Somaliland247's Blog

February 28, 2012

VIDEO: XASUUQII 1988-KII EE HARGEYSA – War Crimes in Hargeisa 1988 Somaliland

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VIDEO: SLNTV FILM – XASUUQII 1988-KII EE HARGEYSA

Xasuuqii Loo Geystay shacabkii Somaliland 1988 Barnaamij ay Diyarisay TVga Qaranka

February 26, 2012

Strengthening the UK’s relationship with Somaliland


Strengthening the UK’s relationship with Somaliland

Somaliland President Ahmed Silanyo with UK Foreign Secretary William Hague

Foreign Secretary William Hague met President Silanyo of Somaliland on 22 February, the eve of the London Conference on Somalia.

UK foreign office -The Foreign Secretary and President Silanyo reaffirmed the close ties between the UK and Somaliland. They agreed that Somaliland was making progress in further embedding democracy and discussed issues of mutual interest, including cooperation on trade and to counter piracy. Over the next three years, the UK will provide up to £105 million in development support to Somaliland to promote prosperity, tackle poverty and consolidate progress on stability and democracy.

Speaking after their meeting, the Foreign Secretary said:

“I am delighted to see President Silanyo in London for the Conference on Somalia. Somaliland has valuable lessons to share from its own experience of building stability and democracy. I welcome President Silanyo’s participation at the Conference and am grateful for Somaliland’s continued co-operation in the fight against piracy and terrorism.”

Source: UK foreign office : http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/news/latest-news/?view=News&id=733871182

February 25, 2012

VIDEO: Somaliland President Ahmed Silanyo Speech at London Conference on Somalia


VIDEO: Somaliland President Ahmed Silanyo Speech at London Conference on Somalia

Breakaway Somaliland entity targets investors


Breakaway Somaliland entity targets investors

Feb 24 (Reuters) – The breakaway enclave of Somaliland, which boasts oil and gas potential, has set up a UK-linked corporation to act as an entry point for investors concerned the Somali territory’s lack of international recognition would stop contracts being enforced.

On a visit to London to attend a conference on Somalia, President Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo told Reuters that the purpose of the Somaliland Development Corporation was to “to attract companies and institutions which want to invest in our country.”

“Since we are not a recognised country, insurance is always a difficult problem in Somaliland so if this can help with that, it would be useful.”

Somaliland declared independence from Somalia in 1991 and has enjoyed relative stability compared to the rest of Somalia, including the holding of a series of peaceful general elections, but remains unrecognised internationally.

Silanyo did not indicate what economic sectors he wished investors to target. But energy and mining minister Hussein Abdi Dualeh said in November the northern enclave had hydrocarbon potential with a geology similar to basins containing 9 billion barrels across the Gulf of Aden.

A number of big oil companies with permits to operate there left what is now Somaliland in the late 1980s and declared force majeure during Somalia’s escalating civil conflict.

Several foreign banks have expressed interest in operating in Somaliland where they are keen to capitalise on its untapped market potential. Somaliland has no formal banking sector and its people rely heavily on remittances from diaspora communities in Europe, North America and the United Arab Emirates, as there are no ATMs or loan facilities.

A briefing paper distributed to journalists on the sidelines of the London conference said that despite Somaliland’s “achievements in stability and democracy, international donors cannot deal directly with its government, and foreign investors face uncertainty about whether contracts – the basis of secure business – can be enforced”.

The SDC circumvented the problem of non-recognition by providing “a transparent, accountable and enforceable means by which investors can participate in Somaliland ventures”.

A not-for-profit company had been set up in Britain to act as the founding vehicle, with Somaliland’s Minister of State Mohamed-Rashid Hassan and Britons Myles Wickstead, a former diplomat, and Jeremy Carver, a retired international lawyer, as founding directors.

The SDC is owned by an incorporated trust, the Somaliland Development Corporation Trust, the paper said.

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 can breed corruption.

