaport, and in border control and drug traffic control.

    Some will become police trainers for future classes.

    There are currently about 5,000 police in Somaliland, but around 1,000 are expected to retire soon.

    The new recruits being trained this year will replace them, UNDP said.

    The UNDP Somali Civil Protection Programme is aimed at supporting law enforcement, the judiciary, demobilization of militias and landmine clearance.

    Italy, Sweden, the United States, a Canadian non-governmental organization, and several other donors provide funding.


    BBC Monitoring Service - Apr 24, 2001/Source: Mandeeq, Hargeysa, 24 Apr 01 p 24 /BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    Djibouti trade minister reportedly bars local banks from trading in Somaliland

    The Djibouti trade minister Elmi Obsieh Waiss held a meeting on 17 April with Djibouti's businessmen and banks and issued a strict order which barred them from operating in Somaliland.

    This directive which was issued by the Djibouti regime, is hot on the heels of President Ismai'l Gelleh recent support for the Djiboutian businessman, Abdirahman Jama' Bore whose cartons of cigarettes were incinerated [in Somaliland]...


    Puntland says two regions not to take part in Somaliland referendum

    BBC Monitoring Service - Apr 23, 2001 A statement released by Puntland presidential HQ has said that Sool and Sanaag regions, [northeastern Somalia] which are part of Puntland, will not take part in the referendum announced by Muhammad Ibrahim Egal [Somaliland president] for the self-declared republic of Somaliland.

    "The people living in the two regions are natives of Puntland and will not take part in a referendum aimed at partitioning Somalia. The unity of Somalia is sacred. The residents of the regions will not participate in Egal's exercise which is secessional"...
    Source: Xog-Ogaal, Mogadishu, 23 Apr 01 p 2 /BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.


    Somaliland shilling slides against dollar, other currencies

    BBC Monitoring Service - Apr 23, 2001

    The dollars gained considerably in the foreign exchange market yesterday, 22 April.

    One dollar was rated at 6000 Somaliland shillings. Other currencies also gained affecting the standard of living. One parket [presumably 1kg] of sugar was going for 110,000 Somaliland shillings. Rice was rated at 90,000 shillings, while millet flour was sold at 88,000. Pasta was yesterday afternoon sold at 40,000 shillings.

    At the same time the cost of other basic needs have also gone up. A cup of tea was sold at 350 shillings, while in some other places it stood at 400 shillings. The price of 20 litres of petrol was 52,000 shillings, while diesel was 38,000 shillings...
    Source: Mandeeq, Hargeysa, 23 Apr 01 p 1 /BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.


    Somaliland bans Air Somalia from using its airports

    BBC Monitoring Service - Apr 23, 2001

    The self-declared Somaliland administration has ordered Air Somalia not to land on any part of Somaliland as long as it carries "Air Somalia" logo. According to reports the Somaliland administration instructed the Air Somalia management to erase or change the writing "Air Somalia" before flying into Somaliland.

    Reliable reports say the Ethiopian government is behind the decision to ban Air Somalia from flying into Somaliland. The Ethiopian assistant minister for foreign affairs has reportedly been as quoted saying that "Ethiopia Airlines and an airline carrying the "Air Somalia" logo cannot use the same airport together." The Ethiopian assistant minister for foreign affairs had been in Hargeysa in the past few weeks for an official visit, the report added.

    Following the decision by the Ethiopian government not to use same airport as Air Somalia forced the Somaliland administration to communicate with the Air Somalia management on the decision, banning the airline from flying into any part of Somaliland while bearing the Air Somalia logo, the report said. The Air Somalia management has not yet reacted to the decision, the report adds.
    Source: Xog-Ogaal, Mogadishu, 23 Apr 01 p 2 /BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.


    Agence France Presse, April 24, 2001

    Police recruits to start training in breakaway Somali region

    NAIROBI -- Some 350 recruits, many of them former factional gunmen, reported for a UN police training programme in Somaliland, a region of northwest Somalia which unilaterally declared independence a decade ago.

    The programme in the town of Mandera is being run by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and will eventually train 1,000 policemen, the UNDP said in a statement released in Nairobi.

    "These young men, most of them former militiamen, are dedicated and are interested in learning new skills to raise even further the professional standards of the police force," UNDP Somalia official Luca Rajola said.

    Rajola said the programme would give the recruits -- 300 police and 50 prison guards -- an opportunity to get back to work in a productive way.

    The Mandera Police Training School was founded in 1952, but had fallen into a state of disrepair.

    In addition to training the recruits, UNDP Somalia will provide funds needed to rehabilitate its barracks, install windows, build latrines, pipe in water, provide generators for electricity, and improve classrooms and dining rooms.

    The UN World Food Programme (WFP) would, meanwhile, undertake a food-for-work programme to support the trainees while they are at the school.

    There are currently around 5,000 policemen in Somaliland, but since around 1,000 are expected to retire soon, UNDP Somalia is training nearly 1,000 new recruits to replace them this year.

    The first class of 300 recruits graduated in January, the second class is just beginning, and the third of about 300 will start towards the end of the year, Rajola added.


    XINHUA GENERAL SERVICE, April 24, 2001

    UNDP Helps Train Somali Policemen

    NAIROBI--The Somalia Office of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) began a four-month course to train 350 policemen in the town of Mandera in the Somaliland, according to a press release reaching here on.

    This is part of a large program sponsored by the UNDP Somalia Office, which is aimed at training 1,000 new Somali policemen this year so as to improve the police force in the Horn of Africa country.

    "Most of the recruits are former militiamen and this program gives them an opportunity to get back to work in a productive way, " said Luca Rajola, chief technical adviser for the Law Enforcement Component of UNDP's Somali Civil Protection Program.

    During the course, the recruits will be taught the penal code and how to incorporate respect for human rights and gender rights. They will also be put through practical exercises such as riot and traffic control.

    According to Rajola, the recruits in specialized groups will later be trained to work in the airport, the seaport, border control and drug trafficking control posts.

    There are currently around 5,000 policemen in Somaliland and roughly 1,000 of them are expected to retire soon.


    The Indian Ocean NewsletterApril 21, 2001 COMPANIES; N. 947

    ROVAGOLD LTD: Hunting for Oil in Somaliland

    A little-known British firm has obtained Hargeisa's green light to go prospecting for oil in Somaliland. Rovagold Ltd, which is based in a London suburb, will be joined by two Chinese firms, the Continental Petroleum Engineering Company and the China Petrochemical Corporation.
    BBC Monitoring Service - Apr 28 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 28 Apr 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    Awl Elmi Arrested in Anti-Corruption Campaign

    Hargeisa ---The Mayor of Hargeisa city, . Awl Elmi Abdalla was arrested on last Wednesday after being charged with corruption by the government's Anti-Corruption Committee. His predecessor, . Abdulrahman Ismail Adami, was also arrested on the same charge last week.

    Awl Abdalla and Adami were caught after recently nominated anti-corruption committee asked President Egal for permission to take action against . Awl and other officials following high scale corruption charges brought against them. President Egal approved the committee's request and immediately nominated Osman Haji Ibrahim Basbaas to become what he called "Temporary Commissioner" for the Hargeisa Municipality until the corruption charges against Awl are finalized.

    At least six other senior officers of Hargeisa municipality including the Executive Secretary were reportedly taken into police custody for investigation. Awl, was to make a handing over to Basbaas on Wednesday afternoon about 4:00 o'clock, but instead was arrested few hours before the schedule. He told Jamhuriya and the Republican in the Jigjiga Yar police Station shortly after his arrest - that he wasn't allowed to make the handover to the new Mayor.

    In the meanwhile, the former mayor of Berbera, Abdalla Haji Ali denied reports that he has escaped the country to avoid implication in corruption. "I heard that my name is being mentioned but I am not the kind of person who would run away," Abdalla said.

    The former Berbera mayor also accused president Egal himself of being involved in corruption. "If the government is really serious about fighting corruption, it should start with the presidency," Abdalla added.


    BBC Monitoring Service - Apr 28 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 28 Apr 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    Hargeisa Mass Graves at Risk

    Hargeisa -- The committee for preservation of mass graves has warned about the situation of the mass graves in the southern suburb of Hargeisa in which the repressive Regime of Siad Barre buried hundreds of massacred civilians together in 1988-89.

    The CPMG, is made up of intellectuals and human rights activists who organized themselves to preserve the mass graves and protect them from floods, people and livestock trespassing. The committee had undertaken the task by building preservative gabions around some graves earlier this year with community contributions, to avoid the mass graves being carried away by the 'GU' rain floods. But the committee announced yesterday that floods of the 'GU' season have already started before they could complete the protection works due to lack of funds. The CPMG called on the government of Somaliland to join the effort of preserving the mass graves by contributing the necessary funds.

    "We see that the first floods from yesterday's rain have destroyed gabion structures said Samsam Abdi Aden one of the executive members of the committee. Samsam told The Republican, that the committee and 25 men from the Somaliland Army were to build the damage caused by floods. 'We have three loads of stones to repair destroyed Gabion, but we realised that we can't do the urgent needs for preservation without government contribution'' Samsam said.


    BBC Monitoring Service - Apr 28 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 28 Apr 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    350 Police recruits begin training at Mandera

    Tuesday, 24 April 2001 (Hargeisa)- The Police Training School in the Somaliland town of Mandera welcomed some 350 new recruits Tuesday to begin a four-month course. They are part of a larger program aimed at training 1,000 new recruits this year and improving the police force countrywide- an effort sponsored by UNDP Somalia.

    "These young men are dedicated. They are interested in learning new skills, which will raise even further the professional standards of the police force," says Luca Rajola, Chief Technical Advisor for the law enforcement component of UNDP's Somali Civil Protection Program (SCPP).

    "Most of the recruits are former militiamen, and this program gives them an opportunity to get back to work in a productive way," Rajola adds. "Before the civil war, Somali police were regarded as some of the best in Africa. We are glad to help them reach that high standard once again."

    Approximately 300 police recruits and 50 prison guards make up the new class. They will be taught the penal code, and how to incorporate respect for human rights and gender rights. They will be put through practical exercises such as riot control and traffic control, and later, specialized groups will train to work in the airport, the seaport, in border control, and drug traffic control. Some will become police trainers for future classes.

    Mandera police training school was founded in 1952, but has now fallen into disrepair. In addition to training the police recruits, UNDP Somalia is providing the funds needed to rehabilitate the barracks, install windows, build latrines, pipe in water, provide generators for electricity, and improve the classrooms and dining room. On Tuesday UNDP Somalia advertised for bids on the work, which is expected to begin within the next two months.

    Meanwhile, the police trainees will sleep in the ground and eat canned food. The UN World Food Program has joined the effort with its food for work program supporting the trainees while they are at the school.

    There are currently around 5,000 policemen in Somaliland. Because roughly 1,000 are expected to reach retirement age soon, the UNDP Somalia office is training nearly 1,000 new recruits this year to eventually replace them. In January, the first class of 300 graduated from Mandera police training school, and the second class is just beginning. A third class of some 300 recruits will enter the school toward the end of the year. All will be provided with new uniforms by UNDP Somalia.

    UNDP's Somalia Civil Protection Program is aimed at supporting law enforcement, the judiciary, demobilization and mine action countrywide. Italy, Sweden, USAID, Oxfam Canada, and several other donors fund it.

    UNDP Somalia currently runs several programs in Somaliland, including the Somali Civil Protection Program. They include a project to rehabilitate Hargeisa airport and provide training for air traffic controllers; a project to improve seaports and trade links; to provide advice and expertise to the Somaliland and local Administrations; and to look at environmental issues affecting Somaliland, among others.


    BBC Monitoring Service - Apr 28 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 28 Apr 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    EDITORIAL: Gelleh should not play with fire

    By ordering the closure of Djibouti's border with Somaliland, President Ismail O. Gelleh has shown how politically immature he is. . Gelleh took this action apparently in retaliation for the burning of US $ 700,000 worth of cigarettes belonging to Djibouti's business tycoon Abdirahman Boreh at Berbera earlier this month (April 12). This proves the widely held allegations that Boreh and Gelleh are in fact business partners.

    Moreover, the Djiboutian regime has since the burning of the cigarettes set on a policy of escalating tension between the two countries. The military infiltration and massing of troops along the border by Djibouti is seen here as preparation for aggression against Somaliland. While Somaliland is rising up from its ruins and making progress, Djibouti is sinking in chaos. The Djiboutian regime is therefore desperate to find scapegoats for its drastic failure to lead. So Gelleh's provocations towards Somaliland are expected to continue in the future, with disregard to the interests of the Djiboutian people. And there is no doubt that the closure of the border will hurt the Djiboutian people more than it will harm Somalilanders. The balance of trade between the two countries is substantially in favour of Djibouti.

    The Somaliland government should become concerned with the gross violations being committed against the human rights of the Djiboutian people. We therefore urge the Administration of President Egal to assist those groups struggling for the restoration of the democratic rights of the Djiboutian people. The disintegration of Djibouti will not be in the interest of Somaliland. The Somaliland government and the international community at large should do something about the fastly deteriorating internal political situation in Djibouti before it becomes too late.


    BBC Monitoring Service - Apr 28 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 28 Apr 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    Burning tobacco seriously damages relations with Djibouti: mixing justice with politics and personal vendetta can be deadly

    by Yassin M. Ismail- Kent, UK.

    Tobacco seriously damages your health, but it can also damage trade and diplomatic relations between two countries. Well, that is what it did in the case of Somaliland and Djibouti. Relations between the two countries were badly affected after a court in Berbera ordered tons of confiscated cigarette stocks to be set on fire, filling the air over Berbera with Benson & Hedges smock. The cigarette shipment was imported from Djibouti by Red Sea International, (RSI, the official dealership agent for Benson & Hedges in the Horn of Africa), but the police in Somaliland seized it as it reached at the port of Berbera on allegations that the importing company, RSI does no have the appropriate trading licence to import tobacco to Somaliland.

    Furthermore, the authorities in Somaliland accused members of the company's proprietors to be involved in subversive political activities against Somaliland. It is also believed that the president of the neighbouring republic of Djibouti, . Ismail O. Ghelle, has a vested interest in RSI. Ghelle and the president of Somaliland Mohamed Egal have been sworn rivals for some time now. It is therefore believed that the decision to burn the tobacco shipment was politically motivated and blended with personal vendetta against RSI and perhaps the president of Djibouti himself.

    Djibouti retaliated by issuing a strongly worded statement in which it accused the authorities in Hargeisa of being reckless and called the president of Somaliland 'a warlord'. It also announced the closure of its border with Somaliland as well as halting both air and sea transport bound to Somaliland.

    Here in the United Kingdom, the issue has been a subject of endless debates among individual members of the Somaliland societies in the UK and probably throughout the rest of Europe. The relations between the two countries were previously damaged by Djibouti's involvement in the recent Somali peace and reconciliation conference held in Arta under the auspices of Ismail O. Ghelle, which the administration in Somaliland felt rancorous to the way it has been handled by Ghelle's administration.

    Seventeen months of extreme diplomatic warfare between Somaliland and Djibouti followed, in which the administration in Hargeisa accused Djibouti of being crafty and having intentions to undermine peace and stability in Somaliland, (on grounds that Djibouti has failed to acknowledging the asserted sovereignty of Somaliland's self-proclaimed independent and self-ruling republic). In turn, Djibouti accused the Egal administration to be engaged in a political antipathy aimed to derail Djibouti's efforts to bring peace to Somalia, after a decade of civil war and anarchy. Since then, the diplomatic atmosphere between them was akin to hostility.

    Therefore, this latest incident in which the court has ordered the burning of the cigarette stock is likely to be interpreted as a deliberate and premeditated move by Egal's leadership to personally get even with Ghelle: it is the latest episode of a long and bitter diplomatic squabble between the two men, which is now taking a new shape. The only difference this time is that, personal trade interests are now being targeted. This is quite transparent considering the wording and the hostile tone used in both of the official governments' statements on the matter.

    On Sunday, Somaliland issued a statement in which it implicitly implied that the precipitate decision by the district court in Berbera was intended to send a strong signal to the authorities in the petite republic of Djibouti. Nevertheless Djibouti's response came even hasher. Here in the UK however, the vast majority of the Somaliland society I have spoken to feel that the decision of the burning as undeserved and unjustifiable. Most people suggested a fine (of up to 50%) as an alternative and more appropriate form of penalty. They also showed concerns on the speed in which the court's decision was carried out. They also said the court should have granted right of appeal against the decision within a reasonable time.

    While most people seem to be appalled by the severity of the court's order to destroy the absolute amount of commercial goods, which might not be quite as surprising at all given the health hazards of tobacco smocking in the third world countries. Yet, many people expressed views not in support of "burning" as the most tenable form of retribution against private companies in relation to offences pertaining to violations of trade laws. The reason simply being the magnitude of the financial loss it bears. But, on the other hand, that is only one aspect of the problem this case is bound to present.

    In fact, other implications include the fundamental questions it raises in relation to the integrity of the very justice system and the overall virtue of Somaliland's judicial institution.

    The fact that the court accused the owner or some of the owners of the RSI of an involvement in subversive activities against Somaliland has serious implications in its own nature. Such allegations of a political nature can be misleading and have the potential of the defendant being deprived from getting a fair trial. They indulge political sensitivity and can be a source of an immense prejudice, as well as a likely recipe for unfair treatment in the eyes of the law, since they portray the accused more like a "traitor" than a simple trader, who is being tried in conjunction with violation of trading conventions.

    Therefore the questions that many people would like to ask are: with the government of Somaliland adverting such a political allegation, how probable is it that the decision of the court was fair and a just one? How much influence or strain has government exerted on the decision-making body of the court to ensure maximum punishment? To what extent has the adverted prejudice affected the verdict of the court? And most important of all, has justice been served or what?

    These and many similar questions still surround the matter. Some people compare this decision with the more lenient ones reached by the same court in its previous dealings with foreign companies. One of which is the case of the sixteen Yemeni fishing boats caught while illegally fishing in Somaliland waters earlier this year. Despite the major illegal plundering and exploitation of marine resources, the boats were released. This is a moral predicament, everybody seems to be bothered by it, and it puts the overall probity and uprightness of our justice system under scrutiny. Many people need to be reassured that the justice is there regardless of the pros and cons of one's political view.

    So what if the government is using justice to take revenge? Well, we lack the necessary insights needed in order to answer that question. However, one thing we can learn from this is that the speed in which the court has carried out its decision to set fire on $ 800,000 worth of tobacco stock, without allowing time for appeal was swift and could be partially blended with certain degree of prejudice. Kill the devil but give him his due, as the old Somali saying goes.

    The exchanges of rebukes between Egal and Ghelle over the incident is to be seen as not much more than another occurrence of a chain of events that created the current diplomatic squabble between Djibouti and Somaliland, which I believe were unnecessary. My opinion is that, it is our own interest that we coexist with our neighbours in peace and harmony. Therefore I would suggest the government to stop scare mongering and indoctrinating the public that Djibouti is our enemy. I personally don't believe that crap.

    So the Egal administration should put more efforts on domestic issues. Such as getting help for people affected by droughts, expanding the presence of his administration in Sool and Sanag regions etc., instead of inciting hostility between two brotherly nations. So let's get busy on something more rewarding than burning a bunch of cigarette boxes in order to satisfy one's desire for revenge. Perhaps shaping our foreign policy for once would be a good point to start.

    Finally, we all wait to see where we go from here. Posterity will be the judge of how these wrangles over the monopoly of tobacco trade will impact the long-term future of Somaliland. My hypothesis is that it won't yield any political advantages. It will only contribute to the deterioration of our historic and fraternal relations with our brotherly nation of Djibouti, merely causing us to drift even further apart than is essential.


    BBC Monitoring Service - Apr 21 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 21 Apr 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    First Oil well in Somaliland to be drilled soon

    Hargeisa --The first oil well in Somaliland is expected to be drilled soon, according to a statement by Somaliland minister of mineral and water resources, . Mohamed Abdi Mahmud (Malow) at a press conference in Hargeisa on last Tuesday. Mohamed Abdi Malow revealed that a British oil firm and two Chinese companies are soon expected to begin drilling oil well in the country's coastal Berbera district known as Block 35. The British firm ROVAGOLD which is based in the London suburb of New Malden in partnership with two Chinese oil companies -- Continental Petroleum Engineering Company (SPEC) and China Petrochemical Cooperation (CPC), singed an agreement with the Somaliland government two years ago to drill four oil wells in the country at areas specified as block 35 and 36 (on- shore) and M10 and M10A (off- shore) with a total area of 7 million acres.

    The Somaliland minister of mineral and water resources told the press conference that after meeting with ROVAGOLD executives in Hargeisa on Tuesday, he gave the government's green light for the foreign oil firms to prospect for oil and that the first oil well will soon be drilled at Berbera area. ROVAGOLD officials who hold the majority license arrived last week in Hargeisa to finalise the oil agreement with the Somaliland authorities. They told the Republican that they expect the technical Chinese team to arrive in Hargeisa on early next month.

    Mohamed Abdi Malow said the oil companies had already carried out a feasibility study and identified where to drill the first oil well. In fact, at least two exploratory oil wells were drilled in Somaliland during the reign of dictator Siyad Barre. One well was dug by Conoco near LasAnod, east of Somaliland while Chevron drilled another exploratory well at Eil-Gal in the western coast of he country.

    According to Somaliland Assistant minister of mineral and water resources, Yusuf Essa Dualle, all the foreign oil companies granted exploration concessions in Somaliland during the regime of Siyad Barre, had been priorly requested to resume their operations in the country. "As provided in our constitution, Somaliland felt bound to respect its obligations under the international agreements reached by the former dictatorial regime with foreign oil companies," Dualleh said. "However, due to lack of any response from the companies to start their work again, Somaliland had to seek other alternatives to exploit its resources", he added.

    Somaliland is widely held as rich in resources including oil and precious gemstones such as emeralds, rubies, sapphires, garnets and amethysts. Meanwhile, one of the Chinese executive officers arrived in Hargeisa on Thursday to take part in the last stage of concluding the deal. A top Chinese official from the Prime Minister's office is also expected to accompany the oil firms' top executives forthcoming visit to Somaliland. The Chinese are well remembered here for their extensive involvement in the construction of Somaliland's first asphalted road network and water projects.

    Djiboutian president Gelleh during a visit to China last month tried to persuade Chinese officials not to make any commercial or political relations with Somaliland. By portraying Somaliland as Taiwan, Gelleh appealed to his Chinese guests not to recognize Somaliland. China's relations with Somaliland go back to over 4000 years ago.


    BBC Monitoring Service - Apr 21 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 21 Apr 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    Jamhuuriya's Gabilay correspondent Arrested

    Hargeisa -- Isaaq Muhumed Hussein, JamhuuriyaNewspaper's correspondent in Gabilay was arrested yesterday by the Somaliland Police. Isaaq M. Hussein was brought yesterday afternoon to Hargeisa central Police Station. Friends and relatives who wanted to visit the journalist in his prison cell yesterday were denied of doing so by the police.

