Somaliland247's Blog

January 16, 2013

Somaliland Ministers on UAE Relations Enhancement Visit


Somaliland Ministers on UAE Relations Enhancement Visit


Somaliland Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Mohamed Abdillahi Omar and Somaliland Minister of Presidency, Mr. Hersi Ali Hagi Hassan

Press Statement: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

DUBAI  – The Republic of Somaliland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Mohamed Abdillahi Omar, accompanied by the Minister of Presidency, Mr. Hersi Ali Hagi Hassan, arrived in Dubai yesterday evening as part of a diplomatic visit meant to deepen Somaliland’s long-standing economic and security partnership with the United Arab Emirates.

While in Dubai, Foreign Minister Omar will meet with representatives from the government and private sector, including State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Anwar Mohammed Gargash, and intermediaries from the maritime terminal operating and developing company DP World.

The UAE and Somaliland have developed close cooperation in the areas of trade, investment, the fight against piracy and regional affairs. In June 2012, the UAE government showed its commitment to peace and stability in the Horn of Africa by bringing together the presidents of Somaliland and Somalia to ratify a framework for bilateral dialogue meant to clarify future relations between the two countries.

Press office


Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The Republic of Somaliland.

Some work of the Greatest Somali poet, Mahamed Ibrahim Warsame ‘Hadraawi’ translated into English

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Some work of the Greatest Somali poet, Mahamed Ibrahim Warsame ‘Hadraawi’ translated into English

Poet Hadraawi

Greatest Somali poet Mahamed Ibrahim Warsame ‘Hadraawi’ – We, in Kayd Somali Art and Culture, Redsea –online Culture Foundation and the Poetry Translation Centre take pride and pleasure to announce the publication for the first time of selected poems of the Somali master of wordsmith, Maxamed Ibraahim Warsame HADRAAWI along with their English translations.

Hadraawi has been recently awarded the prestigious Prince Claus Award for his immense contribution in creating brilliant meaningful poetry over the past 40 years. The presentation ceremony of the award by His Excellency Joost Reintjes, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands will be towards the end of February 2013. Our publication of Hadraawi’s work is primarily meant to register our acknowledgement and appreciation of his magnificent role in the promotion of Somali arts and culture. We nonetheless wish to highlight this felicitous occasion.

In this modest publication we have selected only eight of his huge literary treasure trove:

Hal La Qalay .. (The Killing of the She-camel)
Hooyooy La’aantaa.. (Mother’s Love)
Dhigaalka FarSoomaalida.. ( adoption of written script for my language)
Cajabey, Cajabey..( A love beyond compare)
Sirta Nolosha..(Life’s Essence)
Bulsho.. (My people)
Jacayl Dhiig Ma Lagu Qoray.. (Has Love Been Ever Written inBlood !

In honouring Hadraawi this is what the august Prince Claus Award Committee has said: He is honoured for “creating proud and beautiful poems that enrich and expand the centuries-old oral poetry tradition that is central to contemporary Somali culture and identity, for sustaining shared historical awareness and include discourse in divisive times, for his lifelong commitment to community development and social justice, and for building bridges, providing inspiration and promoting peace.”

Introduction to the book is by Rashid Sheikh Abdillahi (Gadhweyne), the English literal translations are by Mohamed Hassan ‘Alto’, and Said Jama Hussein. The English translations are by Dr. Martin Orwin, and the eminent poet W.N Herbert.

We finally wish to express our heartfelt congratulations to our great poet Hadraawi and our sincere gratitude to the Prince Claus Committee for its laudable service to our culture. For the fans and lovers of Hadraawi’s art, we conclude ‘ENJOY THE DAY’.

About the poet: Mahamed Ibrahim Warsame ‘Hadraawi’

Hadraawi is one of the most valued Somali poets and philosophers; he is often hailed as the most influential Somali artist of his time. His early work concerned love, and his songs were sung by some of the greatest Somali singers. As the political climate changed, so did his focus; his work began to address more social and political issues. He campaigned for the alleviation of social ills through his work under great pressure. To this day, Hadraawi continues to challenge social injustices.

