Somaliland247's Blog

November 25, 2011

Somaliland Plans Law Allowing Foreign Banks to Set Up Operations

Filed under: NEWS — somaliland247 @ 11:51 am
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Somaliland Plans Law Allowing Foreign Banks to Set Up Operations

By Mark Anderson

Nov. 23 (Bloomberg) — Somaliland, a breakaway state in northern Somalia, will pass a banking law early in 2012 establishing a central bank and enabling foreign lenders to begin operations, the speaker of parliament said.

The Central Bank of Somaliland Act, which replaces the 1997 Central Banking Rules and Regulations Act, was presented to lawmakers today in Hargeisa, the capital, where some objections were raised, Abdirahman Mohamed Abdillahi said in an interview today in the city.

“There are few MPs that object to the Act and those who do are only concerned with individual articles,” Abdillahi said. “We are confident that the Act will be passed early next year.”

Somaliland, a former British colony, declared independence from Somalia in 1991, following the ouster of former Somali dictator Mohammed Siad Barre. No sovereign state has formally recognized the area as independent.

Last month, Banque pour le Commerce et l’Industrie-Mer Rouge Chief Executive Officer Ould Amar Yahya held talks with the government about obtaining a license, according to Saad Moussa Djama, BCI’s representative in Somaliland. The lender, based in Djibouti, has had a representative office in Hargeisa since February 2009.

The bank “expects to obtain a full licence immediately after the Commercial Banking Act is passed,” Djama said in an interview on Nov. 21.

CAC Bank, a state-owned Yemeni lender, and Dahabshiil, the Dubai-based money-transfer service, have also contacted Somaliland’s central bank about establishing a presence in the country, Governor Abdi Dirir said in an interview on Nov. 21.

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Somaliland Government Expects Agreement With Ophir Energy ‘Within Weeks’

Filed under: NEWS — somaliland247 @ 11:42 am
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Somaliland Government Expects Agreement With Ophir Energy ‘Within Weeks’

 

Somaliland, the semi-autonomous region in northern Somalia, expects to conclude a project- sharing agreement with Ophir Energy Plc, amid efforts to develop the territory’s potential oil deposits, an official said.

The accord is currently being approved by Somaliland’s Council of Ministers and will be followed by the granting of approval to begin seismic surveys, Mining, Energy and Water Resources Minister Hussein Abdi Dualeh said in an interview.

“The process should be finalised within a few weeks,” Dualeh said by phone from Hargeisa, the capital, today.

Somaliland announced earlier this month that it will abandon efforts to reengage investors who left more than two decades ago at the outbreak of civil war in Somalia. Instead, the region initiated an “open door policy”, inviting potential investors to approach the government about onshore and offshore oil exploration. Tullow Oil Plc (TLW), the London-based explorer with the most licenses in Africa, expressed an interest in a licence and “indicated that they plan to visit Somaliland,” Dualeh said.

Tullow officials are due to arrive in the country on Nov. 28 for further talks, he said.

Ophir, along with companies including U.K.-based Asante Oil and Prime Resources, hold exploration licenses that have been issued since 2003. Ophir is expected to complete seismic surveys by May 2013, Dualeh said.

“Once this is done, we expect to them to go to the next exploration period, which would require Ophir to drill some wells,” he said.

Independence

Somaliland’s previous attempts to encourage exploration in the region foundered because of perceptions among investors that the country has the same security concerns as Somalia. The former British colony declared independence from Somalia in 1991, following the ouster of former Somali dictator Mohammed Siad Barre. No sovereign state has formally recognized the area as independent.

Investor concerns about security are misplaced, said Hassan Mohamoud, a spokesman for Asante Oil, which has a staffed office in Hargeisa.

“The communities are aware of the benefits that come with oil and they are the ones inviting companies to explore,” Mohamoud said in an interview yesterday. “The risk is minimal.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Anderson in Hargeisa via Nairobi at pmrichardson@bloomberg.net.

November 19, 2011

The U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton honoring Somaliland woman, Shukri Ismail who have dedicated her live to promoting peace


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The U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton honoring Somaliland woman, Shukri Ismail who have dedicated her live to promoting peace

Shukri Ismail (Shukri Haji Bandare), Chairperson of Candlelight, Somaliland

Shukri Ismail of Somaliland is part of four women U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is honoring who have dedicated their lives to promoting peaceful, just and open societies in some of the world’s most conflict-affected regions.

Sihem Bensedrine
Chief Editor, Radio Kalima, Tunisia

Shukri Ismail
Chairperson, CandeLight, Somaliland

Claudia Paz y Paz Bailey
Attorney General, Guatemala

Sima Samar
Chairperson, Independent Human Rights Commission, Afghanistan

http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/support/event-calendar/award-dinner-2011.aspx

Shukri Ismail, Chairperson of Candlelight,Somaliland will receive her Award from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodhman Clinton, the International Crisis Group’s (ICG) 2011 In Pursuit of Peace Award on Friday, 16thDecember 2011 in New York.