Colonised by Britain while the rest of Somalia was under Italian administration, Somaliland declared independence in 1991 as the rest of the country disintegrated into anarchy.

(Reuters)

February 23, 2012

At London Conference on Somalia, President of Somaliland calls on the international community to recognize his country


At London Conference on Somalia, President of Somaliland calls on the international community to recognise his country

London, 23 February 2012 — The President of Somaliland, Ahmed Mohamed Mohamud Silanyo, today attended the London Conference on Somalia. The Conference included political leaders from over 50 countries and international organizations, including US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

In his statement to the Conference, the President said that peace and stability in Somalia “will not be achieved by the top-down imposition of a re-created centralized state,” noting the tendency of the international community to focus on approaches that over-emphasize the role of central government institutions in Mogadishu. He instead laid out his views on a bottom-up process to building peace and stability in Somalia, drawing lessons from what worked successfully in Somaliland in the early 1990s.
President Silanyo said that he also firmly believed “that supporting and recognizing Somaliland would help to promote stability and recovery in Somalia.” He referred to Somaliland’s own experience of building “peace through an indigenous bottom-up process, drawing on traditional conflict resolution methods and Islam.”

Somaliland rejects the view that Somalia should be reconstituted within the boundaries that existed up to 1991. In his statement, the President said that “[t]he people of Somaliland chose the path of independence more than 20 years ago and we cannot turn back. To do so would be to deny our recent history, our achievements, and our political reality.” He added that “[a]s a democratically elected government, we must respect our people’s wishes.” The President also called for “an inclusive international discussion about the future of Somaliland, launching a process leading to the recognition of our state.

Somaliland is a former British protectorate. It declared independence from Somalia in 1991 and has since enjoyed relative stability. It has held a series of democratic elections which have been deemed free and fair by international observers. Despite its impressive achievements, Somaliland has not been recognized internationally.

Seychelles And Somaliland Taking Steps Towards Prisoner Transfers


Seychelles President James Michel and President Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo of the Republic of Somaliland

London-Seychelles President James Michel and President Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo of the Republic of Somaliland have discussed, in a meeting in London today, the transfer of convicted Somali pirates currently in prison in Seychelles, to Somaliland to serve their sentences.
 The meeting was attended by the British Minister for Africa, Henry Bellingham, Seychelles Minister Home Affairs, Environment, Transport and Energy, Joel Morgan, Seychelles Minister for Foreign Affairs ,Jean-Paul Adam, and the British High Commissioner to Seychelles, Matthew Forbes, the Somaliland Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr Mohamed Andillahi Omar, as well as the UNODC Counter-Piracy Programme Coordinator Alan Cole.
The two leaders signed a joint statement to recognize their joint concern about the serious impact piracy has on the region and on international security, and agreed that it is vital to ensure pirates are brought to justice.
President Silanyo confirmed that both the Council of Ministers and Somaliland Parliament had now approved and passed the piracy and prisoner transfer legislation to allow the transfer of convicted pirates.
“This commitment between the Seychelles and Somaliland represents an important step forward in the development of a sustainable regional justice mechanism, that will see suspected pirates apprehended by naval forces at sea, prosecuted by regional states, and if convicted, imprisoned in the region,” said the statement from the two leaders.
President Michel and President Silanyo have also committed to securing the first transfer of 19 convicted pirates from Seychelles to Somaliland by the end of March 2012, in accordance with a Memorandum of Understanding agreed between the Republic of Somaliland and the Government of Seychelles, and based on Somaliland’s prison capacity in dealing with pirate transfers.

“ Somaliland is an important partner in the fight against piracy as it remains a pirate-free area of stability. We commend the Somaliland government for achieving this stability and for its efforts to share the burden of incarcerating the pirates,” said President Michel following the meeting.

Source: http://www.statehouse.gov.sc/index.php/2011-07-15-09-16-47/news-archive/910-seychelles-and-somaliland-taking-steps-towards-prisoner-transfers

London Conference on Somalia and Somaliland: Communique

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London Conference on Somalia: Communique

23 February 2012

Full text of the Communique from the London Conference on Somalia at Lancaster House on 23 February.