Hadraawi was born into a nomadic family in Togdheer region of Somaliland and he was sent to Aden, Yemen, to live with his uncle at an early age. Hadraawi moved to Mogadishu in the late 1960s. During this time, most of his work focused, like most other poets at the time, on the theme of love. In these high days of romance, Hadrawi produced poems like‘Todobaadan Midhabley’ and songs such as, ‘Baladweyn’, ‘Jacayl Dhiig Malagu Qoray?’, ‘Hooyooy’, ‘Cajabey, Cajiibey’. One could write a whole book about each song and poem as they all have their own story. The songs of this era written by Hadraawi, have been sung by the greatest Somali singers like Hassan Adan Samater, Mahamed Mooge, Haliima Khaliif Magool, Mohamed Saleban and many others.

In the 1970s, Hadraawi’s artistic productions evolved to address more social and political themes. During this time Hadraawi co-wrote the landmark political play ‘Aqoon iyo Afgarad’ with the late Mahamed Hashi Dhama ‘Gaarriye’, Siciid Saalax and late Musse Abdi Elmi.

In 1973, Hadraawi was jailed for five years. Two years after his release, Hadraawi and his friend, late Mahamed Hashi Dhama ‘Gaarriye’ started the Deeley, one of the most significant political chain poems in Somali History, which divided over 50 artists, poets and thinkers in pro and against government camps.

In 1982, Hadraawi left Mogadishu to join the SNM opposition group which was based in Ethiopia. It was there that he wrote or popularized his main political poems such as ‘Dalaley’, ‘Hanbaber’, ‘Hargeysi ma Toostay’, ‘Bulsho’, ‘Sirta Nolosha’ and many others.
1992, Hadraawi produced ‘Gudgude’, which is regarded as a masterpiece by many of his follower. In this hundred lines long poem, he explains his motivations and aspirations.

That year is also the year he moved to London where he lived for five years. In these five years, most of his friends have asked Hadraawi to seek asylum and settle in the UK but Hadraawi declined. While in London, Hadraawi produced ‘Dabo Huwan’ which is based around an ancient word to describe ‘life’. The work he has since produced while in London offers many insights to his beliefs, which are clearly influenced by his Somali nomadic heritage and his faith.

In 2004, Hadraawi went on a peace march throughout different cities of Somalia ravaged by the civil war, to appeal for peace and to show his solidarity with those suffering. What was one-man’s walk became a march of tens of thousands of Somalis who followed Hadraawi from city to city.

The last two poems that Hadraawi published are, ‘Dhul Gariir’ and ‘Awaal Tiris’. In ‘Dhul Gariir’, he raises awareness about the situation of the Gabooye Somalis, condemning the ill treatment, discrimination and human rights abuses committed against the Gabooye people. The more recent poem, ‘Awaal Tiris’ addresses the hopelessness of Somali men who abuse the use of Qaat and the social implications that comes with that.
Hadraawi now lives in his home town Burao with his wife Hodan and teaches at the University of Burao

We are grateful to our partners and sponsors who made this publication possible such as Prince Claus and Dahabshiil Money Transfer Company.

December 31, 2012

“The Government of Somaliland congratulates its people on successful local elections” Press Release


“The Government of Somaliland congratulates its people on successful local elections” Press Release


The Government of the Republic of Somaliland welcomes the outcome of Somaliland’s November 28th local elections, our latest in a series of several presidential, parliamentary and local elections stretching back to 2002.

Following a successful period of peaceful campaigning and voting in which the country’s hard-won 21 years of stability was maintained, the election results have finally been tabulated and verified. We would like to congratulate all the local counselors, mayors and governors on their successes, while also commending those who have lost for respecting the results and maintaining the dignity of the country’s democratic process. We echo the praise of the international election observers of our people’s sincere commitment to democracy.

The government and the people of Somaliland would like to thank international donors, implementing organisations and election observers for again showing their commitment to assisting our country’s consolidation of democracy. Such financial and technical support was crucial to the peaceful and smooth completion of the elections, and we hope such support will only continue in advance of Somaliland’s upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections.