    The Republican has learnt that Isaaq had been arrested for reporting to Jamhuuriyaa demonstration that took place in Gabilay on last Tuesday (17/4/2001), protesting against the burning of slightly over 3000 cartons of cigarettes purportedly belonging to Jama Omar, a local businessman from Gabilay. At least two readers of Jamhuuriyawere also imprisoned during the last two weeks by the police authorities in connections with their views which had been published by Jamhuuriya. One of the readers letter criticized Hargeisa central police station officers for not taking measures to address chronic sanitation and hygienic problems within the facility.

    A lawyer called Shiine from Borama was also taken in police custody after giving a legal opinion on a dispute between the ministry of Justice and Somaliland's Supreme Court chairman as to the functions of the judiciary commission. Isaaq is the first Somaliland Journalist to be imprisoned without trial in the year 2001.


    BBC Monitoring Service - Apr 21 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 21 Apr 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    How Borreh fooled Egal

    Hargeisa -- Djiboutian born International cigarettes smuggler Abdirahman Borreh who arrived in Hargeisa on April 12 ostensibly to plead with President Egal to save his fag business in Somaliland, had actually returned to Djibouti city with 2 million US dollars in cash. Borreh lost 3030 cartons of smuggled cigarettes at a street value of $ 800,000 on April 12 after the Somaliland authorities announced that owing to the contraband nature of the stock, it had be destroyed.

    The burning of Borreh's cigarettes took place at around 10 A.M on Thursday, April 12. The Djiboutian business tycoon however arrived in Hargeisa on a late afternoon of the day (Thursday) on a specially chartered plane. Before and after his arrival he had been able to fool Somaliland officials by claiming that he was on a mission essentially to reconcile differences between Djibouti and Somaliland. Egal succumbed to Borreh's false gesture.

    However, the Republican has learned that the real intention behind Borreh's visit to Hargeisa was to distract authorities from a huge financial contraband. Borreh succeeded in that by smuggling through Hargeisa airport a 2 million dollars in cash.

    For what Borreh said about the Ethiopians and what compelled Gelleh to organise the Arta conference read the next issue of the Republican.


    Support Somaliland and Vote No in May!

    By Dr. Abdi Shakur Sh. Ali Jowhar

    Blessings:10 years of Peace

    Clan wars have been silent. Revenge attacks have died down. The ugly cycle of sub-clan violence has broken. The senseless tribal craving for orgies of gore and blood has subsided. The wailing cry of mothers grieving the senseless massacre of their children has finally stopped. We sure have come a long way. We have peace.
    10 years of Law and order

    Beautiful, sweet law and order, that allows us to walk the streets of our towns, cities and villages without fear of a sniper waiting to hunt us down, without being terrorized by a gangster with stop sign at every corner. Sweet Law and order that enables the citizen to go about the business of living, loving, learning and laboring. Law and order that we can now appreciate having tasted the bitterness of lawlessness, anarchy and the law of the jungle. Yes we have come a long way.
    10 years of bad government

    But a government nonetheless! A bad democracy but a democracy of sorts any way. Security courts that make us insecure in our homes, but that sure remind us to never tolerate tyranny again. 10 years of a bad government that nonetheless governs. We sure have come a long way.

    And almost 10 years of Cigaal

    This wizard who refuses to gray, wrinkle and crinkle living instead on borrowed time. This man who chose to occupy but only one of two spaces while he remains alive: the prison or the palace. This old man who always found a way to occupy the penthouse legitimately or otherwise, who outlawed the concept of a successor fearing competition on his watch. This colossal phenomenon of our times, who acted as the midwife of the nation at its birth and who partook in the feast of its death. This wizard who is our savior and our curse! Let us count our blessings.
    Challenges

    Only the foolish, the vainglorious and the cowardly stop at counting their blessings. One must face the challenges, honestly, heroically and unflinchingly or die trying.
    Woe Betide Mob Action!

    A decade ago a mob of clans-men in Burco forced the declaration of secession of Somaliland from the rest of Somalia. Three decades before that another mob in another city (Hargaysa) forced the premature union of Somaliland with southern Somalia and the creation of the Somali Republic. On both occasions the mob powered by the emotions of the moment won at the expense of reason. The union disintegrated in a firestorm begetting the tragedy of a nation consuming its progeny in a moment of deadly clan hatred. What will prevent Somaliland from following suit in three decade's time?

    I suggest a way out: deal effectively with the enemy within. The enemy of nationhood is not in the form of a possessed tribal primitive that dwells in the south and that consumes the blood of children for an appetizer. The enemy is not out there in the south. As we carved out our part of the union, so did we carve out our part of the enemy too. The enemy now dwells with in us in the form of a primitive clan-consciousness that allows for all those bloody rituals. The enemy is nothing but the fragility of the collision of clans and sub-clans that brought about the birth of Somaliland.

    The clan we must remember is the most ancient and the most stable anti-nation-state structure known to mankind. Structures based on the clan are shifting, ephemeral and unstable. The clan cannot be a basis of building a nation, any nation.

    To beat this internal enemy we must build a state based on individual citizens who are free, equal and empowered. A state every piece of which belongs legitimately to every one of us, a state built on strong institutions where our rights to equality before the law, justice, and freedom of self-expression are upheld. A state that can thrive in the environment of a society made up of pastoral clans-men and women.

    And if we don't have such a state, and if the idea of such a state is not on the drawing boards and if it is not on the table of national dialogue, then why should I or you vote yes in may? Is a smaller tyranny any better than a bigger one?

    Come to terms with the grip of history. There is no easy way for us Somalilanders to escape dealing with the issue of Somalia. The invisible web of history holds us tight. We can ignore it but only at our peril. Geography and boundaries hold us in check and demand resolution or else. And the social (read clan) make up of our society force us to walk on egg shells to find a formula that pleases all and that can keep us out of the mess that became of the nation. This being the case why should we allow petty dictators, Siyaad Barre wannabes and UN functionaries to dictate to us how Somalia should look like in the future. Why should we allow them to scare us with fake Ph.D. holders and forged governments that exists only in web pages and in make believe titles.
    I say let us vote no in May

    Instead, let us give the old enchanter a two-year mandate to resolve the Somalia issue in a manner that is consistent with and favorable to the needs of Somaliland, while at the same time creating a society based on the respect for law, justice and equality in the north. I have no doubts that Cigaal will be up to this dual task. For this moderation of our position, let us demand of the international community the modest price of recognition of our statehood if our call for national resolution falls on deaf ears.

    And at the end we should build Cigaal his own house on top of Hargaysa's Nasa Hablood (Girls' Breasts). A house that is half a palace and half a prison, where he can continue his existence as a myth and a human, battling the forces of mortality and functioning as a fodder for the imagination of generations to come. We should lock him up in this house and throw away the keys.


    BBC Monitoring Service - Apr 21 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 21 Apr 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    Gelleh closes Djibouti border with Somaliland

    By closing Djibouti's all borders with Somaliland (Land, Sea, and Air) on last week, President Ismail Omer Gelleh has once again demonstrated how deeply he is allied with international illicit trade. Gelleh says that Somaliland officials had robbed 3000 cartons of cigarettes worth $ 800,000 from his business associate, Abdirahman Borreh. About 3 weeks ago an estimated 4 million pieces of universally banned drugs in the form of tablets arrived in Djibouti. The Djiboutian authorities there announced the capture of these drugs to the BBC Somali section after they had felt the narcotics would be exposed anyway by an international journalists who happened to be present in Djibouti at the time.

    Ironically, the BBC Somali section headed by Yusuf Garad had mentioned the incident in its afternoon headline with the promise of giving more details on the subject during its evening broadcast on the same day. Yusuf Garad's Somali section, however, even surprised the most aggressive supporters of the Arta faction and Ismail Gelleh for ordering Somali journalists working for The BBC not to broadcast the news item. During his preparation of the Arta conference, Gelleh was advised by UNESCO and David Stephen, to exert whatever influence he can manage on the newscasters of the BBC Somali section to woo them in favour of his initiative. Gelleh utilized the only way he knew: bribing. He entrusted this job with Borreh.


    BBC Monitoring Service - Apr 21 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 21 Apr 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    Egal's structuring of local councils blocked by Parliament

    Hargeisa --- The Somaliland House of Representatives rejected in a majority vote on wednesday a proposal by President Egal on the distribution of seats in local government councils at regional and district levels across Somaliland constituencies. The House of Elders also recommended to the Administration, to shelve this plan until such a time after the referendum on the constitution have been held. President Egal solely came up with a formula for distributing local government councils membership among Somaliland clans and sub-clans. The idea has however met a strong resistance from popular circles which accused the president of trying to create a stooge local government that would ensure his re-election to office.
    BBC Monitoring Service - Apr 21 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 21 Apr 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    Djiboutian boats arrested for illegal fishing

    Bula-har -- Three small boats belonging to Djibouti were arrested by Somaliland coastal guards on April 13 at the Red Sea coastal town of Bula-har to the west of Berbera. The Boats had been captured while fishing illegally within Somaliland territorial waters, Somaliland coastal Guards spokesman said. Nineteen fishermen were on board along with an unspecified quantity of fish when the seizure took place.
    BBC Monitoring Service - Apr 21 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 21 Apr 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    Ethiopian Vice-Foreign Minister in Hargeisa

    Somaliland minister of foreign affairs Mahmoud Fagadhe seen with Tekeda Alemu, Ethiopia's vice Minister of foreign Affairs.

    Tekeda Alemu arrived in Hargeisa last Tuesday at the head of an Ethiopian delegation. The Ethiopian officials described the objective of their visit as part of a process of consultations established between the two countries over the past years. "These consultations are intended to continue" Alemu said.

    Asked if there were any specific issues that were to be discussed, the Ethiopian official replied "I can't specify one issue. We have been discussing issues across all range of concerns and the objectives we have. There is a very strong relationship of cooperation between us that we want to continue and be enhanced".

    During their two-days visit to Somaliland, the Ethiopian delegation visited the 25km road patch being constructed between the Somaliland village of Kalabaydh and the Ethiopian part of Wajale. The rehabilitation project is being implemented with Ethiopian help. Tekeda Alemu said before his departure on Thursday that foreign minister Siyoun Misfin was supposed to lead this visit but was unable to do so due to unexpected urgent circumstances.


    BBC Monitoring Service - Apr 21 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 21 Apr 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    Editorial: Power struggle is the last thing Ethiopia needs

    There is no doubt that Ethiopian Prime minister Meles Zenawi has safely emerged from the recent power crisis within the ruling EPRDF coalition of which his TPLF is the leading organization. However for the recent political confrontation not to leave behind division and bitterness of the sort that might lead to the crisis repeating itself in the future, there is a need for staging a more democratic dialogue between the pro-Meles, reformists, and the key TPLF figures who had in the recent past shown opposition to the Prime minister's policies. We say so because we know that any power struggle in Ethiopia at this stage will not only work against the interests of the Ethiopian people, but it will also have devastating effects on stability and progress in the whole region.

    It is from this perspective that we feel obliged to urge all the brothers and sisters within the ERPDF, and particularly the TPLF central committee, to refrain from actions that might spark a renewed power struggle within the country's leadership. The people of the Republic of Somaliland, a country which also had gone through a fierce armed struggle in order to gain its emancipation, attach a great importance to their fastly developing relations with all the nationalities of Ethiopia, and especially with the government in power.

    Despite the fact that it will always be up to the Ethiopians to settle their internal political differences, concerned Somalilanders however feel that Ethiopian leaders should put their national interests above everything else. Dissidents in the EPRDF should bear this in mind. Prime minister Meles is also required to act with humility and statesmanship in dealing with his critics, as long as the common denominator is the building of a peaceful and democratic Ethiopia.


    Agence France Presse, April 21, 2001

    Ethiopian officials visit breakaway Somali region

    ADDIS ABABA -- A high-level Ethiopian delegation has visited the self-styled state of Somaliland, a region that is seeking to break away from Somalia proper, officials said here.

    They said the delegation, led by Deputy Foreign Minister Tekeda Alemu, visited the territory's main city of Hargeisa, and also the border between Ethiopia and Somaliland.

    The Ethiopians held talks on trade and bilateral links with Somaliland leader Mohamed Ibrahim Egal, who unilaterally declared the independence of his region in 1991, after Somalia's longtime president, Mohamad Siad Barre, was assassinated.

    So far Somaliland's independence has not been recognized by the world community, but landlocked Ethiopia has recently been using its Indian Ocean port of Berbera as a trade route.

    On March 27, Ethiopian Airlines opened a regular commercial flight between Addis Ababa and Hargeisa, and the latest meetings included talks on opening a branch of an Ethiopian trade bank and shipping company in Somaliland.

    Ethiopia's problems of access to ports became more acute in 1998, when a war began between it and its northern neighbour of Eritrea.

    Although that war has now ended, Eritrea's Red Sea ports remain effectively inaccessible to Ethiopia, which is relying on routes via Djibouti and Somaliland.


    XINHUA GENERAL SERVICE, April 21, 2001

    Ethiopian High Officials Visit Somali Region

    ADDIS ABABA --A high-level Ethiopian delegation has visited the self-proclaimed state of Somaliland, a region that is attempting to split from Somalia, according to official sources here on .

    They said the delegation, led by Deputy Foreign Minister Tekeda Alemu, visited the territory's major city of Hargeisa, and also the border between Ethiopia and the so-called Somaliland.

    The Ethiopians held talks on trade and bilateral relations with Somaliland leader Mohamed Ibrahim Egal, who unilaterally declared the independence of his region in 1991, when Somalia was plunged into anarchy after the assassination of the country's then president Mohamad Siad Barre.

    So far Somaliland's independence has not been recognized by any country, but landlocked Ethiopia has recently been using its Indian Ocean port of Berbera as a trade route.


    Ethiopian government delegation arrives in Somaliland

    BBC Monitoring Service - Apr 19, 2001

    A high-ranking Ethiopian delegation yesterday arrived in Hargeysa on a visit that will last several days.

    The delegation headed by the deputy foreign minister, includes high ranking officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, commerce and transport. The delegation will hold talks with Muhammad Ibrahim Egal [Somaliland president] and officials from his government.

    Source: Xog-Ogaal, Mogadishu, 19 Apr 01 p 4 /BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.


    Africa News, April 19, 2001/Source: UN Integrated Regional Information Network

    Somalia; Somaliland Says "Differences" Prevent Trade

    The office of President Muhammad Ibrahim Egal of the self-declared state of Somaliland, northwestern Somalia, has said that there can be no trade with neighbouring Djibouti because of conflict and differences.

    A statement issued by the office said the Somaliland administration was "displeased" with the way prominent Djibouti businessman Abdirahman Bore had interpreted and related talks he had with Egal last week, Radio Hargeysa reported that "If he briefs his Djibouti government and its officials the same way he briefed the media, there could be new disagreements and differences," the statement said. It said the discussions held last week had concluded that Bore should "ask his government and officials of the Democratic Republic of Djibouti to find ways of ending its hostility and antipathy towards Somaliland".

    Djibouti declared a ban on trade with Somaliland on , alleging a theft by members of the Somaliland administration of cigarettes worth some US $800,000. Relations between the two sides have soured since Djibouti hosted the Somali peace talks which culminated in the election of Mogadishu-based President Abdiqasim Salad Hassan.

    The Somaliland administration boycotted the talks and accused Djibouti of interfering in Somalia's affairs.


    Africa News, April 18, 2001/Source: UN Integrated Regional Information Network

    Somalia; Borders Closed With Somaliland

    Djibouti said it had banned the transport of all goods and people between Djibouti and the self-declared state of Somaliland, northwestern Somalia. A statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on that the administration in Somaliland had stolen cigarettes worth US $800,000 belonging to Djibouti businessman Abdirahman Bore, at the airstrip in Somaliland's port of Berbera. The Somaliland administration was "trying to use unacceptable blackmail by saying there can be no commercial relations between Djibouti and Somaliland unless Djibouti recognises Somaliland as an independent state", Agence France-Presse (AFP) quoted the statement as saying.

    The prominent Djibouti businessman, Bore, is close to Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh, and helped finance and organise the Djibouti-hosted Somali peace talks last year which elected Somalia's new president, Abdiqassim Salad Hassan. Last week, Bore went to Hargeysa, Somaliland, to hold talks with Somaliland President Muhammad Ibrahim Egal.

    A UN source said that the ban on commercial flights from Djibouti to Somaliland, also applied to UN flights with effect from morning.


    Somaliland gives go-ahead to British, Chinese firms to drill oil wells

    BBC Monitoring Service - Apr 18, 2001 A British oil company and two Chinese firms are soon expected to begin drilling the first oil well in Somaliland. This was revealed yesterday by the Somaliland minister of mineral and water resources.

    The British firm, ROVAGOLD [expansion untraced], in collaboration with two Chinese oil firms - Continental Petroleum Engineering Company Limited (SPEC) and China Petrochemical Cooperation (CPC) - signed an agreement with the Somaliland government two years ago. Senior officials of ROVAGOLD are currently in Hargeysa to finalize the modalities of beginning the first oil well with the Somaliland government.

    Somaliland Minister of Mineral and Water Resources Muhammad Abdi Mahmud yesterday held a press conference in his office in Hargeysa after holding talks with ROVAGOLD senior officials and giving them the go-ahead to begin drilling. ROVAGOLD also represented the Chinese firms which did not attend the meeting. The first Somaliland oil well to be drilled by the British and the Chinese oil firms at Berbera District will be known as bloc 35.

    The minister said the Somaliland government has authorized these foreign oil firms to prospect for oil in the country and the first oil well will soon be drilled.

    "As the president said in his speech, the resources in our country are so enormous and will be optimally exploited," the minister said. He said the Somaliland government will welcome all companies that have oil exploration expertise.

    He said one of the two Chinese firms has a success history in prospecting for oil and had drilled for oil in several countries.

    The Chinese firms arrived in the country fully prepared and have already carried out a feasibility study, and identified where to drill the first well, the minister said.

    "As a matter of fact, they have given us a lot of hope and they told us that it will not take them long to drill the first well," the minister added.
    Source: Jamhuuriya, Hargeysa, 18 Apr 01 p 1 /BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.


    Djibouti: Government closes country's border with Somaliland - agency report

    BBC Monitoring Service - Apr 18, 2001 The government of Djibouti closed its southern border with Somaliland, one of two northern Somali regions, with Puntland, that declared itself an independent republic, a decision taken following the burning last week of a consignment of cigarettes worth 800,000 [US] dollars.

    The consignment belonged to the Djiboutian representative of the British American Tobacco, accused by Somaliland of involvement in political activities against the interests of the self-declared republic.

    The around 3,000 cartons of cigarettes were burned by Somaliland authorities, claiming that it was contraband goods.
    Source: Misna news agency web site, Rome, 17 Apr 01 /BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.


    Somaliland: Committee meets to discuss forthcoming referendum

    BBC Monitoring Service - Apr 18, 2001

    The permanent committee for constitutional referendum today met to complete their discussion on the third article and the provision that concerns public awareness, political and security issues in the country on the constitutional referendum.

    Due to the importance of this article the committee will resume their discussions tomorrow.
    Source: Radio Hargeysa, 17 Apr 01 /BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.


    Somaliland issues statement on relations with Djibouti

    BBC Monitoring Service - Apr 17, 2001

    Somaliland's presidential spokesman Abdi Dirif Du'ale today refuted a statement issued by [Djiboutian businessman] Abdirahman Bore to the media yesterday in which he said he and the president had reached an agreement on his business operations in Somaliland.

    The stateme said: When elders discuss national issues it is not appropriate for the discussion to be distorted. Abdirahman Bore and the president discussed issues which have been caused by politics involving two countries and have affected trade.

    The talks ended with an understanding that if political differences and disagreement are sorted out successfully, trade issues would be easy to solve. The statement added: We are displeased that Abdirahman Bore gave the media a report which was different from what he discussed with the president. If he briefs his Djibouti government and its officials the same way he briefed the media, there could be new disagreements and differences. The statement continued: The discussion between the president and Bore concluded that the latter should ask his government and officials of the Democratic Republic of Djibouti to find ways of ending its hostility and antipathy towards Somaliland. Unless a solution is found to this problem the issue of trade which Bore claims to have agreed with the president, cannot be raised and discussed.

    The statement said there was a conflict and differences between two countries and trade link could not exist. Somaliland representatives in Djibouti had been expelled and foreign companies which used to operate in the two countries were ordered by Djibouti to leave Somaliland. Djibouti's foreign policy was also centred on animosity and the denunciation of Somaliland.

    The president and Bore agreed that this issues should first be solved and the issue of trade subsequently addressed. He said if there was no solution in sight, trade, goodwill and coexistence would be impossible, and trade relations can never exist between two countries in conflict.

    The statement said that it was necessitated by the fact that since Bore had altered the subject discussed with the president to the media, the people of Djibouti and its leaders should be informed of the true nature of the talks.
    Source: Radio Hargeysa, 16 Apr 01 /BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.


    Agence France Presse, April 17, 2001

    Djibouti closes border with Somaliland after cigarette row

    DJIBOUTI-- The alleged theft of 3,000 boxes of cigarettes has prompted Djibouti to close its border and halt transport links with neighbouring Somaliland, the foreign ministry said.

    Somaliland is a self-styled independent state whose 1991 secession from Somalia proper went unrecognised internationally.

    A statement from the foreign ministry announced a ban on the transport of all goods and people between Djibouti and Somaliland.

    The decision follows the alleged theft last week of 800,000 dollars worth of cigarettes belonging to Djibouti businessman Abduraman Borreh at Somaliland's port of Berbera.

    "The goods were taken at the dockside by men of (Somaliland "president") Mohamed Ibrahim Egal. After pretending to burn them, they shared out the hoard," the statement said.

    Relations between Djibouti and Somaliland have worsened since Djibouti hosted a conference last year that led to the establishment of a transitional government in Somalia, the war-torn's country's first government since 1991.

    The governments in Hargeisa and Mogadishu do not recognise the other's authority.

    According to the statement from the Djibouti ministry, "Hargeisa is trying to use unacceptable blackmail by saying there can be no commercial relations between Djibouti and Somaliland unless Djibouti recognises Somaliland as an independent state."

    Borreh, regarded as close to Djibouti president Ismail Omar Guelleh and a supporter of Somalia's new president, Abdulkassim Salat Hassan, tried in vain to have the stolen goods reimbursed in Somaliland.

    The statement from Djibouti accused Somaliland of banditry and called on Hargeisa to "end its defamation campaign against Djibouti and its head of state."

    It also ruled out the possibility of negotiations with "irresponsible people who at Egal's instigation ignore the elementary rules of trade and good neighbourliness."


