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Source: Jamhuuriya Online, The Republic (Weekly English News) 01/08/2004 -

A New Deputy Mayor of Hargeisa.

Hargeisa (The Rep)- The Local Government of Hargeisa in an extra-ordinary meeting on Sunday elected .Mohamed Abdillahi Ur-Adde as the New Deputy Mayor of Hargeisa.

All 17 Council members present unanimously elected Ur-Adde, who will replace on Abdihakim Mohamoud. He will be the third person to be elected for the post.

The first 2 deputy Mayors were removed from their posts-by the council after they were accused of abuse of power, embezzlement and mismanagement of land.


Tributes to a Great Leader: Sheikh Ibrahim Sheikh Yusuf Sheikh Madar

Hargeisa (The Rep)-Tens of thousands of people from all states of life took part in the state funeral of Sheikh Ibrahim Sheikh Yusuf Sheikh Madar, who died in a London Hospital on July 22, and was buried at Sheikh Madar's tomb on Monday.

Thousands were standing along the road form the Airport to Sheikh Madar's tom, to pay their last respect as a procession of hundreds of cars passed along the road.

President Dahir Rayale Kahin, Vice President Ahmed Yusuf Yasin, leaders of both House of Parliament, traditional and religious leaders, members of the 3 state councils, chairman and many senior members of the 3 parties and hundreds of citizens prayed at the tomb.

Sheikh Ibrahim was buried with the honour that he deserved. As all mortals, he died and was buried, but his memory will remain in the minds of the people of Somaliland, for a very long time.

Sheikh Ibrahim Sheikh Yusuf Sheikh Madar, chairman of the House of Elders since 1993, and chairman of the elders since 1988, when he was elected at Adorosh had shared the good and the bad, the sweet and the bitter in peace and war, at times of plenty and adversity, in politics and public life said a lot of tribute to the great son of Somaliland and the pillar of peace. Here some of the tributes.

President Dahir Rayale Kahin said; "Shekhi iIbrahim was a strong pillar, whom the nation lost. We are all mortals and we pray that God may repay for all the good he did for this nation."

Vice President Ahmed Yusuf Yasin, said; "He was out spoken and a man with great resolution. In 1993, while in Djibouti to get support for the Borama Conference, he flew alone to Borama and announced that the conference will open tomorrow. Delegation from the east and west began travelling to Borama. Each delegate through that they were the only absentees. Sheikh Ibrahim was one of the main pillars of Somaliland."

Chairman of the House of Representatives Ahmed Mohamed Aden (Qaybe) said; "Sheikh Ibrahim was the patron of both houses of parliament. He was the solver of internal conflicts. His death has left a gap, but we hope to cross that. We were together in the House of Parliament, when we heard the death of the late president Egal. He was the force that helped us overcome that obstacle."

Chairman of the opposition KULMIYE party .Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo, said, "He was an important personality, that will take a prominent place, in the history of Somaliland. He was an advocate for the people's cause and not a puppet, before the struggle. He joined SNM at the frontline in 1988 and became leader of SNM elders. He remained, a leader of elders, until he passed away. He played a major role in peace and development. He was patient and showed great perseverance.

Chairman of the opposition Justice and Welfare party (UCID) said; "He was a man of the great resolution. He was the leading the elders, who saved SNM from crumbling and revived its struggle. He will be remembered for what he contributed to the struggle."

Hagi Abdi Hussein (Abdi-Warabe) one of the closest friends and colleagues of Sheikh Ibrahim said, "He was a great leader. We will remember him for his contribution to the peace in this country. He was the torchbearer of the freedom of this country. He was the first man to organize the people, when they were forced to flee, from the barbarity of the late regime. He continued the struggle he began, when we elected him at Adarosh until his death".

.John Drysdale, a British citizen who is a good friend of Somaliland speaking about Sheikh Ibrahim said; "He was a great man and a real Somaliland, who always worked for the peace of his country."

The Secretary General of UDUB (Governments party) .Mohamed Ismail Bullale said, "Death have not left, those who were a barrier against humillation. He was not only patient but consolation to all."

.Musa Bihi Abdi a senior SNM veteran said; "May God rest his soul in peace. He was a great personality and had many traits, which are never seen in one person. He was decent, sober, quite and courageous. At Adorosh, when enemy planes attacked us, Sheikh Ibrahim and 2 other men had the courage to stay, when all run for cover."

President of Djibouti Parliament .Idiris Arnaoud Ali in his condolence message said; "Sheikh Ibrahim was an important personality who played a great role in Somaliland's peace reconciliation. May God rest his soul in peace."


Jirde will join the ruling party UDUB in the forthcoming parliamentary election

Ottawa (HNN)- First Deputy chairman of the House of Representatives .Abdikadir Jirdeh speaking about his political future announced, that he will join the ruling party UDUB in the forthcoming parliamentary election.

.Jirde ho is studying Conflict Resolution in the United Kingdom told Hadhwanag Website, that Somaliland's conflict resolution is unique and tht it is being scientifically studied.

The Deputy Chair an who announced that he will return August stated that he has good contact with Chairman of the House of Representatives and that his joining the president's delegation in London, was pre-planned.

Speaking about the electoral law, he said the main article, that was put a side ws the article of the division of House of Representative seats in the region. The forthcoming election might be based on the 1960 election or the local and the presidential elections held. All other elections after that will be on census of population.

In answer to parliamentary elections in Sool and Eastern Sanag he said; "This is to be decided by the National Electoral commission."

.Jirde reiterated that the Imbigati conference does not differ form that of ARTA. It is trying to establish a government for Somalia (Ex-Italian colony). If interested groups in the region or abroad try to form a government for the former Somalia Democratic Republic, it will mean war. We oppose giving failed state as a gift to anyone. If this is done, we will find in defence of Somaliland and will do everything towards this.

He conluded saying, "It is advisable not to wait, but take appropriate measures to stop the appearance of another Abdikasim"


Somalilanders Demonstration

Ottawa (Agencies)- Hundreds of Somalilanders living in Canada took part in large demonstration, in front of the Kenyan Embassy in Ottawa, in protest against Imbigati.

The demonstration were protesting were protesting against the plan of the conference, which is trying to include Somaliland, which is not attending the conference and had repeatedly informed the international community that it has nothing to do with the conference and that will not be bound by its results.

The demonstrators were shouting `Death to Somaliland Enemies `Long live Somaliland' IGAD states are creating New Confrontation in the Horn'.

SNM veterans who addressed the demonstrators reminded them of the armed struggle for reclamation of sovereignty. And urged them to unite, for the defence of Somaliland independence and its people.

The speakers reminded the demonstrators that the people of Somaliland are nature today, that the prevailing situation in the country in different from that of 1960 and that they will not leave their destiny to be decided by anyone.

The speaker urged all Somalilander's to respect democracy and the individual right of expression, reminding them that any violation of these rights will have adverse affects on the impression of the country abroad.


Burao Intellectuals

Burao (The Rep)- Burao Intellectuals conference for security and Development in their first declaration, since Jully 18 when security stopped the conference they organized, to discuss current situation and the consequences Imbigati conference, can have on Somaliland in 5 points proposal warned the government to avoid any steps, similar to those which brought about the SNM struggle.

Spokesman of BICSD, Dr. Abdikadir Hagi Muse in a signed declaration stated that the aim of the July 18 conference was to exchange views and discuss the situation of the country and the Nairobi conference. He said; "The vice president, political parties and traditional leaders were among those who were invited. It was unfortunate for the government to misinterpret our intentions, think that it was sabotage and as such stopped the conference. As we work for peace, we had no intention of taking arms."

The declaration stressed that thousands have died, thousands handicapped, thousands have become orphans, while thousands become orphans in the war for liberation.

The declaration warned the government to avoid taking any steps, similar to those who brought the SNM struggle, such as denying people the freedom of expression and assembly; threatening the people with the security forces, violation of the constitution and ruling the country by illegal decrees.

The declaration emphasised that the Nairobi conference with have negative affects on the country and that the government seems to be doing nothing and as such appealed to nationals in the country and abroad, to discuss issues that concern the people and the sovereignty of Somaliland.

The declaration described that Sool and East Saag issue to be obstacle to Somaliland's unity, sovereignty and recognition. It accused lacking a policy to solve this problem. It also urged the people to solve their internal misunderstanding peacefully and have a common stand.

The Burao intellectuals' conference for security and Development urged the people to strengthen peace and stability and tighten their belts for the development of the country.

The declaration proposed the need for a large delegation-similar to that of 2002-to be sent to Sool and East Sanag, to solve grievances and as such realize and strengthen unity and sovereignty of Somaliland.


4th National Trade fair will be held at the headquarter of Somaliland Public Works Union from August 17 - 23/2004.

Hargeisa (The Rep)- Somaliland chamber of commerce announced that the 4th National trade fair will be held at the headquarters of Somaliland public workers union from August 17-23/2004.

.Abdillahi Dirie, Secretary General of the chamber of commerce in a press conference held on Thursday stated that the aim of the national trade fair is (a) to give opportunity to citizens who take part in farming, livestock, industry to show their production to the public. (b) To assess the developments achieved since the last trade fair, in the different sectors of local production and the growth of trade (c) To encourage and assist local productions and their marketing (d) To provide and opportunity for participants, through the international media, that will be invited, the determination of the people of Somaliland to reconstruct and develop their country.

The fair will also provide tangible proof to Somalilanders in the Diaspora, not only to partake in the development of their country, but also to convince societies they live with, that Somaliland provides good opportunity for foreign investment.

The national trade fair attracted foreigners and nationals, since they were first held in May 1999.

Participants of the fairs got free international advertisements from the international media such as CNN, AL-JAZEERA, BBC, REUTERS, AFP, MBC SABC, THE FINANCIAL TIMES, THE GUARDIAN and the Christian Science Monitor who were invited by the chamber of commerce to cover the trade fairs.


SOMALILAND ISLAMIC UNIVERSITY in Burao city?

An English proverb states that "better be late than never" therefore I would like to send my late congratulations to the nationalist and patriotic citizens of Burao city for their resolve to stand on their own and not to wait for ever this visionless, inept, corrupt, divisive, and sinister government who have long neglected their city and region and for their decisive action in initiating a number of self-help developmental projects in the city.

Therefore, I say kudos to the Burcaawi for their determination to initiate a number of badly needed infrastructural projects in our beloved city such as bridges, water wells, primary schools, and secondary schools, etc. Most importantly, your worthwhile decision to designate land for an institution of higher education and for expeditiously laying down the foundation stone of the first university in Burao city is a huge accomplishment and something for us all to be proud of. Consequently, it is encouraging that your very action and accomplishment has now spread like wild fires around the country and have influenced the Berberaawi and the Cerigabaawi and possibly the Laas Caanaawi to contemplate the same achievements you have made in their respective cities. Truly, your accomplishment in this regard is shattering and to the envy of the selfish Hargeysaawi and the Boramaawi who have for so long taken advantage of the rest of Somaliland and taken for granted their status by having the only two universities of the country at their respective cities! Above all, I would like to appeal to the Burcaawi citizens to take another bold, courageous, and shattering move to again designate land for another institution of higher education and to promptly lay down the foundation stone of the first: SOMALILAND ISLAMIC UNIVERSITY in Burao city. The construction of an Islamic university in Burao city, the birthplace of Somaliland nationalism and freedom fighters would be a monumental achievement for all Somalilanders and for all Muslims in the region.

Furthermore, I think it is a bit easier to raise funds for the construction of the first Islamic University in the country since the government, private sector, and most Muslim countries would probably contribute greatly towards this great THAWAAB or HASANAAD.

Overall, the construction of an Islamic University in Somaliland would probably be the first of its kind in Africa and it is long overdue therefore it is time that the Muslim people of Somaliland to take the lead and make this idea a reality. It is also the time that the Muslim people and country of Somaliland with the TAWHEED of Allah and the prophet on their flag to remember Allah and to construct this Islamic Uninversity in the country. This project must be implemented as soon as possible if we want Allah (SWT) to be pleased with us and to earn His precious Baraaka.

Finally, let us also take advantage of the current business boom in the Eastern Regions of Somaliland and turn Burao city into the commercial hub of Somaliland and the region. And there is no doubt that if think wisely think and implement these two important ideas (Somaliland Islamic University, and making Burao a commercial hub) immediately, it would certainly bring prosperity and develop the city and region much faster to the benefit of the people and country of Somaliland. Also, this action will certainly curtail the excesses or minimize the unfair treatment or shatter the selfish domination of Hargeysa for ever.

Victory and Liberty,
Farah Ali Jama, Ottawa, Canada.

Note : Burcaawi = residents of Burco city. Likewise, Hargeysaawi, Boramaawi, Cerigabaawi, Laas Caanaawi, and Berberaawi = residents of Hargeysa, Borama, Cerigabo, Laas Canood, and Berbera cities.


NAGAAD UMBRELLA ORGANISAATION HARGEISA-SOMALILAND

NAGAAD ANNUAL REPORT
YEAR OF 2003

Nagaad Address
Badacas, Koodbur, Hargeisa
C/O DAHABSHIIL HARGEISA P.O.BOX 4630 Dubai
Phone: 252 213 4692/252 2 427496/252 2 527317 Fax: 252 213 4501/4416
Email: nagaad@telesom.net/nagaad_u@hotmail.com
Wepsite:www.nagaad.org

I. BACKGROUND

Nagaad works for empowering women to realize sustainable development. It strives to address two key goals that are of concern to its members. (1) Advancing the economic, social and political status of women in Somaliland. (2) Strengthening the capacity of its members to implement effective projects that facilitate the realization of the first goal.

Women's rights are human rights and since all human rights are universal, indivisible, interdependant and inter-related, their full and equal enjoyment by women and girls is a priority and is essential for the advancement of women.

Somaliland women obviously share many problems with their male fellow citizens especially in this post-war era, but they also differ on a number of issues.

Women's specific concerns are shaped by their social roles as daughters, wives and mothers, by the economic positions and obligations which they have within the family and the community and by prevailing cultural conceptualization of gender roles.

The issue of women's rights in Somaliland is however deeply rooted in the realms of culture and religion. Gender discrimination is part and parcel of culture. Cultural beliefs in male superiority and greater ability to lead socialize, females to accept subordinate positions. From earlier age, boy, children are socialized into roles, which prepare them to exercise power in the family over women, younger children and productive resources.

Girls on the other hand, are socialized into roles, which do not prepare them for power and decision-making over other people or resources in either the public or private spheres. Women rights are one of the areas of concern of Nagaad that has been in fact difficult to implement because of the cultural barriers.

Nevertheless, Nagaad has since its establishment been campaigning to create an awareness on women's rights on issues such as their participation in the decision-making process of the country.

The participation of women in the decision-making at all levels of public and private life is important as an issue of human rights as well as for the strengthening of the democratic process of this post-war period.

Women's wish to be included in decision-making is more than a simple demand for numerical representation proportional to their presence in the society. It is a demand based on the fact that institutions governed by men are unlikely to reflect the specific interest and views of the female population, instead, they would reinforce the marginalized position of women in the society.

In this post war situation however women are the majority of the population. Meanwhile women have been preparing themselves for this event. Nagaad has been implementing the last three-year a programme on the empowerment of women in the decision-making process of the country.

Nagaad with the help of its partners namely the HBF, NOVIB and NED are working on a national political agenda for women consisting of: capacity building initiatives for political empowerment of women (negotiation, lobbying and management of electoral campaigns techniques); meeting with political parties for the investiture of women as heads of the electoral lists and to promote their access to the decision-making positions within the political parties; strategic alliance with associations involved in the promotion of the status of women (business community and pressure groups).

II. ABOUT NAGAAD UMBRELLA OGANIZTION

Nagaad umbrella organization is a non-profit making, non-sectarian and voluntary local umbrella organization embraced by 32 women organizations in 1997, in Hargeisa. Vision Statement: Nagaad umbrella organization strives for a world based on gender quality and equity, which ensures equal treatment, participation of women, and equitable access to control benefits and resources at all levels. The focus of Nagaad is to make one voice for women.

Mission Statement: Nagaad umbrella organization is a local umbrella oriented towards the development of women. Ever since it was founded in 1997, Nagaad has its objectives to empower women socially, economically and politically at all levels.

Goals: in realizing its vision and mission, Nagaad strives to address 2 key goals that are of concern to its members, other women NGOs in all the regions and districts as well as the whole women community in Somaliland: (a) Empowering and advancing of women's economical, social and political status in Somaliland. (b) To create and establish good effective communication and networking both internally and externally with other women NGOs, groups and the whole women community. (c) To enhance the knowledge and the capacity of the women NGOs through providing of capacity building for women organizations and organize them their efforts.

Structure

Nagaad has an organizational structure, which consists of the following:- (1) General Assembly (2) Board of Directors (3) Hired Staff composed of Executive Director, Program Officer, Women in Decision making Officer, Coordinator of Environment Network, Administrator/Accountant, Cashier, Driver and Subordinates staff.

III. ACTIVITIES UNDERTAKEN DURING 2003

Upon the establishment of Nagaad Umbrella, long and short-term objectives have been set out for the organization as well as annual operational plan that encompassing the activities that need to be carried out for achieving the organizational objectives.

In depth, Nagaad activities are directed to the provision of the capacity building for its 32 member organizations to carry out and implement effective projects for the Somaliland community.

Nagaad also advocates for the promotion of women's rights politically, economically and socially in Somaliland through public awareness raising by using publications, brochures, posters, newspaper articles, radio and TV programs, Press conferences, networking conferences, workshops, trainings and Seminars.

Nagaad umbrella is actively involved on supporting the peace building and stability of the country. Therefore, in this year 2003 Nagaad has carried out and implemented the following activities:
A) CAPACITY BUILDING FOR THE 32 MEMBER ORGANIZATIONS OF NAGAAD

In the year 2003, Nagaad Umbrella carried out 4 training workshops for capacity building of the member organizations and 3 training workshops for Nagaad's staff as capacity building include:
(1) Capacity Building for Nagaad and its 32 members: (1) Resources Mobilization and management (2) Gender Development and Analysis (3) Strategic Planning (4) Rights Based Programming (5) Training of Trainers for the Capacity Building of the LNGOs

2. Establishing Strong Co-operation Linkages Among the Development Players in Somaliland (1) Nagaad Umbrella organized a 4 Development Dialogue Workshop for the development players in Somaliland (INGOs, UN, Government Ministries, and LNGOs/CBOs) to improve relationships, coordination and collaborations linkages.

B) HUMAN RIGHTS/WOMEN'S EMPOWERMENT

In the year 2003, Nagaad Umbrella carried out training workshops in enhancing women's skills and knowledge concerned on the women's campaigns in the participation of the decision making process of the country: (1) Political literacy and Voter Education and Election Procedures (2) Women's political participation for the eastern regions. (3) Women's political participation for the western regions (4) Human rights follow-up (5) Workshop on convention of elimination of all forms discrimination against women (CEDAW)

6. Women office workers involving politics

i. Nagaad's National Political Forum For Women In Somaliland

In the year 2003, Nagaad umbrella organization supported strengthening and running national political forum for women in Somaliland to advocate women's rights for political participation. (a) Three quarterly Meetings of the Women's Political Forum Committee. (b) Mobilization awareness campaign. (c) Conference meeting on possibilities for women to participate the next coming parliament. (d) Political campaigning and advocacy workshop.

i. Advocacy of Women's Rights

(a) Radio program throughout the year for women's rights, roles and responsibilities in the society. (b) Newspaper Articles for women's rights, roles and responsibilities in the society. (c) Violence Against Women (Identification types of violence against women in Somaliland) (d) 8th March Celebrations

C) PEACE BUILDING

During the year 2003, Nagaad has organized and implemented activities for supporting and strengthening sustainable peace in Somaliland.

i. Small arms control awareness raising by producing brochures, stickers and leaflets.

D) ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION NETWORK PROGRAM WORKSHOPS 1. Building Vibrant and Effective Environmental Organizations Workshop 2. Building and Promoting Sustainable livelihoods part 1 3. Building and Promoting Sustainable livelihoods part 2 4. Building and Promoting Sustainable livelihoods part 3 5. Environmental Research and Monitoring and evaluation.

IV. SEMINARS, WORKSHOPS, CONFERENCES PARTICIPATED BY NAGAAD. i. International/Regional.

(1) Strategic Initiative for women in of Horn of Africa (SIHA) Board of Directors Meeting held by in Khartum, Sudan (2) African Democracy Forum held in South Africa. (3) Leadership Workshop held in Ethiopia organized by Oxfam Canada. (4) Conceptual Gender Training Workshop held in Nairobi Organized by NOVIB. (5) Gender Encounter Workshop held in Sudan organized by Oxfam Canada. (6) Training of Trauma Counseler held in Merca/Somalia. (7) Programme Management and financial training held in Nairobi organized by HBF. (8) Human Rights defenders workshop held in Bosaso/Somalia sponsored by NOVIB.

ii. Inside the country

(1) Financial Management and reporting guidelines by Care int. (2) Rights based programming. (3) Youth unemployment (4) Proposal design and development (5) CPC monthly meetings (6) Fundraising workshop (PENHA)

V. OTHER ACTIVITIES CARRIED OUT BY NAGAAD

i. Advocacy for the Local Government Elections of Somaliland (1) Civic education workshop on the election process, which was held at the Regional/Districts Officers and Regional/Districts Electoral Officers. (2) Pre-election mobilization of the community for registration in the polling stations. (3) Identification and trainings for domestic observers for the presidential elections (4) Observation of the polling stations on behalf of civil society in the presidential election day of Somaliland. (5) Monitoring of the polling stations in the Presidential Election Day throughout the regions.

ii. Establishment of Sectoral Networks

Nagaad has recently established internal networks within its member organizations according to the Sectoral activities that they focused on, such as; (a) Education Network which is composed of 16 member organizations of Nagaad (those NGOs are actively involved in Informal Education Sector). (b) Food Security Network, which is composed of 5member organizations of Nagaad (those NGOs are actively involved in Agriculture Sector). (c) Environmental Conservation Network, which is composed of 16 member organizations of Nagaad (those NGOs, are actively involved in Environmental Conservation/Protection Sector). (d) Human Rights Network, which is composed of 22 member organizations of Nagaad (those NGOs, are actively involved in Human Rights Sector). (e) Income/employment Generation Network, which is composed of 24 member organizations of Nagaad (those NGOs, who actively involved in Income/employment generation Sector). (f) Health Network, which is composed of 12 member organizations of Nagaad (those

NGOs, are actively involved in Health Sector). (a) Research Network, which is composed of 2 member organizations of Nagaad (those NGOs, are actively involved in Research Sector).

VI. INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS FOR NAGAAD UMBRELLA

Nagaad implements different project, which are supported by deferent donors, such as: - (a) NOVIB Three- years project on women empowerment and capacity building (b) HBF-Three years Project on Gender Development (c) HBF- Three years Project on Environmental Conservation and Protection (d) NED-One-year political participation for women (e) Care International six months pilot project on capacity building for 25 member organization (f) ISF - Political participation for women especially Nagaad Political Forum for women. (g) UNIFEM (h) UNDP (i) ICD (k) UNICEF

VII. NETWORKING

a) Local Networking

Nagaad has networks with many local umbrella in Somaliland as the following Regions Umbrellas (Kulmis Togdher Region, Kulmiye Awdal Region, Hooyo Sanaag region, PPP Sahil Region, AAIN Awdal Region, COSONGO Galbed Region, and Deeqa Galbed Region).

b) External (Regional Network) Nagaad is a member of SIHA (Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa) composed of seven countries Eritrea, Djibouti, South Sudan, North Sudan Somalia, Ethiopia, and Somaliland


Agence France Presse, August 2, 2004

Somali delegates gather to counter money laundering, financing terrorism

DATELINE: HARGEISA, Somalia, Aug 2: Somali delegates on Monday gathered in Somaliland, a northwestern breakaway region of the larger Horn of Africa nation, for a four-day conference to discuss measures to counter money laundering and financing terrorism, officials said.

The conference, sponsored by Dahabshiil, one of the largest cash transfer firms in Somalia, will "discuss the best ways to combat illegal money transaction that could help underground world -- terrorism and drug trafficking," Dahabshiil's director Abdirashid Duale told AFP.

Delegates include law enforcement agencies, businessmen and the media, he explained.

"The aim of the conference is to increase awareness of anti-money laundering compliance requirements," Duale told AFP reached by phone in Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland, which broke away from Somalia in 1991.

Somalia has been regarded as an haven for extremist groups since dictator Mohamed Siad Barre was toppled in 1991, thereby plunging the whole country into lawlessness and anarchy.

Shortly after terrorists attacked New York and Washington in September 2001, United States froze assets of Al-Barakat -- the largest cash transfer facility in Somalia, and its associate companies -- on a belief that it was being used to channel money to extremists.


BBC Worldwide Monitoring, August 2, 2004/SOURCE: The Republican, Hargeysa, in English 1 Aug 04

Somaliland: Government censured for not campaigning against Somali peace talks

Burco (The Republican)- The Burco Intellectuals Conference for Security and Development BICSD in their first declaration, since July 18, when security stopped the conference they organized to discuss current situation and the consequences Mbagathi conference, can have on Somaliland in 5 points proposal warned the government to avoid any steps, similar to those which brought about the SNM Somali National Movement struggle.

Spokesman of BICSD, Dr Abdiqadir Hagi Muse in a signed declaration stated that the aim of the July 18 conference was to exchange views and discuss the situation of the country and the Nairobi conference. He said, "The vice president, political parties and traditional leaders were among those who were invited. It was unfortunate for the government to misinterpret our intentions, think that it was sabotage and as such stopped the conference. As we work for peace, we had no intention of taking arms."

The declaration stressed that thousands have died, thousands handicapped, thousands have become orphans, while thousands become orphans in the war for liberation. The declaration warned the government to avoid taking any steps, similar to those who brought the SNM struggle, such as denying people the freedom of expression and assembly; threatening the people with the security forces, violation of the constitution and ruling the country by illegal decrees.

The declaration emphasized that the Nairobi conference will have negative affects on the country and that the government seems to be doing nothing and as such appealed to nationals in the country and abroad, to discuss issues that concern the people and the sovereignty of Somaliland.

The declaration described that Sool and East Sanaag issue to be obstacle to Somaliland's unity, sovereignty and recognition. It accused lacking a policy to solve this problem. It also urged the people to solve their internal misunderstanding peacefully and have a common stand.

The Burco Intellectuals' Conference for Security and Development urged the people to strengthen peace and stability and tighten their belts for the development of the country. The declaration proposed the need for a large delegation similar to that of 2002 to be sent to Sool and east Sanaag to solve grievances and as such realize and strengthen unity and sovereignty of Somaliland.


BBC Worldwide Monitoring, August 2, 2004/SOURCE: Radio Hargeysa in Somali 1700 gmt 2 Aug 04

Somaliland parliamentary elections slated for 29 March 2005

The chairman of the Somaliland Electoral Commission Ahmad Haji Adami today held a news conference in his office on the preparations for the Somaliland's parliamentary elections slated for 29 March 2005.

The chairman stressed the need for everyone to be involved in preparations for the elections in order to ensure that it was successful just like the last two elections including the presidential one. He said this would be a demonstration of the progress in our motherland and the democratic process. The news conference was attended by representatives from the country's political parties.

Finally, the Somaliland Electoral Commission and representatives from the national political parties reached a decision that the elections will be held on 29 March 2005.

Voters will go to polling stations on this day which will be on a Tuesday to elect members of the House of Representatives. This would be a major achievement for the country.


Source: ICT Update: A current awareness bulletin for ACP agriculture, LAND AND TENURE, Issue 17 May 2004

Cadastral Sur Surveys: addressing territorial disputes in Somaliland

John Drysdale describes how natural area codes and a geographic information database are enabling farmers in Somaliland to gain legal title to their land. John Drysdale describes how natural area codes and a geographic information database are enabling farmers in Somaliland to gain legal title to their land.

Abdi Hassan, a farmer in the Gabiley district of Somaliland, proudly holds out a laminated ID card to a visiting extension worker. The card is a land ownership certificate issued by the Ministry of Agriculture, and includes a headshot of Hassan, his name and a 10- digit code. `This code represents the exact location of my farm', Hassan explains. `Every farmer in the area now has one. For generations, our farm land had not been formally surveyed, so there were no officially recognized boundaries. The authorities would not issue any land title deeds. The situation has been worse since the end of the civil war. When the farmers returned there were many disputes over land, which sometimes became violent. No more - our land boundaries are now indisputable'.

This transformation has been achieved through a major UNDP-supported initiative, implemented by a local NGO, Cadastral Surveys, in collaboration with a Canadian company, NAC Geographic Products Inc. (NACGEO). Together they have helped to bring peace to this troubled region by surveying, delineating and registering land boundaries on the basis of the Natural Area Coding System.

Natural area codes (NACs) are basically a simpler, more compact form of geographical coordinates than those used by other mapping methods such as the global positioning system (GPS). NACGEO has developed a computer algorithm that shortens the long strings of longitude-latitude coordinates and replaces them with NACs, or digital addresses, that are as easy to remember as telephone numbers. A NAC consists of a string of up to ten alphanumeric characters - the longer the string, the smaller the area, and thus the greater the detail. Thus, a twocharacter NAC specifies an area of about 1000 square kilometres, six characters 1 square kilometre, and ten characters one square metre. In Somaliland, it was decided to use ten-character NACs, providing unique identifiers for every farm plot, building or even tree.

The NAC system

NACGEO has so far assigned NACs for 17 countries, of which Somaliland is the only one in the developing world. There were no existing map databases that could be converted to the NAC system - Cadastral Surveys therefore had to start the mapping process from scratch. The NAC mapping process is a rather complex undertaking. Cadastral Surveys sends a team into the field equipped with a theodolite to survey, record and map the exact locations of fixed objects such as houses or physical landmarks, and farm boundaries. Since neighbouring farmers must agree on the location of their shared boundaries before the surveying work can begin, they tend to resolve their disputes relatively quickly. Later, concrete blocks are embedded in the ground at various points to mark the agreed boundaries.

The surveyors' measurements are recorded, and copies are sent to the Cadastral Surveys head office in Gabiley. There, the raw data are examined to correct any obvious errors and are entered into ArcView, a geographic information system (GIS) software package, to create a preliminary schematic map showing the location and area of each parcel of land. This basic map, or `ground layer', is then emailed to NACGEO in Toronto, where cartographers superimpose onto it a rectangular grid of NAC coordinates. Any point on the map can now be identified with a unique NAC.

The new two-layer map is emailed back to Cadastral Surveys, where it is fed into the GIS database. Further layers can then be added to indicate other relevant details such as the location of wells and rain gauges. The finished product is a wall map of the area showing all the surveyed property boundaries and their coordinates, which is displayed in government and UN agency offices for all to see.

The surveyors then return to the field and paint the NACs onto the concrete `boundary blocks' embedded in the ground. The NACs are stored in a `master' database maintained by Cadastral Surveys, and at the Ministry of Agriculture. The Ministry uses the database to update land sale and inheritance records and, crucially, to issue laminated land registration certificates and freehold title deeds to individual farmers. The Ministry may also decide to use the database to manage the tax records for each farm.

Cadastral Surveys has so far surveyed and assigned natural area codes to 3500 farms in Somaliland. Although Cadastral Surveys has been using GIS and the NAC system for less than a year, it has already seen a massive increase in its mapping productivity as the skills of local staff have improved. In the near future a new Institute of Land, Soil and Water Surveying will be established at the University of Hargeisa, where Somalis will be able to further develop their surveying and mapping skills. The current GIS maps will also be enhanced with additional topographical data and soil and water information, which will undoubtedly be of value in the future development of the region.

The NAC system has benefited the farmers of Somaliland in many ways, not least in resolving conflicts over land and helping rebuild communities. With the boundaries clearly indicated on a map, on ID cards and in concrete in the ground, their land is now a valuable legal asset that they can use as collateral for loans and may pass on to their children.

Somaliland's NAC mapping process begins with land surveys (top) and culminates in land ownership certificates (below). Photos: Cadastral Surveys

John Drysdale (email: john_drysdale@yahoo.com) is director of Somaliland Cadastral Surveys. For further information, visit www.nacgeo.com/nacsite

John Drysdale describes how natural area codes and a geographic information system (GIS) database are enabling farmers in Somaliland to gain legal title to their land.


BBC Monitoring International Reports, July 31, 2004/Source: Radio HornAfrik, Mogadishu, in Somali 0500 gmt 31 Jul 04

EFFORTS TO NEGOTIATE BETWEEN SOMALILAND, NEW SOMALI GOVERNMENT ON - DIPLOMAT

(Newscaster) A British diplomat in charge of Somali affairs, David Bell, has said plans are going on to prepare a meeting between the self-proclaimed Somaliland and the new Somali government expected to be formed at the Nairobi peace talks. For more details here is our reporter Abdirizak Barduro.

(Barduro) The UK diplomat told HornAfrik correspondent in London that Somaliland had made progress on peace and stability - a fact recognized by Somalis in South and the international community - although there is no single government that had granted recognition to the self-declared republic.

Bell, explaining the aim of the meeting between the two Somali sides said the objective was not to discuss about secession or unity but to make everlasting peace between both sides.

Bell, who had recently returned from Nairobi said in the coming weeks the process of nominating new members of parliament at the peace talks will be concluded, adding that his government will support the new Somali government and all efforts of reconciliation in Somalia.

The UN and the regional body IGAD (Inter-Governmental Authority on Development) have previously said they do not recognize the self-proclaimed Somaliland and explained that peace talks in Nairobi is for all Somali clans.


Source: www.regulateonline.org/2003/cairo/skouby.doc

A case study on Somaliland, in the framework of the WDR project

Author and affiliation: Knud Erik Skouby, professor, director of CTI. Skouby@cti.dtu.dk Reza Tadayoni, Assistant professor, CTI. Reza@cti.dtu.dk

Executive Summary

The report contains a case study of Somaliland, prepared in the framework of WDR program. The report maps the development of ICT in Somaliland and gives an analysis of potentials and barriers related to ICT development and investment.

Somaliland located in the north part of Somalia in East Africa is a small country with an area of 109,000 km2 and a population estimated to around 3 million. Fifty-five percent of the population is either nomadic or semi-nomadic, while 45% live in urban centers or rural towns. The ICT market in Somaliland is dominated by 5 telecom operators and a number of VSAT operators.

There is no telecom regulatory institution in Somaliland. There is, however, a weak political pressure for regulation; and there is a consensus among actors that it is desirable. The Somaliland telecom market can be characterized as a market with open competition, where there is no exclusive regulation and licensing procedures; only acceptance by ruling political forces is needed to enter the market.

Telecom operators in Somaliland have not agreed on rules for interconnection. Among the reasons for not interconnecting the problem of `trust' is seen as a dominant factor; the companies simply do not trust each other. The competition in the telecom market is `a negotiated competition'. All telecom operators cooperate in Somaliland Telecom Operators Association where they agree on prices and give information on this to the Ministry. Prices are uniform and adjusted according to inflation and the exchange rate to the US-dollar. The low prices for international calls may be seen as a combined result of real `competition'; low economic level/ development and no public intervention, i.e., no contribution to telecom development as in other developed countries.

As indicated in the report the economy of Somaliland is based mainly on export of livestock. ICT projects with the aim of implementing more efficient processes in the production, transport and export of livestock will have vital effects on the economy. Also the fishing industry that is under development will gain efficiency by implementing ICT solutions. Somaliland is one of the least developed countries in the world and the development of ICT, e.g., in the governmental institutions need that the international donor organizations give ICT development a high priority.

Without a substantial surplus in traditional sectors as agriculture and fishery it seems unlikely that the economy can develop to support a modern state. Further this seems to require the introduction of an ICT infrastructure and massive investment in development of education. These investments seem justified by the potentials, but Somaliland's indeterminate international status is a severe threat to realization of the potentials.


Source: Somaliland Net, Aug 01 2004

President Riyalle Appeals for Releasing of Somali Hostage

Hargeisa - President Riyalle has appealed for the release of the Somali driver Ali Ahmad Musa who worked for a Kuwaiti company which transported goods to US occupation troops in Iraq.

The President called on the Iraqi officials and tribal leaders to do their utmost to release his country man and other hostages.

Group calling itself the Tawhid and Jihad group said it seized Ali Ahmad Musa. In a video aired by Aljazeera, the group threatened to behead Musa within 48 hours unless the company withdrew from Iraq. It did not name the Kuwaiti company.

Thursday's warning comes a day after another Iraqi group killed two Pakistani captives who also worked for a Kuwaiti company.

Dozens of foreigners have been captured in Iraq. At least six have been executed while others have been released. Armed groups have increasingly targeted drivers and employees of foreign companies working in the country, accusing them of supporting the war.


Panafrican News Agency (PANA) Daily Newswire, July 29, 2004

SOMALILAND SUSPENDS RELIEF FLIGHTS

Mogadishu, Somalia (PANA) - Authorities in the self-declared Somaliland have suspended flights by European Commission Humanitarian Office (ECHO) planes over payment of landing and airport operational fees.

Sources told PANA Thursday the Somaliland authorities took the decision after ECHO refused to pay an undisclosed amount of United States dollars for its planes to land at Hargeisa airport.

Consequently, for two week the relief agency has not shuttled humanitarian aid workers, relief items and pouches to Somaliland, the sources said.

For several years, ECHO has been operating five daily flights to and from Somaliland, ferrying relief workers free of charge, mainly to and from the Kenya capital Nairobi to Hargeisa, capital of Somaliland, and others towns within Somaliland where aid agencies engage in humanitarian activities.

It also operated a twice-weekly cargo aircraft.

An official at the ECHO liaison office in Hargeisa, who requested anonymity, said the agency refused to heed the demands because the rules governing relief bodies forbids them from paying fees and taxes of such nature. "The fact is that we are not engaged in commercial activities, instead we are offering free flights to only humanitarian workers operating in Somaliland, who are helping the people," he said.

The official said the decision has left some aid workers stranded in Nairobi and field offices that are only accessible by planes.

Figures obtained from the Ministry of Planning shows 53 international aid agencies operate in Somaliland at various locations.

When contacted, the Director General of the Somaliland civil aviation department, Ahmed Mohammed Gulled, said discussions with representative of ECHO were underway to resolve the current stand-off.

Meanwhile, opposition figures in Somaliland have demanded the government to withdrew its demands and allow the resumption of the relief flights unconditionally.

In April this year, humanitarian activities were suspended for two months in Somaliland after unknown gunmen killed four aid workers within six months.

The foreign aid workers resumed work only after the government convinced the Somali Aid Co-ordination Board (SACB), a body in charge of aid workers operating in Somalia, that it would ensure


BBC Monitoring International Reports, July 26, 2004/Source: Qaran, Mogadishu, in Somali 26 Jul 04

SOMALILAND'S HARGEYSA AIRPORT HOLDING UP EU AIRCRAFT OVER UNPAID TAXES

An aircraft belonging to the European Union has been held up for more than ten days at the Hargeysa airport which is under the administration of Dahir Riyale Kahin of the self-proclaimedSomaliland. EU uses the aircraft for humanitarian activities. Reliable sources say that it being held up for economic reasons. Another aircraft belonging to the EU failed to pay airport taxes and fees. The airport administration decided to hold up this aircraft also belonging to EU.
BBC Monitoring International Reports, July 25, 2004/Source: The Somaliland Times web site, Hargeysa, in English 5 Jul 04

SOMALILAND PAPER EDITORIAL URGES EU TO RECOGNIZE SOMALILAND AS SEPARATE STATE

Text of editorial in English entitled "The EU should recognize Somaliland and Somalia as two separate countries" published by Somali newspaper The Somaliland Times web site on 5 July

The European Union has been playing an important and useful role in Somalia's peacemaking process that began in Kenya in October 2002. As the major contributor of funds required for running Somalia's reconciliation conference under way at Mbagathi, Nairobi, for the last one year and eight months, the EU's help has been instrumental in keeping the talks alive.

On many occasions when bitter wrangling had put the talks in jeopardy, the EU came forward to help the IGAD (Inter-Governmental Authority on Development) mediators resolve disagreements by engaging Somali parties in dialogue with the aim of reaching consensus. And with the Kenyan hosted talks on Somalia already in the final stage, the EU is said to be seriously thinking of providing substantial support for the government to emerge from the process. EU recognition of the new government to be installed for Somalia is also most likely to happen once the talks are brought to a successful end.

If the past reconciliation conferences are any guide, the person who is selected as president of Somalia will then start claiming jurisdiction over Somaliland. Arab governments, such as Egypt, Libya and Saudi Arabia, are likely to provide money and arms to the former Italian colony of Somalia. Somaliland will most probably react by first retaking Laascaanood, then engaging in a military build-up along the border with Somalia to get ready for an inevitable showdown with Italian Somalia. Such a dreadful scenario can only be avoided if the EU and IGAD address Somaliland's security concerns by inserting safeguards in the peace process that ensure Somaliland's sovereignty.

The EU as the only major external power player in the Mbagathi talks should publicly indicate its opposition to any claims of jurisdiction by any future government in Somalia over Somaliland. The EU and IGAD countries should also bear in mind that granting an immediate diplomatic recognition to the government anticipated to emerge from Mbagathi while withholding the same from Somaliland, would destroy any possibility for negotiations between the two countries on the status of their future relations.

It will be tragic indeed, if the EU, while trying to help resolve the conflicts in Somalia, actually ended up sowing the seeds of another deadlier conflict. The current Mbagathi talks provide a chance for the EU and IGAD to take a clear stand that recognizes Somaliland and Somalia as two separate sovereign countries. By recognizing Somalia and Somaliland as two sovereign nations, the international community would have helped in solving the current conflicts in Somalia and laid the basis for a peaceful future in the region.


allafrica.com/stories/200407230882.htmlSource: Addis Tribune (Addis Ababa) July 23, 2004

At the Crossroads of Failure

Ahmed Ali Ibrahim

The protracted and often acrimonious proceedings of the 14th Somali peace and reconciliation conference at Embagathi, Kenya, is finally winding down to its eventual fait accompli. Twenty months into the making, the stark reality facing Walaweynian Somalis is another failed attempt at peace- making - not any different than the thirteen previous conferences. The international community and the regional governments provided both the moral and material support to bring back some semblance of human civility to the chaos of Walaweynian Somalia. Unfortunately, the parties to the conflict do not have the ethical and moral integrity and/or the credibility to engage themselves in a genuine and sincere dialogue to settle their dispute at the negotiating table. The failure of all these never-ending conferences are basically the culture of the society. It is a culture that rejects any sense of responsibility for its behaviour. The irony is this: The architects who engineered the demise of the old Somalia are negotiating to resurrect a new nation from the ashes of the old one!

The Aftermath of Arta Fiasco

The undeclared agenda of the Arta peace conference of 2000 was based on a rather erroneous political gamble based on the premise that if the Hawiye, according to Salad Qassim's contention, are granted the position of life-time presidency, the rest of the Somali clans will immediately fall in line and the Somali conflict will be over within months. Of course, that was a very naive and short-sighted miscalculation by the new elder statesman of the region. Four years later, Salad Qassim has proven himself to be a character of no credibility with his own Hawiye clan.

The rest of Southern community withheld their support and collaboration with Qassim's made in Djibouti transitional national government. That is why Qassim's administration is confined to mere 1km by 1.235km area in north Mogadiscio. This boils down to the fact that the man lacks the basic credentials to run a modern nation state.

The Prelude to the 15th Peace Convention

To shore up the sagging fortunes of the Embagathi convention, Abdulrezak Haji Hussein and his sidekick offered the former of the Somali National Movement the presidency of upcoming Somali state. The objective was to create suspicion, uncertainty, and chaos in Somaliland.Once that attempt has backfired, the former Prime Minister has set his real intentions in motion. In a recent article, Abdulrezak wrote, " The Darood and the Hawiye clans should relinquish the position of the presidency and the office of the prime minister in favour of other clans." On the surface, it is a categorical admission that the root cause of the current quagmire in Southern Somalia, as well as the ultimate failure of the Somali state, has been mainly due to the irreconcilable and always antagonistic political ambitions of the said two communities. A coronation of sorts, shall we say, for some at the twilight of his political dreams and a point for political pundits and historians to ponder for years to come.

However, the flipside of the ex-prime minister's statement is a carefully well-timed prelude to a much sinister and a farreaching hidden agenda. The corollary to Abdulrezak's article is this: Tthe rivalary between our two communities has failed to accomodate each other; let us entice the Isaq group to act as bulwark between us; let us explore this option for the last time."

This article has definitely refocused the disarrayed and hapless Somali pseudo-politicians. It surely has revitalised the moribund quasi-intellectual communities with an unprecedented sense of duty and responsibility to the suffering of the Somali people. This new-found dose of latent energy is reawakening the hypernating Greater Somalia dream. The hordes of people heading for Mogadiscio these days is a direct response to this bold new intitiative from the former prime minister. The message has really struck a raw nerve.

To evade and avoid the suspicion and wrath of the regional neighpors, this new masquerade is camouflaged and billed as the beginning of a new construtive dialogue initially between Somaliland and Somalia. This process will be eventually expanded delegates from the Northern Frontier District of Kenya, the Eastern Hararghe region of Ethiopia, and Djibouti. The Arab League ( via the Egyptian government) is the financial backer of this new radical initiative. This idea has been circulating around for a while. Now, it is gaining urgency as well as momentum simultaneously and it is intended to break the cycle of missed opportunities.

The aim and the sole objective of this new dispensation is to short-circuit Somaliland's rendezvous with its manifest destiny: the destiny to chart our own course regardless of the wishfull dreams of our southern neighbours.Walaweynian Somalis will go to any extreme to blame their incompetence on the absence of Somaliland from the negotiating table. To our walaweynian neighbours to the south i shall say: the drumbeat of the sanctity of somali unity is resonating periodically across the landscape. for those of you who are still looking for the holy grail or king solomon's ring,the search is gradually winding down to empty handedness on both counts. this is what you have to reckon with:

Why did the Somali state fail in the first place? Who is responsible for this failure? Siad Barre alone is not the culprit. Those who promoted him to become the commander-in-chief of the armed forces and later encouraged him to overthrow the civilian government, are equally responsible as well. Copyright c 2004 Addis Tribune. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com).


Panafrican News Agency (PANA) Daily Newswire, July 22, 2004

SOMALILAND BANS CIVIL SOCIETY ACTIVITIES

Mogadishu, Somalia (PANA) - Somaliland has banned all local and international organizations from engaging in civil society activities and political debates, Interior Minister Ismail Adan Osman affirmed here.

Consequently, the government ordered hundreds of policemen on Wednesday to forcibly cancel public meetings in two towns in Somaliland.

Osman used a press conference to bar the two planned rallies and banned all future rallies, meetings and political debates by international and local NGOs related to the ongoing Somali peace talks in Nairobi.

But civil society organizations, intellectuals and leaders of opposition party in Somaliland have bitterly criticised the government action.

Somaliland President Rayyale Kahin approved the ban in an official press release issued here Wednesday.

In the recent past, several civil society organisations in Somaliland have actively discussed the on-going Somali peace talks in Nairobi and the likely effect the formation of a Somali Government could have on Somaliland.

The peace talks which has been organised by IGAD and sponsored by the international community has entered its final phase with most people expecting the formation of a central government by the end of this July.

The Authority in Somaliland has never participated in the two- year-old peace talks or accorded it the attention it deserves.

Initially, organizations dealing with civil society activities in Somaliland were mostly engaged in issues of advocacy, awareness creation on child and women rights, voters' education and anti- female genital mutilation activities (FGM), among others.

But, for the past month-and-a-half, most organizations have dedicated a big portion of their time to the ongoing peace talks expected to end this month.

The Director of the local NGO Center for Creative Solutions, Hussein Mohamed Bulhan has described the move as "autocratic, high-handed and exploitative".

"In our role as civil society organizations, we are duty bound to make sure the people of Somaliland are aware of what would happen to them if a decision against them is taken. And we want to prepare them for any eventuality that will come from the talks" Bulhan told PANA Thursday.

The officials of civil society organisations share the sentiments of Bulhan, saying recognition for Somaliland were slim going by the current indicators from the international community.

Opposition leaders described the move as "denying the citizens their basic human rights".

The Center for Creative Solutions has been holding night sessions and debates in Hargeisa dubbed Aawa Akli Ken (tonight bring a solution) to sensitise and prepare the citizens as well as solicit their views about their country.


BBC Monitoring International Reports, July 21, 2004/Source: Jamhuuriya web site, Hargeysa, in Somali 19 Jul 04

SOMALILAND OPPOSITION OFFICIAL HITS AT BBC SOMALI SERVICE CHIEF

At a news conference held yesterday, the chairman of opposition UCID (Justice and Welfare) party in Somaliland (Faysal Ali Warabe) talked of a couple of issues, including the Jaziira killings (in the late 1970s). He also commented on the meeting to be held on Wednesday (21 July) in Burco and blamed the BBC Somali Service. (Passage omitted).

(Warabe) The other issue that I want to comment on concerns the BBC Somali Service. Yusuf Garad (head of the Somali Service) has abandoned rules and regulations of journalism. I do not want Yusuf Garad to use British facilities and power to destroy Somaliland. If he wants to side with his cousin Abdiqasim (Salad Hasan, interim government president) while at the BBC, he has already created a different station for himself funded with British money.

We (Somaliland) have people, a government and friends. We are saying Yusuf Garad has clearly showed an inclination to use British funds to destroy our people by denying a platform to anyone with positive views on Somaliland. We have spoken to the BBC and the government (presumably British government) over the issue. We have told the people to boycott Yusuf Garad's station and to put off their radios whenever it starts airing its programmes.

We also know that Somaliland people working in the BBC were fired and fined for holding views consistent with Somaliland. We are aware of a project being implemented in Somaliland in which residents have collaborated with Yusuf Garad. We are saying this project through which Garad is soliciting lots of funds, is illegal and has to stop. He is using individuals in Somaliland as puppets. (Passage omitted)


BBC Monitoring International Reports, July 20, 2004/Source: Qaran, Mogadishu, in Somali 20 Jul 04

SOMALILAND OPPOSITION LEADER "INSISTS" ON ATTENDING BANNED PEACE TALKS MEETING

The chairman of the (opposition) UCID (Justice and Welfare) Party in Somaliland, Faysal Ali Warabe, has insisted that he will attend a meeting to be held in Burco town this morning. Authorities of the self-proclaimed Somaliland have banned the meeting organized by a group called Council of Intellectuals for Peace and Development. In the meeting, participants will discuss ways in which Somaliland would deal with the outcome of the ongoing Somali peace talks in Nairobi, Kenya. Warabe has said that he had been invited to the meeting although it is against the government's will to hold it. He also said that he would support the results of the meeting if it was in the interest of Somaliland.
BBC Monitoring International Reports, July 18, 2004/Source: Radio Shabeelle, Mogadishu in Somali 0500 gmt 18 Jul 04

SOMALILAND OPPOSITION PARTY URGES DEMO AGAINST NAIROBI PEACE TALKS ON 24 JULY

The Somaliland opposition party, Kulmiye, has appealed to all Somaliland nationals in districts and regions to hold demonstrations against the Nairobi Somali peace talks next Saturday (24 July). For more details here is our reporter Abdi Muhammad Isma'il:

(Isma'il) A statement issued last night by Kulmiye opposition party said that all Somaliland nationals were requested to express their opposition to the scheduled Somali peace talks in Nairobi, and to oppose any results which may come from the talks, adding that the outcome of the meeting concerns the southern part of Somalia only.

The opposition Kulmiye party statement comes after the UN envoy to Somalia, Winston Tubman, said that the third phase of Somali peace talks was for all Somali clans including those in Somaliland, adding that UN does not recognize any current administrative set up in any part of Somalia.

The secretary-general of the party, Daud Muhammad Gelleh, signed the statement on behalf of the party.

The statement further added that Kulmiye party has several times warned against Somali peace talks in Nairobi saying that the outcome of the talks was likely to affect the unity and the existence of Somaliland Republic.

The party has appealed to the international community and Somali delegates in Nairobi to understand that the peace talks in Nairobi cannot decide the future of Somaliland Republic.


Source: www.delken.cec.eu.int/en/publications/News%20Letter%20Integrated%20unescounicef%20-%20SQOSES.pdf

SQOSES Newsletter

Welcome to Edition 3 of the SQOSES Newsletter. EC - UNESCO collaboration

One of the many projects through which EC supports the Somali people is the Strengthening Quality of the Somali Education System (SQOSES) Intervention. UNICEF and UNESCO are the implementing partners in this project.

An update on SQOSES project activities

Activities are gaining momentum following logistical difficulties and an increase in insecurity throughout Somalia over the last six months.

The UNESCO component of SQOSES provides the new textbooks for Grade 5 and 6 and supplementary readers to schools in Somalia. It further provides for the in service training of teachers in the use of the new textbooks, the conducting of Grade 8 examinations, and strengthening of services to the Somaliland Teacher Education College (STEC).

Distribution of Grade 5 textbooks

The Grade 5 textbooks of Somalia/Somaliland have been distributed and teachers and pupils have access to better learning resources at the Grade 5 level.

In-service teacher training

In order to ensure that the new learning materials for Grades 5 and 6 are better utilized in the teaching process, workshops for the Training of Trainers (TOT) in preparation for the teacher in service training in Grade 5 and 6 subjects were successfully conducted. The Bossaso TOT was conducted in March and in Hargeisa in April and May 2004. In addition, a series of further in-service workshops are scheduled during the school holidays (June-August 04) targeting over 3000 upper primary teachers.

Supplementary readers

A total of 6 readers were printed by UNESCO and have been freighted to Hargeisa, Garoe and Mogadishu from where they will be distributed along with the Grade 6 textbooks in July 2004 and integrated into the in-servicing workshops.

Grade 8 examinations

UNESCO provided financial support and technical assistance in the form of training workshops and capacity building for the preparation of the Grade 8 examinations in Somaliland, Puntland and Central-South Somalia to be held in June 2004.

UNESCO supported the Ministries of Education on the advertisements to campaign for a more general participation of Grade 8 leavers in the national Grade 8 examinations. The adverts would be announced through the mass media in Somaliland and Puntland. SACB members were also asked to encourage Grade 8 students in the schools they support to register for the common Somalia Certificate of Primary Education Examinations.

The Ministries of Education of Puntland and Somaliland each allocated premises for examination centres. Contractors were identified for their rehabilitation which will be supported by UNESCO.

The Somaliland Teacher Education College (STEC) UNESCO supplied library resources and laboratory equipment to the Somaliland Teacher Education College and continued to support the administration and management of the college.

The Grade 6 - 8 textbooks

The pre-press work on the Grade 6 textbooks was completed and the texts are now with the printers. Meanwhile, with DFID (UK's Department for International Development) funding, preparations are made for the finalisation of the Grade 7 and 8 textbooks in two editions.

Strengthening Quality of the Somali Education System (SQOSES) April 2004, No. 3

Textbook Provision Policy

Data gathering has concluded for a study designed to provide the basis for the evolution of a Textbook Provision Policy for Somalia. The study, conducted by International Book Development (IBD), sampled a broad range of stakeholders in education including the local education authorities, parents, booksellers, printers and publishers. The output will be a textbook provision policy for Somalia which will help in identifying roles, responsibilities and capacities of different stakeholders in the sustainable production and distribution of textbooks for teaching and learning.

A stakeholder workshop on the outcome of the study is planned for July. Key decisions on the way forward for textbook and other learning material production will follow the workshop. Revamping Education Management Information System (EMIS) During the second quarter of the year, UNICEF completed a revision of EMIS tools.

The modified tools contain information relevant at the school level and have been made so that they are easier to use. For instance, the revised tools have simpler methods of tracking pupil movement and gauging enrollment, daily attendance, retention and pass rates to higher grades. They also contain a section on teacher data which will assist in knowing the number, qualification, location and movement of teachers. The revised tools and accompanying mock-ups have been presented to all partners and authorities for their suggestions and comments and are now ready for printing.

Annual School Survey

UNICEF also conducted the annual school survey during the quarter which involved a number of phases involving training of the enumerators, support to data collection in the field, and collation and analysis of the collected data in Nairobi. Data analysis has been completed that the survey report is being prepared for distribution. This year, for the first time, information on teachers' names, qualifications, level of experience and location was collected in the Northwest and Northeast Zones. This information will form the basis of a Teacher Registration system in these areas.

The survey was completed in all operational schools in the Northeast and Northwest Zones. In the Central and Southern Zone, data collection was completed in all operational schools except in Lower Juba and Jillib, where data collection activities were hindered by insecurity. The annual survey is instrumental in allowing education agencies to gather and maintain reliable education data to ensure appropriate planning and implementation. In addition, the preparatory processes leading to the conduct of the survey provided opportunities to build the data gathering and management capacities of educational functionaries throughout Somalia.

Support to Educational Development Centres (EDCs) in Hargeisa and Bossaso

Educational Development Centres serve as resource centres for both teachers and learners and play a major role in improving the overall quality of education. During the quarter, the EDCs in the Northeast and Northwest Zones were provided with basic support items in order to improve their capacity in vital teaching-learning support functions. Items supplied to the two centres in Bossaso and Hargeisa included furniture, shelves, photocopiers, toners, drums and stationery. Toilets were also constructed for the EDC in Hargeisa. With these in place, the EDCs are now more equipped to support educational functionaries, particularly, the school mentors, who will then in turn provide support and guidance to classroom teachers. The EDCs are now also more able to serve as venues for meetings and training workshops in their respective zones.

Mentoring support to teachers

Twenty school mentors from the Northwest Zone, 12 from the Northeast and 28 from the Central and Southern Zone continued working in 212 pilot schools with 1751 teachers during the reporting period. Reports have been positive from monitoring visits by the zonal SQOSES in-service co-coordinators and UNICEF Project Officers using monitoring tools specifically developed for the pilot schools. Among the positive feedback, reporting indicate that teachers are increasingly adopting more participatory methodologies in their classrooms. These reports also indicate that textbooks distributed through the SQOSES project are being productively used in classroom interactions and that learners are adopting more process oriented approaches in solving problems. (See attached story) "It all adds up well - report from a visit to a SQOSES project" I took the opportunity of visits to Horsed and Kulmis schools in Johwar which I monitored during this month of February to take some photographs of actual classroom interactions.

I was excited to see a female pupil concretely explaining subtraction of a one-digit number from two digit numbers using the take away method. She subtracted 5 from 12 without "carrying" from the ones. The girl skillfully did the subtraction using a bundle of 10 sticks and two separate sticks to represent the number 12. First, she put away the two sticks and then untied the bundle of ten and further took away three sticks and placed these together with the two sticks. She then counted the remaining sticks in her hand and then shouted "seven stick are in my hand". The photograph captures the girl as she solves this problem.

The girl is in grade one at Horsed Primary School in Jowhar. In the other attachment, the teacher has set a task to the pupils and is walking round the class as the pupils are doing the exercise and providing guidance to pupils. Pupils are clearly learning, and the different SQOSES project activities are thus adding up well.


Panafrican News Agency (PANA) Daily Newswire July 16, 2004/ Source: Radio Shabeelle, Mogadishu in Somali 0500 gmt 18 Jul 04

REGISTRATION OF HOUSES BEGINS IN SOMALILAND CAPITAL

Mogadishu, Somalia (PANA) - A six-month project took-off Friday to register houses, buildings and undeveloped lands in Hargeisa, capital of the self-proclaimed and hitherto unrecognisedSomaliland.

According to Hargeisa's mayor, Engineer Hussein Mohamud Jiir, the objective of the exercise is to introduce a master plan for the town, the first of its kind in the breakaway former region of Somalia.

Hargeisa municipal council and a local NGO will implement the project jointly funded by the Nairobi-based UN-Habitat and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Jiir explained.

Satellite pictures and a research conducted in November last year will be used to improve efficiency in the said registration process, he added.

The target of the exercise is to obtain a precise data on each household, buildings and undeveloped lands in the township with an 75,000 residents.

It will enable Hergeisa municipal officials to know the number of households with electricity, telephones and running water among others.

At the end of the registration in January 2005, each household and buildings will get official registration certificates and while roads will also be named. It is also expected to improve Hargeisa municipal's revenue collection and streamline its services to cope with increasing demand.

For the past 15 years, half major towns in Somaliland including Hargeisa never received any kind of support or a facelift from external organisations.

Their infrastructure was completely ruining during the clan-based civil war that erupted in Somalia during the late 1980s when virtually all records and documentation were either looted or destroyed.

Killings related to land disputes are increasing in the unrecognised Somaliland because some people are forced to use violence to protect their rights or getting them back.

A policeman was killed recently in Hargeisa as he mediated between two families over a disputed piece of land.


BBC Monitoring International Reports, July 15, 2004/Source: Radio Shabeelle, Mogadishu in Somali 0500 gmt 15 Jul 04

SOMALILAND THREATENS TO ATTACK PUNTLAND OVER DISPUTED REGIONS

(Presenter) The administration of the self-declared Somaliland has warned the regional administration of Puntland, threatening to attack if it does not withdraw from the disputed Sool and Sanaag regions (northern Somalia) within this week. For more details, here is our reporter Abdi Muhammad Ismail.

(Ismail) Somaliland Rural Development Minister Fuad Adan Ade has told Shabeelle Radio that the period to keep silent is over and from now onwards Somaliland will attack Puntland.

He said Somaliland forces are ready to seize the disputed Sool and Sanaag regions, which the two sides, Puntland and Somaliland, are disputing over its ownership.

(Fuad Adan): No more silence, Puntland must be attacked. We spoke to them in all ways, but there is nothing else remaining except bullets.

Puntland authority has not yet responded to Somaliland's threat. Puntland is now faced with rift between its top officials.


Source: Food Security Assessment Unit, Date: 14 Jul 2004

Food Security Report

REGIONAL HIGHLIGHTS

Awdal and Northwest

Northwest and Awdal Regions received sufficient Gu rains and the situation is generally normal there. June rainfall amounts were good and livestock body condition is considered normal. Significant number of Somali families newly arrived from Europe, North America, and the Gulf countries in Hargeisa, Borama, and Gabiley towns. Positive spillover effects on the local economies through increased expenditures.

Sool Plateau

Poor Gu' rains have adversely affected livestock production and reproduction rates. Field reports indicate that herders are migrating to the Hawd pastoral areas for pasture and water. Deteriorating terms of trade for pastoralists due to a combination of factors, including: excess supply of small stock to the market; rising demand for cereals due to declining animal production; and seasonal closure of ports, such as Bossaso, because of difficulties associated with high tides Abnormal influx of livestock from Garissa District of Kenya to Badhadhe is increasing pressure on local communities and depleting available resources. Pasture conditions in Badhadhe are relatively better than in Garissa.


BBC Worldwide Monitoring, July 14, 2004/SOURCE: Somali Broadcasting Corporation radio, Boosaaso, in Somali 1000 gmt 14 Jul 04

Two Somaliland ministers call for military action in disputed region

Two Somaliland ministers, who both hail from the Sool Region, have called for military action in the Sool Region - a disputed area claimed by both Somaliland and the Puntland administration.

The two ministers said it was the right time to resolve the problem of the disputed region through military action.

Somaliland's state minister for resettlement, Yasin Mahmud, who spoke to the independent Somaliland newspaper, Jamhuuriya on 11 July said the time was ripe to resolve the Sool problem through direct military intervention.

The minister urged the Somaliland government to seize the opportunity for military intervention occasioned by what he described as the current political disorder that is prevailing in within the Puntland administration.

Somaliland's minister for livestock development, Fuad Adan Ade, who also spoke to Jamhuuriya newspaper today, said he could not understand why the Sool Region could not be liberated once and for all.

The minister called on the Somaliland government to take action in Sool Region.

Inhabitants of Somaliland have expressed mixed views about the statements of the two ministers. Some Somaliland citizens are against the two ministers' call for military action in Sool Region, while others are fully supporting the call.


Source: www.fews.net/resources/gcontent/pdf/1000467.pdf

Somalia: Nutrition Update

First Published: July 14, 2004 SOOL PLATEAU NUTIRITON SURVEY - Preliminary results The Sool Plateau food economy zone (FEZ)

The plateau stretches across the Sool, Sanaag and Bari regions of Northern Somalia. The Sool Plateau of Sool and Sanaag regions form the largest part of the plateau with a population estimate of 69,550 (WHO population estimates, revised in June 2004 by survey team). Pastoral livelihood is practiced with shoats and camels being the dominant animal species. The plateau has experienced more than four years of a chronic drought that led to severe pasture depletion, cumulative degradation of rangeland with little potential for recovery and regeneration and water scarcity. All these culminated in massive livestock deaths including pack camels towards the end of the year 2003. This negatively affected the migration options for poor and middle pastoral groups. Overall it is estimated that the pastoralists have lost large herds of livestock, about 50% of the shoats and 60-70% camels.1 Nutrition and food security data from the area have persistently shown a poor situation in well being of the population.

A nutrition survey and an inter-agency assessment were conducted in May/June 20032 and in October 2003 respectively. This led to commencement of various interventions3 in December 2003 (January 2004, February 2004 and April 2004 Nutrition Updates, summary of interventions within Sool Plateau). During these interventions, nutritional screening of children has been undertaken using weight for height, revealing high levels of malnutrition. Since December 2003 FSAU has undertaken three rounds of sentinel sites data collection in the Sool Plateau of Sool and Sanaag regions which has revealed a gradual improvement in the under fives nutritional status from around 19% to 15% of those screened. In contrast, the nutrition status for mothers was seen to deteriorate (May 2004 Nutrition Update).

Between 29th May and 8th June 2004 a nutrition survey was conducted by FSAU, UNICEF, MOHL and SRCS to determine changes in nutritional status and establish the influencing factors since the last survey in May 2003. Using a two-stage (30x30) cluster sampling methodology, a total of 901 children aged 6-59 months and measuring 65-110 cm in height/ length were surveyed. The children came from 457 randomly selected households. A high proportion (about 32%) of the households was female headed while the rest were male headed. Preliminary results indicate a global acute malnutrition rate (W/ H <-2 Z score or oedema) of 13.7 % compared to 12.5 % recorded in May 2003 survey. Severe acute malnutrition was 3.1% compared to 1.8 % in 2003 with oedema cases having increased from 5 to 12 cases.

The under five mortality rate also increased from 1.9 deaths/10,000/day in 2003 to 2.89 deaths/10,000/day. Crude mortality rate was 0.88 deaths/10,000/day compared to 0.86 deaths/ 10,000/day in 2003. A total of 11.2% of the mothers were malnourished (MUAC <21 cm). This indicates a poor nutrition situation among mothers though not directly comparable to past sentinel sites data. The summary of the results is as detailed in the table.

The difference in the levels of global acute malnutrition in both surveys is not statistically significant although the rates remain higher than those seen in similar communities in the country. The increase in under five mortality rate to the alert level further reveals a poor situation in the plateau. The malnutrition rates by sex were statistically significant with more girls (18.1%) being malnourished than boys (p<0.05); a factor that will require further investigation. Measles and diarrhoea incidences were relatively high, 8 % and 17.8% respectively. The results indicate a strong relationship between malnutrition and malaria and diarrhoeal diseases.

Though relatively low, there was an improvement in the coverage of Vitamin A supplementation and measles vaccination.

Child feeding practices were found to be sub-optimal among children aged 6-24 months. Among children of breast feeding age, the proportion still breastfeeding reduced from 61% in the previous survey to 31%. This can be attributed to the high demand of women's time, leaving children for long hours as they engage in casual employment and search for loans to buy food. Additionally, mothers are opting not to breastfeed their children due to lack of enough foods to feed themselves too as was noted in the focus group discussions.

A high proportion (93.1%) of the children aged between 6 and 24 months were introduced to foods other than breast milk very early in life between 0-3 months. The results further indicate reduction on frequency of feeding of children. The proportion of children feeding few times per day between 1-2 times increased by more than half from about 17% in 2003 to 42%. At the same time the proportion of children feeding more than 4 times reduced, only about 7% of the children were feeding more than 4 times per day compared to 27% in 2003. About two thirds of the people were obtaining water from unprotected wells/spring. Qualitative information from focus group discussions, key informant interviews and food security information indicate that the household level coping mechanisms have been overstretched and people are resulting in extreme coping strategies; for example significantly reducing the amount of food consumed and frequency of meals.

Further analysis of the results is currently underway.


Ethiopia: Food Trucks Attacked As Drought, Insecurity Hit Somali Region

Source: UN Integrated Regional Information Networks, July 13, 2004

Addis Ababa: Eleven food trucks have been attacked and burnt in the Somali region of eastern Ethiopia over the past two months, officials told IRIN on Tuesday. Aid workers operating in the area said the latest incident took place 12 days ago.

"The region is walking on a knife edge," Abdul Karim, who heads the charity Hope for the Horn, told IRIN. He said drought coupled with security issues could be devastating. "There is a very severe drought," he explained, adding that four areas - Warder, Gashamo, Aware and Geladi - had been particularly hard hit. "There was sporadic rainfall, and people came from all around, but that rain had little impact because the area was overgrazed. The water was also used very quickly. There are fodder shortages and cattle dying like flies. It is a very serious situation in that area," he added.

Concern is mounting that if attacks continue, relief efforts in the region might be obstructed. Ibrahim Isma'il of the 29-member elders' council, an advisory group to the regional state government in Jijiga, told IRIN that tensions were high. The 53-year-old Ibrahim, who comes from Gashamo District, sits in the regional parliament and advises the federal affairs ministry in the capital, Addis Ababa, said the situation was deteriorating. The elders' council, representing all the clan groups and districts in the Somali National Regional State, was set up five years ago. Councillors' salaries are paid by the government.

"There is tension over pasture and access rights," Ibrahim told IRIN by phone from Jijiga, 700 km east of Addis Ababa. "It is very tense. The people from my district are facing severe drought, but in the neighbouring district there has been rain. But armed men are turning them [people from his district] back."

The truck burnings were blamed on bitter rivalry between the Isaq and Ogaden clans, he added.

Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has expressed concern over the situation in the Somali region. He told parliament on 9 July that he would "take whatever measures are necessary under the law" to resolve any instability that emerged there.

"There have been a whole spate of burnings of Somaliland trucks," one aid official working in the area told IRIN. [Somaliland is a self-declared republic in northern Somalia.] "It is a very serious issue here, because people are badly affected by the drought and need support."

The Somali region has also been ravaged by conflict. Its dust-bowl conditions [annual rainfall is one of the lowest in Ethiopia] have wreaked havoc on the population. Its porous 1,600-km border with war-ravaged Somalia has seen tens of thousands of refugees flood into Ethiopia to escape the decade-long fighting. About 85 percent of the region's 3.4 million people [official figure] are nomadic pastoralists whose livelihood depends entirely on their livestock, much of which was lost during a 2000 drought, in which an estimated 50,000 lives were lost.

According to the US government-funded Famine Early Warning System (FEWS), the region, one of Ethiopia's largest, is suffering from "large, long-term moisture deficits". FEWS says drought is expected to persist since the next rains are not expected until October.


Somaliland Times, Issue 129 July 12-18, 2004

President Rayale Reminds The International Community Not To Help Southern Warlords Resurrect The 1960 Union

Hargeisa, July 10, 2004 (SL Times) - Somaliland President Dahir Rayale Kahin reiterated on Tuesday that his country will not be bound by any outcome of the on-going Somalia peace talks in Kenya that interferes with Somaliland's independence.

President Rayale appealed to the international community not to lend support to what he termed as the quest by southern warlords for the resurrection of the 1960 Union between Somaliland and Somalia. Instead, Rayale proposed a two state solution according to which both Somaliland and Somalia would be recognized as two separate sovereign countries.

President Rayale's comments came in a press statement released on Tuesday. A full text of the press release is as follows:

"Of late, different segments of the Somaliland society, the political parties, the traditional leaders and the people at large, have shown concern of varying degrees, with regard to the outcome of the IGAD sponsored Somali Peace and Reconciliation Conference, currently being held at Embagathi, Nairobi.

Somaliland has been successful in establishing peace, security and political democratization. Nevertheless the international community, has all along been on parallel footing, busy holding peace and reconciliation conferences, for the Somalis, in neighboring countries, with the sole aim and intention of forming a central government for the defunct Somali Republic. All these conferences held for the warlords and their followers, had the same fate. They ended in failure.

Though invited by the international community, Somaliland has always refused to participate in those peace and reconciliation conferences, held for the warring factions in the South or Somalia.

We have always enunciated our position to the international Community: "That Somaliland has re-proclaimed its sovereignty and independence, at the Burao Grand Conference, held in 18 May 1991. Through this grand conference, Somaliland withdrew from the 1960 union with Somalia (former Italian Somalia), a union that has always been a failure.

Somaliland, noted with satisfaction, numerous pronouncements from the international community, stating the current conference being held in Kenya, is solely to reconcile the southern warring factions to be followed by the formation of a government for Somalia, that would then enter into dialogue with Somaliland.

This stand taken by the international community came through strenuous and unremitting diplomatic efforts by Somaliland's government to convince IGAD, AU, UN, EU and the United States; that Somaliland and Somalia are two separate states, with internationally recognized boundaries, inherited form their British and Italian Colonial administrations.

Somaliland's independence is based on its right to self-determination, as enshrined in the AU and the United Nations Charter. The independence of Somaliland, was subsequently endorsed by its own people, through the referendum on the constitution, in which 97 % of the voters, voted YES for independence and the new constitution. International observers from Europe, the United States, and South Africa, have termed the referendum, fair and free.

We appeal to IGAD, AU, EU and the UN and the international Community at large, to refrain from extending any support to the warring factions attending the conference, in their quest to resurrect the former defunct union, which is beyond resurrection. The Union died a natural death in May 991.

The international community is to be fore-warned, that any attempt to resurrect the former Somali Union, would only trigger a new cycle of armed confrontation and civil war, that would engulf the entire Horn of Africa region.

The government and people of Somaliland believe that the outcome and resolution of this conference should be that we are two separate states, Somaliland and Somalia, that would live in peace and in good neighborliness with each other and with the other states in the region.

IGAD member states and the international community would bear full responsibility for any outcome, different from the separate two states solution, which might lead to future strife and conflict that could hurriedly turn into uncontrollable calamities.

Finally, Somaliland would only have dialogue with Somalia, when they put in place, a president and government elected by the people of Somalia. We would not enter into any dialogue, with re-cycled warlords and the likes of the TNG president that do not enjoy the goodwill, support and mandate of their own people.


No One Held Accountable For My Brother's Death While In Prison Custody," Adel A. F. Jome

Hargeisa, July 10, 2004 (SL Times) - Adnan Abdi Farah Jome died during the late hours of June 11, 2004 while in custody at Berbera central prison. Initial medical reports cited a heart attack as the cause of his death. But there is new information that Adnan complained during the last 3 days before his death of a severe cardiac problem. He was kept in a small cell with at least another twenty inmates in the Berbera prison.

According to inmates, the prison wards refused to allow Adnan seek medical help for his condition. "He kept saying I need some air but the place was too hot," said one inmate.

Temperatures reach as high as 49 degrees centigrade in Berbera during the month of June.

Adel Abdi Farah Jome, the elder brother of the deceased is very much upset with how the authorities handled the case.

"Can you imagine that no one has been held accountable for my brother's death while in prison custody," Adnan said.

Adel is blaming inhuman prison conditions and extra-legal practices by law enforcement agencies as the cause of his brother's death.

"Adnan's human rights have been violated and our family members will not rest until the authorities held somebody accountable for my brother's imprisonment in the first place as well as the ill-treatment he received while in custody," the beveared brother vowed.

Adnan was arrested by Berbera police in early June and then sent to jail. It was not known why he was detained as no charges were brought against him.

Adel criticized the government for encouraging lawlessness by subjecting citizens to rules dating back to previous repressive governments.

Two other men arrested with Adnan have now been transferred from Berbera to Hargeisa Central Prison. They haven't been charged yet. Adel suspects that they might have been tried by an arbitrary Security Court. "The government should dismantle the Security Commissions System that summarily tries people in breach of the constitution," Adel Abdi Farah Jome added.


Obituary Of Lieutenant-Colonel Walter Brown:

Officer Who Won An MC In Italy After Earlier Withstanding A Fierce Cavalry Charge By Native Troops In Abyssinia

Europe Intelligence Wire, July 6, 2004

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL WALTER BROWN, who has died aged 90, won an MC in the Italian campaign, and subsequently held an independent command covering a huge area of East Africa.

At the end of August 1944, after completing considerable engineering work on roads and bridges destroyed by the retreating Germans, the Eighth Army attacked the German positions. This assault carried them through the Gothic Line, and by early September it was fighting for Rimini on the Adriatic coast.

On September 21 1944, Brown, then a major commanding D Company 1st/6th Battalion the East Surrey Regiment, was ordered to capture a strategic feature near Rimini. When they reached the objective, the two leading platoons found themselves in a very exposed position. They came under heavy 88 mm and Spandau fire, and were taking casualties. The only other officer in the company was wounded, and Brown took command of these two companies and moved them under cover. He walked over to the tank commander and agreed a plan for dealing with a house from which the enemy was firing, and then led an attack which resulted in 20 of the enemy being taken prisoner and several being killed. After quickly reorganising the company, Brown completed the capture of the objective and a further 67 prisoners. He was given an immediate MC.

Walter Brind Ernest Brown was born on November 27 1913 and educated at Radley. He was commissioned into the Royal Berkshire Regiment and from 1934 to 1939 served with the 2nd Battalion in Palestine, Cyprus, Egypt and India.

Keen on sport, he represented his regiment at cricket, rugby, hockey and tennis, and won the shooting cup several times. Brown also liked giving parties. He once pawned a gold filling in his tooth to raise money for one, then was posted to Khartoum at such short notice that he could not greet his guests.

In 1939, Brown was seconded to the Sudan Defence Force. When Italy entered the war the following year, the Italian forces captured outposts on the borders of Kenya and Sudan, and in August 1940 they occupied British Somaliland.

In January 1941, the 4th and 5th Indian Divisions in the Sudan invaded Eritrea and Northern Ethiopia, where they met well-organised Italian resistance. Brown, serving with the SDF, part of 5th Indian Division, was on the receiving end of a fierce cavalry charge by native troops.

The Italians fell back, but it was the end of March before they yielded the key stronghold of Keren after bitter fighting, and May before their forces under their commander-in-chief, the Duke of Aosta, surrendered. Brown subsequently took part in the Eighth Army's campaign in the Western Desert as brigade major of 1 SDF Brigade. In 1944, he was posted to the 10th Battalion Royal Berkshires, but they had suffered such heavy losses at Anzio that they were disbanded, and he was seconded to 1/6th Battalion The East Surrey Regiment.

Brown served with this regiment in Italy and Greece as a company commander and, subsequently, second-in-command, until the end of the war. After Staff College, Camberley, and a posting as G2 to British Joint Services Mission in Washington, he served in Cyprus with the 1st Parachute Regiment, again as a company commander and later as second-in-command.

In 1951, he moved to Khartoum as AA & QMG of the Sudan Defence Force and the following year was given command of the Equatorial Corps. The Corps was some 1,600 strong and had its own Service Corps, Engineers and Signals. It covered an area of 250,000 square miles and the companies on the periphery were over 1,000 miles apart.

When Sudan became independent in 1956, Brown and his 10 officers were given six weeks' notice to hand over and leave. Southern Sudan was much less developed than the north and the replacement of the British by educated northern Sudanese caused dismay among the troops in the south. Only 10 years earlier the two had been fighting each other and Brown predicted, correctly, that there would be a rebellion in the south against the north within 12 months.

He was then given command of the Somaliland Scouts, but both his parents then died and, in 1958, he retired from the Army in order to take over the family estate in Berkshire.

Brown farmed for the next 25 years and was a director of two family companies that ranched cattle in Kenya and Brazil. In retirement, he continued to enjoy shooting and took a stalwart interest in local affairs.

Walter Brown died on May 10. He never married.


The international community should not rush into recognizing the government that comes out of Mbagthi talks

EDITORIAL

The regional and international sponsors of the so-called reconciliation talks on Somalia, being held at Mbagathi, Nairobi, are obliged to take the necessary measures for addressing the deep concerns expressed by the government and people of Somaliland over the consequences that the outcome of the Kenya-hosted process might have for their country's sovereignty, peace, security and democracy. Ignoring Somaliland's concerns would be a grave mistake by the international community. Somaliland wants international guarantees that the government expected to emerge out of Mbagathi would be a government for Somalia (the former Italian colony) and not for Somaliland (the ex-British protectorate).

The overwhelming majority of the people of Somaliland have already opted for staying independent and elected their own government, at both local and national levels, through the ballot box. Life under a decade of freedom, peace, demobilization of militias, repatriation of refugees and reconstruction is being celebrated in the country. This is a long way from the environment of death and destruction that prevailed in Somaliland for decades when it was subjugated by rulers from Italian Somalia.

Somaliland's proclamation of independence on May 18, 1991, was not just a result of the collapse of Siyad Barre's dictatorial regime earlier in that year. As Somaliland's voluntary merger with Somalia in 1960 turned immediately thereafter into a nightmare, Somalilanders have ever since been seeking to restore their independence. And when this failed to materialize through peaceful means, including a 1961 country-wide boycott of a referendum on a retro-active Act of Union and a failed coup de'tat by a group of Somaliland military officers in December of the same year, Somalilanders revolted as of 1981 in an armed rebellion against Barre's largely southern occupation forces. As government forces embarked on a policy of genocide against Somaliland's innocent civilian population, the international community was not only silent about the atrocities, but many of its members continued to provide direct military support and aid packages both in cash and kind to Somalia's military rulers. UN organizations and other aid agencies also collaborated with the tyrannical regime by feeding, sheltering and providing all types of social services for hundreds of thousands of so-called refugees who were encouraged by Siyad Barre's government to leave their homes in Ethiopia's Somali region and come instead to Somaliland in order to chase out the natives and replace them. The "refugee" camps were used by the government not only as a reliable source of food, transport vehicles and fuel for its army but also as inexhaustible recruitment centers until the last days before Somalia's forces were driven completely out of Somaliland soil. Had it not been for the huge external aid that they un-interruptedly enjoyed till the end, Somalia's rulers would have lost their grip on Somaliland at a much earlier stage to the SNM-led popular resistance. By prolonging the life of the dictatorship, the international community had contributed to the slaughter of over 100,000 innocent civilians and the total destruction of a whole country, not to mention the over one million people who fled their homes to seek refuge in eastern Ethiopia and elsewhere. It is just incredible that the international community would want to add to its ugly past in this region by trying to re-invent the old Somalia albeit one with a federal face.

Do the sponsors of the Mbagathi process realize the consequences of conferring legitimacy on a southern dominated government and forcing it on Somaliland? Until now, IGAD, the EU and UN officials attending the Mbagathi talks, have stressed that the Mbagathi talks concerned only the South's warring factions. The stand of these international bodies has been that once a government was established by the former Italian Somalia, then Somalia and Somaliland would negotiate about their future relations. But then none of the regional and international sponsors of the talks has been willing to state publicly that the post-Mbagathi government will have jurisdiction only over Somalia and not Somaliland. On the contrary, the IGAD mediators have since the launching of the final phase of the process, been acting as though the anticipated government will be for a Somalia that includes Somaliland. To the dismay of the people of this country, IGAD has suddenly started accrediting some people as representatives of Somaliland clans, while overtly inviting Somaliland's traditional leaders to come to Nairobi. Moreover, IGAD and its international partners are already busy mobilizing resources for the post-Mbagathi order.

The international community must understand that any attempt to eliminate Somaliland's independence is a form of aggression that the people of Somaliland are not going to tolerate. The backers of the Mbagathi conference seem to be interested in washing their hands off the process once a government has been inaugurated, while leaving Somaliland's position vis-.-vis Somalia pending as an internal Somali problem to be solved by Somalis themselves in the future. If IGAD, The EU and the UN really want to avoid leaving behind a messy situation, they should drop the idea of restoring the former Somalia. Instead, they should concentrate on forming a government for ex-Italian Somalia, a daunting challenge in itself. It should also be made clear to the delegates attending the Mbagathi talks that the legal status of the new government is to govern Somalia (the south). Kipligat and other IGAD arbiters need not waste time on soliciting Somaliland individuals to join the Mbagathi Parliament as this would only complicate things in the future.

It is no secret that many southern politicians are counting on the arrival of aid in order to use it for conquering Somaliland rather than using that aid for nation-building. Some of the people at Mbagathi, Bosaso and Mogadishu are already hatching plans for deceiving the international community into contributing substantial amounts of resources for the building of an army that would be used to commit aggression against Somaliland. Some of these schemes have innocent-sounding names such as the restoration of Somalia's police force and demobilization of armed militia. The international community must be very careful with the aid it intends to provide to the post-Mbagathi process. The process should have mechanisms in place that stand in the way of any efforts by the new government to use externally-provided support for undermining Somaliland.

The international community should also learn from the mistake it made when it gave the TNG quick, unearned and unjustified recognition. By conferring recognition on the government to emerge from Mbagathi before it begins talks with Somaliland, the international community would undermine any chance of such talks being held and enhance the probability of war and conflict. A sensible approach to the question of recognition would be either to recognize both Somaliland and Somalia or wait until the two have reached a settlement on the status of their future relations.


Educational Programme

By: Ahmed Isse Jama (Gade), Regional Education Inspector

Teaching - Practice, In Primary Schools

Preparing To Teach

The lesson plan

References, learning aid (s), lesson introduction, lesson development and conclusion

Reference: In this section are listed the reference books, textbooks or any other sources of information used for preparing and teaching a lesson.

Where information is obtained from the pupils' book and teacher's guide, the pages must be indicated.

Learning aid (s):
Any materials that are used to make learning more effective should be listed here. Learning aids can be real objects, models, charts, pictures, etc. It is important to remember the following points when using learning aids.

They must be adequate for the number of pupils in the class Real objects are the best learning aids.

Models, pictures, photographs and charts are used when real objects cannot be obtained.

These must be simple, clear and brief.

The next three sections form the main body of the lesson plan and outline the procedure of the lesson.

Lesson introduction:

Some prefer to put the introduction as step one of the lesson development section, others like to identify it as an aspect separate from the lesson development. Whatever the practice, a lesson introduction serves to gain the attention of the pupils at the beginning of the lesson.

If the teacher starts the lesson well, he should be able to maintain the pupil's interest throughout the lesson.

The following broad ideas might be used as introductions to lessons.

Ask questions about previous lessons that are related to the present one. A few examples of such questions must be indicated in the lesson plan.

Discuss a familiar situation with the pupils.

Display an interesting learning aid related to the lesson and discuss it with the pupils.

Lesson development

The development of the lesson is shown in steps, the number of which depends on the nature of the topic. The subject-matter will be presented in an orderly and logical sequence. It is important to start with what is known to the pupils, before the new information is introduced to them. The teacher must present the information at a simple level and move on gradually to the more difficult aspects of the subject.

This section is divided into two parts - teacher activities and pupil activities. In each step the teacher must be clear about what he or she intends to do and what the pupils must do. At no point should the pupils be wasting time in a lesson, not knowing what to do next. Some examples of teacher activities are explanation, asking questions, demonstration, providing the necessary materials, and giving instructions. Some examples of pupil activities are:- listening, answering questions, discussing, experimenting, looking the information on maps, drawing, modeling, and answering written questions or doing exercises.

In the step before conclusion, the teacher should prepare some kind of activity so that the pupils can apply their new knowledge or the skill which they have learned during the lesson. Some of the activities mentioned can be used. The emphasis here is on learning by doing.

Conclusion:

The conclusion is the rounding-off of the lesson satisfactorily, the way it is done depending on the nature of the lesson. A conclusion may involve:

Going over the main points of the lesson through oral or written questions;

Correcting some common mistakes made by the pupils while working, e.g. in a mathematics lessons;

Emphasizing again the main message of the lesson, e.g. that of a religious education lesson;

Summarizing the main points of the lesson.

Collecting books and tidying up at the end of a lesson are obvious duties and are not to be regarded as activities to round-off the lesson.


National Dialogue Is Overdue

By: Ali Gulaid, San Jose, CA

The tension is high and that is unhealthy situation to be in prior to the approaching parliamentary election. Including the election, Somaliland is facing formidable challenges that require a united front and without lowering the level of polarization, these challenges might eventually hinder the realization of Somaliland's aspirations. In order to avert disaster, promote inclusiveness, improve understanding, and preserve the common interest without abandoning one's political persuasion or ideology, the administration should take the initiative to convene a national conference to cultivate and instill trust and formulate a sustainable working relationship among all parities.

The challenges ahead are many but for convenience, I have classified roughly into four categories according to the scale of controllability and impact just to organize my thought and no one should interpret it as a theory: a) Permanent b) Temporary and c) External d) Politics

The permanent challenges are the on-going struggle to improve the fortune of the people by raising the standard of living. They exist because resources are limited and sometimes mismanaged and they are primarily related to the economy, the condition of the institutions and the level of competence of the government in place.

These problems would always be there at different degrees, no matter who is in power, but building institutions and adopting effective public policies designed to better the quality of life can manage them. With an articulated vision, proactive attitude, constant monitoring, re-evaluating the situation and re-directing resources as need be could in time ameliorate and curb the deterioration. This is a colossal effort that requires identifying the urgent problems, summoning up the know-how, drafting remedial measures and executing without fail.

The temporary problems are related to human foibles and could be ascribed to either a) poor management such as the Hargeysa water shortage or b) poor attitude in dealing with the problems at hand such as fending off criticism by engaging character assassinations and personal attacks or c) poor policies such as improper allocation of resources and d) pure incompetence. These create unnecessary crisis and are the most controllable and shouldn't be part of the problem but they are. Proper training, education and adequate experience could help.

Then there are external problems. Some are natural like disasters such as draught but others such as the assassinations of the foreign expatriates, the ban on livestock export and withholding political recognition are by design thrown into Somaliland's path to spike, agitate, distract, delay or sabotage Somaliland's goal. These are the least controllable but their impact could be softened by vigilance, negotiations and carefully crafted diplomatic maneuvers.

And then there is politics, the mother of all polarization and the art of polemics. Politics is part of life and that makes it akin to the permanent classification but because of its magnitude, it is best to deal with it separately. The decision either a bureaucrat or an elected official makes affects the life of its subjects one way or the other and that makes it a must to participate in order to impact on the political direction the country is heading to. Democracy without participation is an autocracy and contrary to what many belief elections, even though essential to democracy, don't complete democracy but rather complement. It accords the office holder the power to govern by legislating, and making policies but some seek the office for sinister motives such as enriching themselves or punishing the opposition but with checks and balances, abuse of power could be diminished.

Multi-political parties and fair and free elections are pivotal to the democratic process but in a country like Somaliland where the institutions are weak and the government powers; the legislative, the judiciary and the executive are all accumulated, rather than separated, under the executive branch fair and free elections can't be conducted. That is given. Despite of knowing that the playing field isn't level, the people of Somaliland are determined to accept a system that favors unfairly and greatly the governing party. But that has a limit. If rigging, injustice and misgovernance go beyond the tolerable level, it could unleash civil unrest.

And that is why preparing for the upcoming parliamentary election is paramount. In my view, the election of the parliament is a huge project that requires greater amount of planning, input, negotiations and logistics than the Presidential and Local government elections required. All necessary precautions should have been taken by now but in my assessment, it may be already too late. Somaliland can't afford to mess it up.

Presently, the atmosphere is charged with accusations and counter accusations. There is a lot of antagonism among the political parties and the government and the public has little or no faith in the system. Many feel alienated and the lack of transparency in the government dealings contributes to the high tension and the mistrust. The government is thin skinned, defensive and combative and the opposition is disorganized. Precisely, that is why such a conference is a necessary step to lower the tension and the mistrust and better yet clear the coast for elections.

Somalilanders, wherever they are, are working hard either individually or through organizations like the Somaliland Forum to contribute to the quest for a politically recognized Somaliland. Working hard but not working in synchronization and that enervates the synergy. Such a conference could have helped towards that goal too.

Who would attend the conference? Political parties, parliamentarians, elders (Salaadiin), religious leaders, Local NGO's, Prominent businessmen, local government officials and members of the diaspora. The conference shouldn't be a platform to indict the administration nor should it be a place to demand to share governance but it should be a platform to exchange ideas, to debate in earnest and in good faith, to set guidelines on contentious issues and advise how to improve governing and agree on a set of procedures and policies geared towards making the forthcoming elections palatable to all.

The government should initiate, invest and call on such a conference so as to move forward with fewer hiccups. At this juncture, Somaliland needs to show the skeptics that it is a solid ROCK. I have no illusion that it would be a panacea but even if such a conference doesn't accomplish a lot, it would send a positive message to all and across the globe. Can we talk? AAAAAMIIIN.


Statement Of U.S. Senator Russ Feingold Remarks For Africa Policy Advisory Advisory Panel ISSUE 129

Washington, DC, July 8, 2004 (United States Congress) DOCUMENT - I want to thank CSIS for giving me this opportunity to talk about U.S.-Africa policy today, and to thank all of the members of the Africa Policy Advisory Panel and the staff who spent long hours working on the reports that were submitted to the Secretary of State and are before you today. It was a pleasure for me to work with such accomplished experts, and I believe that the reports produced by the Panel are full of sound analysis and important recommendations. But as good as this work is, these reports simply are not enough. To translate sound thinking into policy that will yield real results, we need a sea change, across the partisan divide and throughout government, that brings a new seriousness and commitment to our engagement in Africa. We need to be operating in a context in which we all acknowledge that it is inexcusable for a presidential candidate to say, as one did four years ago, that Africa "doesn't fit into our national strategic interests, as far as I can see them." We need consensus that our policy should involve more than reacting to crises and more than batting down emerging threats. We need sustained, not sporadic, engagement if we are to foster the real partnerships that we will need in the years ahead. We must not repeatedly "rediscover" Africa with a flurry of flashy new initiatives that are usually financed by squeezing resources out of the last round of initiatives, or worse, out of basic development efforts.

And we need to stop personalizing our relationships, relying on "our man" in this or that capital, allowing one person to embody the prospects of progress for millions. Instead of falling in and out of love with various heads of state or opposition leaders, we need much more serious thinking and engagement with the next generation of African leaders, whether they enter the private sector or the political arena, or become driving forces in civil society.

I believe that we need to think in very concrete terms about why Africa is so important and so indispensable to pursuing our most important foreign policy interests. Then we need to think about how to cultivate the right kinds of long-term relationships with African partners, and that means focusing on Africa's future. Finally, we need to acknowledge that today, we are not prepared, at the nuts-and-bolts level, to pursue the policies that are in our interest - and we need to make the necessary changes to get our posture right.

Africa and Our First Foreign Policy Priority

Since the attacks of September 11th, 2001, many Americans have come to understand that state sponsorship of terrorism is one kind of serious threat that must be addressed, but also that the absence of a functioning state is another. For several years now I have worked to call attention to some of the manifestations of states' weakness in various parts of Africa both in terms of humanitarian and economic collapse and in terms of such phenomenons as piracy, illicit air transport networks, and trafficking in arms, gemstones, and people. I believe that we must think more carefully about the relationship between criminal activity, corruption, and humanitarian crisis so as to help make these states less appealing to criminal opportunists, including terrorists.

Our first foreign policy priority is to combat the terrorist forces who would do us harm. Africa is unquestionably an important part of that effort. The 1998 embassy bombings, the 2002 bombings in Mombasa, and the consistent and credible reports of terrorist organizations operating in north, west, and southern Africa leave no room for doubt.

Short-term fixes to concerns about the terrorist presence in Africa - military strikes on terrorist training camps or freezing the assets of traders involved in laundering terrorist assets - may address some immediate threats, but they do little to ensure that our children will not face the same problems in the years to come. We must develop policies to help bring lasting stability to these terribly unstable places, to build solid relationships and gain access to solid information.

This seems an obvious point in many ways, but translating general agreement into action is no easy thing. Take the case of Somalia. I applaud the Administration's East African Counter-Terrorism Initiative, which recognizes that there are real threats in Somalia. We know that some of the most troubling actors on the international scene are the only ones involved in providing basic services to some people in parts of Somalia such that parents can send children to an extremist school, or to no school at all. Shouldn't our strategy have a Somalia component, rather than just focusing on states around Somalia, as the East African Initiative does?

I raised this issue at a hearing I chaired in early 2002, and deduced that we had no real strategy. I have asked about it since at hearings and in meetings. No real answer. For two years in a row, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has approved authorizing legislation containing a provision that I authored calling for a Somalia strategy, but none has been shared with us. I worked with the appropriators to ensure that last year the Foreign Operations appropriations bill contained language calling for a report on our strategy in Somalia, is due this month. This is about American interests. It is not a remotely partisan issue. Moving forward should not require pulling teeth.

A word of caution is in order when talking about the need to combat terrorism in Africa by working to shore up weak states. Our post 9/11 engagement should not mean a return to Cold War myopias or the convenient but short-sighted patron-client politics of the past. Another dawning realization in this country is that subordinating basic human rights to accommodate larger strategic goals is a tactic that often comes back to haunt us. In Liberia and in the Congo, U.S.-backed dictatorships utterly destroyed the institutions of the state and society, leaving civilians few tools for building a better future, and warlords ample opportunity to continue looting these countries' wealth. Regimes that thrive on corruption and injustice eventually create weak and broken states it could not be more clear that our long-term national interests are on the side of accountability and respect for basic human rights.

Cultivating Future Partners

If, as I believe is the case, the U.S. must aim to foster stability in Africa as a part of our fight against terrorism, then we must do so by working to cultivate future partners.