Our democratic path continues to stand out as a shining example of the democratic potential inherent to the peoples of the Horn of Africa and the continent as a whole, and we have seen encouraging progress in many areas, such as the increased participation of youth and women as voters and candidates and the use of the judicial system to resolve electoral disputes. But as democratic practices become further institutionalized, new challenges will unavoidably arise, and our people must be brave and spirited enough to learn from those challenges.

We therefore take heed and are prepared to address the recommendations of the international election observers to put in place a robust and effective voter/citizen registration system to guarantee the integrity of each and every vote. Our government institutions and civil society organisations are already exploring ways to make this a reality. We call on the international community to support these efforts.

With each passing election, Somaliland’s commitment to stability, peace, democracy and the fight against extremism becomes more evident. Underpinning this commitment is the Somaliland people’s belief that to compromise these values would be to not only undermine the country’s potential for development and growth, but also create a setback in the efforts of neighboring countries and the international community in reestablishing peace throughout the Horn of Africa.

Press Office Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation


December 3, 2012

AFP- Polls in Somaliland ‘transparent’: international observers

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AFP: Polls in Somaliland ‘transparent’: observers



NAIROBI — Local elections in the self-declared nation of Somaliland were “largely peaceful and transparent”, international observers said Monday, but noted concern at “weaknesses in safeguards against multiple voting.”

Council elections across the northern Somali region, a rare area of relative stability compared to war-torn southern Somalia, took place on November 28, with over 2,300 candidates contesting for 379 positions.

“We can cautiously report many positives,” the report read from the 50-strong international team of observers, organised by the British aid agency Progressio.

“Election campaigning appears to have been competitive and pluralistic, with seven different parties and associations fielding candidates.”

However, the team said there were some concerns, the most serious being an “absence of a voter registry, and weaknesses in related safeguards”.

That included inadequate indelible ink used to stain fingers of those who voted, making polling “vulnerable to multiple voting.”

Results are due in coming days, with the observers to release a further statement after that.

Somaliland, a former British protectorate, won independence in 1960 but days later joined with Somalia. In 1991, after years of bitter war with the government in Mogadishu, it declared independence from the rest of the country.

While anarchic southern Somalia has been riven by years of fighting between multiple militia forces, Somaliland has enjoyed relative peace.


November 9, 2012

UK MP Sir Tony Baldry receives Somaliland Community Achievement Award 2012

UK MP Sir Tony Baldry receives Somaliland Community Achievement Award 2012

Sir Tony Baldry MP (centre) with Ali Aden Awale, Head of the Somaliland UK Mission (on his left) and Minister of Presidential Affairs, Mr HE Hersi Ali H Hassan (on his right)

Sir Tony Baldry MP, co-chair of the Somaliland APPG has been given the Somaliland Community Achievement Award for his work helping Somaliland gain re-recognition.
Sir Tony met briefly with a small group from the West London Somaliland Community, Somaliland Minister of Presidential Affairs, Mr HE Hersi Ali H Hassan and Head of the Somaliland UK Mission Ali Aden Awale at the House of Commons on Monday 5 November where he received his award.

October 11, 2012

International companies to begin oil exploration in Somaliland

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International companies to begin oil exploration in Somaliland 

Hargeisa-Genel Energy and other international firms are moving ahead with plans to explore for oil in Somaliland, a development that officials hope will lead to prosperity and job creation in the region.

In early December, Genel Energy will start taking aerial pictures of Somaliland’s Togdheer region to look for oil deposits, according to Somaliland’s Minister of Mining, Energy and Water Resources Hussein Abdi Duale.

“The aerial search will be followed by oil exploration work, which will start in the beginning of 2013,” Duale said October 3rd as he welcomed a delegation from Genel Energy, which is headquartered in Turkey.

The company will use seismic vibrators to explore for oil and will then drill wells, he said. “This will be the first time oil is drilled in the country in 20 years.”

Duale said Genel Energy reached a working arrangement with Britain-based oil company Asante Oil, which had an initial agreement with the ministry to search for oil.