    BBC World Service, 16 April, 2001

    Djibouti closes borders with Somaliland

    The Djibouti government has closed its border with the self-declared Republic of Somaliland following last 's burning of a consignment of cigarettes worth eight-hundred thousand dollars.

    The consignment belonged to the wealthy Djiboutian businessman Abdirahman Bore who is a representative for British American Tobacco.

    Both governments accuse each other of souring mutual relations.

    Somaliland accuses Bore of undermining it, saying he backed the Somali peace conference in Djibouti, which led to the establishment of an interim government in Mogadishu which seeks to represent all of Somalia. About three thousand cartons of cigarettes were burned by the Somaliland authorites, who say that it was contraband goods.
    From the newsroom of the BBC World Service


    Somalia: Puntland seeking union with Somaliland

    BBC Monitoring Service - Apr 15, 2001

    The vice-president of the Puntland regional administration, Muhammad Abdi Hashi, in an interview with the Somali language service of a Canadian radio station in Ottawa city, Canada, has said that the Puntland administration has forwarded a proposal to the government of the self-declared Somaliland, asking for a merger between the two regions.

    "We have presented our proposal to Muhammad Ibrahim Egal [Somaliland president] and his government. We told them: Let us talk now, our people are brothers, our economy is integrated. Let us come together and create a union between Puntland and Somaliland, share the cabinet and forward the proposal to the IMF, World Bank and the UN," said Muhammad Abdi Hasan.

    "We have high hopes, although we have not yet received any reply," added the vice-president.

    Meanwhile, the vice-president has said he would not contest the presidency in the next elections as announced earlier.

    Source: Yool, Boosaaso, 15 Apr 01 p 1 /BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.


    Somaliland captures three Djiboutian fishing boats

    BBC Monitoring Service - Apr 16, 2001

    The Somaliland navy captured three fishing boats owned by Djiboutians on 12 April at the Ali Adeys coast which lies between Berbera and Bullaaxar [northern Somaliland, northeastern Somalia].

    This report from the office of the commander of Somaliland forces, Isma'il Shaqale, said the boats which had 19 fisherman on board were fishing and were in the area illegally. The boats numbered D-179, D-233, and D-199 and the people on board, were handed over to Sahil Region's governor.
    Source: Radio Hargeysa, web site 15 Apr 01 /BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.


    Djiboutian businessman hold talks with Somaliland president

    BBC Monitoring Service - Apr 16, 2001

    A four-day meeting between the president of the self-declared republic of Somaliland, Muhammad Ibrahim Egal, and a Djiboutian businessman Abdirahman Bore in Hargeysa, appears to have ended in failure.

    The government-owned radio station criticized the businessman after he left Hargeysa...

    This follows the incineration of cigarettes owned by some Somaliland businessmen near the Berbera port. The cigarettes were allegedly owned by the businessman who is accused of having links with the interim government of Abdiqasim Salad Hasan [Somali president]. This action has generated a lot of controversy and accusations in Somaliland. However, the arrival of Bore in Somaliland also angered many local residents.

    Source: Radio HornAfrik web site, Mogadishu, 15 Apr 01 /BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.


    UNHCR repatriates 1,500 Somalilanders from Ethiopia

    BBC Monitoring Service - Apr 14, 2001

    The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) resumed the voluntary repatriation of Somali refugees in Ethiopia on 10 April, a UNHCR statement said. A convoy carrying the first 1,500 returnees from the Kamaboker [phonetic] refugee camp, in southeastern Ethiopia, was seen off by the visiting High Commissioner for Refugees, Ruud Lubbers.

    UNHCR said the refugees had volunteered to be repatriated to Somaliland. They are part of 60,000 Somali refugees that UNHCR plans to repatriate by the end of the year.

    Last year UNHCR repatriated 43,467 refugees to Somaliland, bringing the number of Somali returnees since 1997 to 125,572, said the statement.

    UNHCR also plans to assist 10,000 Ethiopian returnees, who were living among the Somali refugees, to resettle in their areas of origin. The refugee agency has already assisted 8,026 Ethiopians who had earlier fled from Somalia to return to their places of origin.
    Source: Somaliland Net web site, 12 Apr 01 /BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.


    The Economist, April 14, 2001 U.S. Edition INTERNATIONAL

    The fear of flying air space

    Nairobi-- ONE of the disadvantages of not being diplomatically recognised is that Somaliland's air space officially belongs to Somalia. Yet 6,000 passengers a month pass through Hargeisa airport, while Mogadishu airport, the main one in Somalia, has been closed since 1995, when the UN left it for the militias to fight over. So, in a sensible compromise, Somali air-traffic control is run from Kenya's capital, Nairobi.

    The Mogadishu Flight Control Centre was set up in a modest house in Nairobi after the UN pulled out of Somalia. In the sitting-room, radio operators plot aircraft on a wooden control-board knocked up by a local furniture maker. "Saved us a load of money," says the chief controller. Though crude, the system works well--except that it is using the same radio frequency as Kenyan air-traffic control down the road, causing constant confusion.

    Before Somalia's interim government was set up last year, Somaliland wanted the centre moved to Hargeisa. But then Somalia demanded that it should go to Mogadishu, even though almost no aircraft land there, apart from those bringing in Kenyan khat, the militiamen's drug of choice. Now Somaliland says it is happy with things as they are. If the centre should return to Mogadishu, Somaliland threatens to close "its" air space. How it would do so nobody knows, but the threat could cause over a thousand commercial flights per month to be rerouted, including flights by Air France and Emirates Airlines.

    Somaliland has other aviation worries. For a start, the runway at Hargeisa is almost worn away. Then there are the goats. Ever since a herder was over-compensated for two luckless animals that wandered into the path of a Kingair, nomads have been driving their herds to the runway in droves.

    Over Mogadishu, the problems are different. Last year, an Airbus carrying potential investors from Malaysia swooped low over the city for a photo opportunity. Badly shot-up, it made it down the Indian Ocean coastline to Mombasa, just.


    XINHUA GENERAL SERVICE, April 12, 2001

    Somali Breakaway Republic Burns Djibouti Tycoon's Cigarettes

    MOGADISHU -- Reports reaching here indicated that tension is rising in the town of Berbera in the breakaway republic of Somaliland after the forces loyal to the self-styled president Mohamed Hajji Ibrahim Egal burned to ashes a large stock of cigarettes on .

    According to eyewitnesses in the town, the forces of Egal confiscated the stock of cigarettes from some businessmen last night, of which over 3,030 cartoons belonged to tycoon businessman from neighboring Djibouti, Abdurahman Borreh, who is a close clan ally of Djibouti President Ismael Omar Ghuelleh.

    Borreh has contributed large amounts of money to the meeting in Artah, Djibouti, last year in which the new government of Somalia was established under the brokering of Ghuelleh.

    The confiscated cigarettes are valued at more than 800,000 U.S. dollars, businessmen said.

    Officials from the breakaway republic of Somaliland claimed that the businessmen were notified two months ago not to bring the cigarettes in the areas now controlled by their administration. However, the businessmen denied that any such orders were ever issued.

    It is observed that the burning of the cigarettes may further worsen the relations between Djibouti and the breakaway republic.


    Protesters riot in Somaliland over slump in currency

    BBC Monitoring Service - Apr 11, 2001

    One person was slightly injured and extensive damage was caused to property when a protest against a currency slump in the self-proclaimed republic of Somaliland turned violent, the Somaliland newspaper Jamhuuriyareported on.

    The paper said that residents of the Somaliland town of Burco staged a protest on after foreign exchange dealers refused to accept the devalued 500-shilling Somali banknote.

    The protest "later developed into a full-scale confrontation, with protesters looting the foreign exchange market".

    "Businessmen defended themselves and fired shots at the crowd," Jamhuuriyasaid, adding that one man was slightly injured in the shooting.
    Source: Jamhuuriya, Hargeysa, 11 Apr 01 /BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.


    Protests erupt in Somaliland over slump in value of shilling

    BBC Monitoring Service - Apr 11, 2001

    One person was lightly injured and property worth millions damaged yesterday when residents of Burco town [in Somaliland] staged a protest against foreign exchange dealers and businessmen who had refused to accept the 500-shilling Somali banknote.

    According to our reporter in Togdheer Region, Keyse Ahmad Digale, the protest began in Burco in the morning and later developed into a full-scale confrontation, with protesters looting the foreign exchange market. The amount of money looted has not yet been quantified.

    During the looting, the businessmen defended themselves and fired shots at the crowd and sounds of gunfire echoed all around the market. A man by the name Isma'il Ahmad Raygal was lightly injured in the shooting.

    The disturbances, which forced the markets to close, ended around 1200 midday [local time], when the Regional Security Committee urged traders to accept the 500-shilling banknote. The message was relayed to the public through loud hailers on a vehicle escorted by two police cars which drove around all parts of the town.

    The situation in the town returned to normal after the message was relayed and the markets opened their doors...

    Source: Jamhuuriya, Hargeysa, 11 Apr 01 p 1 /BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.


    Africa News, April 11, 2001/Source: UN Integrated Regional Information Network

    Somalia; Refugee Repatriation Resumes

    The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) resumed the voluntary repatriation of Somali refugees in Ethiopia on 10 April, a UNHCR statement said. A convoy carrying the first 1,500 returnees from the Camaboker refugee camp, in southeastern Ethiopia, was seen off by the visiting High Commissioner for Refugees, Ruud Lubbers.

    UNHCR said the refugees had volunteered to be repatriated to northwestern Somalia - now the self-declared state of Somaliland.

    They are part of 60,000 Somali refugees that UNHCR plans to repatriate by the end of the year. Last year UNHCR repatriated 43,467 refugees to northwestern Somalia, bringing the number of Somali returnees since 1997 to 125,572, said the statement.

    UNHCR also plans to assist 10,000 Ethiopian returnees, who were living among the Somali refugees, to resettle in their areas of origin. The refugee agency has already assisted 8,026 Ethiopians who had earlier fled from Somalia to return to their places of origin.


    New political party formed in Somaliland

    BBC Monitoring Service - Apr 6, 2001

    A new political party known as UDSL [Union of the People of Somaliland] was yesterday inaugurated in Borama [western Somaliland, northwestern Somalia] town, Awdal Region.

    According to our reporter in Awdal Region, a big party was held at a residence in one of Borama town's sprawling estates to celebrate the birth of the party. Approximately 50 people among them clan elders, intellectuals and some youths from the region attended the celebrations. In the course of the celebrations, participants were briefed on the administrative structure of the party which is headed by Muhammad Hasan Ardale.

    The new political party has a general council composed of 25 members, seven of these are also in the executive committee. The founding members of the party said they will publish the party's objectives and its aims in the press This party is the third of its kind in Somaliland.
    Source: Jamhuuriya, Hargeysa, 6 Apr 01 p 1 /BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.


    UAE lifts ban on meat from Somalia

    BBC Monitoring Service - Apr 6, 2001

    The UAE government has announced that it has fully lifted a ban imposed on meat from Somalia and Somaliland. The ban is considered lifted from 23 March 2001. An official named Abdullah Jum'a Janibi, who heads the health inspectorate division, spoke on behalf of Abu Dhabi's local government quoting the department's director-general who said that the UAE government had officially lifted the imposed ban.

    The new directive only applies to chilled meat and not live Somali livestock
    Source: Jamhuuriya, Hargeysa, 6 Apr 01 p 1 /BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.


    BBC World Srvice, 4 October, 2000

    Somali parliamentarian freed in Somaliland

    A member of the new interim parliament for Somalia has been freed from a seven-year prison term he was serving for treason in the northern region of Somaliland.

    The man, Garaad Abshir Salah, was sentenced last month after his return from the Somali peace conference in neighbouring Djibouti, where he'd been elected to the transitional parliament.

    He was freed in Hargeisa after being pardoned by the leader of the self-declared Republic of Somaliland, Mohamed Ibrahim Egal, who remains strongly opposed to the results of the Djibouti peace conference.

    Community leaders from different parts of Somalia had called for Garaad's release. Yesterday, officials from the Somaliland administration were attacked in Garaad's home town of Buhodle by angry crowds demanding that he be freed.
    From the newsroom of the BBC World Service


    Source: UNICEF Date: 11 Apr 2001

    UNICEF Somalia Review Mar 2001

    Hargeisa Office - Northwest Zone Somalia section
    General Situation

    Security: The Minister of the Interior of the government of 'Somaliland' warned political groups against criticising the government through the press. The Minister accused them of organising illegal meetings and threatened action against them.

    Political developments: The head of the UN Office for Somalia, David Stephen, visited Hargeisa in March to meet President Ibrahim Egal. President Egal had accepted to meet Stephen after a request from the UN Secretary-General.

    Stephen was accompanied by UNDP Somalia Representative, Randolph Kent. They discussed UN policy towards 'Somaliland', especially the recent friction between the UN and 'Somaliland over the Secretary-General's report to the Security Council about Somalia late last year. Stephen stated that his role was to seek the implementation of the Resolution of the UN Security Council, which called for the restoration of the unity, and protection of the territorial integrity of all Somalia, including 'Somaliland'.

    Speaking to the press after the meeting, Stephen said they had agreed to continue discussions over the UN report that had angered the government of 'Somaliland.' Local press reports, however, indicated some disagreement between the two parties.

    It was reported that Stephen has asked the 'Somaliland' authorities to co-operate with the Transitional National Government (TNG) in such non-political areas as demobilisation, demarcation of land for agriculture, and establishment of administrative structures.

    This month, several missions from various countries and aid agencies visited 'Somaliland.' These included the European Union, USAID, The British Foreign Ministry, and a livestock assessment mission from the United Arab Emirates.

    Economy : The local press reported that Ethiopian Airlines has launched twice-weekly flights to Hargeisa, capital of the Republic of 'Somaliland', effective March 27, 2001. This will be the airline's 44th destination. In addition, the 'Somaliland' Minister of Aviation and Air Transport stated that Yemen and the Kenya-based Regional Airways had also applied to the administration to start flights to Hargeisa.

    In another development, two new factories have been established in Hargeisa. They will produce flour and plastic utensils. Both factories belong to members of the Somali Diaspora, who have returned home.

    The exchange of 'Somaliland' shilling to the dollar was stable at a rate of 5,000 to one this month.
    Programme activity

    Health : UNICEF paid monitoring and supervision visits to 14 health centres and three hospitals in Awdal, Sahil and Toghdeer regions. The visits were aimed at enhancing service delivery at the health centre level. It was agreed that such visits be made quarterly to improve delivery of health services by providing material and technical support.

    UNICEF distributed 488 locally produced Clean Delivery Kits to nine health centres. The kits will be charged at minimal cost so that they are affordable.

    UNICEF is undertaking a malaria assessment in the six regions of the zone. The assessment will map out and locate areas where malaria is endemic. UNICEF also supplied malaria drugs and other health supplies to hospitals and health centres in the zone.

    Expanded Programme of Immunisation (EPI) : In collaboration with the 'Somaliland' Ministry of Health and WHO, the first round of the National Immunisation Days (NIDs) 2001 campaigns was conducted in Somaliland from March 11-13, 2001. This year the vaccination teams were increased as agreed during the NID planning workshop held in Hargeisa on January 18th to 25th, 2001.

    A two-day micro-planning meeting on EPI held in Borama town set an immunisation target of 20,000 children aged below five years in 2001. The meeting was attended by regional health authorities and COOPI, an international NGO. The meeting also produced the regional EPI implementation strategy.

    Water and Environmental Sanitation : A topographic survey of Erigavo town was undertaken in preparation for the extension of the Erigavo Water Supply.

    Education : The survey of primary schools in 'Somaliland' being conducted by UNICEF throughout Somalia started during the month. The purpose of the survey is to collect data and information on all primary schools in 'Somaliland'. The schools being surveyed include both public and private primary schools in all the six regions.

    The survey is being undertaken by 12 teams. The majority of the enumerators are UNICEF trained school supervisors, accompanied by a number of Ministry of Education officials. There are also UNICEF nominated enumerators involved in the survey to ensure reliability of the collected data.

    Prior to the start of the survey, UNICEF trained the enumerators over three days to acquaint them with the questionnaire. The survey is scheduled for completion by end March 2001.

    Sports : The first regional tournament took place in Hargeisa. Teams from Togdheer, Sahil, Awdal, Gabiley and Hargeisa took part. The tournament attracted a large number of spectators who filled Hargeisa's main stadium which has a capacity of 20,000 persons. Prominent members of the community as well as government officials also attended. A Hargeisa team, 'Gaashaan' emerged the winner.

    The tournament was funded by UNICEF and co-organised by the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MoYS) and Hope Worldwide, an American NGO actively involved in the area of youth development and sport.

    Information and Programme Communication and Social Mobilisation : UNICEF implemented a social mobilisation campaign for the first round of the NIDs 2001. These were intended to enhance mobilisation of the community and household communication that was carried out by the regional and district polio officers and vaccinators before and during the campaign. A training workshop on the social mobilisation strategy was held in Hargeisa. The campiagn used the mass media in the zone which included Radio Hargeisa, Radio Las-Anod, and the two local newspapers Jamhuuriyaand Maandeeq, and Somaliand TV, Hargeisa branch. Extensive use of sound trucks was also made throughout the region.


    Somalia: Regional leaders accuse WFP of poor methods of food distribution

    BBC Monitoring Service - Mar 30, 2001

    Officials of Sanaag [northeastern] administrative region have accused WFP of poor distribution of the 119 tonnes of relief food aid to the Ceerigaabo town. The relief food aid consisted of maize and cooking oil and was meant for 114 famine stricken families in the eastern and western districts of Sanaag region...

    The officials said, the organization [WFP] did not inform them on the policy of distribution. The officials mentioned the existence of other places in the region which deserved more relief food aid. The Hargeysa WFP office acting director, Miss Khalisa Khan [ ineligible] told the Jamhuriya news paper that the relief food aid was meant for families who were affected by the banning of animal exportation and the prevalence of severe drought. She said she had earlier discussed with the minister of internal affairs, Ahmed Shambir Suldan, regarding the distribution of relief food aid. " We always inform the minister of internal affairs about our activities and future plans", she said. She also said that WFP would soon implement seven other projects in the Sanaag region.
    Source: Jamhuuriyaweb site, Hargeysa, 30 Mar 01 p 1 /BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.


    Somaliland: Anti-corruption body starts investigations

    BBC Monitoring Service - Mar 27, 2001

    A new government committee formed by President Muhammad Ibrahim Egal two weeks ago with the mission of eradicating corruption in the public sector has begun investigating civil construction works done to old government-owned houses, now home to the families of ministers sacked by President Egal. The government housing buildings built during the colonial days have been rehabilitated by their present tenants.

    The Ministry of Public Works is responsible for administering government buildings. Since liberation in January 1991, the practice has been for occupants of government houses to pay for the rehabilitation against a waive from payment of rent for a period commensurate with the cost involved.

    Many government houses have been reconstructed this way. It is not officially known why the committee to combat corruption has selected the ex-ministers as the target of its first investigation. Corruption is rampant in Somaliland, a considerable percentage of public funds is usually lost to corruption practices.

    Critics have interpreted the committees first move as a politically motivated action intended to intimidate the opposition. Many opposition ministers (the list is long) now support various opposition groups. According to one of these former ministers, members of the committee have come to his home to ask him about the construction he has made to the building and whether it belongs to him. Since its a common knowledge that the government is the owner, the question was absurd, said the former minister. Some members of the House of Representatives vowed last week to call for a hearing on the committee for eradication of corruption itself.

    " It is not within the Somaliland culture to make shelter for children an issue. The government should instead do something the daily embezzlement of public funds by higher officials," said one MP yesterday.
    Source: Somaliland Net web site, 27 Mar 01 /BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.


    Ethiopian Airlines starts flights to Somaliland capital Hargeysa

    BBC Monitoring Service - Mar 27, 2001

    Ethiopian Airlines started its maiden flight to Hargeysa, Somaliland, today. The flight is expected to enhance the economic, social and political ties between the peoples of Somaliland and Ethiopia. Minalachew Simachew has the details: [Minalachew] It was with the objective of expanding its trade routes by linking the African cities with cities of other continents that Ethiopian Airlines started its maiden flight to Hargeysa. According to the head of airlines' sales department, it was after carrying out an extensive study and the viability of its profitability that this flight was inaugurated...
    Source: Radio Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, in Amharic 27 Mar 01 /BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.


    Somaliland: Police bar new party delegation from visiting district

    BBC Monitoring Service - Mar 26, 2001

    Eight members of Somaliland Islamic Party, which was launched on [24 March] in Hargeysa and Burco, were yesterday barred by Caynabo District police from visiting Sool Region's Laas Caanood District.

    The delegation which included the party chairman, Dr Muhammad Abdi Gaboose, was on a mission related to the new party and was heading to Laas Caanood . The delegation returned to Burco after being held for hours at the Caynabo police HQ. They were barred from proceeding to Laas Caanood.

    The Islamic party spokesman, Ahmad Dirir Ali, who was among those held in Caynabo, informed this paper in Burco that when the party delegation which was travelling in two vehicles reached Caynabo - which lies between Burco and Laas Caanood - it was stopped by policemen who had prepared in advance.

    "We asked them why they had obstructed us and they said they were implementing an order by the Somaliland internal affairs minister, Ahmad Jambir Sultan, following his visit to Caynabo this week," said Ali who was commenting on the incident. However, the police didn't give details on the order by the minister to bar the delegation from visiting Laas Caanood.

    The police told us "We are doing it for your own interest so return back"... The party, which is a political organization, launched last week in Hargeysa and Burco, immediately dispatched delegations to various parts of the country to propagate its policies and objectives.
    Source: Jamhuuriya, Hargeysa, 26 Mar 01 p 1 /BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.


    Somaliland: Committee on corruption probes ex-ministers

    BBC Monitoring Service - Mar 25, 2001/Source: The Republican, Hargeysa, 24 Mar 01 p 1 /BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    A new government committee formed by President [Muhammad Ibrahim] Egal two weeks ago with the mission of eradicating corruption in the public sector has begun investigating civil construction works done to old government-owned houses now home to the families of ministers sacked by President Egal. The government housing buildings built during the colonial days have been rehabilitated by their present tenants.

    The ministry of public works is responsible for administering government buildings. Since liberation in January 1991, the practice has been for occupants of government houses to pay for the rehabilitation against a waive from payment of rent for a period commensurate with the cost involved. Many government houses have been reconstructed this way. It is not officially known why the committee to combat corruption has selected the ex-ministers as the target of its first investigation.

    Corruption is rampant in Somaliland, a considerable percentage of public funds is usually lost to corruption practices.

    Critics have interpreted the committees first move as a politically motivated action intended to intimidate the opposition. Many opposition ministers (the list is long) now support various opposition groups.