In the midst of immediate crises and political intrigue, it can be easy to overlook major demographic trends. But we do so at our peril. The intelligence community has long recognized the importance of demography for future stability. In July of 2001, just months before the terrorist attacks of September 11th irreversibly changed the way we think about our security and about the world, the Central Intelligence Agency published a report on "Long-Term Global Demographic Trends: Reshaping the Geopolitical Landscape." The report makes for provocative reading.

Despite the devastating effect of HIV/AIDS, the number of young Africans will continue to grow dramatically. In fact, the report indicates that "the size of youth bulges will decrease in all regions of the world except for Sub-Saharan Africa over the next 20 years." All of the ten countries projected to have the largest youth bulges in 2020 are in sub-Saharan Africa. And the report raises real questions about whether African economies will be able to generate jobs for these youths, and about whether African realities will be able to meet the raised expectations and aspirations of increasingly urbanized populations with access to the same media messages that our own children see. To quote directly from the report:

"The failure to adequately integrate large youth populations in the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa is likely to perpetuate the cycle of political instability, ethnic wars, revolutions, and anti-regime activities that already affect many of these countries.... Increases in youth populations will aggravate problems with trade, terrorism... and crime and add to the many existing factors that already are making the region's problems increasingly difficult to surmount." Vast youthful populationscoping with unemployment, alienation, and a sense of humiliation? It is hard not to feel a sense of alarm in contemplating this scenario. And when one thinks about what the world and the future looks like for many of Africa's children today, that sense of alarm is heightened.

UNICEF reports that about 11% of children are enrolled in primary school in Somalia. 52% of Ethiopian children under five suffer from moderate and severe stunting due to malnutrition. And UNICEF estimates that in Nigeria alone, nearly a million children had been orphaned by AIDS by 2001. Too many African girls do not have the power to make healthy choices that can keep them HIV-negative. Too many African children have already seen the cruelties of war - too often as soldiers on the battlefield. Think of the terrorized youth militia members of Zimbabwe, or the children abducted by the Lord's Resistance Army in Northern Uganda, and ask yourself what the future will bring.

Ten years ago today, the Rwandan genocide was coming to an end, and that small country's future depends upon the children who survived that horror. Earlier this year, the Senate passed a resolution I authored commemorating the Rwandan genocide, and calling for a focus on the future of the Rwandan people, so that they may enjoy full civil and political rights and feel free to voice legitimate disagreements honestly and publicly without fear of violence or intimidation. But today we find that the Rwandan government is considering a request from the parliament - which is dominated by the ruling party - to dissolve one of the country's leading human rights groups and four other civil society organizations. The parliamentary commission that made these recommendations interpreted even disagreement with government plans to consolidate land holdings as support of genocidal ideas. If current trends continue, what will the future look like for Rwanda's children? The U.S. should not be silent.

The U.S. is engaged in a global fight that will take years to wage and cannot be won without cooperation around the world. What kind of partners will these children become? What will they believe about America? Already credible research suggests that many African states, and many African states with Muslim majorities, are viewing the U.S. with suspicion, anger, and fear. For those fortunate to live in democratic states, what kind of voters will they become?

There is so much that is strong and admirable and encouraging about so many African communities. We must think about how to help our African partners make the most of those strengths, and we need to prove to them that we share their interests in building a better, more peaceful, more prosperous, more just future.

How? By not losing sight of the enduring relevance of promoting basic human rights. By resisting the temptation to turn away from the un-glamorous work of increasing access to basic healthcare and education in favor of flashier projects. By taking the long view, and by refusing to embrace a charismatic leader instead of engaging in the hard slog of fashioning policies to support institutions rather than people. And by moving beyond rhetoric in the fight against corruption.

I am delighted by the emphasis that is placed on transparency in the Panel's report on Crafting a U.S. Energy Policy for Africa. We know that the diversion or waste of oil revenues in oil-rich African states has had terrible human costs. IMF estimates show that one dollar in four of Angolan state revenues over $1.5 billion a year cannot be accounted for from 1996 through 2001. At the same time, one in four Angolan children died in infancy of preventable diseases. We know that this corruption creates a business climate that discourages private investment and hampers growth. Now we need to do something about it.

The Administration needs to take concrete steps to promote the transparency of both company payments and government receipts in the oil sector. We need a coordinated, concerted effort to get that information to citizens of the countries in question, to empower them to use this information to ask tough questions and to demand better governance. And we need to put solid leverage behind the demand for transparency including leverage at export credit agencies.

Getting Our Posture Right

To make the kind of long-term, sustained effort that I am talking about, it is time for the foreign policy community and the U.S. government to think seriously about the resources we devote to our engagement with Africa. I speak not just about money, but about people, attention, and political will.

After 12 years on the Subcommittee on African Affairs, I have traveled widely enough to know that understaffed embassies in Africa are more the norm than the exception. We have wonderful, capable, deeply committed foreign service officers working in Africa. I admire them and I am deeply grateful for their service. But they are too few in number particularly when it comes to seasoned, expert people. Tiny embassy staffs are trying to cover huge, complex countries too often without adequate effort or capacity to get out of the capital city. We have no permanent presence in northern Nigeria or eastern Congo, despite the fact that the stability of whole swathes of the continent can hinge on events in those areas. We have no permanent presence in Zanzibar or in Mombasa. Jeffrey Herbst and Princeton Lyman are right to call attention to the inadequacy of our diplomatic presence on the ground.

And in the latest round of post-September 11th "rediscovery" of Africa, we run the risk of drowning out the counsel and efforts of the few seasoned diplomats we do have engaged on the ground with the louder voices of bigger agencies and bigger budgets. I am delighted that EUCOM is reinvigorating the Department of Defense's efforts to engage in Africa, and I believe that CENTCOM's efforts in the Horn are vitally important. DOD's engagement is clearly in our national interest, it is an appropriate part of mature relationships with African states, and I value the efforts and the views of our excellent military officers and civilian experts working for the Department of Defense. But it is not the responsibility of the Department of Defense to drive our foreign policy, and we must make sure that the vast resources at the disposal of the Department of Defense do not, de facto, put them in the driver's seat wherever they choose to engage. That puts an inappropriate burden on the Department of Defense, and it virtually guarantees that important aspects of our policy will be left behind, and that signals about U.S. priorities will be misinterpreted.

In the same vein, unprecedented resources are currently being devoted to the fight against HIV/AIDS. I wholeheartedly support this effort. I co-chair the CSIS Task Force on HIV/AIDS with Senator Frist, I have consistently voted to support more funding for the fight against AIDS, I believe that the President's call for a $15 billion commitment to fighting AIDS will be remembered by history as one of his finest hours, and I recognize that failure to tackle the pandemic with all the vigor and urgency we can muster jeopardizes every effort to cultivate thriving, stable African partners. I have every enthusiasm for this issue, but while I recognize that our policy in Africa must be about fighting AIDS, but it must be about more than that as well. When the resources to fight AIDS swamp the resources available for every other priority but there is little change in our embassy staffing on the ground, we risk forcing important issues onto the back burner while our people try to cope with the tremendous administrative burden of implementing our AIDS programs.

So we need an adequate presence on the ground, which we do not have today. And we need to ensure that the part of our government charged with directing our foreign policy efforts is indeed playing that leading role with, of course, appropriate and vigorous oversight from the elected representatives of the American people in the Congress. But we also need to make sure that senior leaders in the Administration any Administration are responsive to our voices in the field, are proactive in their approach, and demonstrate the political will to build the relationships with African partners that I believe are so important to our future.

Concluding Remarks - Sudan

We have a recent and truly admirable example of this kind of high-level attention in Secretary Powell's recent trip to Darfur. I commend the Secretary and the many U.S. officials who have been working to respond to this urgent crisis. As we gather here to contemplate U.S.-Africa Policy, a brutal campaign conducted by Sudanese military forces and government-backed militia forces has left tens of thousands dead, over a million displaced, and hundreds of thousands at immediate, urgent risk. The massacres and widespread rapes, the destruction of villages, mosques and farms all of this violence and horror have given rise to a second, even more costly wave of suffering, as civilians are left with no capacity to sustain themselves as the rainy season approaches.

There seems to be some disagreement about whether what is happening in Darfur is or is not genocide. Frankly, I believe that to argue over the semantics is to miss the point. What is happening is appalling, it is an affront to all humanity, to all faiths, and we cannot stand by and simply watch this unfold if we are to be the people and the country we wish to be.

Right now our priority must be to avert continued humanitarian catastrophe. But over time, we must again return to the long view. The tremendous investment of diplomatic resources, taxpayer dollars, and political will in resolving the north-south conflict Sudan thus far an investment that I applaud will be squandered if we fail to address the underlying issues of disenfranchisement and marginalization that are at the heart of the conflict in Darfur. We cannot have order without accommodating demands for justice. We cannot hope to have a true partner in the Sudan of the future without turning our attention to the conditions of the Sudanese people today. In the same vein, we cannot hope to paper over the crisis in the Democraticthe Congo, which has not benefitted from the same high-level attention and focused political will that have been brought to bear in Sudan, despite the fact that millions have died in Congo's recent spasms of conflict. We need to make a commitment to rebuilding long-term stability, to creating conditions in which Congolese parents can reasonably hope for a better life for their children. We need a policy to cope with the unraveling of the rule of law in Nigeria again, one that takes the long view and is backed up with the necessary diplomatic resources.

There is so much to be done, so many opportunities to foster real partnerships and help cultivate real allies. I hope that today marks the start, not the conclusion, of a concerted, bipartisan effort to strengthen U.S. policy in Africa. It is not just Africa's future, it is our future, that is at stake.


Are We Living In Rome? Is Janus Around?

Mohamud Tani, Ottawa, Canada

In the year of 1991, General Afweyne was chased from power. In his place in Mogadisho, there came a government that inherited an intact city, with its entire infrastructure undamaged, it immediately earned the support of all the Hawiyas, and got for itself the full backing of the Italian Mafia. That government chose as its prime minister none other than Omar Arte, who was the darling of the Arab-League and thus earning many millions of dollars for them as well as legitimacy and support in the OAU. Lucky for them also the great friend of Somaliweyn policy was soon-after elected to the position of the secretary general of the U.N. Butrus Qali became a powerful ally of Somalia.

It was at that point that Somaliland decided to declare its independence. When we made our popular and monumental decision to take our fate into our hands, the picture in Somaliland was nothing but ashes and rubble. All the people were displaced and everybody was a refugee. In the largest cities of Hargeisa, Buroa, Erigavo and Gabiley, not a single house was standing, and the one standing had no roof. Forget government administration, telephone lines, clean water, an ampoule of penicillin, there were no papers to write on. There was nothing but our will, our confidence in the justice of our cause, and our strong belief that Allah is always on the side of a just cause. Therefore, we gallantly faced the situation.

We were neither afraid of, nor intimidated by the Arab League, OAU, Butrus Qali, Ali Mahdi and Omer Arte. We just concentrated on building our beloved land from the ashes again. Many politicians were afraid of the declaration of Somaliland's independence on that glorious day of 18 May in Burao, but the might and the will of the people overwhelmed them. Those who were afraid that day, either already went to Mogadisho sometime within our 14 year-old rebuilding of Somaliland, or are now in the process of doing so. Love of Mogadisho is a strange disease that our old politicians are inflicted with. It probably does not have a cure. But the people of Somaliland were not afraid of Mogadisho's government when they had nothing, and they are not afraid today when they have much more going for them. A quick comparison of Somaliland and today's Italian Somalia will show that Somaliland has: (a) a better, stronger government than the chaos in Mogadisho. (b) a better, more equipped and more disciplined army than the mooryaan of Mogadisho. (c) a better international standing and respect than the notorious warlords of Mogadisho.

That is why the fear-mongering ideas of some politicians in Somaliland will not work. The scare tactics of these politicians remind me of the famous children's story where the chicken tried to alarm the world by declaring that the moon has fallen from the sky and hit it on the head. (Waqacal qamaru calaya wa drabanii).

Today is Somaliland's finest hour as far as finding a solution for this problem in the south that is delaying our recognition all the time is concerned.

1-Mohamed Haji Ibrahim Egal hammered on the neighboring countries' heads and the world at large the idea that Somaliland cannot talk to fifty different factions. Let the world community combine them into one southern entity, and then we will talk.

2- The IGAD sponsored conference is based on that theory. It was not to the liking of southern politicians who see Somaliland as one of their fiefdoms, but they were compelled to toe the line.

3- The conference was designed in four different and graduated phases. Somaliland was not included in phases one, two and three.

4- In phase one, the conference clearly implemented a policy of exclusion as far as Somaliland is concerned. No one from Somaliland was allowed into the hall, and IGAD decided that only the government of Somaliland lawfully represents that area and its people.

5-At the end of phase two, a charter was signed in the Presidential Palace of Kenya, with several other heads of states and ministers present. That charter excludes Somaliland from the proceedings of the conference both geographically and signature-wise. It explicitly states that the government that is coming out of the Kenya conference is for four regions in South Somalia only, namely, Puntland, Central regions, Banadir and Juba region. Somaliland is not included whether some politicians in Hargeisa like that or not. Furthermore none of the signatories was from Somaliland areas.

3-Now the conference is turning to phase three in which a government is will be established for the south. That Government is a provisional government of five years, so after five years the people of the Somalia can reach a stage similar to the condition that Somaliland is in today. A condition of peace, functioning administration and an elected representative government. If they succeed in forming a government skeleton in Nairobi, and succeed after five years in reaching our present stage of governance, the world community is ready to mediate in phase four between the two sisterly Somali states that came out of the rubble, one through its own efforts and one through the assistance of the world.

In phase four Somalia will probably propose a union, Somaliland will most certainly say no, and that will be the end of a long journey. I wonder who in his right mind can be afraid of this scenario. Or are we afraid of something else. Is it the story of the old Hargeisa man Ina Bakayle who as a Kaftan used to say in the 1990s that he does not like to hear two things: a- Somaliland has been recognized and : b- the ban on livestock export has been lifted by the Saudis.

There is also the possibility the conference may not succeed. If that happens and the world community declares Somalia as a lost cause, then we have the full assurance of IGAD and the EU that Somaliland will be recognized and will be congratulated for its patience and self-reliance. In either case we are in a win-win situation.

Those who are beating the drums of apprehension, fear, anxiety, confusion, restlessness and disorientation are forgetting that after Ali Mahdi's failure, a more formidable threat rose from Somalia. The threat of Aidiid, Salbalaar and Unisom. Aidiid had the additional advantage of an international image of a hero who defeated the Americans. We also had the misfortune of our first President Abdirahman Tuur allying himself with Aidiid. Moreover, Somaliland erupted in a terrible civil war. When all that was happening and clearly we were at a great disadvantage, we never used to hear such silly slogans that are being cheaply propagated today by certain people. Slogans like: "What will be our fate after a government in Mogadisho?"

In May 1991 we decided to disconnect our fate from that of Mogadisho. We said NEVER AGAIN, and in case somebody did not hear it right, I repeat: NEVER AGAIN.

Compare the present situation with Arte, where Djibouti, the Arab League, Kofi Annan and so many opportunists from Somaliland all intrigued and politicked to harm Somaliland. Were we afraid at the time? No. We were confident that we will prevail. That is the spirit of Somaliland. God bless Somaliland, and one word of advise for the KULMIYE Party : Goodness Gracious, save the crab for the enemies of Somaliland!


Sovereign States Rule... Or Do They?

Greg Mills, Independent Online, South Africa, 4 July, 2004

While it was at first the principal loser, the multilateral governance system has arguably emerged as the greatest winner of the war in Iraq. But if this victory is to be meaningful, then multilateralism must also take a hard look at itself.

The difficulty experienced by the US-led coalition since hostilities were formally declared over on May 1, 2003 has demonstrated the need for multilateral involvement in legitimising the post-Saddam order in Iraq. It has also shown the need for the US to learn the lessons of previous peacekeeping operations.

Most notable of these lessons is the importance of a comprehensive plan which includes from the start the key elements needed for nation-building and stability - among them the provision of development projects, humanitarian assistance, security sector reform and domestic stability.

These were, in fact, most of the recommendations of the UN's Brahimi Report of 2000 which sought to make peacekeeping operations more effective.

America's slow learn is perhaps not surprising given that it seldom "does" peacekeeping, and then reluctantly. Previous US-led peacekeeping operations, including that in Somalia, could hardly be considered shining examples of best practice. The generally negative international opinion of the Iraqi intervention has not been improved by America's vacillation over launching peacekeeping operations elsewhere, especially in Africa. Rwanda in 1994 and Liberia in 2003 are two cases in point, involving different US presidencies.

The US cabinet agonised over whether to send a force into Liberia in 2003 for an astonishing seven meetings, before ultimately deciding not to. Even a small commitment would not only have enhanced Liberia's and Sierra Leone's stability considerably, but would also have improved opinions of America even-handedness in Africa and further afield.

But Washington does not bear all the responsibility for the disintegration of the spirit of multilateralism. The outmoded nature of multilateral institutions and regimes, many of which were constructed for a world quite different from today's, must share the blame.

The principal security challenges facing us today are two-fold and inter-related. One is the threat of terrorism, striking at rich and poor countries and populations alike. The other is the threat of poverty and global exclusion of the bulk of the world's six billion people, about one-quarter of whom are estimated to be living under the daily international poverty datum line of $1.

The two challenges must be met together. The response to terrorism cannot be exclusively military, but will have to involve, as Benjamin Barber has argued, "a commitment to democracy and justice". And global justice must include finding ways of ensuring that poorer countries benefit more and faster from globalisation, both for their own sakes and also so that they do not export refugees, disease, illegal drugs, prostitution, and terrorism to the rich world. This will not be easy. Although it is conventional wisdom that countries that trade more grow faster, the UN and others have acknowledged that free trade can hurt more than it helps the most vulnerable, least developed economies.

Yet these economies have no choice but to become more globalised, not less. They must somehow find the policies that help them benefit from globalisation. What are the limits and possibilities of multilateral institutions and processes in constructing world order and improving global prosperity? The UN secretariat in New York picks up much of the flak for the inefficiencies and spectacular failures of the organisation.

And some of this criticism, such as that for its failure to stop the Rwanda genocide of 1994, is justified. But ultimately the ability of the UN to respond in a timely and effective fashion to such crises reflects the willingness or otherwise of its member-states. Greater effectiveness and legitimacy will have to spring from a change of heart by members. They will have to ensure greater efficiency within the secretariat and also alter the composition and practices of global institutions which still reflect the balance of power of 1945.

Principally this means substantial restructuring of the Security Council, and perhaps also its voting procedure, though it is hard to imagine the five permanent members of the council giving up either their seats or their vetoes. Despite the difficulties over Iraq, it is clear that intervention in the affairs of states is here to stay, whatever the administration in the White House.

It will be one of the defining issues of international relations for the years to come, whether this is in the form of humanitarian intervention, intervention a lO Iraq to serve a particular set of "interests" or as a preventive action. Post-war Iraq has taught unilateral America the value of multilateralism in spreading the load of an otherwise unbearable burden. But the challenge of re-establishing the primacy of multilateral governance after Iraq also confronts the rest of the world with the responsibility to address some hard truths about the multilateral system.

That system rests, broadly speaking, on an assumption of equality among sovereign and independent states. In the past, though, states acquired sovereignty and independence in the real world by running their own affairs in a reasonable (that is, democratic and prosperous) fashion and by defending their territories at least adequately, if not absolutely. Today it is the multilateral system - through the UN - which confers legal sovereignty, regardless of whether it is earned in the real world.

This legal sovereignty and the rights associated with it do not necessarily match the facts on the ground, especially, one regrets to say, in Africa.

And if some states enjoy a UN-conferred sovereignty which is really a legal fiction, others, held hostage to global politics, conversely suffer the denial of such legal sovereignty despite earning the right to it through self-reliance in fact.

Neither Taiwan and Somaliland, for example, are recognised internationally, despite ruling their territories more competently than most other states. In the past, cities, empires, federal economic units and even multinational companies (such as the British South Africa company, and the Dutch East India company) were granted sovereign status. Now this right - but not always the commensurate obligations - is reserved exclusively for the nation state.

Many weaker states would probably revert to lesser forms of sovereignty such as trusteeships were it not for the international system which recognises only the equal state. Before we consider the democratisation of the multilateral system so vigorously demanded by South Africa and most other states, we need to ensure somehow that the legal status of states more closely matches their reality. We need to find some alternatives to the present one-size-fits-all formal state-based sovereignty. These alternatives would acknowledge, on one hand, that some "states" not recognised by the international community are in fact fully self-governing entities; and on the other hand that some "states" which do now enjoy equal legal status are incapable of running their own affairs for the benefit of their populations.

Sovereignty has to start meaning more than just a word on paper. - Independent Foreign Service.


The Sovereignty Of Somaliland And Its Role In The Conflict Resolution Of The Region

Farhiya Ali Ahmed, Johannesburg, South Africa

This paper was presented by Farhiya Ali Ahmed, who lives in South Africa at a seminar organized by the "Africa Institute of South Africa" and held last May in Pretoria on Somaliland And Somalia:

Part III [Continued from the previous issue]

Fences Make Good Neighbors?

The task of resolving the Somali conflict has been delegated by the AU to the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). Therefore the relations that these regional member states have with the Somali territories are a significant consideration to be taken note, especially since it has become clear that member states' governments are deeply divided in their interests and approaches.

Djibouti, a neighbor to he self-declaredSomaliland, was the sponsor behind the 2000 Arta Conference that culminated in the formation of the TNG. Observers of the Arta process have stated that the President of Djibouti, not only interfered in the process itself but that the process had been hijacked and driven by his specific interests. Nowhere else in history, they point out, has a president enjoyed the right to nominate delegates to the parliament of a neighboring country. The nomination of the former Minister of internal Affairs in the Barre regime to the post of president of the TNG, as well as the selection of former military officers accused of being war criminals by Somalilanders to various ministerial positions infuriated many and created a rift between Djibouti and Somaliland.

The Djibouti government makes no secret of its opposition to Somaliland's independence and openly campaigns against Somaliland's recognition. Though the visit of Somaliland's President to Djibouti in 2002 simmered down the hostility, Djibouti's position on Somaliland's statehood hasn't changed.

Neither a neighbor nor an IGAD member, Egypt remains influential in the affairs of the Horn of Africa due to its geopolitical rivalry with Ethiopia. Egypt's uncompromising opposition to Somaliland's pursuit for international recognition is equaled by its support for a Mogadishu-based government. Egypt was instrumental in securing Arab recognition of the TNG and persuading Arab governments to give financial and military support to the TNG.

By comparison, Ethiopia, the dominant power in the Horn of Africa, is hostile to the TNG to the extent that the TNG has accused Ethiopia of seeking to divide and destabilize Somalia. Such allegations are further fuelled by Ethiopia's support for coalitions of southern factions opposed to the TNG.

On the other hand, Ethiopia has always maintained close relations with Somaliland. Even prior to the formation of Somaliland, Ethiopia was a supportive ally of the SNM during the 1980s. The Ethiopian government has established a trade office in Hargeisa and hosts a Somaliland liaison office in Addis Ababa. Ethiopia and Somaliland also cooperate closely on security matters.

Despite its overt support for Somaliland however, Ethiopia has not extended full diplomatic recognition to Somaliland for fear of damaging its relations with significant Arab and African states. The foreign policy of Ethiopia's strategic rival Eritrea towards Somalia is driven by a desire to counter Ethiopian influence. In line with this policy, Eritrea recognized the TNG in 2001.

Governments of member states assigned with restoring a central government to Somalia are deeply divided in their interests and approaches regarding the Somali crisis. The last peace process, which dragged for 18 months, collapsed amid criticism that rivalries were undermining the process. Observers recorded that "the peace process has been dogged by rifts between Ethiopia, the dominant power in the Horn of Africa, and Arab-backed African states who are wary of Ethiopia's sway over the talks and any future governments in Somalia."

Solving the Somali Conflict

Somalia still does not have a government, it is in absolute ruins, and strife and conflict still continue over a decade after one of the most expensive humanitarian interventions in history, and over a dozen peace talks later. Logic rules that, short of alleging a lack of commitment to the task at hand, the approaches thus far adopted in dealing with the Somali crisis are inadequate. A lack of understanding of the conflict's nature is to blame for this. This assertion, as pointed out earlier in the paper, arises from and is supported by certain factors which will be discussed in detail.

1. Strategic Culture

At the risk of coming across as stating the obvious, it is nonetheless significant to point out that in any situation, when one is called upon to intervene in the affairs of others, it is always important to understand the mentalities and ways of life of those people one is dealing with. A medical doctor, for example, question a patient on his or her lifestyle, activities, habits and daily routine before suggesting the ways and methods that the patient's sickness can be cured or brought under control. Ignoring these factors could have disastrous consequences.

Likewise, it is imperative that Somali people's ways of life and traditional approaches to certain situations be understood before any cures for their ills are suggested. More specifically, Somali people's own ways of dealing with crises needs to be taken into consideration in the quest for a peaceful resolution to the current Somali dilemma. This is not to suggest that all Somalis all uniform in their approaches or that every Somali individual will respond in the same manner if presented with the same situation. On contrary, individuals' responses will inevitably vary. But the fact of the matter is that the Somali community is a very conservative, patriarchal, and alike as a result of the society's religious homogeneity and strong respect for and reliance on the tribal system. Whatever clan one identifies themselves as _ and most Somalis do _ there is a hierarchy and system that is followed for every aspect and in every sphere of life, whether it is in resolving a conflict, paying compensation for injury or insult, pursuing a marriage, or simply seeking help in a matter. Such systems are complied with on a microscopic level in the family as well on the macro level in interactions between clans.

The way that a problem is solved among Somalis of different clans are also alike. A solution is first sought among those directly involved in the crisis and if no agreement is reached, only the immediate relations of the conflicting parties are involved. If no resolution is reached, the circle is expanded and distant relatives are called upon to help. As a last resort, the greater clan is involved and traditional rulers and leaders are asked to solve the problem. In the rare and often shameful event that those of the same clan fail to reach an agreement on a crisis (as is the case in Somalia now), elders of other clans reluctantly get involved.

In short, the mechanism of Somali conflict resolution, to use a non-academic phrase, is to keep it close to home. In other words, the process of solving a problem should not have to be done by an outsider but within the confines of one's people _ firstly within the household, then with the extended family, and if all else fails, with other clan member traditional elders. Therefore, because of their cultural and traditional practices and beliefs, only Somalis themselves can resolve the Somali conflict.

2. Somali Conflict Not an Ethnic Conflict

Since its implosion, the Somali conflict has been referred to as an ethnic conflict by the international community and the press. Granted, in its initial stages in the early1990s, wars in southern Somalia were between different clans fighting for power. But what the world is currently witnessing in Somalia points in the opposite direction.

Instead of the 1990s phenomenon of say, Hawiye fighting Daarood, what we see today in Somali is a case of those of the same clans in wars. Militias of feuding warlords of the same clan are at war, not members or groups of conflicting clans. Proving this argument is the fact that the previous three weeks have seen fierce fighting in the city of Mogadishu between militias of warlords Muse Sudi Yalahow and Mohammed Dheere _ both of the Hawiye clan. Clashes between rival warlords in the past years have also shown the same pattern.

Therefore, contrary to widespread beliefs and perceptions, the Somali conflict is no longer ethnic based, and solutions sought out under such perceptions can bear no fruit. The failures of previous peace processes can largely be attributed to this misconception about the nature of the conflict itself.

3. Profitable Project

The issue of the profits that have made off the Somali conflict is taboo in many circles and is thus often avoided in discussion and debates on Somalia. As controversial as it is though it needs to be addressed and dealt with in the quest for Somali peace and stability. The Somali conflict has become a profitable project for some very influential and powerful actors because there is more to gain, materialistically, from the continuing conflict and the ensuing peace processes than its resolution.

Firstly, profits from weapons and arms dealing are to be expected considering the affairs in the country. Reuters reports of the last conflict in Mogadishu that, "fighters.were using light artillery, truck-mounted anti-aircraft guns, heavy machineguns and rocket propelled grenades". Arms dealings have become a lucrative business in this city because of the demand that exists. Those that profit from this business thus fuel conflicts to ensure that demand for their goods does not decrease or vanish all together.

A second group of beneficiaries of the war in Somalia are those that gain from the peace processes themselves. Though no officially researched and documented proof has been published, allegations about the material gains of those often involved in peace processes are rife among Somali communities and other observers of the peace initiatives. An anonymous observer recently captured this scenario articulately on a popular Somali website and posted the message _ "warlords in Somalia fight in order to have peace talks about their fights because that's how they earn their living!"

4. What is in a name and the location?

All previous Somali peace talks and processes have been conducted away from Somalia and delegates to these processes have stayed the same. It would seem therefore that new faces and a radical change in venue is perhaps not simply a strategy used in marketing but could be useful in the Somali case as well.

Somali conflict resolution on foreign soil with only warlords and former military officers who are not representative of the larger Somali populace is not possible. Moving the peace talks to Somalia itself would not only decrease expenses and eliminate profits that unscrupulous characters gain from these processes, but would also raise Somali morale and support for the processes. There would be the home advantage factor at play.

Representation of the common folk at Somali peace processes would also increase chances of its success increase dramatically. One would assume that the task of restoring a central government to Somalia would be achieved more easily by respectable and knowledgeable individuals entrusted by the Somali people to represent them, as opposed to feared gun-trotting people accused of war crimes and alleged to profit from the killings of their people.

With the passage of time, chances for a negotiated and peaceful settlement to the Somali crisis decrease and the cost to human life and dignity increase. It seems reasonable then to say that since the international community's approaches have thus far failed, new mechanisms need to be adopted.

Somaliland's Sovereignty: Somalia's Salvation?

It has already been argued that the international community's lack of understanding of the nature and various dimensions of the Somali conflict has thus far rendered them incapable of resolving the Somali conflict. In conjunction with this point, it was also stated that because of certain cultural and traditional practices and beliefs, only Somalis can solve the Somali problem.

Somaliland's successful formation and maintenance of a functioning government, and restoration of peace and order to its people while the south of Somalia was literally disintegrating into statelessness, places it in a unique position of experience that the rest of Somalia can benefit from. In addition, their 31year co-existence as north and south of the same republic and the shared experiences under Siad Barre places Somaliland in a position to understand the woes and aspirations of south Somalia more than any other country ever could.

Somaliland insists on the world's recognition of its statehood before any dialogue with Somalia can take place. The international community on the other hand still clings on to the illusion of a Somali unity and turns a blind eye to Somaliland's demands for recognition. In this scenario it would seem, as a certain Mat Bryden eloquently put, "Somaliland's destiny.remains hostage to a state that has, by empirical standards, ceased to exist." On the other side of the coin, as the international community struggles to restore a central government to Somalia, Somaliland could be Somalia's only salvation and, ironically Somalia's fate might actually also be in Somaliland's hands.


Source: Somaliland Times, Issue 128 July 5-11, 2004

Abdiqasim Salad Hasan Says Somaliland's Cities Deserved To Be Destroyed, And Vows To Behead His Enemies

Mogadisho, July 3, 2004 (SL Times) - In a speech to a group of his supporters commemorating the independence of Italian Somalia (July 1), the leader of the Arta Faction Abdiqasim Salad Hasan said that after Siyad Barre and Mengistu reached an agreement, the SNM infiltrated northern cities and it was natural that those cities be destroyed since those cities could not be left for them (ha la garaaco dabcan ileyn looga tegi maayee). He also added that once the cities were destroyed the SNM said that was what they [the SNM] wanted, then, the SNM took the people to the countryside. Abdiqasim Salad Hasan strongly defended Siyad Barre in the speech saying that those who fought him were worse than him. The Arta Faction leader also praised himself and the role he played in Siyad Barre's government.

Although many Somalilanders who heard the speech (or heard of the speech) were disgusted by what Abdiqasim Salad Hasan said, it did not come as a surprise, because Abdiqasim Salad Hasan had said the same thing before.

It is noteworthy that the BBC's correspondent in Mogadishu, Farhiya Ali Qajo, who is a big promoter of the Arta Faction, released an edited version of this speech which did not include Abdiqasim Salad Hasan's outrageous claims or his promise to behead his enemies. As usual, Farhiya Ali Qajo only picked the part of the speech that she thought would make good propaganda material for Abdiqasim Salad Hasan.


Puntland Militia Still Holding Halo Trust Deminers

Las-Anod, July 3, 2004 (SL Times) - Gunmen belonging to Puntland warlord Abdillahi Yusuf are still holding as hostages 9 Halo Trust deminers who were abducted last Tuesday near Anjeed, about 19 km north of Las-Anod.

The Halo Trust deminers, all Somaliland citizens, were engaged in mine-clearance activities in the area when they were attacked around 10 pm by 2 technicals belonging to Abdillahi Yusuf's militia. The 9 deminers were driven to Garowe, the administrative capital of Puntland.

The enclave's warlord Abdillahi Yusuf hurried to Garowe from Nairobi few days ago amid reports of widespread unrest in the area. Armed militia claiming to have not received their wages for 8 months had occupied Garowe's main two checkpoints on Thursday.

The Mayor of Bosasso, Puntland's port town, was killed earlier in the week. Opposition sources said the killers were Abddillahi Yusuf loyalists.

Travelers reaching Somaliland have reported a serious deterioration in the security situation in Puntland.


EU To Aid Somalia Government without looking at impact on Somaliland

Nairobi, Kenya, July 3, 2004 (SL Times) - The European Union is considering a plan to provide massive political and economic support for the government to be formed for Somalia at the current reconciliation conference underway in Kenya since Oct 2002. The EU has so far been the main financial and political backer of the talks on Somalia being held at Mbagathi, Nairobi.

EU observers at the Mbagathi talks now agree that the ability of the anticipated government for Somalia to survive in institutional terms, will largely depend on whether it gets material and moral support from the international community or not.

Floated initially by Italy, the idea of involving EU countries in a big way in a nation-building process for Somalia, has reportedly been gaining ground recently among other European observers attending the Mbagathi talks.

EU officials monitoring Somalia's reconciliation process are said to have been encouraged by the sudden positive turn that the talks took as of May, following the resolution of policy differences between Ethiopia and Djibouti over the Somali peace process.

There are also reports that the EU has already accepted in principle to underwrite most of the costs required for the African Union to send initially military monitors and eventually a peace keeping force to Somalia.

The AU, through its recently-established African Peace Facility, has pledged to provide a secure environment in which nascent government institutions will be able to operate, at least within the first 6 months.

According to a number of sources within the international partners of Somalia's peace talks, EU officials believe that once a government has been inaugurated it will be crucial to re-establish Somalia's police force and an army not only for the purpose of restoring law and order in the country but also for absorbing thousands of armed militia into these two institutions. The consensus among donors, particularly the EU observers, is to support a comprehensive disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programe for the militia, the sources added.

Despite the increasingly important role it is anticipated to play in post Mbagathi Somalia, the EU has so far shown no consideration for the repercussions its unconditional sponsorship of the Mbagathi talks and the new government to emerge from the process, will have on Somaliland's peace, stability and democracy.

Neither the EU (the main financial sponsor of the peace process) nor IGAD (the host and facilitator of the Mbagathi talks) maintains a clear-cut policy on the Somaliland issue.


Somali Envoy Accuses UK Of Excluding Somaliland From Peace Talks

New York, June 28, 2004 (BBC Monitoring) - Somalia's ambassador to the UN, Ahmad Abdi Hashi, has said that there are some Western countries which are interested in restricting the Somali peace conference to the warring factions in southern Somalia, thereby excluding the northern parts known as Somaliland.

Hashi, speaking to HornAfrik from New York, added that nowhere in the [documents of the] UN, Arab League or African Union is it written that the Somali peace conference is [only] for southern Somalia.

He said that, due to anarchy in southern Somalia, the UK is trying to make the conference to be specifically for southern Somalia's warring factions.

The Somali ambassador said that the statement issued by the UN special envoy to Somalia, Winston Tubman, claiming that the Somali peace conference in Nairobi is only for the southern parts, was based on his own view, and was not the official stance of the UN.


Repatriation Of Rejected Asylum Seekers From Djibouti

Djibouti, June 29, 2004 (Arab News) - Djibouti's Interior Minister Abdoulkader Dualeh Wais has disclosed that his government has begun repatriating about 521 Somali asylum seekers whose applications to stay in the country have been rejected, press reports said. "Over a period of five months, the country's refugee status determination commission has sifted through 8,000 asylum applications to determine who should stay. About half the applications were rejected. Those remaining at Awr Aousa, whose asylum requests had been accepted, were more than 4,000 Somalis and 100 Ethiopians, who would be transferred to other refugee camps in the country. The Awr Aousa camp will be closed," Wais said.

Meanwhile, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has said that most of the 16,000 refugees from the northern region of Somaliland who were living in Djibouti should be able to return home by the end of 2005, The UNHCR representative in Djibouti, William Collins Asare, said his agency had repaired some infrastructure and set up some services in Somaliland to assist the refugees in resettling.


Food Distribution In Ethiopia's Hartisheik Camp

HARTISHEIK CAMP, Ethiopia, July 1 (UNHCR) - It was once the world's largest refugee camp, hosting a quarter million Somalis in a bustling pocket of eastern Ethiopia. Today, Hartisheik camp is deserted, sitting quietly in the semi-arid border area as its last inhabitants leave for home.

On Wednesday, the last UNHCR return convoy left Hartisheik camp with 719 Somali refugees, crossing the border into Hargeisa in northwestern Somalia, also known as Somaliland. They are currently living in a transit center in Hargeisa while the authorities work to find a site where they can settle permanently.

The closure of Hartisheik camp marks a milestone in the Somali repatriation movement that has seen a total of 230,147 refugees return home on UNHCR convoys since April 1997. Many others have gone back on their own.

Hartisheik was the site to which hundreds of thousands of Somalis flocked amid the collapse of the Siyad Barre government in 1988 and clan warfare in the early 1990s. The first refugees arrived in appalling conditions; many died of exhaustion, hunger and lack of water. UNHCR mobilized emergency assistance in this remote region, setting up camps, digging wells and offering medical services.

At its peak, Hartisheik hosted more than 250,000 refugees, mostly from Gabiley and Hargeisa areas in northwestern Somalia. The camp bustled with a busy market where people could find almost anything they needed, from imported clothes to jogging shoes, electronic appliances and auto spare parts.


Conference on Peace, Security and Development in the Horn of Africa

Somaliland International Recognition Action Group (SIRAG) London, UK. 2nd July 2004

Conference on Peace, Security and Development in the Horn of Africa, "The Somalialnd Experience"

A Conference on Peace, Security and Development In The Horn of Africa "the Somaliland Experience" by African Renaissance Center For Social Science Research, Media And Development "ARECSMED" will be held in Hargeisa, Somaliland on 1st August to 2nd August 2004.

For full details of the conference including the Time Table (1st Augst to 2nd August) please visit: www.sirag.org.uk/arecsmedaugustconf.htm

For more information please contact: UK, Dr. Ahmed Mohammed, Secretary of SIRAG, Email: siraguk@hotmail.com, www.sirag.org.uk

Somaliland: Dr. Mohamed-Rashid Sh, Hassan, Hargeisa Somaliland, Home Tell: 252 2 517012 or 527780 or Mobile: 252 2 429498,Email: rashid108@hotmail.com

Saed M. Hussein, African Renaissance Center For Social, Science Research, Media And Development "ARECSMED"

Peace, Security and Development, In The Horn of Africa "the Somaliland Experience"August 1-2, 2004

Introduction

Human right's violation and the deterioration of security situation and civil war in the former Somali Republic has given rise to its collapse and the emergence of Somaliland. The lack of International recognition of Somaliland as yet and the absence of government in Somalia has created a sense of insecurity in the region and the possibility of the development of social and political atmosphere prone to the emergence of terrorist elements in the region.

This conference is the first of its kind that has ever been held in Somaliland to bring together International Scholars and Researchers, from the African Continent. The conference has two objectives: (a) To give an opportunity to the International and African Scholars and Researchers to have a meaningful discussion about the future of the Horn. (b) To consider Somaliland experience as an excellent example of African renaissance and self-reliance that deserves both attention and discussion.

As such, the conference will focus on the following topics: -
(a) Peace and Security and Development (b) Democracy and Governance. (c) Media and Society.

The conference is organized by the Africa Renaissance Center for Social Science Research Media and Development (ARECSMED) in corporation with Somaliland Ministry of Information and National Guidance.

ARECSMED is non-governmental and non-profit seeking organization. It has both local and international NGOs status and has its main office in Hargeisa Somaliland, but has also networking groups with Somaliland Diaspora communities world-wide.

The director of the center is Dr. Mohamed-Rashid Sh,. Hassan well-known journalist and anthropologist who worked for the BBC World Service Somali section as a producer and broadcaster over 15 years and wrote numerous articles on Somaliland and Somalia. He is assisted by experienced researchers.

The center has a closer working relationship with the government institutions of Somaliland and civil societies.

In the wider African context, the center has also the support of some distinguished African Scholars and Researchers and University lectures. One of the main objectives of the center is serve as an active link between Somaliland and the rest of Africa, as the Center was established in the spirit of the African Union and NEPAD.

Any further information can be contacted to Dr. Mohamed-Rashid Sh, Hassan. Hargeisa, Somaliland. Home Tell: 252 2 517012 or 527780 or Mobile: 252 2 429498, Email: rashid108@hotmail.com

Saed M. Hussein, Executive Secretary of the Minister of Information,
00 252 2 424527 Mobile, 00 252 828 5109 Soltelco, E-mail: Siciidnayl@yahoo.com


Source: Novib-Somalia, July 2, 2004

After twelve years of civil war: Impulses for the civic society in Somalia/Somaliland

After twelve years of civil war in Somalia, warlords now determine the fate of millions of Somalis. In Somaliland, on the other hand, a process of democratisation has started. Since 1995, Novib has worked with NGOs from both Somalia and Somaliland. Last year, Novib started a programme to reinforce the civil society in Somalia using financial assistance from the European Commission. One of activities was a civil-society symposium that was held at the beginning of this year in Hargeisa.

The programme for reinforcing the civil society in Somalia focuses on three issues: (a) broad-based awareness of the role, responsibilities, activities and ideals of the civil society (b) the effective execution of activities by related organisations (c) improved coordination between the civil society, the government, the private sector and international donors.

In order to be able to implement the programme properly, the EC requested that an office be opened in Nairobi, the capital of neighbouring Kenya. The project is now being run and activities planned from this Novib-Somalia office.

Role for traditional leaders

The programme is now in its second phase. The first year entailed a mapping out of what exactly the civil society is in the Somali context. Of course, this covers a lot more than NGOs since trades unions, the media, civilian organisations, artists and religious leaders are all involved in defending citizens' interests. The results led to the second phase of the programme focusing on education, human rights, gender and capacity building of organisations in areas in which no attention is paid to the civil society. Other organisations also took part. For example, Amnesty International drew up a Human Rights Defenders' declaration together with counterparts from Somalia and Somaliland which specifies the rights and obligations of Human Rights Defenders. Novib is supporting the civil society in peace talks in Kenya, which have already been going on for a year. The civil society wants to abolish the legitimacy of the power of the warlords. Its aim is therefore to gain recognition of the role of traditional leaders, women and young people.

International community is contributing

In 2002, an assessment was also made as to whether the international community wishes to contribute to development in Somalia and Somaliland. There is certainly interest in the matter, but a lack of clarity regarding who, how and what to support. The Novib programme can play an important informative role in this respect. Because Somalia - which has had no government for twelve years now - is extremely unsafe, travelling is a hazardous undertaking. Partly thanks to the counterparts, Novib staff are able to travel more easily and safer than a lot of others. In 2003, the international community is going to contribute actively to education for girls and is also going to start financing a number of NGOs directly or via Novib. The local NGOs demonstrate their activities using video clips which are shown during coordination meetings in Nairobi. These interventions are having a positive effect. In addition, Somali NGOs have just developed a code of conduct with which they can arrange their own accountability. In Somaliland the situation is somewhat more complicated. Due to a lack of international recognition, there is a threat that this country will become the victim of its own process of democratisation. The civil society is being supported relatively well, but there is no bilateral aid. There is a danger of unbalanced growth and of fierce discussions between the civil society and the government regarding both parties' roles and expectations.

Civil society symposium

The third activity carried out by the Novib-Somalia programme was the organisation of a civil society symposium in Hargeisa in February this year. It was participated in by around 300 representatives from civil society organisations and the international community. An interesting aspect of this symposium was the possibility it offered of using different cultural expressions which appeared to have a greater effect here than the thick papers which are normally used at such symposia. Famous poets talked about the Somali population which is plagued by injustice and poverty. A children's circus gave a show with an attractively presented message (the importance of girls attending school). An orphanage gave a performance to emphasise that Novib's method of working (non-operational and instilling confidence in local organisations) was widely praised. The results of this symposium led to the drawing up by the participants of the so-called'Hargeisa Declaration' in which they call for higher quality partnerships between the international community and civil organisations. The broader agenda of the civil society was also specified as being'the attainment of sustainable peace and development in our respective constituencies'.

Bron: Novib Network No 5, Auteur: Doroth, Appels, coordinator Novib-Somalia project


Khat Plant'Boosts Sperm Power'

Berlin, June 28, 2004 (BBC News Online) - A chemical found in the khat plant could boost the power of men's sperm, researchers have found.

Lab tests by King's College London found treated sperm became fertile faster, and stayed fertile for longer, than untreated sperm. Khat is mild narcotic, producing a high when chewed, but its use has been linked to long-term problems.

The study was presented at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology conference in Berlin. The researchers say their findings could lead to products to help couples conceive.

Chewing khat leaves, which is particuarly popular in parts of East Africa, releases cathinone, a stimulant that produces the feelings of euphoria linked with the plant.

When cathinone is broken down in the body, it produces chemicals including cathine and norephedrine, which have a similar structure to amphetamines and adrenaline. The researchers from the Centre for Reproduction, Endocrinology and Diabetes at King's College examined the effect of cathine on mouse sperm.

They found that the chemical accelerated the development of sperm, so it reached the stage where it was fertile more quickly.

It then remained in this stage for longer than normal. This is important because, when sperm meets an egg, it needs to connect using a "lock and key" system.

If is past its'peak', and its membranes are no longer intact, sperm will not have its part of this mechanism, meaning fertilisation cannot take place.

Investigation

Early tests on human sperm suggest it is affected by cathine in the same way.

Other studies in rabbits have shown chewing khat leaves could also increased sperm production. However, there is some concern that prolonged use could actually damage sperm.

Around seven tonnes of khat leaves are estimated to be imported into the UK each week.

The Home Office is currently investigating the plant's long-term health effects, following concern it may be linked to heart and mental health problems. It is due to report later this year.

'Not a high dose'

The researchers say they will now carry out more analysis of human sperm.

Lynn Fraser, Professor of Reproductive Biology at King's College London, told BBC News Online: "It might be relatively easy to develop products. "Compounds related to the ones we studied are being used in over-the-counter and prescription medicines, for dietary treatments and asthma."

"And the amount that's required isn't that high, so it's not a question of taking very high doses and therefore becoming overstimulated."

She said khat-based products could be used to help couples who are having trouble conceiving naturally, and in clinics as additives to sperm used in IVF or artificial insemination.

Professor Fraser said if the research on cathine improving sperm production was proven: "We could give it to men to improve sperm production, and to women because it is in the female reproductive tract that the sperm go through this process to become fertile."


Major Boost For Malaria Programmes In Somalia

Nairobi, June 28 2004 (Sapa-AP) - A fund set up to combat three of the world's most devastating diseases has given aid agencies working in Somalia $8,9-million (almost R60-million) to combat malaria over the next two years.

The Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria granted the money to the United Nations children's agency and eight other aid agencies to distribute insecticide-treated nets and improve preventive treatment in the country's prenatal clinics, said Andrea Berloffa of the Somalia Aid Co-ordination Body.

The grant will also help provide anti-malarial drugs to 520 public health facilities, Berloffa said in a statement.

Malaria kills more than a million people a year, with 90 percent of these deaths occurring in Africa, mostly children under the age of five, acording to the UN.

"This grant will help reduce death and illness of children and women in the country," Berloffa said. "For a country that has been devastated by conflict, floods and drought, and with very little internal infrastructure, this kind of support will significantly accelerate prevention and control efforts." More than four million Somalis will benefit from the grant, Berloffa added.

The malaria parasite is transmitted by female mosquitoes.

The UN says malaria is a major health concern in Somalia, accounting for about 12 percent of all illnesses among children under five years of age in central and southern parts of the Horn of Africa nation.

Somalia, which has a population of about 7 million, has not had an effective central government since the 1991 ouster of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.

The Global Fund is becoming the largest financier of insecticide-treated bed nets in the world.


Editorial:The EU Should recognize Somaliland and Somalia as two separate countries

The European Union has been playing an important and useful role in Somalia's peace-making process that began in Kenya in October 2002. As the major contributor of funds required for running Somalia's reconciliation conference underway at Mbagathi, Nairobi, for the last one year and eight months, the EU's help has been instrumental in keeping the talks alive. On many occasions when bitter wrangling had put the talks in jeopardy, the EU came forward to help the IGAD mediators resolve disagreements by engaging Somali parties in dialogue with the aim of reaching consensus. And with the Kenyan hosted talks on Somalia already in the final stage, the EU is said to be seriously thinking of providing substantial support for the government to emerge from the process. EU recognition of the new government to be installed for Somalia is also most likely to happen once the talks are brought to a successful end.

If the past reconciliation conferences are any guide, the person who is selected as president of Somalia will then start claiming jurisdiction over Somaliland. Arab governments such as Egypt, Libya and Saudi Arabia are likely to provide money and arms to the former Italian colony of Somalia. Somaliland will most probably react by first retaking Las-Anod, then engaging in a military build-up along the border with Somalia to get ready for an inevitable showdown with Italian Somalia. Such a dreadful scenario can only be avoided if the EU and IGAD address Somaliland's security concerns by inserting safeguards in the peace process that ensure Somaliland's sovereignty.

The EU as the only major external power player in the Mbagathi talks, should publicly indicate its opposition to any claims of jurisdiction by any future government in Somalia over Somaliland. The EU and IGAD countries should also bear in mind that granting an immediate diplomatic recognition to the government anticipated to emerge from Mbagathi while withholding the same from Somaliland, would destroy any possibility for negotiations between the two countries on the status of their future relations.

It will be tragic indeed, if the EU, while trying to help resolve the conflicts in Somalia, actually ended up sowing the seeds of another deadlier conflict. The current Mbagathi talks provide a chance for the EU and IGAD to take a clear stand that recognizes Somaliland and Somalia as two separate sovereign countries. By recognizing Somalia and Somaliland as two sovereign nations, the international community would have helped in solving the current conflicts in Somalia and laid the basis for a peaceful future in the region.


Turning Assets into Usable Capital

By: John Drysdale

High Level Session at UN Headquarters, New York on June 30th, 2004 Presentation by Cadastral Surveys Limited on Surveying and Mapping for Rural and Urban Cadastre in Somalia [Somaliland]

"With the indispensable, daily cooperation of the Somaliland Ministry of Agriculture, in the field and in the in-house work station, the shared success that the ministry and Cadastral Surveys have enjoyed with surveying and mapping hitherto non-existent farm boundaries in the Gabiley and Dilla Districts of South West Somaliland, during the last three years in particular, has in great measure been accomplished by the enduring partnership that happily persists between the United Nations Development Programme for Somalia, the grateful Somali farming community and the implementers of this unique endeavor to bring peace to the farmlands, where there was conflict; to bring absolute security of tenure through freehold title, and prospective collateral.

In this presentation, Cadastral Surveys Limited, a UK Non-Government Organisation operating in Somalia (Somaliland) under the title `Somaliland Cadastral Surveys', addresses some issues presented in an ECOSOC paper prepared by the International Land Coalition - Ifad Rome - for the High Level Session.

The ECOSOC paper makes the generalization that property owned by urban and rural poor in Africa and elsewhere is for the most part insecure and thus not fungible. The paper argues that informal property rights need to be formalized if assets are to be turned into usable capital.

Cadastral Surveys' five-year experience in addressing this problem in Somaliland, since 1999, has resulted so far in 24,700 Somali returnees from refugee camps in Ethiopia being peacefully resettled on 4,123 farms, each farm averaging 5 hectares or 12 acres. Until the Somaliland Ministry of Agriculture and Cadastral Surveys jointly demarcated with concrete blocks their respective farm boundaries, the farmers were at war with each other. Their boundaries (and farm ownership) to this day are identified by Ministry officials and plotted by Cadastral Surveys from converted theodolite measurements on maps (using GIS/Arcview and Mercator's coordinates) and entered on a 34-field database per farm. The database, which includes, inter alia, map coordinates of each boundary turning point, forms the bases of title deeds issued by the Minister of Agriculture. With a freehold title deed a farm-owner can theoretically (see below) seek collateral at 50 per cent of the value of his or her land.

The value of rain-fed agricultural land varies according to its proximity to roads and permanent wells for watering livestock; its average seasonal rainfall per year (400-600mm); soil water retention; soil fertility and regular crop rotation. The principal crops are maize and sorghum. In the case of much smaller fruit and vegetable farms, which are irrigated mechanically from shallow wells on the banks of dry water courses, the value of land per hectare is two or three times the value of rain-fed farms.

In cooperation with the Gabiley elected local government, Cadastral Surveys has also surveyed and mapped (using Mercator's coordinates) the town of Gabiley giving each street, and corresponding private and commercial properties, serialized, combined alphanumeric postal addresses. This is premature because in Somaliland, being a de facto Republic only, international postal services are forbidden. The database for Gabiley has 43 fields per property allowing for the daily entry on a computer of revenue and other transactions. With comprehensive laminated registration cards for each property, the Mayor's office can readily convert the data into freehold title deeds, if they so desire.

On both counts, rural and urban, the Ministry of Agriculture, and the Gabiley local government, together with Cadastral Surveys and their joint partner, the United Nations Development Programme, have satisfied the criteria of converting informally held property into usable capital if only this, as yet internationally unrecognized country, were permitted (which it is not) to approach the World Bank for financial assistance. The government was about to introduce an agricultural credit bank three years ago but it was frustrated by Saudi Arabia's trade embargo on imports of Somaliland's livestock on the hoof, allegedly because of non-existent Rift Valley Fever. The adverse effect that this embargo had, and still has, on government export revenue, curtailed, inter alia, the introduction of a credit bank. Money-lenders, as such, do not exist in Somaliland. The introduction of financial services from the lively Somali private sector would not be impossible, as was the case (albeit government controlled) during the sovereignty of the Somali Democratic Republic (1969-81). But training and capital from external sources would now be required. Currently, farmers can secure small informal loans from the business community, on the basis of their title, for such services as fresh seed, fertilizer for irrigated farms, land clearing and halting erosion, hiring tractors instead of using their bullocks, camels or even donkeys for the initial, heavy seasonal ploughing, and the collective hiring of vehicles daily to transport milk to markets some 50 kilometres away. Somali farmers, being agro-pastoralists, also possess domestic livestock - oxen, lactating cows, burden camels, donkeys and ruminants - as part of their assets.

The country has no external debts which is due, in part, to their negligible borrowing capacity as an internationally unrecognized state, and, in part, to the not insubstantial invisible exports of incoming remittances from the vast Somali Diaspora employed overseas.

Recurrent costs in Somaliland of surveying and mapping six farms a day with two teams, amounting to an average of 30 hectares a day, or two kilometres of streets a day with corresponding houses, are around US$18,000 a month respectively, including comprehensive databases and registration certificates. In the last three years, these costs have been met by the implementers' partner, the United Nations Development Programme for Somalia as part of its comprehensive Capacity Building Programme. This has included provision, for example, for Cadastral Surveys to train all its field and in-house staff, including a field survey team from part of the staff of the Ministry of Agriculture.

Urban surveying and mapping would be cheaper if up-to-date satellite images were used. Satellite images would have little merit in Somaliland's agricultural areas as there are no visible boundaries. As for legal property systems, the lower house of Somaliland's parliament has passed two pertinent legislative bills both of which respectively regulate titles to real estate and agricultural land holdings. Both do away with former leasehold requirements, now substituted by freehold possession. Three principal effects of this have been lower administrative costs, real interest in collateral over an extended period, and greater care of the environment - a significant reduction in tree felling for example and more attention to gulley erosion.

Cadastral Surveys has an all-Somali workforce of thirty persons, other than the Director, who has dual nationality (British and Somaliland). The NGO has required no foreign consultants or technical assistance since its inception in 1999. Cadastral Surveys has written its own technical manual on surveying and mapping which is being used as a teaching aid by the University of Hargeisa Institute of Land, Soil and Water Surveying. With 30 students studying for a 12-month Diploma, the Institute is expected to provide future surveyors, cartographers and database construction staff. All the necessary teaching equipment, including Theodolites, Digitisation and GIS software, has been donated by De La Rue plc of London."


Educational Programme

By: Ahmed Isse Jama (Gade), Regional Education Inspector

Teaching - Practice, In Primary Schools

The lesson plan

A lesson plan is a written account of the preparation for a lesson. It shows in a summary form how the lesson is supposed to proceed. The format used should be such that will enable the user to find each step easily. A lesson plan usually includes the following aspects:

(1) General information, (2) The topic/subtopic, (3) Objective(s) (4) References, (5) Lesson introduction, (6) Lesson development: a) Teacher activities b) Pupil activities (7) Conclusion

We shall consider each of the above aspects in a little more detail.

General information

The information at the top of the lesson includes the name of the teaching practice school, the class, its size, the subject, and the date and time the lesson will take place.

Objective

The objective or objectives state the value of the lesson to the learner. They state what mental and psychomotor skills, what knowledge and attitudes the learner is required to achieve. They may state what concept the learner will acquire, especially when referring to young children.

The objectives in the lesson plan are not to be confused with the more general and broad objectives of the particular subject.

Broad subject objectives will only be achieved through the more specific objective of the lesson plan.

In stating your lesson objectives - instructional objectives - the following points should be remembered:

A lesson can have more than one objective. Do not, however, aim at achieving too much.

The objective (s) must be stated in a way that shows what the desired change in the pupils' behavior will be. The objective (s) must be achievable within one lesson, unless specified for a double lesson. The objective (s) must relate to what the pupils will learn rather than what the teacher will teach - objectives should be children - centered.

The change in the pupils' behavior should be observable and measurable.

Let us examine each of the following instructional objectives and comment on them.

a) To introduce the area of a triangle b) At the end of the lesson the pupils will understand the area of a triangle; and c) At the end of the lesson the pupils should be able to calculate the area of a triangle.

The objective in (a) is teacher-centred not pupil-centred, whereas (b) is pupil-centred, but is not measurable - the word "understand" is too abstract to measure. On the other hand (c) is pupil - centred, is measurable and is achievable within a lesson.

A teacher who has just begun to learn how to write instructional objectives may find it useful to use the phrase "At the end of the lesson the pupils should...? He may continue to use this phrase until it is clear in his mind how he must state his objectives.

Later he may stop using the phrase and just indicate the pupils' behavior, for example by writing `the pupils should calculate.'

The following verbs are measurable and therefore should be used to express instructional objectives: list, identify, write (e.g. write sentences using certain words), recite, calculate, interpret, state and explain.

The following verbs and phrases are not measurable and therefore must be avoided when stating instructional objectives: know, understand, learn, improve, develop, familiarize themselves with, comprehend and increase their vocabulary.

A few examples of good instructional objectives are as follows:
At the end of the lesson the pupils should be able to:
Discover what happens when metals are heated,
Calculate the area of a triangle,
Wash white cotton articles,
Read and answer the questions at the end of story `Farah's family',
Draw the map of the school.

To be continued..


Celebrating 1st July In A New Light: A Somalilander's Perspective

By: Bashir Goth, Abu Dhabi, UAE

"Take from the altars of the past the fire - not the ashes" ~Jean Jaures

On July 1st 1960, the people Somaliland celebrated a day of destiny. They gave up their sovereignty which they have won four days earlier by their own will. They had a mission to fulfill and a vision to achieve. Their mission was to establish a strong united government with the South and not let such historical opportunity slip from their grasp. Their vision was to bring all Somali speaking people under the blue flag. This day the Somalilanders realized of a much larger vision they shared with the remaining four parts of Greater Somalia; with Somalis in Djibouti, the Reserved Areas of Ethiopia, the Northern Frontier District of Kenya and of course Italian Somalis of the South.

It was natural for Somalilanders at the time to see the Independence of Somaliland as the first step in a long and torturous journey towards the ultimate dream of all Somalis. The realization of Somaliweyn. This dream at the time was part of a general trend in Africa. A trend of unity and brotherhood that prevailed among all Africans emerging from under the yoke of colonialism. One has to recall, however, that when the dream of Somalis was limited to uniting the territory of the Somali speaking people under one flag, other Africans at the time had even bigger dreams. Dr Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana thought the independence of Ghana in 1957 was not sweet enough unless all Africa was independent and united under one flag and a United States of Africa was created. Thus came the historical meeting of William V.S. Tubman of Liberia and Ahmed Sekou Toure of Guinea with Nkrumah, in Sanniquellie, northern Liberia in 1959, to ink their famous communiqu, of solidarity which later would become the precursor of the Organization of the African Unity, OAU. Even at his moment of triumph, as the hour of Ghana's independence struck, Nkrumah couldn't hide his quest for a much greater goal of an independent and united Africa, thus came his words in his independence speech:

"We again rededicate ourselves in the struggle to emancipate other countries in Africa; For our independence is meaningless unless it is linked up with the total liberation of the African continent. "I believe strongly and sincerely that with the deep-rooted wisdom and dignity, the innate respect for human lives, the intense humanity that is our heritage, the African race, united under one federal government, will emerge not as just another world bloc to flaunt its wealth and strength, but as a Great Power whose greatness is indestructible because it is built not on fear, envy and suspicion, nor won at the expense of others, but founded on hope, trust, friendship and directed to the good of all mankind." Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Independence speech on March 5, 1957.

Negritude, an expression of African identity pioneered by celebrated black intellectuals such as Leopold S,dar Senghor of Senegal and Martinican poet and statesman Aime Cesaire, also paved the way for a unity among the blacks of the world albeit more of a cultural commonality than political.

African intellectuals and statesmen had the historical responsibility to rise to the need of the moment and the desire of the African people for Independence and unity. It is a historical misjudgment to expect of the Somali people to do otherwise. They too saw the unity of the territory of the Somali speaking people as a springboard to a unity of the whole of Africa. Dismantling of colonial borders between peoples of the same race and language was for them the start of setting the record straight.

No where was this better expressed than the words attributed to Farah Omaar, a Somalilander of broader vision, " My country is too small to be divided into five parts." Thus sang Somaliland poets and lyric writers among the most notable among them were Timacadde, Balayacas, Jabiye and Ali Sugule to mention but a few.

On 26th June and later on 1st July, the people of Somaliland had lived through one of their sweet dreams, that of independence and unity of at least two parts of the whole. Their jubilation for these two days was sincere and not orchestrated or forced. It was a patriotic and spontaneous outpour of the people's true feelings. Every Somali person, whether inside the two united parts or outside them celebrated and embraced these two days as their own victory.

The fact that such beauty, such patriotism and such genuine feelings of brotherhood had been hijacked, betrayed and destroyed by the Siyad Barre's dictatorial regime should not make the people of Somaliland look at these days with shame and remorse. Quite contrary, Somalilanders should be proud of the heroism of their men, women and children who rose to the historical responsibility of the moment, who like Nkrumah saw the independence of Somaliland as not enough and yearned for something bigger and better. Somalilanders should be proud that it was the sacrifices and the patriotism of their fathers that had made part of a Somali dream come true - the birth of the Somali Republic on 1st July 1960.

History is a witness that Somalilanders made the far bigger sacrifices for the sake of Somali unity than our Italian brothers. Gripped by the unity fever, Somalilanders had given up everything. The capital went to the south. So was the posts of the President, Speaker of the parliament, the Prime Minister and key cabinet ministers such as the defense, the foreign office, finance and interior. Even the Armed Forces Chief of Staff and the Commander of the national police force were seen as too big a share to be given the north.

Despite such injustice, the Somalilanders continued to hang on to their hopes, dreaming of the arrival of the day of reckoning when all Somalis would come under the umbrella of unity and their sacrifice would be rewarded with a fair share of wealth and government. This explains the Northerners' outright rejection of the attempted coup by their military elites in 1961, with the most celebrated Northern playwright Ali Sugule hailing the military's alertness in squashing Hassan Kayd's coup with his famous "Nin lagu seexdow ha seexan," sang by the late Somali melody queen Magool.

Whether the Somalilander's unbelievable sacrifices and proverbial patriotism could be seen as political naivety or visionary cause went awry will be a subject for debate among history students for years to come, but one thing is true that Somalilanders' had invested heavily in the Somali cause and had lost heavily too.

To borrow Nkrumah's words again, Somalilanders dreamed of a Great Somali Unity whose greatness was indestructible because it was to be built not on fear, envy and suspicion, nor won at the expense of others, but founded on hope, trust, friendship and directed to the good of all mankind.

They, however, instead reaped misery, destruction, fear and loss of human dignity. The Somali unity was destroyed by the brutality of the Siyad Barre regime to the people of the north. Even the ensuing civil war among the northern clans was a measure orchestrated by the Barre regime aimed at finishing off whatever its missiles, tanks and planes had missed and a sinister move aimed at sowing long-term discord and never healing spiritual wounds among the Somalilanders.

Thanks to the wisdom of their elders, their shared blood and cultural values, the Somalilanders have overcome their plight, pieced their lives together, rebuilt their villages and towns stone by stone and block by block, reclaimed their sovereignty and created a vibrant and constitutional democracy to the envy of many Africans and to the admiration of the international community.

This shouldn't make Somalilanders, however, negate the dreams and the noble goals for which our fathers and mothers fought. Just like we are doing today, they were trying with the best of their ability and to the best of their knowledge to guarantee a peaceful and better future for their children and grandchildren. Never, should we, therefore, denigrate nor downgrade their efforts and their struggle. To disassociate ourselves from their achievements, is to decry their accomplishments, to demean their intentions, to question their honesty and their integrity and to discredit their intellect and political vision.

Let us view the day of 1st July in its historical perspective and celebrate the bravery, the vision, the patriotism and wholeheartedness with which our people have fought to realize their dream symbolized at the time by 1st July. To shun and reject the historical importance of 1st July, is to say that our fathers and mothers have died in vain, danced in vain, sang in vain and jubilated in vain in their thousands.

No, never. our fathers and mothers had fought for the right cause, at the right time and for the right age. Somalilanders today are also fighting for the right cause, at the right time for the right age by reclaiming their sovereignty and chartering their own way for their own future and that of their children. Just the same way as our fathers and mothers thought they were doing. Had they had the prophetic vision and the foresight to see where their achievements would end, they surely wouldn't have taken the road they took. But as fallible human beings, how could they! We also cannot swear the fruits we are sowing today would not be sour someday in the distant future. To put it simply we are trying to do our best. So did our fathers and mothers in their time. Therefore, let us respect their record and their history if we want our children to respect our record and our history as well.


Do You Have To Show Your Underwear?

Mohamed Mukhtar Ibrahim, London

One night, a friend of mine said, "July 1st is here, it is time to celebrate". Throughout the night I kept asking myself "are we going to celebrate 44 years of progression or regression?" Next morning my mind was still clouded, however my own physical presence was required to be at work. I strode out to catch my bus. I have noticed two Somalis - a boy and a girl - standing at the bus stop. The boy was wearing his baggy trousers very low as if he was proud to show off his boxer shorts and the girl was wearing a low-cut jeans and a shirt that showed a lot of her stomach and a lot of cleavage. The way these teenagers dressed compounded my anguish.

At my lunch break I spent surfing the Internet trying to find out how the trend toward showing the maximum amount of skin has started and the sartorial depths to which fashion has now sunk. Flicking through the pages, I came across Pace Magazine with its front cover showing young Somali supermodels. One particular model made me uneasy by seeing her naked narrow waist. I am not here to contemplate what a person should or should not wear because Allah has already notified us the dress code, but what worries me is to the extent that the boundaries have been pushed.

Let us quickly look the history notes of baggy clothes and bare bellies. Here is an excerpt from an article entitled "the history of baggy pants": Unbeknownst to many, baggy clothing has been around even before the early days of Yo MTV Raps. As a style, baggy and loose fitting clothing has always been associated with the derelicts and bohemians of society. Hobos, transients, and the homeless are usually portrayed as having baggy clothing.

Of course, they wore baggy clothing through no choice of their own but because all they could find was loose, discarded clothing (not to mention their small frames caused by malnutrition). Jesters and clowns are also associated with exaggerated clothing. Clowns wear larger than normal shoes and baggier than normal pants. Whatever the case, baggy clothing has always been associated with the fringes of society. Baggy clothing can be seen as an affront to polite society.

Baring the belly has a deep history and can be traced back to Egypt as early as 48 BC. Indian women have been showing their midriff for a long time. Movie stars started showing their bared bellies in the late 1910s. In the 1980s, Madonna, queen of imps, showed her naked tummy. In the 1990s, two ribald singers Janet Jackson and Mariah Carey joined the club of bare bellies. But the look really took off when ruinous Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera started showing the sparkly strings of their thongs.

People naturally prefer certain clothes and hairdos to express themselves. Whatever you wear somehow reflects your personality. Brian Tracy, a leading authority on personal and business success, writes "The fact is that when you first meet a person, he makes a judgment about you in approximately four seconds, and his judgment is finalized largely within 30 seconds of the initial contact".

If a young boy wears his trousers too low and his hat cocked to the side, he may be classified as a yob. And if a teenage girl dresses in skimpy clothes, she may be regarded as a slut. One may argue that the way a person dresses does not necessarily mean everything. Of course that is true, but your clothes reflect your taste and not who you are.

Boys, let me ask you this, is it cool wearing your trousers too low? A nine-year-old girl from St. Paul said, "A boy at school bent over to wash a table, and I could see his boxer shorts. The next day, he bent over again, and I could see that he didn't change his underwear". Boys are forewarned that the girls count and know the number of underpants that you have and if you cannot afford to have a new one everyday bury your shorts deep under your trousers.

Girls, let me dare to ask you this, is it really trendy to wear a shirt with slits that shows a lot of cleavage or a trousers that shows your knickers? Most of the girls wear what they think looks nice on them and some of them dress what they think will get others excited. Nevertheless if you are in learning environment, you should know that you are not there for fashion inspection but you are there to learn.

Even if you are not confined to cloistered academics, it is important to remember that people make assumptions or opinions about other people according to their physical appearance. It is worth repeating the exact words of a thirteen-year-old girl who said "I'm very careful with my clothing. I like to wear matching or something that looks good together. Every day I wear a clean skirt, a shirt and a scarf. In order to wear it, it has to be clean and not show my body or hair. The way I dress tells people that I'm Muslim and that I don't feel comfortable showing off my body".

A thorny question, where in the world are the parents of these youngsters? Surely, responsible parents cannot allow their children to wear dresses that make them uncomfortable when they are standing next to their children. When parents and their children are at their homes they are bombarded with ads from TVs and magazines that show sexually attractive models wearing inappropriate clothes and when they go to the shops everything they find is almost cut so tight and low. This shows that parents do not have absolute control over the environment that their children live but that does not real mean that they are destined to accept what the environment dictates.

However sad you feel about your surroundings, you do not have to think that dressing scantily or trousers hang low is really cool. Girls should not show easily treasured parts of their anatomy and should leave more to the imagination. Boys need to make sure that their pants are up. It is not fun to watch boys holding up their trousers while they run. Moreover, boys do not need to ventilate their hips. Seeing our future leaders dressing this way I do not think it is time to be joyous. Whether we are to celebrate 1st July for progression or regression or both, the decision is yours.


Source: Oxfam (London )

Somalia/Somaliland Programme Information

Background - Somalia

Somaliland was (and in some minds still is) part of Somalia, a nation only created in 1960. Ten years later President Siad Barre came to power, proclaiming Somalia a socialist state. After two decades of strong arm rule, President Barre was overthrown by opposing clans in 1991 - leaving Somalia with little effective government for most of the 90s. Conflict, famine and disease left up to a million dead.

Oxfam have been working in Somalia since the late 1960's. As well as long term development programmes, we worked to help those affected by the violence of the early 1990's. Sadly the ongoing insecurity meant that we had to withdraw from what is now Somalia in 1994, but we responded again in 1997 when much of the area was devastated by floods, working with Save the Children helping to clean up water supplies.

Somalia's transitional government was set up end of 2000. The struggle for peace continues, and Oxfam hopes to return as soon as security improves.

The birth of Somaliland

Previously north-west Somalia - Somaliland declared independence in 1991 (as did the northeast district of Punt Land) with it's own flag, currency, parliament, President, and military force. Although not recognised by foreign governments, officials (though not others) can now travel on Somaliland Passports.

The problems

Despite successfully withdrawing from the ongoing violence in Somalia, Somaliland is still beset by problems. Only 31% have access to safe water - many people have to rely on shallow pools of rainwater, that are dry for much of the year and are often heavy polluted. Nearly half don't have access to latrines.

It's not surprising then, that 20% of children under 5 have recently had diarrhoea. 138 out of every thousand do not live to their 5th birthday.

Oxfam in Somaliland

Oxfam's work in the new Somaliland began in 1991, trying to help to rebuild peace and provide urgent relief to those affected by the conflict.

Clean, safe, water

Given the scarcity of safe water and the devastating affect this has on health, Oxfam's priority has been to ensure as many people as possible have access to clean safe water.

In the last few years many refugees, who fled to Ethiopia during the conflict, have begun to return. The government have given land to many, but Oxfam's help is needed to provide water and sanitation - repairing wells and generators and building latrines and spreading health and hygiene messages.

In some more established communities, as well as building or repairing tanks, pumps and reservoirs ourselves, we have used `revolving loan' schemes to help to build and repair water facilities. Under these schemes communities elect a Village Committee, who Oxfam train and support so that they can provide loans to households or small groups to put in a well or pump. They have to gradually repay that money, which is then loaned out to the next household or group. This way Oxfam can ensure that over time, one small fund can help many different people to improve their lives.

Returning to Peace

Somaliland has also had its share of problems brought by inter-clan fighting, or simple lack of cooperation.

By bringing members of different clans together in Committees, for training, and for joint projects (such as de-silting reservoirs or irrigation plans) we not only provided clean water but built relationships between groups. Neighbours who have sat together to learn or to plan a project are less likely to turn to violence when problems arise.

Somaliland is now relatively peaceful, and cooperation across groups is increasing. Oxfam will continue to encourage this in all areas of its work.

Oxfam GB is a ltd company, reg in London No 612172, 274 Banbury Rd, Oxford OX2 7DZ Reg. charity No 202918. Oxfam GB is a member of Oxfam International


Source: REUTERS, July 1, 2004

Gunmen seize landmine workers in Somalia-officials

MOGADISHU - Armed men kidnapped five employees of an international demining agency on the border between Somalia's warring breakaway territories of Puntland and Somaliland, officials said Thursday.

The deminers working for the British-based Halo Trust were abducted Wednesday near the town of Las'anod, some 600 miles north of the capital Mogadishu, sources in the area said.

It was not clear why the deminers were seized or which countries they came from, but a local newspaper said they were all Somalis. Previous kidnappings in the country have targeted mainly foreign aid workers.

Somaliland administrators blamed the kidnapping on militias loyal to Puntland leader Col. Abdullahi Yusuf, and said the landmine workers had been driven to Puntland's capital Garoe in two army wagons.

But an official in Puntland denied the charge, saying: "no kidnapped vehicle entered our territory."

Somalia collapsed into chaos after the overthrow of military ruler Mohammed Siad Barre in 1991. The three-year mandate of an Arab-backed transitional national government formed in September 2000 ended last year without peace being restored.

A former British protectorate, Somaliland split from Somalia in 1991 after a long independence struggle, taking advantage of the chaos after Barre's fall. Puntland broke away in 1998 to escape the militia anarchy of southern and central Somalia.

The two enclaves have fought sporadic clashes for years over the ownership of several eastern areas of Somaliland that Puntland's leaders claim as their own on the basis of ethnicity.

Rival militia groups in Somalia are said to have large caches of weapons including landmines, most of which were looted from Barre's former army.


Source: www.somali-civilsociety.org/strength/strength_project.asp

STRENGTHENING SOMALI CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS

OVERVIEW

NOVIB (Oxfam Netherlands) is a key member of the Oxfam International family. Novib's involvement in Somalia/land initially started with support for the development programmes of sister NGOs including Oxfam GB and ACORD. Since 1995 Novib has been more directly engaged with Somali civil society organisations (CSOs) and has funded several CSO networks comprising approximately 100 local NGO members all over Somalia/land. Overall Novib's engagement with Somali civil society aims at contributing to the achievement of the following:

(a) The strengthening of all partners in moving from an activity driven agenda towards becoming strong, proactive organisations (b) uilding of the capacity of partners, particularly network members, in the education sector in terms of vision, activity development and access to other donors (c) Building of the capacity of partners in the sector of food security, especially pastoralist oriented groups (National Resource Management network) (d) Increasing of the lobbying capacity of partners, particularly around the issue of illegal trade (e) The linking of efforts to work towards a sustainable peace in the country in order to counteract the divided history, which perpetuates the conflict. This entails building a coalition that shares a joint vision of the future, inside the country, as well as presenting a harmonised reaction to outside actors

The strengthening of women's political inclusion

In 2000, the current project, `Strengthening Somali Civil Society Organisations' (SCS) was established and is funded by the European Commission. This project provides support to civil society as a sector, which makes it different from other Novib support that is direct funding to organisations. The overall SCS project objective is to support the achievement of justice, lasting peace and sustainable development.

The specific project purpose is to strengthen Somali civil society in addressing their concerns through inclusive strategies so that they are enabled to provide services and are able to defend the interests of their members and constituencies. Additionally, civil society is being empowered to promote the improvement and maintenance of good governance as well as peace in the country and establish working relations with both state structures and the private sector.

The SCS project was formulated as a response to the protracted Somali conflict and the lack of conviction on the part of the international community that Somali civil society has the potential to play a role in re-building the country. Novib is one of the very few actors working closely with local organisations on a non-operational basis. A re-division of access to and control over wealth and power is necessary, and in turn requires that all sectors be addressed. As a strategic actor, Novib, with EC funding support, is not only able to establish direct linkages with a larger number of local organisations but also opts to do so on the basis of the principle of inclusion.

BACKGROUND

Since the large-scale interventions of the early 1990s, Somalia/land has largely disappeared from the agenda of the international community. Following the failure of UNOSOM, Somalia/land has received much reduced aid and attention from the outside world. Yet during this time Somalia/land has not stood still, despite decades of dictatorship followed by the collapse of the state and civil war, the Somali people have learnt to rehabilitate their country themselves and not to rely on external development assistance.

Despite the enormous challenges of poverty and instability, the Somali people have ensured the survival of the economy, the existence of a school system and rudimentary medical facilities.

In the absence of a central state or meaningful international intervention, the Somali people have represented and organised themselves and individuals and organisations have taken on many of the traditional roles of the state, filling the vacuum in service provision and opening channels of debate. It is in this context that Somali civil society has flourished and is now more vibrant than ever.

Somali Civil society has strong traditional roots. Somali culture is based upon negotiation and consensus building and allows space for diversity, in particular through the use of poetry and theatre, which are mediums frequently used to express challenging positions and opinions. The Islamic Sufi traditions and `Tarikas' dominant in the Somali context have also promoted diversity, tolerance and respect for local governance arrangements.

Somali civil society can be loosely divided into three categories. Firstly, elders continue to be relevant representatives of communities and in the absence of central authority have in fact played a strengthened decision-making role in the past few years. Secondly, there has been a proliferation of `modern' civil society actors in Somalia/land, particularly NGOs and media organisations. The third category includes non-traditional civil society actors who in Somalia/land certainly contribute to the spectrum of public life; these include community associations, professional associations, the business community, artists and performers.

For the purposes of this project civil society can be defined as comprising all individuals or groups who do not posses legislative or executive powers, are unarmed and that actively pursue the well being of the society at large through peaceful means.

Yet whilst civil society organisations have certainly expanded and contributed to the development of Somali society in recent years, Somali civil society continues to face several challenges. Chief amongst these are:

(a) Acquiring funding is a major problem for all NGOs and organised civic groups, a problem that is compounded by the nature of funding which, when available, tends to be given specifically for project activities and rarely for institutional development, although this is a critical need for the development of civil society structures.

(b) A related problem is that civil society organisations (CSOs) face issues of both visibility and credibility. NGOs have proliferated in recent years and vary widely in quality. As a result, the perception of local NGOs from inside the country as well as outside tends to be negative. This perception has led to a reluctance on the part of aid organisations to trust and therefore invest in the operational capacity of the local NGO sector. Even within the country the mushrooming of NGOs has negatively influenced the attitude of the private sector and political powers.

(c) Leadership of CSOs is a key issue to be addressed. The leadership of currently existing CSOs is in general poor. Somalia/land has suffered a massive `brain-drain' and therefore lacks skills in key areas. This lack of leadership capacity consequently creates weaknesses within CSOs, including poor transparency, accountability and service delivery. (d) There is relatively little collaboration and cooperation between the different actors in Somali civil society, in part due to the scarcity of both human and financial resources but also reflecting the divided history of the country. This leads to a lack of harmonisation and common strategy within the civic sector - resulting in duplication and failure to utilise available resources most effectively.

(e) Somali CSOs face a challenge in the scope of their activities. CSOs have had to focus on the provision of basic social services and have perhaps failed to fully develop in the areas which are traditionally important for civil society; the promotion of good governance, peace, democracy and human rights.

STRENGTHENING SOMALI CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS

THE PROJECT

This project aims to contribute to the promotion of a healthy Somali civil society in all parts of the country. This entails both improvement of the internal management of the civil society organisations (CSOs) and improved co-operation and collaboration among the different actors in Somali society.

One of the characteristics of Novib's method in Somalia/land is the `process-approach', meaning that there is a clear strategy and direction with room for creativity and flexibility in both planning and implementing activities. Therefore this programme is built through consultations and dialogue with the CSOs. Civil society itself has the major role in defining and implementing this project. Activities are not completely worked out beforehand but rather are developed in a participatory way with the organisations involved during the course of the project. Novib is also primarily a non-operational NGO and therefore supports activities through Somali partners and consultants.

The project was formulated as a four-year programme with three phases around the broad objectives of raising awareness on the roles and responsibilities of civil society, through research, public awareness and advocacy, strengthening the capacity of civil society organisations to contribute to peace, development and human rights and strengthening linkages within civil society and with other actors including local authorities and the international community.

This programme reflects Novib Somalia's view that civil society and civic organisation is best places to bring about lasting change in the Somali context. The first phase focused on research and understanding of the sector through consultations with civil society and concluded successfully with the finalisation of the research outputs of the project, including the Mapping Somali Civil Society report and the Donor Assistance study.

The second phase of the project adopted a much more thematic approach. In addition to the SCS project's focus on civil society organisations, their positions and roles and activities on gender, the project also started to focus on the sectors of human rights and education. For the third and final phase of Novib Somalia's project, it is envisioned that the work of the second phase shall be expanded upon and eventually, that the emphasis will also shift to hand over of the project role and structures to Somali civil society itself.

Finally, in October 2002, in response to requests from civil society organisations, Novib Somalia formulated a project to support civil society engagement with the Somali National Reconciliation Conference. This project, coined the IGAD project, is still ongoing.


Source: Source: www.delken.cec.eu.int

An update on SQOSES project activities..

Welcome to Edition 2 of the SQOSES newsletter.

EC supports the Somali people through the SQOSES intervention and its implementing partners, UNICEF and UNESCO.

EC-UNESCO collaboration. The UNESCO component of SQOSES provides Grade 5 and 6 textbooks to Somali children and in-service training to the teachers in the use of the new resources. It also supports conduct of grade 8 exams for the academic years 2002-03 and 2003-04. Part of the SQOSES project provides some financial and technical assistance to Somaliland Teacher Training College.

Recent developments in the SQOSES -UNESCO project. Paul Mattison joined UNESCO PEER as Project Coordinator for the SQOSES component of UNESCO in October 2003 and Ms Sissel Olsen was seconded by the Norwegian Refugee Council in January 2004 to assist in the development of the Somaliland Teacher Education College and capacity building in the Ministry of Education.

Distribution of Grade 5 textbooks.

Printing and distribution of Grade 5 textbooks (Somalia edition) is ongoing throughout Central and Southern Somalia and Puntland. Somaliland editions are being printed and distribution should be completed in February.

In-service teacher training.

The training of trainers (ToT) workshop for Grade 5 and 6 scheduled for December 2003 was postponed due to limitations on travel of international staff. Partners will be soon informed of the dates and venue. Immediately after the ToT, UNESCO will hold the in-service programmes for the upper primary teachers throughout the country.

Progress on Grades 6-8.

Pre -press work on Grade 6 textbooks is in progress. UNESCO are working towards delivery of these textbooks to the schools by May 2004.

In response to the SACB-ESC appeal on behalf of UNESCO to finalize and publish Grade 7 and 8 textbooks by the end of 2004, DfID (Department for International Development) has committed itself to partially fund this initiative which will cover the cost of finalization, pre-press, printing, and distribution of the textbooks in the two editions.


Source: www.delken.cec.eu.int/en/publications/Strengthening%20Quality%20of%20the%20Somali

Strengthening Quality of the Somali Education System (SQOSES)

2004, No.2

Update on progress of SQOSES- UNICEF. Since October, UNICEF and its Somali partners have been involved in the following EC-funded SQOSES project activities:

Textbook distribution.

A total of 50,000 textbooks, in six subjects, for Grades 1-4 have been printed with funds from EC, Danida and the Italian National Committee for UNICEF. These are currently being distributed in Somaliland, Puntland and central and southern Somalia. The textbooks will be distributed primarily to new schools and schools which have opened extra classes. Partners with stocks of textbooks are requested to send them to their nearest UNICEF office in order that they may be redistributed evenly. Teachers' uides for Somali, science, maths, social studies and EMIS tools are also being distributed to all schools.

School Mentors.

Three 12 day workshops on school mentoring were held in Hargeisa, Bossaso and Merka in October 2003. Participants included teacher trainers, REOs, DEOs, 14 INGO supervisors, the SQOSES in-service coordinators and UNICEF education officers. The workshops introduced the participants to the concept of mentoring and gave them opportunities - through watching videos and doing role play - to practice using a variety of classroom observation tools and mentoring techniques. A Guide for School Mentors was prepared based on the tools developed during the workshop. The Guide has been distributed to ESC partners and mentors.

A total of 59 mentors are currently working with 1,751 teachers in 212 pilot schools in Somaliland, Puntland and central and southern Somalia. Feedback from the SQOSES in-service coordinators, REOs and UNICEF education officers suggests that head teachers and teachers have welcomed the mentors, and that mentors have been effective in persuading teachers to distribute and use the new textbooks. This, in turn, has led to an improvement in students' reading abilities.

The mentors will continue to work in the 212 pilot schools until May 2004, when a Learning Achievement Study will be carried out to help the education authorities in Somaliland and Puntland and UNICEF to assess the impact of the pilot project. The study will observe teachers' behaviour in classrooms and test Grade 2 and Grade 4 pupils' literacy and numeracy. The results will then be compared with the Baseline Study carried out in December 2001.

Education Management Information System (EMIS).

UNICEF and local education authorities in Somaliland and Puntland have conducted a survey in 40 primary schools (10 each in Somaliland and Puntland and 20 in central and southern Somalia) in order to identify the problems that teachers and head teachers face when using the current EMIS tools. The results of the survey will be used to help UNICEF and its partners to review and revise the EMIS tools in time for the start of the school year in September.

Questions on the SQOSES-UNICEF project should be forwarded to jsutherland@unicef.org Questions and issues for the EC regarding the SQOSES project should be forwarded to ruth.tole@cec.eu.int


UNITED NATIONS Economic and Social Council (E/CN.4/2004/103) 30 November 2003

Situation of human rights in Somalia

Report of the independent expert, Ghanim Alnajjar GE.03-16589 (E) 211103

Summary

The past year in Somalia has been marked by continued efforts towards political stability as well as the persistence of distinct variations between regions in the observance of human rights. The assertion of the increasing importance of economic, social and cultural rights for the country provided further evidence of the resilience of the Somali people and the will of large proportions of the population to regain peaceful and productive lives.

The independent expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia is appointed by the Secretary-General in accordance with Commission resolution 1993/86 of 10 March 1993. In that resolution, the Commission requested the Secretary-General to appoint for a period of one year a person having wide experience in the field of human rights as an independent expert to assist the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia through development of a long-term programme of advisory services for re-establishing human rights and the rule of law, including a democratic constitution, as well as the eventual holding of periodic and genuine elections by universal suffrage and secret ballot. The mandate has been renewed on a yearly basis since that date, and has been executed continuously, with the exception of the period September 2000-May 2001 when a new independent expert was being recruited.

The independent expert, Ghanim Alnajjar, undertook a mission to Kenya and Somalia from 24 August to 4 September 2003. During this period he visited "Somaliland", "Puntland" and Kismayo in Somalia, and Nairobi. A planned visit to Mogadishu was again forestalled this year owing to security considerations, while the visit to Garowe also did not materialize owing to the unanticipated introduction of landing fees. In "Somaliland", the expert met with the "president" and various "ministers", with members of the United Nations Country Team (UNCT), local non-governmental organizations (NGOs), as well as with the commanders of the police and the custodial corps, and also visited a police station, the Hargeisa prison and several camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs). During the visit to "Puntland" the expert met with the Minister of Commerce, serving as the Governor of Bosasso, with members of UNCT, local NGOs and the police commander, and paid visits to the police station, the port, the main prison and IDP camps. During his visit to Kismayo the expert had the opportunity to tour the Kismayo port, stadium and hospital and to meet with the District Commissioner, the commanders of the police and custodial corps, members of UNCT and local NGOs, and to visit the police station, the prison, the court, IDP camps and disarmed militia camps. In Kenya, the expert met with Nairobi-based United Nations staff as well as representatives of the international community and international NGOs. He also addressed participants at the Somali National Reconciliation Conference at Mbagathi, Kenya, and convened an interactive dialogue.

During 2003 the Somali National Reconciliation Conference, hosted by Kenya, presented a significant forum for establishing fundamental structures and legal frameworks impacting on the observance of human rights. On 15 September a Transitional Federal Charter was adopted and at the time of writing this report the third phase of power-sharing had been initiated. Outside of formal proceedings, however, violations continued to be widespread, especially in areas of the south. In the north-west, "Somaliland" sustained an environment of relative peace, conducive to growth in construction and investment, more schools and political consolidation; "Puntland", in the north-east, following periodic violence related to a constitutional crisis, is now a region of relative calm and paying greater attention to economic needs. In the Bay and Bakool regions, in south-western Somalia, internal disputes within the administration have been accompanied by sporadic fighting. In Kismayo, initiatives towards disarmament and fuller utilization of the port suggest a return to cautious calm and normalcy. In Mogadishu and other areas of the south, the situation remains tense with periods of intense conflict between and among faction leaders and freelance militia. There have also been divisions within the Transitional National Government.

The self-declared autonomous region of "Somaliland" continued to be relatively secure through most of 2003, an achievement seriously undermined by the killing of four international humanitarian aid workers in the period September to October. The region successfully carried out "presidential" elections on 14 April and has registered some progress with respect to the judicial system, through activities executed under the Rule of Law and Security project of the United Nations Development Programme. Of concern is the extremely poor condition of the main Hargeisa prison, prompting a recommendation from the expert that it be demolished. While economic progress remains critically affected by the livestock ban, increasing investment in trade, housing and education are evident. Relations between the administration and representatives of the international community have been the source of some tension, and the expert has advised that this be addressed.

In the contested Sanaag region the threat of famine has been raised, largely owing to deforestation as part of the charcoal trade, and may be viewed as a violation of the right to food. In "Puntland", the absence of open conflict for some months provided for relative calm. This has apparently promoted a redirection of efforts towards economic activity, notably light manufacture and trade through the port. The unregulated use of the coastline is of heightened concern, especially as it contributes to the phenomenon of smuggling of persons, with attendant perils including loss of life.

In Kismayo, the authorities have made a significant effort towards restoring peace in undertaking a disarmament exercise for former militia. The judiciary and law enforcement mechanisms are very poorly resourced. There is also a greater thrust towards economic activity and fuller use of the port facilities, and in this respect the expert is concerned about the environmental effects of apparent dependence on the charcoal trade. The expert therefore advocates support by the international community for developing alternative income-generating activity such as agriculture and fisheries, and corresponding marketing activity.

In the Bay and Bakol regions, sporadic conflict persisted for much of the year surrounding the chairmanship of the Rahanweyn Resistance Army. These areas have reported significant violations of the right to life, with notable targeting of women and children, and of the right to security of the person, as well as extensive displacement. At the time of writing, however, reports reaching the expert indicated that an October peace agreement between the warring factions was in the process of being implemented.

In the south, the restricted authority enjoyed by the Transitional National Government was further eroded by internal disputes. Freelance militia continued to present a threat to security and were allegedly key actors in a number of cases of kidnapping and violations of the rights to life. Inter-clan and inter-faction fighting was also reportedly the cause of considerable casualties and loss of life.

During his visit the attention of the independent expert was drawn in particular to factors impacting on the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights. It would appear that as political and related efforts proceed, albeit tentatively, attention is shifting more towards building livelihoods. The expert underlines that critical to the sustainability of this development is the diversification of economic activity.

The expert also acknowledges that Somalia is at a significant and promising juncture of its political history and he urges the Somali leadership and the international community at large to seize the opportunity to entrench human rights in the legal framework, the structures and the operationalization of the emerging governing modalities.

The expert continues to have faith in the value of civil society organizations for the monitoring, promotion and protection of human rights in the country. He applauds the progress made in 2003 in establishing a pan-Somali network of human rights defenders and encourages further efforts, notably with the support of the international community, towards the consolidation and building of capacity among these groups.

Introduction

1. The Commission on Human Rights, in its resolution 2003/78, decided to extend the mandate of the independent expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia for a further year and requested him to report to the Commission at its sixtieth session.

2. The independent expert wishes to express his gratitude to the people of Somalia for the hospitality with which he was welcomed in that country. The freedom of movement afforded him, and the willingness of persons from all the areas visited to engage in discussions were critical in fulfilling his mission. In particular, the expert is grateful to the local authorities in "Somaliland", "Puntland" and Kismayo for facilitating his visit and meeting with him, and to the members of civil society organizations who provided him with information.

3. The expert extends his particular thanks to staff of United Nations agencies with whom he met and who shared their experience and enthusiasm. He is especially appreciative of the substantive feedback from the Protection and Human Rights Steering Group, and of the logistical and public relations support provided by the staff of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

4. The expert wishes to thank the representatives of the diplomatic/donor community with whom he met in Nairobi, including representatives of the European Union and the United States. The meetings made for useful exchanges of information and perspectives on the activities and approaches of the international community.

5. The expert is also grateful to the representatives of the international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) NOVIB (Oxfam-Netherlands) and Muslim Aid, who provided him with helpful information and documentation on civil society activity in Somalia.

I. POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS

6. During 2003 the key political activity revolved around the ongoing Somali National Reconciliation Conference. The talks, which started on 15 October 2002 in Eldoret, Kenya, under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), had registered significant initial progress with respect to securing the attendance at some point of all the main faction leaders in Somalia and some participation by civil society groups, and to the signing of the Declaration on Cessation of Hostilities and the Structures and Principles of the Somali National Reconciliation Process (the Eldoret Declaration) by all the Somali leaders on 27 October 2002. There have, however, been continued violations of the Declaration since its signing, leading to the establishment of an international committee - made up of the United States, the European Union, the African Union, the League of Arab States and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) - to monitor the ceasefire.

7. The conference has also been beset by a number of difficulties, including disputes over the number of participants and the allocation of seats by clan, as well as the fact that "Somaliland" has consistently refused to attend the conference based on the assertion that it is a state that is independent from Somalia. The proceedings have also been affected on several occasions by the periodic absence of Abdiqassim Salad Hassan, President of the Transitional National Government (TNG) and three other key faction leaders - Muse Sudi Yalahow, Osman Hassan Ali Ato and Bare Hiirale. Djibouti, a member of the IGAD Technical Committee, also in late September removed itself from the talks, reportedly claiming a lack of neutrality with respect to the events.

8. At the time of writing, the conference had completed the second phase of discussions within six technical committees addressing core issues of the Somali conflict: federalism, disarmament, conflict resolution, economic reconstruction, land rights and international relations. On 15 September, the conference adopted a Transitional Federal Charter emanating from these committees. The Charter has been criticized by civil society groups for inadequately incorporating human rights and rule of law principles. The third phase of the conference will focus on devising power-sharing arrangements.

9. In a disturbing incident related to the talks, on 19 October Shaykh Ibrahim Ali Abdulle, a member of the Transitional National Assembly and delegate to the peace talks, was found murdered in a forest near Nairobi. At the time of writing, investigations were under way. 10. In "Somaliland", the first multiparty presidential elections were held on 14 April without violent incident and the Somaliland Election Commission declared the incumbent, Dahir Riyale Kahin of the Unity of Democrats (UDUB) Party, the winner by 80 votes. It was reported that the main challenger, Ahmad Muhammad Silanyo, of the opposition Kulmiye (Solidarity) Party, claimed that the election had been rigged and rejected the results. The case was taken to the Constitutional Court which, on 11 May, confirmed the incumbent as the winner. Kahin had assumed the presidency of Somaliland after the death of long-time president Muhammad Ibrahim Egal in May 2002.