The award is given for her dedication and her contribution to development work and promotion of peace in some of the world’s most conflict-affected regions.

Shurki is one of the founders of Candlelight and its chairperson and she (together with her team and staff) has been instrumental in making Candlelight one of the largest and most impactful organizations in Somaliland.

Also, a founding member of NAGAAD Network, the largest women network in Somaliland, Shukri has been very active campaigner for women’s rights.

Shuikri is also involved in democratization, peace building.  She served as a member of Somaliland Electoral Commission and a current member of African Democracy Forum committee which is based in South Africa.

She also a member of Somaliland Independent Scholar’s Group – a group which follows closely the current issues arising from the democratization process and disseminates its positions papers  through the media outlets.



http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/
support/event-calendar/award-dinner-2011.aspx

http://candlelightsomal.org/


EVENT DETAILS

Date Friday, 16th December, 2011
Program 6.00pm VIP Reception, 6.30pm General Reception, 7.30pm Dinner
Location Pier Sixty, Chelsea Piers, West 23rd Street and the Hudson River, New York City

Black Tie Optional. Reservations are limited.

Master of
Ceremonies:
Wolf Blitzer – Anchor, The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, CNN
Entertainment: Sarah McLachlan
Event Chairs: Frank Giustra
Rita E. Hauser
Marc Lasry
Mark Malloch-Brown
Honorary
Chairs:
Michelle Bachelet
Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director, UN WomenGro Harlem Brundtland
Former Prime Minister of NorwayColin L. Powell
Former U.S. Secretary of State

November 8, 2011

Ohio judge won’t dismiss Somali torture claim suit


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Ohio judge won’t dismiss Somali torture claim suit


Tuesday, November 08, 2011

A federal judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit alleging torture claims against a former Somali military colonel who lives in Ohio.

Defendant Abdi Aden Magan (AHB’-dee AH’-den MAH’-gen) argues the lawsuit was filed in the wrong country and too long after when his accuser says the abuse occurred.

Former human rights advocate in Somalia Abukar Hassan Ahmed (ah-BOO’-kar HAHS’-sahn AK’-med) sued Magan in April 2010, alleging the colonel oversaw his detention and torture there in 1988.

U.S. District Court Judge George Smith on Monday ruled Ahmed had standing to sue in the United States and the time limit for filing such a lawsuit hadn’t expired.

The judge relied in part on a motion from the U.S. Department of State saying Magan shouldn’t be allowed to claim immunity from the allegations.

1)Former Chief of Somali NSS faces lawsuit for torture

2)US State Department: former Somali colonel living in US can’t claim immunity in torture suit

3)Somali Torture Claim: Alleged Victim Says He Still Suffers

VIDEO

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_SOMALIA_TORTURE_CLAIM?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

November 7, 2011

Horn of Africa: A lesson in stability from Somaliland

Filed under: NEWS — somaliland247 @ 11:59 pm
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A lesson in stability from Somaliland

Recognition of Somaliland will have positive consequences for the Horn of Africa.

LEWIS CENTER, Ohio — Last month Al Shabaab, the Somali fundamentalist Islamist group with ties to Al Qaeda, claimed responsibility for a deadly truck bombing in Mogadishu in which more than 85 Somali students died as they waited in line to see if they had won scholarships to study in Turkey.

Somalia arguably is the world’s most ungovernable country, and a graveyard for many of the United Nations’ unsustainable policy initiatives.

But in reality Somalia is three different entities: Somaliland, Puntland and south central Somalia, where the current humanitarian disaster is unfolding.

Somaliland, the northern territory of Somalia, has shown itself to be a lawful and productive nation. Somaliland’s order contrasts dramatically with the rest of Somalia, which has collapsed into clan-driven violence, terrorism, piracy and lawlessness.

The chronic instability in Somalia highlights that America and the West must find a new pragmatic approach which reflects the new reality on the ground.

Luckily, an overlooked partner for peace and stability already exists — Somaliland, which re-declared its independence in 1991. It was briefly independent in 1960.

More: UN declares famine in Somalia

Right now the United States is expending vast resources supporting a fictional Somali government led by Sheik Sharif Ahmed. While for political reasons, the Obama administration has refused to support and recognize a source of strength in the area — the stable, functioning and democratic entity of Somaliland, which stands for freedom and democracy.

I believe recognizing democratic Somaliland would have positive consequences not just for Somalia, but for the whole Horn of Africa region. It offers a platform to stabilize southern Somalia, a bulwark against radical forces in the region and a reliable partner to combat the piracy that is the scourge of the Gulf of Aden and the Indian ocean.

Somaliland’s success shows the world that Somalis have the ability to manage their own affairs, reconcile various clans, compromise and govern themselves, with little or no outside help.

Somaliland as an example that could provide the rest of southern Somalia’s rival clans an incentive to stop fighting among themselves in the interest of their own citizens, to reach out adversaries for the sake of ending the civil strife, and to begin moving toward good governance.