    According to one of these former ministers, members of the committee have come to his home to ask him about the construction he has made to the building and whether it belongs to him. Since its a common knowledge that the government is the owner, the question was absurd, said the former minister. Some members of the House of Representatives vowed last week to call for a hearing on the committee for eradication of corruption itself.

    " It is not within the Somaliland culture to make shelter for children an issue. The government should instead do something the daily embezzlement of public funds by higher officials," said one MP yesterday.


    Somaliland invites Somali faction leaders opposed to interim government

    BBC Monitoring Service - Mar 25, 2001/Source: HornAfrik Online text web site, Mogadishu, 24 Mar 01 /BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    The man responsible for internal affairs [minister of internal affairs] in the self-declared republic of Somaliland, Ahmad Shambir Sultan, last night told the press that the Somaliland administration has invited the southern Somali faction leaders who concluded their talks in the in the northwestern region of Ethiopia. He said their talks with the faction leaders will focus on how they could achieve their gaols and bring about peace in southern Somalia.

    Abdullahi Yusuf [ Puntland leader] who is among the most important people who attended the talks is reportedly not invited.

    It is not clear how the people of Somaliland will view this invitation given that people like [Adan Abdullahi] Gabyow and [Sa'id Hirsi] Morgan were responsible for destruction of the northwestern region.


    BBC Monitoring Service - Apr 14 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 14 Apr 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    Over 3000 Cartons of contraband cigarettes destroyed near Berbera

    Berbera --- A consignment of cigarettes that arrived at Berbera Port on April 4, 2001 in 3030 cartons was destroyed last Thursday (April 12, 2001).

    The cigarettes, which belonged to Djiboutian tycoon Abdirahman Bore, were made up of the brands known as Benson & Hedges, Players and Royals.

    The Somaliland Supreme Court ordered the destruction of the cigarettes. The court justified its decision on the ground that the cigarettes had been brought into Somaliland as contraband goods.

    Borre became an exclusive agent for the products of British American Tobacco (BAT) in Somaliland through extra-legal ways. As the SNM-led armed resistance to Siyad Barre's army of occupation in the North (Somaliland) got intensified during the eighties, the Djiboutian government allied itself with the late Somali dictator. As a result, many Somaliland traders ceased to be business agents for foreign firms as they were coerced to relinquish their contract agreements in favour of Djiboutian nationals particularly of the Issa clan including Abdirahman Borre.

    The Egal administration decided two months ago not to allow Borre to import Cigarettes into Somaliland. As a consequence, BAT also decided to search for a Somaliland person to act as its dealer in Somaliland. In order to sell the quantity of cigarettes in his stores at Djibouti, especially the Benson, Royals and Players brands that are widely consumed in Somaliland, Borre had to bring his stock urgently to Berbera where it has been confiscated and burned.


    BBC Monitoring Service - Apr 14 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 14 Apr 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    Borre is not happy

    Hargeisa --- Djiboutian cigarettes smuggler Abdirahman Borre arrived on Thursday in the Somaliland capital of Hargeisa. Borre came to Hargeisa in a bid to save his crumbling cigarettes smuggling operations in Somaliland, the largest of its kind in the Horn of Africa countries.

    Borre is a close kin of Djiboutian President Ismail Omer Guelleh. Both men are known to have accumulated huge wealth from illicit trade. Borre and Guelleh trade in drug money laundering, trafficking of heroine and weapons. Successive French governments since Djibouti's independence in 1977 have always preferred the ruling Mamaasan clique in Djibouti to other ethnicities.

    Djibouti is the only country in the world, which claims to be independent but in reality functions as a full colony of its former European master, France. Borre, who used to claim to international traffickers of illicit drugs that his business was always indispensable in the Horn, has now lost forever his markets in Somaliland and Ethiopia.


    BBC Monitoring Service - Apr 14 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 14 Apr 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    Local News

    * The SNM and UBSL organisations are to issue tomorrow an international appeal for humanitarian assistance to drought-stricken regions in Somaliland.

    Successive Gu' rain failures for the last 3 years in all over Somaliland have particularly affected the pastoralist communities in Sanag, Sool and Sahil regions. The two oppositions say that the Somaliland Administration has ignored the needs of drought affected pastoralists.

    The ban on livestock exports to Gulf states has also compounded the situation.

    * Citizens in Buroa rioted on Tuesday to protest against sharp speculation in the money exchange of Somalia shillings. 500 Somalia shilling faked notes were sent last week to Buroa by Ali Khalif Galaydh, prime minister of the Arta Faction in Mogadisho.


    BBC Monitoring Service - Apr 14 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 14 Apr 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    EDITORIAL:Bi-partisan approach for the Referendum

    Holding a public referendum on the country's existing interim constitution has been a top national priority task that President Egal's Administration was assigned to accomplish within the first 3 years of its current term. However since his re-election to office on Feb. 1997, Egal has hardly shown any interest in fulfilling this task, considered by Somalilanders as an issue of special importance to the evolving democratic process in this country. As the 3 year time-frame was about to expire without the referendum being held yet, the Somaliland parliament had to grant the Administration an extension of one year beginning from Feb. 2000. But again, the government failed to carry out the referendum within the above prescribed period and consequently had to be allowed another extension of 6 months with effect from Feb. 2001.

    The idea of putting the country's existing constitution to public referendum was adopted during the Hargeisa National Conference (held on Oct.1996-Feb.1997). Because only few hundred people had attended the Hargeisa conference that enacted the constitution, it was felt that the wider population should be given an opportunity to enrich this historically important document through, for example, meetings at community-level discussions or any other means that could be utilized for this purpose.

    Regrettably, the Egal administration has foot-dragged in letting citizen groups participate in the formation of the constitution. What is even worse is that the provisions of the articles of the constitution have until now not been properly disseminated to the public.

    Most of Somalilanders still do not know whether the constitution would serve them better or worse. The formation only two weeks ago of a national commission to organise the referendum (scheduled for end of next May) actually portrays how irresponsible the people in power are.

    Egal's nomination at the eleventh hour of Abdirahman Aw Ali Farah to become member of this commission, without any prior consultations with him, can hardly be described as an act of statesmanship. Abdirahman Aw Ali is not only a former Vice-President of Somaliland but he is also the man second in command within the SNM organisation-the largest political opposition group in the country. Because of the government's ill-preparation and conflicting statements as to the objectives of the referendum, people have become even more confused to the extent that now most of Somalilanders living inside the country associate the exercise with the re-election of Egal. Of course the President's re-election campaign has obviously been underway for at least during the last six months. The SNM's ambiguous position on the issue didn't help things either.

    We believe that despite the huge shortcomings of the government, the SNM and other opposition groups should take a more positive stance towards the referendum. They have to grasp the wider issues involved in holding the referendum on the constitution. However it would be up to the government to act in a bi-partisan manner by taking the opposition on board with regard to this issue. Somaliland can't afford failure as far as the referendum is concerned. It is therefore necessary for the incumbent Administration to become sincere and transparent enough to attract popular support for the sensitive issue of the referendum. If the referendum fails may "God forbid", President Egal would have only himself to blame.


    BBC Monitoring Service - Mar 31 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 31 Mar 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    Somaliland Islamic Party Launched

    Hargeisa/Buroa ---Somaliland Islamic Party was officially launched simultaneously in Buroa and Hargeisa on Saturday (March 24, 2001). The new organization will seek to transform itself in to a full political party in due course, a press statement issued by the founders said on Saturday. The Islamic organization is headed by Dr Mohammed Abdi Gaboose, a country-wide known Neurologist. Among the founders are many intellectual professionals from various fields. In the meanwhile a delegation representing the new organization was stopped by the Somaliland Police at Ainabo about 110 km east of Buroa on Monday (March 15, 2001). Police authorities at Ainabo said they were instructed by Interior Minister Jambir to prevent the delegation from proceeding to Las-Anod for security reasons. Reports emerging at Ainabo claimed that clansmen related to col. Osman Mohammed (Dhalla), former commander of Somaliland Presidential guards who was last year killed by a disgruntled, security guard were planning to ambush the delegation of the new Islamic organization. Members of the delegation however said they have been invited by prominent elders from the Sool region. "If it were true that certain members of our delegation would have placed themselves at risk by going there, then why the entire mission had been returned", inquired a member of the aborted mission during a press conference on Wednesday.

    The new Islamic organization believes in the inviolability of Somaliland's independence, free market economy and emphasizes the importance of the private sector's role in developing the national economy. The organization also calls for observance of traditional Islamic laws and values, according to a program released by them last week. As far as the organization's foreign policy is concerned, the new party stressed to seek establishing good relations with all countries in the world particularly Somaliland's neighbours.
    Founders of Somaliland Islamic party are:-

    1. Dr Mohammed Ahdi Gaboose, Chairman
    2. Prof Mohammed Omer Adan, vice-chairman
    3. Mohammed Ahmed Al Azhari, member
    4. Eng. Abdirahman Mohammed Duallee, member
    5. Eng. Abdi Qadir Haji Ismail, member
    6. Hussain Ainan Farah, member
    7. Dr Ahmed Ibrahim Obolos, member
    8. Dr Saleebaan Abdi Guleed, member
    9. Saeed Shire Hussain, member
    10. Bashe Abdi Gabobe, member
    11. Abdul Qadir Hussain Saeed, member
    12. Kayse Yusuf Ali, member
    13. Ahmed Dirir Ali, member
    14. Abdirisak Ali, member
    15. Ismail Omar Adan, member
    16. Ibrahim Saeed Ismail, member
    17. Dr Ismail Abdillahi Good-member
    18. Abdillahi Salah Ali, member
    19. Mahamed Dahir Hassan
    20. Ali Hassan Sheekh Doon
    21. Adan Shire Farah (Sanweyne)- member
    22. Prof Hussein Sh Ma'alin Harun, member

    BBC Monitoring Service - Mar 31 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 31 Mar 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    Two boys injured by police bullets

    Hargeisa ---two school children from Hargeisa children Home were hit by police bullets on Sunday. The incident took place near Jigjiga yar police station, which the children attacked with stones to protest the imprisonment of the manager of Hargeisa Children Home, Ismail Yahye on Saturday. . Yahye apparently refused to hand over the Hargeisa Children Home to Somaliland's Ministry of Education. The institution was hitherto administered by the Custodial Corps Department.

    The stone-throwing children also reportedly injured at least 10 policemen. Hargeisa police commander Ahmed Aw Ali Shabeel confirmed on Saturday that the police was responsible for the shooting but he justified the action as a last resort by the police to defend the station and themselves. About 150 children took part in the rioting. But the police shooting have been widely condemned. Both the SMN and UBSL called the shooting an unwarranted and ruthless action by the police. On Thursday, Horn Watch, a human rights group based in Hargeisa also condemned the shooting of the children.

    It is not the first time that Somaliland Police opened fire on protesters. According to Horn watch, in mid 1997, 2 school children got wounded when the Presidential guards opened fire on people who were peacefully protesting against government harassment of the free press. On Dec 2000 2 demonstrators were injured by Police bullets in Buroa. In Jan 2001 one person was killed and others were wounded after the police fired live bullets on demonstrators in Borama. The Somaliland Police has not been trained on the control of riots. The Police have yet to own anti-riot gear.


    BBC Monitoring Service - Mar 31 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 31 Mar 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    SNM leader rejects to join Government commission on Referendum

    Abdirahman Aw Ali Farah, former Somaliland vice President, says Egal has nominated him without prior consultation
    Hargeisa -- . Abdirahman Aw Ali Farah, former Somaliland vice-president and current Chairman of the SNM re-organization council, has rejected his nomination by President Egal last week to become member of the Government Commission responsible for organizing public referendum on Somaliland's draft constitution scheduled to be held before end of next May. On last Saturday President Egal had appointed a 5- member commission comprising minister of interior Jambir as its chairman and deputy speaker of the House of Representatives Abdul-Qadir Jirde as vice chairman with Saeed Jama Ali (2nd vice chairman of the House of Elders) and Aadan Ahmed Diriye (Businessman) in addition to Abdirahman Aw Ali as members.

    On a statement to the press on Sunday (March 25), Aw-Ali Farah dismissed his nomination by President Egal as hypocritical. The SNM veteran said that he was surprised to see his name among the nominees as no prior consultations were held with him on the appointment. . Aw-Ali Farah also expressed doubts about the viability of the referendum commission, "Truly speaking, it is difficult to foresee a credible referendum being held in this country as long as Egal is in power", he said.

    Somaliland Minister of interior Jambir has criticized Abdirahman Aw-Ali for declining the President's offer which he said was made in view of the respectability that the Administration attaches to the SNM organization. Jambir has asked the SNM to recommend someone else to the membership of the commission. During a press conference on Monday, . Jambir tried to delineate a notion that the SNM opposes the referendum per se.


    BBC Monitoring Service - Mar 31 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 31 Mar 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    EDITORIAL: Dogs may keep barking but the caravan will go on

    While Ali Galaydh is blowing the trumpets of war incitement against Ethiopia from his bunker in Mogadishu, Ethiopia is at this very moment engaged in the rehabilitation of the 25 km road between Somaliland's Kalabaydh village and the Ethiopian part of the Wajale border town so that people (returnees, businesspersons, aid workers, tourists etc.) can travel with greater freedom and efficiency in either direction. It's to the disbelief of Galaydh that Ethiopia is emerging as Somaliland's main trade partner. The inauguration of Ethiopian Airlines flights to Hargeisa on last Tuesday came as a result of the increasingly growing economic ties between the two countries of Ethiopia and Somaliland. Moreover, Somaliland's common border with Ethiopia remains admirably peaceful. It was on this land where Somali irredentism was born over many decades ago and which witnessed the largest and most dangerous military confrontations between Somalis and Ethiopians in their unhappy past history. With the launching of the SNM's armed struggle in 1981, against Barre's fascist rule, relations between the two peoples have in fact considerably improved at the informal level. It is a long way now since the 1964 or 1977-78 war when Ethiopian aircraft were bombing Hargeisa and Somali artillery shells were being poured on Dire-Dawa or Goday.

    We believe that authorities at both sides of the border should come more closely together in order to develop the enormous existing potentialities for multi-sectoral cooperation between the two countries. We also hope that world governments and international organizations will pay the necessary attention to the on-going positive developments in terms of the bilateral collaboration between Somaliland and Ethiopia aimed at addressing humanitarian as well as developmental needs across their common border. In fact this could be developed to become a model for border collaboration in the future between other states in the region.

    Ethiopia, Somaliland and international agencies are already setting a good example through their cross-border cooperation on expatriation of Somaliland refugees from eastern Ethiopia and rehabilitation of road infrastructure linking the two countries. While this is only one-step in the right direction, let us hope many others will follow it in the future.

    In the meantime, Somaliland and Ethiopian business communities should be applauded for taking the lead in pioneering bilateral trade relations at a time when there were minimum official contacts between governments of both countries. In reality, these entrepreneurs have brought our common trade business to a level where it will difficult, if not impossible, for Galaydh and his gang to stop or reverse. It is a pity that a man who takes pride in being an entrepreneur himself and who loves to claim being prime minister for the whole of the failed state of Somalia would come out to deplore the mutually beneficial commercial links now developing between Somaliland and Ethiopia. The hard-working and honest business community in Somaliland has certainly not been involved in the large-scale embezzlement of public resources as Ali Khalif Galaydh and Qassim Salad did when both men were under the service of dictator Siyad Bare. On the contrary, Somalilanders were completely dispossessed by that same government. It should then come to nobody's surprise that Galaydh is found today not only accusing Ethiopia of destabilizing his Arta faction by allegedly providing arms to rival groups in Mogadishu but also because Ethiopian merchants and business firms are establishing commercial ties with Somaliland as well. But we say let the dogs keep barking as long as the caravan goes on.


    BBC Monitoring Service - Mar 31 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 31 Mar 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    Letter: Referendum for Somaliland Constitution

    I was surprised to read the interview of the former vice President of Somaliland from JamhuuriyaNews Paper. I agree with . Abdulrahman for his opposition to Egal's Government but I completely disagree with his reasoning that there was a better time before the referendum. Do you want us to believe that it was better to take referendum when the civil war was simmering in Somaliland especially in Hargeisa?

    If that was the former vice president's mentality what do we expect from former lower ranking officials. It is unfortunate to see immature politicians who could not differentiate between being constructive and nationalist opposition party or destruction party.

    I feel proud when I see my people learning how to practice democracy but it makes me sad when they make major mistakes. We know Egal is an old politician who plays hard ball and the situation is in his favour at the moment but replacing him legally in a peaceful manner is not an impossible task but it needs cool head and self sacrifice and if any qualified and serious politician have attempted to replace him he could have succeeded easily.

    If any body has any comment about the constitution it should go through the proper channels, the constitution should have checks and balances and if not then those who prepared [it] should be taken to task. As long as the constitution didn't say that Egal is life President anything else can be changed or negotiated by the Somalilanders.

    It is unfortunate if the President politicizes the referendum for the constitution of Somaliland but the opposition should refrain from such mischievous game for the good of the country.

    Abdi Salam Hasan, Saudi Arabia.


    BBC Monitoring Service - Mar 31 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 31 Mar 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    David Stephen planning to dismantle Puntland

    Nairobi/Djibouti -- UN secretary general's representative in Somalia, . David Stephen, is on the verge of undertaking a plan for the destabilization of Somalia's regional state of Puntland. Stephen who claims having successfully bestowed international legitimacy on Qassim Salad, now believes that without local legitimacy, the Arta faction's days would be numbered. David Stephen thinks that by pulling the rug under the feet of Col Abdillahi Yusuf, the UN can install a new leadership in Puntland that can accept lending support to the Arta faction. Stephen assumes that support from Puntland will give Abdi Qassim some kind of local legitimacy in the face of growing international criticism that the Arta faction is trying to impose itself on Somalis through the utilization of the political and material support it has so far received from certain regional and international quarters (Arab states, Italy and fundamentalist forces across the globe). Stephen's latest plan co-authored by Ali Khalif Galaydh calls for attacks on Abdillahi Yusuf's weakest points such as his management of Bossasso Port tax revenues, poor public relations with local communities and mis-handling of human rights issues, The Republican has learned. Galaydh has promised from his side to polarize the political situation in Puntland to a level that will eventually lead to Abdillahi yusuf's downfall and the emergence of a pro-Arta faction leadership in Puntland.
    BBC Monitoring Service - Mar 31 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 31 Mar 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    Two Aid workers safely evacuated to Nairobi but 2 still missing

    It was "regrettable that the discussion surrounding the security incident is deflecting attention from the real impact of the situation, which is humanitarian."
    UN Statement.

    Two UN aid workers were safely evacuated to Nairobi, Kenya on Friday, UN spokeswoman Sonya Lawrence Green said. Pierre Paul Lamotte of UNICEF, and Muhammad Muhamadi of the World Health Organisation (WHO) had been caught up in an attack on the Medicin Sans Frontieres-Spain (MSF) compound on Tuesday morning in the Somali capital, Mogadishu. Negotiations continue over the fate of remaining UN security officers, Bill Condie and Roger Carter. Green said the UN had been reassured they were safe, but was demanding to establish direct contact.

    The two UN staff members were part of a team of nine expatriate staff caught up in a heavy shoot-out at the MSF compound in north Mogadishu on Tuesday morning. The attack was launched by militia loyal to opposition faction leader, Muse Sudi Yalahow, who said he wanted to prove that the capital was unsafe. Five of the aid workers, including three MSF aid workers, were evacuated to Nairobi on Wednesday.

    MSF says attack "unacceptable"

    Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF) condemned Tuesday's attack on its compound and humanitarian aid workers in north Mogadishu, and said it had suspended operations in the capital. A statement released on Thursday said "cholera victims are now at risk of dying in Mogadishu North, because supplies have been looted and destroyed." It called the security incident "the worst of its kind" since the organisation began work in Mogadishu in 1991, when the former government collapsed. MSF Medical Coordinator Elena Grandio said the targeting of aid workers was "totally unacceptable, and only harms the very people we are trying to help". Grandio was evacuated from Mogadishu on Wednesday night.

    MSF said that three of its international aid workers, over 30 national staff from MSF and six international UN workers were trapped and under fire for two hours, when its compound was unexpectedly surrounded and attacked by militia. UN workers had come to the compound to attend a meeting on immunisation and cholera treatment.

    Vital supplies were looted, including medical supplies for Mogadishu and regional clinics to have lasted three months. The statement said MSF was running the only public health clinic and cholera camp in north Mogadishu. "At any one time, there are around 35 patients under treatment in the MSF camp, and this is how many there were on the day of the attack." Aid workers watched as essential equipment for containing and treating cholera was destroyed and looted.


    BBC Monitoring Service - Mar 31 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 31 Mar 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    Ethiopian Airlines first international flight to Hargeisa inaugurated

    Hargeisa -- Ethiopian Airlines inaugurated its first international flight to Hargeisa, capital of the Republic of Somaliland on last Monday (March 27,2001). The twice-weekly flight on Tuesdays and Thursdays will be the 44th international destination for the Ethiopian national carrier.

    The inauguration flight was warmly received by Somaliland officials as well as members of the local business community. A reception held on this occasion at Maansoor Hotel in Hargeisa on Tuesday night was attended by vice-president Dahir Riyale, Minister of Aviation Abdulahi M. Dualle and other ranking government officials. Senior Ethiopian Airlines officers including the carrier's director for Africa, . Bekele, were also present for the occasion. The Ethiopians also visited Berbera last week to familiarize themselves with Berbera airport facilities. Ethiopian Airlines new route to Hargeisa is expected to facilitate smooth flights for Somalis in the diaspora all over the world to the destination. In a brief statement during last Tuesday night's reception, vice-president Riyale has welcomed the Ethiopian Airlines adding that the people and government of Somaliland will always remember the carrier for launching this international flight to Somaliland. . Abdillahi Askar, Somaliland's envoy to Ethiopia was also among the dignitaries who specially arrived with Tuesday's flight to observe the inauguration.


    BBC Monitoring Service - Mar 24 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 24 Mar 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    Committee on corruption investigates ex-ministers

    Hargeisa -- A new government committee formed by President Egal two weeks ago with the mission of eradicating corruption in the public sector has begun investigating civil construction works done to old government owned houses now home to the families of ministers sacked by President Egal. The government housing buildings built during the colonial days, have been rehabilitated by their present tenants. The ministry of public works is responsible for administering government buildings. Since liberation in Jan 1991, the practice has been for occupants of government houses to pay for the rehabilitation against a waive from payment of rent for a period commensurate with the costs involved. Many government houses have been reconstructed this way. It is not yet officially known why the committee to combat corruption has selected the ex-ministers as the target of its first investigation. Corruption is rampant in Somaliland. A considerable percentage of public funds are usually lost to corruption practices.