11. Talks were held in "Puntland" in early May to end the conflict which began in June 2001 when Abdullahi Yusuf, whose presidential term then ended, claimed that the region's parliament had extended his mandate. In July 2001, clan elders rejected his claim and on 14 November they elected Jama Ali Jama president for a three-year term. Abdullahi Yusuf captured Bosasso from Jama Ali Jama in May 2002. A dialogue between the administration of Abdishakur Mire Adan and the opposition, led by General Ade Muse Hirsi, an ally of Jama Ali Jama, was convened in Bosasso following three months of mediation by Sanaag elders. A peace agreement was signed on 17 May 2003, to which all parties have thus far reportedly adhered.

12. On 13 August the mandate of the TNG expired. A statement was made, however, that, as stipulated in the Somali Constitution, it would remain in power until free and fair elections were held, in order to avoid a vacuum in governance. Controversy surrounded this statement, which followed the convening of Parliament by TNG President Abdiqassim Salad Hassan which voted no confidence in Prime Minister Hassan Abshir Farah and Speaker of Parliament Abdallah Derow Isaak, who continued to state that they represented the TNG at the Nairobi peace talks whereas the President had withdrawn from the talks 10 days previously. The officials reportedly claimed that their dismissals were illegitimate under the Transitional Charter and there had not been a quorum in Parliament when the no-confidence vote was held. At the time of writing, the TNG remained in office in Mogadishu.

13. The political situation has been unstable in the south-western region of Baidoa where the dispute, sparked by the struggle for leadership of the Rahanweyn Resistance Army (RRA), between forces loyal to RRA chairman Hasan Muhammad Nur Shatigadud, and those of Shaykh Adan Madobe, the first vice-chairman, and Muhammad Ibrahim Habsade, the second vice-chairman, was manifested in sporadic conflict and assumed inter-clan dimensions. At the time of writing, however, reports reaching the expert indicated a peace agreement concluded in October between the warring factions was in the process of being implemented.

14. On 8 April 2003, the Security Council, in resolution 1474 (2003), decided to re-establish, for a period of six months, a panel of experts to investigate violations of the arms embargo covering Somalia imposed in 1992 following the outbreak of civil war. A panel of experts established by Council resolution 1425 (2002) had reported (S/2003/223), inter alia, that weapons, equipment, militia training and financial support were being supplied by neighbouring States and others to Somali factions and that the factions had also secured weapons through commercial channels and recommended a reinforced sanctions regime, including a monitoring mechanism.

II. PAST HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS

15. In September 2001 the independent expert wrote to the Secretary-General, urging him to present for the consideration of the Security Council a proposal for the formation of a committee of experts to investigate allegations of past atrocities in Somalia, a proposal which he continues to pursue.

III. HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES DURING THE PERIOD COVERED BY THE REPORT

The right to life

16. The right to life continues to be violated on an extensive scale in Somalia. Security reports indicate that an estimated 354 persons were killed in faction-based or inter-clan fighting up to the end of August 2003. Some of the major incidents are related below. Casualties from mine explosions, widespread banditry and other criminal activity also accounted for an estimated additional 226 deaths.

17. The situation continues to be most grave in the south. The expert was informed that on 25 February fighting in Mogadishu among rival militias resulted in at least 8 people being killed and more than 20 wounded, mostly civilians. Also in Mogadishu, on 26 February heavy fighting reportedly erupted in Medina district between the militias of faction leaders Umar Finish and Muse Sudi Yalahow, and continued sporadically over several days. At least 50 persons were reported killed, most of them civilians caught in the crossfire, and up to 100 wounded. The activity precipitated widespread displacement of civilians. Fighting erupted again in late March, resulting in 10 deaths and scores more injuries, and again in early June, when at least 7 people were killed. On 14 August, at least 12 people were killed and 6 wounded near the residence of the TNG President in south Mogadishu in an alleged assassination attempt aimed at a senior militia commander.

18. In Kismayo, it is alleged that fighting between subclans was responsible for the deaths of 140 people in the period December 2002-March 2003. It is also reported that on 14 May a driver of a car hired by UNICEF was killed in a clan dispute during a tour of the city by international United Nations staff. Over the course of the following two months 27 persons were reported killed in related clan retaliatory attacks.

19. There were reports of recurrent inter-clan conflict around Baidoa, sparked by the detonation on 10 April of a landmine on the Baidoa-Dinsor road, in which at least 10 people travelling in a minibus were killed, most of them members of the same clan. There followed several months of intermittent fighting and retaliation between clans, which reportedly left 38 persons dead.

20. Reports indicated that two days of heavy fighting between subclans in the south of Mudug region in July left at least 43 people dead and over 90 injured. The clashes were allegedly triggered by revenge killings for the deaths of two men in Galkayo a week earlier, with violence also aggravated by disagreements over water and grazing.

Intentional attacks on international personnel involved in humanitarian assistance 21. There were no confirmed reports of United Nations staff being targeted for attacks. However, there were several serious incidents involving United Nations staff members. On 9 April a confrontation between armed guards and militia in the UNICEF compound in Baidoa resulted in the death of a gunman and injury to a UNICEF guard. Also, as noted above, on 14 May the driver of a car hired by UNICEF was killed in a clan dispute.

22. The expert was saddened to learn of the killing of four non-United Nations international aid staff in September and October in Hargeisa. Dr. Annalena Tonelli, an Italian hospital director, was shot dead on 5 October in "Somaliland" by unknown attackers. Richard Eyeington and his wife, Enid, both staff of the NGO SOS Children's Villages, were shot dead on 20 October, also by unknown gunmen, at their home in a school compound in the town of Sheikh where they worked. Oyaw Abdiwahid, a Kenyan working for a religious charity, was murdered while travelling to a project site in the Gedo region on 15 September.

The taking of hostages

23. The expert was pleased to note that there were no reports of kidnapping of United Nations personnel during the period covered by the report. The number of kidnappings remains high, however, at an estimated 159 over the period covered by the report. The majority of cases were reported in the south, notably Mogadishu, where ransoms allegedly fund the purchase of weapons and ammunition. The expert was especially alarmed at the report of the abduction of four children in early August in Mogadishu, their subsequent rape and the murder of two of them, in an alleged act of clan revenge.

Rape and other forms of sexual violence

24. A 2003 report by UNICEF Somalia, From Perception to Reality: A Study On Child Protection in Somalia, indicates that gender-based violence is a problem of concern in Somalia, despite a widespread culture of denial. The study's Household Survey shows that 75 per cent of the population believes that sexual assault does not exist at all - yet 12 per cent of the adult population and 8 per cent of children attest to personally knowing of a rape victim. Females in displaced persons camps are especially vulnerable - the study notes that "nearly a third of all displaced children (31 per cent) reported rape as a problem within their family, compared to 17 per cent of children in the general population" (Summary).

Minorities

25. According to A Study on Minority Groups in Somalia published by the United Nations Coordination Unit (UNCU) and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Somalia in September 2002, "Although the population of minority groups living in Somalia has not as yet been established, estimates indicate that they constitute one third of the total Somalia population, approximately 2,000,000 people.. These groups continue to live in conditions of great poverty and suffer numerous forms of discrimination and exclusion" (p. 2). In the Livelihoods and Protection Study of IDPs and Vulnerable Communities in Kismayo (July 2003), OCHA Somalia further notes that "Individuals from weak and powerless clans. rarely enjoy the protection afforded to others. Entrenched socio-ethnic divisions affect access to economic capital (such as employment opportunities) that, in turn, affects the degree of access (or reinforces the lack of access) to education and health facilities.. When human rights violations take place, in the absence of any properly functioning mechanisms for the rule of law, individuals from `minority' or weak clans in Kismayo often have little recourse to systems of justice"(p. 6).

The denial of due process

26. The legal framework throughout the country remains poor. Persistent challenges include untrained staff, low salaries, lack of basic equipment, training and reference materials, gender inequity and lack of harmonization among secular, customary and Islamic laws. On his visit to Kismayo the expert met with members of the judiciary who informed him that they had no copies of the laws and made judgements based on memory.

27. It was reported that on 21 June the authorities in "Somaliland" detained General Jama Muhammad Ghalib, a former Minister of the Interior and police chief of Somalia who was a delegate to the Somali peace talks. He was detained for two nights while travelling to Mogadishu, allegedly for advocating the reunification of Somaliland with Somalia, and subsequently returned to Mogadishu. The expert issued a communication to the "President" on this incident, drawing attention to the human rights implications of this action.

28. Credible reports reaching the expert indicate that nine political prisoners were held in Hargeisa, "Somaliland", central prison from 20 to 25 May and released on 7 August when the Government failed to bring a case against them. It is alleged that most of the men were former fighters with the Somali National Movement (SNM), and were charged with involvement in subversive activities in the aftermath of the "presidential" elections.

Freedom of the press

29. The expert was pleased to learn that in January the authorities in "Puntland" had lifted the ban on two BBC reporters who had been banned in 2002 for allegedly "not being objective in their reporting of events in the region".

30. In May the "Puntland" authorities also restored the broadcasting licence of the Somali Broadcasting Corporation radio and television. The licence had been withdrawn in May 2002, reportedly after the authorities accused it of having "a political agenda inimical to the Puntland state" and being biased in favour of Jama Ali Jama, Abdullahi Yusuf's rival for the "Puntland" leadership.

Women's rights

31. The widespread practice of female genital mutilation continues and is estimated to affect 98 per cent of the female population.

32. In a report on gender justice published in August 2003 by the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the observation is made that: "There are three parallel systems of law, the Secular law, the Shariah law and customary law.. Our findings revealed that this environment that allows operation of more that one system is inequitable, restrictive and disadvantageous to women. For example on a murder charge men who murder their wives are tried under customary law where the sentence is diya which is blood money/compensation, women are tried under the secular law where the sentence is death.. There is limited access to secular justice for women, due to economic and social restraints, and low literacy amongst women. Customary law is perceived as gender unfriendly as the traditional elders who convene the traditional courts are all male, and their points of view and traditional norms influence decisions. Shariah law is the most preferred system of law amongst women because of its divine source, however it is open to misapplication due to the fact that there are no mechanisms in place for certifying judges or recording precedence in the context of Islamic jurisprudence" (p. 3).

33. The expert noted a degree of progress towards the wider participation of women in politics. In particular, 35 of the 362 official delegates at the Somali National Reconciliation Conference are women. Women are seeking a 25 per cent representation in the new government, however, at the time of writing, it had been agreed that 12 per cent of the seats in the new parliament would be reserved for women. A woman had also announced her candidacy for the presidency of Somalia.

Children's rights

34. The expert shares with UNICEF the concerns highlighted in its valuable and comprehensive study, From Perception to Reality: A Study On Child Protection in Somalia. Some of these concerns are:

(a) More than a quarter of both children and adults (26 per cent and 31 per cent, respectively) reported being exposed to a serious or traumatic event caused by conflict; (b) Children belonging to segregated/outcast and minority clans and internally displaced children are the most disadvantaged of Somali children, have no voice and are the most vulnerable to violence, including murder, poverty and lack of access to education; (c) Some 200,000 Somali children (5 per cent) have at some time in their lives carried a gun or been involved in militia activities. The average age of enlistment in militia activities is 12 years old; (d) Fourteen per cent of girls living outside of their home (as orphans) reported that they had experienced sexual harassment from a member of the household.

35. The practice of asiwalid whereby parents send their disobedient children to be kept in prison until they order them released, continues to prevail. The expert has repeatedly drawn to the attention of authorities the negative human rights implications of this practice. Economic, social and cultural rights

36. The humanitarian situation in Somalia is among the poorest in the world. In 1996, Somalia ranked 172 out of 174 countries on the Human Development Index. Since then, Somalia has been excluded from the HDI altogether. According to the United Nations-Somalia country brief for October 2002, the gross national product per capita stands at US$ 176 and remittances account for an estimated US$ 500 million per annum. The main exports are livestock (camel, sheep, goats and cattle), but imports are currently banned in Saudi Arabia, a potentially important market. Average life expectancy is 48 years, with 0.4 doctors per 100,000 people. The maternal mortality rate is 1,600/100,000. Only 28 per cent of the population has access to safe drinking water. The adult literacy rate is 49.7 per cent for men and 25.8 per cent for women; 13.8 per cent of children attend primary school.

37. The expert wishes to draw attention to the need to develop socio-economic infrastructure and services in Somalia. During this mission the expert noted that relative peace in several regions had permitted the expansion of commercial activity and the provision of educational opportunities. A number of obstacles or bottlenecks were, however, curtailing growth, as described below. In this respect, he reiterates the principle that all human rights are indivisible and interdependent, and underlines that progress towards peace and civil and political rights would need to be reinforced by addressing the realization of economic and social rights.

38. The expert was pleased to learn of efforts to support the development and export of Somali livestock and meat products. In May, an initiative to set up a common Somali Livestock Board (SLB) was launched under the auspices of the Dubai-based Somali Business Council. Through a system of disease monitoring, inspection and certification, it is hoped that the SLB will help the industry meet the requirements of importing countries. Additionally, at his meeting with the Minister for Livestock for "Somaliland", the Minister emphasized the need for improved infrastructure to allow for large-scale livestock production and management.

39. The protection of the coastline and the fisheries industry is a matter of economic and social significance for Somalia. Piracy deprives the Somali people of an important source of livelihood and further depletes natural resources. The absence of a coast guard or other administration creates a vacuum in which the smuggling of migrants can take place, with its attendant risks. In one serious incident in October, a boat reportedly carrying 130 Somalis heading for Italy was lost at sea for 20 days, resulting in the deaths of 83 persons. 40. In the view of the expert, the very active charcoal industry in parts of Somalia is damaging to the environment and unsustainable. He therefore urges the authorities and the international community to support alternative livelihood activities, including agriculture, fishing and mining of semi-precious stones.

41. Somalia continues to bear some effects of United States-led anti-terrorism action. At the end of May the decision was taken to close the Saudi-based Al-Haramayn aid agency after the United States Government accused it of links with terrorists. Al-Haramayn had been operating in Somalia since 1992 and ran nine orphanages housing about 3,500 children throughout the country.

42. On 20 June Kenya imposed a ban on air transport to Somalia after the United States warned of a possible imminent terrorist attack on its embassy in Nairobi. Most aid agencies working in Somalia depend on United Nations and European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO) flights to deliver assistance to Somalis. Appeals were made by the United Nations, the TNG and M,decins Sans FrontiSres. The ban was eventually lifted and operations of the United Nations Combined Air Service for Somalia (UNCAS) resumed on 8 July.

43. Humanitarian aid continues to be a challenge in Somalia. Security concerns continued to impede United Nations access to the south-central Baidoa region throughout 2003. Donor responsiveness has also been lagging: the United Nations Consolidated Appeal was only 23.4 per cent funded at the midyear point, and a further US$ 54.4 million were requested to fulfil requirements. Areas of particular concern included the education, health, water and sanitation, and economic recovery sectors.

IV. CIVIL SOCIETY

44. The expert is again heartened by the positive role played by civil society in monitoring and drawing attention to human rights concerns in the various regions, as well as its creative efforts in addressing them. He further commends the strides made in the professionalization of some of these organizations, as well as activities geared to consolidating networks of NGOs. In regard to the latter, he wishes to express his satisfaction at the Amnesty International human rights defenders forum held in February, which he attended and which produced an important declaration by participants of their commitment to promote and protect human rights. Hargeisa witnessed the largest-ever gathering of local NGOs, women's groups, professional associations, academic and research institutions, elders and religious leaders, and media, youth and human rights and civil society organizations who attended the Somali Civil Society Symposium in February, at which a document was endorsed concerning collaboration towards a common vision for Somalia.

45. The expert learnt of an order issued in March by "Puntland" authorities for the closure of the offices of several local human rights groups for having "violated their mandates and engaged in political activities and actions inimical to the interests of the people of Puntland". The expert was pleased subsequently to receive reports of the lifting of these closures and the convening of a "Bridging the Gap" workshop in Garowe in April 2003, which aimed to enhance cooperation and mutual understanding between the administration and civil society organizations. 46. The expert encourages building on the progress made, with a view to overcoming the significant difficulties faced by civil society in the Somali context, including limited resources and skills and restrictions imposed by authorities. The expert appeals for reinforced support for human rights defenders by all authorities as well as by donors and United Nations agencies.

V. REFUGEES AND INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSONS (IDPS)

47. It was reported that the first groups of refugees from the Kenyan camps of Dadaab and Kakuma began returning to Somalia in mid-May. An estimated 3,000 were due to be returned to Bosasso and Galkayo in "Puntland" and to Hargeisa in "Somaliland" through the voluntary repatriation programme assisted by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The repatriation of Somali refugees from Ethiopia and Djibouti to northern Somalia is expected to be largely completed by December 2004. This would involve the repatriation of 25,000 refugees from Ethiopia and 10,000 from Djibouti in 2003. Returnees are provided with assistance packages consisting of basic supplies, while each family also received a transport allowance of $50 for their onward trip and a nine-month food ration from the World Food Programme (WFP). They are also assisted to reintegrate into their communities through various development programmes.

48. According to the Global IDP Database of the Norwegian Refugee Council of 20 June 2003, "About 350,000 persons are internally displaced, about 5 per cent of the Somali population. Most displaced are from southern minority groups and continue to suffer political and economic discrimination. In the peri-urban areas where they flee to, they receive little or no assistance and most survive through casual work and begging. Income is barely sufficient for one meal a day. Most displaced lack clan protection and social support, and de facto authorities throughout Somalia do not protect the displaced and often divert humanitarian assistance.. International protection instruments such as the United Nations Guiding Principles for IDPs prove difficult to implement and enforce in the prevailing context of state collapse. These conditions also mean that IDPs are often not afforded protection by local or de facto authorities, in the absence of a functioning legal system" (pp. 6-7).

49. The report goes on to note that, "Most IDPs come from minority groups. and have suffered a long history of discrimination, land dispossession and forced displacement. While protection, access to resources and political participation are granted through clan affiliation, displaced minorities, politically less organized, have been particularly exposed to serious human rights abuses.. Particularly vulnerable are women and children who constitute three fourths of IDPs. Displaced women suffer both gender and ethnic discrimination which reinforce political marginalization, lack of access to land - traditionally requiring the intermediary of a male kin - and lack of access to humanitarian assistance (UNCU, 30 July 2002)" (p. 7).

50. It is reported that on 9 July the Buulo Elay IDP camp east of Bosasso caught fire, causing the deaths of five persons and making 1,200 homeless. At the end of July, a second fire was also reported in the same camp. UNICEF and WFP had responded with assistance. 51. There is no single agency with a mandate to work on IDPs. However, efforts have been made to cater for their needs through other programmes. At the end of 2002 the United Nations launched the Joint Action and Recovery Plan for Somalia which seeks to find sustainable solutions for the reintegration and resettlement of IDPs.

VI. FIELD VISITS

A. Visit to "Somaliland"

52. The independent expert visited Hargeisa, "Somaliland", on 26 and 27 August. "Somaliland" continued to be an area of calm over the last year and to provide an environment for the construction of houses and schools, as well as the expansion of business. The region further consolidated its claim to independence from the rest of Somalia, holding "presidential" elections on 14 April and reiterating its position that it would not participate in the Somali National Reconciliation Conference. The regions of Sool and Sanaag, however, remained "contested areas" between "Somaliland" and "Puntland".

53. On 26 August the expert met with local NGOs. They raised the issues of ongoing stigmatization of minorities and the lack of progress on past human rights abuses. Particular attention was drawn to the need to respect women's rights, as well as to ensure the effective political participation of women. It was asserted that while there had been progress in general on the observance of human rights, there remained a need for capacity-building of NGOs.

54. The expert also met with members of the United Nations Country Team. Participants expressed serious concern about obstacles to their effective cooperation with authorities, and in particular drew attention to a recent presidential decree announcing restrictive procedures for the operation of international organizations in "Somaliland". They suggested that such restrictions would likely impact negatively on the implementation of programmes and subsequent funding of humanitarian assistance. It was noted that success had been registered with the UNDP Rule of Law and Security (ROLS) project as communication had been maintained with the community, civil society and ministries. In terms of human rights issues, the question of resources for social services and infrastructure was stressed, as was the situation of IDPs.

55. The mission met with the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ms. Edna Adan. She asserted that human and material resources remained limited, and that the situation was further aggravated by large numbers of returnees, estimated at some 600,000 over the previous few months, which contributed to unemployment. She identified the three main concerns facing the region as the excessive consumption of the mild narcotic khat, low levels of educational opportunity, and difficulties in food production and animal husbandry.

56. The expert had a meeting with the Minister of the Interior, who expressed the opinion that the non-recognition of the independence of "Somaliland" was having a negative effect on the observance of human rights, as it limited the assistance they received. He stated that there was need for resources to provide an adequate salary for police officers, who now received $25-$30 per month. In addition, while the ROLS project was proving helpful, more training was needed, as well as communications equipment and transport. Following this meeting, the expert attended and addressed the graduation ceremony for regional commanders who had participated in a ROLS human rights training workshop.

57. In the expert's discussions with the Minister for Livestock, it was stressed that a major impediment to production lay in the absence of appropriate infrastructure. The Minister further urged that the international community consult with the local authorities and community before designing and implementing projects to address the livestock situation.

58. The Minister of Justice, in his meeting with the mission, expressed the desire for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to be represented in "Somaliland". He also said that it would be useful to have specialist human rights training to raise awareness in the region.

59. The expert visited the IDP camp called "New Hargeisa", which housed an estimated 300 families. Part of the camp had recently burnt, causing the death of one old woman and two children. The expert was told that most inhabitants earned a living through begging. At the time of the visit, women and children were visibly in the majority, and there was no apparent security.

60. The expert visited the central Hargeisa prison. In his estimation the conditions had deteriorated since the 2002 mission. As there were no sanitation facilities, the grounds were used as the repository for sewerage, and in the absence of uniforms it was not possible to distinguish between guards and prisoners.

61. The expert undertook a tour of the main police station. Several young people, seemingly teenagers, both male and female, had been detained for fighting. The expert was also pleased to visit a new police station currently under construction as part of the ROLS project. It will provide more ample quarters for the police and detainees as well as a department for cases concerning women, the latter in response to an earlier recommendation of the expert. 62. In his meeting with the Chairman of the Mass Graves Committee, the expert learned that little progress had been made regarding further fieldwork, owing to a lack of material and human resources. The main ongoing activity was the recording and summarizing of testimony on alleged massive human rights violations. The expert expressed regret that the process had taken so long and noted that this had implications for the development of dependable data. He advised the Chairman to also consider publicizing existing information through the establishment of a web site.

63. The expert met with the "President" of "Somaliland", Dahir Riyale Kahin. He expressed the opinion that the central prison conditions were irreparably subhuman and that it needed to be demolished and rebuilt. The "President" responded that he would himself visit the prison and look into the situation, including identifying a new location. The expert noted that a law for the establishment of an independent national human rights commission had been drafted, and commended the participatory process involved in its preparation. The "President" expressed his approval and indicated his future support for it when it was submitted for approval. The establishment of the commission had been suggested by the expert during earlier missions.

64. The expert raised his concern over the presidential decree and its implications for the morale and functioning of the United Nations staff in "Somaliland". The "President" stressed that the decree was based on a previous presidential document and sought to ensure that the "President" was fully aware of the international community's activities in "Somaliland". He said that he would nevertheless examine the matter more closely. On the issue of economic diversification, the "President" said that, given the current restrictions on livestock production, the region lacked the necessary "know-how" to develop alternative income-generating activities. The Minister for Foreign Affairs, also present at the meeting, hoped to encourage international investment to introduce the required expertise; in this respect the legal framework was already in place.

B. Visit to "Puntland"

65. The expert visited Bosasso, the commercial centre of "Puntland", from 28 to 30 August. He remarked on the relative calm which prevailed in the area, compared to the situation during last year's visit in the aftermath of conflict surrounding a dispute over the presidency. A peace agreement between the warring parties had been signed on 17 May. It was evident that there was now freer movement in the streets and more commercial activity.

66. The expert met with the Minister of Commerce, then serving as the "Acting Governor" of Bosasso. The Minister said that all political prisoners had been released and that the crime level was low. He expressed the need for rehabilitation of the police force, which was ongoing in collaboration with the UNDP, as well as for training, capacity-building, and the upgrading of facilities such as prisoner accommodation. He said that he had consulted with sheikhs, women's groups and others in the community on the problems posed by IDP camps, whose inhabitants were largely viewed as economic migrants who had brought with them bad habits such as drug abuse. It was decided to relocate the camps, estimated to house 2,800 families, and to provide land, electricity and water.

67. The Minister underlined his concern about large-scale illegal fishing off the "Puntland" coast. The coastline reportedly stretched for 1,633 kilometres and there were no coast guards. He asserted that the fishing vessels originated from Russia and the Far East and that it had not proved possible to conclude agreements with those parties since they sought agreements with all of Somalia and not just with "Puntland". The expert advised that the region should establish an arrangement similar to that for civil aviation, which would permit international recognition and protection of the coastline. He also encouraged the promotion of commercial investment for the development of the ports, with marketing based on a thorough assessment of port needs. The Minister noted that light industry now had a value of $22 million, with exports mainly to Kenya, and that a new investment law had been promulgated with a view to further development. 68. On the question of the contested areas of Sool and Sanaag, the Minister insisted that the international community must recognize the areas as belonging to "Puntland" based on ethnicity, and not on colonial demarcation.

69. The expert visited the Buulo Elay IDP camp where a fire in July had destroyed many of the dwellings. It was reported that the former inhabitants had dispersed and were now without assistance. One of the IDPs stated that many of the children were sick, there was inadequate food and water, and that the only school was without teachers.

70. The expert met with the police commander, who asserted that the main human rights issue was people dying in boats offshore, since the police, lacking transport and communications equipment, were not equipped to patrol.

71. The expert met with local NGOs. Attention was drawn to the impact of charcoal production and related environmental deterioration, and on food security in the Sool and Sanaag regions. The situation was reportedly exacerbated by drought. They also identified as significant the issue of "boat people", who lost their lives attempting to flee to neighbouring countries. Lack of participation by women in politics was also deemed problematic.

72. The expert toured the main prison, which housed 77 inmates. Sanitation and water supply appeared satisfactory. The need was, however, expressed for vocational, educational and medical assistance for the prisoners. The expert noted that one of the inmates was a 16-year-old girl, sentenced for one and a half years for adultery.

73. In his meeting with the UNCT in Bosasso, the expert was informed of the situation of IDPs. The key problem was identified as land allocation. UNDP reported progress in the implementation of the judiciary, law enforcement and mine action components of the ROLS project. WFP noted that it was undertaking a three-month human rights awareness programme through a local women's NGO which would involve 210 participants. UNICEF flagged HIV/AIDS as a potentially serious issue, which needed to be further substantiated with respect to statistics and addressed with sensitivity.

C. Visit to Kismayo

74. The expert visited Kismayo on 30 and 31 August, his first visit to the region. Kismayo is a port town situated on the southern coast and has been under the control of the Juba Valley Alliance (JVA) since June 1999 when the JVA, which supports the TNG, expelled the forces of General Morgan, a member of the opposition Somali Reconciliation and Restoration Council which brings together southern factions opposed to the TNG. The area has thus been beset by sporadic conflict of both inter-faction and inter-clan origin.

75. The expert met with the JVA District Commissioner, who claimed that Kismayo had been abandoned by the international community, now represented only by UNICEF, and that the decision had therefore been taken to try to be self-sufficient. He noted that the area lacked clean water, as well as adequate facilities, equipment and training. A district administration had been set up, including a local court, attorney-general and appeal court, but assistance was needed for the reproduction of the laws. He indicated that he was aware of the harmful environmental effects of the charcoal trade but that there was no market for the existing alternatives in agriculture and fishing. There was widespread looting of marine resources, but it was difficult to gather data or respond to violations since the administration did not possess any speedboats and looting ships were armed and without identifying flags.

76. The expert met with the Police Commander who stated that there were 215 officers and agents in Kismayo. The police officers were not paid and had not received training for the last 13 years. There were five police stations, but there were no transport or communications equipment, uniforms, typewriters, registers or stationery. The main charges among prisoners were asiwalid, theft and homicide. A decree two weeks earlier had ordered the disarming of militia, and 1,202 militiamen had been disarmed up to that time. The next steps would be to remove all roadblocks and to disarm militia in rural areas. The expert was taken on a tour of two disarmament camps, and he strongly commended this self-generated initiative towards greater peace in the region.

77. The expert visited the Kismayo court, where he spoke with the assembled judiciary. They informed him that they practised essentially Islamic law; while they also applied Somali law, they did not have copies of the laws and relied on memory. He also toured the nearby prison, which was in an old building with inmates in overcrowded rooms.

78. In his meeting with local NGOs, attention was again drawn to the need to equip police with uniforms and training. Activity mostly concentrated on education and health concerns, including the issues of sanitation and water supply. One NGO was working on rehabilitating the stadium. A women's group worked on income-generating opportunities for women, especially widows, which sought to engage them in chicken-plucking, crafts and other activity.

79. The expert was taken on a tour of the Kismayo port by port officials. They indicated that the charcoal trade was vital to its activities, and noted that two impediments to the expansion of activity were the presence of a ship allegedly loaded with ammunition which had sunk in the harbour and the need to dredge the harbour, which now had a depth of 8-10 metres compared with its former 18 metres. The expert also met two ship captains, one of them the captain of the sunken ship who said that all the ammunition had been removed before the sinking, except for one missile. They assured the expert that it would be possible for local divers to assess the situation in preparation for arranging for the safe removal of the missile and subsequently lifting the ship.

80. The expert visited IDP Camp Number 5 and the Koban Camp Village, where he noted that the structures were sturdier than other parts of Somalia, being constructed of mud rather than wooden sticks or plastic bags. There were no school or health services.

81. In his meeting with Muslim Aid, the only international NGO operating in Kismayo, he learned that the organization was UNICEF's largest partner in Kismayo and had been working most actively on well rehabilitation and a successful tuberculosis programme. The expert visited an orphanage run by Muslim Aid. It catered solely for boys, and undertook Islamic schooling, housing and feeding of the orphans.

The United Nations Security Coordinator

82. The expert met with the UNCT, consisting of UNICEF and (UNSECOORD). UNICEF noted that it had concentrated its efforts in the big towns and worked primarily in the areas of education and health. The five major schools were applying a new curriculum developed by UNICEF and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Another major activity was a polio eradication programme.

83. The expert visited the main hospital, which was dilapidated, understaffed and underequipped. It was understood that the hospital administration had entered into discussions with UNDP to rehabilitate the premises.

84. On 1 September the expert met with the Juba Valley Alliance (JVA) Central Committee. The Chairman noted that there was once an independent radio and newspapers, but these had closed for technical reasons. He stressed that the JVA administration was inclusive and that the minority Bantu people were also included in the army. The Committee welcomed all assistance and had communicated this to the United Nations.

VII. PARTNERSHIPS FOR THE PROMOTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN SOMALIA

85. In his meeting with a representative of UNHCR, the expert was informed of ongoing programmes for the return and reintegration of refugees. The officer noted that returnee monitoring by UNHCR in 2002 had revealed that 83 per cent of returnees interviewed on key aspects of their physical, legal and material safety felt that despite the harsh and economically poor climate that awaited them at home, they considered themselves to be in a better position than in exile and were pleased to have returned. This positive judgement was largely built on feelings of increased dignity, ability to enjoy their rights and self-determination upon repatriation rather than the quality of basic services available or opportunities to make a living without support.

86. The expert met with representatives of UNICEF, who informed him that they were in the process of finalizing the study on child protection which was based on over 10,000 interviews conducted throughout the country.

87. In Nairobi, the expert met with the manager of the ROLS project. He noted that the project sought to implement the recommendations of the expert and consisted of five main elements: (a) The judiciary - training, including human rights training, was ongoing in Hargeisa for 65 persons in the legal field over three months; a "legal clinic" project was also being implemented to assist vulnerable groups; (b) Law enforcement - 250 cadets, including 30 women, were being trained in Mandera, "Somaliland", and a desk had been set up at police stations for women and children; 11 persons working in the area of prison administration were also being trained on the rights of prisoners; police training was also being planned in Kismayo, and to that end uniforms had recently been sent to the area; (c) Human rights and gender - training, given by two United Nations Volunteers, would address human rights institutions and the training of parliamentarians; (d) Disarmament and demobilization; (e) Mine action.

88. The expert had discussions with representatives of the Somali Aid Coordination Body. He learnt that the Gender and Human Rights Working Group currently being chaired by UNIFEM was facing challenges in addressing human rights issues in the absence of a representative of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

89. The mission met with a representative of USAID who informed them that the current, 2001-2003 programme was to be extended for another year, but that development funding for Somalia was due to be halved for 2004. the United States was currently working through WFP, international NGOs and others to implement projects on "food for peace", support to NGOs, education and health care.

90. The expert briefed the Protection and Human Rights Steering Committee. Members of the group also expressed their strong support for a OHCHR presence on UNCT in order to address aspects of human rights outside the mandate of the agencies already represented.

91. In his meeting with representatives of UNIFEM, the expert learned of the organization's challenges in mobilizing resources for advocates of women's human rights in Somalia, owing to the fact that most resources available were earmarked for humanitarian activities.

92. The expert met with the United Nations Resident Representative, who noted that in addressing human rights the following staff would be involved:
(a) Staff involved in the ROLS project, who would be directly employed and supported by UNDP; (b) A human rights coordinator working largely with OCHA and the United Nations Coordination Unit to develop and implement a coherent UNCT approach to human rights issues in Somalia; (c) A OHCHR representative who would focus on specialist areas of human rights, notably including human rights advocacy as well as documenting human rights violations and activities.

93. The expert met with representatives of NOVIB (Oxfam-Netherlands). Reference was made to the positive impact of civil society organizations at the Somali National Reconciliation Conference and to the growing coalescence of groups around particular human rights-related issues such as peace. The NOVIB representatives asserted that international lobbying and support, as well as cooperation with the Somali diaspora and international NGOs, would be key elements in achieving progress in the promotion and protection of human rights.

94. On 3 September, the expert convened a meeting with participants attending the Somali National Reconciliation Conference in Mbagathi, Kenya. Among them were representatives of the TNG and various regional authorities, faction leaders, civil society and women's groups and minority groups. He briefed the gathering on his visit to Somalia and urged participants to consider human rights in their deliberations at the Conference. An interactive session followed at which a number of human rights issues were raised, including piracy along the Somali coast, minority issues and refugees.

95. As reported in the United Nations Mid-Year Consolidated Appeal, the UNCT identified "protection and human rights" as one of the four key priority themes for its work in 2003. A United Nations theme group on protection and human rights was established with the aim of strengthening interventions and activities in these fields, in particular with regard to awareness raising, advocacy, and monitoring and programmatic interventions to strengthen the protective environment for vulnerable and marginalized groups throughout Somalia. A strategy for addressing these issues was drafted and an action plan adopted by all agencies with a view to fulfilling these goals. The Somalia Aid Coordination Body also established a Working Group on Rule of Law and Protection, which aims to strengthen coordination and collaboration among international and local partners in these fields.

96. OHCHR's first technical cooperation project in Somalia was initiated in October 1999. From April 2001 to February 2003 OHCHR implemented another project involving the secondment of a OHCHR Senior Human Rights Adviser to UNDP responsible for mainstreaming human rights in the work of the United Nations agencies in Somalia and providing technical advice on the implementation of the UNDP Somali Civil Protection Programme. OHCHR thereafter undertook consultations with stakeholders with a view to devising a new approach to its programming in the country and will be implementing a project towards that end, beginning in late 2003.

VIII. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

97. The expert was on this occasion made more keenly aware of the fundamental factors impacting on the observance of economic, social and cultural rights, as well as their interaction with civil and political rights and the wider issues of peace in Somalia. The questions of coastline protection, economic diversification and resources for the operationalization of human rights objectives were among the main concerns brought more strongly to the fore.

98. The expert takes note that significant steps are being made in the political processes which would underpin progress on all aspects of human rights.

99. On the question of IDPs, the expert is heartened that the United Nations Country Team has remained involved in the issue.

100. The expert is pleased with the strides made by local civil society both with respect to their networking and information exchange, as registered at several events in 2003, but also to their apparent sophistication in terms of monitoring and reporting of human rights violations. The expert was especially impressed by women's organizations catering for widows and other special needs groups. He furthermore recognizes that support to such organizations would serve to amplify their impact and would reap considerable dividends for the promotion and protection of human rights throughout Somalia in the medium to long term.

101. The expert therefore makes the following recommendations. The expert:
(a) Requests the responsible United Nations bodies urgently to study the possibility of establishing an independent organization for the protection of the endangered Somali coastline; (b) Recommends that the international community give greater consideration to development activity that would support advances made on rule of law and related fronts; (c) Calls on the participants at the Somali National Reconciliation Conference to ensure that human rights safeguards and principles are included in all their deliberations and documentation; (d) Calls on the Secretary-General and the Security Council to establish a committee of independent experts to examine allegations of past massive human rights violations and crimes against humanity committed in Somalia, and to report on options for how these might be addressed; (e) Urges the international community to accompany the peace processes, with a view to ensuring that human rights are thoroughly integrated in the institutions and frameworks which are being forged; (f) Encourages continued comprehensive multi-agency efforts to cater for both the short-term needs of IDPs as well as longer-term solutions to the problem of integration, including the provision of social services to cater for their humane absorption into society; (g) Calls upon all Somali local authorities to pay serious attention to the protection of children and to coordinate with UNICEF and all other international NGOs to achieve the goal of a better life for the children of Somalia; (h) Recommends that the international community and local authorities render every assistance to civil society in fulfilling its role with respect to the protection and promotion of human rights in Somalia; (i) Calls upon all Somali local authorities to provide full protection and support for international humanitarian aid personnel operating in Somalia; (j) With respect specifically to activity of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the expert recommends the establishment of an office based in Hargeisa, "Somaliland", having close operational links with trained partner umbrella women's organizations in "Somaliland", "Puntland", Kismayo and Mogadishu. The OHCHR international representative would coordinate his/her work with the activities being undertaken under the UNDP ROLS project and undertake the documenting of human rights violations and activities. Human rights advocacy would also be included in the project mandate as an indispensable element for building a human rights culture. He also advises collaboration with civil society groups taking part in the Somali National Reconciliation Conference, with a view to ensuring that they are effectively represented at the meeting.


Source: www.so.undp.org/docs Report on a Training Needs Assessment of the Somaliland Civil Service Report

Submitted to: Dr. Abdusalam Omer, UNDP Report
Compiled by: Mike Bicker, Education & Training Consultant Report
submitted in: January 2004

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

I would like to acknowledge the support of the ministries and government agencies and their staff who provided the data on which this training needs assessment is based. Without their cooperation the training needs assessment could not have taken place. Above all, my thanks go to the team who conducted and supported the assessment: the seven assessors - Abdi Sahardid Askar, Omar H. Said Abdillahi, Jama Abdillahi Dhulqiyas, Mariam Abdillahi, Mohamed Abdi Allamagan, Mohamed Barud Ali and Abdikader Jibril Tukaale - and also to Aden Abdi Askar and Mahdi Gulaid, who stayed cheerful despite having the thankless task of summarizing the enormous quantity of data which was collected during the assessment. Needless to say, any faults or omissions in the report remain my responsibility. UNDP would welcome any comments on the report, which should be sent to: Abdusalam Omer abdusalam.omer@undp.org and Mike Bicker mike.bicker@undp.org Mike Bicker Nairobi, January 2004

1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

1.1 Background
     As part of the UNDP Capacity Building and Governance Programme, a 3-month preparatory study on civil service training in Somaliland was funded, which included a training needs assessment. Somaliland (GOS) comprises a total of 25 ministries and 11 agencies. These employ a total of over 4,700 civil servants, according to Civil Service Commission (CSC) figures (2002). The main objectives of the TNA were to:
(a) assess the general level of efficiency in the target institutions
(b) distinguish training needs from organizational problems
(c) identify a `core' of training needs across the target institutions
(d) quantify training needs
(e) determine the training needed to improve performance
(f) link job performance to organizational goals
(g) collect information for possible use on training courses.

The training needs assessment (TNA) targeted all ministries and government agencies. It also included two local government authorities, in order to make a comparative assessment of skills and capacities at central and local government levels. The TNA covered staff at Grades A (the most senior), and B, and staff at Grade C holding clerical positions. The assessment did not focus on occupational groups with highly specialized training needs or which already have sectoral training provision, e.g. teachers. The target group totals 1,610 civil servants. During the assessment a total of 472 informants, comprising both civil servants and members of the general public, were interviewed.

1.2 Findings The main findings of the training needs assessment are described in Chapter 3, pages 14 - 31.
     1.3 Implications for training If any training programmes for the Somaliland civil service mounted in the future are to have optimum benefit, it is clearly of paramount importance that several structural and institutional issues affecting the civil service are addressed. These include:
(a) Completion of a civil service review, to include rightsizing and the consolidation of staff in ministries, agencies and departments so that these are of a sufficient size to be operationally viable
(b) Introduction of job descriptions for all positions, to include a definition of minimum qualifications and of the training requirements for the particular job
(c) Establishment of a pay structure that rewards staff adequately for the amount of effort they contribute and for the development of their own capacity through, for example, training
(e) Development of a comprehensive promotion system, linked to performance
(f) Introduction of a performance monitoring system in all ministries/agencies
(g) Development of strategic plans in all ministries and agencies
- Development and adoption by GOS of a comprehensive training plan for the civil service, with co-financing agreements reached with major development partners
- Introduction of a devolved budget to ministries and agencies for the purposes of staff development and training
(h) A greater commitment to supporting the work of a human resource manager and his/her team within each ministry/ agency
(i) Creation of opportunities for greater information-sharing between ministries and government agencies, especially for sharing experiences regarding best practice in management and administrative practices. In order to ensure that duplication is minimized and that the timing of activities is harmonized, it will be important for the main providers of external support to GOS capacity building, such as the European Community, UNDP and various INGOs, to coordinate their support with government and with one other.

1.4 Training priorities

The findings of the training needs assessment indicate that there are widespread training needs within the civil service, which include levels from senior management to administrative/ clerical grades and which cover a large range of subjects. A tentative training plan is at Table 6: An indicative Somaliland civil service training inventory, page 34.

2. BACKGROUND

2.1 Funding
     As part of the UNDP Capacity Building and Governance Programme, a 3-month preparatory study on civil service training in Somaliland was funded. The study had three main outputs:
- (a) Training Needs Assessment (TNA) of the civil service
(b) The development of core training curricula, and
(c) A draft project design document to establish a civil service training facility. This report documents the main findings of the first of these activities, the Training Needs Assessment. TORs for the study are at Annex A. 2.2 The Civil Service Somaliland (GOS) comprises a total of 25 ministries and 11 agencies. These employ a total of over 4,700 civil servants, according to Civil Service Commission (CSC) figures (2002). This figure does not include employees of local government authorities (LGAs). There is a large disparity in the size of ministries and agencies, with the largest ministry, Education, employing over 1,700 staff, the majority of whom are school teachers, while the smallest (and youngest) ministry, Houses Coordination has just 7 employees. The latest staffing figures available are provided in Table 1: Staff figures by ministry/ agency. The majority of ministries are headed by a minister, a vice-minister and a director-general, who is the senior civil servant, with staff divided into three departments, a department of administration and two other departments with sub-sectoral responsibilities. In a recent human resource development exercise, all civil service jobs were classified into four grades, A - D, according to their level of responsibility. The responsibilities of departments were also defined. This activity has not yet been extended to include the development of individual job descriptions. A right-sizing exercise has been carried out involving all ministries and government agencies, with the exceptions of the Bank of Somaliland and Berbera Port Authority. At local government level, rightsizing has been completed in relation to one municipality, Burco, while the others are currently in progress.

The TNA covered staff at Grade B and above and clerical staff at Grade C. It did not focus on occupational groups with highly specialized training needs or which already have sectoral training provision, e.g. teachers, judges and court staff, doctors and nurses. The target group is shown in Table 2: Training Needs Assessment target groups. Table 2: Training Needs Assessment target groups Central government: Ministries 25Agencies/Commissions 5Other government entities 7Total civil servants 4,774 Staff not targeted in the assessment: non-clerical staff at grades C & D 1,385headteachers, teachers 1,273doctors, nurses 393judges, court staff 113Total civil servants not targeted 3,164 Total civil servants targeted 1,610 The Assessors The TNA was conducted by a team of seven assessors selected from the Civil Service Commission and from private sector training and consulting organizations. The main selection criteria used in recruiting assessors were:
(a) Sufficiently mature to interview up to Minister level
(b) Working experience in public service or similar organization
(c) Good interpersonal and information-gathering skills
(d) Able to process information quickly
(e) Fluent in Somali and with a good standard of written English
(f) Able to lead focus group discussions
(g) Well organised and able to work independently
(h) Available for the entire 3-week period of the TNA.

Methodology Before commencing data collection, the assessors were trained on data collection techniques and on the data collection tools to be used in this TNA. The TNA used a mixture of data collection methods, including: (1) Individual structured interviews (2) Observations in the workplace (3) Focus Group Discussions

3. MAIN FINDINGS

3.1 Organisational structure

Following a civil service review in 2002, the number of departments in most ministries was set at three, which meant a reduction in the number of departments for several ministries. The new structure comprises a department of Administration, plus two sub-sectoral departments. The only exceptions to this are the ministries of education and health, both of which continue to have five departments. Ministers/ Heads of agencies and Director Generals were asked to comment on the effectiveness of the current structure and to suggest any improvements. The majority of respondents, 30 out of 37 (81%), stated that they consider the current structure to be effective. Question: Is your current departmental structure effective? Informant Yes No DNR Ministers / Heads of agencies 10 2 0 Director Generals 20 5 0 Total 30 7 0 Question: How could your current departmental structure be improved? Response Number By organising training on management and leadership skills 2 By creating additional departments and sections 2 Reduce overstaffing 1 Creation of key sections 1 Need for GOS policy on civil service 1 Reorganisation required 1 Structure is appropriate but lack of financial resources renders it ineffective 1 Need for clear demarcation of responsibilities between DG and minister 1 Currently 10 departments, but plan to reduce number (LGA) 1 Need restructuring (LGA) 1

3.2 Training policy Ministers/ Heads of agencies and Director Generals were asked about their training policy. The majority, 20 out of 24, of the ministries and agencies which responded do not currently have a training policy, although one further ministry stated that it has an informal policy and one of the two local government authorities (LGA) surveyed stated that it is planning to introduce a training policy in early 2004.

Question: Does your ministry/ agency have a training policy? Informant Yes No
DNR Ministers/ Heads of agencies/DGs 4 20 1

3.3 Current support to training Ministers/ Heads of agencies and Director Generals were asked for details of any support they provide to staff for training. The majority of the ministries/ agencies, 21 out of 27 respondents, provide no financial support to staff for training. Amongst those bodies which do financially support staff training, the maximum amount of funding by any ministry is USD 540 per year. Question: How many staff does your ministry/agency support for training? Informant None 1-5 6-9 10+ Ministers/Heads of agencies/Director Generals 21 2 1 3
Funding is used for local training, i.e. in Hargeisa. Management, law and computer studies are the main subjects funded and are taught at Hargeisa University, in a law programme supported by UNDP, and at private computer schools. In those cases where ministry staff are currently studying overseas, e.g. in Ethiopia and Egypt, two ministries stated that they assist staff in obtaining scholarships, but they do not provide any financial assistance. Question: For which subjects is staff training funded? Subject Number ministries Computer skills 2 Law 3 Management 3 Water resource management (external funding) 2 On-the-job training in accounting, IT, English 2 Accounting 1

3.4 Role of Human Resource Departments

Human Resource managers (or any official who has HRD responsibilities) were asked to describe the role of their department in the management and implementation of staff training. Of the 20 HR managers interviewed, 5 stated that their department played no role in training. Of the other 15, only 8 appear to play an active part in the provision of training. The role currently played by HR managers varies greatly and includes: facilitating OJT sessions; organizing classroom-based training for staff on technical subjects; designing training programmes, in collaboration with international organizations.

3.5 Mission & objectives

Ministers/ Heads of agencies and Director Generals were asked whether they have a mission statement. 40% of the ministries/ agencies responded in the affirmative. Question: Does your ministry/ agency have a mission statement? Informant Yes No DNR Ministers/ Heads of agencies/ DGs 10 9 6 The same informants were also asked to identify the main objectives for their ministry/ agency. A significant number, although less than half, of the respondents included in their response mention of providing a service to the general public. Question: What do you consider the main objectives of your ministry/agency? Response Number ministries To provide a service to the public, e.g. health services, radio programs 6 To manage our sector 3 To facilitate revenue generation for country, e.g. tourism 2 To extend to all regions 2 To implement policy 2 To develop our own capacity 1 To provide a service to internal clients, e.g. other ministries 1 To represent interests of Somaliland, e.g. foreign affairs 1 Our annual workplan includes objectives 1

3.6 Strategic planning

Just over half of the ministries/ agencies surveyed stated that they have a strategic plan. Those with a strategic plan were further asked how training and capacity building (CB) were linked to this plan. Seven, out of these 13, ministries/ agencies stated that CB and/or training were incorporated into their plan. Question: Does your ministry/ agency have a strategic plan? Informant Yes No DNR Ministers/ Heads of agencies/ Director Generals 13 10 2 Question: How is capacity building & training related to your strategic plan? Response Number Training is included in plan 4 Fully incorporated in planning, but we lack funds to implement 1 CB is required to achieve strategic plan 1 CB is prioritized 1 Training is not included in the strategic plan 1

3.7 Performance in achieving objectives Less than half of the informants consider that their ministry/ agency achieves its objectives. Question: In general, do you consider your ministry/ agency is successful in achieving its objectives? Informant Yes No

DNR Ministers/ Heads of agencies 5 5 2
Director Generals 8 11 6
Total 13 16 8

Informants were asked what they considered the main constraints to achieving objectives. While a large number were quoted, the three main constraints identified were inadequate financial resources, poor staff capacity, and poorly motivated staff. Several informants highlighted a cause-effect relationship between two of these: inadequate financial resources and demotivated staff. Question: What are the main constraints to achieving your ministry/ agency's objectives? Response Number Lack of necessary financial resources 25 Lack of capacity in staff 20 Lack of motivation amongst staff 13 Lack of equipment 7 Poor pay 4 Lack of management skills 3 Lack of detailed policy 3 Lack of vehicles 2 Poor communications - transport & telecoms 2 Poor admin systems 2 Lack of international recognition for Somaliland 2 Lack of planning 2 Land to be used by Ministry (e.g. sports grounds) is privately owned. 1 Lack of independent status, rather than being a ministry 1 Lack of human resource management capacity 1 Low educational background - below upper primary - of staff 1 Lack of commitment from international agencies 1 Brain drain from ministry 1 Data needed for planning inadequate and scattered 1 Ministry role is weakened by INGOs 1 Staff shortage 1 Internal reorganisation required 1 Misuse of resources 1 Overstaffing 1 Lack of staff training 1 Internal power struggles 1 Little cooperation between stakeholders in the sector 1

Lack of capacity building capability 1 No constraints 1 3.8 M & E 60% of the ministries/agencies surveyed do not have a monitoring and evaluation system in place. Question: Does your ministry/ agency have an M & E system? Informant Yes No DNR Director Generals 8 15 2 In those ministries/ agencies which have an M & E system, it tends to be administered by postholders at senior levels, e.g. by the Director-General and a departmental director or, in one case, by the DG alone. In only one ministry were we informed that postholders at more junior levels are involved in implementing the system. In another ministry we were told that M & E systems were implemented only in the case of projects funded or jointly implemented by the ministry with international or local NGOs. According to informants, the tools generally used are inspection visits (identified by 3 ministries/ agencies), questionnaires (2) and spot checks (1). In one case we saw evidence of a functioning M & E system, in which the head of the agency played a regular and significant role in the implementation of the system. Question: Who administers the M & E system in your ministry/ agency? Response Number ministries DG and department directors 2 Governor and DG 1 DG 1 DG and Director of Administration 1 Department directors, section heads, regional offices 1 3.9 General public feedback Ministers/ Heads of agencies and Director Generals were asked about the regularity and nature of the feedback they receive from the general public, and the channels by which this is received. The overwhelming majority of ministries/ agencies (80%) stated that they receive regular feedback from the public. This tends to be through informal rather than

formal channels. Of note is the fact that the media is a significant channel through which the general public passes their opinions to government bodies. Question: Does your ministry/ agency receive regular feedback from the general public? Informant Yes No DNR Director Generals 20 1 4 Question: How do you receive feedback from the general public? Response Number meetings with individuals 14 general public write letters 9 through mass media 9 meetings with private sector/ community organisations 3 Community Education Committees (school-level) 2 meetings with elders 2 through community representatives 1 The main feedback received from the public is either complaints regarding service delivery or suggestions for new projects or initiatives. Only one informant identified feedback of a complimentary nature. Question: What are the main messages in feedback from the general public? Response Number Complaints about poor service delivery 7 Suggestions for new initiatives/ ways to strengthen current provision 7 Complaints about level of taxation 4 Complaints about delays due to bureaucracy 2 Complaints about poor management (in schools) 2 People need greater assistance than that provided 2 Complaints about corruption 1 Complaints about treatment by staff 1 Complaints about understaffing 1 Thanks 1 Requests for jobs 1 3.10 Management styles Ministers, Director Generals and Human Resource Managers were asked to identify examples of good management practice at their workplace and areas of weakness. Question: What are some examples of good management practice in your ministry/ agency? Response Number Teamwork 26 Good working relationship between manager and staff 14 Delegation 8

Staff involved in decision-making 7 Collaboration between departments 7 Regular staff meetings 7 Good coordination 6 Good attendance 5 Managers are successful in motivating staff 3 Decentralised structure with good communication between levels 2 Human resource management 2 OJT system 2 Technically competent officials 1 Information sharing 1 Staff meetings minuted, minutes disseminated & follow-up conducted 1 Financial controls 1 Job descriptions in place at department director level 1 Managers and staff admit & confront own weaknesses 1 Supervision 1 Staff training, e.g. teachers 1 Integrity of staff 1 Motivation 1 Impartiality 1 Not unsurprisingly, given the variety in the organizations surveyed and in the managers' backgrounds, there was a wide range of responses to the question regarding managers' weaknesses. In addition, several of the weaknesses identified were specified by other informants as areas of strength. Question: What aspects of your managers' management style would you like to change? Response Number Increased cooperation/ teamwork 8 Regular staff meetings 7 Increased delegation 6 Better management 5 Better HRD systems, e.g. job descriptions developed 4 Participatory decision-making 4 Managers should develop a strategic plan, including human resource development 3 Better motivation of staff 3 Increased commitment 2 Introduce M & E system 2 Managers are harsh on staff, pressuring them to get results 1 Better communication between central and regional offices 1 Confidentiality 1 Improved record-keeping 1 Implementation of working hours in Labour code, i.e. 07.00-14.00 1 Introduce performance management system 1 Establishment of stronger links with the community 1 Better leadership 1 Greater staff involvement in decision-making 1

Poor use of physical resources 1 Introduction of OJT in all departments 1 Goal setting 1 The same informants were also asked about their managers' performance in terms of five specific behaviours. Question: Do managers. ? Regularly Sometimes Rarely DNR involve staff in decision making? 22 23 4 1 delegate responsibilities to staff? 27 16 4 3 encourage teamwork? 34 12 2 3 have a positive relationship with staff? 37 12 1 1 hold staff meetings? 25 19 5 1 The managers themselves, department directors and section heads, were also asked to assess their own performance in relation to these same five indicators. Question: Do you. ? Regularly Sometimes Rarely DNR involve staff in decision making? 45 21 3 6 delegate responsibilities to staff? 42 22 4 7 encourage teamwork? 56 11 1 7 have a positive relationship with staff? 58 10 1 6 hold staff meetings? 22 31 15 7 Staff themselves were asked to assess their managers' performance in terms of the same five indicators. Most staff praised their managers in terms of relationship building and the majority stated that they regularly work as a team (although, of course, it is not necessarily the manager who builds the team). However, on involving staff in decision making, on delegation and on holding regular staff meetings, staff rated their managers less highly than the managers' self-assessment. Question: Do you. ? Regularly Sometimes Rarely DNR get involved in decision making? 10 32 87 41 have responsibilities delegated to you? 57 27 31 51 work in a team? 88 19 23 40 have a good relationship with your boss? 79 26 13 41 have staff meetings? 29 30 71 40

3.11 Priority areas/groups for training Ministers, Director Generals and Human Resource

Managers were asked to identify their main priority areas for training and to estimate the numbers of staff in their ministry/ agency requiring each training subject. Although revenue collection showed the highest number of staff estimated to require training, this subject was identified by only two ministries. Those subjects requiring training for large numbers of staff and across several (10 or more) ministries/agencies were: management, accounting, computer skills, administration and foreign languages. Question: What are your ministry/agency's training priorities? Subject No. staff No.
ministries Revenue collection 236 2
Management 207 16
Accounting 172 13
Computer skills 167 15
Administration 133 10
Financial planning & management 113 7
Technical training 108 5
Professional training 97 5
Languages, English and/or Arabic 90 10
Personnel management 71 7
Leadership 70 4
Statistics 69 3
School supervision 50 1
Record keeping/Information
management 37 5 Budgeting 26 2
Laws/ Regulations 20 1
Secretarial 20 4
Auditing 16 1
Logistics 16 1 M & E 12 2
Staff discipline 10 1
Stores management 6 1
TOT for OJT trainers, e.g. heads of sections 6 1
Communication skills 5 1
Women's empowerment 4 1
Service delivery 4 1

Because the data from local government is based on only two authorities, one should treat their findings with a degree of caution. However, it is noteworthy that subject areas connected with finance, e.g. financial management, revenue collection and budgeting, rated high on LGA priorities list for training. Question: What are your authority's training priorities? Subject No. staff No. ministries English language 80 1 Leadership 51 2 Human Resource development 45 2 Financial management 35 2 Revenue collection 35 1 Strategic planning 25 2 M & E 25 2 Budgeting 15 1

3.12 Constraints on staff release Informants holding positions of responsibility, from minister to section head, were asked to identify possible constraints on releasing staff for training in four respects: (1) Releasing key individuals (2) Length of training (3) Timetabling and the intensity of training, and (4) The maximum percentage of staff away at the same time. This question showed a wide variety in informants' responses: (a) Releasing key individuals. Responses to this question ranged from an assertion that release would present no problems to concerns that it would be extremely difficult to release staff at department director and DG levels. Several ministries/ agencies stated that although release of key staff would be problematic, it would be arranged since capacity building is so important. (1) Length of training. On the maximum length of time staff could be released, responses varied from 3 weeks to one year, with a median of 3 months.(2) Timetabling and the intensity of training. While some respondents said there were no constraints on the timetabling of training, a significant number felt that training should be timetabled outside normal working hours, i.e. in the afternoon or evening. Of those who commented on appropriate timetabling within working hours, many were of the opinion that training time should be limited in intensity. Timetables suggested included: 2 hours daily or 3 hours x 4 days per week. (3) The maximum percentage of staff away at the same time. On the one hand, some ministries/ agencies stated that they could release up to 60% of their staff at the same time, while others felt it would be difficult to have more than 5% away together.

3.13 Current HR policies/practices Ministries/agencies were asked to describe their HR policies on recruitment of new staff and on promotion. To both questions the majority answered that they had no policies since they followed Civil Service Commission guidelines and practices. Four out of the 25 DGs interviewed stated that they were satisfied with the level of recent new entrants to the civil service. In only one instance did the assessor team see evidence of a well-developed HR system on promotion, with the agency in question having a staff appraisal system in place and quoting a total of 17 promotions in the last year based on supervisor reports.

3.14 Length of service Staff from department director level down were asked how long they had been in the civil service and how long they had worked in their current ministry/agency. Responses indicated that the majority of staff at all levels have been in the civil service for a considerable period, i.e. ten years or more. Question: How many years have you worked in this ministry/agency? Informant 0-1 2-3 4+ DNR Department directors 1 5 41 3 Section heads 0 2 19 4 Question: How many years in total have you worked in the civil service? Informant 0-4 5-9 10+ DNR Department directors 1 2 43 4 Section heads 0 1 20 4 Other staff 25 42 175 12 3.15 Efficiency/non-efficiency Although the length of time assessors were able to spend observing work in ministries and agencies was limited, they were able to make various observations on aspects of efficiency. Not unsurprisingly, given the large number of ministries and agencies visited, there was a great disparity in assessor observations. Their observations which relate to a wide range of efficiency indicators, such as staff absenteeism, communication, information processes, are listed in Table 5: Efficiencies & non-efficiencies. The numbers in brackets indicate the number of ministries/ agencies to which the observation applies. Table 5: Efficiencies & non-efficiencies - The official working hours are not fulfilled (4) - Administrative/clerical grades of staff observed were working efficiently (3) - Staff attendance and punctuality good (3) - Staff observed were busy (2) - Operations are at a low level (2) - Staff are generally punctual - Good teamwork - Inefficiencies are a result of lack of equipment - Paper management is effective - Working hours - staff work from 08.00-14.00 - Staff attendance is very poor - Most staff were at work - Rules and regulations are not observed by all staff - Poor application of Civil Service Law
- Some offices and sections were functioning efficiently
- The majority of offices were empty. Only two out of the five department directors were present
- General lack of understanding by staff of their roles, since they do not have job descriptions
- Although the Ministry staff includes several well-trained professionals, the lack of sufficient operating budget to implement projects results in them being underused - Many staff were idle - Staff knew what they had to do and how their responsibilities fitted in with those of colleagues. Staff working effectively as a team. Well developed systems of control, including daily checks of previous day's transactions. There are staff records, which include details of performance. - Personality clashes adversely affect inter-departmental cooperation, with two departments effectively frozen out from involvement in decision-making - Poor communication within the Ministry - There are frequent complaints from other ministries about the length of time the Ministry takes in processing their vouchers - The Ministry is practically at a standstill - Lack of delegation 3.16 Staff strengths/weaknesses Managers from DG to section head levels were asked to comment on their staff's strengths and weaknesses. Three main strengths were identified by informants:
- Experience. This translated into both technical expertise and working according to well-established routines.
- Commitment. Evidence for this included both honesty and regular attendance at work (although lack of commitment and poor attendance were also identified by many informants as weaknesses - see below).
- Teamwork. Staff were praised both for their teamwork within their section or department and also for good coordination between departments in the same ministry/ agency. The main weaknesses identified by informants were lack of motivation or commitment, poor management skills, inadequate computer skills and lack of specific job training.
Question: What do you consider your staff's main weaknesses? Weakness / Identified by: DG HRM DD SH

Total Lack of motivation/ commitment 8 7 4 7 26
Management skills 7 14 2 23 Computer skills 1 2 9 6 18
Lack of formal specific job training 13 5 18
Lack of practical skills 4 1 1 2 8
Lack of theoretical knowledge 5 2 1 8
Lack of/ poor basic education 1 1 2 4 8
Limited number of technical staff 3 4 7
High absenteeism/ lateness 3 1 1 1 6
Old age 1 3 1 5
Planning 1 2 1 4
Discipline/ don't follow rules 1 1 1 3
Poor communication skills in English 1 2 3
Lack of previous work experience in a ministry 2 2
Coordination 1 1 2
Do not share ideas/ knowledge 2 2
Forecasting 1 1
Budgetary control 1 1
Lack of sources of information 1 1
Public relations 1 1
Corruption 1 1
Client focus 1 1
Management of physical resources 1 1
Poor performance 1 1
Report writing 1 1

3.17 Own strengths/weaknesses Managers from DG to section head levels were asked to describe what they perceived as their own strengths and weaknesses. The strengths identified ranged from specialized technical knowledge to the possession of managerial skills, e.g. ability to motivate staff, leadership, and a sense of commitment. Weaknesses, similarly, encompassed technical skills, e.g. poor IT skills, and management shortcomings. Question: What do you consider your own main weaknesses? Weakness / Identified by: DG HRM DD SH Total Poor computer skills 6 5 14 14 39 Own lack of motivation 5 5 10 Management skills 2 3 4 7 Project design and development 3 3 6 Ability to motivate staff 1 1 3 1 6 Staff relations/ control 1 1 1 1 4 Self evaluation 1 3 4 Coordination 1 1 1 3 Accounting 1 1 2 (Updated) Technical skills 1 1 2 Public relations 1 1 Decision making being weakened by political considerations 1 1 Communication skills 1 1 Not following up on activities 1 1 Report writing 1 1 Approaching retirement age 1 1
     3.18 Recent changes in job/impact Staff at all levels up to DG were asked to identify ways in which ministry/agency work practices had changed over the last three years and the impact these changes had produced on their own job. Approximately one third of informants stated that there had been no change during this period. Those who stated change had occurred generally identified positive changes. The main changes highlighted were:
- Increased revenue flows to GOS
- Improvement in work environment, e.g. premises rehabilitated
- Establishment of semi-autonomous agencies under ministry supervision
- Increase in public demand for GOS services, e.g. school enrolments up
- Introduction of computers in ministries/ agencies, with a resultant improvement in staff performance
- Changes in workload - in most cases informants noted an increase in workload, although a minority noted a decrease, due to specific circumstances, e.g. the Saudi livestock ban causing a reduction in work for ministries in this and related fields. - Increased responsibility - a significant number of both department directors and section heads noted an increase in responsibility. Other changes identified by informants included: decentralization and the establishment of ministry offices throughout Somaliland; the introduction of strategic planning and OJT activities; improved working relationships with partners; restructuring within ministries/ agencies.

3.19 Education background Staff up to department director level were asked for details of their education background. Question: What level of education have you completed? Informants G4 Pri G8 Pri Sec'y Tertiary Prof'l/VocDNRDepartment directors 0 0 17 31 n/a 2 Section heads 0 1 9 15 n/a 0 Other 12 34 105 21 31 49 Key: Pri=Primary; Sec'y=Secondary; Prof'l/Voc=Professional or vocational training

3.20 Previous training Managers from section head to DG levels were asked for details of training courses they had participated in over the last 2 years, either arranged by or through their employer or which they had organized themselves. Responses showed that a significant proportion of managers received no training over this period. In response to the question "How useful was the training to your job?" the overwhelming response was that it had been "very useful". The majority of training described by informants was short course training, ranging from 2-day workshops to 3-week courses. There was little evidence of any medium- or long-term training having been provided. Question: What training courses/ workshops have you participated in over the last 2 years? Informants No training through ministry No training arranged by selfTotal respondents DGs 12 22 27 Human Resource managers 6 16 19 Department directors 21 32 48 Section heads 18 26 37 Other staff 43 n/a 89

3.21 Level of computerization Managers were asked for details of the number of computers at their disposal and of the main functions for which computers are used. Of 50 department directors interviewed, 21 (42%) reported having no computers in their departments. According to both managers and staff, the function for which computers are mainly used is drafting letters. Question: How many computers does your department have? Informant None 1-5 6+ DNR Department directors 21 26 1 2 Question: What tasks are your computers used for. ? Response Dept Dir'rs other staff Planning? 17 173 Budgeting? 14 77 Drafting letters? 32 121 Emailing? 6 70 Other? 11 36

3.22 Language competence Managers from section head to DG levels were asked for their opinion of whether the English skills of their staff were adequate for their job and of what proportion of their staff had a sufficient level of competence to participate in training delivered through English medium. Over 50% of the respondents thought that less than half of their staff had sufficient English skills for their job, while slightly less than 50% believed that a minority of their staff could participate in English-medium training. Question: In general, are your staff's English skills adequate for their jobs? Informant majority half minority DNR DGs 5 8 11 1 Human Resource managers 2 1 6 4 Department directors 13 13 24 0 Section heads 5 2 13 5 Total: 25 24 54 10 Question: How many staff could participate in job training given through English medium? Informant majority half minority DNR DGs 9 6 9 1 Human Resource managers 2 2 5 4 Department directors 14 13 20 3 Section heads 5 2 13 5 Total: 30 23 47 13 However, when staff were asked which language they would like training courses to be in, the majority (70%) of respondents said they would prefer training to be through English medium, rather than Somali or any other language. Question: Which language do you prefer training courses in? Informant English Somali other DNR staff not holding position of responsibility 119 42 10 61 An English language assessment was administered to civil servants, who were not holding a position of management responsibility. As a result of logistical and time constraints, it was not possible to conduct an assessment of informants' speaking and listening skills. However, it is believed that the reading assessment which was administered provides an accurate predictor of informants' ability to participate in training through English medium. On the basis of their scores, informants were banded in three categories:

BAND DESCRIPTOR

A Competent vocational English user. Able to understand the overall structure and general meaning of a written passage on a moderately specialized technical subject and to extract pieces of information from the text accurately. If listening and speaking skills are of a similar standard to reading skills, able to follow a training course on a familiar technical area facilitated through English-medium. B Reasonably competent English user. Able to understand the overall structure and general meaning of a written passage on a moderately specialized technical subject and to extract 50 - 60% of detailed information contained in the text accurately. If listening and speaking skills are of a similar standard to reading skills, able to follow a training course on a familiar technical area facilitated through English-medium provided that the facilitator makes major and consistent concessions to the needs of L2 users. C English user at an elementary level or non-English user. Able to understand an English passage to a level insufficient to follow a training course facilitated through English-medium, if listening and speaking skills are of a similar standard to reading skills. A total of 249 civil servants participated in the assessment. The results suggest that there is a small minority (less than 5%) of civil servants who have a sufficient level of English language competence to follow a professional training course given in English and benefit fully from that course, even if concessions are made by the facilitator to the needs of English second language users (i.e. Bands A and B). Informants BAND Number % age A. Competent vocational English user 1 0.4 B. Reasonably competent English user 11 4.4 C. English user at an elementary level or non-English user 237 95.2 Total: 249 100.0 3.23 General public's perceptions In a focus group discussion with 18 members of the general public, participants were asked to identify qualities they wished to see in officials of the civil service and, as a group, to assess to what extent these qualities are currently present. A total of 11 qualities were identified. In none of these did participants believe the quality currently generally exists and in only seven cases did participants consider the quality to partially exist. Question: What qualities would you like to see in civil servants and to what extent do they currently exist? Quality Generally exist Partially exist Do not exist Efficiency
- Punctuality
- Politeness
- Helpfulness
- Honesty
- Fairness
- Knowledge
- Creativity
- Cooperation
- Productivity
- Free from bad habits

- Participants were also asked to identify ways to bring about improvements. They identified the following strategies or needs:
- Common vision
- Functional programme (channel both sources of income adequately (Aid + Local Revenue)
- Fight corruption by Anti-Corruption squad
- The effective use of all laws & regulations
- Limited staff, so ensure the right person to the right position
- Generate diversified sources of income
- Staff Development
- Strict control / Discipline
- A greater delegation of decision-making, from ministers down
- Timeliness
- Staff Benefits
- Make government officials accessible to the public as a whole, rather than only to those who enjoy high status in society 3.24 Local government Two local government authorities (LGAs), one regional and one district authority, were included in the training needs assessment, in order to provide the opportunity to make comparisons between central and local government capacities and needs. The two LGAs visited were selected because one of them has recently received substantial capacity building support, implemented by a UN agency, whereas the other has not benefited from such support. The training needs of the LGAs are discussed at 3.11 Priority areas/ groups for training. In terms of current capacity, the main conclusions are:
- Both LGAs rate equally as well as central ministries in terms of levels of staff commitment and motivation
- The LGA which has received capacity building support rates alongside the strongest ministries as far as efficiency is concerned, while the LGA which has not been supported is on a par with average ministries
- The LGA which has been supported has taken the process of strategic planning further than the majority of ministries.

4. IMPLICATIONS FOR TRAINING

4.1 Training and institutional development

If any training programme for the Somaliland civil service mounted in the future is to have optimum benefit, it is clearly of paramount importance that several structural and institutional issues affecting the civil service are addressed. These include:
- Completion of a civil service review, to include rightsizing and the consolidation of staff in ministries, agencies and departments which are of a sufficient size to be operationally viable
- Introduction of job descriptions for all positions, to include a definition of minimum qualifications and of the training requirements for the particular job
- Provision of pensions to civil servants, as a means of encouraging the elderly to go on retirement, thus freeing up vacancies into which the civil service can try to attract young secondary and university graduates
- Establishment of a pay structure that rewards staff adequately for the amount of effort they contribute and for the development of their own capacity through, for example, training
- Development of a comprehensive promotion system, linked to performance
- Introduction of a performance monitoring system in all ministries/agencies
- Development of strategic plans in all ministries and agencies
- Development and adoption by GOS of a comprehensive training plan for the civil service, with co-financing agreements reached with major development partners
- Introduction of a devolved budget to ministries and agencies for the purposes of staff development and training
- A greater commitment to supporting the work of a human resource manager and his/her team within each ministry/agency
- Creation of opportunities for greater information-sharing between ministries and government agencies, especially for sharing of information and experiences regarding best practice in management and administrative practices. In order to ensure that duplication is minimized and that the timing of activities is harmonized, it will be important for the main providers of external support to GOS capacity building, such as the European Community, UNDP and various INGOs, to coordinate their support with government and with one other.

4.2 Training priorities The findings of the training needs assessment indicate that there are widespread training needs within the civil service, which include levels from senior management to administrative/ clerical grades and which cover a large range of subjects. Subject areas, target beneficiaries and possible training mechanisms are listed in Table 6: An indicative Somaliland civil service training inventory. This table also indicates the role of a future training institute specializing in public administration, named here for convenience as PATI (Public Administration Training Institute).

Training

Somalia IMPLICATIONS FOR TRAINING

Serial Subject Beneficiaries Type of course Training mechanism 1. Strategic planning
- All director generals, plus equivalent postholder from agencies 2-phase workshop: Phase 1 to develop strategic plan; Phase 2 to share experiences on implementation and to refine Run by Public Administration Training Institute (PATI) 2. Management
- Director generals, plus equivalent postholder from agencies
- Department directors
- (possibly) Section heads identified for future promotion Comprehensive course covering self-management, management of physical & non-physical resources, leadership, team building, delegation, etc PATI-run. Since release of beneficiaries is problematic, investigate best mechanism - modular? Part-time, e.g. one day per week? 3. Personnelmanagement - HR Managers PATI-run.Modular? 4. Management&facilitation of on-job-training (OJT)
- HR Managers (or equivalent) from all ministries/agencies
- One further trainer from each ministry/ agency Training needs identification, course design, methods of assessment, training methods, course management & administration PATI-run. Modular?
5. Supervisory skills - Section heads Introduction to self-management, management of physical & non-physical resources, motivating staff, team building, delegation, etc PATI-run initially, then within ministries by HR Manager. Modular?
6. Administration - administrative staff - selected secretarial & clerical staff Introduction to self-management, management of non-physical resources, paper management, etc PATI-run initially, then within ministries by HR Manager. Modular?
7. Managing meetings
- Director generals, plus equivalent postholder from agencies
- Department directors
- (possibly) Section heads Chairing a meeting; acting as convenor/secretary to a meeting; note-taking & minute writing PATI/ SACB-Hargeisa? Modular? Table 6: An indicative Somaliland civil service training inventory.
8.Service delivery - Director generals, plus equivalent postholder from agencies
- Department directors
- HR Managers - Section heads
- Other staff in client contact areas PATI-runtoDGs,department directors, then by HR Manager to Section Heads and other staff
9. Financial planning&management
- Department directors
- Section heads
- Plus any other budget-holders PATI/MOF.Modular?

10. M & E - Director generals, plus equivalent postholder from agencies
- Department directors
- Section heads PATI/BankofSomaliland

11. Auditing - 1-2 nominated staff per ministry PATI/MOF
12. Accounting - Accountants Upgrading skills, updating on systems in use PATI/MOF/Bank of Somaliland
13. Accounting for non-accountants
- Section heads
- Administrative/clerical staff with accounting responsibilities Introduction to basic principles, government accounting, computerized accounting PATI/MOF
14. Revenue collection - Revenue collectors PATI/MOF
15. Statistics
- any staff who generate/ process stats PATI/MOP
16. Computer maintenance/engineering - one nominated staff member from each ministry/ agency Routine maintenance, trouble-shooting, system maintenance PATI/private computer school
17. Advanced computerskills
- staff who are regular computer users at work and who possess MS Office basic skills Courses in required software packages
- to identify PATI/private computer school
18. Basic computer skills
- given current low level of computerization in ministries, no immediate need
19. Communication skills
- Director generals, plus equivalent postholder from agencies
- Department directors Oral presentation skills, report writing, proposal development PATI Modular?

IMPLICATIONS FOR TRAINING:
- (possibly) Section heads identified for future promotion
20. English for work - staff requiring English for work Reading skills, report writing, letter writing PATI Modular?
21. English for training - staff accepted for English-medium training who require upgrading Listening skills, negotiation skills, study skills PATI 22. Stores management
- Storekeepers
- Other staff holding responsibility for non-physical resources Run by HR Managers
3. Although not identified during the TNA, there will be need to provide induction training to new entrants to the civil service. 2. There will be a need to infuse and integrate into core courses cross-cutting issues such as HIV/AIDS prevention, gender and human rights issues, environmental protection. 1. Technical, job-specific training, such as for air traffic controllers and radio-station technicians is not included in this list. Information on needs identified in these fields will be passed on to appropriate, specialist organizations.

Annex A: Terms of Reference Somaliland Institute of Public Administration Sub-Contract I.
Introduction
The absence of an established public administration institute in Somalia has proved to be particularly damaging to development management in the country. Although UNDP has delivered a substantial amount of training to municipal and regional civil servants in the northwest area of Somalia, known as Somaliland, during the past four years, there remain a number of problematic issues related to the delivery and follow up of such training. Through the creation of a public administration institute, the issues of both the effectiveness of training and overall human development can be addressed. The major constraints found in all levels of the current administrations in Somaliland are primarily related to existing capacity and regulatory framework. Since the competency of Somalis found in country is not at its necessary level, significant problems arise during the process of staffing the ministries, agencies and municipalities. As such, a number of organizations are understaffed and functioning well below their required capacities. Additionally, there is no sufficient senior management cadre in the civil service who are in a position to assume overall supervisory responsibilities for ministries. Further complicating matters, a regulatory framework to address the establishment of public administration training institute does not currently exist. Therefore, there is an imminent need to define and design a number of policy and legislative frameworks to address this gap in such areas as education, human resources and management. Taking into account these various problems faced and issues to be addressed, UNDP is looking for an experienced, enthusiastic consultant to undertake this tremendous goal of establishing the framework necessary to create an Institute of Public Administration in Somaliland. II. Background Having faced devastating consequences as a result of years of civil war, Somaliland authorities have little infrastructure, resource capital, and other internal support to assist them in rebuilding their country. As a result, its development indicators fall well below an acceptable average in all categories, ranging from life expectancy to per capita income and literacy rates.

Deficiencies in management and technical skills, general infrastructure, and investment partners, are the major problems. With all of the burdens of salvaging this war-torn society, the government, with its limited capacities, has previously set its priorities at maintaining peace and security. Although this is critical to any economic and resource development, there is currently an opportunity to build on this established peace, providing solutions to humanitarian problems and institutional difficulties in the Somaliland society. This opportunity must be seized before it lapses along with the fragile governance and economic structures currently in place. The process of creating and maintaining a professional and stable civil service that contains motivated and knowledgeable personnel, who are able to perform their functions and tasks efficiently and effectively in an apolitical manner, is a key objective for Somaliland. The establishment of an Institute for Public Administration (IPA) in the context of scarce human resources, both in terms of number and also personnel capabilities, as well as limited financial resources, is a challenging task, which requires a well-established human resources management system. In this respect, there are three sets of issues that can be considered critical. These are, the capacity of local staff, human resources policy and management framework and the standardized training of civil servants. Somaliland has a functional Civil Service Commission (CSC) that was established in 1994. The CSC is a public autonomous agency entrusted with planning and oversight of public staff. Over the past four years the CSC has undertaken a number of initiatives such as civil service reforms to right-size/downsize municipalities and selected ministries as well as training of civil servants, with the support of UNDP. In order to continue to support the process of civil service reform in Somaliland, UNDP seeks to strengthen public administration through the creation of a Public Administration Training Institute that will cater to the training requirements of staff in ministries and government agencies. III. Main Objectives The purpose of the Institute is to provide training opportunities to civil servants at the central and municipal levels according to demand. Overall, the objective of this contract is to enhance the effectiveness of public administration and development management through examining the Somaliland governance structure and establish a framework in which a public administration institute can function and flourish in order to improve the capacities of the civil servants and sustain their growth. Through this research, a comprehensive training needs assessment will be conducted and a curriculum for the proposed institute will be developed. Eventually, through this support, this government will finally have available the tools with which they can conduct their activities in an efficient, effective and prosperous manner. This study has three principle objectives: (1) To establish, in coordination with Somaliland ministries, and particularly the Ministry of Planning, as well as the Civil Service Commission, a Training Needs Assessment (TNA) detailing a coherent and realistic framework that would adequately respond to the development public administration challenges facing Somaliland today. (2) To prepare an initial curriculum for the Institute, utilizing the TNA as a launch pad for fulfilling the needs of the public service community. (3) To ensure continued collaboration between the Ministry of Planning, Civil Service Commission, and international aid agencies, such as the SACB, EU, UN agencies, and particularly the UNDP country office programmes.

IV. Specific Duties A consultant will handle the specific duties employed to carry out these objectives, and hiring criteria will be based on experience, relevance and capacity. The duties will be conducted entirely in Somaliland through research, conferences and workshops, and will be done in conjunction with the Ministry of Planning and the Civil Service Commission. Four major activities will occur during the course of the consultancy: (1) Preparing for the Training Needs Assessment: a) Update the 2002 Civil Service Commission Assessment initiated in Somaliland that provided inventory of data on previous training needs assessments and surveys in certain municipalities and selected ministries; b) Design questionnaire and survey to be used in conducting a comprehensive training needs assessment. This questionnaire and survey should ensure:
(i) Collection of adequately representative samples of data in the appropriate size and structure;
(ii) Stimulation of ample input and active participation of the relevant ministries and municipalities in Somaliland;
(iii) Development of realistic and practical capacities within the civil service in Somaliland;
(iv) Distinguished components of institutionalized, realistic and harmonious capacity building processes at the central and municipal levels of civil service in Somaliland;
(v) Guaranteed achievability of results. (2) Training the trainers on conducting the survey
(i) Establish training modules for instructing a group of 6 national trainers/surveyors in conducting the survey effectively;
(ii) Train the trainers based on these developed modules;
(iii) Examine the possibility of attaching these training modules to the Institute of Public Administration. (3) Conducting the Training Needs Assessment:
a) Occurs following the preparations for the assessment;
b) Surveyors trained will assist in conducting the assessment;
c) Will be utilized as a baseline for curriculum development.

(4) Developing a Curriculum for the Institute of Public Administration:
a) Civil Service Training Management System,
(i) Develop a Civil Service Training Management System concerned with policy issues, training coordination and quality control;
(ii) Utilize the data and information gathered in the Training Needs Assessment about the ministries and municipalities;
(iii) Set out planning, coordination, monitoring & evaluation mechanisms for the civil service training, and qualification enhancement.
b) Curriculum for the Institute for Public Administration:
(i) Utilize the developed Training Management System as the basis for the development of the Institute for Public Administration's curriculum;
(ii) Identify training areas for the Institute, using the Training Needs Assessment, and develop curriculum accordingly;
(iii) Development of both long-term certificate courses and short-term training seminars and workshops to meet the varying needs;
(iv) Provide a full, comprehensive curriculum to be used in the initial stages of the Institute.
(5) Project Document for Institute of Public Administration
a) Based on all of the conducted activities, develop a comprehensive project document detailing the activities, regulatory framework, and budgetary necessities in order to launch the Institute and afford it long-term sustainability; b) Written in the requisite UNDP format. Reporting and Feedback Reports should be submitted to UNDP as follows:
- Comprehensive Training Needs Assessment and Completed Survey;
- Comprehensive Training Curriculum for the Institute;
- Comprehensive Project Document for the establishment of the Institute.

V. Qualifications and Experience The consultant will meet the following requirements:
- Hold an advanced degree in civic education, social science, public administration, finance, or other related fields;
- Possess relevant experience in governance, and provide a curriculum vitae, of not more than three pages, detailing this relevant experience;
- Staff motivation is based on future expectations
- Experience in writing curriculum for training institutions is essential;
- Experience in performing Training Needs Assessments, preferably in East Africa;
- Experience in project implementation and programming;
- Ability to work with closely and objectively with the Ministry of Planning and the Civil Service Commission;
- Familiarity with the Somali culture and political situation is beneficial;
- Read, write and speak fluently in English. Additionally, the consultant must be able to:
- Work independently and creatively;
- Meet strict deadlines;
- Demonstrate computer literacy regarding Microsoft office, specifically Word and Power Point, and the internet;
- Work efficiently and effectively in a team environment;
- Coordinate with local experts and officials when necessary, such as through translation of documents;
- Coordinate with the Nairobi office openly and effectively throughout the duration of the contract.
- Staff motivation is based on future expectations
- Staff observed were busy (2)
VI. Duration of Consultancy This consultancy will have a three-month duration. It will be based out of Somaliland, primarily in Hargeisa.

Annex B: Observations by Assessors Staff strengths & weaknesses
(a) Administrative/clerical grades of staff observed were working efficiently (3)
(b) Staff are generally punctual
(c) Staff are motivated by desire to learn (2)
(d) Some staff lack basic education (2)
(e) The lack of basic education may prevent staff from accessing training
(f) Good teamwork

  • Inefficiencies are a result of lack of equipment
  • Staff were generally motivated (2)
  • Staff lack basic skills and knowledge (4)
  • Staff attendance and punctuality good (3)
  • Paper management is effective - Working hours - staff work from 08.00-14.00
  • The official working hours are not fulfilled (4)
  • Staff attendance is very poor
  • Rules and regulations are not observed by all staff
  • Some offices and sections were functioning efficiently
  • The majority of offices were empty. Only two out of the five department directors were present
  • Operations are a low level (2)
  • The agency (Bank of Somaliland) has the financial resources to provide financial incentives for staff to perform well
  • Most staff were at work
  • Many staff are over the retirement age (4)
  • General lack of understanding by staff of their roles, since they do not have job descriptions
  • Low staff morale due to poor remuneration (2)
  • Although the Ministry staff includes several well-trained professionals, the lack of sufficient operating budget to implement projects results in them being underused
  • Many staff were idle Management
  • Staff meetings are held when there is a need to discuss a particular issue
  • Staff meetings generally focus on poor work performance
  • Regular staff meetings take place, in order to plan activities and assign tasks (2)
  • Staff meetings include Minister (2)
  • Most decisions in the Ministry are taken in a participatory way, with the exceptions of those affecting motivating staff and recruitment of staff, the latter being conducted by CSC
  • Chains of command may be unclear, e.g. staff receiving instructions at times from people other than their direct line manager
  • There is a perception amongst middle managers that there is insufficient delegation
  • Job descriptions are not adhered to
  • A functioning M & E system was in evidence
  • M & E is used only in relation to specific projects/activities
  • M & E takes place, with even the Minister getting involved in surprise checks.
  • There is a lack of established human resource policy and procedures, which leads to inefficiency
  • Although a strategic plan has been developed, details of this have not been shared with department directors and other staff
  • There is a lack of team work
  • Staff meetings are not held
  • There appear to be good relations between section heads and junior staff. This may be because they perceive their positions as similar, suffering from poor pay and consequent demotivation
  • Good relations between managers and staff
  • The majority of staff observed were idle (2)
  • Staff knew what they had to do and how their responsibilities fitted in with those of colleagues. Staff working effectively as a team. Well developed systems of control, including daily checks of previous day's transactions. There are staff records, which include details of performance.
  • Lack of vision/mission, strategic planning and HR policies and procedures
  • Lack of sufficient operating budget to fulfill mandated responsibilities
  • Personality clashes adversely affect inter-departmental cooperation, with two departments effectively frozen out from involvement in decision-making
  • Poor communication within the Ministry
  • There is misuse of budget allocations
  • There are frequent complaints from other ministries about the length of time the Ministry takes in processing their vouchers
  • There are written responsibilities for each department, but not individual job descriptions
  • OJT is organized within the Ministry (2)
  • Lack of delegation
  • Poor application of Civil Service Law
  • Lack of a training policy detracts from effectiveness of OJT
  • Heads of Section given limited responsibility
  • Two departments appear to be non-operational
  • Human resources are under-utilised
  • There is a lack of accountability in the Ministry systems
  • The Ministry is practically at a standstill Physical resources
  • Computer use generally efficient (5)
  • In some cases computers are not used for certain functions, e.g. details of court cases, financial accounts, due to lack of capacity to ensure security of information
  • Although insufficient equipment, what exists is used efficiently
  • Staff lack the requisite skills to make effective use of computers
  • There is insufficient capacity in trouble-shooting and maintenance
  • A high level of computerization exists, with staff records, accounts and other back-of-office functions computerized, although front-of-office transactions are recorded manually (Bank)
  • Use of computers and other office equipment is constrained by power cuts, e.g. no electricity at one ministry for 2 days of visit
  • Effective use of computers for planning, budgeting, data storage
  • The effectiveness of computer use varies greatly between departments
  • Half of the Ministry's computers are not functioning

Training
  • (a) Small size of ministry limits the number of staff who can be released at any one time for training
  • (b) Small size of staff means that finding somebody to cover while a staff member is attending training is difficult
  • (c) ODL would be appropriate (2)
  • (d) There is a need for training in project management and appraisal
  • (e) There is a need for training for staff at regional and district levels, as well as those in central ministry
  • (f) Training managers on how to motivate and manage staff is a priority
  • (g) Training is required by managers in project management and in institutional development
  • (h) There is a need for training in report writing
  • (i) Training in English language is a priority since the agency (Bank of Somaliland) uses English as its medium of operation in documentation ( - Staff workload is high, even during afternoons (Bank)
  • There are no constraints on staff release for training, since operations are at a low level (3)
  • - Release for less than whole morning would enable staff to complete essential job tasks
  • - The Ministry has allocated a small budget for staff training (Houses Coordination)
  • - Supervisory skills is a priority - Training in internal auditing is needed Other
  • - The level of Ministry operations has decreased in recent years
  • - Reporting arrangements between an agency and a ministry are unclear, with the ministry's view that the agency is responsible to it not being shared by the agency LGAs Two were visited.

Characteristics:
- strengths
- good communication between staff, high level of commitment to providing a service to public,

- weaknesses
  • no central records system, lack of job descriptions,
  • management skills reasonable, though still requiring training, in one, while poor management skills in the other
  • good facilities and equipment and effective and efficient use of computers in one, while in other the 2 computers were not in use due to lack of electricity
  • effective City Council, which meets weekly
  • staff salaries at reasonable level in one, in other low pay
  • lack of mission, strategic planning, HR policies

Annex C: Documents collected during the TNA Ser Documents Ministry/Agency Year

  1. Organogram
  2. Organogram Bank of Somaliland 3 Organogram House of Representatives
  3. Strategic Plan for Agriculture Rehab. & Dev. M. of Agriculture 2001/2003
  4. Three-Year Strategic Plan M. of Agriculture 1999/2001
  5. Organogram M. of Commerce
  6. Organogram M. of Defense
  7. Organogram M. of Finance
  8. Organogram M. of Fisheries
  9. Organogram M. of Foreign Affairs
  10. Organogram M. of Houses Coord.
  11. Ministerial Policy/Structure M. of Information 2003
  12. Organogram M. of Interior
  13. SomalilandStategy for Economy Recovery & Poverty Reduction M. of Interior 2003
  14. Strategic planning M. of Interior 1993 - 2003
  15. Strategic Plan M. of Livestock 2002/2003
  16. Organogram M. of National Planning
  17. Environment Policy M. of Pastoral Dev. & Env.
  18. Range Policy M. of Pastoral Dev. & Env.
  19. Strategic Plan M. of Pastoral Dev. & Env. 2002/2004
  20. Organogram M. of Presidence
  21. Organogram M. of Religion & Endownment
  22. Strategic planning M. of Religion & Endownment 2004 - 2006
  23. 5-year plan M. of Water & Mineral Res.
  24. General Inspection Office Ministry of Education
  25. National Education Policy Ministry of Education Aug-99
  26. Organogram Ministry of Education
  27. Schools Department Functions Ministry of Education Auditor General Office
  28. Yearly Statistical Report for 2002-2003 Ministry of Education 2002/2003
  29. Demobilization & Reintegration Strategies National Demobilization Cmn 1997
  30. Organogram National Demobilization Cmn 32 Strategic planning NDA.

Source: Somaliland Times, Issue 127 June. 28-July 4, 2004

Traditional Leaders Urge IGAD To Respect Somaliland's Borders

Hargeisa, June 26, 2004 (SL Times) - Somaliland's highest-ranking traditional leaders have called on IGAD countries to respect and recognize Somaliland's colonial boundaries.

Twenty two Sultans, and three Boqors, which together constitute the traditional leadership for roughly 85% of the country's population, said they were deeply concerned over the ambigious stand regarding Somaliland that the Kenyan hosted Somalia peace took.

The traditional leaders said the so-called peace conference has already interfered with the right of Somaliland's people and government to exercise sovereignty over their historical colonial boundaries.

In an open letter addressed to the IGAD ministerial facilitation committee for the Somalia peace talks, AU, EU, Arab League, IGAD governments and international partners, the Somaliland traditional leaders warned that attempts by IGAD countries to redraw the colonial borders of independent Somaliland as an integral part of Somalia would backfire. The traditional leaders said no country in the region will be immune from its sovereignty being violated if Somaliland is denied its right.

The traditional leaders pointed out that while IGAD claimed all along that Somaliland was not a party to the Nairobi process, mediators and delegates at the talks felt free to include the entire colonial boundaries of Somaliland in the new map they envisioned for reunified Somalia.

"There will be no negotiation whatsoever between an internationally recognized Somalia and an internationally unrecognized Somaliland," the letter said.

The traditional elders demanded that documents such as maps that clearly violate the integrity of Somaliland as an independent entity, should be withdrawn.

The Somaliland Sultans accused IGAD mediators of covertly soliciting participation of Somaliland traditional leaders in the Nairobi talks.

The letter reminded IGAD and the international community of their moral responsibility to bring the perpetrators of war-crimes and acts of genocide committed in Somaliland during Siyad Barre's dictatorship to justice.

The following are the signatories to the letter sent to IGAD, the AU, EU and the Arab League on Friday, June 25, 2004:

  • Sultan Mohamed Sultan Abdikadir,
  • Sultan Mohamed Sultan Dirie,
  • Sultan Omar Sultan Mohamed,
  • Sultan Mohamed Sultan Hersi-Qani,
  • Sultan Abdillahi Sultan Ali,
  • Sultan Rashid Sultan Ali,
  • Sultan Mohamoud Ahmed Shiekh,
  • Sultan Ibrahim Jama Samater,
  • Sultan Dahir Amin Farah,
  • Sultan Mohamoud Guled,
  • Sultan Barre Haji Hussein,
  • Boqor Mohamoud Ali Arab,
  • Boqor Osman Aw-Mohamoud,
  • Sultan Hassan Nur Askar,
  • Sultan Yusuf Ahmed Cadaan,
  • Sultan Mohamoud Haji Hussein,
  • Sultan Ahmed Dahir Muse,
  • Sultan Abdirahman Qodah Jama,
  • Sultan Mohamed Abdi Ali,
  • Sultan Ahmed Abdillahi Samale,
  • Sultan Hussein Ismail Ghelle,
  • Boqor Isse Haibe Khaire,
  • Sultan Hassan Ahmed Haddi,
  • Sultan Nadif Saidh Jibril,
  • Sultan Eid Gaws

Tip off By A Foreign Intelligence Said To Have Led To Arrest Of Terrorist

Hargeisa, June 26, 2004 (SL Times) - A tip-off by a friendly foreign intelligence agency is believed to have led Somaliland authorities to last week's arrest in Buroa of a man suspected of plotting to carryout terrorist attacks in Somaliland, reliable sources said.

The arrest of the suspected terrorist was first confirmed by Somaliland's Minister of Interior, Ismail Aden Osman during last Sunday's press conference. Though declining to disclose the full identity of the man arrested except that he was an Ogaden (one of the Somali clans that inhabit the autonomous Somali region in Ethiopia), Osman, revealed that the suspect entered Somaliland from its border with Somalia and was arrested by police after checking in a local motel in Buroa.

"He was found in possession of a sophisticated explosive device and a satellite mobile phone," the minister added.

The Interior minister added that he was pleased with the efforts of the security authorities in foiling a major terrorist plot.

However the Somaliland Times has learned that Somaliland's authorities actually acted after being tipped-off by agents of a foreign intelligence organization. According to the interior minister, two men identified by the suspected terrorist as his co-conspirators, had escaped arrest.

A massive police search in Hargeisa town hotels on Friday night, June 18, came to an end in the early morning hours of the next day after it has been established that the two men already crossed the Wajale border point into Ethiopia. Osman said Somaliland's security authorities have a good idea about the destination of the two men.


Terrorists Talk To The Press; Ring Leader Admits Lending Support To The Brutal Killing Of Richard And Enid Eyeington

Hargeisa, June 26, 2004 (SL Times) - Five suspected terrorists awaiting trial in Somaliland for the slaying of Ms Flora Chepkemol-Cheriyot, a Kenyan woman consultant and for lending support to the brutal killing of a British couple, Richard and Enid Eyeington, were met by the press last Tuesday for the first time since their capture on March 19, 2004.