“Genel Energy’s role in this work will be 70%, and we are happy they will start this work in Somaliland. We hope that oil will be discovered in our country so we can prosper,” he said.

The delegation visited Burao, capital of the Togdheer region, on October 4th to assess the security situation for Genel Energy’s future office there.

Australia-based oil company Jacka Resources, Ltd. will also work with Petrosoma, Ltd., based in the United Kingdom, to begin aerial exploration at the end of October and will photograph 10,000 square miles, said Petrosoma’s information officer in Hargeisa Mohamed Elmi Abdalle.

Abdalle said they will transition to ground exploration in January, with the initial phase of the project costing $10 million.

Said Mohamed Elmi, chairman of the parliamentary sub-committee on environment and natural resources, said that a bill on Somaliland oil exploration will be presented to parliament in December.

The Ministry of Mining, Energy and Water Resources has reached agreements in the past few years with four other foreign companies that work in the mineral and oil sectors, Elmi said.

Opportunities for job creation

Abdirahman Aden Aar, an economics professor at Hargeisa’s Civil Service Institute, said he hopes oil production will help reduce Somaliland’s unemployment rate.

“It will enhance the country’s economy and will create jobs for unemployed youth,” he said. “This will in turn enhance the living conditions of society.”

“Not many people are educated in oil matters in the country now, so production will result in bringing in foreign experts from whom the few local skilled workers will be able to learn from,” Aar said.

About 1,700 young people recently graduated from national and private universities and are now looking for work, Aar said. “There is an imbalance each year in the number of work opportunities and those seeking work,” he said. “So [oil exploration] can be an opportunity for job creation.”

September 27, 2012

Mass Graves exhumations begin in Somaliland by a Peruvian forensic anthropology team (EPAF)

Mass Graves exhumations begin in Somaliland by a Peruvian forensic anthropology team (EPAF)

A Peruvian forensic anthropology team has started on a project that is expected to reveal details of the widespread atrocities that were committed under the rule of dictator Siyad Barre against the people of Somaliland.

Truth behind enforced disappearances, extrajudicial executions, torture and other human rights violations of Somalilanders is about to be unearthed.

The Peruvian Forensic Anthropology Team – EPAF, has begun exhumations in in the country, as part of a five-year agreement signed with the government thus unearth the truth behind an estimated 60,000 civilian deaths and hundreds of victims of enforced disappearances from 1970 to 1991.

The EPAF team which will also training local forensic personnel and college students of biomedical sciences in order to avail of the country relevant forensic expertise.

The exhumations result from the enforced disappearances, extrajudicial executions, torture and other human rights violations perpetrated during the reign of dictator Siyad Barre whose underlings are credited with the over 60,000 deaths and hundreds of unexplained disappearances

One of the main perpetrators in this case is General Mohamed Ali Samatar, who was Vice President and Defense Minister of the Democratic Republic of Somalia from 1980 to 1986. In January 1987, Samatar took over as Prime Minister of Somalia, until the fall of Barre dictatorship in 1990.

During the cause of its duties, the Jose Pablo’s led EPAF team that also includes a number of international journalists is assisted by Mr. Abdiaziz Mohamed Diriye who was part of the team that brought Gen Ali Samatar to justice in the USA where he was found guilty of committing atrocities against Somalilanders and fine $21 Million.

While informing that most of the mass graves documented has a minimum of 12 corpses the national massacre investigations committee, which is supporting the EPAF, work, gave the following breakdown of mass graves so far identified:-

I. Hargeisa (Maroodi-Jeeh region) – 200 mass graves

II. Berbera (Sahil region) – 12 mass graves

III. Burao (Togdheer region) – 8 mass graves

IV. Sheikh (Sahil region) – 1 mass grave

V. Erigavo (Sanaag region) – 2 mass graves

VI. Arabsiyo (Gabile region) – 1 mass grave

The Peruvian Forensic Anthropology Team (EPAF) is a non-profit organization that promotes the right to truth, justice, and guarantees of non-repetition in cases of forced disappearance and extrajudicial execution. EPAF seeks to contribute to the consolidation of peace and democracy where grave human rights violations have taken place by working alongside the families of the disappeared to find their loved ones, gain access to justice, and improve the conditions affecting their political and economic development.