    Critics have interpreted the committee's first move as a politically motivated action intended to intimidate the opposition. Many former Ministers (the list is long) now support various opposition groups. According to one of these former Ministers, members of the committee have come to his home to ask him about the construction he has made to the building and whether it belongs to him. Since it's a common knowledge that the government is the owner, the question was absurd, said the former Minister. Some members of the House of Representatives vowed last week to call for a hearing on the committee for eradication of corruption itself. "It is not within the Somaliland culture to make shelter for children an issue. The government should instead do some thing about the daily embezzlement of public funds by higher officials" said one MP yesterday.


    BBC Monitoring Service - Mar 24 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 24 Mar 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    Appreciate Somaliland's stabilizing role, French diplomat was told

    Hargeisa --- Leaders of the Somaliland Parliament told on Monday the French Charge d' affairs in Djibouti that it is a high time for the international community to give appreciation to the stabilizing effects brought to the region by the re-emergence of the Republic of Somaliland. The French diplomat, Peloux Alain, arrived in Hargeisa early last week to begin a several day trip to Somaliland that took him to Berbera as well. At a meeting with leaders of both Houses of Parliament, Alain was told that Somaliland is determined to hold the referendum on the country's draft constitution scheduled for next may whether the international community sends observers or not. The French envoy to Djibouti said the referendum would be viewed by his government as a local level affair. He justified this stand by claiming that sending observers to here would be tantamount to recognition of Somaliland. The legislators also reiterated their position that the Arta conference didn't concern Somaliland which they said was not represented in that gathering .
    BBC Monitoring Service - Mar 24 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 24 Mar 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    Somalilanders to demonstrate against EU Summit

    Stockholm --- Hundreds of Somalilanders living in Scandinavian countries have converged on Stockholm to demonstrate in front of the EU Summit which is now underway in the Swedish capital. The demonstration will be held today to express support for the independence of Somaliland and to protest the reluctance of European Leaders attending the Summit to grant diplomatic recognition to Somaliland.
    BBC Monitoring Service - Mar 24 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 24 Mar 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    SAPD- a shelter for Somaliland intellectuals

    Hargeisa -- The Somaliland Academy for Peace and Development previously known as Somaliland center for peace and development has held a final review session for participants of its workshop groups. The SAPD organized a series of seminars and workshops on such areas as Governance, Livestock, War Effects on Households, and the Media. Each sector was assigned a working group. A brief summary of recommendations and conclusions was presented by each working group in a final session held on Thursday in Maansoor Hotel. The organization came initially into being as a result of a war-torn society project. These kinds of projects have been implemented in a number of countries that had witnessed prolonged armed conflicts. The Somaliland project is found different in the sense that it is going to be sustained through local effort after the phase-out period. According to Hussein Bulhan, the Chairman of the Academy, the SAPD is going to receive fellowships from other countries. The SAPD has done a considerable research and documentation since its inception two years ago. "We consider ourselves as an intellectual shelter" . Bulhan added. The SAPD is expected to start disseminating its findings in the next 3 Months.
    BBC Monitoring Service - Mar 24 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 24 Mar 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    EDITORIAL:The government committee on corruption

    When President Egal announced two weeks ago the formation of a committee to eradicate corruption in the public sector, the decision drew a lot of skepticism from the Somaliland public. The skeptics claimed that it wasn't realistic to expect much from an Administration whose leaders consider corruption as a legitimate means for either attaining political power or staying clinging to one. On last week, the public argument surrounding this issue seemed to have subsided when news emerged that the committee has already begun its work by launching an investigation into the government-owned houses where the families of former ministers who served Egal still live. The action has even infuriated Egal's closest supporters. It has been seen as an attempt by him to punish the former members of his cabinet who after falling out with him have lent sympathy to or joined political opposition organisations.

    Experience shows that political corruption is the mother of all corruption, whether financial, administrative or judicial. By simply looking back at the contemporary political history of Somaliland, one cannot fail to come to the conclusion that our woes started whenever a political leader persisted in staying in power through illegitimate means. Indeed political, administrative and judicial corruption is now paralysing the whole government machinery that it is impossible for the public these days to do business with the government unless one accepts to bribe or get bribed in return for favours. Remedying the country of corruption should be on the top of our national priorities. But this needs the adoption of effective plans. For one thing, corruption cannot be combated without the participation of the citizens. But before everything else, there is a need for the Somaliland government leaders to set examples by accepting the universal principles of transparency and accountability in governance.

    If top government officials fail to desist from resorting to corruptive practices, then the formation of anti-corruption structures will be of no use. And in that case, it would make more sense if people sought first the replacement of the incumbent Administration with a new clean government. So if President Egal wants to be serious about combating corruption, he should begin this process with himself. We also do not believe that a committee formed by Egal will honestly fight the desease of corruption in Somaliland. An independent body is necessary in order to ensure that this task is carried out fairly and properly.


    BBC Monitoring Service - Mar 24 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 24 Mar 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    The Role of the Local NGOs in the Political Reform

    Local NGOs have been very visible in the rebuilding process. Their presence both in terms of their number and their activities has been felt throughout the country, assisting in the rehabilitation of social services in collaboration with the international agencies and advocating for development issues. It might also have been expected that local NGOs, as pressure groups, would play a critical part in the current political process. But at a time in which the country is about to embark on a new political transition- a referendum on the constitution, establishment of political parties and electoral apparatus, and holding a national election- our local NGOs have been mainly absent.

    The ultimate success of the ongoing political process rests, in a large part on the level of public participation. That there hasn't been significant public discussion regarding the political reform so far, is a bad signal for the process. Wider public participation would not only help to legitimise the process, it would also allow the public to see whether the proposed political reforms are realistic and whether such proposed reforms will add to what has already been accomplished in building democratic institutions. Such active community participation can be best accomplished through the involvement of local NGOs and other civil organistations, to ensure that reforms are understood and accepted.

    But the involvement of NGOs in the political process doesn't mean that they are a substitute for a constitutional government or elected representatives. Nor they have any specific constitutional power, which is something NGOs should keep in mind. However, They can participate in the political process through intensive lobbying, public rallies, informing and educating the public, holding or sponsoring national debates, and advocating for various social issues. Unfortunately local NGOs and other civic organisations have not somehow evolved in steps with the ongoing political reform process.

    The formation of new umbrella organisation in 1996 was widely perceived as a positive development, which would encourage them to shift their focus from exclusively "development" issues to other areas of public concern and from the role of sub-contractors to advocacy or pressure groups. But so far, they remained on the sidelines of the reform process. The question is why are they less interested in political issues than in development issues? Is there self-censorship when it comes to the political domain? Or is it simply apathy.

    We are in a period of transition and transformation, with many uncertainties ahead. Everyone has stake in the outcome of Somaliland's transition to a more democratic political system, so everyone's participation is necessary. Local NGOs and other civic organisations have a responsibility to participate in the political process. So we mustn't now shrink from our duty to shape a better future for our country. The ongoing transitional process is too important to be left only to politicians.

    Mohamed Hassan Gani
    Somaliland Academy for Peace and Development


    BBC Monitoring Service - Mar 24 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 24 Mar 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    The problems of the Qat for the society and health

    By Abdulhalim M. Musa

    Qat is prevalent in Kenya, Ethiopia, Yemen, Djibouti, Somalia, and Somaliland. It is a fresh leaf and flower buds that are chewed to keep its use in fresh, it is localized to the immediate areas of production although in recent years Qat trade has also spread to Europe and America. Qat is chewed at social gatherings; at homes, business and political discussions, usually after mid afternoon lunch. But some people also eat in the morning time (Jabbane) and late in the night. (Biyo-raacis).

    The flower buds of the tree contain a substance which is mildly stimulating, anorexigenic and if used excessively affects the judgment and self control, suppresses eating and sexual desire. It is responsible for loss of desire to work and unproductive behavior. The stimulant also affects wear off by bad time. It is an intoxicant that clouds, obscures or veils consciousness. Qat is the most important cause of broken bones and broken homes. In Qat munching memory deteriorates, personality degenerates and character disintegrates. Qat like other intoxicants offers an escape from problems and worries to begin with, but ends up by multiplying them and crushes rather than relieves the sufferer. The Qat eater seeks to drown in his sorrows in the hope of enjoying an imaginary paradise where his burdens will roll away in the brief span of mirqan time (stupor). Qat is a well know thief. It takes away cash from families, childhood happiness from abused children, chastity from young women, reasoning from the educated, productivity from the working class. Qat is the gateway drug to alcohol, wine and all other evil habits.

    Qat soon overcomes the strongest man and turns him into a raging beast who threatens those around him and insults imaginary enemies. In the Mental hospital one of two patients occupies a bed because of Qat related problems, while in the street, one out of every five persons has problems because either he eats Qat or because one of his children or one of his relatives eats Qat. Qat causes 3 out of 4 cases of robbery with violence and one in 2 cases of family quarrels and brawls, it also the cause of many cases of child abuse, divorce head injuries etc. Short note as to where and how Qat chewing may begin and perpetuate throughout life.

    1. The mother who eats Qat. It begins in the womb for no fault of the fetus and the poor unborn child in the womb gets the first taste of it. The baby may born with congenital abnormalities.

    2. Soon after birth, although Qat gets into milk in small quantities. It has been shown that even these small amount affect the milk's odor in such a way that babies don't like, they suck more frequently but consume substantially less milk when it contains Qat substance.

    3. The child grows up with the first attack of fever or influenza, the parent give the child a shot of [the] drug.

    4. When the child comes back from school, on the street, a) he sees Qat leaves outnumbering food and vegetables and selling everywhere. b)He sees young characters eager to start eating Qat. c) He sees older people resembling his parents, teachers and elders who grab bunches of Qat before going to lunch.

    5. At home when parents, uncles with their friends/ guests eating Qat, the children once again are exposed to this influence and grow up with double standards.

    6. He goes to a wedding reception; imagine the Sheikh comes and performs the marriage ceremony according to strict, very strict Islamic rites. As soon as the Sheikh is hustled out of the function, the parents and the guests start eating Qat, and take the pride in eating more and more Qat.

    7. The company of friends who eats Qat is also a strong influential factor in causing one to become the same as his friends. The daily worker squanders his wages at the nearest majlis on his way home after the day's work where the day's pay may be frittered away with Qat in the same day.

    8.Finally a time comes that such a person takes Qat as a mere time passing, or as an escape from some little anxiety and frustration, but at last it leads him to lose his house, his properties, his job and he may take to the streets as one of the homeless alcoholics.

    The action of the Qat on the body

    Qat is primarily a depressant for the central nervous system and hence should be classified as a mind-altering drug. One may argue that Qat is a stimulant and not a depressant because a person starts to move and walk faster immediately when he eats Qat. I say this is because of its depressing effect and Not because of its stimulating effect. Qat depresses the inhibitory centers in the brain.

    Our finer qualities are judgments, social limitations and shyness, talking only when necessary, self control. These are the qualities that distinguish a human being from lower animals, and these qualities are first to be depressed, and hence the person who eats Qat reverts to more primitive behavior, becomes garrulous and talkative, judgment is impaired, thereby causing easy to lose temper, car and other accidents, unjustifiable behavior and wrong decisions.

    Qat first depresses the higher brain centers called the neo-cortex (new-brain) found in human beings which control judgment and their learned inhibitions; hence the person may become garrulous and anti-social. The association cortex that associates sensory information and relays it to the motor areas is very large in human beings and this association cortex clearly sets humans apart from all [animals].

    As Qat chewing continues, the deeper and more primitive areas of the brain are depressed, leading to loss of motor co-ordination of the muscle-skeletal system of speech and vision. When more Qat is eaten the respiratory and cardiac centres in the medulla are depressed and the person becomes comatose. One or 2 bunches (mijin) affects reasoning, memory and caution, while 3 or 4 bunches affects judgment and self-control. 5 to 6 bunches affects co-ordination, 7 or 8 bunches cause imbalance, and 10 or more bunches affects the vital centers in the medulla causing coma sometimes.

    Continued use of Qat over a long period of time produces diseases in virtually each and every organ of the body e.g. liver, heart, brain, pancreas, sex glands, immune systems etc. It initially relieves anxiety, thus removing the sense of guilt and justifying personal failures. The user becomes indifferent to the needs of others. His deranged attitudes and beliefs, his confused pattern of thoughts and behavior, his stubborn rejection of advice from the elders, his contempt for traditional and religious values, all leads to the following major categories of problems the Qat eater would face:

    Social problems:

    • a)Disrupted family life, violence, arguments and fights always arise between him and his family members.
    • b) Violent behavior (E.g. robbery, assault, rape, homicide and family violence);
    • c) Financial problems:Loss of productivity for self and the nation;
    • d)Mental problems:Frequent headaches, withdrawal symptoms;
    • e)Chronic illness:Heart, brain, liver, diabetes, cancer, sex glands illnesses.

    The Qat supporters always threaten us that if the Qat is banned from the country that will cause high job unemployment due to retrenchment. But the fact remains that employment losses in the Qat industry would result in an increase in employment elsewhere in other sectors of the nation's economy, because the amount of US dollars in circulation in the country will remain constant, and indeed may increase. Imagine how many millions of dollars we buy with Qat every year form another country. This much money would have been invested in other sectors such as agricultural programs, education, small scale industries and many others which can generate employment and development.

    How Islam dealt with mind-altering drugs.

    Prohibition of intoxicants in Islam did not come down all at once in one single day. It was a gradual process, beginning with preparing the people psychologically for it, not by man-made legislation but through divine revelations and laws. At first, Allah made it clear in simple language that the harm of drinking wine was greater than its benefit.(Q .2; 219. "They ask you concerning wine and gambling. Say, in them is great sin and some profit for them, but the sin is greater than their profit....") In this verse we can take Qat as a good example comparing its harm to its benefit and we all agree its harm is more greater than any small benefit of it. Allah also reminded Muslims: Q.2;195" And do not be cast into ruin by your own hands" Again Allah says Q.4;29 "And do not kill yourselves; indeed, Allah is ever merciful to you." ''Prophet Mohammed, pbuh, has said: "That of which a large quantity intoxicated is unlawful in its little quantity." "Every intoxicants and stimulants is prohibited".Hence Qat is intoxicant and stimulates too. BBC Monitoring Service - Mar 17 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 17 Mar 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    An Interview with Graham Allardice

    (Graham Allardice, Horn of Africa section of the British Foreign Office)

    A delegation of British diplomats led by Graham Allardice from Horn of Africa section in the UK Foreign Office with David Williams from the British Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and Francis King, deputy director of the British Council in Nairobi, visited Somaliland last week.

    The Republican and Jamhuuriyahave interviewed . Allardice. Excerpts from the interview are published below:
    Q. The British government has so far been reluctant to recognise Somaliland's proclamation of independence from the rest of former Somalia. Is there now any modification in Britian's stance towards its former colony?
    A. Well, we have visited Hargeisa (for me the first time) for the last couple of days. We are looking at Somalia more closely than we have done in the past, obviously with the political developments throughout the country. We are consulting with our senior officials and Ministers and we are following events through the UN process in the South and what I mean to the whole of Somalia very closely. But what we haven't taken any significant change in our policy right now. We have received the president's [Egal] book yesterday in which he sets out political and legal arguments about Somaliland and we will make sure that this is relayed to our senior officials and Ministers in London. We will see what their response is.
    Q. There have been wide complaints in Somaliland that the UN is trying to impose the Arta faction on people here. Though you aren't a UN official don't you think that the British government should pay attention to Somaliland's grievances against the UN?
    A. Well, you know that the head of the UN political office in Nairobi, David Stephen, was here speaking to the president directly about this matter (March 13). So it would be good if you could put your question directly to him as to what the UN is doing. But in our experience when this has been discussed in the UN we made very clear and agreed that whatever happens in the Arta process meaning whatever structures are instituted, it must not undermine what has been established here and also in Puntland. So, that remains a shared key position not only of the UK. The UN political officer is aware of that. So, it's not a case of trying to impose some a great fix at any cost. It's a gradual step approach.
    Q. Is there any intention by the British Government to increase aid for Somaliland especially in areas of education and health?

    A. May be Franscis could answer on the question of education but generally the purpose of our visit is to look at our future developmental relationship with Somalia. We are already absorbed in what is going on here. We discussed the situation with the EC Representative here and INGOs. We hope there will be a future engagement. On what level I don't know, but this is a process going on in London and yes there will be further assistance.
    Q. Italian diplomats have recently criticized Britain for not showing interest in the affairs of Somaliland as opposed to Italy's active involvement in all over Somalia. Do you think this has been a fair comment?
    A. Well, I can't speak for the past. But we are here now and looking at the situation. And as I already said several times before the purpose of our visit is a new look if you would like at the situation here. So we hope that we will engage more closely.
    Q. We unerstand that there were plans to assist Somalilanders with skills who are now living in the UK to come back to offer their expertise to their country of origin. Are there any new developments in that direction?
    A. (Francis King of the British Council, Nairobi) On this score, I think one of the most exciting things about the development in Somaliland is the number of highly qualified Somalis in the Diaspora. And from the education and cultural side we see that as an exciting development, the bringing in of their energy and expertise and their love of this country. For example, there are some 30,000 books already in the library of the Hargeisa University sent by Somalis overseas. I understand that another 50,000 is expected from Somalis in America. What we desperately need here is some one to sort the books out. The number of books is fantastic. What we do need is to look at ways that we can harness this excitement, or in another way love of the country, because that is one thing that Somaliland has better than any other developing country.


    BBC Monitoring Service - Mar 17 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 17 Mar 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    UN's David Stephen Reiterates the UN's Support for Arta Faction

    Hargeisa -- UN Secretary General's envoy to Somalia David Stephens has reiterated his Organization's support for the Arta faction, led by Qassim Salad and Ali Khalif Galaydh. Stephens who on Tuesday (March 13) paid a few hours long visit to the Somaliland capital Hargeisa has claimed that his role is to seek the implementation of the UN Security Council resolution demanding as he put it the restoration of the unity and protection of the territorial integrity of all Somalia including Somaliland.

    Stephen is very unpopular in most of the former Somalia due to his crusading policy of trying to deliver the Arta faction across the new realities that emerged in the rest of the failed state of Somalia.

    After a meeting held between senior Somaliland officials led by President Egal and the UN delegation on Tuesday afternoon, there was no indication that the two sides have agreed on anything substantial. At one point President Egal has rejected an offer by David Stephen to allow the political office he heads (replica of UNOSOM) to open a branch in Hargeisa.

    Stephen has strangely enough asked the Somaliland government to be kind enough to provide non-political assistance to the Arta faction in such areas as demobilization planning, demarcation of land for agricultural plantations and establishment of administrative structures. Stephen has also mentioned the name of John Drysdale once but for the first time without choking. He has complained to the Somaliland leaders he met about the Somaliland press saying that it has been trying to disfigure him personally. President Egal however has rebuffed Stephen by saying, "our press is independent and I believe that they haven't lied in reporting or commenting on your path of blunders".

    In a AFP dispatch on Friday (yesterday), Stephen was said to have asked President Egal to renounce Somaliland's proclamation of independence. According to observers here, Stephen's visit to Somaliland has improved the UN envoy's chances of clinging to his job, considering [the] fact that this was his first visit to the country since the ill-fated Arta conference held in Djibouti last year. . Stephen has been widely accused in Somaliland of trying to undermine the Statehood of Somaliland. In this respect, the Somaliland House of Representatives has recently issued a resolution banning the executive branch of the government from making any contacts with David Stephen.

    Because of the widely felt popular disgust with his strong anti-Somaliland attitudes, the authorities have taken unusually strong security measures for the safety of the UN envoy during his brief stay in Somaliland.


    BBC Monitoring Service - Mar 17 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 17 Mar 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    Waran-cade attacks Jamhuuriyanewspaper

    Hargeisa -- Somaliland's Minister of Information has threatened to take action against Jamhuuriyafor publishing on March 5 a first page breaking news article in which the UNDP Representative in Somalia, . Randolph Kent, has questioned Somaliland's jurisdiction over tax collection and issuance of titles to property. . Kent, as reliable sources told Jamhuuriyaand the Republican two weeks ago, has cautiously told aid officials working in Somaliland that the Arta faction in Mogadishu has enforceable rights domestically as well as internationally not only to raise taxes but also to issue written title deeds on land ownership in all over the former Somalia including present day Somaliland.

    In response to a demand by President Egal for clarification following the press report, Randolph Kent has re-assured the Somaliland leader that there is no change in the policy followed by UN agencies operating in Somalia and that such a policy remains the same as he has recently discussed with government officials in Somaliland.

    During a hastily arranged press conference held by Warancade on Monday (March 12)), the Somaliland minister of information has accused Jamhuuriyaof endangering the existence of Somaliland for publishing a report denied as baseless by the UNDP Rep. As can be detected from Kent's written response to President Egal, the UNDP Rep didn't in fact mention any denial as to what both Jamhuuriyaand the Republican have attributed to him. Both papers remained standing by their story. In his attack against Jamhuuriya, Warancade went further to say "in the world there is always a possibility for uncovering confidential information. But behold. This kind of information is kept tightly secret and to dig out you need to have long arms and a lot of financial capability. You certainly can't expose those things through a short-distance gossip"; to which Jamhuuriyareplied in a front page editorial " Warancade seems to be completely out of touch with ethics of journalism which are not necessarily identical with the methods employed by state secret organizations in terms of information gathering and dissemination". The Republican has learned that Warancade was advised by Somaliland's two Ministers of Commerce and Education to hold his last Monday's press conference.

    5 March 2001
    TO: Randolph Kent,
    UNDP Resident Representative and Humanitarian Co-coordinator for Somalia
    Fax# 254 2 448439
    Dear Sir,
    Throughout the last week I have been hearing constant rumours that the UN is launching a new policy which rules that the authority over the Land and the Revenue of Somaliland is vested in the transitional Government of Abdulqasim. We naturally view this with very grave concern. Before we however formulate our response to this new UN departure, we ask that you give us urgent explanation if there are any new policy directives with regard to the established working relations between the UN Agencies and Somaliland.

    I would have normally waited until I hear officially from your office. Unfortunately one of our national newspapers have published this morning a long article in which you are quoted several times putting forward this new UN policy of dispossessing Somaliland of its Land and its Revenue. I refuse to attribute this absurdity to you before I hear it from you.
    Regards.
    Mohamed Ibrahim Egal, president
    Your Excellency
    6 March 2001
    I am in receipt of your letter of 5 March concerning the UN's policy in Somalia. May I thank you for the very positive way that you have approached a matter which must be of grave concern to you and to the people of Somaliland

    Allow me to assure you from the very outset that the policy of the United Nations remains the same that I have discussed with your colleagues and other partners throughout Somalia. The policy is underscored by the fact that we as, UN operational agencies, focus upon the needs of the Somali people and do not deal with political issues or issues involving boundaries.