The Somaliland authorities have until Tuesday kept the 5 detainees away from the press for security reasons. Journalists were allowed to take pictures and ask few questions concerning names, date and birthplaces, clan background and how they have been treated while in custody.

Reporters met the detainees one after another in the office of the director of Hargeisa Central Prison. Jama Abdillahi, the man believed to be the group's ringleader refused to talk to the press and the reporters were obliged to respect his wish. The remaining four suspected terrorists said they saw no mistreatment. "The inquiry sessions were however tough and tiresome," said one of them. All the 5 detainees actually looked in good shape, at least physically.

Sources close to the investigation told the Somaliland Times that Jama Abdillahi, known as Jama Kutiye, had also been in investigated in connection with the killing of Richard and Enid Eyeington, two Britons who worked as schoolteachers at Sheikh Secondary School. The Eyeingtons were brutally murdered on October 20, 2003 while they watched TV in their apartment at Sheikh School.

According to investigators, Jama Kutiye confessed to lending support to the Eyeingtons' killing. Though he denied carrying out the actual murder, he insisted that his role was to identify the target as well as the routes of approach and escape.

The other 4 members of Jama's group also blamed him for being the person who pulled the trigger when the Kenyan woman was shot. A pistol gun was used in the murder.

Jama Kutiye was believed to have been injured in the nineties while fighting for Al-Itihad, a terrorist organization linked to Al-Qaida. No date has yet been set for the group's trial.


Somaliland Opposition Parties Say Somaliland, Somalia are Separate States

Hargeisa, June 22, 2004 (SL Times) - Somaliland opposition parties UCID [Justice and Welfare Party] and Kulmiye [Solidarity Party] issued a statement regarding the Somali peace process that is taking place in Kenya.

UCID and Kulmiye parties said that the international community must respect the sovereignty of Somaliland as an independent nation from Somalia. They added that they support IGAD [Inter-Governmental Authority on Development] efforts of mediating Somali warring factions in Nairobi in order to form a government of national unity in southern Somalia.

The Somaliland opposition parties added that the only way, which is open to the two sides - Somaliland and Somalia - is to have talks as two separate nations, when a new Somali government is formed from the Nairobi peace talks.

The chairmen of UCID and Kulmiye parties, Faysal Ali Warabe and Ahmad Muhammad Silanyo, said that the Somali peace conference in Nairobi is not for Somaliland but only for southern Somalia.


EDITORIAL: Will IGAD Listen To Somaliland?

In an unusual move, Somaliland's top traditional leaders got together on Friday to send a message to IGAD and the international community in which they expressed their serious concerns over the implications that any attempts to ignore the right of the Somaliland people and government to exercise sovereignty over their boundaries will have for stability, not only in this country, but in the region as a whole. Somalilanders have never been divided on the issue of independence. But it has been rare for Somaliland traditional leaders to address an issue from a common platform unless the stakes were too high to be ignored. And nothing is of higher stake to Somalilanders than the preservation of their sovereignty. That is why Somaliland's traditional elders sent their unequivocal message to IGAD leaders and the international community.

Somaliland's traditional leaders know that the prevailing peace and security in Somaliland cannot be sustained without the country's sovereignty and independence. They also know that reunification with Somalia means return to chaos, dictatorship and genocide.

Despite the increasingly provocative turn that the Kenya-hosted peace conference on Somalia has been taking towards Somaliland over the last 10 months, Somaliland's leaders have, so far, exercised a great deal of restraint, lest they be blamed for undermining the already shaky talks.

If IGAD really wants to bring peace to Somalia, then they should focus their efforts on where the trouble is, which is the former Italian Somalia. Somaliland has been peaceful for over a decade, therefore any attempt by IGAD to include fake delegates who claim to represent Somaliland, or making statements that the government cobbled together in Mbagathi will have sovereignty over Somaliland would only mean that instead of creating peace in Somalia, IGAD wants to ignite war between Somaliland and Somalia.

IGAD is not the only entity that needs to stick to its writ. The warlords of Italian Somalia, too, should for once focus on finding a solution to their country's deadly conflicts instead of using Somaliland as a diversion. Somalia's warlords, IGAD, and the international community should by now have learned one of the main lessons from the previous 14 failed Somalia peace conferences. The lesson is this: once a future government for Somalia claims to have jurisdiction over Somaliland, that government is doomed to failure.


The Sovereignty Of Somaliland And Its Role In The Conflict Resolution Of The Region

Farhiya Ali Ahmed, Johannesburg, South Africa

This paper was presented by Farhiya Ali Ahmed, who lives in South Africa at a seminar organized by the "Africa Institute of South Africa" and held last May in Pretoria on Somaliland And Somalia: Part II [Continued from our previous issue]

International Perspectives

What are the chances of the international community giving up hopes for a Somali unity in the near future, and recognizing Somaliland as a sovereign entity? What are the different position and perspectives that the world and global actors hold about Somaliland, Somalia and the Somali crisis in general and the prospects for its resolution? What are the motivating factors behind such perceptions?

Intergovernmental Organization

The United Nations, African Union, Arab League and Organization of Islamic Conference have shown through their decisions, actions and statements their prioritization of preserving a Somali unity over allowing self-determination to succeed.

Matt Bryden notes that successive resolutions by the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the Arab League and the United Nations have reaffirmed he commitment of their members to the unity and territorial integrity of Somalia. In November 2000, the United Nations Department of Political Affairs actively promoted the establishment of the Transitional National Government (TNG) of Mogadishu, and was also instrumental in helping the TNG to claim Somalia's seat at the UN. The UN, AU, Arab League and OIC also implicitly endorsed the TNG's claims to jurisdiction over the entire Somali territory _ including Somaliland _ through their decision o extend membership to the TNG in Mogadishu. "Reports and resolutions issued by these intergovernmental organizations have been meticulous in either prohibiting the use of the term `Somaliland' or else situating it in quotation marks in order to ensure that no official reference to the territory could be misconstrued as a form of recognition."

The AU's commitment to respect for the territorial integrity of Somali is rooted in the 1963 OAU Charter which makes numerous references to the "sovereignty and territorial integrity" of member states". From this perspective, Somaliland's 1960 union with Somalia is characterized as irrevocable and Somaliland's claims to independence thus illegal. As such respect for Somalia's sovereignty and territorial integrity are to be upheld.

The Arab League makes no secret of the fact that it favors a Somali unity. The OIC's position on the Somaliland-Somalia issue was reaffirmed by the presence of the TNG at the last OIC Summit in August 2003. The AU's commitment to resuscitating a Somali government in Mogadishu has also been unwavering and still ongoing. Currently, the AU has devolved responsibility for handling the Somali crisis to the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). Meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, the foreign ministers of the member states of IGAD _ Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Kenya and Sudan _ have started a new round of peace talks last week on 20 May, with Somali warlords and traditional leaders from south Somalia in the hope of ending the 13 years of anarchy and conflict in Somalia. Somaliland has been absent from these talks as well as all the previous ones because of its declaration that it will only enter into dialogue with Somalia as an equal (i.e. as a recognized sovereign entity).

Western Governments

Somaliland's early campaign for recognition was mostly directed towards Western governments, seeing that the West was not as fussy about the principle of territorial integrity as the Arab world and the AU members were.

Somalia's notorious resistance to the externally-led peacekeeping endeavors of the early 1990s, coupled with the country's loss of its former strategic significance rates it as low priority in the West. Western powers, in presented with the Somali situation therefore opted to defer it to the AU. Western government are also wary of getting involved in the Somali dilemma for fear of potential danger to their relations with other regional powers and states with whom they share more important strategic or economic interests. As a result, the Somaliland government has since 2001 shifted the focus of their efforts towards the AU instead.

African States

Excluding the East African states, notably countries that shown interest in the resolution of the Somali conflict and Somaliland's demands for recognition are South Africa and Senegal. Senegal invited the Somaliland president and a delegation on an official visit to Dakar in early last year. Senegal's experience of secessionist insurgency in the southern region of Casamance, and of dissolution of a voluntary union (the 1982-9 Senegambian Confederation), say Somaliland officials, places it in a unique position of understanding.

South Africa also recognizes the need to address Somaliland's claims, as well as the dire need to resolve the crisis in the south of Somalia. A South African delegation was sent on a fact-finding mission to Somaliland in January 2003. In May 2003, South African Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Zuma hosted the Somaliland Foreign Affairs Minister for talks on advancing peace and stability in the region.


EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMME

By: Ahmed Isse Jama (Gade), Regional Education Inspector

Teaching - Practice, In Primary Schools

Preparing To Teach

Additional points concerning schemes of work

In cases where a pair of teachers is sharing the teaching of a class during teaching practice, the teachers must work closely and consult each other's scheme of work. They may find they have to adjust their schemes when they change over their subjects.

It is not advisable for an in-service student-teacher in a school to make schemes of work to last a whole term. This is because he needs experience before he can do this successfully. It would be more advisable for him to make schemes for only the first few weeks of the term to see how they workout. When he is more confident of his capability then he can start to plan further ahead, and may be for the rest of the term. Similarly it would be unwise to make schemes for the whole year. Practice really makes perfect in these situations.

A student teacher should not merely follow textbooks when preparing schemes of work. (Some authors even write detailed schemes of work for their particular subjects). Schemes of work and lesson plans should be the student-teachers' own original work. Suggestions given in textbooks are not meant for a particular group of pupils. Each class has its differences. Each teacher knows his own pupils best. He knows who are the bright pupils, who are the average and who are the slow learners. It is this kind of understanding that enables him to adjust his schemes where and when necessary. He knows whether to allow more or less time for a particular topic. He may discover in the process of teaching that he has to re-teach a particular section using a different approach.

Student-teachers are warned not to use the details of the schemes of work as a substitute for lesson plans. It is not uncommon to find a lazy student-teacher who has merely copied his scheme of work for a lesson into his lesson-plan book. His lesson might well be characterized by: (a) Lack of detail and illustrative material (b) In complete subject-matter (c) Incorrect facts (d) Disorderly presentation of information.

The scheme of work is only a skeleton plan which must be expanded and developed carefully before it can become a meaningful lesson.

[To be continued..]


Rayale: The Right Choice

Mustafe Kayse Roble, Hargeisa

On April 14th, 2003, Somalilanders came out for presidential elections to mark the first day that they have freely cast their votes for the first time in history. The turn out was very high and all the eligible voters came out and voted in an environment free of coercion, intimidation and fear and in the process marked a milestone. It was a success story and a mission accomplished!

On that very day, the people of Somaliland made a very important decision of their destiny as they were deciding on whose hands they will entrust their future and who will govern them for the coming five years. In the process, Dahir Rayale Kahin was elected as the country's first president who comes to power through popular vote. Unlike his predecessors, who ruled this country through the votes of very few people, Rayale is the only democratically elected president of the history of this embryonic government.

Dahir Rayale Kahin, whose personality and leadership qualities were largely unknown to the general public before the sudden death of the late president Mohamed Ibrahim Egal, although he has served the country's vice president for number of years, proved to be the right choice of Somaliland electorates: a capable leader with no hidden agenda.

As soon as he came to power, president Rayale has taken many steps not only to strengthen and consolidate the existence and sovereignty of this impoverished nation but also to realize the quench of international recognition. Firstly, he dismissed more than 50 judges throughout the country who were labeled as ineffective and corruptive judges. However, the complaints of judiciary system are still strong and the problem lies beyond the dismissal of any number of judges because simply the community itself is encouraging and nurturing the corruption.

The Rayale administration also returned the sisterly relationship between Somaliland and Djibouti to normalcy. Thanks to this improved relationship, when Abdilahi Yusuf and his militia invaded Sool region, the foreign minister of Djibouti clearly and loudly told Abdilahi Yusuf that he will be solely responsible for any casualties and losses yielded from Sool Region. What is more, the warm relationship between Somaliland and Ethiopia was further improved and high-level delegations from both countries were exchanged.

In addition, the government launched very aggressive recognition-seeking campaign throughout Africa, Europe and North America. Delegations from this small country have paid an extensive visit and knocked on every door in which they thought that their country's interest lie. Of these relatively unofficial state visits, the most famous and remarkable one was the visit to UK that president Rayale himself led. Enroot to London, the president had important talks with the prime minister of Ethiopia, where the two leaders extensively discussed the issues that affect their people and their countries.

On March 17, President Rayale delivered his famous and historic speech in front of dozens of members of the powerful House of Commons, scholars and academicians who have researched extensively on issues relating to Somaliland as well as concerned Somalilanders.

Due to these efforts, president Rayale gained the hearts and minds of all Somalilanders wherever they live. A clear sign of this was the huge demonstrations held in front of the House of Commons whereby tens of thousands of Somalilanders who came from most of the European countries and as far as North America, gathered in support of their president and their country's recognition. Similarly, when president Rayale, returned home, he received a hero's welcome and the warmest reception that a Somaliland president had ever experienced.

However, it is now apparent that some elements in the Somaliland politics want to make us believe that Rayale and his government are not doing any thing good for the country. More precisely, some members of Kulmiye party are covertly and overtly undermining every forward step that the government takes. Muse Biihi Abdi and Dr. Abdi Aw Dahir of Kulmiye are spearheading these type of politics. These two men were in London when president Rayale was making his speech in the House of Commons. The two men failed even to show up during the demonstration let alone to support the president and his huge delegation for the common cause- the quench for recognition.

Muse Biihi Abdi and Dr. Abdi Aw Dahir and their likes are expected to be constructive members of the opposition who are committed to the betterment of the country. Presumably, they anticipated to take advantage of the government weak spots and loopholes and in the process gain the hearts and minds of the people. However, this does not necessarily mean that they hastily oppose every single step that the administration takes on the basis of partisanship.

Rayale and his government are working very hard. Let us give them the opportunity and the conducive environment in which they can pursue realization of their noble objectives- which are a democratic and prosperous Somaliland. Finally, let us distinguish between those contributing to the country's betterment and those concerned only with satisfying their ego


The End Game Of Somalia's Unruly War Lords

By Farah Ali Jama, Ottawa, Canada.

An English proverb states that, "that has a beginning has an ending," while a Somali proverb with a similar meaning states that, "in the end, flowing water gathers at a depressed surface." This relates to the ongoing 14-year old civil war and the prevailing anarchy in Somalia, which to some point, it too, must come to an end like all other things that has a beginning and an ending. In fact, nothing in this world, whether living or non-living things are eternal except the Almighty God.

Therefore, the ongoing one and a half year old so-called Somalia Peace Conference at Nairobi, Kenya, the 15th of its kind and the longest in the history of Mankind, denotes the beginning of the end of this irrational conference. Moreover, the opening of Phase III, the final stage of the conference marks the beginning of the end game of Somalia's unruly War Lords and their cohorts. This means that it will be the end of the usual raw power exercised against the innocent people of Somalia by the TNG/ARTA Faction and Warlord Abdi Qasim Salaad, Puntland and War Lord Abdillahi Yusuf, SRRC and War Lord Hussein Aidid and others, RRA and War Lords Shatigaduud and Sheikh Madoobe, JUBA VALLEY and War Lord Bare Hiraale and others, and so on.

Furthermore, the predatory War Lords who used to boast to have defeated and driven off the UN Peace Keepers, US Marines, International Aid Organizations, and other NGO's who in the 1990's intervened in Somalia on a humanitarian ground in order to save their people who were, at the time, at the brink of mass starvation, mass slaughter, and possible annihilation are now faced with the daunting task of how to patch together the fabric of the society they tore apart, how to resurrect the government they destroyed, and how to bring back into the family of nations the very country they plunged into anarchy and misery. These War Lords are faced with the formidable task of nation building, something they have no experience of since their expertise lies in the field of nation destruction, which is the easier part. Also, they are currently facing numerous challenges, obstacles, uncertainties, and are for the first time scared of what the future will bring. What they are truly scared of is the outcome of the conference and the monster they are about to create, which will certainly seal their fate and that of their tribes.

The War Lords know very well that they have not reconciled even one bit since they did not tackle or discuss the root causes of the civil war and anarchy and how best to reverse it. In fact, in all of the 15 so called Somalia Peace Conferences, they have not discussed issues such as the ongoing ethnic cleansing and how to put an end to these barbarous crimes against humanity, how to resettle the victims and heal their wounds or compensate them, the return of lands seized and the looted properties, the heavily armed tribal militias and how to disarm them, and so on. Instead of tackling these issues first, the power hungry War Lords and their conference facilitators and financiers were only interested with how to share the power of the dream interim government to be formed on clan or tribal basis. That is all they have been doing all along! Even the Constitution, which they approved without the consultation or input of the people of Somalia, was entirely written by foreigners who have other agendas and interests.

All in all, whatever that emerges out of this illogic conference, whether it is for good or ill, is entirely up to the people of Somalia and their War Lords. However, it is important to note that Somaliland is a different country and should therefore not be confused with the anarchic Somalia. Furthermore, the people and government of Somaliland were not party to any of these 15 conferences held for Somalia since they do not concern them and would not like to be dragged to other people's problems, civil wars, reconciliation efforts, and the internal affairs of other countries.

Moreover, the people of Somaliland have paid dearly with their blood the illegitimate unity with Somalia coupled by the log dead dream of "Greater Somalia." Somaliland has liberated their country from that nightmarish unity as well as from the fascistic military regime of dictator Siyad Bare, reconciled on their own without the financial and technical support of the international community, have sealed their peace by extending general amnesty to its enemies (supporters of the ousted regime), restored its lost independence in 1991, held a national referendum with a 97% Yes vote in favor of the Constitution and independence of their nation, have a functioning and a democratic government, where the rule of law is the norm; have created a multi party system, held a fair and free local government and presidential elections, is currently preparing to hold the parliamentary elections, and looking forward to international recognition and to join the family of nations. That is the affairs of Somaliland, which should not be confused with the anarchic Somalia.

Therefore, whatever the outcome of the 15th so called Somalia Peace Conference, which will certainly be the concoction of a witches brew by the Marauding Warlords and their cohorts such as the IGAD, which is nothing but a recipe for further disaster and destruction can not by any means be imposed on the people of Somaliland and the democraticSomaliland.

The people of Somaliland will fiercely confront any individual, foreign power or organization that attempts to endanger its citizens, national aspirations, and interest. And no foreign power or organization will ever succeed to covertly or overtly drag us in the affairs of a failed state that is controlled by a bunch of bloodthirsty Warlords, many of whom are known war criminals such as General Morgan best known as "the butcher of Hargeisa" and his likes who have in the past committed barbarous, fascistic, genocidal, and other crimes against humanity against the innocent people of Somaliland particularly women and children as well as committing atrocities against their own people in Somalia particularly against the unarmed minorities such as the Barwanis, Jareers, Bajunis, Tunis, Digil and Mirifle, Gabooye, and others. These War Lords have no sense of humanity, they are affront to the conscience of humanity, and they certainly do not deserve to be afforded with political legitimacy and leadership role and by doing so is like giving them the license to continue executing their ethnic cleansing policies against innocent civilians and generate the burden of refugees to other countries. The people of Somaliland and their government strongly rejects these fake conferences, the War Lords who participate in them, and their country of Somalia.

Overall, "that has a beginning has an end," and make no mistake for the gallant people of Somaliland will stand up to any challenge against their people, their hard worn independence, and the national and territorial integrity of "Maandeeq," their beloved motherland. And if I may borrow the words of Paul Martin, the Prime Minister of Canada, Somaliland will stand on its own; will prosper, and be independent from Somalia, "come hell or come high water." And let those who understand take heed!

Victory, liberty and independence at any cost.


Source: Somaliland Times, Issue 124 June. 7-13, 2004

Somaliland's Case Raised For The First Time In The AU Commission

Addis Ababa, June 5, 2004 (SL Times) - The Case of Somaliland was raised for the first time at a meeting of the African Union's Commission, held last week in Addis Ababa. According to Jawahir Mohamed Ali Sheikh Madar, Somaliland's case was brought up by the Ambassador of one of the member states to the commission. Mrs. Jawahir declined to disclose any further information on the subject. She, however, described the move as significant for sensitizing the African Union member states toward Somaliland's case.

Somaliland Becomes First In The Region To Create Special Force For Protection Of UN And NGO Workers

HARGEISA, 3 June 2004 (Awdalnews) - Its image tarnished by several killings of international humanitarian workers, Somaliland has become the first country in the region to create a special police unit to protect the UN staff, NGO workers and all foreigners in the country.

In an exclusive interview with Awdalnews Network conducted in Somali last Thursday, Interior Minister Ismail Adan Osman said that Somaliland had approached Germany for the training of the Special Protection Unit, SPU, that Somaliland had recently created to safeguard the personal safety of workers for the UN, EU, NGOs and other foreigners in the country.

Responding to a question on the purpose of his visit to Germany as part of a Somaliland Ministerial delegation to Germany during the second week of May 2004, Osman said that Somaliland had sought Germany's assistance in training Somaliland police and security forces.

"Besides asking general training for our police forces, we have requested Germany to help us in giving a high quality training to the newly created units of the SPU and a mobile unit that would be deployed with speed during emergency situations," Osman said. He added that Germany had agreed to assist Somaliland in the training of these units as well as the Criminal Investigation Department, CID, forces.

Answering a question on whether his delegation which was led by Edna Adan, Foreign Minister, raised the issue of Somaliland passport, particularly as the Somali passport was rejected by several countries, Osman said the delegation had traveled to Germany with Somaliland passports.

"We have traveled with Somaliland passports and got visas stamped in our passports at the German Embassy in Addis Ababa," Osman said.

He affirmed that Somaliland passport was accepted by a number of countries including the EU, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti.

Regarding accusations leveled against his Ministry's high handedness in handling youth demonstrators during the country's celebrations of its National Day on 18th May, Osman asserted that Somaliland was not ready for such spontaneous protests and demonstrations.

"According to our constitution, the people have the right to come out in peaceful demonstrations, but the question is can we manage demonstrations in the present situation?," he said.

He added that the government could not allow any demonstrations to take place until the police force was empowered, properly trained and equipped to handle such civilian protests and demonstrations for several reasons.

"First, you know we have 90% unemployment in our country, people have guns at homes, gold and all kinds of merchandise are sold in the open market like Europe's Sunday Markets, even money is everywhere in the streets, therefore the police force doesn't have the capability to control a demonstration," he said.

He underlined that without proper training and equipment used during demonstrations such as police batons, gas masks, tear gas, water cannons as well as proper training, the police force wouldn't be able to control demonstrations.

He said many of the demonstrating youth were detained and all the students were released.

Talking about the outcome of his Ministry's investigations on the several killings of foreigners, Osman said that the arrest of the perpetrators of the latest attack on the German GTZ workers had helped the police to glean a lot of information about all three operations.

He was referring to the killing of Dr. Annalena Tonelli in Borama on 6 October 2003, the shooting of British Teachers in Sheikh 21 October 2003 and the last killing of a Kenyan woman working for GTZ on 19 March 2004.

"We have come to know that the perpetrators belong to a terrorism network that has links with Abdi Qasim Salat, Somali TNG President in Mogadisho," he said. He added that his Ministry had confiscated satellite hand telelphones, Thurya mobiles, from the perpetrators and after these had been examined by U.S. intelligence agents they had found that the criminals had contacts with international terrorists wanted by the U.S. government.

Answering a question about conferences held by the Islamic Tabligh groups in Hargeisa, Osman said that the Tabligh groups had no links with terrorism and that their only interest was spreading and propagating Islam.

On the existence of the extremist Al Ittihad in Somaliland, Osman said that the group had disintegrated, noting that some had joined Al Qaeda and others had simply went underground.

"Al Ittihad had never had a strong foothold in Somaliland," he said, underling that after the arrest of the killers of the GTZ worker, the underground elements had escaped to Mogadishu.

Asked whether he considered the Saudi Arabian style bill on the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice being debated by the Parliament would constitute to an infringement on personal freedoms and democratic principles if it was passed, Osman affirmed that the bill was not against the people's democratic or freedom rights.

"We are a Muslim nation and our laws should be in compliance of Islamic teachings," he said, noting that the bill was being discussed by the legislative council which had the authority to either pass it or reject it based on its adherence to the country's laws and the international norms.


Government Asked To Help

Kampala, May 31, 2004 (New Vision/All Africa Global Media via COMTEX) --Somaliland nationals have asked Uganda to provide their school-going youth with scholarships in various fields of study. Engineer Faisal Ali Waraabe told the press recently that the'A' level equivalent in their country would soon release about 10,000 students adding that they did not have higher institutions of learning that would accommodate them. "We do not have good learning centres yet and we want our children to pursue good courses and be able to build our nation".

Al-Khaleej: Djibouti And Ethiopia To Mediate Talks Between Rayale And A. Yusuf

Hargeisa, June 5, 2004 (SL Times) - According to the UAE's influential daily newspaper, Al-Khaleej, direct talks will be held in the middle of this month between Somaliland's President Dahir Rayale Kahin and Puntland's Col Abdillahi Yusuf.

News about the talks was broken in a story datelined Mogadishu and published by yesterday's Al-Khaleej edition (Friday).

According to Al-Khaleej, the talks will be the fruit of a joint mediation effort carried out by the two governments of Djibouti and Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Embassy in Djibouti has been chosen as venue for the negotiations, the newspaper reported.

The often conflicting stands taken by Djibouti and Ethiopia with regard to the Somali peace process has in the past marred relations between the two sides. However the two countries have recently adopted a common approach for dealing with the Kenya-hosted peace conference on Somalia.

It is not yet clear whether Somaliland's participation in the Mbagathi peace process for Somalia will be raised during the Ethiopian-Djibouti sponsored talks to be held between President Rayale and Col. Yusuf or whether the discussions will be only confined to easing tensions between Somaliland and Puntland, the paper said.

Colonel Abdillahi Yusuf visited Djibouti last month for the first time since the 13th Somali peace conference that was held in Arta, Djibouti, in 2000. Relations between the Puntland warlord and Djibouti soured in the aftermath of the Arta conference. Abdillahi Yusuf sought rapprochement in relations with president Ghelle apparently to seek the Djibouti's support for his ambition to become Somalia's president. Relations between Somaliland and Djibouti have significantly improved during the last 2 years.

While on a visit to Las-Anod in Dec 2003, Somaliland President Dahir Rayale Kahin barely escaped an assassination attempt. The Puntland authorities in the name of the Interior Minister, Ahmed Habsade, took credit for the failed attempt. The incident solicited no response from the Somaliland government.

Tension between Somaliland and its eastern neighbor has again flared following the forced annexation of Las-Anod area by Abdillahi Yusuf's armed militia. Somaliland has so far refrained from taking military action against the militarily inferior forces from Puntland that invaded and still occupy Las-Anod.

Neither the governments in the region or the international community at large have taken any steps to pressure the Puntland warlord into withdrawing his militiamen from Las-Anod.


Darood Delegates At Mbagathi United Behind Abdillahi Yusuf's Candidacy For President

The Aging Colonel Now Seeks To Win Over Majority Vote By Wooing Splinter Groups From The Hawiye, Dir And Rahanweyn

Mbagathi, Kenya, June 5, 2004 (SL Times) - Darood delegates at the Somalia peace talks being held at Mbagathi, Kenya, have opted to unite behind the candidacy of Puntland's Col Abdillahi Yusuf for president of Somalia.

Having recently secured the full support of Darood clan delegates attending the IGAD sponsored Somalia peace talks, scheduled to resume soon in Kenya, Abdillahi Yusuf is now seeking to woo rival delegates representing various subgroups within the Hawiye, Dir and Rahanweyn clans with the aim of winning over a sufficient majority in the conference.

Yusuf's efforts to secure all the Darood vote gained a breakthrough last week when his long arch-rival and fellow Darood, Ahmed Omer Jees, also pledged his support.

According to observers of the Mbagathi process, Abdillahi Yusuf's chances for becoming a potential candidate has substantially improved following reports circulating in Nairobi since last month that the US government has indicated to regional governments and some Somali leaders of its strong reservations against Abdiqasim Salad Hasan being picked as president of the government to be formed by the Kenya talks. The US displeasure with Abdiqasim Salad Hasan is not new. The former TNG president has long been suspected by American officials of having ties with fundamentalist groups operating from Somalia. Both the governments of Ethiopia and Somaliland have also in the past, accused Abdiqasim Salad Hasan of harboring extremist Islamic groups that were believed to have carried out terrorist operations in the two countries. Abdiqasim Salad has constantly held that there were no terrorist elements in Somalia.

Irrespective of whether the Americans actively sought to stop Abdiqasim Salad Hasan or not, Abddillahi Yusuf's camp was quick to use the allegations as though they were true, portraying the former TNG president to the delegates as a lame duck. According to one observer, Abdillahi Yusuf has already begun targeting the internally divided Rahanweyn, Hawiye and Dir delegations to gain their support. So far he has made little progress. Only Qanyare Afrah, a Hawiye faction leader, has come forward in support of the Puntland dictator's bid for Somalia's presidency. Mohamed Adou, a Hawiye and a former diplomat who was related to Siyad Barre through marriage, has until now shown lukewarm support. Adan Madoobe, a leader of one of the many Rahanweyn factions has endorsed Yusuf.

However there were setbacks as well. Mohamed Dheere, the Hawiye Abgal warlord, has withdrawn his support for Abdillahi Yusuf. Omer Jees's declaration of allegiance to Abdillahi Yusuf has sparked calls among the Hawiye to burry subclan differences. Mohamed Dheere whose militia was only last week involved in heavy fighting against a rival Abgal militia group led by Mussa Sudi Yalahow, has reportedly agreed to work for the emergence of a single Hawiye candidate for president.

Most observers predict an even more catastrophic picture for Somalia if Abdillahi Yusuf is elected president. "He has the reputation of being the most loathed warlord in Somalia and his election would automatically mean the resumption of a full-scale civil war in Somalia," warned one observer last week.

The Somaliland Times has also learned that Abdiqasim Salad Hasan had recently told a number of Hawiye leaders that he will run for president unless prevented physically from doing so. Legal experts at the Mbagathi conference say there is nothing in the procedures that can bar Abdiqasim Salad Hasan from participating in the election for president of Somalia.


Media To Take More Active Role In Fighting HIV/AIDS

DJIBOUTI, 2 Jun 2004 (IRIN) - The Djiboutian communication and culture ministry has said it plans to involve journalists more actively in fighting HIV/AIDS despite a relatively low prevalence of the virus in the country.

Speaking at a seminar for journalists in the capital, Djibouti, Minister for Communication and Culture Rifki Abdoulkader Bamakhrama said the seminar was the first step in his ministry's national programme to combat HIV/AIDS.

"You have challenged yourselves to evaluate the impact of your contributions to this battle," he said. "It is a sign of humility and proof of the greatest awareness of the importance of your role as journalists, and it is proof of your sense of responsibility in this collective enterprise and towards your fellow citizens."

According to national health authorities, 2.9 percent of Djibouti's 600,000 population is HIV-positive - a figure, they said, which was low by African standards, but represented a generalised epidemic. The country, however, has a high prevalence of tuberculosis (TB). HIV and TB form a lethal combination, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), each speeding the other's progress. Someone who is HIV-positive and infected with TB is more likely to become sick with TB than someone infected with TB who is HIV-negative. In Africa, the WHO has found HIV to be the most important factor determining the increased incidence of TB.

Mohamed Ali Kamil, the director of the health ministry's department for epidemiology and public hygiene, said TB prevalence was 600 per 100,000 people, which, he said, was the second highest in the world after Swaziland. Some 24 percent of TB patients were HIV positive. "You cannot control TB without controlling HIV. And you cannot control HIV without controlling TB," he said.

The HIV-prevalence rates among adults aged between 15 and 49 are higher in Djibouti District (3.4 percent) than in the rest of the country (1.1 percent). According to national statistics, 90 percent of the HIV-positive people are in the capital. Infection rates are also slightly higher among women than men.

A survey carried out in 2002, however, showed that less than half the population knew that condom use reduced the risk of transmission. Less than one percent rejected two false suggestions that mosquitoes and kissing could transmit HIV, or knew that somebody who did not show obvious signs of infection could still pass on the virus.

Each government ministry in Djibouti has its own programme to fight HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria. The programmes are coordinated by an inter-ministerial committee chaired by the prime minister who is deputised by the health minister - an approach hailed by the WHO. "This is something where Djibouti is more advanced than other countries in the Middle East and the Horn of Africa," Jihane Tawilah, the WHO representative in Djibouti, said. "When we say multi-sectoral, we mean business."

The 27 May seminar attracted 60 journalists, who introduced themselves in French, Arabic, Somali, and Afar, reflecting the country's ethnic and linguistic diversity. "Before this, the media just tried to help the Ministry of Health, but now it is different. Now we ask: What can we do ourselves, how can we [the media] prevent these infections?" Hasna Maki, a journalist at Radio et T,l,vision de Djibouti, told IRIN.

Mohamed said other efforts were also being made to contain HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria. In March, 40 patients began receiving anti-retroviral therapy at the Peltier Hospital. This is the main referral hospital in the capital.

The government, he added, was also awaiting a decision on its application for about US $19 million from the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB, and malaria. "This is the third time we have applied to the Global Fund, and we are waiting for an answer," he said. In May 2003, a grant of $12 million to support efforts to fight HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections, TB and malaria in Djibouti was approved by the World Bank.


EDITORIAL: Is Somaliland Being Deceived?

The Mbagathi peace process has now entered the 3rd and last phase during which a government will formed for Somalia. Somaliland is not taking part in the IGAD sponsored conference which has been dealing with the problems of Somalia, the former Italian colony. Somalilanders have been accustomed to hearing that future relations with Somalia will be negotiated with the government that emerges from the talks being held in Kenya. But with the Mbagathi conference already in its final stage, the Somaliland public has become confused by the conflicting signals emanating from the IGAD mediators, the IPF and the Kenyan hosts. For example, Somalilanders see no assurances that the government that comes out of Mbagathi will not repeat the terrible mistakes of the former TNG when it claimed sovereignty over Somaliland from day one. So far neither IGAD nor its international partners have issued a single official statement in which they acknowledge and commit themselves to respect the desires and aspirations of the Somaliland people.

Though both the warlords and their IGAD sponsors have muted their usual rhetoric about the sanctity of Somalia's territorial integrity, sovereignty and unity, Somalilanders are not sure whether this change of attitude is real or just an attempt to deceive Somalilanders until a government has been formed by the Mbagathi meeting.

Somalilanders have also been bewildered by the failure of regional governments to put pressure on the bloodthirsty warlord Abdillahi Yusuf to withdraw his militia from Las-Anod. Instead, IGAD, and its donors and the UN, have all issued statements implicitly warning Somaliland against taking any military action against the invading militia. The parties issuing the warnings justified their actions on the ground that any outbreak of hostilities between Somaliland and Puntland would have dire consequences for the Kenya peace talks. In other words, making peace for Somalia is more important than quelling aggression against peace and stability in Somaliland. Surprisingly enough, Somaliland's government succumbed to the external pressure without getting anything in return.

It is high time for Somaliland to dispense with the illusion that the outcome of Mbagathi will have no effect on its national security and general well-being. The people and government of Somaliland need not hesitate any longer in securing the country's eastern boundaries. Abdillahi Yusuf's militia must be driven out by force and a buffer zone established well beyond Garowe. Opening negotiations with A. Yusuf while his thugs are still in Las-Anod will only increase his appetite for committing further aggression. He must not be given such chance.


Educational Programme

By: Ahmed Isse Jama (Gade), Regional Education Inspector Teaching - Practice, In Primary Schools

Preparing To Teach

Successful teaching and learning to a large extent emanate from careful planning and preparation. Before this can be done, the teacher must be fully aware of what subject-matter is required to be taught in each subject. For this information he or she will refer to the syllabus for each subject. Trainers should also be encouraged to consult the class teachers during teaching practice.

The Syllabus

The syllabus is a document that contains all the topics for a course of teaching of a particular subject. Each subject taught in the primary school has its own syllabus. A syllabus is planned to include the work to be taught for a whole year. After the year is over, it can be adjusted if necessary.

If the curriculum changes, the syllabuses must also change. Frequently teachers confuse the syllabus with the curriculum. The curriculum includes all the subjects taught in the school and activities like games, clubs, educational tours, etc.

Primary school syllabuses are to be found in the following places:
(A) In the head-teacher's office. They must be made available to the teachers when needed. Keeping copies of the syllabus in a cupboard in the staff room would be more convenient; (B) In the teacher training college library; (C) In the Department of Education of a teacher training college; (D) In the teacher's Advisory centers; and (E) In the assistant primary school inspector's office.

If the teacher is unable to obtain a syllabus from any of these sources, he should realize that he can contact the curriculum Department section of the ministry of Education.

Information to be obtained from a syllabus:

As well as containing the broad topics to be taught, a syllabus usually contains other important information such as: (a)The objectives of teaching each topic. The teacher must study these objectives so that he or she is clear about what skills, knowledge and attitudes the learners are meant to gain from them; (b) The number of periods per week for each subject; (c) The recommended textbooks for the pupils; (d) The recommended teacher's guides; and (e) The recommended reference books.

The syllabus may also contain the general objective of teaching the primary school curriculum.

Sometimes in the beginning of the syllabus there may be an outline of the broad objectives (goals or aims) of education as envisaged by the educators of the country of origin. In most countries syllabuses are prescribed by the Ministries of Education and include detailed information which teachers are required to follow. In the developing countries where the schools have to rely on many unqualified teachers training on the job, specifications like these prove very useful.

In other countries, especially in the more developed ones where teachers have a good background of academic education and professional training, the syllabuses are less detailed and so leave the teacher with a lot more leeway to interpret their content according to local and pupil needs.

Whatever the situation, it is imperative that the teacher studies and becomes familiar with the work to be covered in each subject, including the subjects he is not going to teach. This will enable him to see how what he teaches falls in place in a continuous learning practice.


Who Sheds Crocodile Tears For Somaliweyn In Its Old Form?

Somaliweyn Must Be Reinvented To Be Of Plausible Value In Today's Politics!

By Noah Arre

The fifteenth and probably last Somalia Reconciliation Conference is in its last days in Mbagathi, Kenya and come July first 2004, Mogadishu should form a government or else it is doomed forever!

According to the latest reports, IGAD countries are this time pressuring all participants asking them to reach a lasting solution and form a government. And punitive measures will be taken against anyone or group that resists agreed upon resolutions. But had it not been that the world in general and hosting Kenya in particular, which took the brunt of the 1998 terrorist bombing in Nairobi in which over 200 people died and thousands injured, worried from al Qa'ida operatives that is believed to have taken refuge in stateless Southern Somalia, this conference too, would have been dead months ago.

In fact, according to the latest reports, talks are now going smooth and even Hussain Aideed, one of Mogadishu's most powerful warlords, who was briefly detained for unrelated issue, was immediately released to insure that the conference is not interrupted.

However, the success of this conference, it seems, requires that each and everyone concerned must take a pre-dispensed dose. a tranquilizer of one form or another even though that itself may not and will not guarantee anything for the following reasons:
First, apart from the above reason, this conference is not and will not be different from its predecessors and tell me why one should think otherwise and be optimistic especially since the same people who had always ratified and then annulled all previous conferences resolutions are the main actors playing the drama.

Secondly, it is too difficult to understand how and why the reconciliation conference brokered by Djibouti, one of their closest friends, had failed and this one will not. Or is it because since all delegates are humiliated for keeping them hungry and/or evicted from hotels that they will and should accept whatever is imposed on them? May be!

Interestingly, this conference, initiated, refereed and collectively supported by "ALL" IGAD countries, is chaired by Kenya though both Kenya and Ethiopia, two main players, were from the sixties, threatened by Somalia in its quest of "Somaliweyn". The "territorial integrity" of both countries, at least as the world knows it, is also at odds with the Somali national charter that stipulates that both NFD of Kenya and Western Somalia of Ethiopia must one day become part of Somaliweyn. Even poor Djibouti is unsafe from Somaliweyn dream and a clear sign is the five-pointed star that is embedded in the Somali national flag. That is why Somalia overtly and covertly declared and waged wars of liberation against both Kenya and Ethiopia hoping to liberate and annex ethnic Somali inhabited territories in both countries to make ensure that the Somaliweyn dream is realized.

Today, the naivety of many Somalis is that they fail to understand that even Daniel arab Moi, former president of Kenya and a veteran politician of that country, firmly believes that Somali nationalism is a true threat to the existence of his country. That is why he once said, "we will not let them (Somalis) come together again and threaten our existence once more." Ironically, supporters of Somaliweyn have placed their whole destiny in the hands of those who had clearly expressed their bitterness over Somaliweyn and intend to dismantle it.

But for now, lets assume that some miracle happens and that a Somali government and its parliament are formed, the questions that immediately come to mind are what will come next?
(1) Will a stable, peaceful and fledgling democracy come to exist? We hope so! (2) Will a comprehensive national policy of forgetting and forgiving about the past similar to that of South Africa develop? Hopefully so! (3) Or will the usual Somali clan-based division and differences again explode, grow wider and finally prove deadly? We hope not so!

Meantime, it is unfortunate that the once noble Somaliweyn cause is now defunct and the few who cry foul and shed crocodile tears for it (Somaliweyn in its old form) have one and only one thing in mind, to deceive poor Somalis so that they can come to power because they know that is their last hope and only card to play.

Consequently, it is worthy to divide these die-hard Somaliweyn advocates into five groups:
1. Group One are those who ruled the country using the noble Somaliweyn cause to their advantage and without being challenged in their governance as all others were nostalgic, obsessed with unity and nationalism sacrificing both blood and soul. This group is sad over its demise and will do everything in their power to realize it!

2. Group Two are other former government officials who are disgruntled over loss of privileges. Privileges that due to corruption, lack of transparency and accountability, helped them acquire middle class Western standard of life including excellent education. It is this group that helplessly lives in desperation, dreaming of its days of glory and nights of drums!

3. Group Three are those who, during the civil war and its subsequent anarchy and chaos, illegally acquired massive wealth (land, properties and money) and are therefore, too worried to lose them knowing questions will be raised. This group in fact feels threatened and needs to use Somaliweyn as a camouflage. A camouflage that hopefully will offer a new South African type of forgiving and forgetting. One that will "in shaa Allah" ignore reparation payments. However, this group prefers keeping the status quo to nationhood!

4. Group Four are those who will certainly be impeached at international courts for committing crimes against humanity should Balkan type of genocidal crime investigations take place and its perpetrators pursued and accordingly punished! This group has no intention to change the status quo but sheds crocodile tears for poor Somalis to believe them! In fact, no one in this group intends to settle any thing short of the top job!

5. Group Five are those who still naively believe that, some sort of Somalinimo in its old form will hopefully come back one day. However, they are a minority but are sincerely championing for Somaliweyn which surprisingly is only the North to stay with the South. Unfortunately, they fail to realize that the Somaliweyn they preach and staunchly defend irritates and alienates even their closest sister and ally, Djibouti!

In conclusion, the Mbagathi Conference outcome will be as follows:
(1) Because of international pressure, some sort of government of American style will be proclaimed and installed in paper. (2) The portfolio of the president will be given to the H clan. (3) That of the vice presidency will go to M clan. (4) And that of the Speaker will be given to D & M clan (5) And poor others again have no voice and no choice! (6) However, some positions will be kept reserved "for noisy Northerners". I know I will get nothing because, "by birth I am Faqash." But whether "some renegades who are by birth Mujahids" will get some thing remains to be seen!

Then Finally: The international community present at Mbagathi, will proclaim the conference a success and a mission accomplished! But, unfortunately, such a government will be an Arta type of TNG or Taliska Ku Meel Gadhka Ah.

A few days of celebrations, trumpeting, traditional Somali weeroweero, botor, zeilici etc. dances punctuated by patriotic poems and songs will be followed.

And finally, that government will be shipped to Mogadishu patted in the back and "xabaal iyo ninkeedii loo kala teg!"

Unfortunately, the devil is in the details. An American World War II type of European Marshal Plan is required for Somalia to resuscitate. A plan which neither the Arab World nor the West will offer! Poor Africa is too poor to give any! And the result is sorrowfully, back to square one!

But a South African type of forgiving and forgetting is necessary; a sanctuary which sorrowfully, neither the oppressor is willing to give nor the oppressed is willing to take. And unfortunately, the quagmire will continue and only God knows till when and what is next! Poor Somalis, please let us give respect and praise to whom it is due; Somaliland passed this tough test, thirteen years ago with honors and without any foreign help! Gaalka dil gartiisana sii!


Rayale Revives Old Wounds-- A Reply Mohamud Tani

By A Dahir Farah, UK, gaashaan1@yahoo.co.uk

The recent article by Mahmoud Tani on the web about the facts in Somalilnd was in my opinion, a piece of artistic fabrication of facts that are non existent. It is the norms of those who blindly support a person rather than a nation. It is another attempt to divert attention from the facts facing a poor leader, who crossed the red line and caught up in cross fire.

Tani, while I admire your strong positive attitude towards our Somaliland, I disagree with you on almost all the points you raised in your article and see your ideas as defending the un-defensible.

This nation (Somaliland) has achieved its pride without the corrupt lot currently surrounding Dahir Rayale. By selecting this do it or die type personalities, he is definitely trying to scratch the nerves of the Mujaahidiin who liberated this country and wants to instigate a kind of Somalia like skirmishes - this is the first supportive advice by uncle Sam- Ismail.O. Gelle.

This is a tactic .Rayale's tutor Ismail Omer Gelle is dreaming of, in order to see Somaliland disappear completely. But Luckily, it is too late for them, we have matured and can guess what Gelle and agents are all up to. The people who fought for this nation's freedom are aware of the situation and while preserving Sland's sovereignty, will in no way allow Omar Gelle's Dreams come True.

-When the two British teachers were killed in Sheikh, Ismail Omar Gelle said- I knew that somaliland will not survive the troubles in the south, sooner or later, lawlessness will spread there and we told them many times before, it is the work of Alqaida- he said. This was three days after Rayale's return from Djibouti in which he announced a historic break-through in the bilateral relations with Djibouti. Perhaps that break through was the closure of our historic Lawya addo Border post. Declaring a whole Somaliland town and its community as a no go area or no man's-land. Kulmiye criticised Gelle on that occasion for being anti Somaliland, but Rayale defended Gelle's statement - What strange bedfellows.

-Killing foreign aid workers in Somaliland started immediately after the election of Dahir Rayale, not in the era of Late MI Egal nor in his interim period, this shows that there is calculated and planned plot against Somaliland, it was designed to push for Rayale's election first, then get enough time to dismantle Somaliland- again- Gelle- the mastermind.

-Rayale's search for EX NSS, uneducated and anti Somlailand elements like Mohamed Egeh is a clear racist tactic to remove the nation's heroes from public offices. Mohamed Egeh, a federalist, has replaced an academic smart police colonel who saved this nation during its most difficult days (presidential election deadlock) as the new police chief. This is another alarming sign to question the honesty and leadership of Rayale. Col. Abdulqader was sacked because of his integrity as he refused to accept orders to crack down and arrest Kulmiye supporters during the presidential election, he insisted to carry out his duties according to police guidelines and not according to the orders of Rayale's kitchen cabinet.

A foreign force occupies -A large part of Eastern Somaliland for more than six months and for the first time in this nation's history Rayale moved our forces to the eastern dessert telling us he will seal off our borders, every body offered support, but our troops are there doing nothing, they are away from their families and are costing a lot to our week economy. Where is the strategy and planning here? Many people are worried today as this may have serious consequences on our future stability and could derail the nation's process to Democracy and rule of law?

While relieving Minster of commerce from his post, Clean- Mohamed Hashi Elmi - for his honest and courageous attempt to safeguard the nations property and recover the missing funds from the nation's treasury, Rayale is keeping the likes of Awil and Ismail, as the finance and interior ministers respectfully, with all the damage they did against the nation in their mismanagement and miss use of public properties and funds.

I must say Rayale is behind all there actions, other wise he should have sacked them long ago. This is another clear sign that Rayale is a corrupt dictator who misuses authority and public funds for his own personal interests.

-Rayale has kept in office 5 ministers rejected by the house of parliament for over 6 months, which is a clear breach of the national constitution. How does he want others respect the law if he, the president is not? If I continue Rayale's shortcomings, it will take me all day, but wish to remind Tani that Arabic adage says ( haddii aad karaamayso ninka fiican waad yeelataa, haddii aad laiimka karaamaysana aduu ku garaacaa). The people have crowned Rayale but instead of belonging to them, it seems he stood against them.

Lastly, Kulmiye is a symbol of somaliland freedom, it is the party of the liberators, you should have been ashamed of accusing the likes of Mujahids Ahmed Mohamed -Silanyo, Abdirahman Aw Ali, Mohamed Kahin, Muse Bihi, and many more in Kulmiye to be begging the wella weyns, without them, and The Almighty ALLAH, our country would have been under those wallaweynis (Thani). Sifir is a man who returned from abroad and very little was know before he was expelled from the party together with Abdulla H. Ali. Your accusation against the rest is a sinful intention you could be asked to prove. So mind your language, we have courts in Somaliland and as your legend Rayale said, it is a crime to accuse Someone against such allegations.

Let us wait and see where the current mess of Rayale ends, but blame it to no one except the likes of you, Awil and Ismail when he faces his fate. The nation will exist, but the cheater will fail and justice will prevail.

Long live Somaliland - press for Accountability and justice


Here Comes Another Spin-Doctor!

By Ahmed Ali Ibrahim (Sabeyse), Scarborough, Canada. MAY 31st, 2004.

Hardly a day passes without coming across a new masterpiece of comedy plied around Cyberspace as a freshly baked new figment of contemporary Somali history! Without getting into the fine details of the subject, here is the most recent installment from the bastion and the breeding ground of Somali nationalism: This article appeared on AllPuntland.com; By a Ali A. Hersi

" Worthington alleges that the southerners made a conscious effort in 1988 to commit "genocide against the dominant Isaq clan....." of the north. The government's savage reaction to the SNM's attack on Burao and Hargeisa is indefensible but no one who is truly knowledgeable about Somalia would in all honesty characterize it as a southern attack on northern Somalis. Mohamed Siad Barre was a southerner, but the government leadership was quite representative of all Somalis. The military and civilian elite that should be blamed, and possibly ought to be tried, for the military regime's misrule and, most particularly, for the grisly reprisals that ensued on the SNM's desperate attacks on Burao and Hargeisa included many northerners too. For instance, out of the 5 members of the ruling Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party's Political Bureau, 2 were always from the north. Many of the current administrative and political leadership in Hargeisa, indeed including most prominently Rayale who was in the late 1880's the commanding officer of the feared National Security Service in Berbera where, according to a report by a more knowledgeable African Rights Watch source, massive violations of human rights such as summary killings were perpetrated, are personally responsible for the atrocities committed during 1988-90.

In fact, much of the bombing that northerners were subjected to were not carried out by Somalis but were the work of aliens said to have been South African pilots, but who in actual fact were British mercenaries from the former segregationist rebel entity that called itself Rhodesia!"

In response, this is a grossly disfigured and distorted narrative of contemporary events. The savagery and the atrocities committed during 1988-1990 against the Isaq clans Were well rehearsed and coordinated effort intended to annihilate the said group from the face of this earth. The government in power at the time and the southern society as a whole are equally and collectively liable for the ensuing human catastrophe. That is an eternal guilt and shame that southern (walaweynian) Somalis have to deal with.

Worthington's characterization of those events as human savagery is a well deserved graphic description befitting and appropriate to the history of the period. The southern society bears the sole responsibility for that episode. The victims at the receiving end of the barbaric atrocities of the Somali government don't share the blame as the writer of the above article implies. History will record those events without bias or prejudice future generations will reflect on these chronicles.

These disease of manipulating numbers and the corresponding political equations arising thereof was not prevalent or contagious epidemic among northerners. Other parts of the old state were famous for that affliction and Hersi is familiar with that part of the history. Without any exceptions, southern society will one day reconcile with the collective indictment of history. Up to this day, only one person named Abdi Warsame Isaq has admitted publicly his participation, as a willing and enthusiastic member of Siad Barre's nazi regime, in the inhumane and despicable crimes committed against defenseless civilian population. The rest of the southern Somalis are still in a perpetual denial. But that will never change the dynamics of this issue.

The chronicles of what has transpired during the three year period 1988-91 is well documented by the international community and the records will be presented at the final negotiating table once southern Somalis set up a government of their own. By the time the Somali National Movement started the war of liberation, the most prominent northerners in the regime were in prison waiting execution. The outcry of the international community and the outpouring of criticism by the human right organizations spared the lives of Omer Arte Qhalib, Ismail Ali Abokor and the group of doctors, teachers, engineers and businessmen who dared to clean up the grounds of Hargeisa Group Hospital. This is an undeniable fact of history and no amount of distortion will eradicate it from the history books.

The Somali National Movement bears no responsibility for the criminal actions and the savage behaviour of the Somali National Army and the Somali Air Force. Unlike the humiliating defeat and the eventual disgrace of the SSDF of Majertenia, the Somali National Movement rejected to capitulate to the demands of the nazi regime. They chose to fight to the end and they succeeded in liberating their country from an alien occupation regime. They did so with their pride and dignity in tact and we will do so in case walaweynian Somalis try to follow the footsteps of Siad Barre.

Contrary to the contention of the person, who wrote the article, it is mostly likely that President Rayale's grandfather was probably a toddler in the 1880's! There was no National Security Service apparatus in Berbera of the 1880's. The writer failed to keep track of the chronology of historically significant dates. This is a clear indication of hasty, illogical, and irrational reasoning. No human being with properly functioning mental faculties would rationalise the behaviour the Somali government in terms of how many northerners were included in that regime.

The most pathetically embarrassing statement in the article is the following: "in fact, most of the bombing that the northerners were subjected to were not carried out by Somalis but were the work of aliens said to have been South African pilots, but who in actual fact were British mercenaries from the former segregationist rebel entity that called itself Rhodesia!" Heaven hold the sky! Aliens from Mars piloted the MiGs of the Somali Airforce that wreaked havoc on the population fleeing from the major metropolitan cities of Hargeisa, Burao, and Berbera.

This is a classical example of a walaweynian intellectual trying in vain to rationalize the brutality of a murderous regime that went berserk. Certainly, this individual is well aware of the fact that his next of kin were awarded the highest national honour in lieu of their gallantry and bravery displayed while bombing civilian targets in the major cities of Somaliland during 1988. It was Siad barre and Mohamed Saeed Morgan who presented gold, silver, and bronze medals to the distinguished Somali Pilots. This is a historical fact and I hope Ali A. Hersi is not an ignorant person and he should not pretend to be one.

In conclusion, the article of Ali Hersi is a typically arrogant and defiant walaweynian mentality that has failed time and again, to face and accept their responsibility as far as the failed Somali Republic is concerned. The disaster that followed the demise of the state is the sole and exclusive responsibility of the family that ran the affairs of the said state up to 27 January 1991. One way or the other, the architects who engineered that disaster should be held accountable for their actions over that thirty-one year period.

To enlighten the distinguished writer of the article, here are few statements that will definitely refresh his memories:

A-The military regime was aided and encouraged to overthrow the civilian government. This hideous and sinister campaign started in 1965 when Siad Barre was promoted roughshod over more qualified and capable military officers. That was a blatant nepotism and it ushered in everything that went wrong with the Somali Republic. This was the beginning of the end of Somalia, as we know it today.

B-The prelude to the next chapter culminated in the assassination of President Abdulrashid Ali Sharmarke. Prior to the parliamentary elections of March 1969, the manipulatively conniving and cunningly invisible hand of the devil failed twice to take the life of Abdulrashid Ali Sharmarke. Just eight months before the election of 1969, a combined anti-personnel/ anti-tank Mine intended to blow up the presidential limousine, took the life of high ranking military Officer while he was setting up the device. This incident occurred on the road between Mogadiscio and Afgoi. The event was cancelled and the second assassination attempt had failed.

C-Unfortunately, the third attempt had succeeded on Tuesday, October 15, 1969! The mind and the Soul of Hersi is tormented by the same demon that sent the Somali state to the grave. I believe that Hersi has a repertoire of information about the graphic details of the preceding events and in the spirit of Somali Generosity I challenge him to spell out his honest version of these Issues.

Certainly, this is a grey area that had never been explored in detail before and Hersi Individuals who are in qualified position to shed some light on the subject. Remember, we are In search of the root causes of the problems that bedeviled our beloved country prior to its Final demise.

Next time I will present the list of the names of the Somali pilots who participated in that human carnage. Once again, Walaweynian Somalis cannot absolve themselves from that collective responsibility. Quilt by association; quilt through kinship. That is an eternal quilt that will never be forgotten or forgiven.


Coffee Shop Reporting By Somaliland.Org

Corporal: Ali Ibrahim, Abu Dhabi. caateye@emirates.net.ae

It is regrettable that several present-day Somaliland journalists went headlong into the profession of journalism without proper training or educational background. They are assisted by certain websites, which circulate their malicious coffee shop dispatches. A typical example of these reporters is Abdiraazk Dubad who claims to be the agent of Somaliland.org in Hargeisa.

This reporter collects bits and pieces of fragment information & rumors, skillfully connects them together and posts it to that website, without much analysis or careful editing. Apparently, his main source of information is from the morning Coffee shop gossips and afternoon Kat sessions. In line with his notorious counterpart in San Jose, Ali Gulaid, he portrays a very dismal and dreary picture of the otherwise, normal events in Somaliland.

In his latest coverage from Hargeisa, he narrated the reconciliation of Habarjeclo Kings & Sultans, the proposed conference of Habar yonis in Burao, and the inaugural ceremony of a new Sultan by Ishaaq clan in Hargeisa. These events are normal and it is part of our culture and heritage. There is nothing wrong with it. If the Sultans have cleared their differences, it is a step in the right direction However, Dubad gave us the impression that the sky is falling apart and a civil war is in the offing. He made a mountain out of mole hole.

While Dubad is compiling such malicious articles, he should keep in mind that thousands of Somalilanders abroad are unluckily reading his coffee shop reporting, and unfortunately, some of them may take its face value and believe what he is propagating.

In the short term, these reports will sow seeds of discord and mistrust to the honest Somalilanders in Diaspora. It will harm their unity and cohesion. It will discourage their genuine efforts to seek international recognition, and invest their hard won capital in Somaliland.

Dubad should stop this coffee shop reporting. He should concentrate on unifying issues, rather than concentrating on tribal issues and the exchange of insults between irresponsible politicians.

The Somliand.org website should follow the footsteps of qarannews which prohibited to publish abhorrent articles. They should rather imitate their respectable sister sites of Haatufnews, Somaliland.net, Halgannews, Awdalnews, and Radio Somaliland. Even the websites of our adversaries like Allpuntland.com shies away to publish those poor anti Somaliland articles, which are posted in Somliland.org. It is never too late to mend. Freedom of the press is not a pretext to circulate malicious reporting which may be counterproductive.


Challenging Another Dictatorship In Somaliland

By: Ibrahim Hassan Gagale

On May 18, 2004, marking the 13th Anniversary of Somaliland Independence from Somalia, the mothers fell again to their knees crying and wailing of the illegal arrests of their innocent children who were scooped on the streets of Hargeisa by the police while expressing their grievances in peaceful demonstration. Equally shocking, they were transferred immediately to Mandera prison cells at midnight by the kangaroo court of the outlaw and extra-constitutional security committee of Rayale's Clique without due process in the court of law- A typical Siyad's dark justice. There are reliable reports that two pregnant girls in the 154 students detained by the police miscarried in the prison cells due to mistreatment. The indiscriminate firing upon the students by the police in the heart of the capital, Hargeisa, maybe conspiratorial attempt by the Ruling Clique to show the world that Somaliland is as violent as Somalia in order to undermine its sovereignty and long-awaited recognition. This act could be just the tip of an iceberg of Somaliland's transition into another dictatorship where law and democracy are buried and one man's rule prevails.

These sad sounds and sirens of wails were commonly heard in Somaliland during Siyad`s brutal campaign against the Somaliland people in the 1980s. When dictatorship delivers to another dictatorship with no light at end of the tunnel after 44 years of independence, then it is justifiable if the Somaliland masses believe that life itself or existence is only fear, injustice, and atrocities, and that poverty, diseases, and ignorance are undefeatable parts of their own creation. True meaning of peace, justice, progress, and prosperity are only mental images to Somaliland nation. Before the current regime, this small nation, in the Horn of Africa, lived a thirty long-year-history (1960-1990) of unratified, disastrous union with Somalia and witnessed only South-led derelict, corrupt civilian governments (1960-1969) followed by Siyad's savage dictatorship (1969-1990) that committed all kinds of atrocities in Somaliland to eliminate an entire nation and replace it with refugees from Western Somali Province in Ethiopia and others just for tribal ambitions.

The slow recuperation of the Somaliland people from the devastations and ravages inflicted by Somalia and the subsequent traumatic and depressive life in Refugee Camps in Ethiopia is shattered by the new threats of the native, corrupt, egomaniac government run by Rayale and his clique. Signs of new dictatorship are again creeping across Somaliland that may kill all hopes for stable, democratic, prosperous, and recognized Somaliland. Somaliland people blamed Somalia for their past calamities but today they should blame themselves for the growing uncertainties of Somaliland's future because they failed to choose the right leader at the right time. They chose Siyad's loyalists over their founding heroes with tested integrity, patriotism, and nationalism and that is why Somalilanders are suffering today from the consequences of their bad choice. There is no question that every Somaliland citizen has the right to be elected president but it is the people's discretionary duty not to elect controversial figures that could embark the nation on disastrous route that endangers the lives and properties of Somaliland citizens and threatens their hard-won sovereignty.

The era of deception and misleadership is over and Somaliland people, due to past experiences, can easily distinguish a good government led by democratic institution that governs with uniform progress, respecting freedom of speech and press, promoting welfare of its citizens, and respecting the rule of law from a dictatorship run by a clique that reigns with terror and fear, chocking all sorts of progress and violating basic human rights through terroristic police control. Dictatorship is a system of government in which one person or small group of people have absolute control in a country with unlimited power that can not be restricted by constitution or by laws. Dictators come to power either through military takeovers like Siyad Barre or through dictatorship-turned-presidency by rigging presidential elections like Dahir Rayale Kahin. When Somaliland people reclaimed their independence in 1991, they, at the same time, unanimously chose to govern the country with democratic system to avoid future dictatorships, to reach quick progress, and to hasten Somaliland diplomatic recognition by the world.

Since Rayale's government came to power in the mid of 2002, everything is deteriorating and falling apart in the country - The economy, defense, security, social services, infrastructures, national unity and territorial integrity etc. The behavior of Rayale's Clique does not only amount to dictatorship but it could be a combination of foreign-imposed dictatorship and treasonous conspiracy well crafted by a secret group with political objective of returning Somaliland to Somalia. This group consists of: President Rayale of Somaliland, Ismail Omer Ghelle of Djibouti, and IGAD officials in cooperation with warlords of Somalia. In light of what is happening in Somaliland today, this covert group is plotting to take the country through three destructive conspiratorial phases. The first phase is to replace democratic system of Somaliland with Rayale's dictatorship to make sure that he stays in power through rigged presidential elections until the above objective becomes reality. The second phase is intended to destroy the essence of Somaliland Constitutional Statehood with tribal influence under Rayale's absolute power and promote widespread corruption to weaken Somaliland politically, socially, economically, and militarily for future merger with Somalia. The third and final phase has three simultaneous steps to bring down Somaliland independence. The first step is to facilitate for Puntland Administration to invade and occupy Sool and Sanag Regions of Somaliland to disintegrate Somaliland Republic; the second is to secretly involve Somaliland in the peace talks of Somalia through the channels of Djibouti's Ghelle to reunify with Somalia, and the third step is to ultimately create tensions and confrontations among Somalilanders, by financing and arming clans against each other, in order to plunge the country into violence, anarchy, and despair making it a failed state similar to Somalia in order to breakdown Somalilanders morally and make them accept unconditionally the outcome of the third phase which is to share another union with Somalia. In the process of these three phases, there is a campaign of concerted efforts by the Clique intended to hypocritically blame opponents and opposition party leaders for creating instability in Somaliland, for fighting Rayale over the presidency, and for underminding international recognition so that the reactionaries can look patriotic in the eyes of the people in order to divert the public attention from their political, conspiratorial sabotage against Somaliland sovereignty. The country, Somaliland Republic, is passing now through the last or final phase to put Somaliland sovereignty to death and force its people to join another unwelcome, humiliating merger with Somalia unless it is salvaged by its people soon.

Evidences of Rayale's Dictatorial Rule

Dictatorships all over the world have the same characteristics and Rayale's rule qualifies for them as the following descriptions show:
Rigging of presidential elections of April 14, 2003 by wielding the powers of the presidency and the chairmanships of the parliament, Supreme Court, and Election Commission. It is embarrassing how the most important four powers of Somaliland Republic, with which the Republic can be brought down easily, were seized by these four individuals who were loyal to Siyad's Regime: Dahir Rayale Kahin, President of Somaliland Rep; Ahmed Mohamed Aden (Qaybe), President of the House of Parliament, Saeed Farah Ahmed, recent President of the Supreme Court, and Ahmed Ali Adami, the Chairman of the National Election Commission. The blanket amnesty offered by the Congress of Somaliland Council of Elders, held in Burao in 1991, was commendable, but that did not mean to elect leaders or appoint cabinet ministers and other important government officials without public scrutiny and careful descretion. The coming parliamentary elections maybe manipulated dishonestly with public money by the Ruling Clique in order to avoid Rayale's impeachment for ouster by the new parliament.

Abandonment of the Constitution, replacing it with Rayale's personal directives, and disrespecting the system of checks and balances of powers of the Somalilandby influencing the parliament to reconfirm cabinet appointments rejected by this body previously (Most of Current parliament members are corrupt and unpatriotic for being sold out by Rayale, they betray their nation and remain indifferent).

Prevalence of widespread corruption of public funds mismanaged by government officials without transparency, accountability and reliable financial auditing system in governmental entities. Opposition leaders and other public figures have recently accused Rayale's government of allegedly stealing $16M from the people. The top members of the Clique might have deposited this money in Europe. These crippling corruptions have devastated the national economy, defense, internal security, infrastructure, basic social services such as health, education etc.

Basing government appointments and promotions on loyalty to Rayale's Regime, preferring ignorant, inexperienced individuals to educated, experienced people, forming inflated-government cabinet that is very burdensome to the country's economy, and expelling ministers that challenge Rayale's dictatorship or committed to Somaliland cause - Mohamed Hashi Elmi, Minister of Commerce and Industry, was fired recently when he challenged the dictatorship. Suppressing and repressing peaceful demonstrations, firing upon them when come out to streets to express their grievances, inflicting casualties, and carrying out campaigns of unlawful arrests and detentions of Somaliland citizens. These deliberate violations and abuses of human rights drew outcries and condemnations from human rights organizations.

Constant censorship of media, threats and detentions against journalists. (a)plundering land in major cities of the country with public funds by government officials, turning them into landlords, displacing the poor, vulnerable, and the helpless. (b) Destroying the good of the individual claiming falsely to protect the good of the whole. (c) Imposing unlawful emergency and unnecessary curfews to suppress the public and quell the dissent. (d) Making the presidency of the country inaccessible by surrounding it with heavy weapons and guards that prevent political leaders and traditional elders, and the public as well, from seeing the president for national issues- A typical Siyad's presidency. (e) Rayale's consulting with the top members of his Clique on national issues such as Ahmed Mohamed Aden (Qaybe), President of House of Parliament, Hussein Ali Duale (Awil), Minister of Finance, Ismail Aden Osman, Minister of Interior, Abdullahi Mohamed Duale, Minister of Information, and Mohamed Ege, Commander of National Police Force, and distancing himself from the vice president Ahmed Yussuf Yasin. (f) Meddling in the functions of local governments and preventing them from holding their routine local meetings without the approval of the Interior minister, Ismail Aden Osman.

2. Conspiratorial Nature of Rayale's Government

Rayale's government is not only dictatorship but conspiratorial too intended to bring down Somaliland Republic, and the followings are the evidence:

Desecrating the sacred history of SNM struggle (1982-1991), attempting to prevent people from celebrating it, and trying to remove it from Somaliland history knowing that it is the most important part of the country's history. After Somaliland reclaimed its independence in 1991, the new governments were expected to found and promote a Historical Society of The Armed Struggle of SNM to make it a living history for ever for having in hand the three major components of collecting and making history, which are: a) The primary source (People: accounts of SNM veterans such as leaders, officers, and fighters, with real stories of the armed struggle. b) Documents (About SNM foundation, strategic mission, leadership and military wing, accounts of battles and final liberation etc. c) Artifacts (weapons, equipments of communications, uniform, shoes, transport, and cookingwares used in the armed struggle of SNM etc). Equally important was to found the Historical Society of Somaliland History.

Dishonoring SNM veterans and blocking them from participating in the government while filling ranks of the government with pro-Somalia elements whose mission is to undermine Somaliland sovereignty for federalism with Somalia.

Concentrating the power of the Somaliland government in the west of the country, investing in the Western Regions and neglecting the Eastern Regions so Rayale can create an impression that the government belongs to the West of the country in order to devise tensions and confrontations between the two sides intended to bring down Somaliland sovereignty with violence. Somaliland people, both in the west and east, are aware that Rayale's Regime have done nothing for their welfare but killed their hopes for progressive, stable, democratic Somaliland with conspiratorial schemes to destroy Somaliland Republic. Somaliland people are indivisible with same destiny and united to oust Rayale's government to salvage Somaliland Republic.

Letting Puntland's armed militia invade and occupy Las-Anod, the capital of Sool Region since December 2003 and ignoring its ongoing gradual advancement toward Sanag Region thus underming national unity and territorial integrity of Somalilandto disintegrate Somaliland for Somalia's union revival.

Shutting down virtually Berbera Seaport, the lifeline of Somaliland, forcing the Western Regions of the country to use Djibouti Seaport to boost its economy, and the Eastern Regions to use Bossasso Seaport to boost Puntland's economy too. President Ismail Omer Ghelle of Djibouti is behind the virtual closure of Berbera Sea Port and is running Somaliland's internal affairs secretly through Rayale. Ghelle's advocacy for unity is not from the heart but he just hopes that if Somaliland returns to the Union with Somalia there is good chance that Mogadishu will shut down Berbera Seaport forever for Djibouti's economic development.

Scapegoating and blaming opposition leaders and Eastern Regions of the country for the insecurity in the country to cover up the involvement of Rayale's Clique in the political sabotage against Somaliland sovereignty. The silent delay of prosecution against the killers of the five international aid workers murdered in Somaliland recently created growing suspicion in the public that Rayale's government itself might be involved in their deaths to undermine Somaliland diplomatic recognition and its reputation for stability and peace in the Horn of Africa.

Somaliland currency is working only in the Western Regions of the country and its absence in the Eastern Regions created a perception and picture of two different countries.

Considering the above mentioned dictatorial and treasonous characteristics sabotaging Somaliland sovereignty, democratic system, and peace, it is time to oust Rayale's Regime.

No dictator can maintain power through brute force. If he rejects calls of resignation or the current parliament fails to impeach him for quick ouster, which they may not do, then it is the patriotic duty of Somaliland people (Opposition leaders, masses, armed forces officers, intellectuals, traditional elders etc) to challenge the rising Dictatorship of Rayale and bring it down to its knees through popular uprising and civil disobedience for their own survival, and replace it with transitional president, in national Congress, who is honest, patriotic, natiolistic, and committed to Somaliland sovereignty, and then hold national presidential elections within 1-2 years with limited term for presidents to avoid future dictatorships.

LONG LIVE SOMALILAND REPUBLIC.


Source: Togdheer.com, 4 June 2004

Save Somaliland now or never!!

To do or forbear not to do! " Would ye guide those whom the lord hath thrown out of the way"?

The (ruling clique) men are the remnants of Siyad Barre! The mind set is Afwainistic in the third grade level!

The means and methods used by Dahir Riyale and crowd are Afwainestic as well!

Dragging, hitting and making mothers cry is typical of Siyad Baree's days!

Extra-judicial in passing judgments from dark rooms by individuals is their trademark!

The guy heading the sum doesn't seem up to his responsibilities, who is then responsible of his responsibilities? The surrogates? Qaybe? The attack dogs? Or who else?

Love of virtue is courage. Returning the good is godly. Destroying the human values of good for good is typical of him! Dahir Riyale that is! It was expected from any human being with any goodness in him or in her and particularly Dahir Riyale to love and serve the people and the country which gave him a new life, a life of a kind, one he never dreamed of, for he was supposed to be some where else answering questions! Dahir Riyale was not a humanitarian worker doing humanitarian deeds, during Siyad Barre's regime, he was an NSS BOSS; an agent of torture, death and destruction. Even with out showing the people the mass graves of their men and women he was made president, which he was not qualified in all accounts

I was wondering what he was thinking of his victims, of the mass graves there when he went to Barbara for vacation and business of his own! Selling blots and cashing in !

Dahir Riyale was expected to love the country and the people who accorded him with all that dignity and respect. He was supposed to do and show his allegiance to the people and the country of Somaliland and not to a foreign leader who is the nemesis of Somaliland! On the contrary the man in question has exhibited without any reservations his hatred against the very country he is ruling as President, or if not so the man showed he is a moron! Both of the cases are destructive, thus destroys the hopes and aspirations of the people of Somaliland collectively.

Somaliland is in dire need of change and it does not have the luxury to wait and see its demise and destruction under the hands of Dahir Riyale, Qaybe and the three attack dogs with no conscience and with no care of their people. We reached a juncture where keeping the two and the three (Awil, Islamil, Abdillahiyari) is suicidal! People seem (now) persisting the right and repelling the wrong. On the other side Dahir Riyale, Qaybe and the Arta group are all but at war with the hopes and aspirations of Somaliland.

I never for a moment thought that we witness again after 13 years of struggle, the woos and the weeping of the mothers of Somaliland. Never did I think to live to witness again after liberation, the rounding up of our school kids, our children in general, smashing citizens houses to arrest youngsters accused of expressing their distaste and anger against the infamous Dahir Riyale, verbally-freedom of speech, which according to the law of the land, they could. However we all witnessed or heard about the cruel beating of our children! They, stacked them up in trucks ready to go far away from their houses -"mandera", they call it! By whom? By unkind hands of our own. Five men in a dark room became the judge, the jury and the prosecutor with Dahir Riyale'S nod! Together they broke the law, they threw away the rights of the citizens, they made the constitution a mockery and they stampeded the decency and the law of the land! Together they are traitors and they ought to be accountable of their actions here and in many other occasions. Under these hands we are gone!

There was a time we were de-humanized by the Siyad Barre regime. The conscionable sector of our people, the Mujahedeen made us human beings again. Ironically we are de-humanizing our selves again by the hands of some of our own people, headed by Dahir Riyale an ex-NSS agent of Dictator Barre!

Apathy is the mother of present day dilemma. If people probably used and not miss-used, the faculties Allah bestowed on (them) his servants, Dahir Riyale, Qaibia and Arta gangs could have been curbed, and keep away. Allah gave us the eyes to see, the ears to hear and the mind to think. These were not rightly and properly used, thus the NSS and Arta elements under the clan canopy headed on dismantling Somaliland, demeaning it's citizens, robbing the revenues, raiding our homes. It is 1982 all over again with a difference! Save Somaliland or accept subservience for life! With a phony and funny grand father!

Clanization of politics is a conflict creating mechanism often employed by Dahir Riyale and surrogates. This won't stand longer it only accelerates wide spread discontent. It may well move to the next level, which may well be civil war! Ironically, unfortunately all indicators show that the Dahir Riyale government is engaged in this business ungodly as it is, and that we collectively other than those who are working for In- Gale don't want that to happen; therefore, together we have to reject them and thereof remove them.

Dahir Riyale and surrogates will go ahead with their treasonous mission but we must stop them.

The unfeeling remarks coming form Dahir Riyale's crowd is distasteful in the least, creating conflicts among and between the Somali land communities, conspiring against particular communities, indeed against the nation, lack of concern of the plight of the people, undermining the aspirations of Somaliland, disloyalty or treachery, impairing the well being of the state (to which Dahir Riyale owes allegiance although he constantly shows allegiance to others)! Giving hand or comfort to the enemies of Somali land-as Gale-, unfaithful in guarding, safeguarding, or maintaining and fulfilling the well being of the state and it's citizens. Disappointing the hopes, aspirations and expectations of Somali land. All these happened in the short time Dahir Riyale was there as head of the state. And with no doubt all are treasonous! And the actors of this are traitors in the meanest level!

"Is then one who is on a clear path form his lord no better than one to whom the evil of his conduct seems pleasing, and such as follow their own lusts?" by their ignorance and arrogance. As we see the clique running the show in Somali land these days?

" The unjust think that the godly are wondering in mind. They will find that it is really they who were wondering in mind and mad" even when they are in the plentitude of their power. But they are conspiring against their own! Against Somali land!

It is here! It is to do or forebear not to do. It is to sing or not to sing the blues later! It is now or never!

I Mead, Ottawa, Canada


African Union Mulls Military Intervention In Somalia

MOGADISHU, June 3 (IslamOnline.net) - The African Union's Peace and Security Council (PSC) is expected to engage in consultations with a cohort of Somali generals and senior police officers on how best to disarm Somali militias in case the pan-continental body decides to interfere militarily in the troubled country.

A Somalia military source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told IslamOnline.net Thursday, June 3, that the PSC contacted several top Somali brass, who were never involved in the civil war, to outline a plan to disarm the warring militias once Kenya-hosted peace talks are crowned with the formation of a Somali government.

He said a preliminary meeting will be held next week in the Ugandan capital Kampala to name the generals and policemen who will assist in this program.

He asserted that a plenary official meeting will be held later this month in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

According to the source, an African military delegation is due to visit a number of Somali regions for consultations with the local governors.

Former senior military commanders have been living in different parts of Somalia country since ousting the central government in January 1991.

Most of them have engaged in public life except for low and medium-ranking officers who joined tribal militias and have been involved in the civil war.

However, the Somali police have remained independent, with a large number of senior officers living in police barracks.

The U.N. had resorted to former senior military and police leaders in a similar program in the early 1990s, before the U.S.-led military intervention.

The program never saw the light due to the bloody confrontations between the U.S. troops and the Somali militias in October 1993, which prompted the withdrawal of the American forces followed by other international troops.

The idea of African military intervention currently appeals to most of the Somali people to put an end to the chaos and armed conflicts overshadowing Somalia for about 13 years. The African Union launched the PSC on Tuesday, May 25, in the hope it will become a robust guarantor of stability in Africa.

The 15-member body is empowered to mandate peacekeeping missions in conflict areas where ceasefire accords have been signed and to recommend to the assembly of AU heads of state that troops be deployed uninvited in cases of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.


Minister Edna Aden: Somaliland Women Are Being Brutalized By Your Government, Will You Speak Up On Their Behalf?

Khadra Ibrahim, London, England

As if recent arrests and maltreatment of the protestors were not shocking enough, we learn that among those young people, who were unlawfully detained, beaten and then sentenced in a kangaroo court, were two pregnant young women. I will certainly be justified to lament Somaliland's current disastrous affairs. However, I will not venture into explaining how we got to this disastrous affairs. Instead I like to register my outrage and extreme sadness over the brutality and beating of two young Somali women. We learn through the paper that these young women were brutalized to the point of miscarrying.

To make matters worse, when these young women were brought to hospital, they were chained to their hospital beds, as thought they were killers of the first order. After a reported shock and outrage from the citizens of Somaliland, the injured women were transported back to jail without even being properly treated. This is an outrage. These women could suffer lasting effects; they might never have children because their body was brutalized so badly in a sensitive time which caused miscarriage and bleeding. These young women might very well be dealing with infections that could be the beginning of long lasting health problems. Never mind the psychological and emotional toll the experience might bring.

Therefore, it is shocking that Minister Edna Aden, is silent about this brutality. Edna after all is well aware of the health hazards and lasting affects of torture and beating on pregnant women. As a midwife and an experienced nurse, Edna knows that pregnant women need rest, nourishment and care not beating and brutal treatment. So why then our beloved minister is silent about this, why isn't she demanding the release or at least the treatment of these young women? Why isn't she resigning over this outrage?

Minister Edna, we expect that you will share our outrage over the brutal treatment of young women. This goes against everything that people of Somaliland's liberation movement has fought hard to establish. After long liberation, which we sustained countless losses, we expected that young Somali women will never again be used to terrorize, intimidate and punish their society to submission. This is against everything a free and democratic Somaliland should stand for. What took place is criminal. International law confirms this; it recognizes this sort of treatment as violence, a weapon of war and a form of persecution and torture, especially when perpetrated by soldiers or police in the course of carrying out an interrogation or arrest of women, regardless of where such interrogation or arrest takes place.

Minister Edna, we expected more from you. We expected that you of all people will be up in arms and will demand at least that these young women are offered medical treatment. We expected that you will be scandalized that a government you are part of is inflicting torture on young pregnant women. Clearly, we were mistaken and you are part of this corrupt political system and your slogans were just that slogans.

Will you raise and proof that our initial believe in you were not misplaced. Will you restore our faith in you and proof to us that you truly care about the well-being and the development of Somaliland women. Minister Edna will you speak up against this inhumane treatment of women?

I am hopeful that you will not forget your moral responsibility to these helpless young women?


Africa News, July 9, 2004/BYLINE: Addis Tribune

Somalia;Celebrating 1st July in a New Light: a Somalilander's Perspective

"Take from the altars of the past the fire - not the ashes" - Jean Jaures

On July 1st 1960, the people Somaliland celebrated a day of destiny. They gave up their sovereignty which they had won four days earlier by their own will.

They had a mission to fulfill and a vision to achieve. Their mission was to establish a strong united government with the South and not to let such historical opportunity slip from their grasp. Their vision was to bring all Somali-speaking people under the blue flag. This day the Somalilanders realized of a much larger vision they shared with the remaining four parts of Greater Somalia; with Somalis in Djibouti, the Reserved Areas of Ethiopia, the Northern Frontier District of Kenya and of course Italian Somalis of the South.

It was natural for Somalilanders at the time to see the Independence of Somaliland as the first step in a long and torturous journey towards the ultimate dream of all Somalis. The realization of Somaliweyn. This dream at the time was part of a general trend in Africa. A trend of unity and brotherhood that prevailed among all Africans emerging from under the yoke of colonialism. One has to recall, however, that when the dream of Somalis was limited to uniting the territory of the Somali-speaking people under one flag, other Africans at the time had even bigger dreams. Dr Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana thought the independence of Ghana in 1957 was not sweet enough unless all Africa was independent and united under one flag and a United States of Africa was created. Thus came the historical meeting of William V.S. Tubman of Liberia and Ahmed Sekou Toure of Guinea with Nkrumah, in Sanniquellie, northern Liberia in 1959, to ink their famous communique of solidarity which later would become the precursor of the Organisation of the African Unity, OAU.

Even at his moment of triumph, as the hour of Ghana's independence struck, Nkrumah couldn't hide his quest for a much greater goal of an independent and united Africa, thus came his words in his independence speech:

"We again rededicate ourselves in the struggle to emancipate other countries in Africa; for our independence is meaningless unless it is linked up with the total liberation of the African continent.

"I believe strongly and sincerely that with the deep-rooted wisdom and dignity, the innate respect for human lives, the intense humanity that is our heritage, the African race, united under one federal government, will emerge not as just another world bloc to flaunt its wealth and strength, but as a Great Power whose greatness is indestructible because it is built not on fear, envy and suspicion, nor won at the expense of others, but founded on hope, trust, friendship and directed to the good of all mankind." Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Independence speech on March 5, 1957.

Negritude, an expression of African identity pioneered by celebrated black intellectuals such as Leopold Sedar Senghor of Senegal and Martinican poet and statesman Aime Cesaire, also paved the way for a unity among the blacks of the world albeit more of a cultural commonality than political.

African intellectuals and statesmen had the historical responsibility to rise to the need of the moment and the desire of the African people for Independence and unity. It is a historical misjudgment to expect of the Somali people to do otherwise. They too saw the unity of the territory of the Somali-speaking people as a springboard to a unity of the whole of Africa. Dismantling of colonial borders between peoples of the same race and language was for them the start of setting the record straight.

Nowhere was this better expressed than the words attributed to Farah Omaar, a Somalilander of broader vision, " My country is too small to be divided into five parts." Thus sang Somaliland poets and lyric writers among the most notable among them were Timacadde, Balayaca, Jabiye and Ali Sugule to mention but a few.

On 26th June and later on 1st July, the people of Somaliland had lived through one of their sweet dreams, that of independence and unity of at least two parts of the whole. Their jubilation for these two days was sincere and not orchestrated or forced. It was a patriotic and spontaneous outpour of the people's true feelings. Every Somali person, whether inside the two united parts or outside them celebrated and embraced these two days as their own victory.

The fact that such beauty, such patriotism and such genuine feelings of brotherhood had been hijacked, betrayed and destroyed by the Siyad Barre's dictatorial regime should not make the people of Somaliland look at these days with shame and remorse. On the contrary, Somalilanders should be proud of the heroism of their men, women and children who rose to the historical responsibility of the moment, who like Nkrumah saw the independence of Somaliland as not enough and yearned for something bigger and better. Somalilanders should be proud that it was the sacrifices and the patriotism of their fathers that had made part of a Somali dream come true - the birth of the Somali Republic on 1st July 1960.

History is a witness that Somalilanders made the far bigger sacrifices for the sake of Somali unity than our Italian brothers. Gripped by the unity fever, Somalilanders had given up everything. The capital went to the south. So was the posts of the President, Speaker of the parliament, the Prime Minister and key cabinet ministers such as the defense, the foreign office, finance and interior. Even the Armed Forces Chief of Staff and the Commander of the national police force were seen as too big a share to be given to the north.

Despite such injustice, the Somalilanders continued to hang on to their hopes, dreaming of the arrival of the day of reckoning when all Somalis would come under the umbrella of unity and their sacrifice would be rewarded with a fair share of wealth and government. This explains the Northerners' outright rejection of the attempted coup by their military elites in 1961, with the most celebrated Northern playwright Ali Sugule hailing the military's alertness in squashing Hassan Kayd's coup with his famous "Nin lagu seexdow ha seexan," sang by the late Somali melody queen Magool.

Whether the Somalilander's unbelievable sacrifices and proverbial patriotism could be seen as political naivety or visionary cause went awry will be a subject for debate among history students for years to come, but one thing is true that Somalilanders' had invested heavily in the Somali cause and had lost heavily too.

To borrow Nkrumah's words again, Somalilanders dreamed of a Great Somali Unity whose greatness was indestructible because it was to be built not on fear, envy and suspicion, nor won at the expense of others, but founded on hope, trust, friendship and directed to the good of all mankind.

They, however, instead reaped misery, destruction, fear and loss of human dignity. The Somali unity was destroyed by the brutality of the Siyad Barre regime to the people of the north. Even the ensuing civil war among the northern clans was a measure orchestrated by the Barre regime aimed at finishing off whatever its missiles, tanks and planes had missed and a sinister move aimed at sowing long-term discord and never healing spiritual wounds among the Somalilanders.

Thanks to the wisdom of their elders, their shared blood and cultural values, the Somalilanders have overcome their plight, pieced their lives together, rebuilt their villages and towns stone by stone and block by block, reclaimed their sovereignty and created a vibrant and constitutional democracy to the envy of many Africans and to the admiration of the international community.

This shouldn't make Somalilanders, however, negate the dreams and the noble goals for which our fathers and mothers fought. Just like we are doing today, they were trying with the best of their ability and to the best of their knowledge to guarantee a peaceful and better future for their children and grandchildren. Never, should we, therefore, denigrate nor downgrade their efforts and their struggle. To disassociate ourselves from their achievements, is to decry their accomplishments, to demean their intentions, to question their honesty and their integrity and to discredit their intellect and political vision.

Let us view the day of 1st July in its historical perspective and celebrate the bravery, the vision, the patriotism and wholeheartedness with which our people have fought to realize their dream symbolized at the time by 1st July. To shun and reject the historical importance of 1st July, is to say that our fathers and mothers have died in vain, danced in vain, sang in vain and jubilated in vain in their thousands.

No, never our fathers and mothers had fought for the right cause, at the right time and for the right age. Somalilanders today are also fighting for the right cause, at the right time for the right age by reclaiming their sovereignty and chartering their own way for their own future and that of their children. Just the same way as our fathers and mothers thought they were doing. Had they had the prophetic vision and the foresight to see where their achievements would end, they surely wouldn't have taken the road they took. But as fallible human beings, how could they! We also cannot swear the fruits we are sowing today would not be sour someday in the distant future. To put it simply we are trying to do our best. So did our fathers and mothers in their time. Therefore, let us respect their record and their history if we want our children to respect our record and our history as well.


Inter Press Service (Johannesburg) July 7, 2004

Development-Somalia: Khat Dampens Euphoria About Peace

by Joyce Mulama, Nairobi

After a marathon round of talks, peace may finally be in sight for Somalia, which has been without central government since 1991. But, some fear that a deeply-rooted practice - the chewing of khat - may undermine the gains of negotiations.

Khat, also referred to as qat or miraa, is a shrub - the leaves of which are chewed or used to make tea. The plant contains a substance that makes the person consuming it feel alert, energetic or euphoric. Too euphoric, say certain Somali women, who allege that men in their communities have become addicted to khat, and are neglecting their families.

"Our men have become lazy over the years because of the widespread trade that forces them to just sit and enjoy the product. Our children have nothing to eat, let alone go to school, because their fathers cannot work," Eng Rukia Osman Mahmoud, an anti-khat activist, told IPS during an interview in Kenya's capital, Nairobi.

Mahmoud is also a delegate to the Somali peace talks being held in Mbagathi, on the outskirts of the city.

She claims that about 75 percent of the eight million people in Somalia chew khat, with men and boys accounting for the largest percentage of this group. The popularity of khat notwithstanding, she and other Somali women are lobbying for a ban on the trade in this narcotic.

"Women and children have suffered for so long, and now that peace is in the air we have to look at ways of reconstructing the country in all aspects," Mahmoud notes.

"This will have to involve everyone, including men, and may be more effective only if a ban has been imposed on the khat trade, because trading in this commodity poses a challenge to rebuilding efforts."

The fact that khat provides an extremely lucrative trade for many (and the only source of income for some) is likely to complicate efforts to outlaw sales of the plant's leaves.

But the women maintain that the disadvantages of khat far outweigh the importance of the profits it yields. The negative effects of khat include hallucinations, schizophrenia, depression and impotence.

"The answer to the khat problem lies in halting all cross border trade of the commodity. Countries supplying the drug to Somalia must also be covered by the ban because most of the khat in Somalia comes from neighbouring countries," Hussein Ali Elmi, spokesman of the Somali Young Turks Association (SYTA), told journalists in Nairobi last Friday, Jul. 2.

Kenya is the biggest supplier of khat to both Somalia and Europe, competing closely with Ethiopia and Yemen, according to Joseph Kaguthi, Coordinator of Kenya's National Agency for the Campaign Against Drug Abuse. Exact figures are hard to come by, but certain Somali businesspeople estimate that the Kenyan-Somali trade in khat is worth more than 300,000 dollars a day.

SYTA is calling on faction leaders who are attending the Nairobi talks to explore alternative income-earning activities that can reduce the country's dependency on khat.

"Somalia is a very fertile country. The new government must throw its weight behind farming and phase out khat trading. I'm sure if farming is given due attention, it may replace khat in income generation," Asha Abdi, another female delegate to the peace talks, told IPS.

Given that farmers may be able to earn far more from khat than food crops, this might be an optimistic view of the situation.

The khat trade is also controlled by faction leaders, who have the muscle and motivation to ensure that it continues unhindered - especially if peace is not to their liking.

Although talks are underway, the ongoing volatility of the situation in Somalia was demonstrated in late May, when several people were killed during clashes in the south of the country.

"These people (faction leaders) have a great interest in this business. All their operations in the country depend on the proceeds from the drug," says Abdalla Hussein Abdalla, a political commentator living in Nairobi.

His observation is echoed in a 2003 report of the United Nations Panel of Experts on Somalia.

"Several major (factions) and authorities have a direct stake in the business, either through partnership with khat importers/exporters or by levying charges and taxes at points of entry," says the report in part.

The panel was established to gather information on violations of a UN arms embargo imposed on Somalia in 1992. It has noted widespread disregard of the embargo, with khat often being used to finance the weapons that have allowed faction leaders to keep a stranglehold on parts of Somalia.

The East African country has effectively been divided into a number of fiefdoms since the fall of President Siad Barre in 1991.

Talks aimed at re-establishing central government in Somalia got underway in 2002, but have been marred by wrangling amongst faction leaders. However, a certain measure of progress has been achieved: warring parties have drawn up a framework for government.

The talks will now focus on electing members of a new parliament. After this, a president and 16-member cabinet will be elected - a process which is expected to be complete by the end of this month.

Negotiations have involved over 300 delegates, who also include representatives from civil society. They are being held under the auspices of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, a regional body comprising Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia.


BBC Worldwide Monitoring, July 7, 2004/SOURCE: Radio HornAfrik, Mogadishu, in Somali 0500 gmt 7 Jul 04

Somali interim government and Somaliland not attending AU summit

Interim President Abdiqasim Salad Hasan was for the first time absent from an international summit that will discuss issues that affect the Somali peace process. For more details here is Celmi Bonderi.

Bonderi Members of the interim government led by President Abdiqasim Salad Hasan are for the first time not attending the heads of state summit in Addis Ababa, which is the third one to be held since the new organization was formed.

It is also said that Somaliland officials were also refused attendance of the talks although the Ethiopian government had advocated for their participation.

Previously the Speaker of parliament was stopped from attending a meeting of African parliaments that was held in Addis Ababa. Over 40 African presidents are attending the AU summit. Passage omitted


ETHIOPIA-SOMALIA: Largest Somali refugee camp closed

NAIROBI, 2 Jul 2004 (IRIN) - The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has closed a refugee camp in eastern Ethiopia where an estimated 250,000 Somali refugees once lived, after the last 719 inhabitants left the settlement to return home to the self-declared autonomousSomaliland.

The last refugees left Hartishek camp on 30 June in a convoy of UNHCR vehicles, heading for Hargeysa. They were being accommodated in a transit centre in Hargeysa while the authorities looked for an area to resettle them permanently, UNHCR said in a statement.

The closure of Hartishek camp comes after the repatriation of 230,147 refugees since April 1997. Many others have gone back on their own.

According to UNHCR, hundreds of thousands of Somalis flocked to Hartishek as Muhammad Siyad Barre started to collapse in 1988, and subsequently when clan warfare engulfed the country in the early 1990s. The first refugees arrived in appalling conditions and many died of exhaustion, hunger and lack of water, the agency said.

At its peak, Hartishek hosted more than 250,000 refugees, mostly from the Gabiley and Hargeysa areas in north-western Somalia.

With Wednesday's closure, UNHCR said it planned to hand over the camp's facilities to the district government in eastern Ethiopia. They include a dam, schools, community and health centres, prefabricated warehouses, offices and residences.

There are still two camps for Somali refugees left in eastern Ethiopia: Aysha, from where convoys to northwestern Somalia are being run, and Kebri Beyah, which mostly hosts refugees from southern Somalia. These two camps, according to UNHCR, host some 24,400 refugees.

The agency needs more than US $5.7 million this year for its operations in Somalia, part of a $118 million joint appeal launched in February by UN agencies and NGOs working in the war-torn country.


Africa News, July 2, 2004/BYLINE: UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

Ethiopia;Largest Somali Refugee Camp Closed

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has closed a refugee camp in eastern Ethiopia where an estimated 250,000 Somali refugees once lived, after the last 719 inhabitants left the settlement to return home to the self-declared autonomousSomaliland.

The last refugees left Hartishek camp on 30 June in a convoy of UNHCR vehicles, heading for Hargeysa. They were being accommodated in a transit centre in Hargeysa while the authorities looked for an area to resettle them permanently, UNHCR said in a statement.

The closure of Hartishek camp comes after the repatriation of 230,147 refugees since April 1997. Many others have gone back on their own.

According to UNHCR, hundreds of thousands of Somalis flocked to Hartishek as Muhammad Siyad Barre started to collapse in 1988, and subsequently when clan warfare engulfed the country in the early 1990s. The first refugees arrived in appalling conditions and many died of exhaustion, hunger and lack of water, the agency said.

At its peak, Hartishek hosted more than 250,000 refugees, mostly from the Gabiley and Hargeysa areas in north-western Somalia.

With Wednesday's closure, UNHCR said it planned to hand over the camp's facilities to the district government in eastern Ethiopia. They include a dam, schools, community and health centres, prefabricated warehouses, offices and residences.

There are still two camps for Somali refugees left in eastern Ethiopia: Aysha, from where convoys to northwestern Somalia are being run, and Kebri Beyah, which mostly hosts refugees from southern Somalia. These two camps, according to UNHCR, host some 24,400 refugees.

The agency needs more than US $5.7 million this year for its operations in Somalia, part of a $118 million joint appeal launched in February by UN agencies and NGOs working in the war-torn country.