To achieve these goals, EPAF works in four principal areas: Forensic Investigation, Historical Memory, Forensic Training, and Human Development.

 Peruvian Forensic Anthropology (EPAF):

September 17, 2012

Somaliland Business Fund – Private Sector Re-Engagement Program Launched

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Somaliland Business Fund – Private Sector Re-Engagement Program Launched

Hargeisa– Somaliland Business Fund (SBF) was launched on September 15, 2012. The deadline for receipt of Concept Notes(initial applications) will be October 25, 2012. It is expected to award small grants at the end of december 2012 and large grants in early March, 2013. Four rounds are planned over the next 12 months with more rounds depending on the response from the business community and the quality of proposals.The SBF Term Sheet outlines how you can apply for a grant and explains how we assess applications.For further information on the Fund, call the Fund ‘hotline’ at  485-0660.

About the Fund

 —The $3.6 million Somaliland Business Fund (SBF) offers grants to the Somaliland private sector ranging from $5,000 to $150,000 for projects involving business development services and/or fixed assets. —Grants below $50,000 are considered small and processed in 2 months (following outreach phase) whereas large grants will be processed in 4-5 months. —Small grants are ‘matching’ i.e. 50:50 co-financing whereas the applicant contribution is reduced to 33% for 1st time applications. —Grants for large projects will be up to 50% i.e. determined on the basis of risks and returns – in this way we can get a higher leverage on the overall grant funds.


The Somaliland Business Fund (SBF) aims to mobilize the creative energy and resources of the private sector to strengthen private enterprises, increase incomes and create new sustainable employment opportunities and thereby improve the lives of Somalilanders.

Since 1991 Somaliland has established a democratic state, education and health systems. Somalilanders have proven themselves to be enterprising people and urban-centred business such as telecom has experienced phenomenal growth in the last 20 years.

Nevertheless, challenges remain such as a fast growing population, and high rates of unemployment and illiteracy. There are also issues surrounding environmental degradation and food security. Citizens need sustained economic growth to reduce poverty levels.

A well-developed private sector has an important role to play – it provides investment, employment, livelihoods and vital services. The country has great potential – it is strategically located with a long coast line, access to ports, an excellent international trade position and investment opportunities in agribusiness, fisheries, meat, salt, financial services mining and oil & gas.

The Somaliland diaspora is a mojor source of productive investment in the country but the private sector is constrained by inadequate infrastructure, high cost of fuel and energy, lack of access to credit and banking facilities etc. At the enterprise level, competiveness is hampered by producers’ lack of market know-how and/or modern machinery and equipment, and workers lack of technical skills.

As a result, consumers make do with low quality, limited range or high priced products.

The Fund will help businesses to upgrade and strengthen their capacity, to improve their productivity or become more innovative. This will not only be good for the business but alos have wider developmental impact  as benefits will flow to other suppliers/producers in the sector or value chain, as well as workers and consumers.


The Somaliland Business Fund (SBF) is one component of the Private Sector Re-Engagement Program Phase II that supports the investment climate, value chains (fisheries, gums & resins),

P-P-P (solid waste management, Berbera port), and the financial sector in Somaliland.

SomPREPII is financed by a World Bank Multi-Donor Trust Fund with contributions from the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA),

the UK Department for International Development (DfID) and the World Bank State and  Peace-building Fund (SPF).   Landell Mills – a development consutling firm in the UK – has been engaged to manage the Fund.

For more info visit The Somaliland Business Fund (SBF) website:-


June 23, 2012

UK Foreign Secretary welcomes historic talks between Somaliland and Transitional Federal Government of Somalia

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UK Foreign Secretary welcomes historic talks between Somaliland and Transitional Federal Government of Somalia

22 June 2012

Foreign Secretary William Hague: “I congratulate the Somali Transitional Federal Government and Somaliland representatives on agreeing the Chevening House Declaration yesterday.”