1. The London Conference on Somalia took place at Lancaster House on 23rd February 2012, attended by fifty-five delegations from Somalia and the international community.

2. We met at a key moment in Somalia’s history. Somalia is emerging from the worst   humanitarian crisis in the world.  African and Somali troops have pushed Al Shabaab out of Mogadishu and other areas. The transitional institutions come to an end in August 2012, and the people of Somalia want clarity on what will follow.  The situation remains precarious, and in urgent need of support from the international community.

3. Decisions on Somalia’s future rest with the Somali people. The Somali political leadership must be accountable to the people. The international community’s role is to facilitate Somalia’s progress and development: our strength is in unity and coordinated support to Somalia.  We noted the importance of listening to and working with Somalis inside and outside Somalia, and welcomed their engagement in the run-up to this Conference.

4. The Conference focussed on the underlying causes of instability, as well as the symptoms (famine, refugees, piracy, and terrorism). We, the international community, agreed: to inject new momentum into the political process; to strengthen AMISOM and help Somalia develop its own security forces; to help build stability at local level; and to step up action to tackle pirates and terrorists.

Political

5. We agreed that the Transitional Federal Institutions’ mandate ends in August 2012. There must be no further extensions. We welcomed the agreements that chart the way towards more representative government: the Transitional Federal Charter, the Djibouti Agreement, the Kampala Accord, and the Roadmap. We welcomed the progress represented by the Garowe Principles, endorsed the priority of convening a Constituent Assembly, and emphasised that the Assembly must be representative of the views of the Somali people of all regions and constituencies, and that women must be part of the political process.  In line with Garowe II, we agreed to incentivise progress and act against spoilers to the peace process, and that we would consider proposals in this regard before the Istanbul Conference in June.

6. The Conference recognised the need for the international community to support any dialogue that Somaliland and the TFG or its replacement may agree to establish in order to clarify their future relations.

7. We condemned terrorism and violent extremism, whether perpetrated by Somalis or foreigners. We called on all those willing to reject violence to join the Djibouti peace process.  We agreed to develop a defectors’ programme to support those who leave armed groups.

8. We emphasised the urgency of Somalia funding its own public services, and using its assets for the benefit of the people, as well as tackling corruption.  We welcomed the progress that has been made in establishing a Joint Financial Management Board to increase transparency and accountability in the collection and efficient use of public revenues, as well as international development aid, and which will help strengthen Somali public financial management institutions.  A declaration by the initial members of the JFMB is at Annex A.

9. Respect for human rights must be at the heart of the peace process. We called for action to address in particular the grave human rights violations and abuses that women and children face.  We emphasised that journalists must be able to operate freely and without fear.  Civilians must be protected. We called on the Somali authorities to take measures to uphold human rights and end the culture of impunity.  We agreed to step up international efforts including through the UN human rights architecture.

Security and Justice

10. We agreed that security and justice were essential both to a successful political process and to development.  Better security could only be achieved sustainably in parallel with better justice and the rule of law.

11. We expressed gratitude to those countries whose troops had served as peacekeepers and paid tribute to the achievements and sacrifices of AMISOM and other forces. We welcomed joint planning by the UN and African Union and reiterated the importance of effective command and control. We welcomed the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2036, which expands AMISOM’s mandate and raises the troop ceiling.  We encouraged AMISOM to ensure the protection of civilians.  We encouraged partners, especially new donors, to contribute to funding for AMISOM, including through the EU.

12. We agreed that, over time, Somalis should take over responsibility for providing their own security and develop their own justice systems to deal with the threats to their security and improve access to justice.  We noted that Somalis themselves must decide what security and justice arrangements they need.