Calgary Sun (Alberta, Canada) July 2, 2004

SOMALI DEMINERS KIDNAPPED

MOGADISHU -- Armed men kidnapped five employees of an international demining agency on the border between Somalia's warring breakaway territories of Puntland and Somaliland, officials said yesterday. The deminers working for the British-based Halo Trust were abducted near the town of Las'anod, some 965 km north of the capital Mogadishu, sources in the area said. It was not clear why the deminers were seized or which countries they came from, but a local newspaper said they were all Somalis. Previous kidnappings in the country have targeted mainly foreign aid workers. Somalia collapsed into chaos after the overthrow of military ruler Mohammed Siad Barre.
BBC Worldwide Monitoring, July 1, 2004/SOURCE: Xog-Ogaal, Mogadishu, in Somali 1 Jul 04

Gunmen kidnap aid workers in Somalia's disputed northern region

Unknown gunmen have kidnapped five Somali nationals working with Hallo Trust De-mining Company name as published which operates in Somaliland. The gunmen kidnapped the staff yesterday at a village which is 19kms from Laas Caanood town in the disputed Sool Region northern Somalia.

Somaliland authorities have accused militias loyal to Puntland administration for the act and said the hostages were taken on two battle wagons and were taken to Garoowe, the provincial town of Puntland.

Puntland deputy information minister has denied the allegations.


BBC Monitoring International Reports, June 28, 2004/Source: Radio HornAfrik, Mogadishu, in Somali 0500 gmt 28 Jun 04

SOMALI ENVOY ACCUSES UK OF EXCLUDING SOMALILAND FROM PEACE TALKS

Somalia's ambassador to the UN, Ahmad Abdi Hashi, has said that there are some Western countries which are interested in restricting the Somali peace conference to the warring factions in southern Somalia, thereby excluding the northern parts known as Somaliland.

Hashi, speaking to HornAfrik from New York, added that nowhere in the (documents of the) UN, Arab League or African Union is it written that the Somali peace conference is (only) for southern Somalia.

He said that, due to anarchy in southern Somalia, the UK is trying to make the conference to be specifically for southern Somalia's warring factions.

The Somali ambassador said that the statement issued by the UN special envoy to Somalia, Winston Tubman, claiming that the Somali peace conference in Nairobi is only for the southern parts, was based on his own view, and was not the official stance of the UN.


Source: Somaliland Times, Issue 126 June. 21-27, 2004

President Dahir Rayale Kahin Pardons Demonstrators

Hargeisa, June 16, 2004 (SL Times) - President of Somaliland, Dahir Riyale Kahin, granted amnesty to people who created disturbances on the national day (18 May) and were in custody. A statement by President Kahin said he had granted an official amnesty to people who created disturbances on 18 May. The president had recently also pardoned students from government and private schools held over the demonstration.

Somaliland Court Convicts And Sentences 30 Ethiopian Rebels To Five Years In Prison

Hargeisa, June 17, 2004 (AP WorldStream) - A court in Hargeisa convicted 30 members of an Ethiopian rebel group for plotting attacks against Ethiopia from neighboring Somaliland and sentenced them to between two and five years in prison.

The 30 members of the Ogaden National Liberation Front, who were convicted and sentenced on Wednesday by a magistrate's court, had been in police custody since December in Hargesia, the capital of the Somaliland.

Magistrate Qadar Hassan Mohamed said, the rebels were arrested by police after they illegally entered Somaliland from Djibouti. The rebels' lawyer, Bashir Hussein Abdi, said he would appeal the sentence.

The Ogaden National Liberation Front claims to represent ethnic Somalis in Ethiopia and is active in the eastern Ethiopia region of Ogaden, making occasional hit and run attacks against government troops.

Somaliland set up its own administration after breaking away from the rest of Somalia when the Horn of Africa nation descended into chaos following the 1991 ouster of President Mohammed Siad Barre.

The region has remained relatively peaceful, while clan-based fighting has swept the center and south of Somalia. The Somaliland region has its own police force, but has not succeeded in gaining international recognition.


UN Envoy Says Mbagathi Talks Concern Somalia Not Somaliland

Djibouti, June 19, 2004 (SL Times) - The UN Secretary General's representative for Somalia, Winston Tubman in an interview with the BBC's Somali service on Friday confirmed that Somaliland was not a party to the current negotiations being held on Somalia at Mbagathi, Kenya.

Tubman was quoted by the BBC as saying discussions underway in Kenya have so far focused on Somalia but not on Somaliland.

The UN envoy stated that there was general agreement among the international community that the Mbagathi peace process shouldn't interfere with the Somaliland situation. He pointed out that the international community believes that the stability and tranquility achieved by Somaliland should not be undermined.

Tubman stressed that the future government of Somalia, to be formed at the Mbagathi talks, shall negotiate a settlement of differences with Somaliland.


EDITORIAL: The Men Around Rayale

On April 14, 2003, Somalilanders elected Dahir Rayale as their president for a 5-year term. Although he won the presidential poll by barely 213 votes, President Rayale opted not to form a coalition government with the two opposition parties, which together gained roughly 58% of the votes. At the time, the president argued that the ability of KULMIYE and UCID to grow and function as effective opposition parties would be compromised if at such an embryonic stage, they joined the government. On the face of it, the argument was valid. But then following his election, Rayale surrounded himself with 50 largely incompetent ministers and assistant ministers allegedly for the sole purpose of satisfying demands from every clan, sub-clan and sub-sub-clan to be represented in the government. Somalilanders were not only disappointed by the sheer size of the cabinet but also by the high level of incompetence shown by the majority of the people that Rayale packed his government with.

This was of course in total contradiction with President Rayale's repeated promises during the election campaign to form a lean-and-mean government if he were elected. While it was true that every tribal unit would have liked to see one or two of its kin given a cabinet position, more importantly, there was a general agreement among all communities and across the political spectrum that the country needed a small and effective government to replace the corrupt and inept one that Rayale inherited in the wake of President Egal's death on May 3, 2002. Oddly enough, Rayale retained his predecessor's cabinet, almost intact, for fear that any changes in the old guard might cost his UDUB party the municipal and presidential elections slated for December 2002 and April 2003 respectively. But the decision, as we know now, almost cost Rayale the presidential race as thousands of would-be sympathizers switched to the opposition after becoming disenchanted with his reluctance to install a clean government.

Even now, with the nation-wide discontent in the performance of his government, Rayale seems to be repeating the same mistake: sticking with the current bunch of ministers so as to avoid any voter defections until the next parliamentary elections slated for March 2005. The downward slide in the president's popularity has continued unchecked ever since he announced his cabinet appointees back in mid last year. But it certainly took a dramatic dive after the president sacked his ex-minister of Commerce, Mohamed Hashi Elmi, apparently for expressing his concerns over alleged corrupt practices and lack of accountability in government. The way the president's men responded to the stunning revelations made by Hashi on the loss of government funds in the neighborhood of 16 million dollars, was hardly convincing. Commenting on UDUB's standing among voters, Faysal Ali Warabe, UCID's chairman, predicted that only 10% of the electorate would have voted for the ruling party if parliamentary elections were held now. We agree with Faysal's assessment.

President Rayale has on a number of occasions in the past tried to attribute his inability to form a small and effective government to pressure from various tribal entities, each one of them seeking a piece of the cake. In reality, Somalilanders want a government that is accountable and can deliver. They want to see a government made up of competent, hardworking and honest people. Those who do not want such government are about 200 political hustlers (Afminshars) who falsely claim to represent their tribes. It is these Afminshars who constantly lobby the president to enlist or retain someone in his cabinet. It is also they who get disappointed, when one of their clients is sacked. Moreover, these self-styled brokers come from tribal entities all over Somaliland and are found near the corridors of power in the capital, Hargeisa. President Rayale and Somaliland's leaders must realize the difference between what these hired Afminshars want and what the rest of the Somalilanders want.


Children: A Neglected Promsing Force For The Future

Ridwan Mohamed Osman, Amoud University Alumnus, B. Sc.

On June 16th of every year, the international community celebrates the Day of the African Child, in which the needs and problems of African children are addressed, past plans reviewed and a way forward illuminated. This year's DAC coincides with a time when the ever widening gap between children in rich countries and those in Sub-Saharan Africa is at its peak. In this article, I will explore the situation of Somaliland children, who represent a potential vehicle for transformation and agents of change, in the wake of the world's renewed commitment to promote the conditions of children in this continent.

"Every boy and girl around the world has a right to expect that we will do all we can to ensure that they will enjoy their right to education" Koffi A. Annan Secretary General of United Nations.

"Arday baan ahayoo
Arday baan ahayoo
Ubixii wadankaan ahayoo"

Literal translation of that song could be
" I'm a student
I'm a student
I'm the flower of the country".

These are the words that were ringing in my ears as I slowly walked in front of four children, two boys and two girls, who were gracefully sitting by the doorstep of their house in a remarkable afternoon. Dressed beautifully, they had faces laden with happiness and delight, which indicated the effort and time their parents devoted to put them in such a condition. What interested me was not the rhythmic tone with which they chanted the song, nor the attractive reflections their faces and dressings made. It was something lying way beneath the observable that aroused strong emotions inside me. I deeply felt in my heart that the children, at the age of kindergarten education, were communicating an important message to me and to every concerned member of the community. I can't guess what those who accompanied me in the walk perceived, or whether I was the only one who had the built-in capacity to understand their language. Whatever the case may be, their message was moving; it demanded the ears of every sympathetic listener; it made a commitment whose fulfillment was a collective responsibility; it seemed to be the determinant of the future of this society; and underlying it were the necessary ingredients for development and progress.

To me, these simple slogans showed determination and dedication on the part of children, but for them to achieve what they have pledged to their community requires us to give them the right chance and help them overcome their challenges. As my mind started to think about the essence and reality of their words, a series of urgent, answer-demanding questions began to impinge on my conscience. "To what extent are they informed about the potential obstacles lying in the long, long way to realizing their commitment?" What do they actually know about their predecessors who have already taken the same journey under the same conditions? "How do they estimate the magnitude of the social, psychological and financial support they need in order to live up to their expectations? " What's the level of trust they have in us fulfilling our role given that they have mastered theirs? "And overall, how optimistic are they about the future?"

Like hundreds of thousands of children in Somaliland, who constitute a comparably large proportion of the society, these youngsters face a gloomy future, clouded with misery and uncertainty. Despite the fact that they seemed to be from well-off families in local terms and living in an urban residence, enjoying many opportunities that their counterparts in rural areas are deprived off, it is still not an exaggeration to say that the odds were against them. As an illustration of my point, my thinking took me back to a day, almost fifteen months ago, when I was sitting at a teashop in the center of the town. A slim, bright-eyed young boy, a shoe-polisher, was serving me. While he was busy with his due task, cleaning the shoes and making them shiny as possible so that he could convince me give him the small charge, I was exploring what was going around me. A moment came when my eyes critically gazed at the young boy himself. His shoes were in tatters and his rags were covered with dirt, a characteristic of his mode of making a living. Suddenly he looked me up. The unsmiling, determined face which interrupted my probing eyes easily implied how cruel the atmosphere in which this boy grew was. To my surprise, I noticed that his small possessions beside him included several books. I wondered what he was doing with them. It was not long before my mouth uttered the question. He confidently answered, "I'm a student". I became eager to know more about what compelled this unlucky child to play this dual, conflicting role. He seemed to be in no way hesitant about answering my question.

He told me he was the oldest of a family of six children, living in the suburbs of the town. His father, though in a good health and age, was unemployed, a heavy Kat-user, which I interpreted as of no use to the household financially. His mother, sold some biscuits and sweets in front of her house to make a little income. But the income was not enough to support a family of eight.

Answering my question on how he managed to learn and work at the same time, he told me that he attended school in the morning and worked in the afternoon. He usually went home at night with one or two Kilos of ration, plus a small amount of Somaliland shillings. This relieved a lot of burden from the mother, who struggled alone trying to ensure that her children at least survived.

Shockingly enough, he told me that none of his brothers and sisters were attending school. For a family whose sole bread-winner was a nine-year old shoe polisher, enrolling several children in school was not an easy venture, however promising it may be. That family, with an average income of less than $ 30 a month, could not pay for their children's schooling. School fees, together with the associated hidden costs, were the biggest barriers that prevented that very poor family from building a better future for their youngsters. The situation of that young, determined but unlucky child, is the rule rather then the exception in Somaliland. His case is representative of the harsh life that thousands of children in this country have to endure.

The majority of children in Somaliland live under the peril of negligence, poverty, ignorance, diseases, exploitation and lack of basic care. The deleterious impact of these factors on children's development make any looming hope seem unattainable. With their effects multiplying each time, these misfortunes are transmitted from one generation to the next as if they are an irreversible, congenital part of normal life.

Infant and child mortality rates are one of the highest in the world, mounting to figures as high as 125 and 211 per 1000 live births respectively. Preventable infectious diseases constitute one of the main immediate causes of death among infants and children in this country. Diarrheal diseases, respiratory infections and malaria together account for more than half of these cases. Very low level of immunization- about 30%- which is far from being sufficient to prevent many health complications arising as a result of communicable diseases, seems to be an underlying factor behind many health misfortunes surrounding Somaliland children. Recurrent droughts and failed rainy seasons lead to severe food shortages, which negatively contribute to poor nutritional status in many parts of the country, especially in rural areas, where chronic malnutrition among infants and children is widely prevalent. A large proportion of children in this part of the world do not get the psychosocial and physical services needed for effective child development. As a consequence, many live in a state that is adversely affecting their emotional well-being rather than nurturing it.

Despite the fact that the international community announced its commitment and reaffirmation that primary education would be a universal phenomena in the short-term future, the situation in the ground in Somaliland does not show any indications in favor of the attainment of that goal in the foreseeable outlook. Reality dictates that the majority of children born and bred here are denied their legitimate right to basic education, let alone the rest of the educational ladder. A child who is obliged to grow up in such a situation is for no reason forced to face the sorrow and bitterness of dark future and is amenable to all forms of social and psychological predators, in addition to being devoid of all the good that go with education. Instead of blossoming like a flower, he wilts.

Different parts of the community suffer these devastating situations in a disproportionate manner. Gender disparity in all aspects of children's lives is widening, a fact that is in drastic contrast with the international communities' ambition to eliminate all forms of gender inequality in a decade's time. Disabled children, with special needs and care, have to sustain these pains and hardships exacerbated by their physical and mental scars. Children with some form of mental or physical retardations have no place in my society, both at family and community levels and they are treated as physical objects rather than human beings who have rights and deserve respect, and above all, who can positively contribute to their society.

We - the adults, educators, officials and all concerned citizens- have a duty towards these children. It is our collective and patriotic responsibility to ensure that the needs of young children in Somaliland are well understood and addressed. If our cultural heritage and values are to survive, we must sow and nurture the seeds of the future.


EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMME

By: Ahmed Isse Jama (Gade), Regional Education Inspector

Teaching - Practice, In Primary Schools

Preparing To Teach

How to fit a scheme-of-work plan into a format

Break down the topic into subtopics or themes. For example: if you are going to teach first aid as a topic, you may break up the topic into: (a) burns (b) minor cuts and grazes (c) cramps (muscle pull), (d) sprains and bruises, (e) bleeding; (f) fainting; and (g) fractures.

Arrange the subtopics in the order in which they are going to be taught with an estimation of the time to be spent on each topic. In some subjects like mathematics, languages and history the order sequence of events will probably have to be followed. In teaching fractions in mathematics you will teach addition of fractions with a common denominator before you teach addition of fractions with uncommon denominators.

Multiply the number of weeks by the number of subject periods per week. For example, if you are preparing a scheme for mathematics for four weeks and your are going to teach five periods per week, then you have to plan for twenty periods.

Now fit the subtopics into the lesson periods. Make adjustments where necessary. For example, if you find that you have periods left over, you may consider increasing what will be taught in certain subtopics. Make a penciled copy of your scheme on a double-page spread of an exercise book allowing wider columns where more information will need to be written in the format.

Discuss your scheme with your tutor before you finally write it neatly in your scheme-of-work book. It is very important that your tutor discusses the scheme with you and that the necessary adjustments are made. Sometimes the tutor will require you to start a scheme all over again if there are major shortcomings in it. You should treat the advice of your tutor positively if you want to be a good teacher.

An in-service student teacher may seek guidance concerning his or her schemes of work from either the head teacher or any other qualified teacher in his or her school. Primary school inspectors should be prepared to give in-service student teachers as much guidance as they can, if they are approached.

[To be continued.]


The Sovereignty Of Somaliland And Its Role In The Conflict Resolution Of The Region

Farhiya Ali Ahmed, Johannesburg, South Africa

This paper was presented by Farhiya Ali Ahmed, who lives in South Africa at a seminar organized by the "Africa Institute of South Africa" last May in Pretoria on Somaliland And Somalia: Introduction

Over the past 13 years, Somalia has become known more for its problems of conflict and instability than anything else. 13 years of anarchy, with several feuding warlords in charge of what is left of the country, has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people, the total absence of law and order, the destruction of the country's infrastructure and the general collapse of governing institutions as well as of the economy that was already on an external aid life-support system for years. The world witnessed Somalia descent into a morass of instability and a conflict that would continue a decade later.

States, organizations and institutions around the world have intervened in the Somali conflict since its implosion in 1991 in the hope of resolving it. There have been more than a dozen attempts by the international community to resuscitate a national Somali government since then. Millions of dollars have been spent on peace talks and conferences. Yet to date, Somalia remains without a recognized and functional central government _ it is currently the only country in the world without a central government _ and the killings still continue just as the peace talks continue. An obvious question that comes to mind is: why? Why hasn't a peaceful solution to the Somali crisis been reached yet? Despite good intentions, outside intervention has done little to help the situation, and has at times even made things worse. The failures of these initiatives to restore peace and a central government to Somalia, points to defects in such initiatives and begs the questions: where do such initiatives go wrong, and in what other alternative ways can peace and good governance be restored to Somalia?

In answering these questions, this paper offers a daring assertion and challenge: it proposes that a lack of understanding on the part of the international community of the true nature of the conflict, its various dimensions and dynamics, as well as of the actors in the region, has thus far made the task of conflict resolution an impossible mission to accomplish. The international community has been deluded into seeing the conflict for what it is not, and for this reason, resolving the conflict has thus far eluded them. In supporting this position, four factors are significant and need to be taken note of:

1) Because of certain cultural and traditional practices and beliefs, only Somalis can resolve the Somali conflict;

2) Contrary to popular perception, the Somali conflict is no longer ethnic based and solutions sought out under such perceptions can bear no fruit;

3) The conflict has become a profitable project for some influential and powerful actors, there is more to gain, materialistically, from the conflict and the ensuing peace processes than its resolution; and

4) Somali conflict resolution on foreign soil with only warlords and former military officers, who are not representative of the larger Somali populace, is not possible.

Based on this premise, and with these factors in mind, this paper offers a new and different view of the nature of the Somali conflict, and thus its resolution. The focus is on the unrecognizedSomaliland and the possible role an internationally recognized Somaliland could play in resolving the Somali conflict. In any consideration of the Somaliland experience, an analysis of its claims to statehood and the international community's reluctance to recognize it is important, and as such Somaliland's case for independence will also be presented here.

Somalia-Somaliland* Riddle

Somalia has been described as "the very definition of. a failed state." Ironically, the last time Somalia possessed anything resembling a `normal' government, was under dictator Siad Barre who was driven out of the country by a national rebellion in 1991. Since then political power fell into the hands of feuding warlords who each deploy their private armies to battle for power. Militias of rival warlords often clash in cities and kill civilians in large numbers. In Mogadishu alone, United Nations officials say the city of one million has about 60,000 militiamen.

After Barre's fall in 1991, the Capital City of Mogadishu was polarized along clan lines and was in a in bloodbath that resulted in the killings of 14 000 people and wounding three times that number in that year alone. Somalia collapsed into chaos and central governing institutions fell. Law enforcement, tax collection, banks, ministries and social services all collapsed.

By comparison, in the northwestern city of Hargeisa, a phenomenon that international observers and Somali studies experts labeled "a breakaway northern province with a functioning government" was in progress. After Barre's fall in January 1991, as the struggle for power in southern Somalia deteriorated into a civil war, the rebels of Somali National Movement (SNM), consisting of the clans of the north, abandoned hopes that an acceptable government could be established in Mogadishu. The SNM withdrew its forces from the south and convened a peace conference of the northern clans in the city of Burao in April. On 18 May 1991, the delegates at the conference made up of traditional and political leaders representative of all the northern clans, announced the restoration of Somaliland's sovereignty as an independent state and the dissolution of the 1960 union with southern Somalia.

Since 18 May 1991, the self-declared Somaliland has not only succeeded in maintaining a functional government but has also succeeded in maintaining a degree of peace, stability and democratic values unknown of in other parts Somalia. Despite this however, Somaliland remains unrecognized by the international community as a sovereign state.

Somaliland has neither exchanged ambassadors with any other government nor has been admitted to any major intergovernmental organization. Instead, the Transitional National Government (TNG), whose mandate expired in August 2003 and whose control only ever extended to a few blocks in Mogadishu even at the height of its popularity, holds the Somali seat at the United Nations, the Arab League, Organization of Islamic Conference and African Union. International Relations experts, politicians, writers, academicians and the like are beginning to acknowledge the need for the international community to stop turning a blind eye to Somaliland and pretending that Somalia has a government that rules over the entire Somali territory. With southern Somalia still in the hands of the feuding warlords, Somali studies experts and scholars note the necessity of Somaliland's recognition in resolving the Somali conflict. Professor I. Lewis guru of Somali studies, notes that "for the moment.despite the reluctance to recognize Somaliland officially, this might actually be for some time the only viable Somali state on offer. It might accordingly prove necessary to recognize that, in this as in so many other case, half a loaf is better than none." In the same tune, Kenyan scholar Professor Ali Mazrui holds that Somaliland should be allowed to go its way "for it has resources to sustain itself, [and because] the situation in Somalia is a culture of rules without rulers, a stateless society [whereas in Somaliland] there is order there, [and] they have the potential to survive." Mazrui regards allowing Somaliland its independence to be a worthwhile move that could eventually result in a pan-Somali reintegration.

Somaliland's Case for Independence

In their demands for international recognition as a sovereign entity, Somaliland governments have often chosen to argue their case on legal and political grounds. Somaliland president Dahir Rayale Kahin often emphasizes that "Somaliland's existence as an independent state is both a historical fact and today's reality." Like wise Somaliland's late president Mohamed Haji Ibrahim Egal often highlighted the country's success in establishing good governance, consolidating peace and stability and persevering in social and economic developments despite the country isolation from the world community and the absence of foreign aid.

Significant factors often raised, not only by Somaliland's governments and leaders but in academics circles as well, are the historical fact of Somaliland's existence as an independent state prior to unification with south Somalia, the legality of the 1960 union, the political atmosphere during Barre's regime, and Somaliland's political achievements after Barre's fall. Somaliland's early existence as an independent state Somaliland was established as a British Protectorate in 1884 after the British government concluded a series of treaties with the other imperial powers. It's existence as a geopolitical entity was only temporarily disrupted twice between 1941 and 1948. First by an Italian conquest which resulted in Somaliland being briefly incorporation into the Italian East Africa Empire. Then came the British reconquest, and union of all the Somali territories except French Somaliland, a union in line with the British government's Bevin Plan aimed at uniting all Somali territories under a single flag. When the Bevin Plan failed, British Somaliland was restored to its prior status as a separate independent entity by November 1948, and it remained as such until independence in 1960.

Somaliland's history of colonization and decolonization cannot be looked at separately from that of the other Somali territories. Especially since the aspiration of most Somalis, at the time, was a unification of all five Somali territories under a single flag

Somalia and Somaliland: A historical background

Pre-independent Somalia was the only country in Africa that was divided into five regions each with a separate power ruling or colonizing it. The northern part of the country _ the part that is now Somaliland _ was a British protectorate. What is today known as Djibouti was under the French power while southern Somalia was an Italian colony. Somali NFD (Northern Frontier District) fell under Kenya, and the Ogaden region became part of Ethiopia.

The first of these territories to gain independence was British Somaliland. On the 26th of June 1960 Somaliland became fully independent from Great Britain. Five days later, on 1 July, Somalia followed suit, and the union of Somaliland and Somalia as the Somali Republic was declared on the same day. The intention was to pave the way for the unification of all the five Somali territories.

Dreams of `Greater Somalia' Fail

A vision of a "Greater Somalia" that would include all the Somali territories and unite them under a single flag was the driving force behind the Somaliland-Somalia union. This dream was not to be. The Northern Frontier District (NFD) was lost to Kenya in 1963 after Kenya obtained its independence from Britain. In 1977, the French territory voted in a referendum and opted not to join Somalia, and thus gained independence as Djibouti. Just a year later the final bow was dealt to the dream of a Greater Somalia. In 1978, Ethiopian and Cuban forces defeated the Somali army and Ethiopia acquired and retained control of the Ogaden region. With these developments, any hope of a Greater Somalia that would include the five Somali territories symbolized by the star (with 5 connected corners) on the new flag, were now crashed. The dream of a unifiedSomalia was now a marriage between Somaliland and Somalia only.

The Legality of the Somali Unity

The union of British Somaliland and Italian Somaliland had immediate and profound effects on the politics of the new country and laid the foundation for the future relations of the two territories. On 27 June 1960, the Somaliland legislature passed the Union of Somaliland and Somalia Law. The authorized representative of southern Somalia did not signed this treaty, it therefore remained without force in the south.

The Union of Somaliland and Somalia Law was repealed by the new National Assembly, but "since Mogadishu-based National Assembly did not yet have jurisdiction in the Somaliland, the act of repealing was not effective in both parts of the new Somali Republic." The view that the act of repealing was null and void was supported by the acquittal of a group of Somalilander officers tried for treason before the Mogadishu Supreme Court. It is stated that the British judge presiding over the case acquitted the officers of the charges "on the grounds that there was no Act of Union between the North and South, the alleged offence having taken place in the North."

Meanwhile, the legislature of Somalia approved its own document, the Atto di Unione (Act of Union) on July 1st. This time around, Somaliland failed to sign this document. Despite the fact that neither document was signed by both territories, the marriage between Somaliland and Somalia was declared and the new Somali Republic was thus pronounced _ without a valid Act of Union having been enacted. A proposed unitary Constitution met the same fate as the previous documents. It received a negative reception in the north.

Somaliland's political leaders campaigned against the constitution and called for its boycott. Results of the referendum on the Constitution reveal the extent to which the Constitution was rejected. Voter turnout was low and over half of those who voted rejected the unitary constitution. Of the "slightly more than 100,000 ballots cast in Somaliland, 53% voted "no"." In addition, irregularities in the poll in the southern region were also reported. Aside from the recognition by other states of the existence of the Somali Republic, argue the Somaliland government, "the de facto union between Somaliland and Somalia fell short of the legal requirements mandated by domestic and international law."

A Repressive Regime and A Rebellion

By 1981, dissatisfaction in the north with the Somali government was quite evident and widespread. "Although Barre's rule was becoming universally unpopular, discontent was felt most keenly among people of the former Somaliland, where [there was] economic neglect and deprivation (less than 7% of all development assistance was allocated to the region), stringent controls on trade, increasing centralization of administrative functions in Mogadishu, and the growing brutality of the Barre regime. As the wealthiest and most politically influential group in the north, the Isaq were singled out for especially unpleasant treatment."

This deprivation of political, commercial and basic human rights to Somalilanders gave way to rebellion under the banner of the Somali National Movement (SNM). The response of the Somali government to the resistance by the SNM was the documented by Africa Watch, the human rights organization:

The government exploited the emergence of the SNM to justify indiscriminate violence against individuals and groups that criticized government policies and leadership, or merely because of clan affiliation. [.] Both the urban population and nomads living in the country side have been subjected to summary killings, arbitrary arrest, detention in squalid conditions, torture, rape, crippling constraints on freedom of movement and _expression, and a pattern of psychological intimidation. [.] Whenever the SNM launched an attack [.] that area was subject to harsh reprisals, including summary execution, the burning of villages, the destruction of reservoirs, he indiscriminate planting of landmines and the killing and confiscation of livestock, the lifeline of the nomads.

By 1988, a full-scale civil war had erupted. The SNM had briefly taken control of Hargeisa and Burao, and the government responded by bombing and shelling major towns in the north. "This included flattening the Somaliland capital of Hargeisa, using a combination of artillery, South African mercenaries and bomber aircraft." The bombardment of civilian targets resulted in the killings of an estimated 50,000 - 60,000 people. "On the outskirts of the capital there are a number of UN-acknowledged mass graves as testimony to southern brutality." Though the SNM became victorious in February 1991, by then 100,000 people of the region have been estimated to have died and over 500,000 systematically driven from their homes.21

Second Declaration of Independence

The expulsion of Siad Barre from Mogadishu and the failure of the feuding factional leaders in the south to come to some kind of peaceful agreement on governing Somalia meant a new lease on life for the territory of Somaliland. Somalia's civil war became full-blown, a fight for power ensued and civilian casualty and anarchy became order of the day. Meanwhile in the north, the SNM rebels had withdrawn from their forces from the south and embarked on establishing a government in the north. A Peace Conference of the northern clans was convened in April 1991 at Burao. On 18 May 1991 the dissolution of the 1960 union, and the restoration of Somaliland as a sovereign state were declared.

This second declaration of independence was not welcomed by the international community that still chooses to ignore the existence of Somaliland, and clings to the illusion the unity of Somalia. International reluctance to acknowledge Somaliland as a sovereign entity can be attributed to the international system's prioritization of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states over the principle of self-determination. As such, maintaining a united Somalia that includes Somaliland is given preference to giving recognition to Somaliland.

Advocates of Somaliland's international recognition, argue that "recognizing Somaliland would be a strong signal to the rest of Africa that performance matters and that sovereignty granted in the 1960s will not be an excuse to fail forever." The Somaliland government is on the other hand also quick to point out that Somaliland's recognized statehood is not a defiance of the respect for the notions of sovereignty and territorial integrity since "Somaliland's declaration of independence is predicated upon the territory's prior existence as a recognized, independent state."

To Recognize or Not To Recognize

Jeffrey Herbst of Princeton University notes that order is supposed to be the defining characteristic of a state. If indeed this were the case, Somaliland's claims to sovereignty would not be contested at all. Since its second declaration of independence in 1991, Somaliland has gradually restored peace and order to its land, and steadily developed its own political, administrative and economic institutions and arrangements.

The Somaliland government's adoption of democratic value and practices is undeniable. The government carried out an in May 2001, an internationally observed referendum in which 97.9% of Somalilanders endorsed a new constitution and confirmed their wish to remain apart from the rest of Somalia. The world also witnessed Somaliland's internationally monitored municipal elections in 2002 and presidential elections in 2003.

While Somaliland's accomplishments are admirable, in determining its eligibility for international recognition, international law lays down certain requirements that a country needs to comply with before statehood is proclaimed. The basic requirements established in international law are:

- Permanent Population
- Defined Territory
- A stable government
- Capacity to enter into relations with other states

Permanent Population

In fulfillment of the first requirement of a permanent population, Somaliland has a population of approximately three and a half million people, including the refugees that have been returning since the process of rebuilding the country began. These people comprise of the clans that have inhabited the territory prior to and during the time the territory was a British Protectorate, as well as during the Barre regime and after. Since 1991, Somaliland however can no longer be said to comprise or be dominated by a single ethnic group.

A Defined Territory

Geographically, Somaliland covers an area of 137,600 square kilometers and comprises of the territory of the former British Somaliland Protectorate. It shares a western border with Djibouti and its southern border with Ethiopia. Treaties establishing Somaliland's boundaries the Anglo-French Treaty of 1888, The Anglo-Italian Protocol of 1894, and The Anglo-Ethiopian Treaty of 1897. The border demarcations under these treaties are established in international law.

A Stable System of Government

Some factors worth mentioning in fulfillment of the third requirement of a stable system of government are: the adoption of a democratic constitution in 2001, successful local elections in 2002, credible presidential elections in 2003,, the two peaceful changes of government in 1993 and 1996, and finally the peaceful transfer of power to then Vice President Dahir Rayale upon the death of President Mohammed Egal in May 2002 within hours of confirmation of his death.

Capacity to enter into Relations with other State

Somaliland's capacity to enter into relations with other states is quite limited but nonetheless existent. Somaliland has signed agreements of co-operation with Ethiopia and Djibouti, and maintains representation in various foreign countries. The Ethiopian government has established a trade liaison office in Hargeisa and hosts a Somaliland liaison office in Addis Ababa. The two governments also co-operate on security matters.

Relations between Somaliland and other African states also seem promising. Senegal unexpectedly invited the Somaliland President and a delegation of ministers to Dakar in 2003. South Africa sent an observer team to monitor the 2001 Somaliland referendum, and in May 2003 Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Zuma hosted the Somaliland Foreign Affairs Minister. How far these states will go in advancing Somaliland's case for independence still remains to be seen however. Additional requirements that Somaliland has been called upon to comply with in its quest for statehood are: conformity with the Charter of the African Union, public support for independence, and economic viability.

On the issue of conformity with the Charter of the African Union, an argument presented by the Somaliland government is that its declaration of independence is predicated upon its prior existence as a recognized state. Declaring independence, goes the argument, is consistent with Article 4.b of the Constitutive Act of the African Union which affirms the AU's "respect of borders existing on achievement of independence", and as such Somaliland's declaration of independence is in conformity with the Charter of the AU. Supporters of this argument also evoke the precedents set by the precursor to the African Union, the Organization of African Unity (OAU), in permitting states such as Egypt, Gambia, and Senegal to retrieve their sovereignty following an unsuccessful union.

Despite the international community's reservation, the extent of national public support for Somaliland's independence became evident after the referendum carried out by the Somaliland government on 31 May 2001. In a process described by international observers as "open.fair.honest.and largely in accordance with internationally recognized election procedures," of the 1.18 million ballots cast, 1.15 million (97.9%) approved the new Constitution, Article 1 of which affirms the 1991 decision to withdraw from the 1960 union with Somalia. For many, the referendum represented a vote on Somaliland's status, i.e. to unite or to stay apart from Somalia.

Lack of international recognition places restrictions and limitations on a country's economic development and advancement. Restrictions on trade places a strain on the economy and people's livelihoods, and the absence of banking and insurance services deprives the country of basic financial services and hinders both domestic and foreign investment. The Somaliland government is not blind to these facts and acknowledges that "with access to bilateral and multilateral aid, much more could have been achieved, much faster, and a sound policy for long-term economic and social development could be put in place." Despite these shortcomings, economic development has not been stagnant.

The Somaliland government often voices it pride at its self-reliance and its economic achievements in the absence of foreign aid. Its economy is predominantly pastoral, and livestock exports represent the country's single most important source of revenue with a value of approximately US$170 million each year. The fishing industry which is supported by a 850-kilometer coastline also represents a major export item. In addition, deposits of gemstones, minerals, natural gas and oil have been identified but are not currently under exploitation. And though there's still no reliable figures on it, remittances from the Somaliland diaspora which have been roughly estimated in the range of $150-200 million annually, account for a significant amount of foreign earnings.

In addition to these tangible features of statehood: a permanent population, a defined territory, a functioning stable government, relations with other states (limited) _Somaliland also possesses abstract features that one associates with a state such as a national flag, a national anthem, a coat of arms, a currency and vehicle license plate.

[To be continued..]


Source: UN News Service, 29 Jun 2004

Cereal shortfall looms over Somalia as drought cuts crops, UN warns

With the prolonged Horn of Africa drought reducing Somalia's crops, the United Nations is warning that the country's cereal shortfall could reach 70,000 tons.

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) says only about 20 per cent of the areas in the northeast have reportedly had enough rainfall during April and May. In certain areas, "destitution is on the rise and weak animals continue to die," the agency said.

Rains in northern Somalia have been inadequate for four years in a row.

WFP plans to issue an appeal shortly for funds to deal with the unfolding hardships in Somalia due to the ongoing drought. The agency expects that at least 20,000 extra tons of food relief will be needed to assist the victims.

The northern pastoral areas have been affected by the absence of rain, while many agricultural areas of southern Somalia have reported total or near-total crop failure, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.


Source: UN Children's Fund. Date: 28 Jun 2004

Global Fund grants Somalia US$8.9m to fight malaria

NAIROBI, 28 June 2004 - The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) has given a grant of nearly US$8.9 million to Somalia to prevent and control malaria, one of the main killers of children in the country.

Speaking about the grant in Nairobi today, Andrea Berloffa, Chairperson of the Health Sector Committee of the Somalia Aid Coordination Body (SACB) said the funds were crucial in Somalia's fight against malaria and will be utilized over a two-year period. Approximately 4.6 million people, among them 966,000 children under the age of five and 230,000 pregnant women, will benefit.

''This grant will help reduce death and illness of children and women in the country. For a country that has been devastated by conflict, flood and drought, and with very little internal infrastructure, this kind of support will significantly accelerate prevention and control efforts,'' Berloffa said.

The grant follows a successful application to the Global Fund by SACB, which comprises donor governments, UN agencies, NGOs and inter-governmental organisations working inside Somalia.

UNICEF Representative to Somalia Jesper Morch said the grant will be used to strengthen malaria control programmes in Somalia, help reduce the burden of disease and contribute to poverty reduction. "The net effect is that we will also have assisted to build and support health systems in the country,'' he said.

The grant will cover the procurement and distribution of subsidised insecticide treated nets (ITNs); the development of relevant policies and guidelines for health workers; and the strengthening of diagnostic laboratory systems. The grant will also scale up access to preventive treatment at antenatal clinics and ensure availability of anti-malarial drugs in 520 public health facilities by 2005-2006.

Approximately 3120 health personnel will be trained in malaria case management and in use of the guidelines that will be developed.

''Accessibility to prompt and effective treatment is crucial in saving lives, hence the need for training and developing the treatment guidelines." said Morch, "This grant will make high quality drugs and high quality treatment available to millions of people throughout Somalia and will complement funding already received by agencies through other donor groups.''

UNICEF, the Principle Recipient of the grant, will implement the grant in close collaboration with the SACB Health Sector Committee, and with sub-recipients of the grant - including the World Health Organisation, Comitato Internazionale Per I Sviluppo Dei Populi (CISP), International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)/Somalia Red Crescent Society (SRCS), Africa Action Hilfe (AAH), Merlin, World Vision International, Coordinating Committee of the Organization for Voluntary Service (COSV) and Norwegian Peoples Aid (NPA). Interventions will be done in partnership with local health authorities, international and national/local NGOs and Community Based Organisations which are already implementing malaria-related activities throughout Somalia.

Malaria is one of the major health concerns in Somalia. In Central and Southern Somalia, malaria is estimated to account for approximately 12 percent of all illnesses among children under-five years of age. The problem is highest along the rivers and settlements with artificial water reservoirs where there is all-year-round transmission. About 80 percent of malaria cases in Somalia occur in the Shabelle and Juba River basins. Outside of the malaria endemic areas, it is estimated that 87 percent of Somalis are at risk of being exposed to malaria epidemics.

For further information, contact: Andrea Berloffa, Chair, Health Sector Committee, SACB. Tel: +254-20-374-9746/375-3166/3750-066. Fax: +254-20-375-3177

Emanuele Capobianco, Health Officer, UNICEF Somalia. Tel: Tel: +254-20-623-950. Email: ecapobianco@unicef.org


BBC Worldwide Monitoring, June 27, 2004/Radio Shabeelle, Mogadishu in Somali 0500 gmt 27 Jun 04

Somaliland political parties seek cooperation with African organizations

Some political parties in the self-proclaimed Somaliland have started efforts to seek cooperation with regional African organizations, like IGAD Inter Governmental Authority and Development and others.

Faysal Ali Warabe, the leader of UCID opposition Justice and Welfare Party political party, told Shabeelle that talks were going on between Somaliland and the international community including several African nations to make sure that Somaliland becomes a member of regional organizations in Africa. He said that Somaliland would soon be a member of several organizations in Africa.

This statement comes few days after Warabe returned home from Kampala, Uganda, where he met with IGAD officials and discussed the possibility of Somaliland becoming a member of IGAD.

Warabe I can really say that my trip to Uganda was successful, many things have been solved. Whenever you meet with people and they accept to hear your proposal that is a victory. The process is still going on and we hope to be present soon in meetings of IGAD and the Commonwealth.

Somaliland proclaimed to be an independent republic from Somalia in 1991 soon after the toppling of the former Somali dictator, Gen Muhammad Siyad Barre, but since that time it has not obtained any international recognition.


Jamhuuriya .info, June 27, 2004/The Republic Weekly News In English

Traditional Leaders warn government and people against Nairobi conference constitution and UN Diplomatic Intrigue

Hargeisa(The Rep)- 25 Members of the highest Traditional Leaders Council in a signed declaration warned the people of the dangerous of the Nairobi conference, the division of the people of Somaliland by some IGAD member state, the diplomat intrigue of the representative of the secretary General of the United Nations and the constitution passed at the Nairobi conference.

The traditional leaders in the most strongly worded declaration to IGAD member states, the international community supporting the conference, other regional and international organizations that the constitutional passed at the Nairobi conference violates the existence of Somalia, by claiming its borders and territory.

The traditional leaders accused some IGAD states of trying to destroy the unity of Somaliland by interfering in its internal politics and inviting traditional leaders, politicians, intellectuals and members of the civil society to take part in the conference.

The traditional referred to this as playing a double standard.

The 25 members of the highest traditional leaders council described the recent statement by Tubman, representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations as a diplomatic intrigue aimed to force Somaliland negotiate, in a later stage as ordinary citizen of the government formed in Nairobi, recognized by the international community and who has complete jurisdiction over the whole territory of Somaliland.

The traditional leaders appealed to the international community to stop supporting war criminals, whether taking part in the Nairobi conference or not, for their crimes against humanity and bring them to justice.

They reminded IGAD member states, the International Community and Somalia that Somaliland will not negotiate with Somalia, unless the existence of Somaliland and Somalia as the 2 separate entities that they were in 1960 is accepted by all of them.

The traditional leaders urged IGAD states and all interested in the Nairobi conference to remove everything that refers to Somaliland, including in its internal affairs and brings to their attention that if internationally recognized borders are discarded and borders are based on clan territory that it will have negative consequence on NFD (Kenya) Djibouti, and Ethiopia.

They called on the government and people of Somaliland to be fully aware of the dangers of the Nairobi conference, its constitution and the negative consequence of the result of the conference.


Jamhuuriya .info, June 27, 2004

Local Press Meet killers of humanitarian organization members in prison

Hargeisa(Rep.) Local journalists were allowed to visit the 5 culprits who killed MS. Flora Cheriyoti (Kenyan) and wounded Harold Helkin (Germany) at SHA'ABLEY on the Hargeisa-Berbera road on March 19/04, and were arrested on the same day at DOQOSHEI village 110 km South of the second main city of Burao.

The journalists who are the first independent people to visit the culprits in the central prison of Hargeisa, were restricted.to ask the journalists their personal history and background only and take pictures as well. The Minister of Interior who gave the permit for the visit did not give international journalists permission.

The leader of the 5 culprits Jama Kutiye (40) from the Dhulbahane clan of Sool region (east Somaliland) was a very serious person, with bald head and many scars on his face refused to talk to the press but said, "If you are cutting my body to pieces, I swear in the name of God that I will not even give you my name."

Jama Abdillahi Kutiye (40) alias Jama Ali Ismail was a commando and one of the bodyguards of Ahmed Soleiman Dafle (Head of the National Security and member of the Supreme Revolutionary Council led by the late dictator Mohamed Siad Barre) was a graduate from the military Academy of Jalle Siad in Mogadisho.

Looking at the guards he said, "I am not going to speak to these wolves (journalists). Why are you keeping me here, take me away". When one of the journalists laughed at this he said, "If I were not in prison and have met you in a deserted place, you would not have laughed".

Ferhan Abdille Mohamoud, (21) born in Mogadishu, who is known as Ferhan Moryan (a name by which gunmen are known in Mogadishu) told the press that he was a student in a Islamic school DARAL-ULUM before he was convinced to join the armed bandits (moryan) by Ali Ganei, who is also with him in prison.

In answer to why he came to Somaliland he said, "I was in Somaliland for 4 days only when I was arrested, I was told by my friends that security is not tight and that it is very simple to steal cars, money or jewellery. I wanted to save the income from this to immigrate. But unfortunately, I was arrested on my first mission and I am here."

Ali Mohamed Awale, (32), born in GELLINSOR, Central Somalia told the journalists that he had never entered school. He said, "In 1996, I joined an armed group who killed and robbed people in Mogadishu, I was wounded few times in different operations. The biggest robbery I took part was when my group robbed $3,000 from a telephone company in Mogadishu. I know that I wounded many people, but I am not sure if I killed anyone".

Answering why he came to Somaliland he said, "A friend who visited Hargeisa told me that women drive luxury cars, with out any armed escort. I thought that was an easy prey. Unfortunately I was arrested and you can imagine a person denied his freedom of movement".

Ali Muse Mohamed (20), alias "Ali Ganei" born in Mogadishu. Looked more experienced, serious and older than Awale and Ferhan and was also from the Hawiye clan.

He said, "I was a gunner in a technical. I took part in many armed conflicts and I robbed people. I was one of the armed men who highjacked a WFP Land Cruiser in Hargeisa, in 2002 but had to leave it in the rural area south of the city, due to mechanical failure".

Ali Ganei said, "I was tricked by Jama Kutiye, who told me that operations were simple to carry in Somaliland. We carried few operations together in Mogadishu. We don't know what my future will be and I am worried".

Da'ud Salah Idle (25) from Sanag region in Somaliland belonging to Sa'ad Yonis (sub clan of Isaq) used to be a driver working for ALHARAMEIN, an Islamic Humanitarian organization for the care of Orphans said, "It was ordained by God that brought us together. I have never done this sort of thing. I understand what I did now. We have bought the operation car with $7,500".

Somaliland have accused the 5 culprits as terrorists organized from Mogadishu to destabilize the country, by killing humanitarian workers. No definite date has been given as to when they will be to court although investigation has been going on far 3 months.


Source: Jamhuuriya .info, June 27, 2004

The two opposition political parties welcomed the new UN position that excludes Somaliland from the Mbghati (Kenya) reconciliation conference.

Hargeisa(Rep.) The two opposition political parties ( KULMIYE and Justice and Welfare Party ) in a joint press conference held here on Monday welcomed the new UN position, which excludes Somaliland from the Mbghati (Kenya) reconciliation conference.

"The 2 parties strongly support the new position of the UN, which was announced by Tubman, UN Secretary General envoy for Somaliland/Somalia as 2 entities, and that the Mbgathi conference is to form a government for Somalia only, and that the 2 entities will have dialogue after a government is established for Somalia," they said in their joint conference.

The two parties requested IGAD member states and countries involved and interested in Somali affairs that Somaliland's sovereignty is not negotiable and as such avoid mixing it with solving Somalia's problems.

"The people of Somaliland urge the people in Somalia to solve their problems peacefully, form an administration based on justice and help the people forget the sufferings of 14 years without government," they added.

"We urge the factions in Somalia to put aside their political differences, forget personal interest and ambition, be concerned for the welfare of the people, lead the people of Somalia to peace and completely forget about Somaliland and wasting their time in an issue that does not them," the two parties emphasized.

Reiterating their position that the sovereignty of Somaliland as a separate state is not negotiable, the two parties urged International and Regional organizations saying, "We warn these organizations not to try to introduce or impose any decision from outside, on Somaliland, for it will have negative consequences on the region".

Faisal Ali Warabe Chairman of Justice and Welfare Party told the press that they held the joint conference for IGAD member states are meeting today (Monday, 21st June) in Nairobi and wanted to remind them of their position.

Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo, chairman of KULMIYE party said, "The process for solving Somalia's problems is still underway. Our position on the conferences for factions in Somalia has been clear from the beginning. This is to remind the organizers, that our policy has not changed".

In answer to the formation of a federal government as suggested by the Secretary General of the UN, Kofi Anan Feisal Ali Warabe answered, "This is his view and can not be enforced on anyone. If a government with at least 80% of Somalia is formed at Mbgathi, we will meet as 2 separate entities and then discuss whether we will be two separate states, reunite or form a federal government".

The third political party UDUB, which is the party of the government did not attend the conference, nor was part of the joint decision of the opposition.


Source: Jamhuuriya .info, June 27, 2004

Interior Minister unveils planned terrorist attacks

Hargeisa(Rep.) Somaliland Minister of Interior Ismail Aden Osman in a press conference held here this week said, "The security forces have carried the largest police operation in Hargeisa after 5 people were arrested, in the city of Burao and surrounding areas on Thursday last week".

> Elaborating this he said, "The security forces have seized 21 mines (for destroying buildings), a telescope and compass with direct satellite link in the possession of one of the arrested men. The young man is an Ethiopian citizen from zone-5 Somali territory, while the other 4 are from Somalia".

" No one was arrested in the operation - in Hargeisa - because the collaborators with the arrested 5 people have left the hotels they were staying in and the country. 12 people are in detention and are being investigated by the police. Those who are innocent will be released and those found to belong to ONLF will be taken to court," he added.

The minister told the press that he couldn't say that they belonged to ONLF (Ogaden Liberation Front) for sure, but is certain that they wanted to commit acts of terror in the country.

He said, "We are fighting against terrorists. We will not hesitate to arrest anyone who has any connection with terrorist group or tried to carry terrorist action in the country regardless of his nationality."

On trade relations between Somaliland and Ethiopia and the recent burning of 5 trucks belonging to Somaliland he said, "trade between the 2 sides is good. ONLF members in Ethiopia burnt the 5 trucks, it is the responsibility of the Ethiopian government to arrest the culprits and take legal action against them. Somaliland is not against the Ogaden people. People from Ogaden enjoy the same rights as citizens. Some of the biggest buildings belong to them. They have the largest share in one of the telephone companies (Telcom) and they even do some of the lowest jobs".

The security operation angered Hotel owners and people who were in the hotels, for all rooms were searched at a late hour. Some of them even described this search without warrant as an act of dictatorial regimes, which reminded them of the days of the late Mohamed Said Barre.


Source: Jamhuuriya .info, June 27, 2004

Burao University

Burao(The Rep)- Veterinary and teachers colleges of Burao University were inaugurated at a special ceremony held here early this week.

Professor Sa'ad Ali Shire one of the founders speaking at the ceremony said, "We planned to open the 2 colleges, when the University of Hargeisa was opened in 1998. it was unfortunate, that we did not succeed earlier".

Speaking about the reasons for establishing the two colleges he said, "We wanted students to get their higher education here, instead of going to Hargeisa, Amoud or Abroad which most can not afford financially. We also wanted to make Burao, the centre for research.

The Mayor of Burao Abdi Ahmed Idle, who spoke at the ceremony said, "This is historical and happy day for people of Burao, a day that opens a new chapter for higher education for the youth of the region".

Dr. Essa Nur one of the organizers for establishing the 2 colleges said, "Short courses on research and management will also be available."

The people of Burao and those in the Diaspora collaborated to establish the 2 colleges.

Regional authorities, businessmen, religious and traditional leaders and representatives of civil societies, attended the inauguration ceremony.


Source: Jamhuuriya .info, June 27, 2004

UCID Party on 26th June 1960

Hargeisa (The Rep) The Justice and Welfare Party (UCID) has issued a press release on the 26th June 1960 last night. The press release undersigned by UCID Party has made some historical points on the unlawful union with what was then called Italian Somalia. The press release mentioned that Somaliland people have sacrificed their sovereignty for the sake of uniting all Somali inhabited territories under one flag, but unfortunately the Southerners exchanged that goodwill with injustice and deception. It mentioned that the southerners took all the key posts of the first government e.g President, Prime Minister, Ministries of foreign and internal Affairs, National Police and Military heads and even the Capital City. Somaliland people were rewarded with only three ministries.

UCID press release has commented that Somaliland society has expressed their grief against these injustices and dishonesty with the rejection of the southern-tailored constitution, the aborted coup in Dec. 1961 and the resignation of Somaliland ministers who intended to annul the mergence with the South without Act of Union. This experience has put an end to the so called Greater Somalia, UCID concluded. At last, UCID encouraged Somaliland society to safeguard their reborn freedom and never look back again.

Sultan Mohamed "Somaliland peace Icon."

By: Gulied Siad Abdi & Khadar Aden Deria. Columbus, Ohio, USA.


Source: Jamhuuriya .info, June 27, 2004

Sultan Mohamed Sultan Farah

The human soul always finds language a weak mode of expressing great love, high admiration and deep veneration, and it naturally shrinks from attempting to put into any form whatever its thoughts on its noblest ideals. He was the living light of a peace fountain, which it is good and pleasant to be remembered in the decades and centuries to come.

Sultan Mohamed Sultan Farah was known for his real commitment to moral and quality leadership.

As one of his close friends described " a stainless, incomparable leader, whose conduct was such that the people whom he represented can take the advantage of his success with pride in the name, as a man of blameless integrity and of spotless character".

Sultan Mohamed sultan Farah was born in the outskirts of Hargeisa in 1915.

At 17, he joined the Somaliland Boy scouts where he was an active member until his father's death in 1943.

At 28, he succeeded his father and became Sultan.

Sultan Mohamed became the first tribal leader to join the SNM armed struggle against the autocratic regime of Somalia in 1983. " I was in a position where decisions were very tough and options were very few" Said by Sultan Mohamed while he reached the Ethiopian city of Harar.

He left no stone unturned to lead the Somaliland grass root to defend their freedom and dignity by defeating the callous.

While anarchy ruled Somaliland, Sultan Mohamed laid down the Somaliland peace foundation stone during the days where the Fahrenheit of instability was very high, when he completely disarmed his militia with out condition and handed all his military arsenal to the late president of Somaliland.

In the late 1994, when Somaliland plunged into a bloody civil war, Sultan Mohamed spared no effort to negotiate the two warring sides and lastly succeeded to lead the Somaliland's eternal peace and stability.

He had the prominence of being Somaliland's longest serving Sultan and perhaps the oldest living Sultan of Somaliland that gave him the esteem and dignity that the Somaliland people owed him.

Sultan Mohamed was one of the founding fathers of Somaliland's history and deserves to be honored for his commitment of Somaliland's well being and existence.

If Somaliland were recognized, he undoubtedly would have been awarded the noble peace prize.

Sultan Mohamed Sultan Farah breathed his last on June 10, 2004 after a prolonged illness and was laid to rest in Uubaale Cemetery.

He was given a state funeral, where Somaliland president, the vice president, the cabinet, the representatives of the two houses, SNM Chairman, the leaders of the three national parties, tribal leaders, intellectuals, businessmen and thousands of Somalilanders, who came from the all sides of the republic, attended the burial.

"He was the oldest and the longest serving Sultan of Somaliland" Said by President Rayaale. "I remember the day when Sultan Mohamed and the late Hassan Ibrahim Carab, Hassan-Waraabe; alighted from an infamous truck at the Raas hotel in Harar in the mid of 1983. That was the day when the struggle got intensified" Said by SNM chairman Hassan Essa Jama.

"Sultan Mohamed was one of the pillars that Somaliland stood on" Said Kulmiye president Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud Silanyo. "Sultan Mohamed was a brave Isaac Sultan who hated Siad Barre's regime" Said Musse Bihi Abdi, former interior minister of Somaliland.

Ours is a better nation because you were our leader, ours is a better world because you served your country both in great leadership and commitment, and ours is a better planet because of the time you spent here with us.

God bless Sultan Mohamed Sultan Farah.


Source: Jamhuuriya .info, June 27, 2004

Good Bye Terrorism

On Monday Somaliland Government allowed the local press to visit in Hargeisa Jail the terrorists who killed the Kenyan woman and seriously wounded the German on 19 March 2004, in Dhubato.

I became so glad and happy, when I heard the news that the local press were allowed to publish photos and names of the terrorists. Really it was an encouraging step to see the names and photos of the 5 terrorists

Abdikasim Salad Hassan, The man linked to terrorists, claimed that the terrorists were Somalilanders. He was not wrong to link these 5 men to Somaliland, because our government preferred to hide their photos and names. But thanks to Interior Minister Ismail Aden Osman, who allowed our press to visit and publish their photos in the papers and the Al-Qaeda Cell (Abdikasim) have seen the truth.

To day the world is engaged in fighting terrorists, and The United States is giving them financial assistance in order to take war against terrorism.

I would like to call on The United States and Britain to support our government on how to fight terrorists, who are disturbing our peaceful and stable country.

Nimco Hassan, Hargeisa.


Source: Jamhuuriya .info, June 27, 2004

Public secondary schools are very close to be shut down

Nasrudin Omar Osman (Yama048@hotmail.com) Hargeisa, Somaliland

Education in our country was getting much better after the civil wars in all the educational stages. Schools were put in-order from elementary to secondary level. The national curriculum was set and that was highly appreciated by anyone.

Every parent believes that their kids have the best opportunity but unfortunately their dreams hadn't been realized. Private schools changed situation as they attracted high quality teachers with high salary. This caused disappointment in every student in public high schools whose parents can't afford to pay the expensive fee for their children. These reasons are largely attributed to the excessive rate of reduction in the number of those who have hoped to learn smoothly up to university level. As an observer, it seems to me this is why most students are frustrated and are not going their schools, regularly.

As a matter of fact it is something to be ashamed off, a secondary student who isn't given even two-consecutive periods. If you try to look closer into the facts that caused the absence in the secondary schools, and ask a student why he is not, going to his school regularly, he may reply "I do not get even three-consecutive periods, so why should I go to." If we look at the other side of the coin, teachers hesitate to teach at public secondary schools because of the reduced salary and mismanagement. These may bring about educational catastrophic consequences in both near and remote future.

In my personal view we shouldn't take it lightly because the situation may be resolved while the problem is small. Certainly not only me, but, every far-sighted person feels what is going on in our public secondary schools. However this merely gives a chance to learn at the private schools, those from rich families since our economy is not good, ordinary people can not afford to pay such amount of money which is up to $30 dollars per month.

Nevertheless, I'd prefer to urge the ministry of education to take very clear and effective step about this situation otherwise the country will face unbelievable educational backwardness and the emergence different classes of education and lifestyles.

In conclusion, I'd suggest for the Ministry of Education as well as every interested person to take the following tips: -

-  Ministry of education should promote all educational systems in the country.

-  It should give out adequate salaries that can cover teachers' various needs

-  It should enlist all qualified teachers and convince them to work regularly for public secondary schools

-  Teachers must be competent and do their national duties.

-  Finally, the ministry should also ask the neighbouring countries and the International community for educational amenities and accessible scholarship to cover up the country's educational needs.

I think that these tips can bring about a rapid change and eligible development. But if the situation remains the same then our public high schools are undeniably derelict.


Editorial: 26 June a day to Remember

"We have paid with our lives and blood for our dream, we have forgiven the international community for turning a blind eye and its silence when our people were massacred and our cities turned into rubbles, but we warn, them of a new blood path - the kind the region had never witnessed - if reunion of any kind is attempted to be imposed on the people of this country" the Somalilander.

44 Years ago on June 26/1960, the former British Protectorate of Somaliland became the first Somali territory to be free from foreign colonization. 1960 was the year of Africa, the year most of African independent states discarded the banner of colonialism and foreign domination.

Somaliland, the first Somali territory to be independent got its freedom, at a time when the Somali people dreamed of the formation of Greater Somalia, under one flag.

This dream blinded the people of Somaliland from the intrigues of the politicians of Somalia (Former Italian colony). Blinded by nationalism and the dream of Greater Somalia, they handed over their freedom and independence in a golden platter, to a country that had not got its independence, but was under the trust ship of the United Nations. A country whose independence was planned at the end of 1960, but was later fixed to be 1st July 1960.

Many European papers, especially those published in the United Kingdom of Britain, were totally shocked and surprised, by what Somaliland did. It's worth remembering what one of these papers "THE DAILY HERALD" wrote on June 29/1960. What it wrote reflects the views published by other papers on that historical week.

"Somaliland, the new Republic in the Horn of Africa, had decided not to join the commonwealth. Somaliland, the eastern gateway to dark Africa, was hardly worth a sniff in the world press, until 3 days ago. Now, it has become an area of historical significance, and the reason is that its merger with Somalia is unique, as Somalia itself is not set free.

"3 Days ago, on Friday, it gained its independence. On Friday - July 1/1960 -it gives it up again."

It did not take the people and the politician leaders of Somaliland to realize that the merger has taken the nation from the frying pan to the fire. As in any merger of states, one of the 2 highest posts - President or prime minister - should have been given to Somaliland, but was not. Instead of being treated by the peers of Somalia on equal terms, Somaliland's leaders were treated as simple representatives from one of the regions of Somalia.

With the exception of the portfolio of defence, even other key ministerial posts were denied to be given to Somaliland.

Due to the unconditional merger, which some historian's might interprets as total surrender; the people in the former Italian colony nicknamed the nationalist Somaliland as (Somali-Qaldan) the misguided.

The first evidence after the merger, which Somalia was still under Italian colony was observed by Ahmed Keysi - The Minister of Agricultural - on his first visit to the banana plantations, in southern Somalia. Italians owned these plantations with the exceptions of one or two. Conditions of the locals in the agricultural regions were not better than that of the SERFS, in the middle ages, in Europe.

The shocked minister Ahmed Keyse on his return to Mogadishu prepared and presented a motion to the cabinet, to free the locals, by nationalizing the plantations and distributing the land to the people.

The few Somaliland members in the cabinet supported him, but the ministers from the Italian colony were flabbergasted. They saw their colleagues from Somaliland as infidels and would have burned them, if they could.

Italians were the untouchable even in the independent Somalia. Ahmed Keyse resigned and left the country for good.

The late President of Somaliland Mohamed Ibrahim Egal resigned from the defence Ministry. The grievance of the people of Somaliland was demonstrated by the elite officers from Sand Hurst (UK) led by the late Hassan Keyd. Their move was premature for many in the army were not aware, of the evil and tragedy that awaited the people of Somaliland.

The 1964 educational integration was the deathblow, on the educational system of Somaliland that was of limited scope, but could have been developed by independent Somaliland.

The rigging of the votes in the constitutional referendum was a sufficient sample, to the kind of administrative shambles; this nation has become a prey. The majority of Somalilanders boycotted the referendum, but what should have gone to "The Guinness Book of wonders" was when a village whose population did not exceed 4,000 was announced that more than 200,000 people voted in that village in Somalia.

The military coup of 1969, took Somalilanders fathers from decision-making bodies and councils. The 1974/5 droughts (DABA-DHER) was a sufficient example of what help Somalilanders expected from their rulers in Mogadishu. Instead of helping people in their territories or moving them to fertile areas in Somaliland, they were transported by air to the deep south.

This was partly a socialist's doctrine, but was also a prelude to replace the people of this country by aliens (from Zone-5 them known as Ogaden) as witnessed in the 1977-8 war of aggrandisement with Ethiopia.

The massacre of the Somaliland born officers in Jig-Jiga, when pulling back from Ethiopia, at the pretext of disobeying orders was a clear proof, that this was the easiest way of getting rid of them and removing them from senior posts in the army, where they were an obstacle, to what the ruling clique had in store for Somaliland and its people.

The burning of historical documents and the ransacking of the few libraries inherited from Britain illustrated, the new Somalia colonialists, Somaliland had become a prey to.

The denial of basic rights, the oppression, the looting and rape by the dictatorial regime, were some of the reasons for the popular uprising of the people, that was led by the SNM armed struggle.

The barbarity of the black colonialists of Somalia and their dictator reached its peak, when the air force and ground artillery that would have protected Somaliland bombarded Hargeisa.

Journalists who visited the city in the early 90's-after independence-described the similarity of Hargeisa's devastation to those of HIROSHIMA and NAGASAKI, which were hit by atomic bombs, in the second war.

What politicians and even some of the warlords (In Somalia now) did was similar to what NERO-THE ROMAN EMPEROR did. The emperor burned Rome, but had 2 drops of tears as consolation. The leaders or in reality the rulers of Mogadishu did not have a single drop to shed for their crimes against humanity, the genocide and mass murders in Somaliland. History and the people of Somaliland will never forgive the international community, especially donors and regional countries for their silence to all the atrocities and crimes committed by those in Somalia.

War criminals and those who committed crimes against the people of Somaliland are free. They should have been hunted as those of Rwanda, Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia. They are even protected, supported and are even given many opportunities to lead again.

The people of Somaliland has only one message to the butchers of Somalia, donor countries, IGAD members states, the international community, the self interested and misguided citizens that more blood than hitherto witnessed in both countries in inevitable if any sort of reunion is enforced on Somaliland.


Source: Jamhuuriya .info, June 27, 2004

Central Bank registers all Somali remittance agents

By Salah Eldin Eltayeb, 25 June 2004

DUBAI - The UAE Central Bank has completed the formal registration of all Somali remittance and clearing houses operating in the UAE to regulate money transactions and remittances flowing to Somalia from here, according to a senior UNDP official.

The UAE Central Bank has been cooperative and supportive to the United Nation Development Programme initiative to ensure that the flow of money to Somalia remains open.

In an exclusive interview with Khaleej Times, Abdulsalam Omer, Programme Manager for Governance and Financial Services of the United Nation Development Programme (UNDP), said: "According to our assessment, the UAE Central Bank has been the world's best financial regulator that treated Somali remittances in a prudent manner that allows fund transfers but through formal channels. Somali financial remittance houses are now operating in accordance with the host country's regulations following the registration processes. The amount remitted via UAE is estimated between 50-70 million yearly."

Asked about the purpose of the UNDP representatives to the UAE, Omer said: "In fact we are here to closely work with the Somali financial houses and the UAE monetary authorities to ensure that these operators and money changers are complying with anti-money laundering laws at global and host country levels."

"Somali financial houses operating in the UAE have given full cooperation to the UAE Central Bank by adopting the new laws on hawala, and also showed interest in UNDP training courses organised to raise awareness and educate the attendees about the documentation they need to do to practice their trade," he said.

"UNDP officials have found that the UAE financial authorities. particularly the Central Bank, and Somali clearing houses are working together to curb money laundering. This has encouraged us to take the initiative to train the staff to comply with the latest regulations," said Omer.

He said:" Remittances are critical in meeting the immense humanitarian needs of the Somali people, therefore it is crucial to urgently resolve the matter to avert a catastrophe. It has been found by the UNDP that more than two million Somalis directly benefit from the remittance services to meet their daily needs which make up about 22.5 per cent of the total income of the Somali people."

The UAE's monetary authorities have been taking a series of strong measures to counter dirty money and they have successfully managed to do so, confirmed Omer. The total amount of remittances from overseas Somalis is between $800 million to $1 billion worldwide out of which around 50-70 million is remitted from UAE.

"The collapse of the central government in Somalia in 1991 has resulted in a lot of chaos in the financial systems of that country. There are no formal regulated financial channels that Somalis overseas can use to remit money to their families," added Omer. "The main objective and the role of the UNDP is to identify the problem and then start addressing them in the right way. I guess we have done a relatively good job, yet there is a long way to go," explained Omer. The UNDP has recently launched its remittance initiative with the publication of'A report on Supporting Systems and Procedures for Effective Regulation and Monitoring of Somali Remittance Companies-Hawala.' Dubai-based Mohammed Djirdeh Houssein, CEO and partner of Sahan Commercial Broker LLC, said: "Our business is now doing better than in the past, thanks to the UAE Central Bank which has shown great understanding of the needs of the people in Somalia. Dubai is a major trade partner of Somalia and that most of the consumer products move from here to Somalia, hence the remittances from overseas help in financing trade." All the clearing houses in UAE have according to the new rules appointed compliance officers to coordinate with the central bank and also organise internal training. Hassan Moalim Omar, chairman of the Somali Financial Services Association, said: "The UAE authorities have over the past two years initiated appropriate measures against money laundering. This has increased international confidence in the UAE's business environment, added Moalim. On the other side, the measures put in place have also helped us to operate in a secure environment without any worries and have also helped us to build confidence and linkages with the international financial institutions worldwide. We shall be very close to the UAE's monetary authorities and shall abide by all their rules and regulations."


BBC Monitoring International Reports, June 22, 2004/Radio Shabeelle, Mogadishu in Somali 0500 gmt 22 Jun 04

SOMALILAND OPPOSITION PARTIES SAY SOMALILAND, SOMALIA SEPARATE STATES

Somaliland opposition parties UCID (Justice and Welfare Party) and Kulmiye (Solidarity Party) have issued a statement towards the Somali peace process in the neighbouring country Kenya.

UCID and Kulmiye and parties said that the international community must respect the sovereignty of Somaliland as an independent nation from Somalia. They added they support IGAD (Inter-Governmental Authority on Development) efforts of mediating Somali warring factions in Nairobi in order to form a government of national unity in southern Somalia.

These Somaliland opposition parties added that the only way, which is open to the two sides - Somaliland and Somalia - is to have talks as two different nations, when a new Somali government is formed from Nairobi peace talks.

The chairmen of UCID and Kulmiye parties Feysal Ali Warabe and Ahmad Muhammad Silanyo said that the Somali peace conference in Nairobi is not for Somaliland but only for southern Somalia.


The Associated Press, June 16, 2004

Breakaway Somaliland asks donors for US$64 million

BYLINE: JONATHAN FOWLER; Associated Press Writer A senior official from Somaliland on Wednesday urged donor governments to give the breakaway region of Somalia US$64 million, saying the self-declared republic deserves support because it is an African success story.

Somaliland declared itself independent from the rest of Somalia after civil war broke out in 1991 following the ouster of longtime dictator Mohamed Siad Barre. It has been spared much of the violence that has devastated other parts of the country in the Horn of Africa.

"Somaliland is a miracle in Africa, an island of peace and stability," said Foreign Minister Edna Adan Ismail, refuting concerns about security for aid workers in the region, which is in northern Somalia.

In March, the United Nations evacuated most international staff from the region after a relief worker employed by a German agency was shot and killed. The move followed restrictions on movement imposed after other killings of aid workers in October.

However, Somaliland is still widely considered safer than southern Somalia.

The entire country has been without a central government for more than a decade, and much of southern Somalia has been carved into a patchwork of fiefdoms by heavily armed, clan-based factions.

In contrast, Somaliland, in the north, with an estimated population of 2.5 million, has enjoyed relative peace. But it has failed to gain international recognition since declaring its independence.

The unrecognized country has also rarely received the international funding it says it needs. But its government has steered programs that include bringing home 600,000 refugees in the past decade - a major success, U.N. aid officials said.

Ismail - who worked for the World Health Organization from 1965-97 - has even plowed her own United Nations pension into a maternity hospital in the capital, Hargeisa.

Ismail and other ministers visited Geneva to meet with U.N. aid organizations, including the global body's refugee agency, which has helped Somaliland's exiles return.

"We have to work with authorities on the ground wherever we are," said Peter Kessler, spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, when asked about the sensitivities of hosting officials from the breakaway region.

Among donor governments, Kessler said, there is "no understanding of the differences between what has been achieved in the north and the chaos in the south."

"Trying to sell this operation to an international community numbed by the bad experiences of the 1990s is difficult," said Kessler.

In 1993, 18 American troops were killed in Somalia amid a futile U.S. effort to rein in warlords.


The Independent (South Africa) June 17 2004 at 06:51AM

Time to put Somaliland on the map?

By Robert Evans

Geneva - The foreign minister of the self-styled Somaliland, which she called "a haven of peace" in conflict-torn Horn of Africa, on Wednesday appealed to the outside world to recognise its existence.

The territory on the Gulf of Aden declared independence from anarchic Somalia in 1991 and has since enjoyed relative peace.

"Somaliland is a miracle in Africa, an island of peace and stability in a region of wars and violence," said Edna Adan Ismail on a visit to the United Nations in Geneva.

'We have built our new society on the ruins that Siad Barre left to us'

"It is time for the rest of the world to reconsider its refusal to recognise us and what we have achieved."

The territory, with an estimated population of 3,5 to 4,5 million, won independence from Britain in 1960 and immediately joined up with neighbouring ex-Italian Somalia in the south and east to form a united republic.

But an uprising against then Somali military dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in the 1980s was followed by years of devastation as he turned his forces against the northwestern enclave.

When Siad Barre fled the country in 1991, Somaliland split away. The rest of Somalia slid into lawlessness and clan-based factional conflict which is still continuing.

But in Somaliland, half of whose population is nomadic, a vibrant economy and an open political system have emerged in the last decade, capped by a multi-party presidential election last year, UN and European Union officials who know the area say.

"We have built our new society on the ruins that Siad Barre left to us, and we have done it without help from the outside," said Adan Ismail, formerly a senior official of the UN's World Health Organisation.

"We cannot understand why Eritrea is allowed to secede from Ethiopia and the union of Senegal and Gambia is allowed to break up, but we are told we must stay tied to a country that attacked us, and is now in chaos and anarchy," she said.

The African Union, like the old Organisation of African Unity, maintains that the countries of the continent must keep the boundaries they inherited from colonial days and declines to accept the Somaliland breakaway.

In deference to that stance, no other country has recognised the territory.

Somaliland's resettlement minister Abdilahi Hussein Iman told the news conference in Geneva the delegation of ministers, which also included the ministers of health and of planning, hoped to raise $64-million to help resettle thousands of returning refugees.

UN officials say many of the 300 000 who fled during Siad Barre's rule remain in neighbouring countries and will need support to resettle, involving funds the government in the capital, Hargeisa, can scarcely afford.


BBC Monitoring International Reports, June 12, 2004/Xog-Ogaal, Mogadishu, in Somali 12 Jun 04

SOMALILAND SENDS SENIOR DELEGATION TO DISPUTED REGION OF SOOL

The administration of (the self-declared)Somaliland last week began an intensive operation which was said to be aimed at expanding the administration to the Sool Region, which has disputed between Somaliland and Puntland for close to a year.

The administration of (Somaliland President Dahir) Riyale has sent a senior delegation comprising six ministers and senior military commanders, headed by the Somaliland chief of General Staff, who arrived on Tuesday (8 June) in Yagoori District, situated approximately 60 km outside Laas Caanood town, the HQ of Sool Region

The aim of the visit by the delegation, which is led by the minister of interior, Isma'il Adan Usman, is said to be to carry out a campaign in a bid to expand the Somaliland administration, and also to assess the situation of the forces in the frontline base near Sool Region.

While in the region, the delegation urged Somaliland forces to be on high alert, saying that there are new dangers which might come up if the Somali factions meeting in Kenya form a government. The added that some Somali factions might interfere with the internal affairs of Somaliland.

Meanwhile, a delegation from the opposition party UCID led by Faysal Ali Warabe visited the forces based at Yagoori on Tuesday. The delegation donated 30 goats and 75 bundles of qat (narcotic leaf) to the forces.

The opposition leader, Faysal Ali Warabe, urged the forces to be fully ready for whatever the outcome of the ongoing Somali peace talks in Kenya.

"You should know that if the Somali peace talks in Kenya are dominated by bad people, then they will think ill of Somaliland. I therefore ask you to be prepared for that," said Warabe. (Passage omitted).


BBC Worldwide Monitoring, June 8, 2004/Radio HornAfrik, Mogadishu, in Somali 0500 gmt 8 Jun 04

Somaliland minister rejects talks with Puntland leader over disputed regions

Presenter The interior minister of the self-declared Somaliland, Ismail Adan Usman, told HornAfrik that they will not hold any talks with Puntland leaders over the disputed Sool and Sanaag regions northern Somalia.

Usman and other members of the cabinet are now visiting a place near Laas Caanood, the provincial HQ of Sool Region. He said the area they are visiting is about three kilometres from Laas Caanood and the aim of their visit was to inspect the situation of Somaliland forces in the area. He said Somaliland will not hold talks with Puntland authorities and denied Djibouti is mediating between Somaliland President Dahir Riyale Kahin and Puntland leader Col Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed.

Usman Djibouti people are our brothers and no-one can bring to us Abdullahi Yusuf. No-one can mediate between our president and Col Yusuf. We recognize Abdullahi Yusuf as a terrorist. I believe that the international community agrees with us that he is a terrorist. He is a warlord, so Somaliland leaders and its people cannot welcome such a man.

Presenter One of the traditional elders in Sool Region, Garad Abdulghani Garad Jama, told HornAfrik that the administration in Sool Region is neither under Somaliland or Puntland authorities and accused both administrations of deploying their forces in the region.


Sydney Morning Herald, June 5, 2004,Travel; Pg. 6

Confusion

BYLINE: Michael Challinger

The locals believe in their nation, but the world is not so sure. Michael Challinger reports.

It's got a president and a flag. It's got a Ministry of Information and National Guidance. It's got a central bank and its own currency. But is it actually a country? Somaliland's three million citizens say yes; the rest of the world doesn't know.

Somaliland is the northernmost chunk of Somalia. In colonial times it was a British protectorate; in 1961 it merged with Italian Somaliland to form newly-independent Somalia. The marriage was never a happy one and after a rebellion and a civil war, Somaliland seceded in 1991. Now it's the one part of Somalia that still functions as a nation-state. Well, sort of. Depending on which website you believe, it's either a rebel-controlled breakaway province, or the independentSomaliland.

Either way, the place is not on any major air route. From neighbouring Djibouti, you get there with a ticket from less-than-world-famous Daallo Airlines. In fact, even Daallo doesn't operate its own aircraft on the route; instead it was a leased 1957-vintage Ilyushin 18 that flew us in.

The plane was registered in Kyrgyzstan and crewed by assorted ex-Soviets. The Russian captain invited us down to the cockpit but we didn't want to distract him too much. Aviation can be tricky in this part of Africa. Somaliland disagrees with Somalia over air-traffic control so its airspace is run from a suburban lounge room in Kenya. Landings, too, need extra care: nomads drive their animals onto Hargeisa's runway, hoping for compensation in the event a goat gets hit.

No other country recognises Somaliland's independence, so it was impossible to get a visa before we arrived. There's said to be an unofficial Somaliland embassy behind a Mobil service station in Addis Ababa, but we were planning to get our visas on arrival. Just in case we were refused entry, Daallo had made us sign a disclaimer, but there was no problem.

Tourists are pretty rare at Hargeisa International Airport. Once the officials relieved us of a $40 visa fee, they stamped us in for a week. They also made us change $US100 into Somaliland shillings. The banknotes come in only one denomination, 500 shillings. With each note worth less than 10 cents, we got a wad the size of a house brick, and almost as heavy.

A pot-holed road runs the five kilometres from the airport to Hargeisa's centre. Along the way, half-built villas alternate with igloo-shaped hovels of sticks, animal skins and plastic. Somaliland is poor. Half its population are nomads, and goats, sheep and camels all outnumber the human inhabitants.

The country's main export used to be livestock but the trade was crippled when Saudi Arabia banned imports. The pretext was Rift Valley fever but politics was behind the ban. The Saudis are firm friends with factions in Mogadishu which oppose Somaliland's independence. Nowadays, Somaliland's only major income is from remittances sent by its diaspora in the West.

There are few signs of prosperity in this barren, windswept town. A bridge spans a river of sand. Dust and litter blow everywhere and the number of discarded plastic bags is phenomenal. The wind scatters them over stretches of waste ground where they snag in the thorn trees and collect in hollows like enormous snowdrifts.

During the civil war in the late 1980s, MiG warplanes flattened almost every building in Hargeisa, so a tour of the sights doesn't take long. The Hargeisa Club and Old Government House seem to be derelict and we're told not to take photos of the mosque or Sheik Madar's tomb. The Hargeisa Game Park, if it still exists, is too far away to visit.

There's just one enclave of Western comfort: the Ambassador Hotel. Standing on a barren ridge overlooking Hargeisa's low-slung skyline, the hotel is the largest single investment in independent Somaliland. It boasts satellite TV, "world-class furniture", non-alcoholic cocktails and a prayer room. Its garden is dotted with dining chalets and enclosed by a wall topped with broken glass. Flags fly from a line of flagpoles, Somaliland's at the centre with its inscription from the Koran.

Of the Ambassador's 45 rooms, all but three are empty. One is permanently occupied by Dr Omar, a government bigwig who is deputised to chat with us when a promised interview with the Foreign Minister fails to come off. Perhaps it's a measure of Somaliland's desperation that we are mistaken for influential foreigners who can help it get a seat at the United Nations. Or perhaps it's because Omar - a tall, meticulously well-dressed man - is blind.

What Somaliland needs, he explains, is international recognition. At present, the place is ignored by the UN and starved of international finance. Even aid donors can only slip it money unofficially. The British and the Americans are sympathetic, he says, and so are the Scandinavians. The villains of the piece are the Italians; they want to keep Somalia intact.

Intact is a euphemism, of course. Southern Somalia has disintegrated into half a dozen anarchic fiefdoms where the biggest hotel recommends you engage at least 10 bodyguards for the trip from the airport.

In central Somalia another territory, Puntland, claims autonomy and has partially broken away. Omar gestures scornfully at the mention of Puntland - it has recently seized a village in Somaliland, he tells us. Unless the Puntlanders meet his ultimatum and withdraw, war will break out on Tuesday. But his manner betrays only mild concern and since we're leaving on Monday, we let the subject drop.

Instead, we listen to Omar's glowing descriptions of Somaliland's oil wealth, which he assures us (once the country is recognised) will transform it into one of the richest places on earth. True, Somaliland has coal, and possibly gas and oil, but it would need investment, time and luck to develop them.

Reality is pretty stark beyond the comforts of the Ambassador. By chance, the other occupied room at the hotel is taken by a Somali-Australian, Dr Ahmed of Perth. He is setting up the Hargeisa International School and we spend a morning there helping teach a lesson on relative pronouns and correcting essays in English on "Why I Love Somaliland". The standard is not high. No wonder. The school is a series of cement-floored classrooms with just blackboards and chalk. No computers, no photocopier, no library - in fact, no books at all.

So how does the country - if it is a country - manage? Hargeisa has electricity, but for water most of the population relies on deliveries by donkey carts.

Phones and the internet are crucial in connecting the country with its ex-citizens abroad and a couple of telecom companies have set up shop. But the system seems to be a free-for-all and the telegraph poles support a crazy tangle of wires where anyone, it seems, just rolls out his own cable.

Still, Somaliland seems to be making a go of it. The people are poor, but there's no begging and you get the sense that everyone is working together. It's almost 10 years since Somalia was abandoned by the last UN troops and Hargeisa is no worse than plenty of other African cities run by recognised governments.

There are no guns in sight and the streets seem safe. Indeed, money changers sit in the open with piles of dollars on display and mountains of shillings.

The streets are where the grass-roots banking takes place. For foreign exchange they use hawala, an informal remittance network that works on trust and word of mouth. Neither side needs a bank account or ID. A friend in Dubai or Detroit gives cash to his local hawala agent. The agent sends an email or fax to his contact in Hargeisa along with an agreed password for collecting the money. The recipient picks up the cash in Somaliland the same day.

Hawala is a genuine free market system that bypasses any artificial exchange rate set by a central bank.

We had no such luck. We paid our hotel bill in dollars. When we came to convert back our compulsorily acquired shillings, we could do it only at the unofficial rate. Our $100 yielded $38.


Source: UN Children's Fund, 4 Jun 2004

UNICEF Humanitarian Action: Somalia donor update 4 Jun 2004

ISSUES FOR CHILDREN1

As mid-year approaches, the humanitarian situation in Somalia remains difficult. In a country with some of the world's highest rates of infant and maternal illness and death, and severely limited access to basic services, Somali children and women continue to suffer from chronic food insecurity, severely worsened in some areas by drought, and fresh waves of displacement caused by inter- and intra-clan conflict. Poverty, disease and limited educational and employment opportunities continue to take their toll on the health, welfare and dignity of Somalis. Out of a population of about 6.3 million2, more than 350,000 remain refugees, while another 300-370,000 have been internally displaced by years of conflict, many for periods of up to ten years.

Violence and armed conflict continued throughout much of southern and central Somalia. In the north, the murder of four aid workers within six months in the self-declared independentSomaliland, and continuing tensions over a long-running border dispute between "Somaliland" and the self-declared autonomous Puntland Somalia, led to new operational restrictions on United Nations agencies and NGOs.

ACTION

Drought response to the Sool Plateau, northern Somalia, continues

The Sool and Sanaag areas of northern Somalia remained seriously affected by prolonged drought throughout the first quarter of the year. In March, the third round of mobile health and nutrition interventions, originally started in early December 2003, was completed. The response was planned in cooperation with WHO and local authorities in the northern zones targeting the worst affected areas of the two regions with immunization, micro-nutrient supplementation, de-worming, out-patient and ante-natal services, nutritional screening and provision of targeted supplementary rations. In addition to Sool and Sanaag, the neighbouring Togdheer region was also covered by two mobile health and nutrition rounds in January and March. To the greatest degree possible, UNICEF has cooperated with WFP in order to enable linkages between targeted supplementary foods and provision of a family food ration. Although final figures have not been tabulated, an estimated 9,000 children have been vaccinated during these interventions, a response that may have contributed to the prevention of a measles outbreak in an area where fewer than 25 percent of children have been vaccinated against the illness. In addition to health and nutrition interventions, UNICEF response has included the rehabilitation of shallow wells, primarily targeting areas of Eastern Sanaag. A total of 35 wells were to be rehabilitated by the end of April.

Further to the east, the Bari, Nugal and Mudug regions in the Northeast Zone (also called'Puntland') have faced varying degrees of drought, in part caused by the influx of pastoralists groups migrating from Sool and Sanaag. The situation, although not as severe as that faced in Sool and Sanaag, continues to require close monitoring.

While no major disease outbreaks have been reported in the drought affected areas, a generally poor child nutritional status remains a continuing concern. In March, a UNICEF-funded nutrition survey conducted by Action Contre la Faim in three districts of Nugal and Mudug regions of Puntland found 15.9 percent global acute malnutrition. Follow-up assessments took place during May to determine which areas will require continued nutritional intervention.

In anticipation of the possibility of failed or late'Gu' rains (April/May), UNICEF is procuring emergency stocks to replenish supplies. Some funding requests have been submitted, but an adequate response to the 2004 Appeal is essential in maintaining response for this and other emergency scenarios that may arise during the course of the year.

Health

In a major boost for polio eradication efforts in Somalia, the country was removed from the list of polio-endemic countries in March. This step forward is the result of nearly two years without any confirmed cases of the disease in the country. The next step in the process is obtaining polio-free status, and UNICEF, WHO and partner agencies will continue with regular National Immunization Days until the disease is totally eradicated from Somalia. In addition to ending polio, the vaccination campaigns have acted as a vehicle for peace building for over eight years, fostering cooperation among communities and achieving access to locations which had formerly been inaccessible due to insecurity. Agencies continue to work closely with traditional and Islamic leaders who have been a major force behind the eradication programme, actively participating in immunization campaigns and calling for communities to immunize their children.

Education

UNICEF's 2003/2004 Primary School Survey is underway, which provides up-to-date data relating to primary schooling in Somalia and is used to measure progress and assist in forward planning for all groups engaged in education work in the country. Among the many statistics provided, the survey reports on gross enrolment, the male/female ratio for both pupils and teachers, the pupil/teacher ratio, the main teaching modes, ownership and management of schools, facilities available, fee systems and teachers support. Once finalized, the information is disseminated to all partner agencies, community education committees, local education authorities and others for their information and use. The information provided through this report feeds into the overall work of the education sector, including the work of school mentors, who are tasked to visit schools, observe lessons, interact with teachers based on their observations and then provide pedagogic hints and guidance as needed. There are also a group of mentors who support the community education committees and assist them with administration, management and overall guidance as they work toward improving enrolment of children. The mentoring system has been ongoing since 2003 and early reports indicate that this hands-on approach is resulting in increased enrolment.

Protection and Youth Participation

During the first quarter of the year, child protection coordination networks have been established in Bari, Nugal, Mudug, Benadir, Lower Shabelle and Hiran regions, and similar initiatives are under way in other areas around Somalia. The role of these networks is to facilitate information sharing and coordination of advocacy initiatives and actions on behalf of child victims of violence, abuse and exploitation. The networks have agreed on priorities for their work, including the improvement of the situation of street children, the strengthening of efforts towards total eradication of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and the protection of children belonging to internally displaced populations.

A team of 24 child protection advocates (CPAs) have begun work in about 40 communities throughout Somalia in the first quarter of 2004. They have helped organize community-based dialogues and mobilize leadership to ensure that every child grows up in a protective environment. Thus far, the level of involvement of community leadership has varied greatly. Successful efforts include: access to education for disadvantaged children; commitment from businesspeople to provide support and care to street children; community action to protect children against prostitution and exploitative labor; and the commitment of some militia leaders to support children's attendance in school as opposed to involvement in the conflicts.

HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control

The first comprehensive HIV/AIDS Knowledge, Attitudes, Beliefs and Practice (KABP) survey has been completed. The study was undertaken to assess the levels of knowledge among men and women age 15-49 in Somalia and to identify attitudes and practices related to HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections. The study will provide inputs into subsequent policy design and programming on HIV/AIDS for all partners. The results will also be linked to the ongoing HIV surveillance system recently established by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Throughout Somalia, advocacy interventions are being implemented by UNICEF and various local and international agencies. However, adequate support for service provision - such as voluntary counseling and testing, improved treatment of opportunistic infections, prevention of vertical transmission and antiretroviral treatment - is critical in order to establish a comprehensive HIV/AIDS response and stop the epidemic from escalating. To date, funding for services against the Appeal has been low.

Major constraints encountered include:

The first quarter of 2004 was characterised by continued insecurity, marked by the murder of a Kenyan relief worker and a Somali driver working for the NGO GTZ in what appeared to be a deliberate, targeted attack in the Northwest Zone ('Somaliland'). This follows the murders of three international aid workers in late 2003, also in Somaliland. Some operations in the zone have been scaled down and tight restrictions have been implemented that affect travel both to and within the zone.

Finally, increased clan fighting in the Bay region, Central and Southern Somalia, has caused additional internal displacement and the formation of two new IDP camps in Bilale and Walaq Villages, Wajid District. Approximately 3,000 people are currently affected by the conflict which, according to reports from clan elders, included the killings of over 100 children and women. Emergency needs in the camps include food, shelter, cooking utensils and health services. To date, UNICEF has provided 1,500 IDP kits, 12 metric tonnes of Supermix and two drums of chlorine, all from pre-positioned field stocks.

Additional details on the Somalia Programme can be obtained from: Leila Pakkala, UNICEF Somalia, Nairobi, Tel: 254 2 623952, Fax: 254 2 623 961, lpakkala@unicef.org


BBC Worldwide Monitoring, May 29, 2004/Qaran, Mogadishu, in Somali 29 May 04

Britain reportedly agrees to support Somaliland on war against terror

The British government has said that it will support Somaliland in its war against terrorism, British high-ranking officials said.

Saudi-based newspaper, Arab News, reported that Somaliland delegates who recently visited Britain met with British Foreign Office officials and agreed over the issue of war against terror.

Somaliland Foreign Minister Edna Adan Ismail said that Britain will not only train Somaliland forces on how to fight terrorism but will also supply them with military equipment.

Somaliland administration has claimed in the past that terrorist groups organized several killings of foreign humanitarian staff in its territory, although those who carried out the attacks are believed to be Somaliland residents.



Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees, 1 Jun 2004

Somalia: Over 2,000 repatriated from Ethiopia in last week

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Kris Janowski - to whom quoted text may be attributed - at the press briefing, on 1 June 2004, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

More than 2,000 refugees have repatriated from eastern Ethiopia's Aisha camp back to north-west Somalia in the last week. On Monday, more than 1,000 refugees left Aisha aboard a convoy of 56 buses and trucks headed for their home village of Harirat in neighbouring Somalia's Awdal District. There are now fewer than 12,000 Somalis in the camp, which UNHCR hopes to close in the coming months. The first convoy carrying 970 refugees left Aisha last Wednesday.

UNHCR plans two voluntary repatriation convoys each month from Aisha, and believes that all the camp's residents will be gone by September. We will then close Aisha, which was created 16 years ago amidst Ethiopia's own civil war following a massive refugee influx that saw more than 400,000 Somalis crowd into neighbouring Hartisheik camp. Hartisheik, a name synonymous with hunger and thirst, was briefly one of the largest refugee camps in the world until other sites could be opened to relieve pressure on the site and its sparse water sources.

For their return, UNHCR gave the refugees a small amount of cash for transportation, as well as blankets, cooking sets, sleeping mats, tarpaulins and hygiene supplies to help them restart life at home. Each family also received nine months' supply of food from the UN World Food Programme.

These returnees will join some 670,000 refugees who have gone back to north-western Somalia over the last 13 years, either on their own or with UNHCR assistance. This year, the agency plans to repatriate 35,000 Somalis to various parts of the country, carefully measuring the pace of returns against the desperately poor country's ability to absorb so many people. Some 4,200 Somalis have left camps in neighbouring Djibouti since February in a series of convoys.

UNHCR has identified Somalia as one of eight countries in Africa where it expects to see significant refugee returns over the next five years, if security remains stable and donor countries ensure adequate amounts of rehabilitation and reconstruction assistance.

In order to help stabilise the situation inside north-western Somalia and to assist communities receiving returnees, UNHCR has implemented 174 quick impact projects in the water, health, education and transport sectors over the last two years. These programmes have helped, along with similar projects initiated by a host of partner agencies, but Somaliland's needs are huge.

In late February, UN agencies and non-governmental organisations operating in Somalia appealed for $118 million to assist the war-torn Horn of Africa nation this year. UNHCR's share of the 2004 consolidated appeal amounts to more than $5.7 million. A similar consolidated appeal for $70 million a year earlier netted only half the requested amount, pointing towards the continuing challenge agencies face in helping Somalia meet its most pressing needs.

In order to ensure a safe return for Aisha's Somali refugees, a UNHCR-funded road crew recently undertook grading and spot repair works. They also ensured that the area was checked for land mines left behind from the conflict 20 years ago when Somali forces invaded eastern Ethiopia, an attack that presaged the civil war and the eventual collapse of the Siad Barre government in Mogadishu.


Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 28 May 2004

Disaster looms over drought-struck northern Somalia

Nairobi (28 May 2004) - The UN Humanitarian Coordinator, Maxwell Gaylard, and Senior Agency officials are expressing great concern about the deepening drought conditions in northern Somalia. "Although there are about two weeks left of the rainy season in the areas, all the signs indicate that the communities of large parts of northern Somalia are experiencing yet another season of inadequate rainfall," stated Gaylard, who went on to say "this situation could develop into full-blown disaster in the next couple of months."

Four years of below-normal rainfall have decimated the herds of pastoralists living in the regions of Sool, Sanaag, Togdheer, Nugaal, Mudug and Bari in Somaliland and Puntland, and some areas of Galgaduud in the center of the country, which is also affected by inter-clan conflict. Aid Agencies estimate that only 20 percent of the area has had enough rain to allow pasture to grow. Even these areas will be exhausted within 10-15 days as a result of the high concentrations of livestock that desperate pastoralists have moved into these limited areas to keep the remainder of their animals alive. The drought has led to massive livestock deaths - in some areas up to 80 percent of herds - further impoverishing an estimated 200,000 pastoralists. The loss of pack animals also means that women and children are forced to carry water for distances of up to 10 to 20 kilometers.

The situation of already destitute pastoralists continues to deteriorate. Many have moved to towns where they are placing their already poor relatives and clan members under further stress. Others remain congregated in camps or villages, along roads and at water points.

UN Agencies and NGOs responded to the crisis in late 2003 and early 2004 with short-term relief operations including food distributions, water provision, mobile health services, veterinary support for livestock, and cash grants. But if substantial rains do not arrive in the area in the next two weeks, the extent and intensity of the drought will expand needs beyond the current relief operations. "Donors and the Authorities in the regions concerned have responded to the crisis, enabling the aid agencies to mount a well-coordinated response," commented Gaylard, "however, the failure of another rainy season will require a much more concerted effort at providing relief if we are to avoid unnecessary suffering and deaths of the most vulnerable."

For more information, please contact: Calum McLean, Head of UN-OCHA Somalia, Tel: (254 20) 4448434; Fax: (254 20) 4448439; Email: calum.mclean@undp.org


Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees (Source URL: www.unhcr.ch) 26 May 2004

UNHCR starts return convoys from Ethiopian camp

JIJIGA, Ethiopia, May 26 (UNHCR) - The UN refugee agency today began its first repatriation from Aisha camp in eastern Ethiopia, helping nearly 1,000 Somali refugees return home after up to 16 years in exile. On Wednesday, a massive 57-vehicle convoy took 970 refugees home to the Awdal area of north-western Somalia, also called Somaliland. Aisha is the last of the camps in Ethiopia to launch repatriation convoys. Many of the refugees had fled Somalia's civil war and been in exile since 1988. For their return, UNHCR gave the refugees a small amount of cash for transportation, as well as blankets, cooking sets, sleeping mats, tarpaulins and hygiene supplies to help them restart life at home. Each family also received nine months' supply of food from the UN World Food Programme.

Another 1,000 Somali refugees are set to go home from Aisha camp next Monday, May 31. Repatriation convoys are scheduled to continue until the end of this year, when UNHCR hopes to close Aisha camp.

These returnees will join some 670,000 refugees who have gone back to north-western Somalia over the last 13 years, either on their own or with UNHCR assistance. This year, the agency plans to repatriate 35,000 Somalis to various parts of the country, carefully measuring the pace of returns against the desperately poor country's ability to absorb so many people. More than 430 Somalis have also returned home from neighbouring Djibouti since February.

The UN refugee agency has identified Somalia as one of eight countries in Africa where it expects to see significant refugee returns over the next five years, if security remains stable and donor countries ensure adequate amounts of rehabilitation and reconstruction assistance.

"The refugees from Aisha will face difficulties after so many years in a camp," said Simone Wolken, UNHCR Representative in Somalia. "But UNHCR is working together with the UN Development Programme, the International Labour Organisation and the Danish Refugee Council to see that the limited resources available are put to the best use to help the returnees become self-sufficient."

In late February, UN agencies and non-governmental organisations operating in Somalia appealed for $118 million to assist the war-torn Horn of Africa nation this year. UNHCR's share of the 2004 consolidated appeal amounts to more than $5.7 million.

