Somaliland: Leader speaks about security and elections
Below is an article published by Garowe Online :
The president of Somalia's breakaway republic of Somaliland has spoke about wrangles in the upper house, opposition groups’ allegations and recent insecurity in the Sool region. In a press conference held at the presidential palace in the capital Hergeisa, President Dahir Riyale Kahin said the elections will be hold as per the plans, rebuffing claims from the oppositions of delaying tactics.
"No one will stop the elections but am warning about such sentiments. We must uphold our principles," he said, while refereeing to assertions from the opposition groups.
He accused the opposition of propagating election issues in a bid to use it in their plan to destabilize the country. President Riyale pointed accusing fingers particularly on the KULMIYE party and its leader Axmed Siilaanyo, currently in the US, saying it is fronting the Somaliweyn agenda in foreign trips.
Commenting about the recent blasts that killed senior Somaliland security officials in Las Anod, the capital Sool region, the president said they are part of destabilizing mechanism perpetuated by groups that are against Somaliland’s existence. "The blast that occurred in Las Anod is just the same as the one which happened here (Hergeisa). The people behind the blasts, whom I can't name, are against our existence," he added. He continued: "There are certain things that are meant to draw our attentions. It is unfortunate for the opposition to claim that the government was behind blasts which was targeted on the country even the one that rocked the presidential palace. The government investigates and finds ways to prevent such acts, and we are warning the population about it."
On the other hand, President Riyale refuted claims that his government is behind internal strife in the country’s upper house, "The government is behind the squabbling, in fact, we are in the forefront for the peace in our country. The government is supporting every agency to perform its constitutional duties accordingly," he said while urging parliamentary the upper house committee to play key role in ending the quarrel.
His remarks come as presidential elections, which have been postponed twice in the past, are to be held in April 2010. The former British protectorate, which declared its independence from the larger Horn of African nation in 1991 after the collapse of central government, has been enjoying peace and stability but lacked international recognition.