    We also have adopted a policy of complete transparency. Hence, all activities undertaken anywhere should be known by everyone, In that regard during my recent visit to Mogadishu, I had the opportunity of discussing the UN's policy with authorities from the Transitional National Government. The policy is based upon what we call "incremental engagement". In other words, the greater the prospects for peace and stability in Mogadishu, the greater will be the opportunities to provide assistance.

    At no time during my discussions in Mogadishu did any representative of the TNG suggest or imply that the TNG assumes, in your Excellency's words, "authority over the land and revenue of Somaliland". I can assure you that the issue never arose, and that our policy discussions centered around the issue of "incremental engagement."

    In responding to your letter, may I say once again how grateful I am for the very positive way that you brought this matter to my attention. As you know, the UN operational agencies remain committed to assisting your people as they are to assisting all the people of Somalia.

    With my warmest personal regards
    Yours sincerely.
    Randolph C. Kent, UN Resident and Humanitarian coordinator


    BBC Monitoring Service - Mar 17 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 17 Mar 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    EDITORIAL:What Somaliland wants from the UN Security Council

    Somaliland wants the UN Security Council to stop its misguided policy of blocking the right of people in this country to determine their destiny. We want Security Council to understand that its concern over the unity and territorial integrity of the failed State of Somalia shouldn't be used as an ideological weapon to undermine peaceful Somaliland or to install dictator Barre's men back in power or to restore the animosity that existed until two decades ago between Somaliland and our Ethiopian neighbour.

    The people of Somaliland do not understand why when it comes to their legitimate demand that the international community ought to respect their most basic human right, nobody feels concerned. Since regaining independence a decade ago, Somaliland has demonstrated itself as an independent healthy development in a form with no precedence in the region and beyond. The international community must not forget that the driving force behind the proclamation of Somaliland's independence has been the deeply felt legitimate concerns that the people of this country have over their future security and economic well-being.

    Following the mass-killings and the total destruction of their land by the South or formerly Italian Somalia, no external body has a moral or legal right to force Somaliland into a unitary government of any form with Somalia. Any such attempt will only lead to the renewal of bloodshed between the North and the South, in other words, Somaliland and Somalia.

    Somalilanders cannot see any reason why they should commit an economic and even cultural suicide and bring down what they have built from the ashes just to appease the Italian political establishment and a bunch of Arab and African dictators who cherish to speak as David Stephen does about the nobility of Somali unity.

    We believe that the UN Secretary General not only owes Somaliland an apology for lying to the Security Council about the situation in Somaliland, and Somalia, but should also remove David Stephen from his job for misleading him.

    Instead of his holy war in proxy of Italy and Arab states, to undermine Somaliland, Stephen should have paid more attention to the salvaging of the former Italian colony to the South. Confusing peaceful, stable and prospering Somaliland with the unfortunate situation in Somalia will only help prolong the conflict there. In fact, an internationally recognized Somaliland would have stimulated a forceful impetus for people in Somalia to come to their senses and start thinking seriously about reconciliation and peaceful coexistence. But with the international community still passing political judgments clothed in futile and inauthentic legal framework on the question of Somaliland's recognition, the chances are slim for even this eventuality to happen.
    Waran-cade speaks of Randolph Kent

    Jamhuuriya's reporting on government affairs have usually drawn harsh attacks on the independent daily from Somaliland Minister of Information Cali Warancade. Dismissing Jamhuuriyas press coverage of the government whether in the form of news or political commentary as purely baseless propaganda has become Cali Warancade's standard response.

    The minister acted as if the responsibility of defending the government of Somaliland rested on his shoulders alone. While carrying out this self-assigned role he painfully tried to conceal whatever unpleasant realities were there in government circles. But then on last Monday, the KGB-trained minister came to the rescue of the UNDP Representative, . Randolph Kent, over recent remarks attributed by Jamhuuriyato the latter saying that jurisdiction over tax collection and issuance of title deeds in Somaliland belongs to Mogadishu's Arta faction.

    Commenting on a news article published by Jamhuuriyaon March 5, over this subject, Warancade explained that since the UNDP Rep denied the information as unfounded, then the Somaliland daily has endangered Somaliland. He went further to say that the government can no longer tolerate the independent press. In fact, Randolph Kent has not categorically denied the content of Jamhuuriyas 5 March lead article. So the substantial questions are: since when . Warancade has become Randolph Kent's spokesman? Or does the Minister know who is his employer?

    As to his threats against the free press, we are too confident that the likes of the Minister of information cannot usurp the fundamental right of the people of Somaliland to have an independent press in their country. Warancade knows that freedom of expression in Somaliland is well entrenched not only in this country's constitution but also in the psyche of every Somalilander. Freedom of the press in Somaliland is not a gift given by Waracncde. It is something won through a bitter struggle.


    BBC Monitoring Service - Mar 17 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 17 Mar 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    TOKTEN

    Transfer of Knowledge through Expatriate Nationals (TOKTEN) was initiated by the United Nations Development programme(UNDP) in 1977 as a means to counter the exodus of developing country professionals with a "brain gain". Since 1994, the programme has come under the umbrella of the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) delivering rapid, cost-effective, technical assistance precisely where it is needed. In the twenty years since the programme's inception, 5,000 TOKTEN consultants have completed assignments in 49 developing countries.

    TOKTEN consultants are professionally skilled individuals, highly motivated to serve their homelands. They are selected through a decentralized process of supply and demand. Governments, in collaboration with UNDP country offices, identify needs and design TOKTEN projects to suit their specific requirements, matching them with available TOKTEN consultants from rosters kept by UNV and UNDP. Candidates are screened by national committees made up of representatives from government, organizations, the private sector and UNDP.

    Securing the services of TOKTEN consultants takes 10 days to three months, much less time than is normally required for consultancies. Their knowledge of the country frequently results in the identification of special needs which might otherwise have been ignored and their cultural and linguistic affinities facilitate the transfer of technology and pave the way for more permanent relationships. Many maintain their contacts with national counterparts, share literature, donate equipment, and arrange for post-graduate training and study missions to the overseas institutions with which they are affiliated.

    Consultants cover a large variety of highly specialized technical fields, which include accounting, agriculture, banking, civil engineering, computer science, economics, environmental protection, food processing, geology and mining, geothermal and reservoir engineering, industrial hygiene and safety, marine biology, manufacturing and marketing, medical and public health services, patents licensing, poultry breeding, remote sensing, seismology, social sciences, surgery, telecommunications, urban planning and water resources development.

    TOKTEN has proved to be a practical and effective scheme for transferring advanced knowledge and skills in cost-effective ways. It is particularly relevant today, as many countries in various parts of the world modify their political systems, making it possible for motivated and talented men and women to return for short-term consultancies in support of development efforts in their countries of origin.

    A large number of the world's most able professionals were born in developing countries. Today, hundreds of thousands of skilled men and women from those countries live, work and choose to settle abroad permanently. This ever-persistent brain drain has deprived developing countries of the expertise of hundreds of thousands of their most talented people at a time when their skills are desperately needed. Fortunately, nature has endowed us with a strong homing instinct. The desire to return to one's place of birth, to give something back of knowledge gained, is what motivates TOKTEN consultants, talented men and women who volunteer their services to their countries of origin for short-term assignments under the Transfer of knowledge Through Expatriate Nationals programme.

    Initiated by UNDP in 1977, the global TOKTEN programme is now managed by the United Nations Volunteers, the programme responsible for providing developing countries with high calibre volunteer specialists.
    Breaking new ground

    Interest in mobilizing the experience of expatriate professionals from the third world remained unfocused until 1977, when the United Nations Development programme started working with several developing countries to reverse losses caused by the massive exodus of their specialists and to transform part of the enormous brain drain into a brain gain.

    TOKTEN began in Turkey following a three-week visit to the UNDP assisted karadeniz Technical University from a senior mechanical engineer of Turkish origin based in California. the engineer's remarkable success in communicating substantive know-how (as well as candid criticism) to his Turkish colleagues suggested that such expatriates were uniquely equipped to carry out consultancies in their homelands. On the initiative of the UNDP Resident Representative in Turkey at the time, the Government promptly set up the first TOKTEN project in 1977. Since then, over 5000 assignments in 49 countries have been completed in a wide spectrum of fields. Nearly all areas are covered, from public administration to management of enterprises, from agricultural research to computer technology.
    How it works

    TOKTEN missions are driven by a decentralized process of demand and supply, with host governments determining areas in which skills are needed and UNDP country offices helping them identify TOKTEN consultants to fit their needs.

    Consultants are found through contacts with institutions, universities and individuals. Names of qualified candidates are placed on a roster in UNDP country offices and matched with requests for technical services from government, academic and research institutions, the private sector and non-governmental organizations.

    TOKTEN consultants volunteer their services, waiving normally high fees, they receive an air-ticket plus living expenses of between US$3,000 to US$4000 per month, about half the cost of market-rate expertise.
    Where affinity meets independence

    Besides having wide international experience, TOKTEN consultants have the advantage of speaking the language and sharing many of the cultural values of the people with whom they work. This affinity makes it easier to understand and solve problems which might take an international expert twice as long to comprehend. Shared language and traditions also increase people's trust and make for a greater willingness on their part to accept constructive criticism.

    Another advantage of the programme is that TOKTEN consultants are completely free to express their opinions---they have jobs in their country of domicile and volunteer their time. This independence and objectivity is reflected in their final reports, which are not tailored to flatter the client and often have significant impact.
    TOKTEN in action

    Nepal, Poland, the Palestinian Territories and the Philippines are countries going through rapid changes that have created the need for expertise not easily found ly. TOKTEN advisers are found in Nepal, classified as a least Developed Country, trying to strike a balance between traditional values and the realities of the modern world; in Poland, a country which is making the difficult transition from totalitarianism to a free-market economy; in the Philippines, where the focus is on poverty eradication and meeting minimum basic needs; in the Palestinian Territories, where the Government has the responsibility of building an entire infrastructure.

    Somalilanders in the Diaspora may contact Ms CAROLA Vergero who heads the UNDP section that deals with UNVs engaged in Somaliland and Somalia on tel, (254) 2-448 433/8 Nairobi, Kenya or e-Mail address carolavergero@undp.ORG


    Source:The Indian Ocean NewsletterMarch 17, 2001 SPOTLIGHT; N. 942

    Somalia: The Return of Siad Barre's Generals

    President Abdi Qassem Salad Hassan, who is anxious to present international donors with an image of his country as returning to normal, is multiplying the initiatives to reinforce security in Mogadishu and has named several generals to the head of its armed forces currently being reorganized. He has notably named officers who served under the late President Siad Barre, some of whom fought in the war against the Issaq in the North of the country (later named Somaliland). The Somali army's new chief of staff, General Muse Hasan Sheykh, is of the Ogaden/Darod clan, a close relation to Mohamed Abdulle Hasan (whose nickname is the "mad mullah") and described as moderate and not overly clanic in his outlook. Formed, like many officers of his generation, in Modena and Turin, he returned from Italy in 1964 with the rank of lieutenant and, after serving as military attache in Rome (in the early 1980s) and military governor of the region of Bay, he was Siad Barre's aide de camp when the regime collapsed in late 1990. Serving as his deputy will be General Mohamed Abdi Mohamed, an Abgal/Agonyar (like Ali Mahdi, the warlord who controls the North of Mogadishu) who was trained in the former Soviet Union after working as a teacher. Director of the cabinet under defense minister Omar Hagi Masale in the 1980s, then head of the defense ministry's political direction, General Mohamed Abdi Mohamed became in February 1990 governor of Middle Shebelle, a region dominated by the Abgal tribe but from which he was ousted by the forces of the United Somali Congress (USC, which at the time regrouped all the Hawiye) when Siad Barre was overthrown.

    Commanding the army will be Osman Sheykh Ahmed, a Warsengeli/Abgal officer of the same sub-clan as Abukeer Aadan (the owner of the hotel Ramadhan which houses the Somali government), who was formed in Cairo before returning to Somalia in 1962, and who replaced General Morgan after the latter bombed Hargeysa and Burao in June 1988. The commander of the air force will be Colonel Nur Elmi Addawe, a Mejerten/Darod pilot who commanded the Baladogle military base near Mogadishu until 1991, while the head of the as-yet -inexistant navy will be Colonel Muse Said Mohamed, a Mejerten/Darod officer who studied at the former USSR's naval academy before serving in the naval forces of Siad Barre. As for the rapid reaction forces, they will be under General Abdi'Aziz Ali Barre, a Marehan officer reputed for his efficiency and hard-fistedness. Trained by Moscow, he occupied a similar function under Siad Barre in the 1980s before becoming General Osman Sheykh's deputy in Burao in 1988. After 1991, he pulled back into the Gedo region from which he had been driven out by the May 1992 offensive of warlord Mohamed Farah Aideed.

    Last but definitely not least is General Mohamed Nur Galal, in charge of disarming the militias. Another Soviet war academy graduate (1966-1969) who was chief of staff of the military region of Hiran (capital Beled Weyne) from 1971 to 1972 and minister of public works from 1975 to 1977, the Ayr/Habr Gedir/Hawiye officer commanded the Dire Dawa sector (in Ethiopia's Ogaden region, claimed by Somalia) during the war between Somalia and Ethiopia in 1977-1978, earning a popular following in his country. In 1990, he was chairman of the Somali parliament's defense commission, and just before Siad Barre was toppled, he scented what was to come.

    Defecting to the side of Ali Mahdi, he coordinated the forces rebelling against the president, while managing to marginalize General Mohamed Farah Aideed, whose rebel army were the largest and whose mortal enemy he was to remain until the latter's death in an August 1996 gun fight. Mohamed Nur Galal is considered the brains of Salad Hassan's regime, for he is considered a better tactician, a more practical organizer, and a more astute politician than the president.


    Africa News,Source: UN Integrated Regional Information Network March 15, 2001

    Somalia; Ethiopian Airlines to Fly to Hargeisa

    Ethiopian Airlines will begin twice-weekly flights to Hargeisa, capital of the self-declared state of Somaliland, northwest Somalia, from 27 March. Somaliland Minister of Civil Aviation and Air Transport, Abdillahi Duale, told IRIN that Yeman Airways and the Kenyan-based Regional Airways had also applied to the administration to establish flights. He said it demonstrated progress in Somaliland, despite the absence of international recognition. "We are very happy... we have an agenda and priorities irrespective of what people say," Duale said. The minister said Somaliland had generated US $1.5 million from its airports between January and October 2000 and had established a 24 hour operations room. International flights from the Gulf states, East Africa and Europe use Hargeisa and Berbera airports, Duale said.

    Since 1996, the UN-supported International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) has controlled Somali airspace from neighbouring Kenya. In the absence of a central government, ICAO was authorised by the UN Secretary-General in March 1996 to provide essential services to ensure the safety of international air transport operations airspace. Duale described Somaliland's relationship with ICAO as "practical and functional". He said the organisation had collected revenue on behalf of the Somaliland administration, and had provided technical training. ICAO told IRIN that it worked directly with the administration in Somaliland, as well as the self-declared autonomous region of Puntland, northeast Somalia, but did not deal with Mogadishu. The Somali capital has remained closed to all international flights since 1996, ICAO said.

    Ethiopian Airlines confirmed in a statement on that it would start the twice-weekly flight on 27 March to Hargeisa, which would be the 44th international destination for the Ethiopian national carrier. The airline said that by opening the route, it would facilitate a smooth flight for the Somali Diaspora all over the world to the destination.


    Africa News, Source: UN Integrated Regional Information Network March 13, 2001

    Somalia; Demining in Hargeisa

    Deminers from the Somali Mine Action Centre (SMAC) and the Danish Demining Group (DDG) say Soviet missiles remain on the outskirts of Hargeisa, the capital of the self-declared state of Somaliland, northwest Somalia. Local Somalilanders have been killed trying to dismantle the rockets for scrap metal, despite a round-the-clock guard and education campaigns about unexploded ordnance (UXO). As many as 100,000 landmines have been placed in and around Hargeisa over the last two decades. Children are among the many victims of UXO. They have lost limbs and lives as they walk over minefields or play with explosives left in buildings ruined during the civil war.
    Africa News,Source: UN Integrated Regional Information Network March 13, 2001

    Somalia; Dealing With a Deadly Legacy

    Local camel herders hardly look up as a huge explosion rocks the outskirts of Hargeisa, capital of the self-declared state of Somaliland, northwest Somalia. In a city that was destroyed by civil war in the late 1980s, there is no sign of alarm as a cloud of dust mushrooms from the blast. These explosions are welcome now - they represent another day of demining in a region still littered with Unexploded Ordnance (UXO).

    According to a recent Landmine Monitor Report, as many as 100,000 landmines have been placed in and around Hargeisa. The Somali Mine Action Centre (SMAC) works alongside the Danish Demining Group (DDG) near the airport, trying to make safe land that will eventually be built on. Teams are made up of locally trained deminers, who are mostly former soldiers. They earn about three times more than a local policeman, and the demining groups have a waiting list. At present, the demining programme is funded by the Danish government, with a recent pledge from the European Commission.

    Work is painstakingly slow for the teams as they prod the rocky, dry soil for mainly Pakistani and American landmines. "Unfortunately we have to use traditional, labour-intensive demining techniques here," DDG's Jens Christian Borsmose told IRIN. "The ground is too hard to use flail machines, and mine-detectors are useless because many mines buried here are made of plastic," he added.

    The landmine problem in Somaliland is the result of over two decades of warfare. Between 1977 and 1978, the Somali Democratic Republic - which then had the third largest army in sub-Saharan Africa - went to war with neighbouring Ethiopia over a long-standing territorial dispute in the Ogaden. The war was heavily fought in the frontier area between northern Somalia (now Somaliland) and Ethiopia, and along the corridor between the eastern Ethiopian town of Dire-Dawa and the Somali border.

    Both armies heavily mined front-lines, the perimeters of military installations, and important access routes. More mines were used between 1981 and 1991 when the northern-based Somali National Movement (SNM) waged an armed insurrection against the regime of Mohamed Siyad Barre. On 27 May 1988, the conflict intensified and the Somali army embarked on a scorched earth strategy. The legacy has been deadly. Since declaring independence in 1991, many of the casualties treated in Hargeisa hospital have been children who have lost limbs as they walk over minefields or play with explosives left in buildings ruined during the war.

    As the deminers move cautiously between lines of white stones that indicate cleared areas, a nearby herder casually walks his goats across the minefield. "This is one of our biggest problems," Rashid Jama Robleh of DDG told IRIN - "many casualties are pastoralists". Demining work around Hargeisa has been hampered by the fact that different types of mines have been planted at various depths, meaning an area cannot be declared safe until it has been excavated to a depth of at least 20 cm.

    Demining programmes in Somaliland since the early 1990s have attempted to glean information on mine fields through military records and former fighters - but too often, the alert is raised after people and animals are killed, or gruesomely injured.

    Hundreds of thousands of civilians were forced out of northern Somalia into refugee camps in neighbouring Ethiopia and Djibouti in 1988. At the time, international human right groups listed among the abuses perpetrated by the Somali army the indiscriminate use of landmines against the civilian population, planted in homes, farmlands and water points. Hargeisa, in particular, was a target.

    Debris from conflicts include everything from rifle rounds to mortar bombs, artillery shells and hand grenades. One of the biggest problems for the deminers is the huge quantity of high explosives from Soviet-era missiles that still sit on their launchers near the capital. A legacy of the Cold War, the missiles - that were never fired - were left behind when the Russians were given 24 hours to leave the country in 1977. More than two decades later, the huge khaki rockets, complete with warheads, remain poised on the periphery of the city.

    "These things are deadly - many still contain high explosives, volatile rocket fuel and pressurised components," Phil Hammond of DDG told IRIN. He said that a number of Somalilanders had died trying to dismantle the rockets. In a region short of most materials, the scrap potential of the weapons has proved irresistible to some local traders. Despite education campaigns and a round-the-clock guard at the missile site, fatalities still occur.

    Not all the unexploded ordnance is a legacy of history. Some mines have been planted since Somaliland declared independence in 1991. Leaders have been challenged and clan militia have fought over the increasingly populated capital and regional towns.

    According to the deminers, there was a new concentration of landmines between 1994 and 1995 when militia opposed to Somaliland President Mohamed Ibrahim Egal fought in Hargeisa, as well as in areas south and east of the city.


    Agence France Presse, March 13, 2001

    Ethiopian Airlines to start flights to Somaliland

    ADDIS ABABA -- Ethiopian Airlines (EAL) has announced it is to start scheduled commercial flights to Hargeisa, the main city in the self-proclaimed independent state of Somaliland in northwestern Somalia.

    The announcement on follows an appeal by the head of the region, Mohamed Ibrahim Egal, when he visited Addis Ababa in November, asking Ethiopian authorities to introduce flights to Hargeisa and the port city of Berbera.

    Since the beginning of the war with Eritrea, Ethiopia has used the port of Djibouti and -- to a lesser extent -- Berbera for conducting external trade.

    Somaliland remains unrecognised by the international community 10 years after it split from the rest of Somalia after the fall of president Mohammed Siad Barre in 1991.

    The region's authorities continue to deny the legitimacy of the head of Somalia's national government of transition Abdoulkassim Salat Hassan -- elected in August.

    The move also follows an agreement between Ethiopia and Somaliland to open a subsidiary of the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia in Hargeisa and an office of the Ethiopian national sea carrier in the self-proclaimed independent state.

    The EAL flights will be twice weekly, the company announced.


    Agence France Presse, March 13, 2001

    UN's Somalia envoy fails in peace bid with breakaway Somaliland

    HARGEISA -- UN special envoy for Somalia David Stephen on failed to persuade the head of the breakaway northwestern region of Somaliland to join a peace process for the anarchic country.

    Mohamed Ibrahim Egal, self-styled president of Somaliland, and some of his ministers met with Stephen for more than an hour in the territory's main city Hargeisa but insisted that that it is "not part of Somalia," the UN envoy told reporters after the talks.

    A new peace process begun in Arta, in neighboring Djibouti, is backed by the international community and led last August to the formation of a national transition government and the election of a transition president, Abdoulkassim Salat Hassan.

    Stephen, special envoy of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, said the Arta process "must be completed."

    He said discussions would continue with Somaliland officials, but that the international community favored unity for the Horn of Africa country, which has not had a central government since the 1991 ouster of the dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.

    Stephen said Egal opposed the peace process and did not change his position, instead demanding recognition for Somaliland, which unilaterally declared independence from Somalia 10 years ago.

    The Somaliland press has branded the UN envoy as persona non grata and President Egal early this month asked Annan to recall him.

    Stephen said that some "misunderstandings have been cleared up and I am very happy to be here."

    The special envoy will head for Djibouti and for Mogadishu, where he will meet President Salat and possibly faction leaders who will have returned to the Somali capital from Addis Ababa where they are trying to forge a united front towards the transition government.

    The UN Security Council met on January 11 during which it backed the Arta process and urged further consultations to resolve 10 years of inter-clan warfare.