A similar consolidated appeal for $70 million a year earlier netted only half the requested amount, pointing towards the continuing challenge agencies face in helping Somalia meet its most pressing needs.

In order to help stabilise the situation inside north-western Somalia and to assist communities receiving returnees, UNHCR has implemented 174 quick impact projects in the water, health, education and transport sectors over the last two years. These programmes have helped, along with similar projects initiated by a host of partner agencies, but Somaliland's needs are huge.

In order to ensure a safe return for Aisha's Somali refugees, a UNHCR-funded road crew recently undertook grading and spot repair works. They also ensured that the area was checked for landmines left behind from the conflict 20 years ago when Somali forces invaded eastern Ethiopia, an attack that presaged the civil war and the eventual collapse of the Siad Barre government in Mogadishu.


Britain pledges to help Somaliland fight terror

By Hussein Ali Nur

HARGEISA, Somalia, May 26 (Reuters) - Britain has pledged to help Somalia's northern breakaway enclave of Somaliland fight terrorism, officials in the country said on Wednesday. The self-styled Somaliland has repeatedly blamed killings of foreign aid workers on a local group of Islamic militants that it says may be linked to al Qaeda.

A visiting British Foreign Office delegation signed an agreement this week pledging greater support on security and counter-terrorism, Somaliland's Foreign Affairs Minister Edna Aden said.

"This delegation has dealt with issues related to the fight against terrorism and security," she said.

"the UK will not only train Somaliland in counter terrorism, but will also assist in the development of the security machinery here."

Since October 2003, a British couple teaching in Somaliland and two aid workers from Italy and Kenya have been killed.

Interior Minister Ismail Aden Osman said in April suspects arrested over the aid workers' deaths confessed they were targeting foreigners on the orders of Islamic militants based in the enclave and possibly linked to al Qaeda.

Somaliland declared independence from Somalia in 1991 but is not internationally recognised despite working hard to earn a reputation as a safe haven in the war-torn region.

Somaliland President Dahir Rayale Kahin urged Britain to recognise his country. "Lack of recognition will hinder Somaliland from fully participating in the fight against terrorism and in the exchange of information necessary in the war against terrorism," he said.

"We can contribute a lot in this fight, especially in the Horn of Africa and as such, we appeal to the British government to lead the way, by recognising us."

Outside Somaliland, the rest of Somalia has had no central authority since the ousting of former President Siad Barre in 1991 and has been devastated by warlords and their militias.

Washington closely follows events in Somalia, regarding its capital Mogadishu -- scene of a failed military intervention that inspired the movie "Black Hawk Down" -- as an ideal hideout for militants seeking to plan attacks.


BBC Monitoring International Reports, May 26, 2004/Source: Radio Shabeelle, Mogadishu in Somali 0500 gmt 26 May 04

SOMALILAND, UN AGENCIES REPORTEDLY AGREE TO WORK TOGETHER

A press release from Somaliland's President Office said that dispute between the authorities and UN humanitarian agencies working in the area has ended.

The press release, signed by president's spokesman, Abdi Idris Du'ale, explained that all differences between the two sides had been resolved following a meeting between President Dahir Riyale Kahin and UN officials in Hargeysa, capital of Somaliland.

The press release also says that from now on the UN will not mix its activities in Somaliland with those in southern part of Somalia, which means that UN will carry out all programmes on Somaliland separate from those in southern Somalia.

The two sides also agreed to organize and decide together on all development projects in Somaliland. The authorities will form a committee to supervise the implementation of the projects. The two sides will from now meet every six months.

The presidential spokesman said that it is not fair to compare Mogadishu with Hargeysa, adding that Hargeysa is even more safe than Nairobi where many UN humanitarian agencies are based. Because of that, the UN accepted to open offices in Hargeysa.

Somaliland claims to be independent from the rest of Somalia and always demands donors and UN agencies treat it as a republic although no single government has recognized the secession of Somaliland from Somalia.


The Indian Ocean Newsletter, May 29, 2004, WHO'S WHO; N. 1090/www.africaintelligence.com

Wardi Basbaas

Wardi Basbaas is one of the advisors of Equitable Life Investment Company, the Canadian company which has just acquired the exploration permit for oil and gas in the Berbera region. Basbaas, 39, a resident of Hargeisa (Somaliland), had his secondary education in an American school in Berlin (Germany), before going on to gain his higher diplomas at the Schiller International University in London (BBA in marketing and ABA in International Business), and then a diploma in the management of natural resources from Phoenix (Arizona) in the USA. From 1987 to 1990 Basbaas was managing director of the Red Sea Corporation in Mogadishu (Somalia); then from 1992 to 1999 he was the representative in the Horn of Africa for the Canadian company BA Banknote which specialises in the printing of secure documents. Alongside this he was managing director for East Africa of the United Arab Emirates company Lyon International Company Ltd, which specialises in duty free shops (1993-96). After that he was vice president of a Californian company, American Veterinary Inspection Services (Amvis), from 1996 to 2003. Additionally, from 1998 to 2003 he was a director of the Horn Transit Co. Ltd, a private Hargeisa company specialised in tobacco. The character references on Barbaas's curriculum vitae include the former Somaliland president Abdirahman Ahmed Ali "Tuur", Suldan Mohamed Suldan Xirsi Qani, the chairman of Amvis Kevin James Silver and the director of the German company Giesecke & Devient, Peter Brown.
BBC Monitoring International Reports/ Radio Shabeelle, Mogadishu in Somali 0500 gmt 26 May 04 May 26, 2004

SOMALILAND, UN AGENCIES REPORTEDLY AGREE TO WORK TOGETHER

A press release from Somaliland's President Office said that dispute between the authorities and UN humanitarian agencies working in the area has ended.

The press release, signed by president's spokesman, Abdi Idris Du'ale, explained that all differences between the two sides had been resolved following a meeting between President Dahir Riyale Kahin and UN officials in Hargeysa, capital of Somaliland.

The press release also says that from now on the UN will not mix its activities in Somaliland with those in southern part of Somalia, which means that UN will carry out all programmes on Somaliland separate from those in southern Somalia.

The two sides also agreed to organize and decide together on all development projects in Somaliland. The authorities will form a committee to supervise the implementation of the projects. The two sides will from now meet every six months.

The presidential spokesman said that it is not fair to compare Mogadishu with Hargeysa, adding that Hargeysa is even more safe than Nairobi where many UN humanitarian agencies are based. Because of that, the UN accepted to open offices in Hargeysa.

Somaliland claims to be independent from the rest of Somalia and always demands donors and UN agencies treat it as a republic although no single government has recognized the secession of Somaliland from Somalia.


BBC Monitoring International Reports, May 25, 2004/Radio Hargeysa in Somali 1700 gmt 25 May 04/ BBC Monitoring

SOMALILAND PRESIDENT RECEIVES VISITING BRITISH GOVERNMENT DELEGATION

Somaliland President Dahir Riyale Kahin today received visiting British government delegation headed by Hordar Pius (both elements phonetic).

The delegation is composed of officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, department dealing with terrorism, and British embassies in Kenya and Ethiopia.

The aim of the delegation was to find ways of assisting Somaliland on issues pertaining to security and combating terrorism.

The delegation which arrived in Somaliland yesterday for a two-day visit, was making a follow up of issues agreed for implementation during the recent visit of President Dahir Riyale Kahin to Britain.

The delegation held talks with Somaliland ministers of interior, defence and foreign affairs. The two sides discussed bilateral cooperation.

Pius told President Kahin that the meeting with Somaliland ministerial officials was very cordial. The delegation will leave for home on Thursday (27 May).

Pius said his delegation would report its findings to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

He said his government was ready to assist Somaliland on security matters.


BBC Monitoring International Reports, May 25, 2004/ Source: Radio Hargeysa in Somali 1700 gmt 25 May 04

SOMALILAND PRESIDENT RECEIVES VISITING BRITISH GOVERNMENT DELEGATION

Somaliland President Dahir Riyale Kahin today received visiting British government delegation headed by Hordar Pius (both elements phonetic).

The delegation is composed of officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, department dealing with terrorism, and British embassies in Kenya and Ethiopia.

The aim of the delegation was to find ways of assisting Somaliland on issues pertaining to security and combating terrorism.

The delegation which arrived in Somaliland yesterday for a two-day visit, was making a follow up of issues agreed for implementation during the recent visit of President Dahir Riyale Kahin to Britain.

The delegation held talks with Somaliland ministers of interior, defence and foreign affairs. The two sides discussed bilateral cooperation.

Pius told President Kahin that the meeting with Somaliland ministerial officials was very cordial. The delegation will leave for home on Thursday (27 May).

Pius said his delegation would report its findings to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

He said his government was ready to assist Somaliland on security matters.



PR Newswire, May 24, 2004/TORONTO, May 24

Equitable Life Investment Company launches aggressive acquisition of Somapterolium LLC

Equitable Life Investment Company, (symbol Eqlff OTC other market) announced today that the company has executed an agreement with Somapetrolium LLC to acquire Somapetrolium's rights to the oil and gas in the Berbera Block in Somaliland. The Berbera Block consists of: Blocks 35, 36, (on-shore) and M-10 & M-10A (off-shore).

Equitable Life Investment Company will become the holding company for Somapetrolium, and the revenues generated from the oil and gas reserves will be channeled to Equitable Life Investment Company. Somapetrolium LLC is 50% owned by Striker LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of McCarthey Grenache, and 50% by BLRS LLC.

Equitable Life Investment Company's CEO, Lawrence Skolnik commented: "the transaction is one that has been negotiated in between Somapetrolium LLC and the Ministry of Water and Resources of Somaliland over the past six months. It is now coming into fruition, as Somapetrolium is entering the last phase of negotiation on the revenue sharing agreement. Equitable Life has been seeking to become a holding company for a promising oil and gas reserve and exploration company, in areas which show all the indication of commercial quantities, but which have not yet been tapped. We are extremely pleased to have this transaction now completed. In the next few weeks, it is the intent of Equitable Life to enter into transactions with companies in oil and gas drilling. Discussions have begun with a few companies in China, and Argentina"

Hydrocarbons (oil and gas) have been generated in the Jurassic, Cretaceous and Tertiary rocks and have a sedimentary column thickening to 8830m. This is Strong geological evidence that substantial reserves exist.

Safe Harbor Statement

Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements by Equitable Life Investment Company

This document includes certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on management's current expectations or beliefs, and are subject to uncertainty and changes in circumstances. Actual results may vary materially from those expressed or implied by the statements herein due to changes in geo-political, economic, business, competitive, technological and/or regulatory factors, and factors affecting the agreement with Somaliland.

SOURCE: Equitable Life Investment Company. CONTACT: Lawrence Skolnik, Phone (416) 410-3995, Email Lehat2000@yahoo.com.URL: www.prnewswire.com


National Post (Canada) May 22, 2004 Saturday Man/Sask. Edition/SECTION: News; Pg. A12

Somalia sees no end to chaos: Warlords squabble, unable to form any government

by Kelly McParland

The U.S. State Department has a useful Web site, which provides potted profiles of just about any country you could be interested in.

The one for Somalia is particularly illuminating.

Under the heading Government, it reads: "none."

Under Constitution, it says: "none in force."

The entries for Supreme Court, political parties and legal system are similar: "none functioning."

The legal voting age is 18, but there are no elections.

Even the national holiday is in dispute. For most of the country, it's July 1; for Somaliland, a breakaway region in the northwest, it's June 26.

In the notes accompanying the profile, the chaotic the country is described in blunt terms:

"The present political situation in much of Somalia is one of anarchy, marked by inter-clan fighting and random banditry, with some areas of peace and stability."

Somalia hasn't had a real government since December, 1991, when the military ruler, Mohamed Siad Barre, was ousted. For a while there was something called the Transitional National Government, but it didn't control all of the capital, Mogadishu, much less the rest of the country. Besides, its mandate expired last summer.

There has been considerable effort to repair this mess, particularly from Western powers nervous about the obvious appeal a place such as Somalia holds for international terrorist groups. Talks have been underway between various warlords, tribal chiefs and clan elders in an effort to cobble together something that could pass for a government.

In January they reached a "landmark breakthrough" that settled some of the mountain of disagreements. They were supposed to get together again this week to pick a new Parliament, which in turn would select a Cabinet and President.

It's almost impossible to imagine it working. Somalia is a country of warring factions, run like a Sicilian enclave caught between competing clans of overarmed Mafiosi.

Just this week, the last remaining free medical clinic in Mogadishu was closed down when hired gunmen occupied the halls, offices and operating rooms.

They were employed by the family of a woman undergoing a difficult pregnancy, whose uterus was removed by a doctor who said it was necessary to save her life. The woman's family was outraged, complaining that without the ability to bear children, the woman was useless to them, and demanded 50 camels in compensation.

The country's borders are unpatrolled, with no one paying much attention to who arrives or departs. Kenya, which is hosting the unification talks, refuses to accept Somali passports, saying they are widely forged and can easily be picked up at street markets in Nairobi.

When Mohammed Adow, a reporter for the BBC, set out to investigate the claim, he found a Nairobi trader who was not only willing to sell him a passport, but would also "authenticate" it with a seal from the Somali ministry of foreign affairs and the forged signature of Somalia's last controller of passports.

Diplomatic versions were also available, Adow said. For US$100, the trader would identify him as Somalia's ambassador to China.

The passport ban isn't supposed to apply to officials attending the talks, but Abdiqassim Salad Hassan, who headed the Transitional National Government until it ceased to exist, felt insulted anyway and refused to turn up unless the ban was lifted.

"We are ready to participate in the peace talks but only if Kenya removes the ban on the passports, because the passport is our national symbol," he said in a statement.

It's hard to know which nation he's talking about. Since Siad Barre was ousted in 1991, bits and pieces of the country have withdrawn, declaring their own nations.

Somaliland, once a British protectorate, was the first, and may have the only semi-effective government of the lot. Puntland, located next to Somaliland, declared independence in 1998, and Southwestern Somalia followed a year later.

Hassan's absence might slow the talks even further, but probably won't perturb the hoteliers of Nairobi, who complain that the Somalis rarely pay their bills anyway. Recently the Sixeighty hotel, tired of getting stiffed, evicted more than 150 delegates from their rooms. The Kenyan foreign minister said the hotel debt amounted to more than $1-million, and other unpaid expenses from the talks added another $9-million.

Since neither Somalia nor any of its neighbours has any money, the bills are supposed to be paid by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, a five-country regional group that goes by the acronym Igad (as in "Egad! When will these talks ever end?"), which is in turn funded by the Igad Partners Forum, made up of the usual international donors -- the United States, Sweden, Norway, the United Nations, the European Union and the Arab League.

Those are deep pockets, but the donors are tired of pumping money into talks that go nowhere, so for this week's round only 203 delegates were invited, down from 366 at previous rounds.

Several of the warlords were so miffed at having their bloated entourages slashed that they marched off home in a huff. Another warlord was thrown in jail for failing to pay a business debt.

Despite all this childishness, foreign ministers at the talks have delivered optimistic assessments, maintaining a final deal can be reached by July.

"Everything is on course," one of the organizers told an African publication. "We anticipate the launch of the final phase to go ahead."

But it's hardly encouraging that progress has been delayed by a firefight in Mogadishu, between militias loyal to different people within the same clan.

Apparently one of the militias was guarding a hotel, when it was attacked by the other militia. Sixty people were killed before the fighting petered out this week.

Though authorities -- such as they are -- said a ceasefire had been arranged, local newspapers reported fighting had stopped mainly because both sides were tired and ammunition had run low.

GRAPHIC: Black & White Photo: Pedro Ugarte, Agence France-Presse; A Somalian bodyguard patrols the streets of Mogadishu, where factional fighting occurs regularly.; Graphic;Diagram: National Post; SOMALIA: (See print copy for complete graphic;diagram.)


Africa News, May 20, 2004/The Monitor (Uganda)

Uganda; Somaliland Seeks Uganda's Help

The de-facto leader of Somaliland is seeking President Yoweri Museveni's intervention in rebuilding the country. The country broke away from the mainSomalia in 1991.

The main appeal to Museveni and Uganda, is Government to offer Somaliland student scholarships for higher education, export skilled manpower and developmental experts, and building the health sector in the country.

Faysal Ali Warabe, the chairman of the opposition Justice and Welfare party, said since the 1991 independence, Somaliland has never got any recognition from the international community. "We are asking President Yoweri Museveni to sell us to the international community, especially the African Union and the Commonwealth. We are a lost child of the commonwealth and we have to be taken back," Faysal said. He was speaking to the press at Speke Hotel. Faysal said they are particularly interested in Museveni because he is the IGAD boss.


BBC Monitoring International Reports, May 19, 2004/Radio HornAfrik, Mogadishu, in Somali 0500 gmt 19 May 04

OVER 150 SOMALILAND OPPOSITION SUPPORTERS JAILED FOR INDEPENDENCE DAY DEMO

One hundred and fifty-four civilians have been sentenced to six months in jail after being found guilty of demonstrating against Somaliland President Dahir Riyale Kahin during yesterday's celebrations to mark the 13th anniversary of Somaliland being proclaimed an independent republic. The National Security Committee sentenced the demonstrators inside the central police station in Hargeysa and they were sent to Mandera prison. Their relatives gathered outside the police station before the pronouncement of their sentence.The interior minister has refused to comment.
Economist Intelligence Unit

Agribusiness: Somaliland

Construction is due to begin on a new veterinary school this month, with financing of US$2m being pledged by Italy and undisclosed amounts promised by the EU and the World Bank. Work on the Sheikh facility will be carried out by an Italian company, Terra-Nova. Somaliland's planning minister has been pursuing possible new export destinations -including Ethiopia-for Somaliland livestock, which has been banned from the Saudi market since 1998. Figures for the livestock trade through Berbera showed a significant decline in exports for January-March, following healthy trade during the Haj pilgrimage in late 2003. Exports of sheep and goats thus fell from 177,000 in January to just 25,000 in March.

Copyright c 2004 Economist Intelligence Unit


Source: Jamhuuriya , May 16, 2004

"Silanyo Could not prepare a budget", Ambassador Awil

Hargeisa (The Rep)- Minister of Finance Hussein Ali Du'ale (Awil) refuted criticism By former Commerce and Industry minister Mohamed Hashi Elmi, on the draft budget passed by the cabinet in which $16,724,300 were said to be misused and that the return of the 2002-3 were not brought to the cabinet.

Ambassador Awil in a press conference held here this week said, "This is false accusation aimed at instigating the public. The 2004 budget in greater than previous ones and is expected to double the income."

Elaborating this the minister said, "Nine minister held this post and KULMIYE chairman Silanyo was one of them. Silanyo could not produce a budget and in May he confessed that he could not present. I expected him not to criticize me but commend me for adding development programs in the budget."

The minister told the press that the 2004 shows increased income, pay increase for security forces and is based on 2003 income and increase of income from raised revenue on small cars and other sources of income."

Ambassador Awil added that the 2002 budget return is ready and that of 2003 will be ready before June and that all income from the Ministries goes directly to the treasury, since he was nominated as Finance minister.

In response to accusations by Mohamed Hashi Elmi he said, "The former Minister is expected to clarify the sum of $557,000 for income from Ministries are registered and the amount of $3,600,000 from livestock which he said are not in the budget." Speaking about TOTAL he said, "The Company has reached an agreement with the late president Egal. I have officials from the company and I will discuss some of the articles in the agreement with them."

"People differ in their reaction, when they are removed from office. Some take it silently while others make all kinds of fuss and noise. I requested Mohamed Hashi Elmi to cooperate with me the day we were nominated, but the fact is that he was frustrated when he was not nominated as finance minister. I spoke with him about the budget and if he has anything to contribute, as other minister did. I was surprised to see him distribute another budget; the day the one I prepared was to be approved. Distributing 2 budgets is an unseen episode," he said.

Ambassador Awil told the press that his ministry has an economic policy and that the lateness in the presentation of the budget was due to the movement of the army to the east and the president's visit to Europe in search for recognition and economic aid. He said, "Governments postpone their budgets or even suspend them, if conditions force them to do that." "People are mature enough not to be instigated by appealing to their community affiliation. It is shameful to try that," he added.


www.insidesomaliland.blogtales.com/archives/000085.html, May 17, 2004

Youth Demonstrators Released

The Radio Hargeisa announced yesterday that 18 of the 19 young demonstrators were released. One man, Ali Qooryoolay, a writer and one of the more vocal critique of the present government remains in jail. The arrest happened during a demonstration against corruption that was triggered by the termination of Somaliland's Minister of Commerce and Industry. Somaliland opposition, Kulmiye Party leader Ahmed Mohamoud Silaanyo critisized the arrest in a press conference and raised that the government's continuous use of the Public Order Law, No: 21 of 1963 is unconstitutional.
BBC Monitoring International Reports, May 18, 2004/ Radio Hargeysa in Somali 1700 gmt 18 May 04

SOMALILAND MARKS 13TH ANNIVERSARY OF SECESSION FROM SOMALIA

Somaliland President Dahir Riyale Kahin today addressed thousands of Somalilanders on the occasion marking the 13th anniversary of Somaliland reclamation of its independence and secession from Somalia. The occasion was marked today at Hargeysa's Khayriyah Square.

In his speech, President Riyale emphasized the current situation in the country and both the internal and external policies of Somaliland. President Dahir Riyale Kahin also explained Somaliland's progress and performance. He said the international community had described the progress of Somaliland as sterling and commendable.

In his speech, the president also said the development strides made by Somaliland has made its enemies envious and to harbour a grudge against it. He said the enemies of Somaliland had attempted to damage the sovereignty and the existence of the country.

President Kahin further said the recent killings of (foreign) aid workers in Boorama, Sheekh and Hargeysa towns were enough proof and evidence of sabotage.

President Dahir said there were two main reasons behind such actions which he described as dangerous. Firstly, he said, it was to fight foreign aid workers in Somaliland with a view to creating panic and convincing the international community that there were terrorists in Somaliland. Secondly, he said, it was to frighten and stop foreign investors from investing in Somaliland.

President Dahir Riyale Kahin today sent an appreciation and congratulatory messages to the residents of Doqoshay village, which is situated on Hargeysa-Berbera road, where some of the bandits who committed the terrorist acts were recently arrested. The bandits killed a Kenyan woman who was working for an aid agency there, the president said.

On his recent visit to Britain, Belgium and Ethiopia, President Dahir said the Somaliland delegation met British parliamentary officials and explained to them Somaliland's cause. He said their visit to these countries was a historical one aimed at realizing the recognition of Somaliland.

President Riyale Kahin said they were well received and he was optimistic about the outcome of his delegation's visit.

The president also thanked the Somaliland community in the diaspora whom, he said, warmly welcomed his delegation. (Passage omitted: Water problem in Hargeysa and urged rumour mongers to stop spreading baseless rumours).

On Somalia and those (Somaliland) people who want to have relations with Somali factions and peace talks in Mbagathi (in Kenya), he said, he was personally opposed to such things and he was not going to have any relations with Somali factions or the Mbagathi talks.

He said his priority now would be to work on how Somaliland could stand on its feet. The president appealed to the international community to recognize Somaliland and support the progress it had achieved.


BBC Monitoring International Reports, May 20, 2004/ Radio Hargeysa in Somali 1700 gmt 18 May 04

Somaliland to hold parliamentary elections in March 2005

Somaliland President Dahir Riyale Kahin announced on Tuesday that the long-awaited parliamentary elections would be held in March 2005. This constitutes the last step in the democratisation process of the still non-recognised country.

In a speech on the 13th anniversary of Somaliland's reclamation of sovereignty on 18 May, President Riyale said that parliamentary elections would complete the country's democratisation process.

Somaliland gained world admiration for holding successful and internationally applauded local council elections and presidential elections despite the lack of international recognition as a sovereign an independent state.

On the killing of a number of foreigners in Somaliland, President Riyale said that the investigations had shown that the aim of such criminal acts was to portray Somaliland as a home of terrorism and to scare off foreign investors against coming to Somaliland.

He urged the people to work with the government to safeguard the country's security and to deny what he called "Somaliland's enemies" the chance to harm the peace and stability of the country.

The Somalilander President further again called upon the African Union and the UN to extend Somaliland its due recognition "according to the charter of the UN," taking account of Somaliland's achievements.


Somaliland Times, Issue 122 May 24-30, 2004

The Crowd Became Restive As Rayale's 18th May Speech Was Marred By Sound System Failure

156 Youngsters Sentenced By Controversial Panel But the Move is widely Condemned

Hargeisa, May 22, 2004 (SL Times) - Thousands of people who converged on Hargeisa's Khayria Square last Tuesday morning to listen to a speech that President Dahir Rayale Kahin was scheduled to give on the occasion of the 13th anniversary of the 18th May Independence Day, were in for disappointment when they became unable to hear what the Somaliland leader was saying due to a public address system failure. Rayale and his entourage arrived in Khayria Square at 7:45 in the morning and stayed there until around 8:30 before returning back to the presidency.

As the president began to speak from a podium built adjacent to the front of the Khayria building, the loudspeakers failed to function. The crowd became restive from the loss of sound and some people started to make loud noises as if trying to draw attention to the inaudibility of the president's voice. Rayale reacted by interrupting his speech several times to ask the crowd if they could hear him. An attempt to repair the fault in the public address system ended unsuccessfully after a man shown around by the minister of information as a standby technician actually turned out to be a gardener at the ministry's offices.

When a segment of the crowd got noisy, policemen using large wooden sticks moved in, ostensibly to restore calm. Many people, including a pregnant woman, were seen being beaten by policemen.

On taking notice of the police's behavior, President Rayale was prompted to shout loudly into the microphone an instruction for policemen "to leave the people alone". He also pleaded with the crowd to stay calm. However the president's voice was lost in the loud cracking noise made by a sea of people being jolted backward and forward by hundreds of policemen. The situation was about to get out of control when President Rayale ended his speech. The president was escorted by at least a dozen of technicals on the way to Khayria and back. Both on arriving and leaving, his fast moving entourage of vehicles barely missed crashing into the crowd only because people were quick to get out of the way. This behavior angered many people. "Our leaders need security protection but that doesn't mean that they have the right to endanger the lives of their own people," said a woman who waited for 2 hours to hear Rayale's speech, marking the day when Somaliland restored its sovereignty 13 years ago.

A former security officer commenting on the same matter observed: "They are doing things in an unprofessional way because by reckless driving you do not only put the lives of innocent civilians in danger but also the lives of leaders you are supposed to protect".

Many youngsters stayed at Khayria Square long after the 18th May celebration ceremonies ended. Several hundreds of them gathered together to stage a demonstration in protest against government corruption, unemployment and water shortages. The demonstrators then took the main road leading to President Rayale's office. The march was soon joined by gangs of teenagers and street- boys who went on rampage, causing damage and looting some properties. The police tried to disperse the march by firing live bullets over the demonstrators. As the crowd neared the Presidency, additional police reinforcement arrived. The presidential security guards were also called in to help in putting down the rioting. By mid-day on Tuesday over 180 youngsters including many school children were arrested for taking part in an illegal demonstration and disturbing public order. A controversial panel called the Hargeisa Regional Security Committee sat in the afternoon to sentence 153 of the detainees to 6 months in prison each while another 3 received one year prison term each. The rest of the detainees were released.

Parents who awaited in front of Hargeisa Central Police Station in the hope that their children would be released, were shocked when told that their loved-ones were going to be taken to Mandhera prison, about 100km east of Hargeisa. By 7:30 p.m. buses carrying the youngsters emerged from the police station. Mothers wept after the police refused to let them talk to their children. "These are Faqash," shouted many of them.

Meanwhile, the Somaliland human rights group Samo-talis described the sentencing of the detainees by the regional security committee as illegal. The group called upon the Somaliland authorities to immediately release the detainees. In a 1999 decision, the Somaliland House of Representatives banned the role of security committees. Both under late president Egal and current President Rayale, the government never abolished this security apparatus. Security committees were formed under the "Emergency law" introduced during the time of dictator Siyad Barre. The law gave security committees the power to make arbitrary arrests and trials. The Somaliland government invokes this law routinely. But most legal experts consider the functions of this body as unconstitutional. Only two weeks ago, the KULMIYE opposition party demanded the security committees be abolished. Many parents were devastated by the fact that their children were going to miss their public exams which began last Thursday throughout Somaliland.


Cold Steel Bars

Yvette Lopez, Hargeisa, Somaliland, 20 May, 2004

The annual examination of Somaliland Schools started today. More than 100 students will not make it. They are in Mandeera prison and will stay there for 6 months. Arrested last May 18 during the country's Independence Day celebration and sentenced the following day by the Regional Security Council.

The arrest of these kids mostly students raised mixed reactions among Somalilanders. Some welcome the decisive move of the government as a way to keep the country intact. "Somaliland needs stability and there is no room for trouble makers at this time." a Somali community worker said.

Human Rights organizations on the other hand released a statement last night condemning the imprisonment of demonstrators and the government's continuous implementation of the Emergency Law, a remnant of the Siad Barre dictatorship.

Now people ask how could the government through the Regional Security Council abruptly decide and sentence the young demonstrators while they keep mum on the progress of killers of Kenyan GTZ humanitarian aid worker caught redhandedly by the villagers of Dhoqoshay? Parents gathered around Hargeisa's Central Police Station on the night of Somaliland's Independence Day, their festive spirit transformed into grief and anger, they failed to bring their children home. The decision came as a surprise to everyone, some hope that this is only temporary, some fear however that this is becoming a trend.

One thing is clear though the young fresh inmates of Mandeera prison will not be able to join their classmates in taking their exams today, instead of pens their hands will learn to grasp the cold steel bars of prison cells.


Globe and Mail Saturday, May 15, 2004

Dreams Do Come True: Dr. Fahima Osman

20 years ago, a little girl in Somaliland wanted to become a doctor when she grew up. Yesterday, Fahima Osman became the first Canadian-trained MD of the country's largest African community By ERIN ANDERSSEN, Globe and Mail Saturday, May 15, 2004

When Fahima Osman was 6, she vowed to her mother that she would become a doctor.

"God willing," her mother had answered, "you will be." It was, then, the wide-eyed boast of a little girl, who did not know that her family would end up fleeing to a new country as Somali refugees five years later, spending their last penny on the trip, abandoning their every possession, but for a few bags and a framed wedding picture. But the dream held -- through all-night study sessions squeezed between part-time jobs to help pay the bills, against the high-school teachers who doubted her, even when she looked around and realized that she would be the first.

For 20 years, the dream held.

Yesterday, with her parents and cousins and eight siblings watching from the audience at Hamilton Place, Fahima Osman stood with her classmates from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont., and recited the of the Hippocratic oath to make it official: she is now the first Canadian-trained doctor of the country's largest African community.

"She is famous," said Abdi Osman, a program co-ordinator at Dixon Community Services in Toronto, which serves mainly Somali newcomers. Osman (no relation) calls Dr. Osman "a role model for the youth" of a refugee community that is still young and struggling, with an average adult income of about $15,000, according to the 2001 census. In the past decade, Somali Torontonians have formed outreach associations, started restaurants, celebrated the first wave of university graduates. But they have gone without a doctor who could speak to them in their own language, who understood their predominantly Muslim culture -- until now.

"We congratulate her with our hearts. It is a great thing, to turn a refugee into a doctor. It is practical evidence that whoever wants to achieve the highest positions in this country can do so." In July, Dr. Osman begins her residency in general surgery at the Toronto General Hospital.

The residency is a five-year program for which, in true character, she had already begun studying, even before she had written her final seven-hour exam for medical school on Tuesday. "I have to look at it as a journey,'' she said. "I am just finishing one part, and looking forward to the next part."

And planning, always planning, how she will make her mark -- both in Canada, the country that welcomed her family, and in Somalia, where the people so desperately need her skills.

Since The Globe and Mail profiled Dr. Osman last June as part of the New Canada series, her story has been told and retold on Somali websites around the world. She once Googled her name, on a lark, and was shocked by the dozens of sites that bounced back with the details of her life -- how her father, Adam, scrimped and saved his way out of the desert, and found work in the United Arab Emirates; how the young family came to Canada after his job ended because they could not go home to civil war; how the nine Osman children were told, no matter how tight the budget, they were expected to get a "brand-name'' education. And setting the course, as the eldest, was Dr. Osman, with her relentless work ethic, and compassion. "I am feeling fantastic," her father said of her graduation. "Her title is now Dr. Osman. It is a long way to come."

"It is a dream, finally," sighed her mother, Zahra, who first pulled the bulging McMaster envelope from the mailbox, under the noonday sun on June 4, 2000. She has gotten used to being introduced around the city as Dr. Osman's mother.

When she was first interviewed last year, Dr. Osman expressed her disappointment with not being able to find a mentor; she was promptly contacted by Andy Smith, the head of general surgery at Sunnybrook and Women's Hospital, who has become a close adviser. "I was struck by her dynamism and focus," Dr. Smith said. "In many ways, she is emblematic of all that is right in this country.'' Flooded by e-mail, she is currently in regular contact with about 75 young immigrants, many of Somali origin, who are hoping to follow her path into medical school. She typically spends one day of each weekend, just responding to e-mail. Their questions, she says, sound so much like the ones she had when she was first trying to get in.

"When you see the competition, you feel so hopeless, you just want to give up," she recalls. "I wanted to show them that I am just an average girl, I worked hard and I got in."

But what really got Dr. Osman thinking was a letter she received from her 10-year-old cousin back in Somalia, who told her that he would also like to be a doctor some day. "The thing is," she says, "it is impossible for him, really. There are no medical schools there." So Dr. Osman plans to split up her residency with a year-long masters degree in medical education or a related program so that she can work at a teaching hospital, and share her knowledge during regular stints back in Somalia.

She has a new dream now: that some day, she might see the opening of Somalia's first medical school.


EDITORIAL: Demonstration

The news about the demonstration in Hargeisa upset a lot of Somalilanders both inside and outside the country. People were celebrating Somaliland's independence and were shocked to hear that some individuals picked this time to make trouble. Whatever the grievances those youngsters may have had, it was the wrong time and the wrong message to send to the world. Although the demonstration was illegal since it was carried out without a permit, still the government must follow legal guidelines in dealing with the detainees. All Somalilanders, young and old, must understand the difference between making a political point and creating chaos and mayhem.

The large number of police officials and the tight security may have rubbed some Somalilanders the wrong way because we are not used to it, but it also shows the government is very serious about security matters. There were even reports that security officials combed the place where the president was going to speak before he got there to make sure it was fully secure, another plus for Somaliland's security officials.

But it seems that those in charge of the broadcasting system did not adequately test the sound system before the president's speech, and did not have plans on how to fix it quickly or install another sound system once the system they were using broke down. Likewise, some of the police made the mistake of leaving once the president left without making sure that the crowds had completely dispersed. The police also have had crowd control problems some of which is due to the lack of the proper crowd control gear and lack of training. There are also indications that the government knew some people were planning to ruin this noble occasion by staging a demonstration. If that is true, one would have expected a more effective response from the police and security officials. Security officials, the police, and concerned government agencies need to review their procedures and learn from their mistakes in order to avoid a repetition of this unfortunate episode. The government has to deal with the detainees in a lawful manner. The resort to extra-legal methods by the government will have serious consequences for our trust in the rule of law. The security committees are unconstitutional and must be abolished. Both the government and the governed must abide by the law.


Charcoal Production In Somaliland With Emphasis On Export And Cross Border Movement

By: Ahmed Ibrahim Awale

Somaliland, like other countries, has been in a ecological change for many decades and perhaps for hundreds of years, and practically all the changes have been towards a reduction in the vegetation cover. However, in the past three decades, the rate of deforestation, in response to rising demand for charcoal, wood for construction and thorn fencing, has put severe pressure on the remaining acacia woodland.

Biomass is the main and, indeed, the only traditional source of energy for Somaliland population. Charcoal is the principal energy producing fuel commonly used in urban areas for cooking and heating whereas firewood is commonly used in rural settlements.

Acacia species have a range of economical, esthetical, social, medicinal and environmental values. The galool (acacia bussei) is the most preferred tree, which is selectively felled for charcoal production, timber, and fencing - a fact which makes it a prime target, and given the current destruction rate it will be the first to be reduced to near extinction in the foreseeable future.

During the past fifteen years, charcoal production increased, to an extent that the acacia woodland resources are being harvested faster than they could regenerate. Added to this, the fact that the country is arid, and it takes a long period of time (25-30 years) for the trees to mature, which had resulted in the over-exploitation of tree resources in the wake of the rising urban energy needs.

Export of charcoal is illegal in Somaliland, although smuggling of some quantities to Djibouti and recently to Puntland is reported. In the early 90's areas in eastern Sanag and Sool have been subjected to a merciless operation of tree cutting, which had resulted in the clearance of thousands of hectares of prime forestland for charcoal production, for export to the Gulf States. Coincidently, the recent drought condition that has impacted the communities of Sanag and Sool plateau was most severe in those areas where trees were burned in large scale for charcoal.

The action taken by the regional government of Puntland and civil society organizations (CSOs), particularly the Resource Management Somali Network (RMSN) through lobby and advocacy at local and regional levels has reduced the magnitude of charcoal exportation from the eastern regions. However, charcoal export and boat people crossing the sea - the former to the Gulf States and the later to Yemen - are reported to be continuing secretly in some `ports' outside Bosaso. In addition, consignments of charcoal harvested from western parts of Togdheer reaching Puntland are in the increase, as recently reported by one of the local newspapers whereby 10 trucks fully loaded with charcoal were seen in Garowe.

Wood resource competition in the country emerged in year 2001, when nearly all dry trees for charcoal production became scarce, thus urging charcoal producers to cross to Region V bordering Somaliland which is comparatively rich of unexploited acacia woodland. According to a reliable source, around 15,000 bags of charcoal burned in Harshin district alone reach Hargeisa markets every month. During early 2003, the Ethiopian authorities made an attempt to halt charcoal consignments crossing to Somaliland, whereby drastic measures, including confiscation of trucks found carrying charcoal, were introduced. Despite of these measures, the consignments are still pouring into the Somaliland markets. This new trade trend has relieved the pressure of the traditionally heavily over-exploited acacia woodland areas inside the country. For example, while the galool dominated areas in the Haud plateau of Somaliland is experienced heavy deforestation rate, the profit-seeking charcoal trade entrepreneurs seek new grounds bestowed with forests, no matter where, and thus establish connections with the communities in those new areas.

Community pressure is another cause of shifting charcoal sites. When an area is heavily deforested, conflict over the remaining resources is inevitable between pastoral communities whose livelihoods depend on forest utilization on one end, and charcoal producers on the other.

The habit of Qat chewing which has become very widespread within the rural communities has urged thousands of young pastoralists desert their families and livestock to join charcoal production business with the only motive of satisfying their habits through plundering of trees. Unfortunately, they are always in debt, as all they gain from charcoal is spent on their personal needs and mostly on Qat. Stories are told of many who have lost in touch with their families for more than a year, shuttling from one charcoal site to another and frequenting nearby villages for replenishment of their needs. It is a bleak scenario and as one foreign observer put it, ` destruction of trees is one thing, but what is worse is spending the income on Qat'. Lowyaddo is a border checkpoint, linking Somaliland to Djibouti. It is the only land route that all goods, people and vehicles pass through between the two neighboring countries. Charcoal is again smuggled into Djibouti in small consignments loaded on camel backs driven by nomads avoiding border police.

With the prominence of the overwhelming shrinkage of rural economies, more people are resorting to charcoal production as a new coping mechanism, and a source of income. It is then no wonder that charcoal is now is added to the list of products that the rural communities used to offer for trade, which included among other things: Ghee, honey, hides, skins, gums, and others.

If this trend is left unchecked, it will definitely lead to loss of bio-diversity, soil erosion, more recurring and more severs droughts, rural-urban migration, loss of wild life and many other related problems which will boil down into economic deprivation, high unemployment, conflicts and security problems.

Some of the civil society organizations (CSOs) have been pro-active in highlighting the environmental issues and the scenarios that could result by carrying out awareness raising and community trainings on environmental management. However, the role of the government to act and take a leading role in controlling the damage being done on the environment one end (already the damage is irreversible!), and exploring solutions to the fuel-wood/charcoal crisis that could engulf the country on the other end, is deficient. There is an urgent need to explore and avail alterative source of energy. Some potential areas of investment, introduction and popularization are liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and kerosene stoves. Tax exemption on the importation of anything related to alternative energy, including kerosene fuel, is highly recommended.

References: Impact of Charcoal Production on Environment and the Socio-economy of Pastoral Communities of Somaliland, Ministry of PD&E and Candlelight, January 2004
Deforestation and Charcoal Burning: Specific Case Studies from the Southern and Central Regions of Somalia, RMSN 2003


Somaliland Should Ban the Somalia Passport

by Xirsi Jamac

As a Somaliland citizen I am very supportive of the protective measures that the Kenyan and UAE governments have taken by banning the Somalia passports. A passport is supposed to be printed by a government, and as we all know Somalia has no government, Somalia is a failed state, therefore the passport of Somalia means nothing. It is simply a piece of paper that anyone can buy on the streets of Mogadishu for ten dollars. In fact one could buy two hundred passports if one wished. Kenya and the United Arab Emirates have realized this fact and rightfully banned the passport of Somalia. Does this mean that they hate people from Somalia? No it does not. It only means that there is no government in Somalia which prints passports, hence anyone claiming to have a passport from Somalia in reality has nothing but a worthless document.

The Somaliland government should follow in the footsteps of Kenya and UAE on this issue and ban the passport of Somalia. Nobody should be allowed to enter Somaliland using a passport from Somalia. Instead Somaliland should open an embassy in Mogadishu where special visas could be issued for Somalia citizens wishing to travel to Somaliland.

This Somaliland embassy in Mogadishu could screen the people on its premises in Mogadishu before allowing entrance to Somaliland.

Somaliland must take strong measures to protect itself from the violence and terrorism that has taken root in the neighboring country of Somalia. Somalia is the center of terrorism in Africa. There are over 20 known terrorists operating in Somalia. These terrorists are terrorizing the innocent masses of Somalia by occupying their farms, raping their women, poisoning the coastline of Somalia, printing fake money, burning villages and many more cruel terrorist acts. One of the most well known terrorists operating on the soil of Somalia is Abdullahi Yusuf of the Majerteenia region. This particular terrorist was behind an assassination attempt against Somaliland's president. He has also allowed the dumping of nuclear material waste off the coastline of Somalia.

Kenya and the United Arab Emirates did the right thing by banning the Somalia passport. Somaliland's government must also do the right thing and ban the passport of Somalia. Unlike the passport of Somalia the passport of Somaliland is printed by a government elected by the people for the people. This is why one can travel anywhere with the Somaliland passport!


Somaliland Times, Issue 121 May 17-23, 2004

A Peaceful Demonstration Violently Repressed

Hargeisa, May 15, 2004 (SL Times) - Scores of youth and women protesting against corruption, unemployment and water shortages were arrested by the police in Hargeisa on Tuesday morning. The demonstrators took to the street in protest against corruption following an allegation earlier this month that large amounts of government revenues were unaccounted for by the ministry of finance. Police used large sticks to disperse the demonstration as it reached near the Tima-Ade Basketball stadium in Hargeisa. Our reporters saw the peaceful protestors being beaten by police even after they had been taken in custody. The KULMIYE opposition party condemned the police attack against the demonstrators. KULMIYE also accused practicing arbitrary arrests and trials on the basis of the public order law. In a statement issued earlier this week, KULMIYE described the invocation of the public order law as unconstitutional. "Since this law was struck down by the House of Representatives in August, 1999, its application is illegal, " the KULMIYE statement said. of both the SSJW and SOLJA to burry their differences and work for the establishment of a unified approach in dealing with the problems faced by Somaliland Journalists. The SOLJA official also criticized the top leadership of his own organization for failing to hold regular board meetings in the last 6 months.

SOLJA Director Criticizes Somaliland Journalists' Leaders

Hargeisa, May 15, 2004 (SL Times) - Abdirahman Mohamed Gun criticized leaders of Somaliland's two journalists associations for not doing enough to address what he termed as the disunity existing among the community of journalists. Gun, who is a member of the Somaliland Journalists Association's Board of Directors, said SOLJA and the Somaliland Society for Independent Journalists & Writers should have taken a common stand toward the BBC's training program. "The present situation where SOLJA is the only local counterpart of the project in Somaliland is completely wrong and not in the interest of all journalists," Abdirahman Gun said. Gun called upon leaders of both the SSJW and SOLJA to burry their differences and work for the establishment of a unified approach in dealing with the problems faced by Somaliland Journalists. The SOLJA official also criticized the top leadership of his own organization for failing to hold regular board meetings in the last 6 months.

"Awil, The Miracle"

Hargeisa, May 15, 2004 (SL Times) - Responding to severe criticism by former Minister of Commerce, Mohamed Hashi Elmi, that the budget plan for 2004 contained a lot of flaws, Somaliland's Minister of Finance, Awil Ali Duale, told reporters on Tuesday that the charges were completely baseless and untrue.

Mohamed Hashi Elmi was fired by president Rayale earlier this month following allegations by the former minister that about 16 million dollars in government revenues were unaccounted for by the Finance ministry. However, during a Tuesday press conference, Awil denied that there was something wrong with the government budget plan formulated and submitted by his ministry for cabinet review roughly 6 months behind schedule. Claiming that Kulmiye opposition party boss Ahmed Sillanyo failed while serving as finance minister under late president Egal, to install a budgetary system, Awil congratulated himself "for having accomplished what Sillanyo was, unable to deliver".

The remarks elicited a response from the former presidential candidate, Sillanyo. Citing as reference a story in which Awil said it was miraculous that he was born at all, Silanyo sarcastically concurred with Awil's assertion by saying that the fellow was a real miracle albeit of a wicked nature.

In a book written by Awil, the author describes how a woman fortune-teller advised his father to marry from a certain clan in order to have off springs after 9 previous marriages failed to give him children.

"Awil the miracle, has always stood for lies, blunder and betrayal," Silanyo said.

Silanyo recalled how Awil after expulsion from Sheikh School went to Aden and then ended up in London to study dentistry. According to Silanyo, Awil failed to become a dentist. He then joined a group of Somaliland cadets who in 1960 were under-going a 6 month training course at a military school in the UK, Silanyo added. But what merits attention about Awil, Silanyo continued, is that he always wanted to be recognized as someone with the same credentials as those of the graduates of the superior 2 year training provided by the Sandhurst Military Academy in England.

Silanyo also ridiculed Awil for the habit of putting the title "Ambassador" before his name. "We see former ambassadors to countries such as China, USA or Saudi Arabia making no fuss about the position they had held, while we find Awil who served as charge d' Affaires in Siyad Barre's Embassy in Kampala during Idi Amin's reign as obsessed as ever with being called Ambassador."


Somaliland's Sovereignty Is Not Negotiable

Kulmiye STATEMENET ON THE MBGATHI PROCESS, May 10, 2004

Over the past 17 months, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has been hosting in Kenya the 15th reconciliation conference for Somalia factions. This long and costly process has been disappointing and has clearly illustrated for all that the Somalia factions meeting in Kenya are not committed at this time to complete and meaningful reconciliation. Nevertheless, we wish IGAD and the Somalia factions full success.

In contrast to the never-ending and costly IGAD meeting in Kenya, Somaliland has over the same period consolidated the peaceful reconstruction and democratization process it embarked on 13 years ago. In December 2002, Somaliland completed free multiparty elections for local councils and in April of 2003, Somaliland completed multiparty presidential elections in which our party gained 42.7% of the vote, just 80 votes short of full victory. It is important to also note, that Somaliland's achievements over the past two years and, indeed, over the past 13 years, have been largely on her own with only marginal involvement of the international community. Moreover, Somaliland has over these past 13 years maintained peaceful and mutually beneficial and conflict-free relationships with all its neighbors.

Somaliland gained its independence as a sovereign State on 26 June 1960 after 86 years of colonial rule by the United Kingdom and later voluntarily united with the former Italian Trusteeship of Somalia. This union was never legally consummated and after enduring many years of neglect and nearly 10 years of southern military oppression that resulted in massive destruction and loss of life, the citizens of Somaliland decided to end their union with the former Italian Somalia. Somaliland's decision to end its union with Somalia is not precedent setting. Many other nations that have voluntarily joined with their neighbors have ended these unions after finding that the union status was detrimental to the needs of their people. Somaliland's decision to end its union with Somalia was confirmed by a constitutional referendum whereby more than 97% of citizens voted for the independence of Somaliland.

Kulmiye reaffirms Somaliland's decision to end the union with the former Italian Somalia and declares once and for all eternity that Somaliland's independence and sovereignty are not negotiable. We also wish to point out these salient points to IGAD, the United Nations and others in the international community involved in Somalia reconciliation:

Somaliland is not participating in the meetings in Kenya and has not participated in all earlier meetings. The outcome, therefore, does not concern us and no one should be under any illusion that Somaliland will be party to this process or its outcome. Somaliland has indicated on numerous occasions that it will be open to enter into negotiations with a functioning Somalia state. In deed, it would be folly for anyone to ask Somaliland to risk all of its achievements by involving itself with the multitude of warring factions and the prevailing chaos in Somalia.

The current IGAD reconciliation meeting is wasteful and has drawn resources away from humanitarian and development projects in Somalia and Somaliland. A successful outcome, desirable as it is, is doubtful. In fact, many observers believe that creation of a government through this process (as has been pronounced by process leaders) will most certainly create new tensions and conflict in Somalia.

We sincerely hope that IGAD and leaders of the reconciliation process in Kenya will judiciously and realistically review the process. We are confident that an honest reassessment would lead to the conclusion that it would be better to end these meetings rather than working towards a hasty and probably dangerous outcome that may again plunge Somalia into new conflict.

Kulmiye strongly protests the presence in Kenya and the participation in the Mbgathi reconciliation process of many individuals who have committed gross, genocidal and widespread human rights abuses in Somaliland and Somalia. These individuals do not deserve to be treated as honored guests. They should be arrested and judged by an international tribunal. Their presence in Kenya is shameful and fatally mars the reconciliation process. We also strongly urge donor countries that are funding the IGAD reconciliation meetings in Kenya to immediately stop financing the presence of these criminals in these meetings.

Finally and with respect, we wish to remind the international community that holding Somaliland's well-being hostage to the wishes and designs of southern warlords who continue to wreck havoc on their own citizens is unfair. Somaliland has done its part in resolving its own conflict and starting its own democratization process without being coerced by the international community. Attempting now to coerce Somaliland into an unhealthy union is unwise. Somaliland deserves the often-touted peace dividend and hopes that the United Nations, IGAD countries, the Arab League and the rest of the international community will finally act true to their own pronouncements and allow Somaliland to become a good member of the international community to serve its people.

KULMIYE party, Somaliland


A Young Somali Poet

London, May 14, 2004 - Eleven-year-old Somali girl Fathiya Nuh Askar was ranked 10th top young writer in a nation-wide competition in the UK that attracted over 67,000 entries.

The Somali pupil wrote the following poem:

I SAW........
I saw a hairy elephant telling lies
I saw an ant so small with big, wide eyes
I saw a flat snail licking my knees
I saw an oak tree dancing in the breeze
I saw a seahorse in the air
I saw a tall, skinny chair saying, nearly there
I saw a big fat whale hugging a bird
I saw a boy running from a beautiful girl
I saw a long horse keeping his hands and feet still
I saw a short dog with gills
I saw a pink flower singing out loud
I saw a big book feeling proud


EDITORIAL: The Government & Freedom Of Expression

Somaliland's Information Minister Abdillahi Mohamed Duale claimed on Tuesday that the government media offers equitable treatment for the 3 political parties in the country. We regret to disagree with the minister. The fact is that the government-owned media is completely biased in favor of the government and its UDUB party. There is a big contrast between Duale's self-congratulatory statement and the repressive policies followed by Radio Hargeisa and Maandeeq newspaper with regard to the views of the opposition or any other opinions found critical of the government. For example, Thursday's press conference held by KULMIYE's Chairman, Ahmed Silanyo, was not covered by the government media. Another press conference held on the 6th of May by Mohamed Hashi Elmi, a politician who is not a member of any political party, was deliberately ignored by the government media. The same media however gave big coverage to Finance Minister Awil's response, the next Tuesday, to Mohamed Hashi's criticism of the budget plan for fiscal year 2004.

Although it may look on the surface as if the bias of the government owned media is helping the government, it is really difficult to say so with any certainty, because that same bias has resulted in the government media's loss of much of its credibility. The question then becomes why continue spending taxpayers' money on something that has so many problems.

There is also the matter of who has the authority to grant permits for private radio stations. Despite the passage by parliament, in January this year, of a press law that empowers the State Attorney General alone to license new media enterprises, the information minister continues to claim, albeit illegally, that only he can authorize the establishment of privately-owned radio stations.

The main reason for the hostility shown by government ministers and senior police officers towards the democratic rights of citizens is plain: any improvement in the way this country is governed would mean most of those officials losing their jobs.

Two trends are discernible these days. On the one hand, the government is curtailing democratic freedoms. Attacks on freedom of expression are increasing. Peaceful demonstrators are being suppressed violently by the police. On the other hand, informal political activism against corruption and in support of upholding freedom of expression is on the rise.

President Rayale cannot afford to risk providing support for the present status quo where corruption and incompetence have become the criteria for entering the government. The Somaliland public can no longer accept any excuses for the continuation of corruption coupled with assaults on their civil liberties. People have already run out of patience. They want changes now.


A Shrink of High Hopes

by Mohamed Jama Arraale

This country has been founded a bloodstained struggle in which thousands lost their lives and property. The victory achieved has been deliberately made of little value and most of the living heroes who risked their lives were rebuffed and ignored. Many who were opposing the war of liberation or were away from the whole scene took advantage sidetracking the purpose for which the war was fought in the first place.

The war of liberation is now on the verge of being forgotten for good. Alas those who hoped to enjoy the fruits of liberation now see something quite different in practice.

Those who were in tight collaboration with the tyrant dictator - Siad Barre - who was overthrown now run the country harassing the liberators.

The veterans of the armed struggle are now treated with contempt by those in government. Some veterans couldn't come into terms with how their future turned into a bleak end.

Psychotic disorder marked by feelings of dejection and hopelessness is common among them. Many have become mentally disturbed. Others just narrate in detail the horrors of war recalling their ordeals. We should be aware of the painful mental injuries that veterans are undergoing as a result of their war-trauma experience. Despite the formation of the SOOYAAL veterans organization more than a decade ago, the majority of ex-combatants have yet to reintegrate. This has been due to lack of funding for reintegration programs and frequent interferences of the government reduced the whole organization to only a name. We must not forget that the grass-roots of the veterans were young persons whose leaders abandoned them for the sake of gaining ministerial posts that didn't last long. Many educated veterans went abroad and were given asylum in the west depriving the organization of educated leaders. The illiterate veterans who accounted for the majority are not capable of selecting a good leadership that can run the organization well.

The government always intervened when the election of the organization's leadership was due. This caused dispute and wrangling that sometimes developed into out of control.

The SNM enemies who were in the hiding and in constant fear of being held liable to the crimes they committed against the liberation struggle are now in power. The veterans are more often harassed and denied even the good name they had earned.

The SNM is not a withered organization and will not go into history as an emotionally consumed organization which has no political clout. SNM had already cleaned its own house and now claims that the status quo is unacceptable and the victory is still fresh as yesterday.


The Stateless Professor In Minnesota

Abdillahi Sheikh Hassan, member, Somaliland House of Elders

Unfortunately, I recently read a 3-page essay entitled "the Secessionist Campaign in London" by Abdi I. Samater, retrieved from a Somali-run Website called "All Puntland". Those who are familiar with this Website know that it often carries anti-Somaliland messages, like the Samaters's and those who share their hostile views. Clearly, this essay does not only contain loathsome language, it also lacks any sense of human decency. I call Prof. Samater "Stateless" because he openly admitted, "he does not call himself a Somalilander" in front of thousands of Somalilanders in London recently. Samater's 3-page odious essay deeply offended me as much it did to all Somalilanders who might have read it. One cannot fail to sense the intellectually immoral and historically distorting justifications on which Samater based his arguments about Somaliland. This man's persistently continuous naked propaganda against Somaliland is believed to have lost him a lot of audience, except for a few such as Abdiqasim Salad Hassan, his famous God Father Abdirazak H. Hussein, AllPuntland Website, etc. We reject the embittered, erroneous and hostile language of Samater.

Presently, Prof. Samater is facing a difficult challenge for his costly attempts to salvage the Somalia Warlord scenario, an effort that looks like a total failure. His now distasteful long-time loudspeaker advocacy for the already defunct Somali Democratic Republic is a lost cause and a waste of time. Samater's highly publicized campaign for the Somalia Peace Conference in Nairobi, which he profited from financially, is now on the verge of total collapse. We, the people of free Somaliland wish our Somalia brothers success in their efforts to reconcile their differences. In case of need, we will be happy to help them.

Prof. Samater made ungodly anti-Somaliland remarks at the British Parliament, where President Dahir Rayale Kahin (the legitimately elected President of Somaliland) was delivering his historic speech to the members of the British Parliament and thousands of cheering Somalilanders gathered in and outside the hall, to show their undiminished support to their visiting president and his large delegation. Many people wondered how the man left the hall safely after making his absurd and ugly comments. Some eyewitness reports indicated that Samater dashed to the exit trembling with fear, of course with the assistance of certain close relatives present in the vicinity. He was lucky not to be flogged by the tens of thousands of Somalilanders who were in the area to show their unfailing support and appreciation to their president; and exhibiting their national feelings to the British Parliament.

Admittedly, the kind of Hon. Worthington, Member of British Parliament, deeply hurt the negative feelings of Prof. Samater, particularly, when the MP stated that "Somaliland has terribly regretted its thoughtless unification with Somalia in July 1960". The Prof should not forget that the freedom and independence of Somaliland were not attained easily. It only emerged as a result of the blood shed by thousands and thousands of its young men and women, as well as the sacrifice of assets accumulated for hundreds of years. This costly freedom will never be compromised with anyone, let alone Prof. Samater's favorite warlords in Somalia.

Prof Samater seems oblivious that the unforgettable historical events since July 1960, indicate vividly that, the former loosely-binding voluntary act of union between the former territory of British Somaliland Protectorate and Italian Somalia came to an end in October 1969, when the dictatorial military regime instantly abolished, inter alia, all the laws, including the National Constitution. Surely, Prof Samater can clearly recollect the outcome of the Somalia Constitutional Referendum in 1962 in which more than 87% of the voters in the former British Protectorate voted "No".

The purpose of that voluntary union, on the part of Somaliland, was to unite all the five Somali inhabited territories into an unattainable wishful dream to form "Greater Somalia", (Somaliland Protectorate, Italian Administered Somalia, NFD, the Somalia Region Five of Ethiopia, and the French Somaliland). Presently, NFD is part of Kenya, Somali inhabited Region Five decided to remain with the Ethiopian Federation, French Somaliland (now Djibouti) which gained its independence from France in 1977, decided to remain a separate independent Republic. All these facts combined have caused such wishful dream of "Greater Somalia" to finally die.

Ever since it reinstated its independence and territorial integrity back in 1991, Somaliland has managed to avoid the devastating fighting and starvation that engulfed Somalia. Thanks to our Elders and their traditional wisdom for the realization of reconciliation and peace in Somaliland.

The Prof should know that our people are proud to had overcome what our Somalia brothers, with the advice and expertise of Prof Samater and others, are still awfully failing to realize. In summary, Prof Samater must be enlightened that Somaliland has successfully passed through a number of challenges; that more specifically, we are all proud of our flourishing democracy. Besides achieving "bottom-up" nationwide community peace and stability, that was virtually immune from any sort of extraneous influence, other democratic and political successes in Somaliland are:

The Constitutional Referendum of 31st May 2001, at which 97% of the electorate expressed their desire for an independent and sovereign statehood.

The local council elections held in December 15, 2002.

The closely contested Presidential Elections that were peacefully conducted on Apri114, 2003, during which the current President was chosen as the first elected Head of State for more than 34 years.

The parliamentary elections scheduled to take place early next year.

The people of this country are conscious about the intentions of those who feel envious about their achievements including the confused geography Professor.

It is a pity for Prof Abdi I. Samater to renounce his country of origin and simultaneously claim that he is from Gebilay. Gebilay is one of the major towns in Somaliland.


Banning Somali Passport Is Not The Right Answer

Mohamed Mukhtar Ibrahim, London

Picture how your face looked 20 years ago. It is possible that your face has changed almost beyond recognition, imagine what the same number of years can do to a country. It is almost two decades ago when I first tried to get a Somali passport as it was a hot property then, and it took me to move mountains to get it. Unfortunately, after years of civil strife, the Somali state has flopped and the Somali passport is now overflowing.

This country has been without a proper government since the civil war broke out in 1990. As result of that it has experienced a bitter political calamity and insecurity, which debilitated the country, suffocated its economy, disrupted its public and private sectors, dispirited foreign investments, subjected distress and adversity on its people, and brought mortification to the Somali passport holders. Although the Somali state has failed, but it has not remained immune from the globalization trend and its society is utterly unprotected from the advantageous and disadvantageous effects of globalization. On the positive side, Somalis have managed to utilize the country's geographical location within Africa as a land and air link with the Middle East. The seaports of the country play a key role in the transshipment of consumer goods to Kenya, Ethiopia and beyond. To cite an example, although there is lack of availability of definite statistics but it is believed that ports between Mogadishu and kismayu are the major sources of spare parts for vehicles for the entire region of East Africa. In the Middle East, Somalia has good business link with Dubai, which is practically now the offshore commercial capital of Somalia.

On the negative side, since there is no viable government that maintains the rule of the law and has power over its borders, the country is regarded to be the breeding ground in which trans-national and non-state security threats can progress and advance. The uncontrolled ports and borders that promote commercial activities are also said to attract illegal activities including terrorism. The terrorist attacks in New York and Washington on 11 September 2001 have let some countries to consider Somalia as a failed country, which terrorist networks use as a safe haven. It is said Somalia's problems can infect other countries in the region and once trans-national criminals become established in Somalia, it is easy for them to infiltrate and expand their operations in other countries in the region. To limit this possibility and to control those who travel to and from Somalia, on 17 April 2004, Kenyan government banned the use of Somali passport on its territory and the following month UAE considered applying the similar restriction. Surely, a failed state on the doorway of its neighbor is a grave matter, but it is incomprehensible how the Kenyan government wants to limit the travel movement of Somalis while hosting the Somalia peace reconciliation conference or is it simple the dichotomy of Kenya's principle stand?

It is possible to sense the fingerprint of American government on the banning policy that some countries have adopted abruptly, but if Somalia becomes bad country ruled by lawbreakers, how will banning the use of Somali passport address the real issue, which is the absence of an effective government?

It is myopic to believe that international terrorists are using Somali passports when the holders of these passports naturally attract the attention of immigration officers throughout the world. If Kenya keeps presenting Somalia as unruly place, this will hardly give Kenya a good image or make it Mecca of tourists.

This ban is not panacea for the weakness of Somali security apparatus, which has failed to control its border, but it is gimmick gesture to please Uncle Sam. However, IGAD countries need to take significant strides aimed at bringing to an end the acute law and order problems that Somalia has become notorious and help Somalis to set up a foundation upon which Somalis can reconstruct their country instead of telling them to stay put. Finally, the ban will shelve the potentially useful contributions that Somalia is making to East Africa and will alienate Somalis further. Furthermore, it will be counterproductive to all the good measures that IGAD has taken so far if Somalis are not allowed to take part the Mbagathi peace conference. Moreover, it will not discourage international terrorists anyway, since they do not use Somali passports to travel. And Somalia will suffer further in terms of economically, politically, and socially. This ban can be in essence a new embargo and push Somalia further into the void.


Jamhuuriya .info, June 7, 2004/The Republican NEWS

Three women and two donkeys died in a mine accident

Hargeisa(The Rep)- Three women and two donkeys died in a mine accident 5 Km north of the agricultural town of Arabsiyo, which lies about 35 Km west of Hargeisa, on the Hargeisa -Wajale road.

According to Gabiley district officials, the 3 women and their donkeys were on their way to the market when what the officials said was an anti-tank killed them, near the former military garrison of Dagah Madow.

Although de-mining activities has been going on in different parts of the country by local and international organizations, since the early 90's of the last century, yet current estimation is that there are over a million mines in different parts of the country.

Some of these mines are along the border between Somaliland and Ethiopia. They were planted in the 1964 and in the 1977-78 Ethio-Somali war (known as the Ogaden war). There are also mines planted in the Somali National Movement (SNM) struggle against the late military dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in the 80's. These mines are mostly around the military garrisons and barracks. There are also some mines that were planted in the 1994-6 civil wars. Unfortunately there are no maps available on these mine sites.

Since 1991, when people began returning to the country more than a thousand people were killed in mine accidents and double that were handicapped.

International Agencies like Action Aid and Life and Peace have been providing the handicapped with artificial legs, limps and feet.

Local businessmen such as Hagi Ahmed Dahir Bahsane were also providing financial support to provide wheel chairs for the handicapped.


Vice President

Hargeisa (The Rep)- Vice President Ahmed Yusuf Yasin requested UNDP to continue its support to the police force and assist in making Mandhere police training school into a police academy.

Ahmed Yusuf Yasin who was speaking at a special ceremony for 158 policemen who completed a 3-month training said, "We acknowledging the role UNDP has been taking in training our police and raising their standard. We hope that it will also help in training the police in Anti-terrorism, communication and the provision of materials that will facilitate their duties."

The Vice President reminded those who completed their course of the different stages the police force passed though and said, "We have began from the scratch and today we have reached a stage where you can fulfill your obligations of preserving security, strengthening justice and respecting human rights. Remember that police stations are the core, where justice takes either the right course or the wrong path."

The trainees that completed their 3 months course came from the 6 regions and will return to their posts.

Minister of justice Ahmed Hassan Ali, Minister of Interior Aden Mohamed Mire (Waqaf), Police Commander Mohamed Egeh Elmi, Sahil Regional Chairman Mohamed Abdillahi and senior officers from UNDP were present at the ceremony.


The 16th Anniversary of the foundations of the SNM

Hargeisa(The Rep)- The 16th Anniversary of the foundations of the SNM (Somaliland National Movement) was celebrated at a special ceremony in Hargeisa Club, with call by Hassan Essa Jama that members of the Movement has more to share than partisanship.

The first vice president of Somaliland as well as the last Chairman of SNM, Hassan Essa Jama began his address with prayer for the martyrs of SNM (Reading Fatihia) described the SNM struggle as a miracle.

He said, "Those outside the movement can not believe, but we have to thank God for these miracles".

Speaking of the political achievements he said, "There were similar to those of the military in their success. We established the movement in London, at a time when Siad Barre's regime was at its peak militarily. We had neither money nor a single gun. Ethiopia was misinformed about our intentions. They were told that we were anti-socialist and anti-Ethiopian".

"We told Ethiopia that we were not its enemies, but that we wanted to liberate our country. Mengistu welcomed us, listened to our case, but old us to join Abdil Yusuf and his movement. SNM had to face a closed political door, but thanks to its politicians is succeeded to bring SNM out of that," he said.

Hassan Essa Jama spoke about the political obstacles SNM has to encounter and their failure to make a political program, although he said that they tried many times.

The former first Vice President of Somaliland and last chairman of SNM reminding the support SNM handicap deserve said, "We began opening fire into the air when we liberated the country. In 1993 (members of the SNM) told us to hand over the reign of power. We did what you wanted. We would have supported our handicap and you have the consequence of your request."

Hassan Essa reminded the government and the opposition to be 2 wings of the state and that neither can survive without the other.

He said, "It is the duty of the government to unite the nation, rule with justice, take constructive advice and give priority to national interest than individual benefits." "We appeal for our authorities to work for the nation. Leaders and authorities work for 18 hours a day. We do not expect them to do that, but it would suffice us in present condition, if they work one hour for the nation and one for themselves," he added.

He urged the opposition saying, "You have national obligation to fulfill. Your criticism should be constructive, support it, when it does something constructive and good for the nation and advice to abandon their quest, when they are in the wrong."

SNM Veterans like Hassan Mohamed Ubahle (Hassan-Ganey), Yusuf ilkacase, Mohamed Haji Nur (Lixle), Ismail Faqash, Hussein Werar who were among those who spearheaded the assault on Hargeisa, on May 31 1988 spoke in detail about the operation.

May 31st is historical day, remembered in modern Somaliland history. It is the day SNM entered Hargeisa. It is the day that Aden Shine was assassinated and it is the day that the people of Somaliland voted in a referendum that Somaliland is an independent state.


The Budget Passed

Hargeisa(The Rep)- The 2004 central government and Berbera Port budget was approved by the House of Representatives, after 2 days of heated debate by 48 votes, with 12 against and 1 abstention.

The House of Representatives approved the 161, Million SL.SH (Approx. 20 Million Dollars) budget, which gives priority to security without any change.

The government was lobbying for almost 2 weeks to pass the budget, which was criticized by the opposition and for which Eng, Mohamed Hashi Elmi, former Minister of Commerce lost his cabinet post.

Mohamed Hashi Elmi had stated that $17 Million were not accounted for and that the income of the first 5 months of this year is not included.

KULMIYE party criticized budget for unclarity and in transparency.

Awil, the Finance Minister defended his budget saying that income and expenditure are balanced. He said, "The budget allots for development projects, provides expenditure for the political parties and includes increase of salary for the security forces".

A 3 Day Workshop

Hargeisa(The Rep)- A 3-day workshop organized by the National Electoral Commission (NEC) was concluded here this week with recommendations on the forthcoming parliamentary Elections, which will be held in March 2005.

The workshop attended by Member of Parliament, political parties, the government the press and the police recommended:

-The National Electoral Commission get sufficient resources, staff and communications
-The NEC to have a clear plans on all its activities and be fully independent to carry its activities.
-The increase in the number of polling stations, where necessary.
-The use of irremovable ink
-The implementation of code of conduct for the NEC, political parties and the government during the elections to take disciplinary actions.

The recommendations also included raising public awareness and training party representatives and those connected with the election procedures.

They also recommended that parties get equal expenditure, equal time in the Media and to have an independent National Media Board.

They recommended the respect of human rights of women and minorities and the increase in the role of civil societies.

A technical committee was formed to prepare all matters related to the elections and its laws.


Faisal Ali Warabe Returned Home

Hargeisa((The Rep)-Chairman of the Opposition Justice and Welfare Party (UCID) Faisal Ali Warabe returned from a month and half tour to East African Countries to a warm and large reception by hundreds of party supporters and senior officials from the opposition KULMIYE.

Faisal Ali Warabe told the press at Egal International Airport that his trip (the first) was successful.

He said, "We have submitted our cause to IGAD chairman and Uganda president Yweri Museveni. We briefed IGAD about our position and gave them indicators on how to solve the problems of the fighting clans in Somalia. We also explicitly explained to them that we don't hate Somalia, but will not allow anyone to share our country."

On relations will Djibouti he said, "The problem was lack of communication. We differed in ways and means of getting what we need. They are not our enemies. We can depend on the people of Djibouti".

Speaking on views of IGAD countries towards Somaliland he said, "Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti have a similar position towards Somalia and Somaliland. We need a government of Unity and a unified stand to get Somaliland's rights and recognition. Ethiopia, Djibouti and Eritrea are favorable to Somaliland and we hope to join the regional organization soon".

On the parliamentary election Faisal Ali Warabe said, "A very short time has remained and countries I visited are interested in it. We have to complete the election law as soon as possible. Register candidates, solve the problem of Las Anod and hold a better election than the 2 held so far".


Minister Gives Scholarship to SOPYA

Hargeysa(The Rep)- Minister of Interior, Ismail Aden Osman at the request of SOPYA Youth Organizations promised to pay the fee for 5 students who can not pay their tuition. According chairman of SOPYA Abdirahman M. Gun, SOPYA, which will pass the donation to Hargeisa University today, gave the Minister a Certificate of Thanks. The Minister commended SOPYA for passing the scholarship for given to the organization, to those who needed it more.

Workshop on Parliamentary Election Procedure is Underway

Hargeisa(The Rep)- The National Electoral commission organized a work-shop for 50 members of both Houses of Parliament, political parties, the media and civic societies to brief them on experience gained by Somaliland observer team, at the South African parliamentary elections at Ming-Sing Hotel in Hargeisa.

Chairman of the National Electoral commission (NEC) Ahmed Hagi Ali Adami in his opening speech stated, that the main aim of the Somaliland delegation to S/African election was to gain experience from their electoral system. He said, "Delegation members will present experience gained during the workshop".

Mohamed Sheikh and Ms. Shukri Hagi Bondare stressed that the South African electoral commission fulfilled its task in accordance with the constitution and the laws and they had everything necessary to hold the election.

They said, "South Africa had a problem solving committee and courts which reached final decision on problems that could not be solved by the committee. The commission had also sufficient fund for the election."

Mohamed Kahin Ahmed from the opposition KULMIYE party told the participants that his most vital benefit was the freedom, knowledge and experience of the South African election committee."

He said, "The commission got support from the government, companies and private organizations. It comes under the Parliament economically and is free from the government. Its functions were based on the constitution."

Mohamed Kahin Ahmed proposed that all parties have equal share of public funds, equal time and opportunity in the media and establish a disciplinary law for the election.

Abdillahi Said Ismail from the opposition Justice and Welfare party (UCID) said, "I have had ample experience from my South African visit. They ranged from the political parties, public fund, registration of voters, raising public awareness, special votes and polling stations."

Omer Jama from the governing party UDUB said, "Political parties should not consider themselves as enemies, have patience, stop dirty politics, behave respectfully, attract public support and respect result of elections".

Abdillahi Jama (Geel-Jire) from UDUB spoke in detail about the cooperation between ANC and the government, party member contribution ($2 annually), party overlooking government programs and deduction from the salary of senior officials to the party.

Ms. Su'ad Abdillahi from the Academy for Peace and Democracy who was also a member of the team to South Africa spoke about the participants of the civic societies in every stage and how this contributed towards the success of democracy in South Africa.

Chairman of Somaliland Journalists Association (SOLJA) Faisla Ali Sheekh who was one of the observers at the S/African parliamentary election, on April 14/04 said, "The democracy and development of a country can be measured by the role its media takes."

Speaking about the world Media he said, "There are more than 2 million radio stations, a million TV channels and millions of papers, but Africa has very little access to them. South Africa has an independent South African Broadcasting Cooperation (SACP) with 5-TV channels, 14 Radio stations. They belong to the government, but criticizes it if the need arises. POP-TV and ETV are government owned. MNET is jointly owned by government and a private company. They are not censored".

Chairman of SOLJA told the participants that it is imperative to have a free flow of news, to get a well-informed society. He said, "It is essential to have a free media and that investment by government and private companies contribute to the existence and development of the Media".

Chairman of the permanent committee of the House of Representatives Said Elmi Roble said, "The referendum for the constitution in March 2001 and the problems that arose from the division of parliamentary seats were the main causes for the incompletion of the electoral law, although the government handed the law in 2000".

Said Roble added that the House of Representatives would pass the law, which is with Internal Committee, to the House of Elders, during the next session. He said, "Somaliland has all the institutions that South Africa has. The difference is that South Africa respects and defends its laws and solve problems that arise peacefully."

Shukri Hagi Bondare from the NEC announced on the 2nd day of the symposium tat the NEC have finished its task and will announce them at the end of the workshop. She said, "We met the President and have agreed on the day the parliamentary elections will be announced. We will do that next week (This Week)".

Chairman of the Academy for Peace and Development Mohamed Said Gess, in his speech at the workshop said, "Somaliland's democracy was initiated by the government and developed by the Media. Neither parliament nor the opposition has not campaigned for Democracy."

Elaborating this he stressed that all loopholes, and shortcomings and incompletion would have existed If they played their past.


KULMIYE Celebrates 2nd Anniversary

Hargeisa(The Rep)- The second anniversary of the foundation of the opposition KULMIYE party was celebrating on May 22 at Ming Sing Hotel with a speech by chairman Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo in which he described that the political program of KULMIYE will safeguard the progress and the development of the people of Somaliland and its freedom.

Silanyo in his speech called on President Rayale saying, "Let by-gones be bygones. We had forgiven each other. We are ready to support you, but we request you to avoid actions that will remind the people of the genocide, they have been through".

Chairman of KULMIYE in his speech emphasized that his party will partake in every program aimed to benefit the people.

Referring to a statement by chairman of the House of Representatives Ahmed Mohamed Qaybe last week on the public order law said, " Qaybe is a liar, for the House of Representatives have refused to pass this law. I urge you President, not to listen to him".

Abdi Aw Dahir, a member of the executive committee who just returned from 5 months trip to the United Kingdom said, "We are ready to cooperate with the government, if it changes its current policy. We urge the government to have a clear program for development."

Abdi Aw Dahir added saying, "Somaliland community in UK has contributed $30,000 to Burao Hospital and promised to support development programs. The British government told us, that it hopes parliamentary elections will be held soon, while sustaining security and having good relations with neighboring countries."

Ambassador Abdirahman Mohamed Abdillahi (IRO), shadow Minister of foreign Affairs of the opposition Justice and Welfare Party (UCID) who spoke at the ceremony stated that his party is ready to work with the other parties for national good.

Criticizing statement by Ms. Sirad Ali Yusuf 2nd Deputy chairman of KULMIYE said, "My party supported the decision of the Supreme Court, on the result of the presidential election. I do not support the statement by Ms. Sirad that is was illegal."

Members of the 2 opposition parties, the national electoral commission and other guests attended the 3-hour ceremony.


IGAD FOREIGN MINISTERS UNANIMOUSLY AGREE SOMALILAND'S EXCLUSION FROM NAIROBI CONFERENCE

Nairobi (The Rep)- "Somaliland is not officially represented at the Reconciliation Conference for factions in Somalia and as such is not included in the share of parliamentary seats," this was announced by IGAD Foreign Ministers who are currently holding separate meetings with the different clans in Somalia.

Somaliland born individuals - who does not want their names disclosed -but who took part in the IGAD-Dir meetings, early in this week, told The Republican of the dangers that might emerge from the conference.

They said, "These dangers can have adverse and negative effects on Somaliland and as such, it is imperative for Somaliland to be ready to counter these intrigues and avert the dangers that might erupt from them."

The individuals who were present at the Dir meeting with IGAD told The Republican, that 2 views were advocated by the Somaliland born individuals. The first group wanted their share of the parliamentary seats to be included with that of DIR, while the rest reminded the Foreign Ministers of Kenya, Sudan, Uganda and Djibouti that Somaliland is not represented at the conference.

It seems, as this is the first time that IGAD member countries unanimously agree that Somaliland has nothing to do with the Mbgathi conference or the parliamentary seats to be divided by the clans in Somalia.


UDUB Party Defends Government and Attack KULMIYE

Hargeisa(The Rep)- The Secretary General of the ruling UDUB party, Mohamed Ismail Bulale in a press conference described opposition KULMIYE party still thinks that it has win the presidential election, held more than a year ago.

Defending the government against the opposition chairman Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo Bulale said, "The government has not failed to fulfill its obligations and responsibilities to the people. It has become Silanyo's habit to suggest taking part in Somalia's conferences in every meeting. I think that it is preferable if he recommended Somaliland to take part in the African Union and Arab league conferences and present our cause."

UDUB Secretary criticized Silanyo saying, " Silanyo was nominated as Minister of Finance by the late president Egal, because Silanyo as Member of Parliament he used to criticize the government for misuse of public funds and embezzlement. As a seasoned politician and economist he was expected to extend the Somaliland shilling in his constituency, but failed. When the time for the budget came, he gave a feeble reason that the country is not recognized and livestock trade, which is the backbone of the economy is passing through a different period".

Mohamed Ismail Bulale described president Kahin's cabinet as efficient and fit, he said, "If we oppose every leader how are we going to survive as a nation. The people are the remnants of war. Competition should be based on how to win these people, whose basic needs is to sustain peace and stability."


Fighting of Unprecedented in Nature Erupts in Kismayo and Mogadishu.

Hargeisa(The Rep)- A 3-deminsional war that can have adverse effects on the hitherto allies has erupted in Mogadishu and Kismayo (The Southern port of Somalia) a highly reliable sources, in some of the capital cities of the Red Sea, disclose that TNG president Abdikasim Salad Hassan will not be allowed to compete for the post of presidency in the Nairobi conference.

These sources have disclosed that the TNG leader might be arrested and be brought to trial, for crimes such as giving safe haven to terrorists and even giving hand to them.

In Kismayo heavy battles has been going on simultaneously last 4-days, with an undisclosed causalities so far. One of the confrontation is between the ANC Militia Alliance that has been occupying the since, they occupied the lower Jubba region in the 90's of the last century.

The second armed conflict has erupted between the occupying Militia forces and the newly allied minorities in the territory. The fighting has already spread from Kismayo to Haramka.

Gunmen, whose identity has not been revealed has forcefully taken over 2 ships, near the port of Kismayo, in an act of piracy. One of the ships belongs to Egypt, while the other named MC Khalid is owned by an Abu-Dhabi businessman.

In Mogadishu, the fighting that was limited to Karan and Abdilaziz area has spread to Wardhigley with great human loss and damage to property. Many residents are said to have fled the area.

According to sources from Mogadishu, the new conflict flared up, after the Militia loyal to Muse Sudi Yalahow - who are in alliance with the TNG group tried to block Biyo Ma'an dock from being used by Mohamed Dhere.

The 3rd phase of the Nairobi conference, the news that Abdikasim will not be allowed to run for the presidency and the resolution of the Minorities in lower Jubba region seems to have began a new blood path and political turmoil in Somalia.


Editorial: Has May completed its obligations?

May is a Month that will go into the history books, as the month that brought the armed struggle for the reclamation of the discarded and lost freedom, to its home territory.

May is a month that has 3 historical days, which this generation will remember and be proud of. 3 days that has played a major role in the emerging of this young democracy. 3 days that will remembered by Somaliland's enemies as The Black Day's of May.

These 3 days in May are May 27, the day that the first group of the SNM entered the city of Burao and brought to an end, the exploitation and manipulation of the people, by the lackey's of the late Dictator. This was the day that the comrades of that regime realized, that luxurious life they led, at the expense of Somaliland has been over. It was also the day they began to panic and realize their manipulation to be in the decline. The day Dayah and his kind were killed.

It was only 4 days later, on May 31 when the valiant entered Hargeisa with small arms, that was sufficient for guerrilla warfare, but not good for conventional war. It was May 31, the day that saw the Butcher Of Hargeisa (General Mohamed Said Morgan) run for his life on foot, not trusting the notorious 26th Brigade nor all the weapons at his disposal.

That was in May 1988. Few years later in May 1991 all the communities, without any absentee declared in Burao that Somaliland is an independent state. This was the day that the people of Somaliland have been waiting for, since 1961 when their first coup da'etat failed. It was also the end of the struggle against foreign occupation forces.

One has to ask himself has May completed and fulfilled all the deeds, all the acts expected from it? Is it required to accomplish other duties and obligations or it should be left in peace?

May has done a lot and the people are grateful, but to take its right place in the history of this country, especially to be given a golden chapter that will remembered, it has to understand that the battle has been won, but the war still going on.

May has to remind politicians that they have discarded the interest of the country, for their personal ambitions and gains. That the people are confused by their rhetoric and are in the dark, of what their intentions are at this time, when one can not differentiate between foe and friend.

May has not accomplished everything expected from it. It has to remind politicians that parts of our territory are under the occupation of the Militia of a sick and bloodthirsty warlord. May has a lot to do yet. Unemployment is at its highest and the back-bone of our economy is still under ban. Health and Education are not at required level.

May has to oversee that our natural resources are tapped, that our meager income is used for the general good and development. It has to remind the people that the era of community based government is over.

May has to enforce that elections for the parliament should not be on the basis of the local governments, in which people voted for parties. May has to give the required awareness that in parliamentary elections they will vote for individuals who will be running for the parliamentary seats. May should take the necessary precautions that they vote for individuals in parties and not a long list in a party ticket. May should make sure that people should know about the person they are going to vote for in the party of their choice.

May should bring back the politicians to their senses, to avoid the calamity that is inevitable, if the political games are played as such. May may save Somaliland from this! Then and only then can one say that it has fulfilled its obligations and can have rest?


IGAD FOREIGN MINISTERS UNANIMOUSLY AGREE SOMALILAND'S EXCLUSION FROM NAIROBI CONFERENCE

Nairobi (The Rep)- "Somaliland is not officially represented at the Reconciliation Conference for factions in Somalia and as such is not included in the share of parliamentary seats," this was announced by IGAD Foreign Ministers who are currently holding separate meetings with the different clans in Somalia.

Somaliland born individuals - who does not want their names disclosed -but who took part in the IGAD-Dir meetings, early in this week, told The Republican of the dangers that might emerge from the conference.

They said, "These dangers can have adverse and negative effects on Somaliland and as such, it is imperative for Somaliland to be ready to counter these intrigues and avert the dangers that might erupt from them."

The individuals who were present at the Dir meeting with IGAD told The Republican, that 2 views were advocated by the Somaliland born individuals. The first group wanted their share of the parliamentary seats to be included with that of DIR, while the rest reminded the Foreign Ministers of Kenya, Sudan, Uganda and Djibouti that Somaliland is not represented at the conference.

It seems, as this is the first time that IGAD member countries unanimously agree that Somaliland has nothing to do with the Mbgathi conference or the parliamentary seats to be divided by the clans in Somalia.


"No Change in Djibouti's foreign Minister towards Somaliland"Ambassador Irro Hargeisa (The Rep)- Ambassador Abdirahman Mohamed Abdillahi (Iro) shadow Foreign Minister of Justice and Welfare Party (UCID) after a long tour to the 3 Scandinavian countries where they met government and party officials of the country.

Speaking about he and party chairman Faisal Cali Warabe gained from their meetings he said, "We found out that they are fully informed about Somaliland, but are waiting for the reaction of African states towards our cause. That is why Faisal visited Djibouti, Uganda, Ethiopia and Tanzania but could not go to Rwanda for technical reasons is to get support for Somaliland's cause."

On Djibouti policy towards Somaliland he said, "It has a similar policy with the other African states. I have not seen any change in its foreign policy, but it is possible." "The parliamentary elections can be held if everyone does his duty. Our party recommended the completion of all prerogatives within 6 months. One year has gone and nothing has been done, let us hop that they will be held in time," he said.

On the arrest of they youth and their being sentenced by the security commission he said, "The constitution describes the institutions we can have. Anything outside that is unconstitutional and as such illegal. The commission seems to be taking over the duties of the judiciary."

Speaking about the situation in the east he stated that the 3 parties had agreed to prioritise the east and form a national committee under the Vice President, but nothing has been done so far. He said, "Our party supports the governments to reach the border and ensure security. It also urges the government to inform the people on situation in the east to avoid misinformation.

Ambassador Abdirahman Iro commended Ms. Edna Aden and her efforts as well as the governments foreign policy. He said, "Ms. Edna Aden can not cover the world for we have no embassies, but she is doing a remarkable work. The government's policy is also good."


Editorial: Save Somaliland from Disintegration!

One of the great challenges people in this country are facing nowadays is how to revive the spirit of freedom in the hearts and minds of politicians as well as in the spirit of every individual, who longs to see that the sacrifice done to achieve what we enjoy is not wasted.

The revitalization and the reawakening of this spirit have come to the forefront when some of the politicians and diplomats who are seasoned or still fresh began a new era in Somaliland politics. An era of abuse and personal smearing while enemies of this country are doing their uttermost to see the downfall and the disintegration of this country.

The rebirth of the spirit of freedom has become imperative for the regional organization has for the first time in its history, unanimously declared that the question of Somalia and its problems should be tackled separately and that Somaliland should be kept outside the turbulent problems of the factions in Somalia.

The renewal of the spirit of freedom, which was the main force that activated the people to rebuild their country from scratch, has become essential for the only super power in this first decade of the 21st century has given some indications, while separating the two countries - Somaliland and Somalia as two different identities - that conflict among the communities in Somaliland might erupt, without any pre-signals.

The recovery of this spirit of freedom and invigorating it at the same, have become essential for current foreign policy, by the effort of the government, through its foreign Minister Ms. Edna Aden, the diplomatic efforts and shuttling of the opposition as well as Somalilanders in the Diaspora have brought our cause to the limelight in different countries and political arena.

The restoration of this spirit of freedom has become necessary to call back those who were misled for material gains, those thirsty for power, those who doubted that Somaliland is here to remain as a sovereign state and those who were told openly that they have no place in Somalia, its parliamentary seats or cabinet to return home.

The revival of the spirit is to bring to their sense the anarchists and extremists who believed that they have no place in a democratic Somaliland. It is also to remind those, either in power or trying to hide behind the mantle of community politics, that their days of influence and affluence are numbered. That they will not have a place in a Democratically elected parliament where individuals with merit and who think for the good of the constituency will be elected.

The spirit has to be resurrected in order to pave the way for a brighter future for the young generation, prepare the, mature for a safe haven to spend their last days in peace, to save the east from the blood thirsty dictator and return them to the embrace of their Motherland to enable representatives of the house to go to their communities at present and be candidates in the forthcoming election, if they really deserve.

The spirit of freedom is being restored to enforce the completion of the electoral law and make the people aware, that problems in local governments elected was due to voting for parties and not the individuals in the party.

The revitalization of the spirit is essential to save this country from rolling back to an era left behind and be aware of being docile, subdued and an easy prey for the enemy. It's to save Somaliland.


Jamhuuriya .info, June 6, 2004

GOVERNMENT OF NATIONAL UNITY

Two years after Dahir Riyale assumed the presidency, and a year after the closely contested presidential election, it has become increasingly evident that the government headed by the victor of the said election is too unwieldy, administratively inept, hideously corrupt and not at all what we need. To paraphrase the former British prime Minister, Harold Wilson, two years is an eternity in politics.

The challenges which face our country are immense,and on the current evidence, the likelyhood of this government delivering for our country is quite marginal. An obvious cause of concern for all those who care about the well being of our country must be the calibre of our cabinet ministers. With few notable exceptions, the majority of our cabinet ministers are quite simply a national embarrasment. This affairs can not continue.

What our country needs at present is a government of national unity. The president must dispense with the services of dead wood ministers and invite the opposition parties and others who have something worthwhile to contribute to the country to join the government. This is not the drastic step it may first appear, as the president did not get the most ringing of endorsements.

We need ministers who shape events rather than merely deriving personal benefits from them. We need a government that is more pro-active, that seeks to influence international opinion and win recognition for our independence. Our government is making as much progress in fulfilling the aspirations of our people as the lunchless at Mpaghati are in bringing peace to Somalia. Until a new, more dynamic government can achieve recognition the outside world will continue to use the eternal "peace" conferences for Somalia as an excuse to ignore our legitimate claims to nationhood.

The benefits of a government for national unity are many, most importantly it will send a clear signal to those who wish us ill and the deluded innocents who organise and expend vast amounts of money on the so-called "peace conferences" for Somalia, in the vain hope that the "archetypal failed state" as Somalia is known might be reconstituted. A government of national unity will bring benefits on the domestic front too, it is our sincere hope that such a government will work for the betterment of all the people of Somaliland, and do more to fight the rampant corruption. Certainly one would hope more than the current collection of obseqious nonentities who have ideas far above their station. The present government is the tragic antithesis of the old Greek concept of' aristocracy'. Instead of government by the best Somaliland endures administration by the least able and the most corrupt. It is time for honest people with new ideas and open minds to take the helm.

We, the people of Somaliland have paid a heavy price for our independence. We have lost the very best of our society, the current crop of ministers make a mockery of the ideals for which so much suffering was endured by so many. They are not fit to carry on the struggle (for that is what it is) from where their illustrious and more selfless predecessors have left off. The struggle for international recognition is not won yet, the power-crazed mass murderer to the east seeks to divide the people of Somaliland along tribal lines for no other reason than to see a succesful conclusion to his 25 year candidacy for the presidency of Somalia.

All is not yet lost. Somaliland and its government still have the the goodwill of the people, but the government's time is running short. Somaliland at times appears to be an aspiring banana republic with the characteristics of a nascent police state. The patience of the people is wearing thin. It is time for change.

What is stake here is of far more import than the ministerial careers of over-promoted individuals. Indeed, it would not be an exaggeration to say that our cherished dream of a free and democratic Somaliland is in peril.

Mohamed Ibrahim, roble1972@yahoo.co.uk


A government that is loosing the hope and the trust of its most valuable re The Somaliland Youth

Following the disturbingly breaking news of the arrest and then the kangaroo style court sentencing on the same day of the 140+ Secondary School and university students in Hargiesa, on the day of the commemorations of the 13th Anniversary of Somaliland. I could not help -as a young Somalilander, who more or less understand and relate to their underlying concerns- BUT to highlight the underlying grievances that caused them to bring the city into chaos.

To set the tune; the Somaliland youth are probably the most unfortunate, wasted talents, deprived youth in the 3rd world as well as simultaneously being the most ambitious, high hoping, aspiration driven in the world. They have not gained or achieved any substantiated or tangible achievements in the past 15 years, what energised and kept them going on is the hope that one day they will play a catch up and will have the environment and opportunity to achieve their potential.

Quite rightly so, they sensed such hope coming following the historical presidential elections in last year. They expected a president and a government that has the legitimate and the mandate to break free from the clan-based rule, which so often hampered the country's social and economic developments.

And who could blame them for such expectations? Wasn't that the sole and the underlying reason of deserting the clan based political structure in favour of a free and fair democracy?

On the contrary, they watched in desperation and in disbelief the little hope that they had evaporating in front of their eyes within one year of casting their votes for a change and hope!

Almost on a daily basis, they witness a government squandering the little resources that the country has, a government with no strategic planning and vision for its own people, a government that its ranks is filled in with incompetent and corrupted ministers -with the exception of a few-, a government that don't have a clue that the most valuable resources of the country is its youth, which require to be developed and nurtured delicately and skilfully with the little resources available.

Similarly and more sadly they also witness their classmates and friends desperately fleeing the country and throwing themselves into the hands of scrupulous human traffickers who exploit their naivety by loading them up into wooden boats to send them over the Mediterranean seas, promising them that they will be smuggled into Italy illegally for better opportunities in Europe. More often this ends in tragedy, just over a few weeks ago about 15 youngsters from Hargeisa has perished in the high waters of the coast of Sicily.

You may forgive the youth who congregated Khayriyda to listen to the president give his 18th may ceremonial speech to think that the president will be using this opportunity as a platform to address their grave concerns, raising their hopes/aspirations as well as laying bare his policies to the multiple challenges facing the nation.

To their astonishment, the president has opted for the wrong speech at the wrong time, wrong place and with the wrong audience. He re-ran the speech that he made on his return to the country following his trip to the UK and Belgium, which was basically a run down of what has already been in the public domain for months! As well as re-stating ONE MORE TIME the fact that he has turned down an offer to extend his presidency for 3 years prior the elections in favour of free and fair elections, to be fair he also address the water shortages faced by the city and a program put in place to solve such shortages. THAT WAS ABOUT IT...nothing more, nothing less!

No wonder then that the listening youth have exploded in fury, gathered around and marched on the highway leading to the presidential palace, shouting anti corruption slogans on the way. The march was forcefully disrupted by the police, who used live firearms to disperse the marchers, forcing the city dwellers and passers by running for cover. What prompted the police to respond to a peaceful march in such a fashion is a question for another day!

But as far as this appalling mass arrests is concerned; I hope that the government will realise the impact of this on all the youth of country, diffuse the deteriorating situation, release the youngsters, -whose many of them are about to sit for their yearly exams- as soon as possible and above all to re-think its strategy towards its youth by lying the foundations of a viable, credible and sustainable educational system, economizing and utilising the little resources that the country has for the competing demands of the country and to the best of its abilities. If not, the consequences are not worth contemplating!!!


Rayaale-mistakenly Elected?

Somaliland has been going through many difficulties, some of them were nothing else, but to destroy this peace-loving country. There were many attempts, which I can probably say would have been hard to cope by any other nation on earth if they were in the same position, and none of those has succeeded because of this great nation, who love to live a peaceful life and let other neighbouring countries do the same.

Somalilanders thought they were moving towards democracy, but if things stand the way they are at the moment I think that dream will definitely be collapsing, because of the chosen leader.

Hundreds of thousands of people came out last year to vote for their leader, they were thinking this vote would make their lives easy and lead them into a better life. Back in Aug 2002 my friend and I were discussing what would be the life after the elections? we really had a nice chat, and we were talking about how the situation would change after the election, and I remember he said to me, " do you think if the nation vote for this Government they will be Governed in a proper way?", I said to him, " why not", he said, " you are dreaming brother, because the leader of the current Government (Rayaale) hasn't got any experience of governing a nation, and he would turn things upside-down", he kept on saying, " let alone running this nation properly he would destroy what we have been building since 1991"

Now when I look his back, I see the signs, and sometimes I say to my self, " how on earth could he managed to predict what is happening now".

We voted for a referendum, this referendum gives us the power to demonstrate what we feel about when the government does a wrong thing, this referendum we voted for allows every Somaliland-citizen to say his loudly and clearly, it allows us to have the same right, it forbids us to go far beyond our limit, it lets us have our own right individually.

Article 8 of our constitution says, " Equality of citizens", and that Article allows us to be the equal, but the question is, is it working? I let you my honourable readers answer it.

We all know how this government failed to deliver what we voted for, and we all know how Rayaale and his Government failed to obey and follow the rules of our constitution we voted for.