Representatives of Somaliland and the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia met at Chevening House on 20-21 June. The purpose of the talks, the first of their kind, was to establish a framework for future substantive talks. At the request of both parties the meeting was facilitated by the UK government, along with the EU and Norway.

Following the meeting the Foreign Secretary William Hague said:

“I congratulate the Somali Transitional Federal Government and Somaliland representatives on agreeing the Chevening House Declaration yesterday. We hope this will be a landmark in the process of clarifying their future relations and achieving peace, security and stability in the region. I congratulate both sides on their willingness to continue the talks and to cooperate on areas of common interest. I am pleased that the UK, along with Norway and the EU, was able to build on commitments at the London and Istanbul Conferences on Somalia to support dialogue by facilitating these talks. Britain will work with  international partners to support their efforts as they continue this important and historic dialogue.”

Foreign & Commonwealth Office:

June 2, 2012

Somaliland chief remembers start of Queen’s reign

Somaliland chief remembers start of Queen’s reign

Somaliland’s chief of chiefs Haji Abdi Hussein Yusuf sends Somaliland House of Elders’ congratulations and felicitations to the Queen

Somaliland’s chief of chiefs became a tribal leader 12 years before Queen Elizabeth II assumed the throne and he has clear memories of the day she was crowned.

coronation of Queen Elizabeth II 2 June 1953

My name is Haji Abdi Hussein Yusuf also known as Haji Warabe. I am 115 years old. I don’t know the exact year I was born, and I cannot read or write, but I know for sure that I am that age.

I remember the Queen’s coronation extremely well. In fact, I remember the coronation of her father King George VI [in 1937]. My uncle attended the ceremony in London.

During the coronation of Queen Elizabeth there was a huge celebration in Hargeisa. The whole town was practically shut down and lots of congratulatory telegrams were sent.

I still remember that wonderful day. I have been to London twice but unfortunately I didn’t meet the Queen on either occasion.

I first became a chief when Somaliland was a British protectorate. I worked closely with the British colonial officials, and was selected by them as the chief of chiefs. I worked very well with them for 20 years until independence in 1960.

George VI’s and Elizabeth II’s coronations were days of celebration

I liked the British a lot, mainly because they brought peace to our land. When they first arrived, the clans were at each other’s throats. We were killing and fighting each other, and the British put a stop to it.

To be honest, things didn’t change much for me after independence. My chiefly powers stayed pretty much the same, as both the British and the Somali politicians wanted the same thing from me – advice.

I was born outside Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland, in the area where the airport now is. At the time it wasn’t a town at all – it was wilderness.

I have been a nomad since the day I was born and I have been a chief for more than 70 years, since 1940 to be precise.

I am now the chief of chiefs, the elder of elders. The most senior traditional leader in the whole of Somaliland. My nickname is Warabe which means hyena.

Nomadic life

When I was four years old, I started looking after baby sheep and goats. When I was a bit older, my job was to herd young camels into their pens. Then I graduated to herding the mature camels, the most magnificent of all Somali beasts.

Somaliland: Self-declared republic

  • Formal British control after being taken from Egypt 1884
  • Re-united with Italian Somaliland to form Somalia 1960
  • Declares independence after overthrow of dictator Siad Barre 1991
  • Not recognised internationally
  • Referendum backs independence 2001

Even though I am now too old to actively herd my livestock, I still consider myself first and foremost a nomad, and I visit my herds whenever I can.

Nomadic life has changed dramatically over the decades. It used to be just us, our animals and the wilderness.

Now villages, roads and vehicles get in the way of everything. People are ruining the environment by cutting down all the trees for charcoal.

I will never retire as elder of the elders. I want to continue for as long as I can – for as long as my brain functions properly. People continue to respect me and I respect them.

Please will you pass our felicitations, congratulations and heartfelt blessings to her majesty, in particular from the House of Elders here in Somaliland.

Haji Abdi Hussein Yusuf was interviewed by BBC Somalia analyst Mary Harper. It aired on BBC World Service’s Newshour programme as part of series marking Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee. The series from 26 May to 1 June featured seven people from across the world who are over 60 and still working in their professions.


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