    BBC Monitoring Service - Mar 10 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 10 Mar 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    Egal allows David Stephen to come to Somaliland

    Nairobi -- According to reliable sources in Nairobi, President Egal has agreed to receive the ill-reputed UN Secretary General's envoy to Somalia David Stephen next week Egal's decision to allow Stephen to come to Somaliland is very much likely to have devastating political consequences at home for the Somaliland president who is being widely accused by his people of betraying the country's quest for gaining international recognition.

    On May 2000 a conference inspired by Djibouti dictator Ismail Omer Gelleh, the UN, Italian government and a number of Arab governments, was held in Arta, Djibouti, ostensibly to resolve the conflict in "Somalia". David Stephen was among the prominent architects of the Arta conference, which ended in August with the endorsement of Siyad Barre's minister for life Abdi-Qassim to become president of the former Somalia. This has been one of the rare cases when in the most recent arena the international community was fooled to bring personalities suspected of committing extensive war crimes against their own people, back to power. According to information obtained by this paper, David Stephen has been bribed by the Italian Ambassador to Mogadishu, Senior Scortino, in order to conduct a disinformation campaign in favour of the Italian government. However prominent Italian nationals working for aid agencies operating in the former Somalia are known to have rejected similar offers from officials of their own government.


    BBC Monitoring Service - Mar 10 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 10 Mar 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    Somaliland heroine Amina Malko dies (1962-2001)

    Toronto -- Amina Malko Omar Jama, chair person of the Internet-based organisation, died on Friday March 2, 2001 at a Hospital in Toronto, Canada. The brings together Somalilanders living in the Diaspora through the Internet. The organisation has since its inception several years ago made remarkable contributions to reconstruction and developmental efforts in Somaliland. Projects that have benefited from the Forum's assistance include the reconstruction of Buroa general hospital, Amoud University, Hargeisa University, Hargeisa Children Home and others.

    Amina Malko died after a long fight with cancer. Somalilanders all over the world mourned her death and paid tribute. She is remembered as a strongly dedicated advocate not only for the cause of Somaliland but also for the rights of immigrants and refugees in Canada. She was the spokeswoman for the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI) where she was considered as a " role model with intense commitment to improve the conditions for immigrants and refugees".

    Amina Malko also cared about the future of the free press in Somaliland. During her last days, she was involved in a fund-raising campaign to assist Jamhuuriyaand the Republican newspapers, the only two independent publications in Somaliland, overcome their financial distress. Amina is survived by a 19 years old daughter, Haifa.


    BBC Monitoring Service - Mar 10 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 10 Mar 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    UNDP Rep questions Somaliland's Jurisdiction over tax collection and titles to property

    Hargeisa/Nairobi- A plan by the Somaliland government to collect income tax payable on the salaries received by Somalilanders working for international organizations, including the United Nations, operating in this country has been recently foiled following an interference by . Randolph Kent, UNDP Rep in Somalia, highly reliable sources told the Republican and Janhuuriya newspapers on last week. While justifying his opposition to the plan during a meeting with senior aid officials, . Kent has argued that the "Transitional National Government" of Somalia (TNA) should be considered the only entity with legitimate claim not only to raise taxes but also to issue written titles to land ownership in Somalia which according to him includes Somaliland, the sources added.

    Kent has cautiously warned international organizations, operating in Somaliland not to ignore the jurisdiction of the Arta faction over fiscal and legal matters in all over the former Somalia. The plan requiring employees of international organisations to pay income tax has been part of an over-all effort by the Somaliland government to raise money to compensate for over 10 million US Dollars in revenues expected to be lost during this fiscal year as result of the ban imposed on Somaliland livestock exports to Gulf countries. Since the ban began on last Sept, Somaliland Ministry of finance has taken measures to curb expenditure and rationalize financial management within government departments.

    Meanwhile, UN secretary [General] Kofi Anan is expected to send a UN "Mission of peace building" to Mogadishu to help bolster the Arta faction which has so far failed to establish its authority outside the few blocks it controls in Mogadishu. The "UN peace mission", expected to establish a quasi-military, political and financial presence in Mogadishu will only recognize the authority and legitimacy of Abdi Qassim Salat's Arta faction, reports reaching Hargeisa have indicated.

    The so-called UN peace-building mission is seen by many observers as a reinvention of the UNISOM intervention which ended disastrously in 1995. These observers believe that the new UN mission is more likely to raise the current tension in Mogadishu much higher rather than contributing to the restoration of peace. The mission is also seen with eyes of suspicion in peaceful areas in the former Somalia such as Somaliland, Puntland and Rehanwein settlements. In Somaliland, there is a deep worry that the new UN move, might slacken Somaliland's growing momentum toward democratization


    BBC Monitoring Service - Mar 10 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 10 Mar 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    International Women's day observed in Somaliland

    Hargeisa -- The international women day of 8th March was observed in Somaliland in countrywide celebrations on last Thursday. At Hargeisa University, a wide cross-section of women organisations gathered to make speeches promoting gender equality and women specific issues including a demand for a wider women participation in decision making.

    Among the prominent speakers on the occasion were Edna Adan and Shukri Haji Ismail. Four women members of the were also present during the celebration at the University of Hargeisa. Apparently it was the first time that these women have physically met. They lived abroad for at least the last 15 years and it was explosively emotional scene to watch for those who never left home, when the four Diaspora women hugged each other for the first time. Qania Ismail Adan later gave a speech on behalf of the Forum. She spoke about the 's background but drove the audience to tears when she mentioned the death of Amino-Malko, the Chairperson of the , Amina passed away on March 2, 2001 in Canada.

    Excerpts from speech given by Edna Adan on international women's day:

    As a woman, I am proud to point out the responsible role the women of Somaliland have always taken, specially during the harsh years that our people were struggling to rid themselves of the troops of Mohamed Siyad Barre, and from his yoke of oppression. Have we already forgotten how our women took care of the young and the old, the weak and the strong, the sick and the healthy? Do we need to be reminded of how our women took care of the brave as well as caring for the occasional coward?

    It was mostly women who took care of supplies, who took care of rations and who also took care of other precious logistics that needed to be guarded by individuals who are reliable and who are responsible. Women contributed their money and their jewellery for the cause of the nation, and many a man is alive today because when there were no bandages, luckily there was a woman who selflessly tore up her clothes to dress his wounds. Perhaps some men will come forward to tell us about how women carried them from the battlefront to the safety that gave them the chance to live and to heal in order to fight another day.

    In the case of our own country, how can we overlook the national goal and dream that every Somalilander has had for the past ten years, which is the International recognition of Somaliland as a Sovereign State? Perhaps this is the cause that should bring us together and remind us that the joint efforts and contributions of all men and women of this country are needed now more than ever. This is a national cause that is as important as the armed liberation struggle of the last decade. To achieve this national goal, every man and every woman in Somaliland should be allowed to exercise his or her Democratic Rights in decision-making without bias, prejudice or discrimination as clearly stated in our constitution. Every man and every woman has a wealth of experience and energy to give and both should be allowed to share in decision making since the consequences of failure would affect us all. When we speak of decision-making, it does not imply that women take over the decision-making organs of the nation.

    Every citizen is required to make a contribution, and it is unfair and unwise to assume that the one half of the population of Somaliland who are women are all useless morons who have nothing to contribute and therefore, cannot take part in any decision making. If this is the case, then how is it that while men are chewing away the resources of their families, women have now become the breadwinners in over 60% of the households?

    This situation exists in towns as well as in the countryside because men are steadily ignoring their traditional responsibilities. What the women of Somaliland are strongly appealing for is that their Government also stand firm to defend the Rights of its women and include them in decision-making, whether at the grassroots level, in the civil service, in Governments, and up to every other level where responsible men and women of integrity should be chosen on their individual merit and not simply on the basis of their gender.


    BBC Monitoring Service - Mar 10 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 10 Mar 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    Two Officers Assassinated in Bosaso

    Bosaso -- Two senior police officers were killed in Bosaso yesterday. According to an eye witness, a young gunman with AK 47 shot dead colonel Abdirizak Yusuf Dheged alias "Molis" and Bashir Abdi while sitting in front of a Tea-Shop near Huruuse Hotel. There has been no official explanation yet as to the motive behind the killing, but the assassin was captured by the police after a search of several hours and [police] is investigating the case.

    Col. Abdirizak Mulis was operation officer of Puntland's police force. Recently he was given an special assignment to combat human trafficking operations from Bosaso to Yemen. The situation in Bosaso has been reported tense after the killing.


    BBC Monitoring Service - Mar 10 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 10 Mar 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    Somaliland Trade Fair 2001 Prizes for best new products and services

    Hargeisa --- The second Somaliland Trade Fair 2001 which opened to the public on last Saturday ended on Tuesday with the announcement of best winning new products and services shown this year.
    1. Prize for the best new food products :
    Last year's winner was: Raaxo gardens. This year's prize: 200 USD donated by the Trade Fair Organizing Committee.

    Short list: London Beauty Salon for their beautiful cake designs.
    Dalmar milling industry for their wide range of milled products.
    Seha Soft drinks: for their new range of soft drinks in plastic cups.
    Raaxo garden: for their continued development of new products.
    Winners: 2 winners were chosen for this prize.
    1. Setta soft drinks were awarded 100 USD and a certificate.
    2. Dalmar mills were awarded 100 USD in cash and a plaque.
    The reasons: Both these products reduce Somaliland's dependency on imported products, thus helping the economy to grow and diversify.
    2. prize for best new service.

    Last year's winner was: Horn pictures. This year's prize: A fax machine donated by STC. Short list: The de-mining organizations for their continued contribution to the security of Somaliland's children and the return of land to productive use.

    London Beauty Salon for their continued diversification of services from external catering, and hairdressing. The Horn Business Consultants who, with the assistance of MAPPS, have put together a new and much needed service to help Somaliland's business community to grow. Ministry of Water and Natural Resources, for their promotion of the Gem stone sector, and their initiative as the only ministry to participate in this Trade Fair

    Winner: The winner is the Ministry of Water and Natural resources, this is not only a prize for the ministry but also all the Gem stone associations who have been so prominent at this trade fair.
    3.prize for the best new product.

    Last year's winner was: Asli Mills. This year's prize: One return ticket to Dubai donated by Star Airlines. This was the most difficult prize to award and shows that the business community both at the top level and micro level are showing increased imagination.

    Short list: Soap and Knitting products produced by some of the Women's groups present at the trade fair. Many of the cosmetic products produced by both Asli Mills and Safi Cosmetics, both of these companies have showed incredible drive and a high standard of professionalism and presentation. Danish Refugee Council's low cost construction materials, after food, construction materials are Somaliland's second largest import; the growth of this industry will do much to help the national economy. The fuel-efficient stoves, whose introduction has the possibility to reduce the consumption of charcoal massively and therefore, prevent the continued destruction of trees in Somaliland; TOWFIIQ women's organization from Togdheer, for their reintroduction of traditional weaving.

    Winner: The winner was TOWFIIQ for their introduction of weaving products. This product has the potential of reducing cloth imports, production of high quality cloth and creating many jobs.
    4. prize for best new stand.

    Last year's winner was: Hodan Wabere. This year's prize: A computer donated by BTEC. Short list: Danish Refugee Council, for the time and effort that they placed in the construction of their stand; NOW Women's organization for the construction and presentation of their Aqal.

    Winner: NOW for all the time and effort that they have undertaken in preparation for this trade fair.

    The Awarding committed would like to introduce a new prize for next year's show. This prize will open a new category and be given to the best traditional product.


    BBC Monitoring Service - Mar 10 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 10 Mar 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    Laalays watered by a COOPI supported project

    Laalays -- The Italian aid agency COOPI has successfully implemented the construction of a community water well at a location 3km from Laalays village in the Sahil region. The water well has been handed over to the community on Thursday. Present were the Mayor of Sheikh who also governs the municipality of Laalays and Ms. Analisa from COOPI. This is the second water well that COOPI has constructed in the Sahil region.
    BBC Monitoring Service - Mar 10 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 10 Mar 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    EDITORIAL: David Stephen is Unwanted in Somaliland

    David Stephen has done everything he could to undermine the independence, stability and territirial integrity of the Republic of Somaliland. In his capacity as UN Secretary General's representative in Somalia, Stephen has embarked on a policy aiming at misleading the international community as to the realities prevailing in Somaliland as well as in Somalia. As preparations for convening the Arta conference got underway towards the end of 1999, . Stephen has in complicity with Djiboutian dictator Ismail Omar Gelleh and a number of other governments, started weaving all kinds of tricks to bring Somaliland to the conference. However the people of this country and their legislators in the House of Representatives have made it clear that the Djibouti-UN sponsored conference not only didn't concern them but also Stephen's crusade to secure Somaliland's participation has been a highly provocative and unwarranted action. Consequently, the UN diplomat has then resorted to destabilization tactics of criminal nature such as his attempts to polarize Somaliland communities along two political lines fiercely opposed to each other (pro-independence and anti-independence). To maximize his coercion, Stephen and his co-partners in the Arta project, have even waged a hate propaganda campaign to incite world opinion against Somaliland.

    And after the Arta conference culminated in August last year, as had been rightly predicted by most Somalilanders, with the proclamation of a unity and centralized government for the former Somalia, Stephen has gone publicly to vow bringing Somaliland to its knees within a short time.

    Stephen has since antagonized most of people in the former Somalia that he has been claiming to save from themselves. His record of vicious lies about Somaliland and other peaceful areas in Somalia need not be searched in another place than in his reports to Kofi Annan. In fact in his most recent situational report to the Security Council on Somalia, Kofi Annan has shocked all Somalilanders when he falsely claimed that the killing of Col. Osman Farah Mohamed, commander of Somaliland's Presidential guards, by a disgruntled security guard in mid last year, was politically motivated. According to Annan's interpretation, the late officer was killed allegedly "for opposing the forcible deportation of Majerten leaders who wished to travel to Arta". This dreadful lie has of course been fabricated with the intention of prompting Col Osman Farah Mohamed's clan to take a violent retaliatory action. Therefore the recent resolution by the Somaliland House of Representatives, banning president Egal's Administration from making any contacts with Stephen, has come in the right direction.

    This dignified step has actually interpreted the true feelings held by most Somalilanders. It will be a disgrace for all Somaliland if Stephen were allowed to set foot on Somaliland soil. We hope that president Egal should bear in mind that he would be committing treason if he permits Stephen to come to this Land.


    BBC Monitoring Service - Mar 10 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 10 Mar 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    "The thinking and policy of the Arta Faction Poses threat to Ethiopia", interview

    History professor at Kotebe Teachers Training Institute in an interview with Addis Ababa's "The Reporter" newspaper Issue Feb 14, 2001.
    Q. You have been doing research work about the Horn of Africa. Could you tell us in brief what the state of things is in the region?
    A. The region has not witnessed any improvement in conflicts and disagreements from the past years. There has been division in the regional organization IGAD itself. At the moment, member countries do not have healthy outlooks for each other. After the end of the Ethio-Eritrea war the diplomatic map has been changed and there still exist differences in positions between these nations concerning borders, ethnicism and the Somali issue. They lack the institution or vision which holds them together. Relations among them is bad. At best they eye each other with suspicion. They used to have a similar position regarding Somalia. However, the situation there has further worsened. The conditions for diplomatic row are becoming rife. In short, this is the picture of the region.
    Q. Are you saying that the situation in East Africa is deteriorating?
    A. Yes it is. And particularly in Somalia. The Arta faction has become known as a transitional government in some areas since it has been recognized in some corners. Giving unconditional recognition to a faction which wards countries of the region Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda is leading to further division. IGAD has not been able to function as an institution and can, in fact, be considered as being practically non-existent.

    The OAU has its led Sahel Sahara organization is making noises and causing discord in the OAU. Sudan and Djibouti are members of the Sahel Sahara organization. They are also members of the OAU. Members of the Sahel Sahara, along with other countries, are putting pressure on OAU. Egypt is one of these countries. It will soon be admitted as a full member to the organization at its meeting in Khartoum. Together with others, it is exerting pressure on the secretary-general of the OAU to give recognition to the Arta faction and to convince African states to do the same. No one has accorded it recognition yet as the decision to make Somalia's seat vacant in the OAU as a result of its becoming without government was given by the council of Ministers and this same organ must decide on accepting this faction. The secretary-general is being urged to write a letter to communicate this fact to each member state. Ethiopia, in this regard, is, in a reserved manner, making it clear events that are worrying it. Countries like Nigeria and South Africa have adopted a cautious approach concerning the issue and view Ethiopia's position with understanding.
    Q. What is the main development worrying Ethiopia?
    A. There are many things that are of concern to Ethiopia. First, the Arta conference was intend to include Somali civil society and countries which were not involved in the peace process. Later on, however, the process was derailed where by a few persons were selected to lead the conference and hence became undemocratic. It failed to include all Somali factions... permanent peace can not be achieved in such a state of things.

    Second, half of the Arta faction are followers of the Alisila fundamentalist group. The other half is composed of Siad Barre's generals and followers of his defunct regime. The manner in which the problems of Somalia is being solved is totally undemocratic. It is proceeding in the mainframe of the old Somalia. Instead of adopting a realistic solution, it is concentrating on force and a confrontational approach. This, therefore, has given rise to the fear that the region will be engulfed in turmoil. In this connection, if the Arta faction doesn't include or try to include peaceful areas in the peace process and destabilize these areas, it will eventually destabilize Ethiopia also. This is very dangerous to Ethiopia's security. If the [Arta] faction causes Somalia's problems to worsen, returns Somalia to instability, it will ruin the relative peace Ethiopia has gained.

    The other point which can be raised in this respect is the errors observed in the approach employed by the Djibouti leadership. It favored those groups sharing similar interests with Djibouti and failed to take into account Ethiopia's national interests. These groups have connections with "Islamists". They don't care much for democratic solutions. The path which they usually take doesn't address Ethiopia's security concerns. Based on this consideration, Ethiopia wants the scope of the peace process to widen so that it is inclusive of others including the peaceful areas of Somalia and the Arta faction now ensconced in Mogadishu and to see a peaceful settlement of Somalia's problems. However, it cannot bury its head in the sand [if its] security is threatened. It may even be forced to take measures to avert such a problem.
    Q. Were there any factions which complained of being excluded from the Arta conference?
    A. Yes, there were. For example, the RRA at first participated in the conference to a certain extent in the hope that it would be successful. But, the faction withdrew from the conference because it didn't like the way it was proceeding - the old Somalia way. Most Somalis believe that it is possible to reconstitute a federal democratic Somalia which includes all races and the main tribes and clans-a decentralized Somalia. It is impossible to bring back the old Somalia. RRA withdrew from the Arta conference because it objected to the return of the oppression, problems, division the old Somalia went through and wanted a change of approach.

    Puntland and Somaliland have refused to give recognition to the national transitional government of Somalia which is the outcome of the Arta conference. They consider the president just as a representative of the Hawiya faction (tribe). Somaliland has declared that it will not participate in any government unless an independent one is formed in southern Somalia. Puntland also didn't participate in the Arta conference. It's got its own territory. There are major regional setups which include all clans though they didn't take part in the conference. Public opinion in Somaliland is against the Arta faction. In Puntland 90% of the population more or less is constituted of a certain sub-cland apart from Isse Mohamud, others don't have much support there. The leaders in the Sasah and the South-west have been divided. Those in Digl and Mirif, near Baidoa, also oppose the Arta faction. If the faction has any support, it is people around Hawiya who do so. There is even division among the Hawiya themselves. The president is claiming he represents Somalia as a government while holed up in the Ramadan Hotel. He doesn't control any other ground.
    Q. What bonds the leaders of Djibouti and Somalia together?
    A. Guelleh became one of the affluent persons in Djibouti as a result of the civil war in Somalia. The person behind the setting up of the new government in Somalia, who financially and otherwise managed to get Abdulqasim Salat elected, is Abdularahman Bore, a business agent. Gulleh and Bore have business ties with Abdulqasim Salat's government and a network with the twelve major businessmen in Mogadishu.

    Djibouti has not given due consideration to Ethiopia's security needs. As a consequence of the character and stand of its leadership Djibouti was instrumental in creating the government in Mogadishu without taking into consideration Ethiopia's security as well as a lasting solution to the Somali conflict. The government, however, doesn't have the support of the Somali people as such.

    Djibouti helps the new government in Mogadishu for the sake of its own interests. Together with the businessmen of Mogadishu, Djibouti, with the diplomatic encouragement of organizations like the Arab League, OIC and the Sahel Sahara organization, is calling upon the new government to be recognized. Ethiopia and Djibouti had an excellent relationship until recently. However, things have changed and their relations have been strained.
    Q. Why did Djibouti's attitude towards Ethiopia change?
    A. Djibouti took the mandate in facilitating the Somali peace process with Ethiopia's knowledge as Ethiopia had turned all its efforts and attention towards the war with Eritrea and there arose, consequently, a need for another party to follow up the process. Its leaders were temporarily entrusted with keeping the peace process going on at a time when Ethiopia was engaged in the war. However, they changed the course of the process because they began to think above themselves and mistakenly felt confident that with Ethiopia distracted by Eritrea they could do any thing they wanted to. Since the advent of Guelleh to power, Djibouti has clearly changed it foreign policy.

    Before the establishment of the transitional government, Ethiopia was, at times, forced to intervene militarily in Somalia. How do you view this? This can be considered from two perspectives. When Ethiopia was at war with Eritrea, anti-Ethiopia elements supported by Aideed caused a security threat near its border with Somalia. But, they were crushed after a military intervention. The thinking and policy of the current government in Somalia, however, poses a big threat to Ethiopia though it lacks the basic capacity to do so.
    Q. If there is such a thinking on the side of the Somali government, what prevents it from carrying it out?
    A. There exists such a thinking. The problem lies with the resurrection of Siad Barre's old fashioned ideology that Ethiopia is anti-Somalia and wishes the division of Somalia as if it has not tried hard to resolve the Somali crisis, is not friendly to the Somali people and has not hosted numerous Somali refugees. This propaganda is itself a source of conflict. With the aid of foreign elements, some militias are being armed and causing a threat to Ethiopia's security.

    We hear that apart from political and security interests, there are also economic interests which should impel good relationship between Ethiopia and Djibouti. This fact seems to be neglected by the leadership in Djibouti. The two countries had a strong tie in terms of politics, security and economy. This is long-standing and it should be long lasting as well. But the current administration in Djibouti seems to have lost its way. There is no administration with coherent and well defined vision and agenda regarding security in the region. That should be the main concern for Ethiopia. Djibouti cannot afford to indulge itself in a row with Ethiopia. The current administration has, however, gotten off on the wrong foot. It follows the direction set by Arab countries. It has failed to give full credit and recognition to the security and economic benefits it gets from Ethiopia. When we examine the recent incident pertaining to the port, for example, that government looks like a tool for Arab countries.