We all know instead of making our dreams come true he appointed the largest cabinet Somaliland has ever had, and unfortunately it happened to be the worst cabinet of all time. The most unforgettable thing he's done is that he appointed to the most important chair of his cabinet an illiterate. A man who's wanted-man in Europe, and a man who's got a criminal record somewhere in Europe, so that people would talk about him rather than himself and his wrong doings.

Every nation on this world has a main target and goal, no matter what the difference between their policies are, but what they keep is the main interest. Unfortunately we tend to be totally different if we are somalilanders, because we really don't know how to think about the future, I mean how to discuss and plan for the next 20 or 50 years.

We tend to be a nation of today, not for even tomorrow, where as the rest of theother world thinks of their next generations. And that is why we voted for Rayaale, that is why we are not showing our feelings, and views towards his hidden politics.

I Really find very strange when he says like, " I don't want say anything about the agreements I have signed with that country (for example, UK), because we have got enemies, it must be secret, so that they won't have an access to block it". He has forgotten that he's got the backing of his own nation. No matter what the enemies want to do, And obviously once you got the support of your own nation, all you got to do is go for what you want do, by analyzing it first before you make the move. I doubt this statement he uses, most of the time, and I doubt that there are hidden stories going on behind the closed doors.

How can we trust and have a confidence in this government that blames other political parties of their own wrong doings, Ismacil always accuses Kulmiye Party for what he failed to do, he is the interior minister, and instead of taking all the responsibilities of what happened since he is in charge of the home office he blames his wrong doings on kulmiye party and other individuals. No wonder because he hasn't got any idea about how to maintain and keep the security of this nation.

I was one of the Somalilanders who came to see and listen to his speech at the KENSINGTON TOWN HALL when he came to London, It was really not convincing, and I said to my self, " my fellow-country-people were stupid enough when they voted for this government", because while he was speaking, I was also weighing his statements, and I thought he was a man who hasn't got any confidence in himself, a man who can't run and rule and have a fulfilled decisions, a man who can't have a target.The only think I could describe him as,was that he was a "YES-MAN". And yes-men have started the destruction of this nation, not because he is making that decision but other individuals are making him do it.

Article 32: says: Freedom of Public Demonstration, Expression of Opinion, Press and other Media.Do you think this works? Answer is no, why, because this Regime doesn't want to be shown their wrong doings, and because of this, they put 19 people in jail, when they came out to demonstrate peace-fully. Do you think we are heading towards democracy? I will let you answer that question my honorable reader.

I conclude my we failed to vote for the right person of this chair, and if this Government fail to let our voice be heard the situation would turn into chaos, and we will see where it ends.

By. A Guleid, Email: adguled@hotmail.com


Siilaanyo-A doubtful Politician

He's done it once again."In his last interview with the BBC, he deliberately accused the government for not making any negotiations with the warlords of Somalia. The question is, what are we getting from it, if we make any negotiations with the warlords, who don't care anything apart from killing and harassing innocent people? And are we supposed to expect anything of good value from these warlords?

Since he begun his campaign, siilanyo' d tried everything he could possibly do. And he failed, I remember, one day he said, " people always call me President", he kept on saying, " I am confident I will sit on that chair and run the country".

Things started to appear the other way round, and he couldn't believe, when he lost.we all know how he accepted the result, even though he didn't accept it by heart. Because everywhere he goes the election was his hot issue to say a little bit about it, if not quite a lot.

When the president came to London he held on a press conference in his office in Hargeisa, and he said, " the government should have talked to the Arab Regimes, and other African countries", and he goes on, " I don't think if the Arab Regimes don't come up with our recognition, they (Westerns) would accept our right of existence". He turned a blind eye, that Arabs were not those who offered us our recognition in 1960th, when we got our sovereignty from Britain.

No body doubts that Arabs hate us, and don't want us to be a democratic country. They have been doing everything possible to break us, and they failed because of the will of Allah, and because of the unity of this great nation. They stopped our live stock trade, our main source off income, they did so because they thought we would kneel down and abide by their demands. They did so, because they thought we wouldn't be having any chance to survive. Thank God Alxamdulilah, we survived and those acts of evil made us stronger than ever.

So the questionable question, which needs to be answered, is, do we owe them any thing, since we got many friends around the world? And don't we think we would be smart enough if we make friendship with those countries they listen to?

Dear friends of mine, as we all know everyone has got his own point of view, and it is not bad idea to say your point of view on something or on someone, and I have got the right to say anything about my elderly statesman Ahed Moamed Mahamoud "siilaanyo", and other Somaliland politicians. It's my duty to remind them they represent me, it's my obligation to show them their wrong doings whenever they do, and of course without me they would have been nowhere. But, I have to do it without despising them.

We somalilanders have got a big problem which is we can't say anything about our leaders, I question you " why is that"?

My respected sir (siilaanyo) has forgotten, that he is a living Legend; he has forgotten that many young people would love to be as great politician as he. He has forgotten that somalilanders (including himself) have devoted their lives to bring their lost dignity back. And its said, " far kaliya fool ma dhaqdo", if we don't stick together and become strong enough to defeat our enemies we won't reach our goals, and we will let our enemies destroy what we have been building since 1991.

A leader said to his fellow-country-people, "always try to do something for your country, don't expect your country to do something for you", and according to that statement we don't have to expect our country to do something for us, we need to do something for our country. We should always talk about our common interest and defend our dignity, we shouldn't sell our dignity or even accept any one selling himself to a warlord, by saying that is how we can get recognition.

Rayaale and his weak government always says whenever the public talk about their wrong doings, "our recognition is on its way to knocking the door, so don't listen what those people are saying, or these people (for example kulmiye) when they realized that the recognition is coming they want to throw suspicion between the government and the public, they don't want to see it happen, they are next to the enemy".

If we don't talk about our leaders and say our viewpoint clearly and loudly when they are not good enough who is going to say to them on behalf of us? Try to be gentle my fellow-country-people.

I would really like to see him (siilaanyo) saying publicly, strongly and precisely if he strongly believes in Somaliland or not? Somalilanders shouldn't believe their politicians, and as long as those who worked for the old Regime of Siyad barre are our leaders we will not be great country.

They should be retired or put in custody. One day the truth will come and those who committed genocide will be brought to justice and my fellow country people will prevail.

May allah bless this lovely country and its people.

By Cabdirizak Guled


False accusations and malicious gossip should be denounced

Jamhuuriya is one of the leading, if not the best, Somaliland's newspapers; and I am one of its readers. Recently I have read an article written by Ahmed Ali Aden and I was shocked to read these baseless accusations. The first thing my eyes caught, as usual, was the title, in capital letters, Jamhuuriya ON-LINE VERSION: A MOUTHPIECE FOR SomalilandENEMIES! In here, I do not want to talk about the poor spellings (on-line, Bucher etc.), but I want to question, by analogy, the content of that article. And some of the statements cannot be left unchallenged.

I was asking my self: When did Jamhuuriya become an ambassador for Somaliland's enemy? Has Jamhuuriya published articles that question Somaliland's independent and self-determination? Do they (Jamhuuriya editors) campaign against Somaliland? Are these statements from the article in question correct or is it another baseless tittle-tattle?

As the author of that article mentioned the recent article from Professor Abdi Ismail Samater is on Jamhuuriya 's Website. The author has the right to ask why Samater's article is doing in there? Indeed, we know that Samater is Somaliland's enemy number one, and he always campaigns against Somaliland. However, the author, Abdi, hasn't got the right to insult and damage the integrity of Jamhuuriya and its London editors.

I believe, we, the readers, suppose to be having continues discussions and debates in a civilised way. At the moment it looks like that we are trying to belittle and nag each other. Every body is entitle to his/her opinion, but we cannot afford and it is unacceptable to abuse and insult each other publicly.

One should always search for the truth and fight for it. To find the truth is not that difficult, but it needs the fact finder to have courage and clear objectives. I got very angry, like you, when I have seen the street fighter's - I liked the nick name that you have given the so called Professor - article, but after a while, I found out the reason the article was put on that particular website. I wouldn't hesitate to thank Jamhuuriya 's London editors the steps they have taken at this difficult time: to show the public the kind of enemy we are facing - `the enemy within'. Absolutely, they are right, because the enemy within is the worst enemy and if we, Somalilanders, do not act collectively against these perpetrators they could do a lot of damage. As we know, the street fighter was at the House of Commons when the democratically elected President, President Dahir Rayaale, was giving his historic speech. You have mentioned that the question you were expecting from the editors of the online version was: How the street fighter got into the parliament when the president was delivering his speech? May I say, that I have totally agree with you at this point and also I would like to find out who gave him the chance and who are the other hidden traitors?

As I have clearly stated before "I do not believe that he, the intruder, was acting alone", in my response to a letter written by a member of SDWO (Somaliland Democratic Watch Organisation). This is the idea that most, if not all, true Somalilanders believe. The theme of our discussion suppose to be `how can we identify the hidden traitors and what is the best way to terminate the small, and dangerous Samater cells that operate inside and outside Somaliland'. Please, do not try to divert, I do not mean you, Ahmed Ali Abdi, in person, the purpose of the freedom of speech and the freedom of the press - Jamhuuriya can be compared, as the media critics say, to the Independent or the Guardian of UK.

It much grieves me that they should be noted traitors when they always had their country's laws on they breasts, and that they should be a sacramental. Allah knows the truth, and that they are among and the other guiltless true Somalilanders.

As one reader summarised when asked about Jamhuuriya and its editors, he said: they don't make jokes-they just watch the government and report the facts.

These baseless allegations should be stopped immediately. Critics should be constructive, but not destructive. And personal issues should be taken out of context. I do agree that sometimes the readers complain about poor spelling - as I do.

Finally, my fellow Somalilander, Ahmed, I will urge you to withdraw your allegation unconditionally. To accuse some one publicly is courageous thing to do; but to say that a person is unpatriotic, with out evidence, is something unacceptable and I cannot discuss that in a quickly written article.

The merit of this gentleman, Samater, is certainly great, and I heartily wish that cruelty and greed might distinguish him as one of their favourites. I am convinced that he will do everything that his imprudence and boorishness shall suggest to harm the success of Somaliland.

Also I have a word of advise for Axmedwali Goth, ANN (Awdal News Network), who always accuses Jamhuuriya and its editors - may I say the well respected and the reputable editors - and spreads unfounded allegations. I would like to state once for all: either put or shut up.

The work of the media is to find and tell the truth, but what I cannot understand is why ANN has allowed this person to use their website to attack the integrity of Jamhuuriya and its well respected editors. Alas, this person, Axmedwali, has to be stopped and ANN should be accountable the contents on their website - it looks like he, the evil minded, is one of the ANN reporters.

Abdulkadir Mohamed, London (mohabd_226@hotmail.com)


The Victor's Verdict: Putting Into Context The Attacks Against Jamhuuriya Newspaper

In the aftermath of the declaration of independence, the people of Somaliland had many dreams and aspirations. They did not care much for the devastation and destruction caused to their towns by the Barre regime; neither did they care or worry much about the future and what it held for them. They were just happy that they were finally able to determine their own destiny. Their main focus was how to rebuild their country and start life again from scratch, while, at the same time, enjoying their new found freedoms.

The Somalilanders' new found freedom and liberty was symbolised by

The emergence of one newspaper: Jamhuuriya newspaper, a fiercely independent daily from Hargeisa, shortly after the reclamation of indepdence. Jamhuuriya newspaper spoke the language of the people, and spoke the mind's and heart's of the public. It symbolised and more than anything else captured the feelings of ordinary Somalilanders. However, it is important to stress that Jamhuuriya 's independent and assertive style of reporting did not please everyone, including the government's of Somaliland, be it this administration and/or the previous administration.

In recent times, again, Jamhuuriya newspaper has been in the headlines, at least, on the internet pages of certain sites, and this time the attack against Jamhuuriya is different from what we have come to expect from the usual suspects. One article, published in Awdalnews, which attacked Jamhuuria, was particularly interesting as it had accused it as being the mouthpiece of SL enemy. In addition, it accused Jamhuuriya of not being able to differentiate its opposition to the government and the wellbeing of Somaliland. The referred article was criticising, if one could call it criticism, Jamhuuriya for publishing an article written by the mad Professor, Abdi Samatar. However, this article from AwdalNews did not stop at condemning Jamhuuriya for publishing the said article, but it made some very serious allegations against the newspaper. It branded it as being in bed with the enemy, and effectively, blinded by its hatred for President Rayale!. All this for posting on their website an article that was written by the SomaliWeyn Professor, we are led to believe?

This and similar other attacks against Jamhuuriya are not due to the article it posted on its website. However, it is part and parcel of a wider campaign to rewrite SL history and discredit important institutions in Somaliland Politics and Media. The truth of the matter is that the organisations attacking Jamhuuriya , such as Awdalnews and these other individuals are attacking it simply for being anti-UDUB, as they view it. It is a very sad affairs in today's Somaliland when Jamhuuriya is being accused of being

Somaliweyn and in bed with the enemy.

Most Somalilanders would have dismissed these accusation against the paper out of hand, was it not for the recent trend of branding all opposition to the government as anti-Somaliland. And this is where the danger lies. A systematic campaign of misinformation and propaganda seems to be underway; and there is a concerted effort on the parts of some to re-write and re-tell Somaliland's history. This campaign is waged by those that do not fare well in Somaliland history as we know it and live it. And, as luck would have it, it is those that are loyal to the current administration and its party that do not fare well in modern SL history. Therefore, they embark on a campaign and strategy to discredit those that have liberated the country from the enemy and those that have played important roles in the struggle to free our people. For example, take the outrageous remarks and abuse of one government Minister against Raqia Omaar, a heroin, in the eyes of most Somalilanders. Also, consider the attack and accusation of another Minister against Mujahid Silanyo, the father of the nation in many senses. To all this, add the government's accusation against the people of Dhoqoshey who caught the attackers of the GTZ staff. You get a picture of a government or

People with dark history trying their best to rewrite history; and the only way they can do that, they figured out, is by tarnishing the good name or image of the other one with better background or history. Now, Jamhuuriya is added to the long list of targets and one can already see the first signs of t hat campaign being in the implementation stage.

Jamhuuriya Newspaper is not just a mere newspaper. It is an institution. For many, it is in bar and equal to the Somaliland Parliament where laws are passed; except Jamhuuriya tells them the truth. Most SL journalists, be it those employed by Radio Hargeisa, Maandeeq or Haatuf, were at one time or another employed by Jamhuuriya . In other, Jamhuuriya is a Journalism school; it is the one place where the ordinary people get their news and facts without any government bias or manipulation. For this, Jamhuuriya is

Hated and loathed. However, it is important to realise that today we enjoy the freedoms we have because some people have sacrificed their lifes, wealth and families for it. Therefore, it is in the interest of all of us and for our nation that we have these freedoms, and that we refrain from divisive attempts to rewrite and re-tell a story. It should not be a case of History being dictated by the Victor!

Dahir Jama, London (d.jama@btopenworld.com )


Demonstration on The 13 Anniversary

Hargeisa (The Rep) -The 13 Anniversary of the reclamation of Somaliland's independence after 30 years of domination by the Mogadishu clique was shadowed on Tuesday by demonstration that the day did not deserve, police and army gunfire, heard in many part of the city, that shocked the people and a prison sentence en mass, that people associate with the dictatorial regime that they over threw.

On Tuesday May 18, soon after president Dahir Rayale Kahin left the square, some of the youth began removing flags and placards at the square. The police tried to disperse them and soon began shooting live bullets into the air. The youth picked stones and began throwing them on the police.

Police reinforcement soon arrived and the chasing of the youth began in the centre of the town. Many young people were arrested.

Soon after the youth gathered themselves in a haphazard way and began walking along the main road to the presidency.

The demonstrators were shouting, "We do not want Rayale" "We don't want Dollar Greedy."

Security forces in the Presidency came out and opened gunfire into the air to disperse the demonstrators. The police who were behind the demonstrators then chased the youth on foot and by car. Among those arrested were many underages. The police used unwarranted force on the youth, who were not armed.

Abdirashid Omer Mohamed 23 was wounded on the left jaw. He told journalists who visited him at the hospital that he was not one of the demonstrators, but wounded on the road leading on the ministry of Planning from the main road.

More than 180 people arrested were taken to the Central police station in Hargeisa. Their parents, family members and relatives were in front of the station, when heard that they were sentenced by the Regional Security commission.

They were shocked for most of those sentenced are students in Secondary and primary schools and who would sit for exam after a few days.

Angered parents and others gathered near the police station moved towards the gate of the station, when they saw the youth being marched single file and put on trucks.

The police opened fire to disperse them. The driver who was trying to go out before the gate was blocked part of the gate.

The youth on trucks with strong police escort were taken to Mandhere prison, at sunset, when people were in their evening prayers.


President Rayal'es Speech

Hargeisa (The Rep)-President Dahir Rayale Kahin addressed the nation on the 13th Anniversary of the declaration of the Reclamation of Independence on May 18/1991 in Burao, from Hargeisa kheiria square where thousands gathered at the square to celebrated the day.

Presieden Kahin in his speech thanked God for the peace and stability we are enjoying and told the people, that the international community describe Somaliland's achievements from 1991 up to now as a miracle.

President Dahir Rayale Kahin addressed hundreds of people gathered at the Kheiria Square, in the middle of Hargeisa, announcing that the parliamentary elections will be held at the end of March 2005 and as such completes the democratisation process.

President Kahin appealing to the international community in his speech said, "Somaliland has achieved a lot. Its achievement is something the African continent should be proud of and as such deserves to get their backing and support. We also call on the international community to recognize Somaliland, for it is being denied its basic human rights, as enshrined in the United Nations Charter."

Speaking about the reconciliation Conference of the factions of Somalia in Kenya Kahin said, "There are people who are at present suggesting that some sort of contact be made with some of the factions there. That is their business. This is not part of my mandate and as such I will never make any contact with them."

The president urged personalities and individuals who want to imprint false information in the minds of women and children to abandon such mischievous act, for they will be responsible and have to answer to God in both worlds.

The President in his speech suggested that the achievements of Somaliland have forced many enemies to try to discredit the country, in the eyes of the international community by killing humanitarian workers in the country. This is to stop foreigners who are doing something good for the country and also to give false impression to the international community, that Somaliland is a country where terrorists can do anything.

In the economic sector, the president stated that there are many countries in the world that are not recognized. He said, "Recognition should not be a condition for economical development. Foreigners and local businessmen are ready to invest in the country, although some are just doing that. The necessary law to safeguard their capital and the security needed are there. The people should welcome these investors (Did not mention who they are).

President Kahin who spoke in detail about his tour to London, Belgium and Addis Abeba mentioned for the first time that he met Alphja Oumar Kanare, who was African Union Commissioner, discussed why Somaliland is not recognized and asked to be given observer status until recognized.

Meanwhile, few minutes after the president delivered his speech and left the Kheiria Square police tried to disperse many young people who remained in the square and on the podium. The young men threw stones on the police and the police opened fire into the air to disperse them.

The disturbance soon turned into an unorganised demonstration and they began shouting "No Rayale" "We don't want Rayale". The demonstrators then began to move towards the presidency in an unorganised manner and police began to shoot into the air and arrested any of them.

The demonstrators were met with strong security force, when they reached a cross road some 500 meters from the presidency. Live bullets were fired into the air, many young people tried to escape from the police who were chasing them. One person has been wounded on the cheek and he is being treated in the main hospital in Hargeisa.

Many people were shocked to see their national day celebration being converted into a scuffle between youth and policemen. They were not happy with the behaviour of the youth and the reaction of the police force.

President Dahir Rayale Kahin concluded his speech by praying for peace, good life, progress and success in both worlds.


Somaliland Journalists press release

Hargeisa (The Rep)-The Secretary General of Somaliland Journalists Association (SOLJA) Abdillahi Aden Omar (Wayab) in press release elaborated on the journalists training program jointly implemented by SOLJA and the BBC.

The secretary General in his press release stated the strategy of training Somaliland journalists for 2 years, the policy of SOLJA and its cooperation with international and local organizations, specially the BBC with which they have close relations.

He said, "SOLJA has working relations with local and international organizations of which BBC world trust, which is giving training to journalists in program production, technical training, reportage, Internet.

The secretary general added that SOLJA is satisfied on how the BBC is doing the training, that the program is going according to plan and there is not any misunderstanding between the BBC and SOLJA.

The organization which is comprised of Jamhuuriya, The Republican, Somaliland TV (Hrgeis/Borama), Radio Hargeisa, Maandeeq and the Horn Tribune. On May 13 training will begin for Radio technicians and on May 24 another training for TV journalists on film and program production.

Abdillahi Adan Omar (Wayab) said, "SOLJA is not organization that belongs to an individual, but an organization for all Somliland media except one. It is an organization that held its inaugural conference and will hold others. It does not belong to one person who is trying to get something for his newspaper only".


New Burao Bridge

Burao (The Rep)- A conference attended by Togdher regional and Burao district authorities, traditional leaders, intellectuals, religious leaders and guests at City Plaza, in Burao to get contribution for a new bridge for the city.

According to Kayse Ahmed Digale, our regional correspondent, the regional chairman Abdi Hussein Dhere told the participants that they were trying to have a second bridge for the city for a long time. He said, "We have appealed to the humanitarian organizations and INGOs to support us, but to no avail. We the government has promised to take part in the construction of the new bridge."

The Mayor of Burao Mohamed Dirie Hayd said, "The local government is ready to take part in the project and also welcomes all those who will contribute not only to his project, but also in other development program. We urge the people of Burao to think of their city and its development." Farah Hussein Ahmed and Mohamed Ali Essa, two engineers who are members of the construction told the conference that the estimated cost for the bridge is $350,000. Sultan Abdirahm Qodah, one of the traditional leaders at the conference said, "It looks as if education and good thinking have began functioning. Let us hope that they will propose a plan for utilizing Burao river water."


Siilaanyo Criticizes Internal policy and calls finance minister a miracle child

Hargeisa (The Rep)- Chairman of the opposition KULMIYE party Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo, in a press Conference held here on Thursday strongly criticized the government internal policy, Security, Administration, Economy and budget, but commended its foreign policy.

Silanyo stated that the government follows a policy of hatred against his party and its leaders. He said, "We have a government, peace and stability. We have made a lot of progress, but there are many problems such as the mal-administration and the lack of moving ahead".

Speaking on the latest demonstration in which 19 people were arrested he said, "Youth and women were demonstrating peacefully against unemployment, nepotism, corruption and injustice. They have the right to demonstrate constitutionally for their grievances. There was no reason to arrest them."

On the budget he said, "People are discussing and arguing about the subject. The Finance Minister responses were not enough and clear. If people doubt issues, they deserve clarification."

"It is apparent that the democracy we have built is deteriorating. In August 2003 the 3 parties agreed that the government complete, the prerogatives required for holding the parliamentary election. So far, the government seems to be reluctant to do that." Silanyo said.

Chairman of KULMIYE criticized the way the government deals with opposition. He said, "It seems that the check and balance in the state councils is disappearing or even missing. This is a great danger for democracy to prevail. The government whenever criticized by the opposition accuses them of working against recognition, security and stability and even goes as far as tabling them to be terrorist. Current we recommended external help..".

Silanyo in his strongest criticism against the government said, "The administration instead of being extended is shrinking. Las Anod was under the administration when President visited it. Since then the administration was moved back to Ainabo; a similar pattern seems to be materializing in the west. It sees no extension at all."

As there are foreign insurgencies in parts of our country, Silanyo urged that the people should be vigilant against the disruption of the stability and security they are enjoying.

Speaking on foreign policy which he commended he said, "Our foreign policy is good. The government, the opposition and Somalilanders at the Diaspora are cooperating. They are short of the target required. We better relation with Africa, the Arab league and even with some of the factions of Somalia, to convince them of our cause."

Chairman of KULMIYE told the press that there are funds missing from the treasury and even corruption, some mentioned by Engineer Mohamed Hashi Elmi and not mentioned. He said, "There was a surplus of $18,000,000 in the 2002 and 2003 budgets. They should have been taken to the House of Representatives for approval to be used as expenditure. Finance minister accepted this. The surplus in the 2-year budget was not mentioned. Do you think that the Finance Minister is intending to use them if removed from his post?

Speaking about the Finance Minister Hussein Ali Du'ale (Awil) Silanyo said, "He is an additional miracle to Somaliland. In his book, which I recently read, he wrote, "My father was sterile. He married 9 wives and none of them gave birth. He went to a witch who told him to marry a girl from the ARAB clan. I am the child of that woman. Awil accused me of killing Aden Shine and Abdikadir Kosar (Two SNM leaders). They were my right hand in the struggle. They were my right hand, I missed them and I buried them with my hands. You were cooperating with those who sent their killers. You were with them and you know them."


"Silanyo Could not prepare a budget", Ambassador Awil

Hargeisa (The Rep)- Minister of Finance Hussein Ali Du'ale (Awil) refuted criticism By former Commerce and Industry minister Mohamed Hashi Elmi, on the draft budget passed by the cabinet in which $16,724,300 were said to be misused and that the return of the 2002-3 were not brought to the cabinet.

Ambassador Awil in a press conference held here this week said, "This is false accusation aimed at instigating the public. The 2004 budget in greater than previous ones and is expected to double the income."

Elaborating this the minister said, "Nine minister held this post and KULMIYE chairman Silanyo was one of them. Silanyo could not produce a budget and in May he confessed that he could not present. I expected him not to criticize me but commend me for adding development programs in the budget."

The minister told the press that the 2004 shows increased income, pay increase for security forces and is based on 2003 income and increase of income from raised revenue on small cars and other sources of income."

Ambassador Awil added that the 2002 budget return is ready and that of 2003 will be ready before June and that all income from the Ministries goes directly to the treasury, since he was nominated as Finance minister.

In response to accusations by Mohamed Hashi Elmi he said, "The former Minister is expected to clarify the sum of $557,000 for income from Ministries are registered and the amount of $3,600,000 from livestock which he said are not in the budget."

Speaking about TOTAL he said, "The Company has reached an agreement with the late president Egal. I have officials from the company and I will discuss some of the articles in the agreement with them." "People differ in their reaction, when they are removed from office. Some take it silently while others make all kinds of fuss and noise. I requested Mohamed Hashi Elmi to cooperate with me the day we were nominated, but the fact is that he was frustrated when he was not nominated as finance minister. I spoke with him about the budget and if he has anything to contribute, as other minister did. I was surprised to see him distribute another budget; the day the one I prepared was to be approved. Distributing 2 budgets is an unseen episode," he said.

Ambassador Awil told the press that his ministry has an economic policy and that the lateness in the presentation of the budget was due to the movement of the army to the east and the president's visit to Europe in search for recognition and economic aid. He said, "Governments postpone their budgets or even suspend them, if conditions force them to do that." "People are mature enough not to be instigated by appealing to their community affiliation. It is shameful to try that," he added.


Removal and Nomination

Hargeisa (The Rep) The crisis in the Judiciary Committee seems to have been brought to an end on Thursday, when President Dahir Rayale Kahin relieved Chairman of the Supreme Court from his duties.

President Dahir Rayale Kahin in a decree from the presidency on Thursday ousted chairman of the Supreme Court Judge Said Farah Ahmed for failing to deal with justice and public complaints of the judiciary functions in the courts.

President Kahin nominated Faisal Hagi Jama to be the new Chairman of the Supreme Court. Jama is a member of the House of the Representatives, a respected lawyer and has served as prosecutor general in the first years, when Somaliland reclaimed its independence in 1991.

The President also nominated Nuh Sheikh Omar as the new minister of Commercial and Industry, to replace Mohamed Hashi Elmi who was removed from the post early last week.

Last week Judge Said Farah Ahmed who was also a chairman of the Justice Committee sucked Sheikh Mohamed Moallin Arab, a member of the Judiciary Committee, without the consultation and approval of the committee.

Hussein Abdi Kalib, the General Prosecutor and member of the justice committee told the press that he informed the judiciary committee of the house of the representatives that judge Said Farah Ahmed has not even informed of the dismissal of the judge.

He said, "I and the rest of the Justice Committee are not aware of any crime committed by the judge to deserve expulsion."

The Director General of the ministry of Justice Mohamed Ibrahim Ali who is also a member of the committee said, "Members of the Justice Committee can be nominated, expelled and transferred by the House of the Representatives."

Chairman of the Government Worker's Commission Abdillahi Ali Heyd describing the Sheikh Arab (the expelled judge) said, "In the name of the God, Sheikh is the most efficient, honest and loyal in the justice committee."

Sheikh Arab in a letter to the press last night stated, "My removal from my post was a sabotage by chairman of the House Representatives Ahmed Mohamed Qeybe and chairman of the Supreme court. The person nominated to replace is an ordinary serving soldier and that is a disgrace."


Hostages released

Buhodle (The Rep) Elders in the district of Buhodle (a border village on Ethio-Somaliland border) and elders across the border have succeeded in the release of 5 hostages and 2 trucks which were kidnapped and held for 2 days ago, near Gorgor village across the border and inside Ethiopia.

The regional governor of Togdher Mohamed Abdi Dhere and the Ethiopian Government has taken part in the effort to release the hostages and the 2 trucks, according to regional authorities.

Minister of Interior Aden Mohamed Mirreh "Waqaf" told the press here early this week that the kidnap was committed by close relatives of one of the culprits (the leader) of the group that killed a Kenyan woman and wounded a German GTZ officer in Hargeisa, on march 19 on the road to Berbera from Hargeisa but were arrested on the same day, while trying to escape to Somalia, in the village of the Doqoshei, by the inhabitants of the village and Somaliland Security forces.

The Minister of Interior thanked the Ethiopian government, elders along the 2 sides of the border in Buhodle and surrounding territory.

Waqaf said, "The kidnap was to force the government to release the 5 culprits who committed crime against GTZ humanitarian workers in Somaliland."

Since the arrest of the culprits, government officials especially the minister of Interior and police officials said that those arrested are Alqa'ida members.

The press were not allowed to see or take their pictures and so far neither the Red Cross/Crescent or any other organization have visited them, in the central prison of Hargeisa where they are held.


Somaliland Times, Issue 120 May 10-16, 2004

Buni Lobbying For House Passage Of Budget Bill

Hargeisa, May 8, 2004 (SL Times) - Abdi Hassan Buni, one of president Rayale's senior advisors, met yesterday with a number of leaders of the House of Representatives, including Speaker Ahmed Mohamed Adan (Qaybe), to prop up support for passage of the Administration's budget bill.

The ousted minister of Commerce, Mohamed Hashi Elmi, disclosed on Monday that there was a discrepancy of at least 2 million dollars between the surplus achieved in last year's budget and the figure quoted in the new budget. He criticized the draft budget as unrealistic.

Mohamed Hashi also mentioned that government tax revenues levied against fuel and the Berbera port service charges were not included in the budget.

Both president Rayale and Finance minister Duale were still at a loss in accounting for at least 16 million dollars in government revenues that Mohamed Hashi said were missing. It was not yet clear whether Buni had succeeded in building up enough support for the budget among the legislators.


Over $16 Million In Government Revenues Reportedly Un-Accounted For; Commerce Minister M. H. Elmi Loses Job After Criticizing Budget Plan For 2003/2004

Hargeisa, May 8, 2004 (SL Times) - Somaliland's former minister of Commerce and Industry, Mohamed Hashi Elmi, had strong criticism for the Somaliland government's budget plan for the fiscal year of 2003/2004, when he spoke to reporters at a packed press conference held at Haraf restaurant on Thursday.

Hashi, who was sacked by President Rayale last Monday, revealed that a total of at least $16,474,300 in actual government revenues was not accounted for by the ministry of Finance. Hashi pointed out that the draft budget was submitted by the ministry of Finance without a closing of accounts report on the previous budget.

Some of the money unaccounted for includes a surplus of $2,590,000 and $4,834,900 achieved in 2002 and 2003 respectively; $500,000 paid by a foreign company given concession to prospect for oil in the country, $3,605,300 livestock export tax revenue; $3,400,000 Berbera port service charges; $986,965 fuel storage depot surcharges. The missing money also includes proceeds of a sale of thousands of tons of scrape last year.

Hashi stressed that it was very much likely that the amounts missing could be more than he had mentioned. He criticized the ministry of Finance for failing to submit the budget by November as stipulated by the law. He also pointed out that serious discrepancies existed between some of the actual revenues collected in 2003 and those indicated by the draft budget plan.

Hashi submitted his criticism of the budget in writing at a council of ministers meeting held last Monday. President Rayale had accused Mohamed Hashi of presenting an alternative budget plan. Monday's cabinet meeting which was to review the budget ended without discussing Hashi's remarks. Instead, the cabinet approved the draft budget and Mohamed Hashi was sacked by President Rayale shortly after the meeting adjourned. The decision to remove Hashi from the government triggered a public outcry.

A respected SNM veteran and an architect by profession, Mohamed Hashi was considered as one of the few competent and uncorrupt members of the government. Given the wide public discontent with the performance of his cabinet (criticized as being made up of mostly ignorant and corrupt cronies), one commentator said, Rayale shot himself in the foot when he fired Mohamed Hashi.

And as days pass without Rayale or his finance minister responding officially to Mohamed Hashi's criticism of the budget, public disapproval of the president is likely to increase in the days ahead.


Women Demonstrating Against Corruption Beaten By Police

Hargeisa, May 8, 2004 (SL Times) - The Somaliland police used large sticks to break up a peaceful demonstration held yesterday in Hargeisa by a group of women in protest against corruption. A number of the women demonstrators were injured as a result of being beaten up by the police while 2 of them were arrested.

The demonstration set off from radio Hargeisa road shortly after 12 noon, marching through Togdheer street and Khayria. The demonstrators shouted slogans in support of sacked minister of Commerce and Industry, Mohamed Hashi Elmi. The protesters demanded an end to corruption in the government. "Mohamed Hashi was sacked for telling the truth," they shouted.

The demonstration which was initially started by a small number of people was joined later by hundreds of people. As the demonstrators approached the center of the city, they were dispersed by the police. One of the two women arrested was identified as Sahra Abdi. Both remained in custody at Hargeisa central police station.


Sir Douglas Hall, Last Governor Of The Somaliland Protectorate, Dies At 95

London, May 03, 2004 (telegrpah.co.uk) - Sir Douglas Hall, 14th Bt, who has died aged 95, ended a full career in the Colonial Service as the last Governor of the Somaliland Protectorate; previously, he had for almost 30 years served in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia).

Hall's governorship of Somaliland was short. He was appointed with effect from July 11 1959; less than a year later, he and his wife flew out of the territory a few hours prior to the ceremony, on June 26 1960, that concluded the transfer of power to the new self-governing authority.

The time-scale had been set by the approaching end, after a 10-year period, of the Italian stewardship of the UN Trusteeship of Somalia to the south. If the Somalis of the Protectorate were to unite with their neighbors at the time of the independence of Somalia on July 1, the June 26 date had to be met.

Yet there was nothing over-hasty about Hall's management of the transition. Iain Macleod, then Secretary of State for the Colonies, wrote to him afterwards praising his "speedy command of the confidence of the people enabling the final transfer of power to take place so smoothly and yet so rapidly".

It was not only a grateful Colonial Secretary who voiced his appreciation. Mohamed Ibrahim Egal, the new country's first prime minister, wrote to Hall more than 30 years later recalling "the quiet, always helpful counsel you gave me at that momentous turning point in Somaliland's destiny".

Douglas Basil Hall was born on February 1 1909 (his eldest brother's 11th birthday), the third son of Captain Lionel Hall, an officer in the 4th South Staffordshire Regiment. The baronetcy, of Nova Scotia, was created for John Hall, of Dunglass, in 1687.

From Radley, Douglas Hall went up to Keble College, Oxford, and then in 1930 joined the Colonial Administrative Service. He soon found himself one of 12 cadets - "all bursting with energy," he remembered - bound for Northern Rhodesia, which until 1924 had been administered by the British South Africa Company. The group of cadets - including "three Varsity Blues, two oarsmen, one amateur pilot, one hunter, and a wireless enthusiast [Hall] who later developed into an expert in that field" - made the long sea voyage to Cape Town, and then the rail journey up to Livingstone on the Zambezi.

In those days, there were still people living in the territory who had actually known David Livingstone. In other ways, too, it was a world away from today: one of Hall's colleagues, for instance, had a private income sufficiently large for him never to bother about cashing his pay cheques.

Hall became a District Officer in 1932, and for the next 18 years worked sure-footedly within that colonial administrative culture that sought to balance a maximum of respect for local custom and practice - and, indeed, structures of power - with British notions of justice and development.

He proved as adept in remote bush stations as in such urban postings as Kitwe, where the development of the copper mines was bringing with it new forms of labor relations and new challenges in maintaining the trust of the local people. Here Hall won an early reputation for skilful diplomacy.

It was, though, life in the bush that he enjoyed the most, in particular going on tour. A District Officer was expected to maintain personal contact with the peoples of his district and this meant getting out, often on foot and for long periods of time, to tour the villages and settlements. Whenever possible, Hall was accompanied by his wife Rachel, who joined him in Africa in 1933, and by their young children. From time to time, the family also stayed with the Gore Brownes, whose house, Shiwa Ngandu, has since been immortalized in Christina Lamb's book Africa House.

Colleagues viewed Hall as a commanding figure, fair, respected and likeable. In his book African Sunset, Robin Short wrote that Hall "was the ideal to all of us of what a District Officer should be. In appearance distinguished, his manner was exactly the same to junior clerks as to senior officers, always equable and courteous. Always he seemed in complete control of every aspect of the work, of every corner of the Province."

Hall was promoted Senior District Officer in 1950, and in 1952 became the first Officer-in-Charge of the North-Western Province, which had been created in consequence of a report that Hall himself had produced. He was promoted Provincial Commissioner in 1953 and Administrative Secretary in 1954.

He was then Secretary for Native Affairs to Northern Rhodesia from 1956 to 1959 (Acting Secretary, 1958), working in the central administration in Lusaka. He proved an able speaker in the Legislative Council and later an important contributor within the Executive Council.

Although only 50, Hall was on the point of retirement when he was invited to go to Somaliland. He accepted - having (with some pride) wrung an exceptional agreement from the Colonial Office that he could draw his pension while earning his governor's salary, provided he did not build up a second pension.

Professing neither modernism nor tradition, Hall always did what he believed appropriate for the time, the place and the people. When it became difficult for the Somaliland Scouts to provide him with an ADC for all occasions, he appointed his personal assistant, now Betty Thom, to the role. A woman ADC without military rank was a rarity in those days, though as far as Hall was concerned he was simply making sensible use of a capable person.

On leaving Somaliland, Hall was still only 51. But he and his wife decided to settle at Ringmore, in Devon. He became a magistrate and then chairman of the Kingsbridge bench, and was a member of the Devon and Cornwall Police Authority from 1971 to 1979. He also took the opportunity to spend much more time on an interest that had begun when he was a schoolboy of 15: the design and making of wirelesses. The design principle of these was of great interest to other enthusiasts. More than 100 articles, with circuit diagrams, construction advice and commentary on the electronic design principle, were published in the magazines Radio Constructor and Radio Bygones between 1964 and 1999. There is now a website called "The Ingenious Circuits of Sir Douglas Hall".

He could as easily have occupied himself re-designing cars, for which his enthusiasm was almost as great. He was life president of the Trojan Club, and for years a familiar figure driving around Devon in his open-top 1937 Bentley.

He was appointed CMG in 1958, and KCMG in 1959. He succeeded his brother in the baronetcy in 1978.

He married, in 1933, Rachel Marion Gartside-Tippinge, who died in 1990. Latterly, Hall, who died on April 8, moved to live near a daughter in Derbyshire. He is survived by a son - John Hall, who was born in 1945 and succeeds in the baronetcy - and two daughters; another son died in infancy.


EDITORIAL: The Corruption Menace

The sacking of the minister of Commerce and Industry, Mohamed Hashi Elmi, last Monday, following his pinpointing of serious flaws in the Administration's budget plan for the fiscal year 2003/2004, has once again brought the issue of corruption in the government to the forefront of national debate.

The revelation that million of dollars in actual government revenues were either unreported or improperly accounted for, have drawn public anger. Hashi's expulsion from the cabinet, apparently for speaking out against the gross irregularities contained in the budget document submitted by Finance minister, Awil Ali Dualle, has also erased any illusions that President Rayale might do something about corruption in the future. In fact, Rayale's decision to remove Mohamed Hashi, a man widely respected fro his personal integrity and honesty, is counterproductive.

The president has put himself in the awkward position of being seen now as someone who not only tolerates corruption but also encourages it as well. What is even worse is that neither Rayale nor his minister of Finance, have yet responded to the highly critical remarks cited by Hashi that questioned the credibility of the budget. Needless to say, if the president thinks that the current public backlash is going to disappear any time soon, he is very mistaken. Already there are signs of a grass-root civic movement against corruption in the making. People have became so fed up with the rampant corruption in government that they have started talking about not paying taxes until the Administration is forced to take effective measures addressing the systematic abuse of public funds by government officials.

Somalilanders endure socio-economic conditions that are among the worst in the world. Most households do not get enough to eat, and the country has some of the highest rates of unemployment, infant mortality and illiteracy rates in the world. With the economy stagnant as a result of the ban on livestock exports, and public services either too weak or non-existent, Somalilanders can no longer tolerate getting nothing in return for their taxes. They want their money to be spent on better education and health services for their children. Instead of ending up in the pockets of ministers and cronies, they want their taxes to be appropriately and efficiently allocated for meeting the country's developmental challenges and its pressing need for recognition. They also know that these noble objectives will be unattainable if corruption continues.

It is deplorable that the police resorted to violence while trying to break-up the peaceful anti-corruption demonstration held in Hargeisa yesterday. Such actions would only backfire on the government. President Rayale cannot afford to ignore the calls for good governance. He has no more time to buy and it would be futile for him not to admit his mistakes and commit himself to a genuine change for the good in the way this country is governed. Corruption has become Somaliland's worst enemy. Not to fight it will have catastrophic consequences for everybody including President Rayale.


Why Celebrate Somaliland Independence Day

By Mohamed Aden Hassan (Khodhahdi), NomadUK

It may have seemed like a normal day around the world but on Saturday, 18th May 1991, Somaliland declared itself independent from Somalia and its dictatorial leadership. This marked the importance of 18th May from all Somalilanders around the world, as the day when our freedom became true.

Somaliland has since been able to maintain a degree of stability, which is lacking in Somalia. We have been able to improve our circumstances, strengthen our independence and our democracy. We are working on to diversify our economy, empower our people through education and significantly expand our physical infrastructure and establish strong bonds with our neighbors and the world at large.

We are on the right path but have a lot of hard works ahead of us as Somaliland has not been recognized by the international community. The biggest hurdle in our recognition process is the AU (African Union) that aims for African Unity and Somalia. One thing should be clear: Somaliland cannot and will never ever be part of Somalia. We therefore need to form a strong unity and believe in our independence movement. It is the duty of every Somalilander, men and women boys and girls to stand for their country and fight for their recognition.

Nomad is an organization which aims to bring together Somalilanders. We are preparing for the 13th anniversary of our independence. Our main goal is to remember with respect and appreciation the great Somalilanders, who pioneered our independence: the men and women who made great sacrifices to realize the singular and noble vision of heralding an independent Somaliland.

Our independence celebration is also about learning and educating younger and future generations about the nature of our independence and the difficult times that our nation had been through to be where we are today.

Besides the celebration, Nomad dedicates every event to a region in Somaliland that has a great health and social need. We have designed and managed a successful project last year for Hargeisa Hospital. We have purchased large medical equipment and First Aid with the funds we raised from last year's event in Kentish Town, London. These items and many more things are greatly needed in our country, which is the reason we dedicate every penny of money that you give on 18th May back to the people of Somaliland. We have received overwhelming and warm reactions from Hargeisa Hospital that they are very pleased with the medics. Therefore, on behalf of Hargeisa Hospital we would like to thank every Somalilander who was at last year's 18th May celebration. Your presence may make a difference to the lives of our people.

We all know that Nomad cannot do this important and significant job without having the support of each and every Somalilander where ever they reside.

We believe that continues development of efficient and successful health programmes should be a priority for both Nomad and Somaliland. Nomad has therefore launched the Burco Health Project (BHP) and will use this year's event to raise funds for this project. We hope we can count on the support of the generous Somalilanders to help the needy ones in our beloved country and make a difference.

18 May is on a Tuesday this year and that is not a suitable day for everyone. This year's event will take place on the 16th of May 2004. Also don't forget that 18th May event is known for its family character and friendly atmosphere. It is the only event where parents have the chance to go out with their children.


Silanyo is Right!

By: A. Mohamed Ali Xaashi `Dhimbiil'

The leader of the opposition party and the leading statesman in Somaliland recently argued - quite correctly - that the formation of a government in Somalia could have a serious impact on Somaliland's political agenda. It is time to critically debate these issues instead of playing partisan politics with the interests of Somaliland. The wealth of experience and political instincts of Siilanyo should not be discounted and a proper debate on this issue should follow with a view of offering a more robust foreign policy assessment rather than making political hay over his comments. First and foremost I believe that the factions in Mbagathi will not agree on anything, and secondly, even if these factions agree to form a wide and inclusive government, the implementation process may take 10-15 years given the history of impermanence of the alliances in Somalia and lack of trust/shifting loyalties that have been the hall-mark of these warlords and their ilk.

The point though remains: that amnesia should not be the policy of the government nor should self-imposed censure be the rule of the day. Silanyo's point being that change in the policy of the government with regards to any impending political evolution in Somalia should be front and centre as Somaliland contemplates a policy of political disengagement and the search for political recognition.

The government's policy before I buttress Silanyo's arguments is this: "we will only talk to a government in Somalia with the simple agenda of legally disengaging with Somalia once a duly constituted government is created in Somalia".

The problem with the government's position is this, given that (theoretically speaking) any government of Somalia will not, by any stretch of the imagination accept Somaliland's independence, the only logical event of this position is that Somaliland and Somalia will be mired in serious political bickering that may lead to hostilities. Second, given the lack of government presence in some areas of Somaliland, a Trojan horse may be the most expedient policy for any government in Somalia with a view to destabilize Somaliland - Puntland is a concrete example of this Trojan horse policy vis a vis Laas Anood.

A reconstituted (theoretically speaking) Somalia government with the resources and legitimacy of the international community I believe will pose a more serious problem for Somaliland and Silanyo is right in saying that Somaliland should strategize and have a policy that can counter these issues if and when they appear. The international community will not allow a reconstituted Somalia government to destabilize Somaliland; however, we cannot bank on the international community to protect Somaliland's self-interests. What then should be the solution? First, the policy of the international community has been to place the dilemma posed by Somaliland right at the doorstep of the OAU and regional organizations such as IGAD. The international community's position is based on its lack of policy in relation to the issues of Somaliland and Somalia or lack of care and attention on the Somali file itself given the rising needs and priories of other issues such as security and the fight against terrorism internationally. As these security issues rise and ebb so will the international community pay more attention to the politics of Somalia and Somaliland.

Recent moves by the international community including statements by their official's points to a future of greater engagement on issues of security and with regards to Somaliland/Somalia particularly and the Horn of Africa generally.

To put it bluntly, in relation to these issues, the international community intends to help solve the Somalia quagmire precisely because of the dangers it poses for the international community. Indeed, the policy of engaging African states on the issue of Somaliland/Somalia will change as far as that change is correspondingly tied to the need to confront any serious change in the security situation which may pose threats to international security. Joined to this policy is the idea now currently being floated in high circles of draining what has been called the `marshes of terrorism'.

Clearly, the international community has left African states and those regionally close to Somaliland/Somalia to tackle the political issues that confront the Somali file. Their role has been to accept or follow the policy of regional and African states on the issue of Somaliland's recognition. Recent moves by the Somaliland government to directly engage the international community are a step in the right direction; however, these diplomatic moves must be coupled with serious on the ground engagement with African states, particularly those within IGAD with a view to challenge wrong assumptions invented by architects of the ARTA peace process/TNG faction in those governments. Somaliland having made serious mistakes diplomatically during this period with the exception of the current Minister of Finance, Ambassador Awil whose time in Kenya proved extremely valuable to Somaliland. Somaliland must start to move diplomatic circles within the IGAD states to influence/change the attitude of these states with regards to Somaliland recognition. If there has been a failure of policy in these issues it has been here and it ought to change.

Ethiopia and South Africa, regional power brokers have paid a sympathetic ear to Somaliland's cause with Ethiopia suggesting that it will be only the second country to recognize Somaliland leaving some doubt as to Ethiopia's Foreign policy intensions with regards to Somaliland. South Africa has to date paid the most serious attention to Somaliland's claim by re-visiting that crude concept of "territorial integrity" in relation to Somaliland's glaring right to be recognized. The rest of Africa is grudgingly in a reflective mood on Somaliland's quest given the intransigence of the warlords in Mbagathi. However many of these states are hostile to change given their own fears and disquiet about rising differences in their own states.

This process of creating a legitimate government in Somalia will proceed un-evenly if at all given the political culture and political personnel that supposedly represent the population of Somalia. Somaliland however needs to develop new ideas and strategies in order to counter the false concepts that have been hoisted up the flag of regional states, namely, Somaliland's recognition is the begging of the end of the concept of territorial integrity in Africa.

What should Somaliland do?

As far as policy is concerned the government ought to start seriously considering the possible scenarios that may occur and put together adequate policy initiatives to counter the impact of any government in Somalia rather than the wait and see attitude. This will require much lobbying and counter-offensives in the world of diplomacy internationally and regionally. Some points to consider include:

Invest in the infrastructure of diplomacy by building and staffing `Somaliland Interest Sections' with all the IGAD member states. This must include a proper budget for offices, housing and residence for the representative of the Somaliland in these countries where official and non-official representations can be made to the diplomatic community and members of government on the case for Somaliland. We must showcase Somaliland and bring down these false assumptions.

Build trust and understanding while pushing Somaliland's file on the ground. Unless we have the personnel who understand the terrain and speak the languages improvements to the file will me minimal. The international community is based largely in Kenya; this must be the flagship of our `Somaliland Interest Section' coupled with Ethiopia a major ally.

A major investment on Saudi Arabia, Egypt and UAE where attitudes have to be changed. The Somaliland Interest Sections there will help open the livestock trade as well as improve other political and business opportunities.

This small investment in regional diplomacy will begin to yield results very quickly with regards to changing the minds of these governments and countering the false assumptions underpinning their hostility to Somaliland. The budget required is minimal about 2 millions yearly to operate these Interest Sections, the gains far out weigh the costs.


BBC Monitoring International Reports, May 15, 2004/ Xog-Ogaal, Mogadishu, in Somali 15 May 04

SOMALILAND PRESIDENT APPOINTS NEW MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY

In a presidential decree, president Dahir Riyale Kahin, has appointed a new minister of trade and industry following his recent dismissal of the incumbent. The newly appointed minister, Nuh Shaykh Omar Shaykh Muse, will take over from the former minister, Muhammad Hashi Ilmi. (Passage Omitted).
The Times Educational Supplement, May 14, 2004, SECTION: LETTER; No.4583; Pg.25

All In The Name Of Abdi

Congratulations to the staff and pupils of Brine Lee's in their efforts to help Abdi Yusuf support schools in Somaliland (TES, Teacher magazine, April 23). What a pity the article did not also mention Smallwood CE primary, also in Cheshire. It may be small in size but it has a very big heart. Their gargantuan efforts to support Abdi's charity, as well as a range of other deserving causes (including housing two donkeys), are quite remarkable and inspiring.

Brenda Keogh and Stuart Naylor 30 Mill Hill Lane Sandbach Cheshire


BBC Monitoring International Reports, May 12, 2004/ Jamhuuriya , Hargeysa, in Somali 12 May 04

SOMALILAND POLICE ARREST 19 ACTIVISTS IN HARGEYSA PROTESTING AGAINST CORRUPTION

Hargeysa police in the earlier hours of yesterday arrested some people who were reportedly planning to hold demonstrations in the streets of Hargeysa.

The members of the public who were arrested were carrying placards with the slogans: "Return the 16m US dollars and other public property" and other similar slogans.

The demonstrators were led by Ali Dool Ahmad alias Ali Qoryoolay and at least 19 people were arrested, including Ali Qoryoolay.

The demonstrators were arrested while staging a peaceful demos at Tima Adde Grounds.

The police operation to arrest the demonstrators paralyzed the public transport along Hargeysa streets.

Jamhuuriya reporters who were at the scene witnessed the operation. The reporters confirmed that among those arrested were two ladies, one of them was in an Islamic veil and there were two old men and youngsters. All those arrested were put on lorries and driven off.

A huge crowd that wanted to know what was happening gathered at the scene of the operation.

A member of the crowd was heard saying: "It is not even one year old (meaning the new Somaliland government) and they have already started arresting people like Afweyne (a pejorative nickname for former Somali President Muhammad Siyad Barre). Doesn't the (Somaliland) constitution allow demonstrations?" (Passage omitted).

Reports we received from the people at the scene said among those arrested were ordinary members of the public who were not participating in the demos.

Ali Dool Ahmad (Ali Qoryoolay) told Jamhuuriya the demonstration was a peaceful one aimed at expressing public dissatisfaction at the level of corruption, misuse of public property, lack of water in Hargeysa city and the injustice in the judiciary.

"Our demonstration is a peaceful one and we have informed the Ministry of Interior in writing about the intended peaceful march," Ali Qoryoolay said.

However, Somaliland Police Commissioner, Muhammad Egeh Ilmi, said the demonstration was intended to incite the public and the police had to intervene. (Passage omitted).

Ilmi said: "The police will investigate the motives of the demonstration and those found guilty will be dealt with and those found innocent will be released."


somalilandweb.blogdrive.com/comments?id=176, 12 May, 2004

Somaliland Budget Analysis (FY 2003)

Ali Gulaid - San Jose, CA -

In light of the recent decry of corruption embedded on the budget (FY 2004) sounded off by Mujahid Mohamed Hashi, I thought it is an opportune time to reflect on the analysis I made exactly a year ago on the prior budget (FY 2003), while we are all anxiously awaiting the details of the current budget passed by the cabinet. Here is the analysis:

- The budget of Somaliland for the fiscal year 2003 is (101,687,066,649 S/Shilling) and that is equivalent to US$16,140,804 according to the official exchange rate (US$ 1 = 6,300 Somaliland ah), which the ministry applied at the time.

- The President of Somaliland is the highest paid elected head of State in the hemisphere, north and south, according to the FY 2003 budget. If that sounds outrageous, unbelievable, and unconscionable, read on. The budget document doesn't specify the salary of the President per se but the expenditure earmarked for the (Qasriga Madaxtooyada), which roughly translates to residence of the Presidency is $515,956. To avoid any confusion, the budget of the residence of the Presidency is different from that of the Ministry of the Presidency.

- The President doesn't pay rent or utilities (power and water). Moreover, the staff of the President is paid from the budget of the Ministry of the Presidency (political fund/expense account), which has a budget of $998,000.

- The Ministry of the Presidency (political fund/expense account) has the third highest budget and the salary budgeted for the staff of the Presidency "Madaxtooyada" is $67, 682. This salary alone is more than the combined salaries of the following seven Ministries, which totals to a mere $63,937: foreign affairs ($17,192), contracts agency (3,610) removal of mines agency (8,690), the two houses of the parliament ($23,392), the Supreme Court (8,800), and parliament coordinating ministry ($2,253). Is it sensible to conclude that the staff of the Presidency is more and paid higher than the staff of these seven ministries combined?

- Furthermore, the salary of the bodyguard of the President could come either from the Ministry of defense or from the Ministry of the Presidency or from the National Army but which one I am not sure. The chance that the salary of the bodyguard of the President is paid from the residence of the Presidency "qasriga Madaxtooyada" is slim.

- This clearly demonstrates that the expenditure of the residence of the Presidency "qasriga Madaxtooyadu" is a misnomer. It is euphemistically labeled and there is no other reasonable conclusion but to label it ($515,956) correctly as the salary of the President. Furthermore, the budget document labeled it only as the expenditure of the Presidency in lump sum. No detail provided. Contrast that with the salary of President George W. Bush, which is mere $400,000 not monthly, but yearly. As a matter of fact, the salary of the President of the United Stated was only $200,000 when Clinton left office. It was Clinton who passed the legislation to double the salary of the President effective his successor. In addition President Bush has an expense account of $50,000 and not $998,000 like the President of Somaliland does. Contrast also with that of the President of South Africa $120,000 and that of the President of Eritrea $36,000.

- This bestows the President of the poorest country in the world to earn the distinction of being the highest paid elected President in the whole world. By salary scale the President of Somaliland is richer $119,956 than President Bush, the President of the wealthiest country in the world. Unconscionable.

- Similarly, the Vice-President isn't doing poorly either. He is pulling down $188,700. Just this year the salary of the Vice-President was increased from $158,730 to $188,700. Contrast that with $186,200 the salary of the Vice-President of the United Stated, Dick Cheney. Can Somaliland afford this?

- The Vice-President's salary of $188,700 closely matches that of the budget of the Ministry of public works $192,899, and that of the Ministry of Aviation $197,032. The salary of the President, that of the Vice-President and the political fund amount to $ 1,700,804, which is 10% of the total budget. And in total that is more than the total salary of Somaliland Police force, which happens to be $1,504,653. Ridiculous.

- Common sense dictates that scarce resources allocated according to need in order to grow and develop economically. But how the government abdicated this fundamental responsibility and squandered by misappropriating funds is illustrated by the salary of the President, which is more than the combined budget ($499,956) of the following ten (10) ministries: Ministry of Family affairs ($29,693), Ministry of Youth ($37,914) Ministry of re-settlement ($42,011) religious affairs ($42,797), planning ($35,810), Minerals & water ($60,292), Commerce ($54,874), Industry ($60,152), Tourism ($65,424) and agriculture ($70,328).

- It is saddening to share with you how other departments and ministries are denied the resources needed to serve the nation. For example, the Salary of the Vice-President of Somaliland is more than the combined budget ($188,224) of the following five (5) Ministries: Ministry of Family affairs ($29,693), Ministry of Youth ($37,914) Ministry of re-settlement ($42,011) religious affairs ($42,797), and planning ($35,810).

- How do education, health and justice fare in the budget? Poorly. The salary of the President closely matches that of the budget of National Election Commission $539,233 and that of the Ministry of health $545,233. Wastefully, the budget of the Ministry of the Presidency (political fund/expense account) is bigger than the budget of the Ministry of education $982,510, bigger than that that of the Parliament ($796,786) and much more bigger than that of the Ministry of health $545,233. Unjustifiably, the budget of the Ministry of tourism is $65,424 and that is almost twice as big as that of the Ministry of Justice ($42,387). Is that justice?

- And there is some more heartbreak. The budget of the Military is $4,629,341; that of the prison Guard is $881,768 and that of the police is $2,287,862. In addition to that there is $31,746 in the budget of the Ministry of interior earmarked for security. That is a total of $7,830,717, which is 49% of the Somaliland Budget ($16,140,804). If you add that to the salaries of the President, the Vice-President and the political fund, which in total is 10% of the budget, only about 40% remains for education, health, agriculture, justice and other social services.

- In order to find out roughly the number of Somaliland security forces, one has to consult with the budget. And according to the salary subhead, the military salary is $3,214,367; that of the prison guard is $421,226 and that of the police is $1,504,653. This totals to $5,140,227. Therefore, on the basis of the yearly salary of $216 of a soldier, the number of Somaliland security forces is roughly 20,895. But according to the budget, the total government personnel are 22,533. This would make the government employed civilians only 1,638. That is hard to believe.

- Relatively, Somalilanders are as incarcerated as African Americans in the United States when one considers the funds allocated to the prison guard, "ciidanka Asluubta". It has a budget of ($881,768), which is more than the combined budget ($864,351) of the following (15) ministries: justice ($42,387), agriculture ($70,328), development of the nomad ($57,434), livestock development ($107,833), minerals and water ($60,292), religious affairs ($42,797), industry ($60,011), fishery ($57,151), telecommunication ($55,977), tourism ($65,424), re-settlement ($42,011), sports &youth ($37,914), coordination of two houses Ministry ($9,998), Attorney General ($64,111), commerce ($54,874) and Planning ($35,810).

- Here is another mislabeled one. The budget of the emergencies and unexpected tragedies "gurmadka & hawlaha lama filaanka ah" is $523,809 and it is part of the budget of the Ministry of the Presidency. The funny thing is, it is used for unallowable expenditure. Thanks to the cooperation of Nature and the peaceful Somalilanders, nothing that qualifies under that classification has occurred recently. Yet, rather than saving it for future mishaps, it is expended as an operational budget.

- The budget of the Ministry of information is $152,901, which is bigger than the combined budget of the Ministry of justice $42,387, the Auditor General $62,268 and the civil service agency $46,159. The Ministry of information has only one radio station, which hardly reaches the outskirts of the Capital let alone the rest of the country. Regrettably, it is also two times bigger than that of Ministry of agriculture and much bigger than that of the livestock development ($107,833). Why blame Saudi Arabia for banning livestock export for health reasons?

- And some more waste. Interestingly, there is a Ministry that coordinates the Parliament (Guurti and Wakiilada) with a budget of $9,998 and I might add that the "Guurti" and the "Wakiiladu" are located in the same compound. What for?

- Then, there are: the lawyer of the National Army $8,412.70; no other ministry has its own lawyer, and the subhead of compensations "Magaha Hawlgalka Dawladda" under the Ministry of Interior, which is a whopping $63,492. Does the government compensate for its misdeeds and tort? Highly unlikely. And as much as $34,177 is wasted under the subheading of miscellaneous; add that to $34,017 for entertainment, which nearly every ministry and agency indulges.

- How about this one: the preparation of the budget "xisaab-xidhka & samaynta miisaaniyadda", which is $37,032. This is neither for technical experts nor for overtime.

- The inequity, on the other end of the spectrum, is glaring and reprehensive. The yearly salaries of certain classifications are: $246 for a policeman/woman; and $480 for a government senior officer; $3,000 for a minister. Of course the ministers have perks such as a house and a car. Alarmingly, higher Education, (Hargeysa, Amoud Universities and the teachers training center) is barely surviving on $47,659.

In economics 101, one learns that resources are scarce and the competing and conflicting demands made on the scarce resources need to be prioritized in order to optimize utility. A nation that commits 60% of its meager resources to guns rather than butter, a nation that commits more on disseminating propaganda than judiciary, a nation that spends 10% of its budget on the salary of two employees of the State - President and the Vice-President, a nation that doesn't save for a rainy day, a nation that ignores its infrastructure, a nation that spends least on education, health and justice is a nation that is predestined to failure, hopelessness and hunger. It is more so when already that nation is the poorest nation in the world. A nation's resources are entrusted with its leaders and stewardship and if the budget (FY 2003) is any indication, the meager resources are grossly misappropriated and that is fiscally irresponsible.

Sub-Saharan Africa is the most impoverished region in the world and no one disputes that. Some of the reasons the pundits normally ascribe to the region's poverty are as follows: civil and ethnic wars, environmental degradation and deforestation, foreign debt, corruption, lack of foreign investment, low prices of Africa agricultural exports, too many and too small sovereign States, HIV/AIDS, trade barriers, poor infrastructure. Most of these are man made causes that can be managed, controlled, negotiated or eliminated totally. But there is one more that is overlooked: fiscal irresponsibility. The practice of misappropriating public funds (taxpayers funds) is pervasive, reprehensive and would continue to bleed the region to more poverty. To mitigate the effect or eliminate these growth and development inhibiting practices requires strong political will and that isn't forthcoming.

This seems bleak but it shouldn't be. As a reminder, this culture of out-right misappropriation and corruption has been inherited from the prior administrations but this one has taken it to a shamefully higher level. It must be noted that the legislature has approved these misappropriations; hence they share the blame. There are several ways to stem this blatant waste of meager resources and here are some that spring to mind readily but one wonders if there is a will? The legislature ought to establish a) watch dog of its own, which is accountable to the house of parliament and, b) independent controller that reviews and approves government disbursements. Listing the functions of the proposed watchdog is out of the scope of this analysis, but the message should be clear; those who misappropriate and those who loot government coffers would be caught and punished severely without fail.

I wonder how different the outcome would have been, if priorities re-arranged, with the same amount of resources; and I wonder whether these funds, no matter how misappropriated, were expended for the intended use. I am bringing this to your attention, not out of malice, but out of a desire to see Somaliland develop, grow and become fiscally responsible

Ali Gulaid, San Jose, CA


Source: Somaliland Times, Issue 119 Apr. May 3-9, 2004

Through Jawahirs Efforts, Somaliland Gets New Friends In Africa

Johannesburg, April 1, 2004 (SL Times) - Somaliland diplomat Jawahir Mohamed Ali Sheikh Madar has in the last 2 months discussed the issue o Somaliland's independence and recognition with a number of prominent African leaders, ministers and diplomats.

Last Wednesday, Jawahir met with Zambian foreign minister Kolombo Mwanza.

Also, last Wednesday, Jawahir was at a party thrown in honor of former Zambian President, Dr. Kenneth Kaunda, on the occasion of his birthday. The party was attended by former South African President, Nelson Mandela, Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki, Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni, Mozambican President, Joaquim Chissano, King of Swaziland, Mswati III, South Africa's first lady, Mrs. Mbeki, late ANC leader Oliver Tambo's widow, South African Vice President, Jacob Zuma, and many other prominent dignitaries.

"It was a unique opportunity to make contacts and spread information about Somaliland," Jawahir said.

Dr. Kaunda sits on the board of directors of Rova Energy Corporation, in which Jawahir's husband Andy and the South African businessman, Tokyo Sexwalli are shareholders. The company was granted an oil and gas concession in Somaliland's block 4 east of Berbera.

On Thursday, she briefed the Congolese Foreign Affairs minister Rodolphe Adada on the situation in Somaliland and why the country needs to be recognized.

Jawahir declined to speak about the results of her diplomatic campaign, saying that she will have to brief Somaliland leaders first.


Gunnar kraft meets with Somaliland organizations

Forumsyd A Swedish Bilateral Aid organization Gunnar Kraft on Thursday 22 April 04 met with Somaliland's organizations in Sweden at forumsyd premises at Katarinav?gen 20 in Stockholm. Somaliland's organizations from all over Sweden were well represented. Amongst those present were Hussein Abyan Wadadyare who is Somaliland's top representative in Sweden, Mohamud Abdulahi Elmi (Abokodh) chairman of Somalilandsriks Organization in Sweden and Abdirashid Omar who is The Chairman of Somaliland's organization in Stockholm.

Foumsyd Representative that came back from a fact finding mission to Somaliland praised Somaliland's Non Governmental organizations especially the organizations of Nagaad and Kasongo.

Gunnar Kraft said that Forumsyd looks forward to future co-operation between the above-named non-governmental organizations and Forumsyd From Sweden.

During his short visit to Somaliland Kraft was able to visit Somaliland's Capital Hargeisa, he also traveled to Berbera, Sheikh, Burco, and Beer.

Gunnar Kraft Presented a copy of his fact finding mission to their Stockholm office and amongst his suggestions Kraft was very encouraging to Forumyd to Open a liaison Office in Somaliland, in order to increase the relationship with these organizations on the ground.

Kraft also asked all Somaliland's organizations in Sweden to work hard towards the progress of Somaliland.

Last but not least are thanks to the people of Somaliland for welcoming Gunnar Kraft during his stay in Somaliland.

Source: TV Somaliland Europe


Jama Yare and Sifir Lobbying For Isak Seats at Nairobi Talks

Nairobi, May 1, 2004 (SL Times) - Two Somalilanders attending the Nairobi peace talks are campaigning for the inclusion of 80 people as representatives of the Isaak clan to the conference.

Jama Mohamed Qalib (Jama Yare) and Mohamud A. Jama (Sifir) have petitioned the talks' mediator, Ambassador Bethuel Kiplagat, to allow an Isaak delegation to participate in the third phase of the Somali reconciliation conference which is being held in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

On March 22, the two men formed a committee assigned with the task of organizing a Isaak delegation. However, the proposal for the allocation of seats for Isaak representatives has met opposition from many in the so-called 366 official delegates already taking part in the talks.

The talks which have been dogged by wrangles over the selection of future parliamentarians are scheduled to resume on May 6, 2004.

The Somaliland government rejected to take part in the talks. Its position is that since Somaliland is an independent country and not a party to the conflict in Somalia, there was no need for it to participate in the Nairobi reconciliation conference.

Fore more information on the subject see below:

Somali National reconciliation Conference, Phase III

To: Ambassador Bethuel Kiplagat
Kenya's Special Envoy for Somalia
Chairman, IGAD Facilitation Committee
CC: IGAD Partners Forum (IPF)
CC: IGAD Member States
CC: All Somali Political leaders at the SNRC

March 28, 2004

Subject: Representation and participation of the Isaaq Delegation to the SNRC

The delegation of the Isaaq Communities presents its compliments to the Member States of IGAD and IGAD Partners forum (IPF) and takes this opportunity to express its appreciation for the sustained support, solidarity and facilitation of your Excellencies for the Somali national reconciliation.

The Isaaq delegation at the Conference wishes to bring to the attention of your Excellencies that they have established a committee to coordinate their participation in the Third Phase of the Conference. The minutes of the general meeting establishing the committee is attached.

The Conference has entered its third and decisive stage. The Committee of the Isaaq Delegation wishes to recall that Isaaq leaders were not represented in Phase I and II of the Conference. The members of the Isaaq delegation to the Conference were invited in ad-hoc manner as members of the civil society groups or part of the delegation of the TNG.

Our understanding was that Isaaq delegation would fully be included in the Third Phase of the Conference. We believe the Isaaq clan is one of the principal clans. We will raise this issue with the delegations of the other Somali clans at the Conference and are confident we will gain their support to have the necessary adjustment in the formula of clan allocation.

We are at present extremely under-represented even on the basis of our allocation under the 4.5 formula. Only 12 of 37 Isaaq representatives invited to the first two phases of the Conference or in anticipation of the start of the third phase have access to accommodation. Some of our political leaders are awaiting IGAD clarification and decisions on the role and status of the Isaaq participation. Three potential candidates for parliamentary seats have made independent arrangements to participate in the Third Phase of the Conference.

As a matter of principle and in the interest of fairness, we propose that the number of participants in Phase Three of the SNRC be established, and that each group is allocated delegate size proportional to their respective shares under the 4.5 formula.

The Committee of Isaaq delegation at the Conference is seeking immediate approval for 80 representatives on interim basis. This will regularize the presence of the members of our delegation now in Nairobi and enable us to participate in the third phase of the Conference, including selection of members of the national parliament in a credible and timely manner.

The Third Phase of the SNRC now requires focussed deliberations and structured process of consultations on the yet unresolved critical substantive issues in order to enhance agreement on the final outcome of the reconciliation process. In this connection, the Isaaq delegation wishes to highlight a number of organizational and unresolved substantive issues that need to be addressed in order to ensure effective preparation for the Third Phase of the SNRC.

Organization and Rules of procedures

The Isaaq delegation supports that the organization of the Phase of the Conference should be based on clan representation. Indeed, we believe such an approach to the third phase is a necessary prerequisite to our participation and the success of the Conference in arriving at a realistic and legitimate outcome.

The Rules of procedures should first establish the conception organization of the third phase and its deliberation and decision-making procedures. The conception of the organization should be based on the Somali ownership and clearly and formally establish the procedures for deliberating and making decisions on substantive issues and resolving disputes. The second step to formulate procedures for selecting delegates to the Conference.

We are submitting proposals on the Organization and Rules of Procedures of the Third Phase of the SNRC.

Agenda of the Third Phase

The third Phase of the Conference will be confronted with important political issues. The organization and the Rules of procedures should be structured to create opportunities for addressing these issues. We are prepared to contribute to the formulation of the Conference agenda.

Please accept our highest regards and gratitude for your sustained support to the process of Somali national reconciliation. Dr. Mohamud A. Jama, Chairman, Committee of Isaaq Delegation to the SNRC/Phase III

Somali National Reconciliation Conference, Phase III Organization and Rules of procedures
I. Introduction

Phase III of the conference will select members of transitional national assembly. The Parliament will in turn elect a speaker of the Assembly and a President who will serve as the head of the State during the period of transition. The purpose of the rules is to establish a rule- based deliberation, consultations and decision making. Upon adoption, the Organization and Draft Rules of Procedures supercede Article 30 of the draft Charter, its subsequent amendments and clarification. Additionally, the Parliament formed under the present Rules of Procedures will review and amend and adopt a draft constitutional Charter and the procedures for its ratification.

II. Organization & Conference delegates

The clan units will also designate conference delegates, which will serve as their political representatives (one delegate for each 10 parliamentary seats). The clan wide Committee will endorse the delegates. The delegates will represent the clan in all aspects of the deliberation process. The directives of the clan units they represent will guide the delegates.

Conference Assembly and Bureau

The Phase III Conference assembly will consist of the clan unit delegates and observers form IGAD and IGAD IPF. The civil society organizations will nominate five no-voting delegates, but who will otherwise fully participate in the deliberations of the assembly. The delegates will elect a bureau consisting of a chairperson of the Bureau and four vice-Chairpersons.

The Assembly will review the compliance of the nomination process with the rules of procedures for nominating and selecting clan representatives to parliament and endorse the nominated members of each clan to the Parliament.

III. Selection of members of parliament

Clan representation

The selection of members will be based on the 4.5 formula for clan representation. Each clan will establish a clan-wide selection committee, which will, for purposes of representation in parliament, define the clan units (Arda) and the number of representatives allocated to each clan unit.

Selection process

The clan- wide selection committee will appoint a panel from among each of the clan units adopted as the basis of allocation. The Panels will elect chairperson and a deputy chairperson. The Panels of the clan units (Ardayada) will nominate candidates for parliament for endorsement of the clan wide selection committee. The candidates who were nominated by the selection panel may petition the clan wide selection Committee who will establish a recourse panel which will review all petitions and make recommendation to the clan-wide selection committee.

The clan wide selection committee will submit the final list of candidates selected as the representatives of the clan units. The submission will include complete documentation of the selection process, including instances of petitions and actions taken by the selection committee.

IV. Logistics and support

IGAD will provide a secretary and a rapporteur and legal counsel to the Conference Bureau. The office of the Special Envoy will provide secretariat services for clan selection committee. A logistic official will also be assigned to each clan.

D. Joint Committee of the Conference Bureau and the IGAD facilitation and IGAD IPF

The Conference Bureau will consult with IGAD Facilitation Committee and IGAD IPF representatives. IGAD Facilitation Committee and IGAD IPF will form a joint mediation committee. With the agreement of the Conference Bureau, the Mediation Committee will arbitrate the disputes, and the decisions of the Arbitration will be binding. March 28, 2004-

To: Somali leaders Committee,

Somali National Reconciliation Conference NAIROBI

13th April 2004

I had earlier sent you a draft proposal for Rules of Procedure for Phase 3 for your comments and amendments. I have received comments from a number of you but there are others who have not done so. I would be most grateful if this can be done as soon as possible.

There is one thing which I need to clarify concerning the procedure for the distribution of seats at the clan level. According to my letter of 10th March 2004, the clan will meet and this will consist of the Traditional leaders and political leaders who were officially invited by IGAD to do the actual distribution of the 61 or 31 seats among the sub clans.

A mistake was made earlier on when there was no clear clarification and individuals who had no official invitation flooded the clan meetings. This is not going to be case this time round. Naturally the bulk of the delegation will consist of the 366 that were invited officially by IGAD.

The selection of members of parliament will take place at the sub clan or sub-sub clan level. I hope that this clarification can move ahead and complete this exercise.

Yours sincerely, Amb. Bethuel A. Kiplagat
KENYA'S SPECIAL ENVOY FOR SOMALIA AND CHAIRMAN IGAD FACILITATION COMMITTEE


ONLF Burns Down Two Trucks Owned By Somalilanders

Hargeisa, May 1, 2004 (SL Times) - The Ogaden National Liberation Front's militia set to flames two trucks owned by Somalilanders at Fiq area in Ethiopia's autonomous regional Somali state. The two vehicles, a 24 ton Nissan UD and a Hino ZY were rented to carry goods, mainly food items such a sugar, rice and oil to Fiq.

The Nissan UD was still loaded while the Hino was discharged of its load when ONLF militiamen stopped the two vehicles at a point between the two villages of Fayan Jawo and Haaro-Dhagax located near Fiq on April 25, 2004.

According to the two drivers, Abdi Mohamed Banyah and Ahmed Hussein (Jiis), the armed men drew out about 20lts of fuel from each vehicle. "Then they placed wood under and above each vehicle and set them on fire," Ahmed Hussein said.

The armed men who identified themselves as ONLF fighters told the drivers that they were instructed by their Chairman [Mohamed Omer Osman] to burn down properties belonging to Somalilanders in retaliation of the arrest of ONLF combatants by the Somaliland government.

The Somaliland police foiled at the end of last year an operation for smuggling 34 ONLF fighters into eastern Ethiopia. Police investigations revealed that members of the group underwent military training in Eritrea as part of a wider scheme involving training of 700 - 1200 recruits. The group arrested by the Somaliland police arrived from Djibouti, and were scheduled to infiltrate into Ethiopia before they were intercepted.

The two drivers also reported that the armed militia were about to execute them when they got distracted by a young assistant driver who ran away as well as by the explosion of the two vehicles.

Meanwhile, the ONLF chairman Mohamed Omer Osman said he can't blame his fighters if they acted violently.

In a BBC interview broadcast yesterday, Osman alleged that Ogadeni travelers in Hargeisa and Buroa have been attacked by mobs in the last 3 days. He claimed that Ogadenis who come to Somaliland either for trading or buying goods, are often mistreated. Osman also complained that many Ogadenis are languishing in Somaliland's prisons.

In a similar interview held with Osman in December 2003, he openly encouraged his supporters to take reprisals against people of Somaliland origin in the autonomous Somali region.


Oil Boom In East Africa Predicted

Jeevan Vasagar in Nairobi

Nairobi, April 29, 2004 (The Guardian) - Africa's Indian Ocean coast is poised to become a new source of oil and gas on the continent, according to a US oil industry expert whose firm has been carrying out satellite and geological surveys of the region.

West Africa, which supplies the US with 15% of its oil imports, has been the traditional focus for oil exploration on the continent.

But in an interview published on the US State Department's website, oil firm director Chris Machette-Downes said: "East Africa is very likely to become one of the hottest oil exploration frontiers in the next few years."

Commenting on a survey of the coast from the Kenya-Somalia border to South Africa, he said that for years east Africa had only been regarded as good for natural gas production, but that view had changed.

Oil production is already under way in Sudan. A host of companies are exploring offshore in the region, including Shell and the Anglo-US firm Aminex off the coast of Tanzania.

Machette-Downes predicted that any major finds of oil in east Africa would be exported chiefly to oil-hungry Asian nations.

Chinese and Indian companies, as well as the Malaysian firm Petronas, are already involved in oil extraction from Sudan.


Editorial: Jama Yare, Sifir and Aw Hasan Do Not Represent Somaliland

Individuals such as Jama Mohamed Ghalib (Jama Yare), Mohamud A. Jama (Sifir) and Aw Hassan who recently wrote to Kiplagat, the Kenyan mediator of the Somali reconciliation conference at Nairobi, that they be allowed to attend the 3rd phase of the talks as representatives of the Isak clan, have only made themselves the laughing stock of the Somaliland people. These are people who after failing in Somaliland's politics chose to flee the country and live abroad. Instead of figuring out why they failed in Somaliland's politics and correcting their mistakes, they embarked on a disgraceful anti-Somaliland campaign aimed at undermining the country's independence. Hence, their latest clumsy attempt of begging Kiplagat to recognize them as representatives of the Isak has hardly come as a surprise to anyone in Somaliland. Still, we must point out that their latest gimmick is not going to change anything because the people of Somaliland have chosen their own course which is independence. Not even Somaliland's government which was chosen by the Somaliland people in a free and fair election, has the mandate to reverse this course, let alone a bunch of political outcasts who make their living by acting as agents for those seeking the destruction of Somaliland.

The question of who represents the people of Somaliland has never been in doubt in the last 13 years since this country restored its independence. Even in the midst of the worst upheavals that it witnessed in the early nineties, Somaliland hasn't experienced a power vacuum. And now with political parties already functioning in the country and a democratically elected government in place, only shameless miscreants like Jama Yare, Sifir and Aw Hassan could dare to try usurping the mandate of representation that the Somaliland people vested on their legitimate leaders. A seasoned diplomat such as Kiplagat should know better than to succumb to the maneuvers of the above-named failed pseudo-politicians, and here is why:

1- The conference has already dragged on for a year and half without making much progress. Letting in new delegates at this late stage would only create new problems.
2- Allowing fake delegates to represent the Isak would undermine the credibility of the reconciliation process in the eyes of the so-called official delegates attending the talks.
3- Somaliland has already achieved national reconciliation many years ago, and since then, has been engaged in the process of nation-building and improving the quality of life for its citizens. Whereas the situation in Italian Somalia is getting worse and worse. Therefore, the conference should leave Somaliland alone and focus on finding a solution for the deadly conflicts in Italian Somalia.


Editorial: ONLF And Al-Itihad, Two Faces Of The Same Coin

The Chairman of the Ogaden National Liberation Front, Mohamed Omer Osman, in an interview with the BBC's Somali service in December 2003, had openly called upon his followers to take reprisals against nomads living in Ethiopia's autonomous Somali state that share a common lineage with clans in Somaliland. Osman, a former Admiral in dictator Siyad Barre's Navy, was at the time reacting to the arrest by the Somaliland authorities of 34 Eritrean-trained ONLF combatants between Nov 29 and Dec 1, 2003 (See The Somaliland Times Dec 6, 2003 edition). A number of Isak men were reportedly killed in separate incidents by ONLF insurgents following the incitement message conveyed in Somali through the BBC by Osman last December. The ONLF's chairman repeated the same incitement in another BBC interview broadcast yesterday. Asked to comment on news reports that the ONLF burned two trucks in the Fiq area in the Somali autonomous state, on April 25, 2004, he explained that his people couldn't be blamed for responding to the harsh treatment and arrests that they experience in Somaliland. He even claimed that Ogadeni travelers in Hargeisa and Buroa have been victims of mob attacks in the last 3 days.

Though Osman lives in London, thanks to modern telecommunication technology that is available now in Somaliland, he can follow events here as they happen. But the ONLF chairman has deliberately lied on two accounts. First, is untrue that Ogadenis are mistreated in Somaliland or that Ogadeni travelers in Hargeisa and Buroa have been attacked in the last few days. The truth is that Mohamed Omer Osman is very much unhappy with last December's arrest of 34 of his fighters and the uncovering of a vital infiltration route hitherto utilized by his organization for smuggling terrorist missions into Ethiopia. Osman can claim from London that he is a leader of a liberation movement fighting for the rights of the Ogadeni clan. But he can't fool anybody here. In reality, the ONLF is nothing but a cover for the Al-Itihad terrorist group. Al-Itihad and ONLF are two faces of the same coin. Otherwise why Al-Barakat used to fund the ONLF or why extremist elements from far away Muslim countries are found in the ONLF's ranks?

People like Mohamed Omer Osman should have been tried for their role in the genocide committed against civilians in Somaliland during the dictatorship era. It is a gross injustice that a suspected war criminal like him was given asylum in Britain. But that injustice has assumed more dangerous proportions when he started using Britain as base from which he incites tribal hatred and plans terrorist operations among otherwise peaceful communities back at home.


Africa Analysis, April 30, 2004

SOMALI FISH PILLAGE PLEA

Much of the fish for sale in the United Arab Emirates has been stolen from Somali waters. That is the allegation made here by the Somali transitional (Arta) government.

The complaint is certainly genuine. But it is also part of the ongoing attempt by the Arta government to gain greater recognition as the true representative of the fragmented Somalia.

Similar complaints could also be lodged by Puntland and Somaliland, two breakaway segments of war-torn Somalia that both lay claim to separate statehood. For the simple fact is that several fishing companies with offices here and in other parts of the Gulf are pillaging the rich territorial waters off the Horn of Africa.

In the absence of a clear jurisdiction in Somalia and with little hope of any enforcement of territorial rights, fishing fleets have descended on what is still Somali territorial waters. It is a similar situation to the massive pillage that went on off the coast of Namibia during the interregnum when that country was moving toward independence.

Only later this year will the Arta government have a small fleet of armed patrol boats that may be able to reduce some of the illegal fishing. But diplomatic efforts provide more of a chance of success.

It was for this reason that the Arta government's marine resources minister Abdirahman Adan last week approached authorities here to take action against what he termed OEpirates and bandits'. He received a sympathetic reception and action is likely to follow.

Adan is understood to have passed on information about companies and fishing boats that operate out of both the UAE and Bahrain. These are now being monitored by local law enforcement agencies.


War Through The Eyes Of Somali Women

28 Apr 2004

A new book on Somalia's brutal conflict, which hit headlines in 1992 when U.S. troops landed in Mogadishu to lead an ill-fated intervention to restore peace, gives voice to Somali women's experience of the war.

Edited by Judish Gardner and Judy El Bushra, "Somalia: The Untold Story" (Pluto Press and the Catholic Institute for International Relations) contains personal testimonies of the slaughter and sexual violence that characterized the factional fighting, as well as the role played by women in mobilizing for peace.

In this extract, radio broadcaster Shukri Hariir tells how she and her family narrowly escaped death in May 1988 as government and militia forces, in a merciless response to rebel attacks, massacred civilians in the northwestern towns of Burao and Hargeisa. An estimated 50,000 civilians were killed in the area between May 1988 and March 1989, and more than half a million people were displaced.

On the morning of 27 May 1988, as newsreader for Radio Hargeisa, I reported that the (rebel) Somali National Movement (SNM) had invaded and captured Burao the previous night. Having made this announcement I immediately excused myself from the Service and went down town to my mother's small food store to collect bags of food, charcoal and store water in case of war. We had reported that the SNM were on their way to capture Hargeisa and would come soon.

On the night of Tuesday 31 May 1988 we were woken by the thunderlike explosions of war. The sky was red with shell and rocket fire. We were not used to the incessant sounds of heavy artillery and rockets. A `Stalin Organ' or `PM' gun and a tank situated close by filled us with fear and restlessness and as a result my husband, myself and my six children lay awake until morning.

In the morning non-uniformed forces in more than 40 armed vehicles entered Hargeisa from the west. They were led by Jeeps equipped with heavy anti-tank guns. This procession passed by our house, which was located on the main Hargeisa-Gabiley road. We realized they were SNM forces and wondered if they had captured the Faqash [derogatory slang for the forces of the government] in one day. An hour later we found that our area was in the hands of the government army. At 8am we went here and there trying to get information and talking to neighbors who belonged to Barre's tribe. But our neighbors would not greet us and looked on us with hostile eyes. Two passed by near us: one was a ma'alin, or teacher, at a Koranic school located near to our house, the other was a National Security Service office watchman. Both were armed with A-K 45 rifles. Partly because of their old age and partly because I imagined that sheikhs and elderly men would not be moved so quickly to engage in war, I did not expect these people to take up arms. From the way they were holding the rifles it was apparent that this was the first time they had ever taken up such a weapon. When we asked about the situation, they answered with angry expressions on their faces.

`Are you not aware of what your kinsmen have done? Then what are you expecting?' My husband responded: `Things will be as God wishes.' Three more armed men appeared leading an unfortunate woman, she was blindfolded and her neck was tied with a rope on which they were pulling, as though she was a camel. Her clothes were torn and bloodied. The poor woman looked as if she was shaking with pain. Although we knew one of the three men pulling her along we did not talk to them. One of the men glanced at us saying: `The most dangerous spy is caught!' They reached a point about 100 meters away from us when an exchange of fire nearby could be heard. They suddenly threw the woman down on the ground and shot her dead.

Bodies were scattered here and there, not all of them government supporters. We saw the bodies of nine dead government supporters and two SNM. We saw through the window women who had just learnt about the death of some relatives; [they were] stabbing three dead bodies with knives. We were afraid that these women would rush and kill us. Luckily, at this point this idea had not entered their heads.

On the night of Wednesday 1 June we stayed in our house discussing our way out of the situation. We felt the SNM had captured the northern part of Hargeisa and that the East-West would be the front line. We were convinced that we could not cross the frontline, which was north of us. We decided to go to my mother's house in southern Hargeisa. We believed the people from my husband's family were cut off from us by the frontline. I was six months pregnant. The oldest of my six children was a boy of six years, the youngest were my twin boys aged one. Two of my children could undertake a long march but it would prove difficult for the others so we needed people to help us carry the children.

On the Wednesday morning we saw one of our neighbors, a government supporter called Ahmed, leading three tanks to us. While they were passing the house he told them something about us. The tank directed its barrel towards us. Instinctively we rushed the children into the dining room on the other side of the house. We were just in time - the tank devastated two bedrooms and the sitting room with six heavy shots. Miraculously we were not harmed, although we were very frightened. They clearly thought that we were dead. After a few minutes they were distracted by heavy firing nearby, and the tank moved on. We immediately set off to a neighboring Isaq family. We were explaining to our neighbor what had happened when armed men knocked at the door. When the door was opened the men asked: `Who is the man who fired at us?' They were told that nobody had fired anything. But they ordered all of us out of the house while firing into the house to terrify us. Seven of the armed men looted everything useful from the house, including the curtains. Both of our households decided to escape while we were still alive. We left all we had except for SSh20,000 [equivalent to US$50] which the looters had failed to find. We walked 3 km to reach my mother and displaced sister with her five children in the southern part of the city.

We felt some relief in the morning because the war was not so near, although government troops were moving on the roads near us. But in the evening we moved to another house to get away from the government's artillery bombardment of all the houses and the resulting exchange of fire. We re-located to a house situated in the southern tip of Hargeisa.

Everybody was thinking about how to escape. All were convinced that anyone staying behind would be killed by the defeated troops of (Somali President) Siad Barre or by civilians whose relatives had been killed by SNM troops. On the fourth day of the war I met the unfortunate Asha Yusuf who told me the menfolk in her group, including her husband, had been slaughtered and that even the babes in arms had been checked to determine their sex; and four baby boys including her only son had been slaughtered. As she was recounting this story tears were streaming from her eyes. I cried too, as did the others who were with us.

Kadra Ali, a girl who was with us told us that she had witnessed something similar. She had been hiding in thick shrubs when a around 50-60 people were shot dead while trying to escape - two babies were left crying over their mothers' dead bodies. Kadra could not tell us whether the babies had been eaten by animals or whether they had been taken by people. She said these troops remained there until dark dividing the looted wealth among themselves and checking the pockets of dead bodies for money.

I couldn't get anyone to help me carry my children and without help we couldn't make it. The families who had strong members had a better chance of escaping.

On the tenth day of the war we decided to make our fourth escape attempt, determined to join the settlements of the displaced populations located in the north of Hargeisa. When we were almost half way across, somewhere near the eastern side of Hargeisa, troops intercepted us and ordered us to sit down in a line. They watched us closely as if they had caught the highest commanders of the SNM. We were sure they would kill us all. After we had been sitting there for an hour and a half, a door of a house nearby opened. I looked at the person who had stepped outside and recognized him as a colonel called Hassan Wiif who was known to my husband. I called to him to help us and release us. We did not expect a positive response because of our experience during the past days. But the man did order our release. Despite the reports of his troops which identified us as SNM, the colonel ordered the release of all the people. Luckily for us this man did not have the poor tribal mentality that so many others had sunk to the level of.

Those people who were not carrying small children continued their attempt to escape. But we could do nothing but return to the house we had set out from that morning. Day by day people were beginning to adapt to the awful situation. In the early days of the war large groups would try to escape after sunset - the only time of day when it was possible to move unnoticed. At other times you could be easily seen by the government troops, who would ambush people en route. On the day we decided to try to escape we got together with many families and planned to begin after midnight. It was six weeks after the war had started. At one o'clock in the morning we started out. We were not less than 300 people. A man who knew more about the route we would escape by was assigned to guide us. We walked in single file without making the least noise. Although heavily pregnant I carried my year-old twin boys, my mother carried the next youngest. Some people were reluctant to escape in a group with young children for fear that the children would cry out and alert attackers. All the way I prayed that my children would be able to keep silent. They did, and I wondered if the smallest ones had been `trained' by such awful experiences that they had been through.

After four hours walking south west the guide told us that we had passed through the hostile area. We were so relieved and pleased. After another hour of walking we reached Gerebis, a village 30 km south west of Hargeisa. We rested for a few days and then continued our journey, still on foot, to the refugee camp in Harshin and later to Harta Sheik in Ethiopia.


Meet Somalis In The UK

By Mohamed Mukhtar Ibrahim, London

Somalis are the poorest and newest community in Britain. Somalis made up the largest number of refugee applicants in the UK last year. They are the highest unemployed community in this country. It seems that there just aren't enough negative superlatives left to describe Somalis.

But when a fact is skewed, it is a travesty of professional journalism and it is bound to create tension. A classic example from some of the press is "Somalis are crooks and beggars".

Another one portrayed Somalis as "hostile, aggressive and suspicious, and antagonistic to any outsider". "Somalis eat donkeys" has been reported as fact rather than parody. Some even have insinuated that Somalis do not respect the law of the land. Khat - a flowering shrub chewed by Somalis - did not go unnoticed "Somali men spend their time in a stupor as a result of chewing the khat leaves".

However, if you scrutinize the above comments you will discern on one hand that there is a weak community, which is truly trying to reconcile its way of life and the British way of life while preserving its culture and on the other hand a section of the media that is less charitable to new comers. Dr Jo Arthur, lecturer in English language, said "The Somali community has known a lot of hardship, as victims of conflict in Somalia and now as refugees in Britain". Therefore, it is unwise to accept such sheer criticism without caution and it is very much possible that you know differently. Let us examine closely what Somalis are pointed the finger at. First, Somalis are said that they actively do "asylum shop" for welfare benefits, but do those who deal with Somalis on this matter agree with this claim? Kathy Summerton, of Leicester's Children and Families Duty and Assessment Service, said "I haven't seen or heard anything that indicates this is about benefit shopping. The families are a new community with resources, including lawyers, teachers and social workers. They're saying:'We don't want a hand out, but a hand up,' but they are being left in limbo".

Moreover, Somalis are accused of begging. However Mike Gapes MP, of Ilford South, said, "I have never seen a Somali begging. Somalis do not stand at traffic lights on the north circular road with dolls or babies under their arms and intimidate motorists for money. They do not go round door to door knocking to ask for money from my constituents. That is done by organized gangs of criminals who are not asylum seekers".

Furthermore, it is reported that Somalis make up the largest asylum seekers in the country. Let the facts speak for themselves. Former Home Office Minister, Beverley Hughes, said "We know that a significant proportion of asylum seekers claiming to be Somali are actually from neighboring east African countries". This shows that there are individuals from different nationalities who want to misuse the name of Somalis even though there are a large number of genuine asylum seekers from Somali who have good grounds to claim asylum as the Somali civil war is still raging. For example, in 2002, according to the Home Office, the largest number of asylum seekers came from Iraq, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe and Somalia. Isn't it obvious that there is connection between the situation in these countries and their people who seek refuge in the UK?

Look ahead. If you do not know much about Somalis let me take this opportunity to introduce the Somalis. "Sirs meet Somalis".

For proper introduction, it seems increasingly reasonable, and, in the circumstances, important to look back the history of Somalis. I will not bore you endless historical notes but give you Somali snapshot of history. Britain's interest in the Somali area started as early as 1840s because Somalia provided the British with the resources that enabled it to safeguard its lucrative trade routes through the Red Sea. As a result of that Somali ended up at the theatre of colonial competition. After the scramble for Africa, Somali was divided into five spheres of influence and remained in the hands of imperial powers until 1960. Somali experienced a short-lived democracy between its independence and 1969, then a military junta regime came to power which reigned until 1990 and a civil war enveloped the country ever since.

Enough history lessons. What does a new community need to do in order to assimilate and integrate with the wider community? David Goodhart's writes, in his essay `Discomfort of strangers', "Immigrants who plan to stay should be encouraged to become Britons as far as that is compatible with holding on to some core aspects of their own culture. In return for learning the language, getting a job and paying taxes, and abiding by the laws and norms of the host society, immigrants must be given a stake in the system and incentives to become good citizens". So let us use this as a yardstick to see and measure how Somalis are doing. But before that it is always important to keep in mind that the road to integration is strewn with many obstacles.

Somalis do appreciate and acknowledge the support that they receive from the wider community especially how they are enabled to keep in touch with their culture. In return, Somalis try to contribute to the country as much as they can. Somalis are filling into the socio-economic area quitted by the Asians who are progressing up the economic ladder and gaining wealth and power. You will see Somalis working factories, driving buses, learning English, doing minicab, running small businesses, supporting Arsenal, Manchester United and of course Chelsea, and even reporting from Iraq.

In terms of crime, the Somali community is not perfect and you are likely to see a Somali youngster snatching a mobile like any other teenager or an open-faced Somali man driving a car illegally but there is no single Somali person that has been charged with any terrorist act.

It is worth noting that Somalis have had enough difficulties on their plate as many of them have witnessed widespread killings, displacement and destruction and they are gallantly trying to resettle here. A report recently published by London Borough of Camden concludes, "The Somali community shares a number of difficulties with other first-generation immigrant/refugee communities, though these are doubtless compounded by the circumstances of civil war and state disintegration that triggered involuntary migration". With this background it is not strange that Somalis are having difficult to compete with other much-established communities in this country. Eddie Playfair the principal of Regent College has said, "My experience is that this is a highly inspirational community which despite them facing serious economic, social and linguistic barriers to progress in the short term has the potential to make an enormous positive contribution".