13. We acknowledged the good work underway in supporting the Somali security and justice sectors. We agreed that we would build an international framework of partners in order to bring much needed coordination and focus to those efforts, underpinned by a set of principles at annex B, and working closely with the UN’s Joint Security Committee.

Piracy

14. We reiterated our determination to eradicate piracy, noting that the problem requires a comprehensive approach on land as well as at sea. We expressed our concern that hostages in Somalia are being held longer and with more use of violence.  We welcomed the work of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia.  We also welcomed the success of international military efforts, and remain committed to such efforts with robust rules of engagement and sufficient force generation.  We agreed that piracy cannot be solved by military means alone, and reiterated the importance of supporting communities to tackle the underlying causes of piracy, and improving the effective use of Somali coastal waters through regional maritime capacity-building measures.  We welcomed those initiatives underway and agreed to coordinate and support such initiatives better.  We called for full implementation of the Djibouti Code of Conduct and the adoption of an Exclusive Economic Zone.  We look forward to reviewing progress including at the Piracy Conference in the UAE in June.

15. We welcomed the efforts of partners in industry against piracy, and called for greater take-up of Best Management Practice on ships.  We welcomed current work on international guidance on the use of private armed security companies.

16. There will be no impunity for piracy.  We called for greater development of judicial capacity to prosecute and detain those behind piracy both in Somalia and in the wider region and recognised the need to strengthen capacity in regional states. We welcomed new arrangements, which enable some states and naval operations to transfer suspected pirates captured at sea for trial by partners across the Indian Ocean region, and if convicted, to transfer them to prisons in Puntland and Somaliland which meet international standards.  We noted the intention to consider further the possibility of creating courts in Somalia specialised in dealing with piracy.

17. We reiterated our determination to prosecute the kingpins of piracy.  Recognising work already undertaken, we agreed to enhance coordination on illegal financial flows and to coordinate intelligence gathering and investigations.  We noted the establishment of a Regional Anti-Piracy Prosecutions Intelligence Coordination Centre in the Seychelles.

Terrorism

18. Terrorism poses a serious threat to security in Somalia itself, to the region, and internationally.  It has inflicted great suffering on the Somali population.  We agreed to work together with greater determination, and with full respect for the rule of law, human rights, and international humanitarian law, to build capacity to disrupt terrorism in the region, and to address the root causes of terrorism.  We agreed on the importance of disrupting terrorists’ travel to and from Somalia, and on the importance of disrupting terrorist finances, and called on countries in the region to implement the Financial Action Task Force’s recommendations on combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism.  We noted that effective intelligence gathering and investigation, and support to the Somali criminal justice system, were critical to the fight against terrorism. We agreed to work with the Global Counter Terrorism Forum and other international and regional bodies to deliver this important work.

Stability and Recovery

19. We welcomed the success in some areas of Somalia in establishing local areas of stability, and agreed to increase support to build legitimate and peaceful authorities, and improve services to people living in these areas.  We acknowledged the importance of creating the conditions inside Somalia for durable solutions for the displaced, that respect international laws. We agreed that such efforts should promote local and regional cohesion, and converge with the national political process.

20. We considered the implementation of the Mogadishu Recovery and Stabilisation Plan important. We agreed to expand programmes to newly-recovered areas. We would focus support on enabling the delivery of immediate and sustainable benefits to ordinary Somali people: safety and security, economic opportunities and basic services.  We would promote effective and accountable local administrations, and support the resolution of disputes.

21. We agreed that all support to local areas of stability should be in accordance with the New Deal for engagement in fragile states recently adopted in Busan, and build on the stabilisation strategies prepared by both IGAD and the Transitional Federal Government. We endorsed a set of principles to guide international support to local areas of stability in Somalia (Annex C). We agreed to continue funding local stability through existing programmes, and noted the establishment of a new Stability Fund to which a number of us will contribute .