    Djibouti's policy is designed in consideration of the status of Somaliland. Considering the historical animosity with Isa tribes, an independent Somaliland will be inimical to Djibouti as it will became a strong state. The policy is a result of wrong considerations and assessments by the current government. Whether Djibouti is protected by France or helped by Arabs, it wouldn't fully satisfy its economic interests without having friendly relationship with Ethiopia.
    Q. Can we say that Ethiopia's policy towards Somalia and Djibouti remains completely unsuccessful?
    A. We cannot say that it is completely unsuccessful. To some extent Ethiopia is getting what it wants. If Ethiopia had accepted the legitimacy of the government of Somalia, we could have said that its policies had failed. But the truth is that Ethiopia is using different fro[m] including the OAU and taking alternative means to voice its concern about Somalia's problem. It is insisting that the problem of Somalia is far from being resolved. Whoever is interfering in Somalia, the ultimate say belongs to Ethiopia.

    From what we are looking, the Somali government doesn't seem to hold its breath for the prospect of establishing good relationship with Ethiopia. That is right. They have lost their hope. They seem to be attracted by the prospect of getting financial aid from Arab countries and diplomatic recognition from different countries. They are waging an anti-Ethiopia campaign not because Ethiopia is hurting them. What Ethiopia is doing is to closely scrutinize and evaluate the situation. The campaign was started to entrench an anti-Ethiopian sentiment in the fabric of Somalis.
    Q. Does the populace understand Ethiopia's effort?
    A. I think so. Many people in Somalia need the support of Ethiopia. They have established a good relationship with Ethiopia in the last decade.
    Q. What is the position of Aideed?
    A. Up to now, it had the support of Eritrea and Uganda. Since Eritrea has unexpectedly recognized the new government, Aideed has either to join the government or to rebel against it. Adeed has lost much of his forces at Baidowa.
    Q. Is there a chance of Ethiopia marching into Somalia?
    A. If the Arta faction continues to beat its anti-Ethiopian drums and its support to extremist and terrorist groups, in the interest of national security, Ethiopia may go into Somalia.
    Q. Do you think that this gradual anti-Ethiopia movement will affect Ethiopia's interest on the Djibouti port?
    A. I believe so. I don't think there is responsible leadership in Djibouti. The hike in the Port fee is the result of the alliance which has developed between Djibouti's tycoons and Gulf states.

    We are, at the moment, witnessing a very disturbing relationship between Ethiopia, Djibouti and Somalia. There are some problems with Sudan as well. We also know what happened between Ethiopia and Kenya near Borena. Don't you think all these troubles put Ethiopia in a great danger? What is the solution? Ethiopia should use its forces fully. Ethiopia has a military might. It knows its role in the region. Of course, the problems is its poverty. We haven't fully defeated Eritria because of our economic problems.

    There are two choices here. The first is that Ethiopia should use its forces to safeguard its national security. But it can also solve problems peacefully and responsibly. The problem with kenya, for instance, can be solved with mutual understanding. There is no problem with the Kenyan government.

    Ethiopia should clearly tell Djibouti that though it has a problem of port, it can't negotiate its national security. With Eritrea, the problem will be enduring. Although UN peacekeepers have started deploying, the problem will last long. On one hand, the Eritrean government doesn't want us to get aid from donors. It doesn't want the world to think that peace has finally reigned. On the other hand, it will try to wreak havoc to show to the Eritrean people that it hasn't lost the war. The relationship with Sudan is a good start. It should develop into the military, strategic, and economic front as well.
    Q. What about our relationship with Somaliland?
    A. That has been expressed in Khartoum during the IGAD summit meeting. According to the Khartoum resolution, the international community will give support to the new government in Somalia and to some regions in Somalia which are called safe havens. Pursuant to that resolution, Ethiopia can strengthen its friendship with Somaliland. Apart from a government-to-government relationship, it can also help the development of a people-to-people relationship. Somaliland is a state. It even has a traffic police. So we have to strengthen our relationship with a country which is stable and strong.
    Q. Countries like Yemen and Egypt had tried to send armies to Somalia. Was that right?
    A. The Arabs cannot send their troops to Somalia. A central government is not in place. Even if they send their army, they can't stay long. Even Americans have failed to do that. What they can do is give financial support. The story was fabricated to send a warning signal to Ethiopia. I don't think that the troops of Yemen, Libya and Egypt will go into Somalia.

    Tell us about the fate of Puntland amidst such a situation.

    Puntland is very strong. It supports Ethiopia's position. There is a cause for worrying though. Puntland may follow a wrong road in fear of Djibouti. But so far it has not shown any sign of hatred to wards Ethiopia.

    Britain and Italy, the two former colonizers, claim that they should have some say over Somalia. Do you support Ethiopia's position?

    Definitely. The building block approach followed by IGAD is the brain-child of Ethiopia. Both the US and EU support this approach. Britain and Italy have also lent their support. The problem is that there is a new government and they are saying that it should be given a chance.


    Africa News, March 9, 2001/Source: UN Integrated Regional Information Network

    Egal Says Referendum Planned for May

    A referendum on the constitution of the self-declared state of Somaliland, northwestern Somalia, is planned for May. Somaliland President Muhammad Ibrahim Egal told IRIN that he would like international observers to witness the referendum, which was "also a referendum on the separation of the country and the renewal of (Somaliland's former independent) status". Egal said the referendum would be "a very major undertaking" and was likely to cost about US $1 million. He said Somaliland lacked resources, but that international observers would be provided with transport and local accommodation.

    There has been considerable speculation in Somaliland about the date of the referendum and general elections, after a second deadline was passed in February by the present administration. "Once the referendum is over, and the constitution is approved, then the rest is a matter of routine," Egal said. General elections would then follow for local government, which would inaugurate the multiparty system, Egal said. The government would authorise the registration of political organisations before political parties were officially introduced. Egal told IRIN that Somaliland would "borrow from the Nigeria experience" in that any political organisation that won a minimum of 20 percent of the vote in at least four of the six regions in the country would qualify as a legitimate political party. "These will be the parties that will stand in the general elections for parliament towards the end of 2001. Then, in 2002, there will be the presidential elections," he said in an interview with IRIN in Hargeysa.


    Africa News,/Source: UN Integrated Regional Information Network March 8, 2001 In the self-declared state of Somaliland, northwest Somalia, Finance Minister Mohamed Siad Mohamed "Gees" said that about US $11 million was being lost a year with the present Rift Valley fever ban on livestock imports from the Horn of Africa, imposed last year by the Gulf States.

    In an interview in Hargeisa, he told IRIN that the Somaliland government had been forced to use all its resources to maintain the public sector, and that development projects needed support by international agencies. Livestock is Somaliland's main foreign exchange earner.

    He said international recognition for Somaliland would help, but "we are not in a hurry". (For full interview, see IRIN interview with Mohamed Said Mohamed "Gees")


    Africa News,Source: UN Integrated Regional Information Network March 8, 2001

    Somalia; Irin Interview With Mohamed Said Mohamed "Gees"

    Over the last two years, many people have returned to the self-declared state of Somaliland, northwest Somalia, to re-establish their homes and businesses. Hargeisa, the capital, was left empty after it was destroyed by the former government of Mohamed Siyad Barre during the civil war in the north. In May 1991, the Somali National Movement - which fought government troops in the north during the 1980's - declared unilateral independence for Somaliland. No government has officially recognised it since; but humanitarian agencies have established aid and development programmes, private business has boomed and some regional countries treat it as a de facto independent state. Recent economic successes, however, have been hit hard by the effects of a livestock ban imposed on the Horn of Africa by the Gulf States, after an outbreak of Rift Valley fever in Saudi Arabia and Yemen last year. Somaliland Minister of Finance, Mohamed Said Mohamed "Gees" talked to IRIN in Hargeisa about how the public sector planned to cope.
    Q: Hargeisa Has Grown Enormously Over the Last Few Years. What Is the Basis of the Economy?
    ANSWER: Well, I would say the basis is peace. When there is peace, people invest. They rehabilitate their houses, they establish private companies, there is open trade between different parts of Somaliland and its neighbours, including Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Yemen. So, I would say it is the establishment of peace and the Somaliland administration. It has encouraged many Somalilanders from the Diaspora to come back, establish businesses, telephone companies, airlines... there are factories underway. I think people are optimistic about the future.
    Q: How does the government finance itself?
    A: Apart from licences and regulations... we don't interfere with people's business as long as they abide by the laws of the country, and as long as they pay taxes. For the first time, they are going to pay profit taxes, before they only used to pay custom duties at the port of entry, like Berbera. Now, they will pay inland revenue and regulation fees - proper income tax, profit tax, and service tax. Our budget, since 1994, has gone up...
    Q: But there is still a strong dependence on remittances from the Diaspora?
    A: Yes, it is very important, especially in periods like this, while we go through the livestock ban. Then, remittance becomes very important. But in normal circumstances it doesn't amount to so much because we are exporting livestock. Last year we exported something like 1.5 million heads of sheep and livestock; in 1999 we exported about 2 million heads, in 1998 there was also a ban... Most of our success comes from livestock export.
    Q: So how do you plan to make up the shortfall this year?
    A: Well, from government revenue we are loosing something like US $11 million a year... for the shortfall we will raise the taxes to cover the deficit. Today I go to parliament to present my budget, it is balanced - we balance every year.
    Q: But if you raise taxes, doesn't that mean people suffer more under the livestock ban?
    A: No, it's not like that. We are not really raising the taxes. What we do is to subsidise our imports - not directly, but indirectly. We use different exchange rates for the dollar. For example, I think the rate is 5,000 Somaliland shillings for US $1. But when we are taxing at the port (Berbera) we value the dollar at 1,500... The value of the dollar is the tax base.
    Q: You recently appealed to international organisations to help with development projects that had been abandoned by the government because of the effects of the livestock ban.
    A: We have an ordinary budget, there is not a development budget because we have no development tax. So, in a year we used to collect something like US $0.5 - 1 million for development purposes and build schools, hospitals, water wells, and rehabilitate roads. But this year, after the ban, we switched and used that for other purposes. This year we are not embarking on any development projects, and the affected area is mainly the regions (outside Hargeisa) where international agencies do not go... we are afraid it may cause problems for the regions.
    Q: Was there any response to the plea?
    A: I didn't really get any response. I was not as optimistic as Ali Khalif Galayr (prime minister of Mogadishu-based Transitional National Government) who appealed to the international community for US $300 million; I just asked for US $500,000. It shows how tight-fisted Western donors are nowadays.
    Q: So you feel that despite successes here, the fact that Somaliland doesn't have international recognition still affects the economy?
    A: With our budget, we employ something like 26,000 people, so something like 70 percent of our revenue goes to salaries. Actually, we are ploughing back our revenue to society. As to the problem of recognition: well, as far as we are concerned we are not in a hurry. We don't demand recognition. But we must have access to international finance and international finance institutions... but they are not very interested in aid per se. What we are really interested in is investment. We would like people to invest in Somaliland. We have had very interested parties so far... if you go to Berbera you will see the (petroleum) company Total, which has facilities in Berbera. We have had international delegations... people are very interested in making business in Somaliland. The problem we have, is with banking facilities. We need facilities where you can take loans, and which investors can use. Now, with assistance from UNDP we have drafted the Somaliland Investment Act... to invite investors to Somaliland, you must have the laws in place.
    Q: Who is your main trading partner?
    A: Ethiopia. With Ethiopia, our borders are very peaceful. You can drive from here to Addis Ababa - it's very normal, with no check points. People can take their own cars from Berbera, to Addis Ababa, to Djibouti, and back to Somaliland. We do all kinds of trade with the southeastern part of Ethiopia... which is really influenced by Somaliland. Various traders come from near Harar (southeastern Ethiopia) to Hargeisa... their main port is Berbera. If you go to Jijiga and Dire Dawa (southeastern Ethiopia), all those small towns there, you see you are still in parts of Somaliland... So our main trading partner is Ethiopia and we are now trying to harmonise our customs, our custom duties and develop the official trade between the two countries. We are trying to rehabilitate the roads. The European Union pledged to us to widen the roads and do something about Hargeisa airport. I think the Ethiopians are very interested to extend the road from Jijiga all the way to Berbera. Unlike those from Arta (the Mogadishu-based Transitional National Government), we have good relations with the Ethiopians.
    Q: Is there much trade with the south?
    A: There is not much trade... the only thing that comes from the south is bananas and papayas, and qat (a mild narcotic leaf), so there is not much trade between us and Somalia.
    Q: If the economy improved in the south, would it be considered a good thing?
    A: Well, we believe if there is improvement in any part, it would be a blessing, because all we get now from the south is refugees. If you go to the streets of Hargeisa, the beggars at the traffic lights are from the south, not Somaliland... We don't want to be a receptacle for the problems in Mogadishu and stretch our limited resources. Any Somali can come here and establish themselves peacefully, but we don't want the generals from the south to run our fate again.
    Africa News, March 7, 2001

    Somalia; Mission Report On Rift Valley Fever

    Source: UN Integrated Regional Information Network

    The visit to Somalia by a team of veterinarians from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) which took place last week is considered a step forward in attempts to reopen the livestock market following a Rift Valley Fever ban imposed last September by the Gulf States.

    A mission report by Paul Rossiter for the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said that given the fact that there had been no reported cases of RVF outbreak anywhere in the Horn of Africa recently, the chance of "an animal infected with RVF virus entering the human food chain in the abattoirs in Somalia must be practically insignificant at present." Rossiter, who accompanied the mission, told IRIN that the trip was "extremely successful". "This is a step in the right direction to open up the markets," he added.

    The aim of the visit was to look at the health situation of livestock and the condition of processed meat in Somalia. The team also wanted to ascertain whether Somali livestock were free from RVF. The alleged presence of the disease has led to a crippling ban on livestock imports from the Horn of Africa by Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states, imposed in September 2000.

    The team visited Burao in the self-declared independent state of Somaliland, northwest Somalia; Galkayo in the self-declared autonomous region of Puntland, northeast Somalia, and the capital, Mogadishu, where they inspected abattoirs. "The abattoirs in Galkayo and Mogadishu are currently at a standard that could supply export meat if markets are available", said the report.

    Andrea Tamagnini, Senior Deputy Residence Representative, UNDP, Somalia, said the mission "was one of many steps in efforts on lifting the livestock ban and addressing the RVF issue". Promoting chilled meat was a way of coping with the livestock ban, and also added value to the livestock, he told IRIN.


    Agence France Presse, March 7, 2001

    Somali woman's activist shows true grit

    BY Bertrand Rosenthal

    HARGEISA--Edna Adan Ismail has spent 40 years fighting for the rights of Somali women, and at the age of 60-something shows no signs of giving up the struggle as she builds the first maternity hospital in the northwestern district of Somaliland.
    Female genital mutilation tops her hate list.

    "It's inhuman, condemned by Islam, painful, harmful to health and a human rights violation," Ismail said of a practice undergone by some 95 percent of women in Somalia.

    Ismail was born into a well-to-do family and in 1961 became the first woman from her country to qualify as a midwife in Britain and the first in Somaliland -- which unilaterally broke away from rump Somalia in 1991 -- to gain a driver's licence.

    She was once married to Somalia's former prime minister Mohamed Ibrahim Egal -- who now serves as president of the self-declared Republic of Somaliland -- but divorced him to marry twice more.

    Ismail has served as director of the Somali health ministry and has been to jail three times.

    Having quit her post as representative of the World Health Organisation in Djibouti three years ago, she describes herself as retired even as, decked out in elegant traditional garb, she coordinates the bustling activity at the building site that will soon become the maternity hospital.

    Ismail is also concerned about the negative effects female genital mutilation has on pregnancy in a country with the highest infant mortality rate in the world.

    In Somaliland, one child in eight dies before its first birthday, one in five before its fifth. Every year, almost 4,000 women die during childbirth, Ismail said.

    An office in the ward is given over to female genital mutilation where women will be able to have consultations and read pretty much everything that has been written on the subject.

    "My family hardly appreciates what I am doing," said Ismail, who is planning an international symposium on the practice.

    She herself put up half of the 620,000 dollars invested in the ward. The rest came from international donations.

    "Others take retirement by buying a yacht or travelling. I sold what I had, my jewels ... to build this hospital which will be a reference for the Horn of Africa. ... My only revenue now comes from renting the family's house in Hargeisa to the European Union," she said.

    About 40 young women are already taking a course in nursing in parts of the building that are finished. There is still work to be done on the lobby, operating theatres, wards and laboratories, as well as the rooms in which Ismail herself will live.

    "What we need is specialists. There is not a single gynaecologist-obsetrician in Somaliland (home to two million people) and we will need an anaesthetist and a paediatrician," she explained.

    Around the building, women work with spades and build bricks. "If men don't like it, we will also find male masons."

    At one point Ismail introduced her "finance minister," a young woman who pays the demobilised factional fighters working on the building site.

    Ismail is a staunch supporter of an independent Somaliland. One of her remaining possessions is a videotape shot in May 1991 in a Hargeisa ruined by the forces of Somali former president Mohamed Siad Barre, whose interior minister at the time, Abdulkassim Salat Hassan, now serves as Somalia's transitional president.


    Africa News, March 6, 2001/Source: UN Integrated Regional Information Network

    Trade Fair Helps Somalilanders Seek Foreign Markets

    As the Somaliland Trade Fair got underway this weekend, Shukri Ismail and her staff were busy milling henna in a dusty back street of Hargeisa, capital of the self-declared state of Somaliland, northwest Somalia. Her company, Asli Mills, recently won an important export contract to supply Body Shop International with henna, the traditional hair and skin dye which has been used by women in the region for thousands of years. She represents the success that many at the four-day trade fair are hoping for.

    Shukri is one of a growing band of Somaliland entrepreneurs seeking to add value to local products and market them to the world. "Henna is so natural, its got anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties - people in Europe and America are just discovering these things and it's great that The Body Shop has picked up our henna," she told IRIN. In 2000 the Asli Mills Company exported 6,700 kg of henna. This year, it is aiming for 10,000 kg.

    The four Somali henna-based products were launched in London (UK) to 49 markets worldwide. The Body Shop deal was facilitated by Progressive Interventions, an Irish NGO specialising in marketing assistance and product promotion in developing economies.

    It is people like Shukri - who combine local expertise and raw materials with finance from the Somali Diaspora - who may hold the key to economic development in this desperately poor region of the Horn of Africa. After the ravages of the war waged by Mohamed Siyad Barre's regime up to 1991, and later inter-clan fighting, Somaliland now enjoys peace and stability. But, ten years after declaring independence, it has yet to get the international recognition it feels it deserves.

    Now, the fragile economy of the region has been dealt another major blow. In October 2000 Gulf States banned livestock imports from the Horn of Africa because of the first outbreak of Rift Valley Fever in Saudia Arabia and Yemen. Livestock is Somaliland's main foreign exchange earner. Finance Minister Mohamed Gees has estimated that the present ban will cost Somaliland between US $150-200 million per annum in lost foreign exchange receipts.

    One of the effects of the ban has been to highlight the lack of diversification in the economy, and the need for the business community to find new products and new markets. Many of these attempts were showcased for the first time 3-6 March at the Somaliland Trade Fair. The event was organised by the local Chamber of Commerce and supported by the European Commission (EC) and UNDP.

    "It's about increasing awareness of locally available products and encouraging investment," Gerry McCarthy, Programme Director of Progressive Interventions told IRIN. Nearly 100 businesses, many brand-new, set up shop in the wind-swept compound in the centre of Hargeisa, determined to show the world that the Somaliland economy has a future. "Nobody knows about us and about the special things we are making," a stallholder shouted. Small-scale gem dealers try to usher people closer to their stalls, and women wearing traditional head scarves gaze shyly at foreign visitors as they run up brightly coloured clothing on knitting machines. Many want to emulate Shukri's success and generate foreign interest in their products.

    Although many of the products on display at the four-day fair have only local appeal, some have international potential. Amina Rodol is a local business woman who worked in Saudi Arabia. She has put her life savings into a new range of beauty products using frankincense gum - the ancient base for all perfumes. She makes the cream locally and chats with potential buyers at her stall. Amina told IRIN she was confident that her exotic-smelling range of creams could be successfully marketed in wealthy countries. "I want to make money, but its much more than that," she insisted. She told IRIN that thousands of poor people collect the frankincense, which currently gets exported to the Gulf States in its raw form. "If we can turn it into local products, we will all benefit," she said. Already, the Asli Mills company has proved that new markets translate into new jobs. It now provides work for at least 400 pastoralist women who collect henna leaves to sell directly to the mill.

    Somaliland gem stones have also attracted interest. Situated at the top of the Mozambique Belt - from which two-thirds of Africa's gems are mined - Somaliland already supports 5,000 livelihoods in the sector. Emerald, ruby, sapphire, garnet and aquamarine are all mined locally. But lack of mining techniques and poor gem-recognition skills have led to exploitation. A locally-mined stone was recently bought in Hargeisa for US $2,000; yet, after it had been cut in Thailand, it was sold for US $250,000, Progressive Interventions points out. The NGO has been providing Somaliland miners with training to enable them to mine more efficiently and recognise the value of what they produce. "Inevitably, a lot of miners get cheated by unscrupulous dealers, but what is needed is a local jewellery and stone-cutting business," Sarah Jones of Progressive Interventions told IRIN.

    This pioneering trade fair is only the second to be held anywhere in Somalia since the fall of Barre a decade ago. It represents a small but significant beginning. Most visitors managed to see all the exhibits within an hour. And all involved acknowledged that these are still early days. "There is a lot of international interest, but buyers and investors want to see bigger quantities of goods and materials before they consider investing," Alrizak Mohed, a local business educator told IRIN. "No million dollar deals were struck this weekend - but maybe next year," he added.


    BBC Monitoring Service - Mar 03 2001/ Source: The Republican Newspaper, Hargeisa, 03 Mar 2001/BBC Monitoring/(C) BBC.

    Somaliland meets criteria for recognition, Egal told EU diplomats

    Hargeisa -- Somaliland president Egal has told 3 EU diplomats that the Republic of Somaliland meets all the universally recognised criteria set for granting diplomatic recognition to a particular country. The EU diplomats led by Ms. Ing Bjork Klevby, Swedish Ambassador to Kenya, arrived in Hargeisa on last Monday on a 3-day visit to Somaliland. The delegation included an official from the EU office in Nairobi and the Belgian Ambassador to Kenya.

    In the meanwhile, reports contradicting Egal's statement to the EU diplomat have however emerged. At least by one account, President Egal told a British diplomat on last year that he will consider entering into a dialogue with leaders of the Arta faction to discuss "re-unification" or a "federal state in Somalia". The Republican has learned that the British diplomat is Phil Batson who visited Hargiasa on October last year. Batson who works in the East Africa desk in the "Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Office" held a long discussion during his last visit with Egal. Reliable sources told The Republ