But when media coverage is inaccurate, misleading or unfair, it annihilates the community cohesion strategy that the government is undertaking. It is relief to know that at the end of last year that the Press Complaints Commission issued a guidance note to editors forewarning of "the danger that inaccurate, misleading or distorted reporting may generate an atmosphere of fear and hostility that is not borne out by the facts". PressWise Trust and UNHCR absolutely deserve to be congratulated on clarifying reporting asylum and refugees issues.


Jamhuuriya And Its Readers Have Jumped To The Wrong Conclusion

By: Ahmed Ali Aden, Birmingham, UK

My recent article about Jamhuuriya has generated a reaction from Jamhuuriya readers who live many different places around the world. While many of them have opted to send their reactions directly to me instead of posting their reply to the Somaliland websites, many others preferred to show their responses publicly and have put their angry articles on various websites.

It is very interesting to see people can have a discussion and debate the thorny issues that affecting their lives here in abroad and on the ground in Somaliland as well. It also is intriguing, when you see that people cannot sometimes keep their comments and arguments pertinent to the topic, which is under discussion at a particular time.

My article and accusations against Jamhuuriya were valid only at the time when Samaters article was on their website, but if his (Samater) article was removed from Jamhuuriya 's website by the editors and his future articles are rejected then things are back to normal. If, however, Jamhuuriya resumes to let this mad professor publish his articles on their website my arguments against Jamhuuriya will continue to be valid and the public will continue to compliant about this.

I am not only talking about Jamhuuriya , but whoever accepts the professors loathing and the negative information that he distributes to the world is Somaliland enemy. And if Borama News, Awdalnews, Awdalnet or other Somaliland websites and Newspapers accept his hate campaign against Somaliland then they are as well enemies of Somaliland.

Some of my Somaliland brothers have gone over the top and took the issue to the websites which accepted and showed my article about Jamhuuriya . They have picked up, for instance, the Awdalnews and castigated it for allowing my article to appear on their website. I am neither a shareholder of Awdalnews nor a reporter of ANN and I do not even honestly know their names and where their base is. The majority of our people have a tendency to rush and make judgments about something that they have not carefully looked at. As well as on ANN my article was also on SDWO and Somaliland Radio, but I found really very confusing why ANN has become the soft target for these people. Was there a hidden rivalry between Jamhuuriya and ANN, and I unknowingly posted my article to them so Jamhuuriya have reacted promptly? Or was Jamhuuriya looking for a reason to attack ANN and my article suddenly became unwittingly the justification for Jamhuuriya 's attack?

My brothers who have replied to my article have refrained from criticizing other websites who have published my article and they have chosen to target only ANN. Bashing all the websites who have published my opinion about Jamhuuriya would have been fair if they were not looking for an opportunity to attack ANN. All the Somaliland websites are same for me, but I do not know why my brothers are singling ANN out for criticism.

Awdalnews had nothing to do with my article and it was purely my own view and reaction to what I have seen as a horrendous mistake made by Jamhuuriya . Personally, I have nothing against the editors of Jamhuuriya online version, but I still as I write this second article believe that the appearance of the Samaters article on Jamhuuriya was a terrible mistake and a heavy blow to their reputation.

Jamhuuriya has stated that they are attacked for being anti-Udub. I think this a cheap and infantile argument for someone who does not appreciate for his small blunders and every time people notice and criticise his careless mistakes he quickly jumps to the wrong conclusion. Since I, in principle, support the Kulmiye party I praise Jamhuuriya for shedding a light on the current governments' blunders and failed policies and also bravely touching the sensitive issues which the administration always like to keep beyond the reach of the public.

But in this particular case (the Samaters article on their website) Jamhuuriya is defending the indefensible position that they have put themselves in. No one's mistake is escaping from the public eye whether they are in the government, the opposition, and the media including all websites, television and newspapers. I agree with my brothers that there may be enemies within which is working with the Samaters in clandestine operations, but who can dig them up? Is it the public, the government Intelligence Unit or the media? In my view, although they are all responsible for protecting the country I think the media and the government can unearth and locate the whereabouts of the enemy within, but I will leave this question to the public.

Finally, if Somaliland newspapers and websites do not like public criticism and do not want complaints against them what do we then expect from the government? Let us keep our attacks and criticisms on bad policies and actions made by whoever holds a position of responsibility but not on names and regions.

IN UNITY WE SUCCEED AND PROSPER/ IN DIVISION WE FAIL AND LOSE HOPE

Long live Somaliland


Government Sponsored Crises In Hargeisa City Council

By: Osman Adam, Toronto, Canada

Promoted by the minister of Interior with the tacit approval of his boss, President Rayale, the continuing crises among the members of the City Council of Hargeisa in addition to bringing the city business to complete halt, is tearing the community apart. But more importantly this is jeopardizing our effort of trying to Cox out political recognition from the world community.

This juncture in time when Somaliland is at cross roads, any critical examination on how the ruling regime runs the country might be interpreted as inappropriate and unpatriotic. But by the same token would it not be more so if we fail to scrutinize and expose the undemocratic ill practices and injustice that have become the hallmark of this government. If the corrupted culture of the regime is left unquestioned, they would not only capitalize on the absence of public concern, but they would also use this as justification to maintain the status quo as long as they remain unchallenged. It is, therefore incumbent upon all of us to raise our voice to protest the misdeeds of the regime and hold them accountable for the crimes they continue committing against the people. It all began with the unnatural arranged marriage between the two opposing systems of the governing entities in place - the central government based on traditional culture of feuds and perpetual hostilities among clans on one hand, and the municipal governments born out of legitimate democratic election on the other.

The campaign waged to oust the mayors of the municipalities across the country - some concluded others underway as I write, is part of a grand plan sponsored by the president and his henchman, the minister of interior Ismail Adan and of the whole regime for that matter. The purpose of their schema is to initially push aside those mayors who resist to take instructions from the minister of interior on how to run the day-today operations of their departments.

The new mayor and his council are then streamlined to obey and execute without questions any plans political or administrative that the Minister may wish to be carried out. Here the paradox is that publicly elected city councils are subjected to be manipulated and maneuvered by a handpicked individual who does not represent other than his interests and those of the president who had nominated him.

The regimes' obsession with meddling in the affairs of the municipal councils in the country in general, and in that of the city of Hargeisa in particular, arises from the regimes' plans to have major influence in determining the composition of the members of the parliament in the upcoming elections early next year. By biting members of, say sets of clans in the council against each other, the government anticipates to change the political dynamics of the council.

Similarly, through this process the regime hopes to empower certain groups whose support during the upcoming parliamentary elections, they naively believe, would be instrumental in keeping them in power. These kinds of manipulations and interference with the city council, the regime hopes, would enable them among other things to have unobstructed access to the financial resources under the control of the city.

While this would make it easy for the regime to prosper, it would also enable them to buy votes with this wealth during the election. In addition to that, this opportunity would allow them to exert their influence and impact on the function and responsibilities of the municipal governments. In this illicit exercise, it is the leaders of the councils, the mayors that are always targeted. This is happening because these mayors are either deemed as political hurdles in the upcoming parliamentary elections, or they are honest public servants who do not share the same moral values and political convictions of the regime. Another plausible reason the mayors removal may arise from their membership of certain clans that do not enjoy the full trust of the president and his confidants.

Contrary to what we would like to believe, it is evident from the actions of the ruling regime that in our beloved Somaliland governance based on the principles of democracy, justice and the rule of law as we know it, has been relegated to political jargon. It has been abused and miss-used simply to serve the personal interests of a regime whose main purpose while in office is solely to accumulate power and wealth.

The on going crises in the Hargeisa Municipality is being watched with great interest by foes and friends as well as those who sympathize with our cause. This may be the threshold where the credibility, not of the regime as such, but of the justification upon which any potential diplomatic recognition for Somaliland would be evaluated on. While this politically motivated drama is unfolding in their own backyard, the leadership of the country is simply watching the crises escalate to a dangerous level. Since when have municipal councilors the like of Jama Shabel have been transformed to act as prosecutors, lawyers and law enforcement officers qualified to determine what crimes have been committed and by who and on the top of that press charges against other members of the council in the chamber.

Where are the law enforcement agencies like the police, the CID and the regimes' secret police? Is it not the responsibilities of these agencies to investigate crimes and lay charges according to their findings, or is this law enforcement Somaliland style?

Now, you may be wondering what contribution if any, in support of the constitution of the country has the president offered to diffuse the crises. Well, non-that I know of. As a matter of fact the presidents inability to meet the most basic requirement of his job like helping to resolve this contentious issue is incredibly below standard, This coupled with his lack of vision and leadership would no doubt have profound impact not only on how this country proves itself worthy of the diplomatic recognition that would make us a respectable member of the family of nations; but also on how our enemies would be encouraged and empowered to challenge our rights to self determination. The recognition we have been seeking since we withdrew from the ill-fated union with Somalia is as much a right as it is a process, This process is multi-layered and requires multiple tasks to be undertaken before any positive result is realized. Such process includes though not limited to the process of good governance, the process of democratization. of law and order, of the development of sustainable social, educational and health programs and policies, of respect for human rights and dignity and of enabling citizens to develop their full potential.

My fellow Somalilanders, it is unfortunate that our desire to have a our own is seriously compromised and undermined by our deep entrenchment in pastoral clan politics and culture. The task of establishing a state or reclaiming a lost one as in our case among other things, requires principled leaders with strong conviction and beliefs on national issues. These are leaders who posses vision, integrity, character, trust and above all these are leaders who can rise above clan loyalty and clan intrigues. It needs firm commitment and dedication to fulfil our peoples long waited struggle for nationhood. But it also takes a public who value justice, the rule of law and good governance and rejects corrupted leaders with authoritarian tendencies. After all, the leaders of a country are only as good as the values and principles upheld by their own people.

Unless we recognize the contradictions inherent in the values and culture of our society and the nature of the principles upon which a modern state is built, we will always fail to realize the joy of living in freedom in a free and sovereign state. Apparently these qualities are in short supply in our society or perhaps obscured by the more urgent and practical reality of clan allegiance. Perhaps that is in our nature and God fore-bid, explains who we are in which case the chances to change our psyche are almost impossible. Does that not qualify us the most endangered human species? Please help Somaliland by speaking out.

Long live Somaliland


Africa News, January 28, 2004/BYLINE: UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

Traditional Leader Arrested in Somaliland

The authorities in the Somaliland have arrested Boqor (meaning king) Usman Mahmud, a prominent traditional elder, according to a senior government official.

Local sources in the capital Hargeysa said the Boqor was picked up by a contingent of police officers led by the Somaliland Police Muhammad Ige on Tuesday, from the Hargaysa Club hotel where he was staying.

Somaliland Interior Minister Isma'il Adan Usman told IRIN on Wednesday that the elder had been arrested for breaking Somaliland laws and "committing crimes against the existence of the state".

Boqor Usman is also being accused of "having contacts with Puntland [the neighbouring self-declared autonomous region]".

Tension has been high between Somaliland and Puntland over the Sool and Sanaag regions, which are claimed by both.

The Boqor had reportedly contacted Puntland authorities in an effort to ease the tension and avert armed confrontation, sources said. Isma'il, however, said that the Boqor "supports the reunification of Somaliland with Somalia and has therefore called into question the existence of the country [Somaliland]".

It is a crime under Somaliland law to advocate the reunification of Somaliland with the rest of Somalia.

Somaliland unilaterally declared independence from the rest of Somalia in 1991 after the fall of former President Muhammad Siyad Barre. It has remained relatively free from the chaos and war still ravaging other parts of Somalia, but has failed to gain recognition as an independent country.

Isma'il said Boqor Usman "is like any other person who breaks the law. He will not be treated differently. The law will take its course."

The Boqor is also accused of trying to damage Somaliland's relationship with Djibouti and Ethiopia. "We have documentary evidence against him," said the minister, adding that he would be brought to court "as soon as police complete their investigations".

Boqor Usman is a senior traditional leader of the Habar Ja'lo sub-clan, numerically one of the three largest subclans of the Isaq, the dominant clan in northwestern Somalia.


BBC Monitoring Reports, January 26, 2004/Source: Holy Koran Radio, Mogadishu, in Somali 1530 gmt 25 Jan 04

VISITING UK MPS, SOMALILAND OFFICIALS DISCUSS CO-OPERATION

According to reports from Hargeysa, a delegation from the British parliament has held talks with representatives of the Council of Elders and cabinet members of the self-declared administration of Somaliland. The talks, which took place at the foreign ministry's office in Hargeysa, centred on mutual co-operation between Britain and Somaliland. Also discussed at the meeting was how Britain could make investment in Somaliland. Holy Koran Radio reporter, Abdiaziz Yusuf Muse said the chairman of Somaliland's Council of Elders representatives, Ahmad Muhammad Qayde, and Foreign Minister Edna Adan Isma'il, exchanged views with the members of the British parliament in the meeting. The reporter said the British delegates were yesterday accorded a welcoming party at Haraf Hotel in Hargeysa.
BBC Monitoring Reports, January 23, 2004/Source: UN IRIN, Nairobi, in English 22 Jan 04

PUNTLAND ACCUSES DJIBOUTI OF ARMING SOMALILAND

Nairobi: The authorities in the self-declared autonomous region of Puntland have accused the Republic of Djibouti of arming the neighbouring Somaliland to enable the latter to attack and destabilise Puntland.

Abdullahi Yusuf, the president of Puntland, told a news conference in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, that Djibouti was not only arming Somaliland but also encouraging it to attack Puntland to create instability in the region.

Djibouti, along with Ethiopia and Kenya, is a member of the regional Inter-Governmental Authority on Development facilitation committee, which is steering the Somali peace talks being held in Nairobi.

The Djibouti government, however, dismissed the charges "as baseless and utter nonsense".

Foreign Minister Ali Abdi Farah, who is also in Nairobi for the peace talks, told IRIN: "Djibouti has always supported efforts to resolve Somali disputes peacefully. We will never be involved in any action that will lead to the shedding of Somali blood, and to accuse it of instigating conflict is nonsense." Farah instead urged Yusuf to withdraw his forces from Laas Caanood, the capital of Sool Region. "We want him to return to the status quo there."

Before last month's occupation of the town by Puntland forces, representatives of both Somaliland and Puntland were present in Laas Caanood. Tension between the two sides has risen ever since.

Officials from Somaliland have denied receiving support from Djibouti. Abdillahi Muhammad Du'ale, the information minister, told IRIN that it was "regrettable and unfair to involve our neighbours in this. Djibouti has always supported the stability of the region," he said.

Sool and Sanaag regions fall within the borders of pre-independence British Somaliland, but most of the clans there are associated with Puntland. These include the Warsangeli and the Dhulbahante, which, along with the Majerteen - the main clan in Puntland - form the Harti sub-clan of the Darood.

Meanwhile, a local journalist in Hargeysa, the Somaliland capital, told IRIN that heavily armed Somaliland troops had been moving towards the disputed area of Laas Caanood to reinforce forces already there. "Unless an outside force intervenes, it is just a matter of time before the two forces (Somaliland and Puntland) clash," he said.


Africa News, January 21, 2004/BYLINE: UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

Annan Expresses Concern Over Mounting Tension in the North

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has expressed deep concern over rising tension in northern Somalia between the Somaliland and the self-declared autonomous region of Puntland over the disputed region of Sool. Both Somaliland and Puntland claim the regions of Sool and Sanaag as theirs, and there have been reports of troop build-ups and preparations for conflict.

A statement read by the Secretary-General's spokesman, Fred Eckhard, said: "The Secretary-General is deeply concerned by the increased tension between the administrations of 'Puntland' and 'Somaliland' over Las Anod in Sool Region, which threatens the outbreak of hostilities at a critical time in the Somali peace process."

The statement went to say that Annan was calling on the two sides "to exercise utmost restraint and to refrain from the use of force", and urging them to seek solutions through dialogue.

Tension has been rising between the two sides ever since Puntland forces took control of the Sool regional capital, Las Anod, late last month.

Sool and Sanaag fall geographically within the borders of pre-independence British Somaliland, but most of the clans there are associated with clans in Puntland.

Awad Ahmad Ashara, Puntland's spokesman, told IRIN that armed conflict seemed imminent.

Annan called on the parties to protect civilians and ensure unimpeded access to humanitarian assistance.

According to the statement, the secretary-general called on all the "Somali parties to reach agreement on national reconciliation that would put an end to all the fighting and bloodshed in the country."

Talks sponsored by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development with a view to bringing peace to Somalia have been going on in Kenya for over a year. However, the talks have been dogged by wrangles over issues such as an interim charter, the number of participants in the negotiations and the selection and number of future parliamentarians.


M2 PRESSWIRE, January 21, 2004

UN Secretary-General concerned by increased tension threatening outbreak of hostilities in Sool region

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan: The Secretary-General is deeply concerned by the increased tension between the Administrations of "Puntland" and "Somaliland" over Las Anod in Sool region, which threatens the outbreak of hostilities at a critical time in the Somali peace process. The Secretary-General calls upon the parties to exercise utmost restraint and to refrain from the use of force. He urges them to seek a solution through political dialogue and reminds them of their responsibility to protect the civilian population located in their respective areas, as well as to ensure unimpeded access for humanitarian assistance. The Secretary-General calls on all Somali parties to reach agreement on national reconciliation that would put an end to all the fighting and bloodshed in the country.
BBC Monitoring Reports,January 20, 2004/Source: Radio Hargeysa in Somali 1700 gmt 20 Jan 04

SOMALILAND "RUNNING OUT OF PATIENCE" WITH PUNTLAND LEADER COL YUSUF

Somaliland is not currently waging aggression or war on Somalia or on the regions administered by force by (Puntland leader) (Col) Abdullahi (Yusuf) This has also never happened in the past. This statement was made (today) by the presidential spokesman, Abdi Idris Du'ale. Mr Abdullahi has transformed colonial boundaries into tribal boundaries and has claimed some Somaliland regions. It is possible that he would in future claim (Ethiopia's) Zone Five State (area inhabited mainly by Ogaden clan which together with Puntland's main clan, the Majerteen and others form the Darood Somali sub-tribe).

We advise Mr Abdullahi not to take Somaliland's love for peace for granted. We tell him that Somaliland is running out of patience and that if he fails to withdraws from Somaliland he will be responsible for the consequences of his actions. It is amazing that Abdullahi would send his forces to Laas Caanood, which is part of Somaliland and accuse Somaliland of waging war. We believe his intentions are the following: (1) To start conflict in Somaliland and create the crisis that has affected Somalia. (2) To scuttle the Somali peace talks in Nairobi. (3) To create tribal discord.

His claims that Djibouti is providing support to Somaliland are baseless and malicious.The warlords in Nairobi who are claiming to be pacifists, and have released a statement, have now and in the past violated the Eldoret peace agreement and are not in a position to claim they are working for peace because they have violated the territorial integrity of other states. Hence, we advise them - your country and people need peace from you. We are displeased by the fact that although the Kenyan foreign minister (Kalonzo Musyoka) is aware of the perpetrators of the war and aggression he has not admonished the aggressor and addresses the matter as if there is a conflict between two Somali factions. Regarding the talks, we say, it is not applicable to Somaliland and they should not to involve us in this imbroglio. The government of Somaliland once again informs IGAD (Inter-Governmental Authority on Development) AU (African Union), The Arab League, EU, the UN and all parties that value peace and security in Africa that Somaliland will take appropriate measures against Abdullahi Yusuf's provocations if he does not quickly move out of Somaliland's international boundaries and he would bear the consequences.


Agence France Presse, January 20, 2004

UN's Annan urges calm in Somalia dispute

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on Tuesday urged calm in northern Somalia, where a dispute between two self-declared autonomous regions is hampering efforts to forge a new government. "The secretary general is deeply concerned by the increased tension between the administrations of 'Puntland' and 'Somaliland'... which threatens the outbreak of hostilities at a critical time in the Somali peace process," his spokesman said in a statement. "The secretary general calls upon the parties to exercise utmost restraint and to refrain from the use of force," said the statement, which called on "all Somali parties to reach agreement on national reconciliation."

Relations between Somaliland in the northwest and Puntland in the northeast have deteriorated in recent weeks with both sides claiming the Sool and Sanaag regions, which straddle their border. Senior politicians and faction leaders have been meeting in Nairobi since January 9 but have apparently failed to reach consensus on how to revitalise the country's stagnant peace process. Many consider the Transitional National Government, which controls pockets of the capital Mogadishu but little else, to be just one of the many armed groups vying for power across the country.


BBC Monitoring Reports, January 20, 2004/Source: Xog-Ogaal, Mogadishu, in Somali 20 Jan 04

REGIONAL BODY IGAD INTERVENES TO STOP TENSION BETWEEN SOMALILAND, PUNTLAND

The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and some prominent traditional clan elders from Somaliland and Puntland are engaged in mediation efforts in Sool Region (disputed between Puntland and Somaliland).

IGAD, and prominent traditional leaders from Somaliland and Puntland have launched extensive efforts to minimize the hostile tension which is feared to bring the two administrations into war. Somaliland and Puntland are both claiming ownership of Sool and Sanaag regions.

A letter from the Ugandan president, who is the current IGAD chairman, was handed over to the leader of the Somaliland, Dahir Riyale Kahin, yesterday. In his letter, the IGAD chairman urged the Somaliland president to stop the deployment of soldiers and refrain from waging any war. He also said that IGAD member states would mediate between the Somaliland and Puntland administrations. It is not yet known whether he accepted the call or not.

On the other hand, a reliable report says that Ethiopia has sent a letter to the Puntland leader (Col Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmad) asking him to withdraw his soldiers from Sool Region and not to wage any war against the Somaliland administration. The Puntland leader has not yet responded, although some other reports have indicated that Col Abdullahi Yusuf is reluctant to follow the Ethiopian suggestion. (Passage omitted).


Source: Food Security Assessment Unit, Date: 17 Dec 2003

Monthly Nutrition Update for Somalia Dec 2003

This report provides an interim update on the Sentinel Site Surveillance System in Sool Plateau which shows evidence of increasing malnutrition. The more detailed report will be presented in next month's Food Security Report. Surveillance of the drought affected areas is being expanded from Sool Plateau to include surrounding areas including the Haud of Togdheer. An update on the situation along Somalia's border with Ethiopia is also presented. Significant movement of livestock and humans has been noted inside the Ethiopian border and humanitarian organisations are responding to the crisis. The report also continues to highlight the plights of the tens of thousands of Internally Displaced Persons throughout Somalia and again provides amore detailed update on the situation in Mogadishu.

SOOL PLATEAU - nutritional status of population deteriorating

FSAU continues to closely monitor the situation in Sool plateau through sentinel based surveillance system (described below). Between 27th November and 5th December 2003, the first round of data collection from the sentinel sites was carried out. Using weight for height measurements for nutritional status assessment, a total of 391 children were randomly assessed in the sentinel sites. Preliminary results showed a global acute malnutrition rate of 18.9% (weight for height <-2 z-score/oedema) and a severe acute malnutrition rate of 3.8% (weight for height <-3 z score/oedema). Malnutrition rates among the adult women (15 -49 years) was 17.3% (MUAC <21 cm), an observation that confirms all the household members are affected by the current drought. Although not directly comparable with previous reports, there is evidence to suggest a deterioration in the nutritional status of the population. This observation is confirmed by reports of collapsing social support system and worsening drought situation after the failure of Deyr rains. Malnutrition rates appeared significantly higher among children from pure pastoral households than those in major villages. Detailed analysis is on-going and results will presented in FSAU January publications.

SENTINEL SITE SURVEILLANCE SYSTEM

FSAU has now began a sentinel-based nutrition and food security surveillance system at 10 sentinel sites in Sool plateau aimed at monitoring trends in key nutrition and food security indicators (both adult and child nutritional status, dietary diversity issues, livestock deaths and migrations, market price changes, social support systems, coping mechanisms, humanitarian assistance etc) at household and focus group level. Training of FSAU field personnel on the sentinel based surveillance was conducted between 18th and 22nd November that was followed by the first round (piloting phase of the tools) of data collection started immediately after Ramadhan. FSAU is currently working on a data base and analysis of data from this first round. Preliminary findings and experiences from the first round indicate a great potential for the system. Consequently on 16th December 2003, FSAU together with interested partners1 undertook the first step in reflecting on system by critically reviewing the instruments and to discuss the implementation plan.


http://www.actionaid.org/resources/pdfs/somaliland_factsheet_151203.pdf

Somaliland: fighting poverty together

ActionAid in Somaliland

The Republic of Somaliland was formed in 1991 after separating from southern Somalia, which had collapsed into chaos. Civil war (1988-91) had resulted in the deaths of nearly 60,000 people, massive population displacement and a near total destruction of infrastructure, communications and public services. Following a period of internal conflict, the people of Somaliland have made progress in rebuilding the country. A stable administration has been formed, with a smooth transition of leadership following the death of President Egal in May 2002.

However, despite having its own president, legislature, currency and constitution, Somaliland is not recognised as a separate state by the UN or any other government. Somaliland is desperately poor. The majority of the Somali people are pastoral nomads, raising camels, sheep, goats and some cattle for subsistence and trade. An estimated 60% of the population depends on livestock and livestock products for its livelihood and there is very little farming and no mineral resources.

ActionAid began working in Somalia in 1980 with refugees from the Ethiopia-Somalia war. In 1989 it was forced to close its programme after the government collapsed and the country descended into chaos. We returned to work with poor communities in Somaliland in 1993, first in the area of Sanaag and later also in Togdheer.

ActionAid Somaliland supports the basic needs and rights of poor people. To ensure that change is long lasting, we work closely with traditional leaders, local organisations and the government, focusing on peace building and collaboration. The communities of Sanaag and Togdheer have each set up community organisations to design and manage community projects. A willingness to listen has helped us to develop an understanding of the causes of conflict and the relationships between clans, a very strong part of Somali tradition.

Key areas of work: Water

In a pastoral society the two most valued resources are water and grazing for livestock. As seasons change herders need to move their livestock to make best use of the available resources. Although they are in common ownership, these resources are generally understood to be under the jurisdiction of particular clans. During the dry season, when water and grazing are in short supply, this may lead to conflict. We have supported communities in their efforts to work together to resolve such conflicts and effectively manage water supplies.

Water shortages occur each dry season. In the past, short-term relief has been provided by transporting water to particularly dry areas by truck. This is an expensive recurrent cost to be borne by people at their weakest and poorest time of the year. A more long-term investment is to build a small reservoir, or berked. ActionAid has been involved in the rehabilitation and improvement of springs and wells and the construction of berkeds in Sanaag and Toghdeer. Local committees manage the berkeds and collect water fees to invest in additional water storage facilities.

To date, a total of 83 berkeds have been constructed, 61 for Sanaag and 22 for Togdheer, benefitting a total of 2,460 people.

Factfile

(1) 1 in 4 children die before their fifth birthday. (2) Over 97% of women have some kind of female genital mutilation. (3) Life expectancy is 47 years. (4) Somali women are 22 times more likely to die in child birth than European women. (5) 78% of people have no access to healthcare.


Source: Food Security Assessment Unit, 10 Dec 2003

Monthly Food Security Report for Somalia Nov 2003

Sool Plateau Update: The short Deyr rains have failed on the Sool Plateau and the next rainfall is not expected until April 2004. This is the seventh consecutive rainfall season to fail. A UN emergency assessment determined that over 90,000 pastoralists are now facing an emergency food security situation due to loss of livestock (roughly 60% of herds have died or been sold in distress) and loss of income from livestock and milk sales. An immediate and coordinated response from local authorities and the international community is needed to avert a humanitarian disaster. (see http://www.unsomalia.net/FSAU/index.htm and page 4 for further details.)

Poor Deyr Rainfall Performance in Northern and Central Regions will have further detrimental impact on Pastoral Conditions: By sharply reducing the availability of water and pasture, the poor or failed Deyr rains have adversely affected pastoralists in 1) the Hawd (incorporating the Hawd Togdheer, Hawd of Hargeisa, Hawd of Mudug and the Hawd running along the Ethiopia/Somalia border), 2) the North East of Somalia (Sool Plateau, Gebi Valley, Nugal Valley and Kakaar-Dharoor Valley) and 3) the Addun pastoral area in the central regions of Galgadud, Mudug and parts of Nugal. Conditions in these pastoral areas will require close monitoring in the coming weeks.


BBC Monitoring Reports, January 20, 2004/Source: Radio Gaalkacyo, Gaalkacyo in Somali 1620 gmt 20 Jan 04

SOMALIA: PUNTLAND OFFICIALS DENY "BASELESS" CLAIMS BY DJIBOUTI FOREIGN MINISTER

The emergency committee of the Puntland regional administration in Garoowe has reacted to a statement by Djibouti's minister of foreign affairs on BBC radio in which he said Puntland was responsible for the dispute between Somaliland and Puntland over Sool and Sanaag regions. The committee said the statements by the minister were baseless lies. The emergency committee also said in a news conference, that Puntland was not ready for renewed bloodshed in Somalia.
Agence France Presse, January 19, 2004

Tension in north Somalia could derail peace talks: Kenya

Kenya warned on Monday that tension between two self-declared autonomous regions in northern Somalia could thwart efforts to create a functional government in the Horn of Africa country. "The emerging tension between the two administrations of Somaliland a Puntland has a potential of degenerating the region into an imminent conflict...", Kenya's Foreign Minister Kalonzo Musyoka told a news conference in Nairobi.

Relations between Somaliland in northwestern Somalia and Puntland, another self-declared autonomous region in northeastern Somalia, have deteriorated in recent weeks with both sides claiming the Sool and Sanaag regions, which straddle their border. "The tension is raising deep concerns within IGAD (the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, an east African body trying to broker peace in Somalia), the international community and particularly within the peace process," said Musyoka. "I would like to call upon both parties to exercise maximum restraint and shun plunging the region into a conflict that is clearly avoidable," he added.

The "president" of Puntland Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, meanwhile, accused Djibouti of supporting Somaliland in its "aggression" against his territory. "Djibouti provided logistical support, military assistance and political backing for Somaliland, which has declared war against Puntland," claimed Abdullahi Yusuf. "Our intelligence units have confirmed all these activities," he told AFP in Nairobi.

Djibouti has in the past denied involvement in Somalia's internal affairs. Somaliland's Finance Minister Hussein Ali Duale denied Abdullahi Yusuf's charges. "Somaliland did not enter Puntland and it has no intetion to do so. Puntland is the aggressor and it has invaded parts of Somaliland," he told AFP by telephone from Hargeisa, Somaliland's capital.


BBC Monitoring Reports, January 19, 2004/Source: HornAfrik Online text web site, Mogadishu, in English 19 Jan 04

DJIBOUTI DENIES INVOLVEMENT IN DISPUTE BETWEEN SOMALILAND, PUNTLAND

Some of Somalia's faction leaders have accused the neighbouring Djibouti of dragging its feet on the ongoing Somali peace conference in Nairobi. The president of the semi-autonomous region of Puntland, Col Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmad, two of the country's prominent faction leaders Husayn Aydid and Abdullahi Shaykh Isma'il have jointly made the accusation during a press conference they held in Safari Park in Nairobi where the Somali leaders retreat is currently under way.

Col Ahmad also accused Djibouti of being involved in the current dispute between Puntland and Somaliland in Laas Caanood. Djibouti however, has denied the accusations describing them as false and baseless. The Foreign Ministry spokesman, Muhammad Ziyad Du'ale, said that his government is making efforts to restore Somalia's sovereignty.


BBC Monitoring Reports, January 19, 2004/Source: KBC TV, Nairobi, in English 1800 gmt 19 Jan 04

KENYAN FOREIGN MINISTER CONCERNED OVER GROWING SOMALILAND, PUNTLAND TENSIONS

Minister of Foreign Affairs Kalonzo Musyoka has said the emerging tension between two administrations of Somaliland and Puntland could degenerate into a conflict. He said such a conflict would undermine the ongoing Somali peace talks and called on the concerned parties to restrain themselves to avoid conflict in the region.

(Reporter, in progress) The press at a hotel in Nairobi, Kalonzo was optimistic the Somali peace process would soon yield positive results.

(Kalonzo) These talks are going on very well and we expect in the next two days, maximum, we will be calling for a press conference to report progress.

(Reporter) The results may, however, not be there if the mounting tensions between some two parties in the conflict is not solved in time.

(Kalonzo) The emerging tension between these two administrations has a potential of degenerating the region into an eminent conflict, as well as undermining the positive conclusion of the ongoing Somali consultative meetings. This tension is raising deep concerns both within the IGAD (Inter-Governmental Authority on Development) subregion, the continent, the international community, and particularly within the peace process.

(Reporter) The Safari Park (Hotel, venue of the Somali peace) talks have been going on for the last one week and so far things appear headed for the better. This may now pave way for Phase Three of the peace talks.

(Kalonzo) The leaders are properly engaged. President (Mwai) Kibaki is fully briefed about what is going on, as well as President (Yoweri) Museveni. Both leaders say that as soon as everybody is ready to go back to Mbagathi (main venue of the consultative peace talks) they will be there to launch the final phase.


BBC Monitoring Reports, January 19, 2004/Source: Jamhuuriya web site, Hargeysa, in English 18 Jan 04

SOMALILAND: PRESIDENT INVITES OPPOSITION PARTIES FOR TALKS

President Dahir Riyale Kahin invited Somaliland's three political parties to take part in a meeting that will be held at the presidency. According to highly reliable political party sources, the meeting will be attended by Mr Ahmad Muhammad Silanyo Chairman of Kulmiye (Solidarity Party) acting - Chairman of Justice and Social Welfare party (UCID) Mr Muhammad Abdullahi Urade and secretary-general of the government party UDUB. According to these source, Mr Silanyo who has recently returned from a long trip to west Europe, the United States and Ethiopia, will brief the leader of the parties on his discussion with the officials of the countries he visited, his meetings with Somaliland communities in these countries and his discussion with Ethiopian officials on the situation in East Somaliland and the insurgency of Abdullahi Yusuf's (Puntland president) militia. President Dahir Riyale Kahin and chairman of the opposition Kulmiye party met in camera on Tuesday. The discussions at this meeting are believed to have initiated this meeting from which a new joint policy might emerge in national strategy.
Panafrican News Agency (PANA) Daily Newswire, January 19, 2004

KENYAN MINISTER DEPLORES NEW TENSION IN SOMALIA

Nairobi, Kenya (PANA) - Kenyan foreign minister Kalonzo Musyoka Monday warned that the current tension between the two breakaway Somaliland and Puntland "posed grave potential" of plunging the entire Eastern and Horn of Africa region into a major military conflict. Musyoka said the growing tension between the two "states" was undermining the "positive conclusion" of the on-going Somali Consultative meeting and the year-old National Reconciliation Conference being held in Nairobi. "This rising tension is raising deep concerns both within the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) sub-region, the entire African continent and the international community especially on the peace process," Kalonzo said at a news conference here.

Speaking on behalf of the IGAD Ministerial Committee in the wake of heightened tension between the two unrecognised self-proclaimed states, Kalonzo asked parties to the Somali peace talks to "exercise maximum restraint and shun from plunging the region into a conflict that is clearly avoidable". However, the Kenyan minister expressed optimism a major breakthrough would emerge in the Somali peace talks within the next two days. "I will call you here within the next two days to make an announcement of a major breakthrough," Kalonzo told journalists in the Kenyan capital.

He appealed to the United Nations, the African Union, the European Union and the League of Arab States to "use their good offices and prevail upon the leaders of the two areas to refrain from any acts which would escalate into a full-fledged war". Meanwhile, in a signed statement also issued in Nairobi Monday, Somali National Reconciliation Conference delegates described the growing tension in the Horn of Africa region as poisonous to the relationship among the neighbouring countries, which had the potential of spilling over in all directions. "No one can under-estimate the effect of such a catastrophic new situation as it would be used by international terrorists to destabilise the region further and get a strong foothold in Somalia," said one of the faction leaders attending the conference, Hussein Aidid. At the same time, the Puntland government has condemned what it called the declaration of war and military build up against her by the rival Somaliland, terming it ill-timed. In another statement issued during a meeting to break the deadlock in the Somali peace conference chaired by the Kenyan foreign minister, Puntland said that it would exercise tremendous restraint despite what it termed as continued provocation and threats to avert a possible war.


Source: FEWS NET(http://www.fews.net/centers/current/monthlies/report/'f=so&m=1001137&l=en),1/18/2004

Humanitarian crisis in Sool Plateau

Sool Plateau Update: Rains of low intensity and limited spatial coverage fell in the first week of December but did little to alleviate the current humanitarian crisis in Sool Plateau. Nutritional status surveys reflect the deteriorating food security situation of residents. An acute malnutrition rate of 18.9% (W/H<2 z-score or oedema) was found during the first round of Sool Plateau sentinel site surveillance exercise in November/December 2003. A UNICEF led mission in mid-December 2003 also recorded an equally high malnutrition rate in Sool Plateau of Sanaag (4,841 children screened). The rate was significantly higher in Sool Plateau of Sool Region (2,049 children were screened). Civil insecurity in the area is now threatening to disrupt humanitarian relief operations in the region.

Drought in Hawd of Todgheer: An inter-agency rapid assessment led by the FSAU found that the poor and lower strata of the middle wealth pastoral group are facing a high risk of food shortage, largely as a result of poor Gu 2003 and failed Deyr 2003 rains. Affected households will need to be closely monitored during the harsh, dry Jilaal season. For more information on the drought stricken region, see page 2 of this report.

Civil Insecurity: Civil Insecurity continues to present a challenge to the people of Somalia and humanitarian organizations attempting to strengthen the livelihoods of the Somali people. As reported by IRIN at the end of December, militia from Puntland occupied Las Anod and other parts of Sanag region. The government of Somaliland has deployed troops to positions outside Aynabo. Also various incidents in Kismayo and Lower Juba suggest a worsening of civil insecurity, as does militia activity in El Wak town, Gedo Region, during December.

Somaliland Gu/Karan 2003 Crop Production: The total Gu/Karan 2003 crop production is very good and the highest recorded figure in post-war years. The Gu/Karan season produced 24,915 Mt of sorghum and 3,289 Mt of maize. Some of the reasons for this good production are very good Karan rains, improved and dressed seeds provided by CINS, land preparation on time which was enhanced by IFAD providing tractors on credit. For a copy of this report please contact the FSAU Field Team Manager: Yusuf@fsau.or.ke.

A series of FSAU field workshops in Galkayo and Garowe from January 13-16, 2004 are being held to assess the severity of reported pastoral stress in the areas of Western Mudug and south of Sool and implications on food security. The results will be presented at the HRG meeting on North Somalia (20 Jan) and the SACB FSRDC meeting.

GU AND KARAN 2003 CEREAL PRODUCTION IN SOMALILAND

The average cereal production of Somaliland amounts to about 17,000 MT per year (roughly 6% of the annual cereal production of Somalia). The total Gu/Karan 2003 crop production was very good and the highest recorded figure in post-war years. The season produced 24,915 Mt of sorghum (88%) and 3,289 Mt of maize (12%). Gabiley made a significant contribution to this total figure. An estimated 20,100 MT (71%). For in depth technical analysis on the successful harvest. Please contact: Yusuf@fsau.or.ke for the his Gu/Karan 2003 Somaliland Cereal Production Report.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM FSAU NUTRITION PROJECT

Results from the first round of Sool Plateau surveillance are now available. These statistics will be compared with statistics from the second round of surveillance, due to take place in January (security permitting). Trend monitoring and in depth analysis will be provided by the FSAU in February. For information on results from the first round of surveillance, please contact charles@fsau.or.ke.

SUMMARY OF INTER AGENCY RAPID ASSESSEMENT FINDINGS TO THE DROUGHT STRICKEN REGION OF THE HAWD OF TODGHEER PASTORAL ZONE

During November, Somaliland authorities and relief agencies working in the Hawd of Toghdeer appealed for assistance for the Togdheer drought stricken pastoral area. This area had suffered poor Gu 2003 rains and failed Deyr 2003 rains. Subsequently, the SACB FSRDC and an HRG called on the FSAU to take the technical lead in an inter-agency assessment to determine how serious the situation was likely to become. As a result, the FSAU, SC-UK, FEWS-Net, Oxfam, COOPI, VETAID and relevant Somaliland Ministries participated in a rapid field assessment to the Hawd of Toghdeer pastoral zone from 24-28 December.

The map below (Figure 5) shows the most affected area of Toghdeer region. It is estimated that up to 10,000 households in this area, mainly the pastoral poor group and lower levels of the middle pastoral wealth group, will experience food shortages. Two consecutive seasons of poor rainfall have led to a deterioration in livestock body condition, in turn undermining livestock production (milk and meat) and access to income options (declining livestock prices). The middle and better off groups had already migrated out of the drought area to areas where grazing is better and have managed to preserve their livestock, but the poorer pastoralists were unable to pay transport costs to move their animals. During Jilaal these families are likely to face a food deficit and the situation will require close monitoring. For further details of the three stages of suggested interventions and a copy of the inter-agency rapid assessment report (to be released at the HRG meeting on 20 Jan), please contact Abdinasir.sobe@fsau.or.ke.

Terms of Trade in Burao Market in Togdheer Region

Maintaining good terms of trade between milk and/or livestock and cereals is critical for the survival of pastoral households, particularly in drought years and during the harsh, dry Jilaal season. As mentioned above, the drought over the past two seasons has adversely affected animal body condition in Togdheer, lowering livestock prices. Low prices have a direct impact on a household's income, particularly amongst poor groups who rely heavily on the sale of livestock and milk. Declining terms of trade for pastoralists are evident in Figure 6, which shows that it takes two or three goats to obtain a sack of rice now, whereas only one goat is required in a non-drought year.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM FSAU NUTRITION PROJECT

In Sool Plateau, the ongoing sentinel nutritional surveillance indicates a worrying nutrition situation with an acute malnutrition rate of 18.9% (W/H <-2 z-score/oedema) (Dec 2003 Nutrition Update). See also the Highlights on Page 1. In the insecure region of Benadir, (districts around Mogadishu) malnutrition is particularly evident among displaced persons and the poor. In one month, 30% of children attending health facilities in the area were identified as malnourished.

Recent nutrition surveys in IDP (Internally Displaced People) settings indicate a poor nutrition situation. Nutrition surveys amongst IDP'S conducted in Hargeisa, Bossaso and Burao between June 2001 and Oct. 2003 found global acute malnutrition rates ranging between 15.3% and 18.7%. An analysis of the various studies on IDP's in Somalia indicate that they are disadvantaged by a combination of factors including : poor shelter, poor sanitation, limited access to sources of income, weak coping strategies, limited access to remittances and social support.

It is estimated that 50,000 people, mainly pastoralists from Northern Somalia, have crossed into the Somali Region of Ethiopia (Region V) due to the delay and poor performance of the 2003 Deyr rains. However these areas are not much better off as parts of Gode, Warder, Afder and Degahabour zones have also been affected by drought. Recent nutritional surveys indicate that the situation continues to deteriorate in these zones.

There was no significant increase in the total number of livestock exported during December. In parts of the north and central areas, livestock body condition has become so poor that when rain fell in the first dekad, pastoralists kept back their animals for fattening up. An increased demand for animals is expected before the Haj and fattened animals will fetch more money. The Somaliland authorities continue to visit Saudia Arabia to discuss the lifting of the Somali livestock importation ban. Rumours continue to circulate that Yemeni authorities are also considering whether or not to lift the ban.

AWDAL & NORTH WEST REGION

Good rains fell in the agro pastoral areas and both livestock and crop conditions were good during December. In the highland pastoral zone rains were also good and the area continued to host animals from Hawd pastoral zone and Ethiopia's zone V. Both the coastal and sub-coastal belts received rains during December. Heavy rains and low temperatures caused hundreds of deaths (according to elders) particularly of shoats. Many of these animals had been in a weakened state after long migrations. The area is currently hosting animals from Hawd of Hargeisa, Ethiopia and the Highlands. Like last year, many animals from Shinnile district in Ethiopia are expected to arrive in this area following a poor Karan season in Ethiopia's region V. Good amounts of rainfall fell in the Hawd Pastoral zone except in districts south east of Hargeisa.

SOOL REGION

The severe drought in Sool Region continues and the latest nutritional situation (see page 1) reflects a deteriorating situation. On 4 and 5 December, the western fringe of Sool Plateau received showers which moved westwards to the Upper Nugal Valley. These rains triggered significant migratory movements. Prior to the December showers, a large proportion of Sool of Sanag pastoralists (45-55%) had made the longest-ever out migration to Sool of Bari and coastal grazing areas using trucks. The remaining Sool of Sanag pastoralists opted to move to the areas where it had recently rained mainly in the Sool plateau of Sool region. Pastoralists from Lower Nugal also moved to these areas. Given the low rainfall intensity and limited spatial coverage the huge in migration has exceeded the rangeland carrying capacity and pasture regeneration has been stunted. These rains have had little or no impact on the humanitarian crisis and the food security situation is not expected to show any substantial improvement in the near future. Infact rather than improving the situation, it appears that the incidence of disease and animal mortality is rising dramatically given the huge concentration of livestock, combined with the fact that large numbers of weakened livestock have assembled together in one place. In the lower Nugal of Taleh district the situation continues to remain serious with reports of destitute households collecting in main urban centres such Taleh and Halin. Upper Nugal valley has benefited from sporadic rains, however, the majority of camel herders have already migrated to the Hawd in search of better pasture. In the Hawd, South of Las Caanood, received localised rains which replenished berkads. Buhoodle town however did not benefit from these rains and the price of water has soared from 7,000-10,000 Ssh per drum to 35,000 Ssh per drum.

DJIBOUTI VILLE URBAN BASELINE STUDY: An Assessment of Food and Livelihood Security in Djibouti Ville http://www.fews.net/centers/current/special/gcontent.cfm'gc_id=1000372&f=so&d=0


BBC Monitoring Reports, January 17, 2004/Source: Radio Midnimo, Boosaaso, in Somali 1030 gmt 17 Jan 04

SOMALILAND'S HEAVILY ARMED FORCES REPORTEDLY MOVING TOWARDS PUNTLAND

Widely circulating reports say that Somaliland's defence minister has arrived in Og town of Sool Region (disputed between Somaliland and Puntland.) According to the Midnimo reporter in Laas Caanood town (regional HQ), the town was relatively calm this morning following night-long tension. Heavily armed forces loyal to the Puntland administration are stationed in the town.

However, reliable reports say heavily armed forces from Somaliland have crossed through Ceel Afweeyn town in Sanaag Region (also disputed but under Somaliland's control ). Reports from Ceel Afweeyn say the forces are heading towards Sanaag Region, adding that they were in battle wagons and other big vehicles numbering to 45. The forces, now moving towards Sanaag Region, are headed by minister by the name of Mahmud Sa'id and Abdiqadir Abdullahi Artan, a senior military official. Both officials hail from Sanaag Region. It is believed that the forces want to attack some areas within Puntland in order to reduce concentration of heavily mobilized Puntland forces in Sool Region (recently capture by Puntland). (Passage omitted).


BBC Monitoring Reports, January 15, 2004/Source: The Somaliland Times web site, Hargeysa, in English 18 Jan 04

SOMALILAND PAPER ATTACKS STATE'S MOVES TO PASS "HIGHLY RESTRICTIVE PRESS LAW"

In the last two weeks, when Somaliland has been under attack by (Puntland leader) Abdullahi Yusuf's militia, the two most senior government officials in this country, President Dahir Riyale Kahin and House of Representatives Speaker Ahmed Mahmud Adan (Qeybe), have been busy with raising enough legislator support for the passage by the House of a highly restrictive press law. It is just outrageous that these two gentlemen would spend so much of their time, energy and resources on an unnecessary bill while not paying enough attention to issues, like the situation in the eastern part of the country, that need their immediate and sustained attention.

The freedoms now enjoyed by Somalilanders, including freedom of the press, have not come as a gift from Mr Riyale or his two late predecessors. It is something won as a result of great sacrifices. A free press is the public's first line of defence against dictatorship and abuse of power. The free press has become an essential element of life in this country. Thanks to the local independent media, Somalilanders today are better informed not only about what is going in their country, but also of the pros and cons of many vital issues. Because of the free flow of information and debate that the independent media provides, it is possible for Somalilanders now to distinguish the precise points of an argument before making conclusions. And since everybody has a fair chance for presenting his/her views through the free press, the proponents of ideas rejected by the public are unlikely to find support for using unlawful means to impose them. The media has played an instrumental role in the realization and consolidation of peace. Without the independent media, it is highly unlikely that Somaliland would have held the successful presidential election of April 2003.

Press freedom can also be justified on the ground of the important role that the independent press has been playing in enlightening the public about the responsibilities and obligations of the government on the one hand, and those of the citizenry on the other. It is this last role that has earned the independent press the wrath of Mr Riyale and some of the other high government officials. But public figures like President Riyale and House Speaker Qeybe are really mistaken to think that they can have it both ways: keeping their positions while at the same time wanting to be spared the scrutiny of the press. If they can't stand critical comments, they should leave office and thereby avoid the attention of the press.

Mr Riyale cannot expect the press not to report wrongdoing by his ministers, and yet refuse to clean his government of corruption. He cannot insist on surrounding himself with incompetent people, and then complain of press criticism of the poor performance of his government. Instead of trying to silence the struggling independent media, Mr Riyale should either free the government-owned media from control so that it could compete with the three privately-owned media organizations operating in the country, or stop wasting taxpayers' money by dismantling the highly ineffective ministry of information. One wonders why the president is not interested in fixing the problems of the Ministry of Information, which now almost exists only in name, instead of expending so much political capital on trying to gag the independent media' Why is the president trying to get confirmation for the already rejected minister of information, Mr Du'ale, the same minister under whose watch the ministry of information has descended into its current pitiful state'

There is no need for the Somaliland government to "regulate" the press. What is actually needed is protection of the right of people to establish their own media organizations, including radio stations, accessibility to the media and receiving or imparting information without any restrictions. Somaliland's media and journalists have already established their own code of conduct with the aim of improving journalistic standards and addressing any complaints from the public. The aggrieved can still go to court to demand redress through civil lawsuits.

At this dangerous moment in Somaliland's history, the country cannot afford to get distracted or get bogged down in divisive and intractable issues like "regulating" the press. Instead, President Riyale should unite the country behind him, focus the country's attention on the attacks by Abdullahi Yusuf's militia and secure Somaliland's eastern borders. That's the kind of leadership Somalilanders want from him.


Source: UNICEF, 15 Jan 2004

UNICEF Somalia Review Nov/Dec 2003: Drought interventions ongoing in Northern Somalia

Since early 2002, humanitarian agencies have been highlighting the serious and growing food insecurity in the Sool Plateau and surrounding areas of Sanaag, Bari and Sool regions. A succession of failed rains over the past four years has resulted in increased food insecurity among pastoral populations. In early October 2003, UNICEF participated in an inter-agency assessment mission that found the pastoralist population hard hit by loss of livestock and purchasing power due to severely depleted reservoirs and pasture/grazing land. Though no disease outbreaks were reported and malnutrition was not yet widespread, UNICEF and other UN agencies initiated a variety of interventions targeting a population of about 90,000. Interventions included child immunization, vitamin supplementation, nutritional screening and the provision of food rations for the most hard-hit families and improved access to safe water. A significant acceleration of these humanitarian interventions began in late November and has been ongoing since that time.

In December, teams comprising UNICEF and WHO personnel treated about 660 patients suffering from acute respiratory infections, diarrhoea, malaria, anaemia and skin diseases.

Creating concern among humanitarian agencies, however, is the growing tension between the local administrations in Northwest Somalia ('Somaliland') and Northeast Somalia ('Puntland'), both of whom claim the drought-affected areas as their territory. Ongoing interventions could be jeopardized or even halted if the situation escalates into violent conflict.

Security throughout Somalia

In Hargeisa, Somaliland, the traffic police commander was killed on 9 December in front of his house. A suspect was identified but has not yet been arrested.

Health programme highlights

Malaria: In November, UNICEF and WHO responded to malaria outbreaks in Baki, Balligubadle and Hargeisa districts of Somaliland by distributing some 400 insecticide treated nets in addition to providing treatment to the sick. Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI): During the reporting period, UNICEF trained staff of health facilities in Somaliland in record keeping. The training took place in Hargeisa, Burao and Berbera towns of Galbeed and Togdheer and Sahil regions respectively. In addition, some 1250 children were immunized.

Water and Environmental Sanitation highlights

Water management: The Awdal Utility Company, created to run the Boroma Water Supply System in Somaliland, began operations in November. Seven new water kiosks and 10 household connections were made to the town supply system and the company is already providing water connections to private residences in Boroma. In November, UNICEF provided 2.2 km of pipes for the water supply system.

Geed Ballaadh Project: In Somaliland, construction work for the Geed Ballaadh Water Project continued. Installation of a generator and pump took place. The system must now be connected to tanks and water kiosks remains and some kiosks need rehabilitation.

UNICEF sponsored the local water authorities from Somaliland in attending the Pan-African Conference on Water in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 8-13 to December. During the conference key challenges faced in rural water supply, environmental sanitation and hygiene were discussed.

Education programme highlights

Training: The second phase of training for 95 primary school Community Education Committees (CEC) was held between mid-November and end-December in both Somaliland and Puntland. The aim of the training was to help the CECs to take a more active part in the management and financing of schools.

School Improvement: UNICEF organized a school improvement workshop for teachers in Somaliland. The workshop participants were trained in improvement of classroom interiors, verandahs, and school compounds; construction of low cost, locally produced teaching aids; arts and crafts projects; and games and recreational activities for the schools. The trained teachers are expected to organize school-based workshops on school improvement.

School mentoring: Mentoring activities were carried out in 52 primary schools in Somaliland and a similar number in Puntland during November and December. The mentors are expected to visit schools at least once every two months and work with teachers in enhancing the quality of teaching and learning in the schools. They also monitor the utilization of school records and assist teachers in organizing the distribution of learning materials.

Rehabilitation of schools: Rehabilitation of four classrooms, a basketball court and latrines for the Sheikh Ali Ibrahim Primary School, one of the largest schools in Hargeisa, continued in December. The school has more than 2000 children who learn in morning and afternoon shifts with about 60 students per class.

In Dami Primary School, construction of a fence and latrine facilities for girls has started. Dami is one of the poorest settlements in Hargeisa. In Lafa Rug, about 100 km northeast of Hargeisa, rehabilitation of two classrooms, latrine facilities and a playground was completed. The rehabilitation of one office and a storeroom is nearing completion.

Computer training: UNICEF is sponsoring training in computer literacy for all six regional education officers in Somaliland, their assistants, and two key local education authorities. The skills are meant to enhance their capacity in data entry, analysis and record keeping and to make it easier for them to use the Education Management Information System (EMIS). The EMIS is software that UNICEF developed to ensure easy retrieval and efficient utilization of data on primary education by local communities, education authorities and international partners. In 1998 UNICEF developed EMIS tools (class register, school register and pupil cards). Currently data is analyzed in Nairobi, Kenya.

Youth participation highlights

UNICEF, in collaboration with two youth organizations in Somaliland, held a two-day meeting to discuss ways in which youth groups and other community-based organizations could be better supported. Another meeting organized in collaboration with the Puntland administration was held for 52 youth organizations. The meeting reviewed their plans and activities and shared experiences.

Youth broadcasting: The Somaliland-based Horn of Africa Voluntary Youth Organization Committee (HAVOYOCO) produced two radio programmes during the reporting period. Some seven other youth groups from Somaliland are in the process of finalizing their programmes. The scripts are shared with UNICEF for quality assurance. Radio Hargeisa produced an introductory programme for the youth broadcasting initiative and interviewed members from Somaliland Culture and Sports Association (SOCSA) and HAVOYOCO groups.

Mentoring: The second round of mentoring for youth and other organizations continued in December in Hargeisa, Berbera and Borama in Somaliland. The mentors sensitized the youth on the harmful effects of chewing khat (an amphetamine leaf akin to the coca leaf of South America). The mentoring occurred in Gebiley, Borama, Burao, Las Anod and Hargeisa.

HIV/AIDS prevention and control highlights

UNICEF, in collaboration with local administrations and partners, organized activities to raise HIV/AIDS awareness on World AIDS Day in various locations throughout Somalia. The theme for this year's activities was ''Live and Let Live" - with focus on fighting stigma and discrimination. Unlike previous years when commemorative activities were limited to major towns, this year's activites were more widespread and took place outside the main urban centres and regional capitals. The activities highlighted the important role that families, communities and individuals could take in the prevention and control of the epidemic and the requirements of support and care for people living with AIDS. The activities included sports competitions.

UNICEF supported the commemoration of the day through the provision of publicity and information materials such as T-shirts and caps with messages in Somali on HIV/AIDS. Copies of audio cassettes containing songs specially composed for HIV/AIDS communication were distributed. The activities in Garowe, Puntland, were attended by UNICEF Somalia Representative, Jesper Morch..

Training: UNICEF organized a life skills training for 50 youth peer counsellors from Northwest, Northeast, Central and Southern Somalia and Djibouti. Training for 20 participants, including religious and community leaders in community-based counselling was also carried out.

HIV KABP study: Field work for a Knowledge Attitude Behaviour and Practices (KABP) study in Northeast and Central and Southern Somalia was completed during the reporting period. Work on the study in the Northwest should be complete in January 2004.


Source: Food Security Assessment Unit, 14 Jan 2004
(Source URL: http://www.unsomalia.org/FSAU/index.htm)

Monthly Food Security Report for Somalia Dec 2003

Sool Plateau Update : Rains of low intensity and limited spatial coverage fell in the first week of December but did little to alleviate the current humanitarian crisis in Sool Plateau. Nutritional status surveys reflect the deteriorating food security situation of residents. An acute malnutrition rate of 18.9% (W/H<2 z-score or oedema) was found during the first round of Sool Plateau sentinel site surveillance exercise in November/December 2003. A UNICEF led mission in mid-December 2003 also recorded an equally high malnutrition rate in Sool Plateau of Sanaag (4,841 children screened). The rate was significantly higher in Sool Plateau of Sool Region (2,049 children were screened). Civil insecurity in the area is now threatening to disrupt humanitarian relief operations in the region.

Drought in Hawd of Todgheer : An inter-agency rapid assessment led by the FSAU found that the poor and lower levles of the middle wealth pastoral group are facing a high risk of food shortage, largely as a result of poor Gu 2003 and failed Deyr 2003 rains. Affected households will need to be closely monitored during the harsh, dry Jilaal season. For more information on the drought stricken region, see page 2.

Civil Insecurity : Civil Insecurity continues to present a challenge to the people of Somalia and humanitarian organizations attempting to strengthen the livelihoods of the Somali people. As reported by IRIN at the end of December, militia from Puntland occupied Las Anod and other parts of Sanag region. The government of Somaliland has deployed troops to positions outside Aynabo. Also various incidents in Kismayo and Lower Juba suggest a worsening of civil insecurity, as does militia activity in El Wak town, Gedo Region, during December.

Somaliland Gu/Karan 2003 Crop Production : The total Gu/Karan 2003 crop production is very good and the highest recorded figure in post-war years. The Gu/Karan season produced 24,915 Mt of sorghum and 3,289 Mt of maize. Some of the reasons for this good production are very good Karan rains, improved and dressed seeds provided by CINS, land preparation on time which was enhanced by IFAD providing tractors on credit. For a copy of this report please contact the FSAU Field Team Manager : Yusuf@fsau.or.ke

A series of FSAU field workshops in Galkayo and Garowe from January 13 -- 16 2004 are being held to assess the severity of reported pastoral stress in the areas of Western Mudug and south of Sool and implications on food security. The results will be presented at the HRG meeting on North Somalia (20 Jan) and the SACB FSRDC meeting (21 Jan).

GU AND KARAN 2003 CEREAL PRODUCTION IN SOMALILAND

The average cereal production of Somaliland amounts to about 17,000 MT per year (roughly 6% of the annual cereal production of Somalia). The total Gu/Karan 2003 crop production was very good and the highest recorded figure in post-war years. The season produced 24,915 Mt of sorghum (88%) and 3,289 Mt of maize (12%).

Gabiley made a significant contribution to this total figure. An estimated 20,100 MT (71%). For in depth technical analysis on the successful harvest. Please contact : Yusuf@fsau.or.ke for the his Gu/Karan 2003 Somaliland Cereal Production Report. RESULTS FROM FIRST ROUND OF SOOL PLATEAU SURVEILLANCE

Results from the first round of Sool Plateau surveillance are now available. These statistics will be compared with statistics from the second round of surveillance, due to take place in January (security permitting). Trend monitoring and in depth analysis will be provided by the FSAU in February. For information on results from the first round of surveillance, please contact charles@fsau.or.ke

NUTRITION UPDATE

In Sool Plateau, the ongoing sentinel nutritional surveillance indicates a worrying nutrition situation with an acute malnutrition rate of 18.9% (W/H <-2 z-score/oedema) (Dec 2003 Nutrition Update). See also the Highlights on Page 1. In the insecure region of Benadir, (districts around Mogadishu) malnutrition is particularly evident among displaced persons and the poor. In one month, 30% of children attending health facilities in the area were identified as malnourished. Recent nutrition surveys in IDP (Internally Displaced People) settings indicate a poor nutrition situation. Nutrition surveys amongst IDP'S conducted in Hargeisa, Bossaso and Burao between June 2001 and Oct. 2003 found global acute malnutrition rates ranging between 15.3% and 18.7%. An analysis of the various studies on IDP's in Somalia indicate that they are disadvantaged by a combination of factors including : poor shelter, poor sanitation, limited access to sources of income, weak coping strategies, limited access to remittances and social support. It is estimated that 50,000 people, mainly pastoralists from Northern Somalia, have crossed into the Somali Region of Ethiopia (Region V) due to the delay and poor performance of the 2003 Deyr rains. However these areas are not much better off as parts of Gode, Warder, Afder and Degahabour zones have also been affected by drought. Recent nutritional surveys indicate that the situation continues to deteriorate in these zones.

For further information on FSAU nutrition surveys and related nutritional information : please contact : noreen.prendiville@fsau.or.ke


BBC Monitoring Reports, January 14, 2004/Source: Radio Shabeelle, Mogadishu in Somali 0500 gmt 14 Jan 04

SOMALILAND MINISTER REPORTEDLY IN DJIBOUTI TO DISCUSS BORDER ZONE, COASTLINE

Visiting Somaliland Interior Minister Isma'il Adan Usman yesterday held talks with Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh. The minister conveyed a message from Somaliland President Dahir Riyale. The minister and the president discussed possible cooperation between Somaliland and Djibouti in security and seizure of contraband goods.

Other reports say that the most important issue behind the visit by Somaliland Interior Minister Isma'il Adan Usman was to complete unsigned agreement on the separation of two controls on the Somali side and in the Djibouti side between the Lawya Cade zone along the common border to create a wide open space that would ensure control of movement of contraband goods. The distance between the two controls is less than 100 meters.

According to reports from Lawya Cade, attemps at separating the two controls further during the Somaliland interior minister's trip to Lawya Cade, met adamant refusal by the local people. The trip by Somaliland Interior Minister Isma'il Adan Usman and the secret visit by Somaliland Foreign Minister Edna Adan Isma'il during which she stayed in Djibouti (for several days) were not covered by the Djibouti local media. Edna Adan's trip was also reportedly to discuss the deployment of foreign soldiers along Somalia's northern coastline, which is a part of Somaliland's efforts to gain obtain funds and gain recognition.


BBC Monitoring Reports, January 14, 2004/Source: Jamhuuriya web site, Hargeysa, in Somali 13 Jan 04

SOMALILAND MINISTER SAYS CLAN LEADERS IN DISPUTED TOWN OPPOSED TO PUNTLAND

The Somaliland minister of housing and rural development, Fuad Adan Ade, who has been in charge of a military operation in Laas Caanood (southeastern Somalia, district claimed by Somaliland, Puntland administration) in the last few weeks, and was involved in clashes with militiamen from Puntland who had attacked Laas Caanood is currently in Burco, Toghdeer Region, for a visit.

The Jamhuuriya reporter in Toghdeer Region, Kayse Ahmad Digale, yesterday interviewed the minister on the current situation and tension in Laas Caanood and Sool Region. The following is the interview:

(Jamhuuriya) Mr minister give us a detailed description of the situation in Sool Region, especially Laas Caanood town.

(Ade) Laas Caanood is in their hands; there is nothing to hide from you. I have been on the outskirts of Laas Caanood in the last few days, however, we were informed this morning that some Majerteenian (Puntland's main clan) forces have withdrawn from the town and are currently in Adhi-Cadeeye where they want to set up a base. The Somaliland forces are in Yagoori. The truth is that they want fighting in civilian-populated areas, while Somaliland wants fighting on the border.

(Jamhuuriya) If the Majeertenian (forces) are Adhi Caddeeye where are the (Somaliland) national forces'

(Ade) Our forces reached Jidda yesterday and they are now beyond Yagoori. I and Faratoon, the minister of Resettlement, were there and we deterred them from moving on to Laas Caanood, however, they are now prepared.

(Jamhuuriya) Clan leaders and members of public in Sool Region have not expressed dissatisfaction towards the Majeertenian forces who are deployed in Laas Caanood. Somaliland forces have meanwhile withdrawn from the town, is it wrong to say they are supporting them'

(Ade) There are eight clan leaders in Laas Caanood, seven of which are opposed to the Majeertenian forces. They were opposed to them from the onset and they are opposed to the arrogance which is being exhibited. Yesterday, Garad Mahmud Mashqare came to Yagoori to see me to convey condolences to me. He had an awful letter from the Puntland governor and had begged soldiers manning a road block for two hours to leave town. There is a man there who is very loyal (to Puntland), very powerful and one you would think is a president. He gives orders. If he orders the arrest of someone, the person is arrested at times he (just) looks like an ordinary soldier. The truth of the matter is that most of them are not loyal but are just scared.

(Jamhuuriya) Mr minister it is reported that the Majeertenian administration has sent troops to Sanaag Region. The troops are now in the eastern region, how true is this'

(Ade) I'm sure Buuhoodle is the place where they are passionate about and have renamed Cayn Region. They are eager to see fighting between brothers in the area. I'm not sure about eastern Sanaag but they are interested and passionate about Buuhoodle.

(Jamhuuriya) Mr minister what is the number of dead and wounded on your side?

(Ade) Two young men have died and four were injured. They have arrested two young men who were detached - that is Aqil Husayn Adan Ade, a son of mine and a cousin who was driving and whose car they took away. They took the people they arrested directly to Garoowe (Puntland administrative HQ, about 150km away) and the injured to Laas Canood hospital. On their side, they lost four men who were buried the same night in Garoowe. They also sent away patients in Garoowe hospital and admitted seven of their men who were injured.

(Jamhuuriya) What is your mission here in Burco'

(Ade) I'm here to thank the people and government of Somaliland, to brief the people on the real situation on the ground and to inform the people that their country is being occupied and they should deliver it. I will return this evening or tomorrow.

(Jamhuuriya) Have you ever asked the clan leaders and educated people in Sool about the need for these (Puntland) forces to withdraw from Laas Caanood'

(Ade) They have been asked. It is only the brave who can say that. The truth of the matter is that the people have not done what was expected of them. It is just a question of fear. These (Puntland forces) are not men who are related to the people there or with clan affiliation to Somaliland. They did not even believe they could get to Laas Caanood. They are puzzled and wondering about this place.


Africa News, January 13, 2004/BYLINE: UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

War of Continues Between Puntland And Somaliland

The authorities in the Somaliland have warned neighbouring Puntland to "stop playing with fire" and withdraw its forces from the disputed region of Sool, a senior Somaliland official told IRIN on Wednesday.

Tension has been rising between the two sides ever since forces of the self-declared autonomous region of Puntland took total control of the Sool regional capital, Las Anod, late last month.

Abdillahi Muhammad Du'ale, the Somaliland information minister, told IRIN on Tuesday that Somaliland had been patient and had ignored numerous provocations from Puntland with a view to averting destabilising confrontations, but the situation had now "reached a point at which we can no longer ignore their actions". "The Majerteenia [Puntland] must remove their forces at once or take full responsibility for the consequences of their action," he warned.

However, the Puntland spokesman, Awad Ahmad Ashara, told IRIN that "Puntland forces are within our borders, since Las Anod is an integral part of Puntland". He accused the Somaliland authorities of instigating the conflict, adding that the people of the area "do not consider themselves part of Somaliland".

Sool and Sanaag regions fall geographically within the borders of pre-independence British Somaliland, but most of the clans there are associated with Puntland. These are the Warsangeli and the Dhulbahante, which, along with Majerteen - the main clan in Puntland - form the Harti sub-group of the Darood.

Du'ale said Somaliland had been working since 1991 towards the achievement of a lasting peace "within the borders of the former British Protectorate" and had "been successful in reconciling the various clans." He charged that "continuous provocations" by Col Abdullahi Yusuf, Puntland's president, were meant to derail the "stability and the democratisation process and thwart the success story of Somaliland".


BBC Monitoring Reports, January 13, 2004/Source: Radio Hargeysa in Somali 1700 gmt 13 Jan 04

SOMALILAND: FOREIGN MINISTER WARNS PUNTLAND STATE OVER "PROVOCATIONS"

The foreign minister of the republic of Somaliland, Mrs Edna Adan Isma'il, this morning held a news conference at her office and discussed some diplomatic moves by Somaliland on the international front. The news conference was attended by local journalists and local media agencies. Mrs Edan discussed her latest trip to Djibouti which she said was very important to Somaliland.

Discussing the US-Somaliland relations, Mrs Edna said she had met officials from the US State Department on four occasions and discussed how to strengthen the relations between the two countries and how to safeguard Somaliland's territorial waters.

Mr Edna said the provocations by Majertenia (Puntland administration) in Sool Region would be met by stern action. Finally, she urged the people of Somaliland to be wary of anyone who tries to provokes them and interferes with their territorial boundaries.


BBC Monitoring Reports, January 13, 2004/Source: TV Djibouti in Somali 1900 gmt 13 Jan 04

DJIBOUTI: PRESIDENT GUELLEH RECEIVES VISITING SOMALILAND MINISTER

The president of Djibouti, Ismail Omar Guelleh, today received the minister of internal affairs of Somaliland, Isma'il Adan Usman, who conveyed a message to the Djibouti president from the Somaliland president Dahir Riyale Kahin. The meeting was held this morning at the presidency and was attended by the minister of interior and decentralization, Abdoulkader Doualeh Waiss. The president of the republic and the Somaliland minister discussed the relations between the Republic of Djibouti and Somaliland especially on security issues and the fight against contraband goods on the border. The Somaliland minister paid a courtesy call on the Djibouti prime minister, Dileita Mohamed Dileita. He is also toured some sectors of Djibouti City.
AllAfrica.com, January 12, 2004, BYLINE: Jeffrey Herbst

SOMALILAND DESERVES A CLOSER LOOK

At least a small part of the future of Africa is being played out in Somaliland, the northwest portion of Somalia that declared its independence in 1991. In its bustling but impoverished capital of Hargeysa, the most striking contrast with most African cities is the sense of order. Police -- who, given their salaries, are almost volunteers -- stand in the hot sun and direct obedient drivers. Money-changers sit on the side of the street with huge piles of cash visible, waiting for customers.

Order is supposed to be the defining characteristic of a state, but Somaliland is recognized by no country in the world as a sovereign entity. Instead, the world insists on clinging to the fiction that Somalia has a government that rules over a united territory. Understanding why the world pretends that Somaliland does not exist tells us much about the foibles of the international politics of recognition.

Somaliland was a British protectorate during the colonial period. In 1960, during the rush to decolonization, Somaliland was independent for five days before joining with former Italian Somaliland to create the Somali Republic. In 1989 the government of thug-President Mohamed Siad Barre declared war on Somaliland because of fears that the Somalilanders wanted to go it alone. Government fighters, taking off from the Hargeysa airport, systematically bombed the city, destroying just about every building. In an event all but unnoticed by the international community, 50,000 people were killed and approximately 500,000 of the population of 2 million became refugees in neighboring Ethiopia.

For several years, strife and conflict continued, but Somaliland persevered. Order was gradually restored and a government formed; the refugees returned and embarked on a long process of rebuilding. In 2001, 98 percent of voters opted in a free and fair election for a new constitution that boldly proclaimed the case for independence.

Somaliland then had successful, internationally monitored, local council elections in 2002 and a free and fair presidential election in April 2003. The presidential election was most notable because the ruling UDUB party, led by President Dahir Rayale Kahin, won by only 217 votes out of almost 500,000 cast. The opposition party KULMIYE challenged the tally but, in a moment of extraordinary responsibility given Somalia's history of having weapons resolve almost every conflict, eventually accepted the results. Somaliland is planning parliamentary elections this year (the legislature is currently appointed). At that point, it will have a far more impressive democracy than most African countries.

One would think that the natural response of the outside world to the extraordinary accomplishments of the Somalilanders would be respect and recognition, especially because Somalia still does not have a government and is still in absolute ruins a decade after one of the most expensive humanitarian interventions in history. That is not the logic of the Horn of Africa. About the only thing that the southern Somalis can agree on is that they do not want Somaliland to secede.

The rest of Africa has not been of any more help. One of the decisions that African leaders took at independence was to retain the irrational boundaries they had received from colonialists, because they could not think of anything better and because they thought that any credence given to self-determination would cause the continent to descend into chaos. The permanence of boundaries has become a major asset for African leaders who do not have to prove that they control their territories or even that they are a legitimate government in order to be granted international recognition and sovereign equality.

The Somalilanders made their own peace without the benefit of international mediators and conflict resolution experts. Of course, they still face extraordinary problems. Literacy may only be 30 percent; education for girls is left to Koranic schools; significant parts of the government are corrupt; just about all men have weapons at home and a good many of them spend much of their income and afternoons chewing kat leaves, an addictive stimulant imported from Ethiopia. In addition, the recent killing of an Italian nurse and a British couple raised concerns across Somaliland that it is still vulnerable to terrorist attacks from those who are determined not to let secession go forward.

Nevertheless, recognizing Somaliland would be a strong signal to the rest of Africa that performance matters and that sovereignty granted in the 1960s will not be an excuse to fail forever. Few regions of any African country actually want to secede; thus the world could recognize the achievements and legal idiosyncrasies of Somaliland without experiencing massive disruptions of Africa's map. The Somalilanders, almost unanimously, ask what more they can do when the international community continues to recognize Liberia, Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of the Congo and other anarchic, violent places as sovereign units. It is time to give them an answer.

Jeffrey Herbst is chairman of the department of politics at Princeton University. This commentary was first published in the Washington Post on January 2, 2004.



BBC Monitoring Reports, January 9, 2004/Source: Radio Midnimo, Boosaaso, in Somali 1030 gmt 9 Jan 04) BBC Monitoring

HEAVY FIGHTING REPORTED BETWEEN SOMLILAND, PUNTLAND

Reports say heavy fighting broke out this morning between a combined force, comprising Puntland police and special forces against forces loyal to Somaliland that are led by the Somaliland minister of pastoral development, Fuad Adan Ade, west of Laas Caanood (northeastern Somalia, town claimed by both Somaliland and Puntland).

The fighting is reportedly continuing. The number of casualties is not yet clear, however, three wounded people were brought to Laas Caanood hospital and it is not yet clear which side they belonged to. A Puntland police spokesman said two people were killed on their side. There are no reports yet regarding the casualties of the Somaliland side.

Two members of Fuad Adan Ade forces, who are said to be important persons, have been taken captive by Puntland forces and are currently being held by Puntland forces at the presidential palace of the Puntland regional administration in Laas Caanood. Reports add that the fighting was sparked off by the action of some members of Puntland forces who moved to the west of Laas Caanood following reports of the presence of Somaliland forces led by Fuad Adan Ade. Laas Caanood town residents are streaming to the western sector of the town and to the main general hospital to find out the real situation on the ground. The fighting was unexpected and most residents feel that the renewed fighting would only be limited to the western sector of the town.


Africa News, January 8, 2004/BYLINE: UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

Somalia;Concern Over Tension in North

The Somalia Aid Coordination Body (SACB) - which brings together donors, UN agencies and international NGOs - has expressed concern over the rising tension in northern Somalia. The Somaliland and neighbouring self-declared autonomous region of Puntland both lay claim to the disputed regions of Sool and Sanaag, and there are reports of troops build-ups and preparations for conflict. In a statement issued on Thursday, the SACB said such reports "in areas that have managed to achieve a measure of peace and stability in recent times are a particular preoccupation for the members of the SACB".

The statement went to say that the timing of these moves was regrettable given the fact that the local people were suffering a "debilitating drought". "International assistance to the area, including the humanitarian drought-relief operation currently under way, would inevitably be one of the first casualties of an outbreak of armed conflict and hostilities, and the people of the region the first to suffer," the statement warned. It urged the Somaliland and Puntland authorities to resolve their differences peacefully and called on them "to exercise the greatest restraint, and to do all in their power to defuse the mounting tensions".


http://www.nacgeo.com/nacsite/press/Universal%20Address%20System%20Is%20Adopted%20in%20Somaliland.htm

The Universal Address System Is Adopted in Somaliland

October 9, 2003 - NAC Geographic Products Inc. of Canada and Cadastral Surveys of Somaliland proudly announce the initial success in adopting and implementing the Universal Address System in Somaliland. It represents the beginning of a new era of using digital universal addresses in the world and a revolution in all geographic technologies, applications, products and services.

The Universal Address System and the Natural Area Coding System are a revolutionary technology developed by NAC Geographic Products Inc. to unify addresses, postal codes, area codes, geographic coordinates and map grids in the world. The Natural Area Coding System generates standardized and highly efficient codes called Natural Area Codes (NAC) for all locations and areas in the world that can be used as geographic coordinates, Universal Addresses, Global Postal Codes, Universal Area Codes and the coordinates of Universal Map Grids in the world. A two-character NAC represents an area about 1000x700 km (like a province) anywhere in the world; a four-character NAC represents an area about 33x23 km (like a city); a six-character NAC represents an area about one square kilometer (like a street block); an eight-character NAC represents an area about 35x25 meters (like a building or house), and a ten-character NAC can specify any one square meter area in the world. An Eight or ten character NAC is called a Universal Address that can uniquely specify any building, house, door, gate, fire hydrant, tree, parking meter, electric wire pole, street light, bus stop, sewage exit, camping site, or any other fixed object in the world.

Because Universal Addresses are very short, people can easily remember and communicate Universal Addresses for their daily activities. Universal Addresses can perfectly fit the small spaces of business cards, GPS watches, GPS cellphones, parking tickets, yellow page listings, advertisements, etc. A Universal Address can be directly pinpointed on all maps with Universal Map Grids and navigated with GPS receivers. If all street signs are marked with local Universal Addresses, people can immediately figure out the distance and direction from the current street sign to any destination through the comparison of the Universal Addresses of the street sign and the destination. Universal Addresses can be used as Global Postal Codes to sort all domestic and international mail automatically and optimize its delivery routes. When Universal Addresses are used to specify locations and areas on location based services can reduce 80% of input keys, avoid difficulties in inputting addresses with foreign characters, eliminate errors from address databases, extend services to all locations no matter whether there are addresses or not.

These advantages have been demonstrated by the world most efficient and comprehensive location based services: Mobile Location Based Services Network (http://mlbs.net/) for wireless devices, and TravelGIS Driving Directions Service (http://www.travelgis.com/directions/) for desktop and notebook computers.

Most importantly, the Natural Area Coding System can make all the geographic information (all addresses in the world as shown on business cards, mail, advertisements, yellow pages, etc, all kinds of maps in different scales and projections, all GPS watches, GPS cellphones, handheld GPS receivers, etc, all wired and wireless driving directions services, map services, location based searching service, etc, all postal, courier, delivery and taxi services, all emergency services, all kinds of geographic information systems such as management systems of public works, natural resources, agriculture, environment protection, etc, and all other location related technologies, products and services) directly related and highly efficient. It will remove all the gaps between all these technologies, products and services as currently shown everywhere in the world. "This (the Universal Address System) is an elegant solution that seems to supply something that is becoming necessary as the world becomes more globalized." - Matt Ball, editor of GeoWorld magazine. For more information about the Universal Address System and the Natural Area Coding System, please check http://www.nacgeo.com/nacsite/.

Tasks where the Universal Address System is being successfully practiced include a unique method of bringing farmers, warring over privately-owned territorial rights, to peaceful coexistence. That country is in the Horn of Africa, known as Somaliland (south of the Gulf of Aden). "UNDP (United Nations Development Program) is supporting a land survey (cadastral) that seeks to meet the need for land and collateral, and employs a process that is conflict resolving in character. The process is transparent and participatory and based on the resolution of existing and potential claim disputes. It has traditional, local level, consensus building and mediation techniques to ensure a fair process of land tenure and titling, involving demarcation, on maps and on the ground, of the boundaries of private farms." - United Nations Secretary-General's Report to the Security Council on the situation in Somalia, June 27, 2002 (No. 5/2002/709).

Cadastral Surveys, an officially registered Non Government Organization in Somaliland and the United Kingdom, is establishing farm boundaries which are mutually agreed by neighboring farmers. Universal Addresses at each of the farms' polygon turning points and polygon center in the District of Gabiley are included on Farmers' ID cards thanks to the short strings of Universal Addresses. The Universal Addresses are also marked on the ground by embedded concrete blocks, and repeated in databases.

Farmers now have legal title deeds from Somaliland's Ministry of Agriculture. Outbreaks of violence over territorial rights have ceased in surveyed areas. 2,600 farms, averaging 12 acres each, have been surveyed and mapped. Each farm owner is in possession of a technical laminated ID card.

Farmers in that country are now enjoying peace because of security of tenure where they had none before, even in colonial times. This was because their rain-fed farms, between 8 and 50 acres each, growing maize and sorghum, had no boundaries for generations and therefore no title deeds. "When I was growing up, there were many land problems. No one knew the boundaries before these surveys. It was dangerous - some people were killed. I plan to pass my farm on to my children's children," said Mohamed Hassan Obsiye, a 66-year-old sorghum farmer. Somaliland now wisely gives farmers land ownership in perpetuity (freehold) after surveying, when maps and databases have been completed to the satisfaction of the Ministry of Agriculture.

"This project involves farmers, their neighbors, as well as local and municipal authorities, all of whom agree on this process. You can see that what the United Nations Development Program is doing here is helping to build peace, one farm at a time" - Maxwell Gaylard, UNDP Resident Representative for Somalia. "When we were in need, farmers coming back from refugee camps, UNDP helped. By securing their property and farming again, farmers can improve their livelihoods." - Hassan Yusuf Roble, Mayor of Gabiley.

Cadastral Surveys also maps, with databases and ID cards, urban, privately-owned properties in Somaliland. Streets are given NAC coding; likewise buildings with eight alphanumeric characters representing universal postal addresses. House-owners in Somaliland have not before had postal addresses. These can be superimposed electronically with NAC coding on satellite images of urban properties. The codes, identifying any object, large or small, on the ground, are there forever. They cannot be changed.

The automation in generating Universal Addresses has saved huge amounts of work, time and money normally required in manually assigning addresses, postal codes and property identifiers in this kind of projects. Universal Addresses used as property identifiers have given the government the most efficient and low-cost approach to establish computerized management systems for recording major financial processes such as revenue collections and records of all land transfers. These greatly accelerate the property registration process and avoided many conflicts arising from the land disputes.

The automatically generated digital addresses are short, accurate, universal and of multiple uses. They are always well aligned and systematic no matter when and where they are generated, and will never be used up no matter how dense the population will be, which guarantees long term consistency and efficiency in assigning addresses, unlike the postal codes in other countries that have faced serious shortages and chaos due to continuous redevelopment, and become more and more expensive and difficult to maintain. "This (the Universal Address System) is very impressive," said Henrik Jespersen, Counselor of Royal Danish Embassy at Nairobi, Republic of Kenya.

The timely implementation of the Universal Address System has also made Somaliland the world's first country with universal digital addresses. People in Somaliland will soon enjoy the great benefits brought by the Universal Address System. They will be able to directly pinpoint all addresses on maps without the need to waste time in looking up street indexes. They will be able to use street signs to figure out the distance and direction to any destination. They will be able to directly navigate to any locations with GPS watches, GPS cellphones or other GPS receivers. They will be able to use wireless or wired location based services more efficiently and reliably than in any other country in the world. They will get the fastest and most reliable emergency services. The will have their mail sorted automatically from world level to the final mailboxes. They will be able to use Universal Addresses to identify, manage and navigate to all buildings, houses, gates, doors, fire hydrants, sewage exits, electric wire poles, street lights, trees, parking meters, bus stops, camping sites, fishing spots, rescue points, etc. They will be able to use the most efficient universal area codes - Natural Area Codes to retrieve maps and manage lands, natural resources, environment, transportation, etc in all geographic information systems. They will be able to use Universal Addresses to record accurate locations of accidents, crimes, discoveries and events to eliminate legal disputes arising from ambiguous location descriptions. Tourists will never get lost in Somaliland. Somaliland will become the world most advanced country in location technologies, thanks to the implementation of the Natural Area Coding System that makes all the geographic information connected, exchangeable and highly efficient.

"This pioneer project has first rooted and deployed the Universal Address System in the real world," said Dr. Xinhang Shen, President of NAC Geographic Products Inc., "and we are very grateful to Mr. Jim Karygiannis, Member of Parliament of Canada, for his initiation of this historical project."


http://www.cellular-news.com/story/9794_print.shtml(25-Sep-03)

Somaliland to get a GSM network

Tecore Wireless Systems says that it received an order from Telsom Mobile for a GSM network deployment in Somaliland. This network, operating as Telsom Somaliland and serving the capital Hargeysa and surrounding cities, is the first wireless network connecting Somalia and Somaliland under one network operator, facilitating cross-border commerce as well as regional and international roaming. Tecore, in partnership with AirNet Communications Corporation, previously installed its AirCore Mobile Switching Center (MSC) at Telsom Mobile now providing the wireless service to subscribers in Mogadishu, Somalia. The new turn-key network deployment includes the AirCore MSC with integrated revenue-generating features, such as Roaming, Prepaid, Short Message Service Center (SMSC) and voicemail, as well as AirNet AdaptaCell Broadband Software-Defined Base Stations.

"By meeting the specific cost, coverage and capacity needs in the first phase of Telsom Mobile's deployment, Tecore was able to rapidly deliver a high-capacity MSC to serve more subscribers than any other operator in Mogadishu," said Jay Salkini, Tecore's chairman and CEO. "Telsom Mobile has placed this order with us to expand their system coverage and open up lucrative roaming opportunities." "We are delighted with the success of the first wireless network deployment from Tecore and AirNet," said M. A. Jama, CEO of Telsom Mobile. "We awarded them the expansion of our system because we knew they could quickly provide an integrated software-based, feature rich solution. With its all-in-one MSC and broadband base stations, Tecore was an obvious choice to dramatically reduce our total cost of ownership and maximize our return-on-investment."


BBC Worldwide Monitoring, January 8, 2004/SOURCE: Xog-Ogaal, Mogadishu, in Somali 7 Jan 04

Somaliland foreign minister reportedly on secret visit to Djibouti

According to reliable sources in Djibouti, Somaliland Foreign Minister Edna Adan is on a private visit to Djibouti. Despite the government's silence over her visit, reports say she went to Djibouti early this week to convey message from Somaliland President Dahir Riyale. The aim of the trip is not yet clear with Djibouti officials not knowing her next destination. On the contrary, several ministers in Riyale administration including Edna Adan were unhappy with a recent visit made by President Riyale to Djibouti. When asked about his trip to Djibouti, President Riyale said Djibouti is now a friend to Somaliland.
Africa News, January 7, 2004/BYLINE: UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

Somaliland Tells Puntland to Pull Out of Disputed Region

The authorities in the Somaliland have warned neighbouring Puntland to withdraw its forces from the disputed region of Sool, a senior Somaliland official told IRIN on Wednesday.

Tension has been rising between the two sides ever since forces of the self-declared autonomous region of Puntland took total control of the Sool regional capital, Las Anod, late last month.

Puntland's spokesman Awad Ahmad Ashara told IRIN at the time that it was normal for the Puntland authorities to send police forces to the Sool and Sanaag area "since both regions are part and parcel of Puntland". However, Fu'ad Adan Ade, the Somaliland housing and rural development minister, who is in charge of his government's operations in Las Anod, told IRIN that Sool and Sanaag were within the internationally recognised boundaries of Somaliland. "The presence of Majerteenia [Puntland] forces is illegal and illegitimate," he stated. "They should leave before things get out of hand."

"These people [Puntland] are arguing in terms of clan, and we [Somaliland] are talking about a nation," he added. "Clannism is what destroyed Somalia."

Sool and Sanaag fall geographically within the borders of pre-independence British Somaliland, but most of the clans there are associated with Puntland. These are the Warsangeli and the Dhulbahante, which, along with Majerteen - the main clan in Puntland - form the Harti sub-group of the Darood.

Ade, who spoke to IRIN by satellite phone from the town of Hudun, 82 km northeast of Las Anod, said his forces were on their way to Las Anod. "I will urge the Puntland forces to leave peacefully. We have been patient long enough." He said the tension created by the arrival of the Puntland forces was hampering humanitarian assistance to the people of the area affected by drought. Thousands of nomads in the Sool Plateau, which is within the disputed regions, have been affected by a four-year drought. "If fighting breaks out, it will not be confined to this area but we will take it to Garowe [the Puntland regional capital]," Ade warned.


Africa News, January 7, 2004/BYLINE: United Nations

Somalia;UN Agencies Set to Start New Phase of Aid for Drought-Stricken Northern Somalia

Preparing a new phase in the drive to help 90,000 people suffering from severe drought in northern Somalia, United Nations humanitarian agencies are appealing to rival local administrations to refrain from any violence that could disrupt the operation.

With no rains anticipated before April in parts of the Sool and Sanaag regions, further losses to livestock and other assets are expected, according to the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), which is calling for prompt intervention to stem the problem. "The situation is fragile," UNICEF Somalia Emergency Officer Robert McCarthy said. "Our planning is based on the assumption that children will be increasingly vulnerable to malnutrition and disease in the coming weeks." He added that nomadic communities which have lost significant numbers of their livestock will require outside food and supplies to survive.

Growing tension between the local administrations in Northwest Somalia ('Somaliland') and Northeast Somalia ('Puntland'), both claiming the affected areas as their territory, is creating some concern among humanitarian agencies. UNICEF said operations could be jeopardized or even halted if the situation escalates into violent conflict.

In the past, efforts to reach the affected communities - often in remote areas - were possible thanks to cooperation between the two administrations. UNICEF Somalia Senior Programme Officer Leila Pakkala urged that this continue. "We appeal to them to maintain a stable environment and ensure the continuity and effectiveness of response activities," she said.

Failed rains over the past four years have caused large-scale food insecurity among pastoral people in parts of northern Somalia. A joint mission in October, led by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), found the population hard hit by loss of livestock and purchasing power.

In two recent missions, the last ending on 2 January, 10 teams supported by UNICEF and the UN World Health Organization (WHO) visited 72 villages, providing vaccination, clinical and antenatal care, and dry supplementary rations to complement UN World Food Programme (WFP) distributions. Later this week, UNICEF and WFP are set to begin the second phase of food, medical and nutritional interventions.


Africa News, January 6, 2004/BYLINE: UN IRIN

Somalia;Drought Increasing Risk of Malnutrition in the North -UNICEF

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has warned that a drought currently affecting the Sool and Sanaag regions of northern Somalia is increasing the risk of malnutrition. In a statement issued on Tuesday, the agency said that in response, UNICEF and other humanitarian agencies would launch "a second phase of emergency interventions this week". Last month, the UN's World Food Programme (WFP) delivered 732 mt of "mixed food commodities" to 39 villages in the area.

UNICEF noted that the Sool Plateau - covering parts of Sool and Sanaag regions within the borders of the Somaliland in northwestern Somalia - had suffered four consecutive years of drought, resulting "in large-scale food insecurity among pastoral populations".

Recently, a combined "UNICEF- and WHO-supported" team visited 72 villages in the area and "provided vaccination services, clinical and antenatal care, together with nutritional screening and dry supplementary rations intended to complement WFP food distributions", said the statement. "The situation is fragile," it quoted UNICEF Somalia Emergency Officer Robert McCarthy as saying. "Our planning is based on the assumption that children will be increasingly vulnerable to malnutrition and disease in the coming weeks. In particular, nomadic communities who have lost significant numbers of their livestock will require continued food and non-food assistance."

The statement noted that humanitarian agencies were also concerned about the growing tension between the Somaliland and the neighbouring self-declared autonomous region of Puntland in northeastern Somalia, both of which lay claim to Sool and Sanaag. "Ongoing [humanitarian] interventions could be jeopardised or even halted if the situation escalates into violent conflict," it warned. Although the Sool Plateau falls geographically within Somaliland, most of its resident clans are associated with Puntland. "Efforts to reach affected communities, often in remote areas, have been possible because of the cooperation and assistance of the concerned authorities in Somaliland and Puntland. We appeal to them to maintain a stable environment and ensure the continuity and effectiveness of response activities," the statement quoted UNICEF Somalia Senior Programme Officer Leila Pakkala as saying.


BBC Monitoring Reports, January 6, 2004/Source: Xog-Ogaal, Mogadishu, in Somali 6 Jan 04) BBC Monitoring

SOMALILAND REPORTEDLY CAPTURES FOUR PUNTLAND SOLDIERS IN DISPUTED REGION

According to confirmation by Sanaag Region Governor Ali Abdi Hure and media sources in Somaliland, many Somaliland soldiers equipped with armoured vehicles and heavy weapons have reached Guumeys (in area disputed between Somaliland and Puntland) the day before yesterday. The soldiers made a base at Ceerigaabo, the capital of Sanaag Region. According to the Sanaag Region governor under (Somaliland President) Riyale's administration, the soldiers arrived there after Col Abdullahi Yusuf (Puntland leader) sent soldiers to Badhan District (also in the disputed area) the day before Somaliland's soldiers arrived in Ceerigaabo. Hure said soldiers from both sides exchanged fire near the Badhan area. One person was wounded and four others were captured from Abdullahi Yusuf's side, according to Somaliland media sources. They (those captured) were detained in Ceerigaabo prison.
From Choice Magazine, Dec 2003 (http://www.undp.org/dpa/choices/2003/december/ict.html)

Private Competition Drives Down Telephone and Internet Costs in Somalia: But chaotic situation highlights need for self regulation

Hargeisa-Two main features interrupt the dusty horizon of Hargeisa, the windblown desert capital of the self-declared, but as yet unrecognized, Republic of Somaliland. The first has always been there, a set of identical twin mountains, but now there is another -competing satellite towers mounted high on the spiny brown ridges overlooking town-that also pierce the low-slung skyline and stand testament to the city's more recent history.

Over the past five years, Somalis have outpaced their neighbours in East African countries in developing their information and communications technology. With a steadily increasing number of mobile phone, fixed-line and Internet service providers, Somalis have turned to technology to fill an infrastructure vacuum in this nation struggling to rebuild itself after a decade of civil war. While there is no official banking system or postal service, and while many Somalis don't have regular running water or electricity, most do have access to fixed phone lines. Many others own mobile phones while colourful Internet caf?s are springing up along Hargeisa's bustling downtown streets.

"In traditional African societies, it's sometimes difficult for government officials to embrace technology, but here, it is the people who decide," says Abdi Karim Mohamed Eid, manager of Telesom, a private telecommunications company.

A decade ago, Somaliland had a single phone company providing fixed lines only. There are now four private telecommunications companies-with a fifth scheduled to have entered the market by the end of 2003-and a growing number of Internet users.

"We started with a few hundred subscribers and now we have about 3,000," says Mr. Eid. "If you add up the other companies, there may be around 20,000 Internet subscribers in Somaliland. That's much more than we anticipated initially and it's a remarkable achievement given that there is no backing from the international community. This is solely done by the Somali business community. We are really proud of that."

In all of Somalia, there are nine companies providing service today through over 105,000 fixed lines and almost 39,000 mobile lines. In 1993, 33 years after independence, there were only 17,000 telephone lines, 14,000 of which were in the capital Mogadishu. Almost 87 percent of the country now has telephone service.

Fierce competition keeps cost down

In Somaliland, fierce competition between the private companies has driven consumer costs down, despite the fact that companies must rely on expensive satellite technology rather than fibre-optic cables. International calls on mobile phones cost US$1 per minute or less, five or six times lower than in most African countries. The lack of a government has also helped keep costs down-there is no tax on telephones.

But the lack of regulation has also created a chaotic situation, where callers subscribing to one company are often unable to talk to people who subscribe to another system. As a result, UNDP, which had been working to promote private enterprise in the region, together with the International Telecommunications Union, invited the leaders of the private companies to a series of meetings in Dubai, where the companies formed the Somali Telecom Association in late 1998.

"It was like a game without a referee," says Abdilghani Jama, Secretary General of the Somali Telecom Association. "Then UNDP and ITU brought all the operators together in Dubai and said, `we would like to help you but you have to have one office.' "

Since its formation, the Association has been headquartered in Dubai, to allay any fears of favouritism to any region or operator. It is a voluntary organization, and has emerged as the main telecommunications focal point, representing Somali interests at global conferences.

The lack of connections between the various companies grew out of a lack of trust, according to Mr. Jama. In a pilot project to unify the telephone system in Mogadishu, the Telecom Association brought the local operators together to meet with international experts on the costs and benefits of interconnectivity. As a result, the companies contributed to the purchase of new equipment and the formation of a jointly owned company, and now telephone users in Mogadishu can talk to each other.

"Rebuilding trust wasn't easy,"