More: Aid workers kidnapped by Al Shabaab

If southern Somali clans used the Somaliland model, they could develop a more stable society, which would start to alleviate the heavy burden the Somali refugees had on its neighbors, especially Kenya, which is hosting more than 600,000 people who have fled the current famine and the violence in southern Somalia.

Granting full diplomatic recognition for Somaliland would help it rebuild its shattered economy. With a stable economy, Somaliland would become stronger and be able to provide more resources for education, health, agriculture, water and economic development, which would improve the livelihood of its people, especially for young people.

This would be bad news for Al Shabaab, which controls much of central and southern Somalia, because its Al Qaeda-style extremist ideology would diminish.

More deadly drone attacks or proxy African troops alone will not dismantle or defeat Al Shabaab in Somalia.

Somalia’s chronic instability is causing piracy to thrive in many small ports in its coastline, and is costing the world economy billions every year.

Puntland, a semi-autonomous region in eastern corner of Somalia, is the hub of the pirates that now plague much of the Gulf of Aden and the north Indian Ocean.

But Somaliland, which has a nascent coast guard that has cracked down on piracy on its 585 miles of coastline, is willing to contribute significantly with the United States and the West efforts to combat piracy in the Gulf of Aden — one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.

If it were to become a member of the international community, Somaliland would be able to equip and modernize its counter-piracy operations and could become a reliable partner to the international community in eliminating piracy.

Recognizing Somaliland would not be the negative step some US State Department diplomats, particularly those who are experts on Africa, think it might be. I believe if America were to take the lead, many other countries would quickly follow.

It is time for President Barack Obama to lead the world and do the right thing by accepting the viable and sustainable solution — an independent and sovereign Somaliland.

Anything else would mean keeping the status-quo: more terrorism and chaos in Somalia, which could threaten the whole region. And for democratic Somaliland it would mean unjust delay for its diplomatic recognition and fewer resources to develop its economy. It would also leave the country to fend for itself from menacing piracy and extremism.

Ali Mohamed is co-founder of the Horn of Africa Freedom Foundation, a grass-roots level organization advocating for the advancement of freedom and democratic values for the indigenous people of the Horn of Africa.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/opinion/111107/opinion-lesson-stability-somaliland

November 5, 2011

Somaliland benefit from Jurys Inn upgrade

Filed under: NEWS — somaliland247 @ 7:49 pm
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Somaliland benefit from Jurys Inn upgrade

By Salina Patel

HOTEL staff donated hundreds of televisions to an organisation which helps change the lives of less fortunate people in Somaliland.

Jurys Inn Heathrow recently upgraded its screens and in return gave away 350 analogue television sets previously used, to the Almis Women’s Organisation.

These will then be shipped to Somaliland and distributed to various not-for-profit organisations in the country.

The hotel has supported the Almis since it started in 2009, and has donated furniture, textiles, and clothing which has benefitted schools and orphanages over the years.

The previous donation saw hotel sweatshirts and uniforms given to a group of men in August 2011.

Donal Stafford, Jurys Inn general manager, said: “It is satisfying to see the determination of the Almis Women’s Organization to get aid to the less fortunate in Somaliland is paying off; we at Jurys Inn Heathrow are happy that we can support this worthy cause in any way that we can.

“Supporting the plight of those who are less fortunate both in the UK and abroad is important to the employees at Jurys Inns.”

http://www.skyport-heathrow.co.uk/2011/11/somaliland-benefit-from-jurys.html

November 1, 2011

Somaliland says has huge, unexplored oil potential


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Somaliland says has huge, unexplored oil potential

CAPE TOWN Nov 1 (Reuters) – The break-away African nation of Somaliland has huge hydrocarbon potential but is virtually unexplored, an African oil conference heard on Tuesday.

Hussein Abdi Dualeh, Somaliland’s mining and energy minister, said the country was off investment radar screens not least because many people did not even know it existed.

But he told delegates at the annual Africa Oil Week series of conferences that geography and geology highlighted its oil and gas potential.

“There is very high potential for considerable reserves of hydrocarbons in Somaliland but it is one of the least explored countries in the region,” he said.

He said even by the East Africa’s under explored standards, Somaliland was a frontier with only 21 wells drilled.

But he noted that the geology of Somaliland was similar to oil-rich areas across the Gulf of Aden.

East Africa have yet to produce a commercially viable oil source but gas discoveries off Mozambique and Tanzania have prompted lots of interest though the region remains largely unexplored.

Oil discoveries would be a cash boon to Somaliland though hydrocarbons have often proven to be a curse to African nations as the opaque nature of the industry often breeds corruption.

Somaliland declared its independence from Somalia in 1991 but has not been formally recognised internationally. (Reporting by Ed Stoddard; editing by James Jukwey)

http://af.reuters.com/article/southAfricaNews/idAFL5E7M11NC20111101

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