22. We agreed that Somalia’s long-term reconstruction and economic development depended on a vibrant private sector, and that both aid and diaspora finance could develop Somalia’s considerable potential in livestock, fisheries and other sectors.  We noted that stability was a prerequisite for most sustainable investments in infrastructure such as electricity, roads and water systems.  We looked forward to further discussion on all these issues at the Istanbul Conference.

Humanitarian

23. The Conference was preceded by a separate meeting on humanitarian issues co-chaired by the United Nations and the United Arab Emirates.  Notwithstanding the end of the famine, participants expressed concern at the ongoing humanitarian crisis, and committed to providing humanitarian aid based solely on need.  They agreed a set of conclusions on humanitarian issues and linking relief with longer-term recovery.

International coordination

24. We agreed to carry forward work agreed at London through the International Contact Group on Somalia (ICG), and welcomed the ICG’s decision in Djibouti to look at restructuring to become more effective. We recommended that the ICG establish working groups on the political process, security and justice, and stability and development. We noted that, within the ICG, a core group of engaged countries would drive progress in support of UN, AU and IGAD efforts.

25. We welcomed the efforts of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and the United Nations Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS) in facilitating progress in Somalia. We also welcomed the role of IGAD and the African Union, and the support of the League of Arab States, the European Union, and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.  We encouraged effective coordination between UN entities working on Somalia.  While recognising the still challenging security situation in Somalia, we welcomed UNPOS’       relocation to Mogadishu and agreed that we would aim to spend more time on the ground in Somalia in order to work more closely with Somalis on the challenging tasks ahead.

Conclusion

26. We expressed the hope that a new era of Somali politics, supported by the international community, will bring peace to Somalia. We are determined to place the interests of the Somali people at the heart of all our actions. We looked forward to the day when the situation in Somalia would have made sufficient progress for an international conference to be held there.  In the meantime, we will redouble our efforts to support the people of Somalia in their search for a better future for their country.

Source: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/news/latest-news/?view=PressS&id=727627582

London Rally for Somaliland International Recognition outside 10 Downing Street 22nd February 2012

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London Rally for Somaliland International Recognition outside 10 Downing Street 22nd February 2012

February 16, 2012

Women Building Peace in Somaliland


Women Building Peace in Somaliland

G40 women leaders group from the Greater Horn of Africa High Level Mission in Hargeisa, Somaliland.  Kjell Magne Bondevik, the former Prime Minister of Norway and a member of the Club de Madrid, presided today over a round table discussion in Hargeisa (Somalia) to hear the recommendations for peace and security in Somaliland from the G40, a group of women leaders in the Greater Horn of Africa. 

Hargeisa, February 15th, 2012 – The G40 group, formed in 2009 as part of the Club de Madrid’s project, “Women’s Leadership for Peace and Security,” is comprised of representatives from women’s organizations and defenders of human rights. These women come from seven countries in the Horn of Africa: Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somaliland, South Central and Puntland (Somalia), Sudan, South Sudan and Uganda.  Their goal is to work together to promote peace and security at a regional level.

The recommendations of the G40 summarize the strategic interests of women in Somaliland, and are directed towards the Somaliland authorities, religious leaders, the regional African Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the international community and civil society. Recommendations included request for governmental gender-sensitive budgeting and a quota of 25 percent female representation in government structures and parliament, as well as committees of reconciliation and peace negotiations. The G40 recognizes the valuable contribution of religious and traditional leaders in the peace process and have urged these leaders to defend women’s rights and recognize the state of women´s rights in Somali culture and in Islam. Also discussed and included were G40 Recommendations recognizing the need to raise awareness of the negative effects of piracy and the consumption of chat, and highlighting the importance of maintaining a neutral stance on clan issues while peace negotiations are in process.

The Vice President of the government of Somaliland, the Speaker of the House, the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, the Ministers of Planning and Religion, the First Lady and the mayors of neighboring cities attended the round table discussion led by former Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik. The discussions highlighted the importance of stability and peace for the maintenance of developmental processes and women’s roles as active agents in society.

Although considered a de facto State, not yet recognized by the international community, Somaliland has used a democratic process since 1991, which is a model of transition from the traditional clan system to a democratic, multiparty, and bicameral system. Since the last presidential election of 2010, the region has maintained stability and participatory development processes, making it stand out from neighboring regions. These trends are partly due to the high degree of government accountability to citizens, which stems from the purely local tax collecting system.

Nevertheless, this society still faces major challenges such as the absence of international recognition and foreign investment, high unemployment, low salaries for civil servants that could lead to an inefficient and corrupt system, lack of infrastructure, piracy and exploitation of resources, border conflicts and disputes of land ownership and violent extremism, which seem to affect all of Somalia´s regions.

The Club de Madrid´s project-sponsored trip to Hargeisa, titled “Women’s Leadership for Peace and Security,” was the ninth mission to take place since the project began in 2009 in the Greater Horn of Africa and in the Andean region. The mission was launched with support from the Australian (AusAID) and Belgian Governments, in conjunction with the Institute for Security Studies (ISS, South Africa) and Isis-Women International Cross-Cultural Exchange (Isis-WICCE Uganda). Former Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik reiterated the project´s goals to those in attendance, emphasizing the need to encourage the participation of women and to recognize women’s contribution in the political process of peace building in the context of the international commitment to Resolution 1325 of the United Nations Security Council.

The Club de Madrid: http://www.clubmadrid.org/en/noticia/women_building_peace_in_somaliland

February 13, 2012

PetroTrans negotiates to extend Somaliland port


PetroTrans negotiates to extend Somaliland port

By Mark Anderson

HARGEISA |

Feb 13 (Reuters) – PetroTrans, a Chinese oil and gas producer could conclude preliminary negotiations with Somaliland for the extension of the key port of Berbera by the end of this year, but has scrapped plans to build a liquefied natural gas facility.

Philip Hirschler, a legal adviser for PetroTrans, said from London the firm planned to extend Berbera port’s container and mineral export services following an agreement it signed with the government of the breakaway enclave of Somalia last August.

The Horn of Africa has been attracting increased investments in exploration by foreign oil firms, due to its proximity to east Africa, where oil has been discovered in Uganda and natural gas found in Tanzania.

The Hong Kong based company had planned to build gas pipelines from the field and at least two trains and LNG tankers for possible export of the product.

“Some of the project that was initially proposed such as the LNG facility, could not go into Berbera because it would be impossible to get any insurance on the facility,” Hirschler said.

“We’re still talking about (developing) a container port, a dry cargo port, and a mineral export port, once there’s sufficient minerals development in Ethiopia or further west.”

Ali Omer Mohamed, General Manager of Berbera port, told Reuters he expected the completion of preliminary negotiations with PetroTrans on Berbera’s extension by the end of this year.

“I expect studies, contracts and agreements to be finished this year,” Mohamed said.

PetroTrans signed four petroleum exploration and production sharing agreements with the Ethiopian Ministry of Mines in July 2011, paying $130 million for the rights to explore Blocks 3, 4, 11, 12, 15, 16, 17 and 20 in the Calub and Hilala Gas fields in the country’s eastern Ogaden region.

Somaliland is an internationally unrecognised state that declared independence from Somalia in 1991, and hopes the deal will create thousands of jobs, raise its profile and attract more investments into the region.

Hirschler said PetroTrans had approached neighbouring Djibouti on whether it could build an LNG facility there, but discussions were still in an early stage. Djibouti serves as a port for its landlocked neighbour Ethiopia.

Hirschler said PetroTrans was also negotiating with South Sudan’s government to build an oil pipeline from South Sudan oilfields to the Port of Djibouti.

South Sudan, which seceded from Sudan last year, said on Thursday it was considering building an oil pipeline through Ethiopia and Djibouti. South Sudan produces about 350,000 barrels of oil per day and exports via Sudan to a Red Sea port.

Reuters: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/13/somaliland-port-idUSL5E8DD4VG20120213

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