Aug 09, 2011

Somaliland: Twenty Years of Progress Lauded by UN Representative

Augutine Mahiga, UN Special Representative to Somalia, met with Vice President Ismael to discuss the drought currently ravaging the Horn of Africa.  Mahiga emphasized good governance practices as the main deterrent of violence and starvation in the country, but recognized that the threat of drought remains for Somaliland citizens and officials.

Below is an article published by Somaliland Press:

Somaliland Vice President Abdirahman Abdilahi Ismael (Saylici), today [9 August 2011] welcomed United Nations Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Political Office for Somalia and Somaliland, Augutine Mahiga who arrived in the city on Saturday [6 August 2011] for talks with the Government.

Part of the talks between VP Saylici and Mr. Mahiga involved ways that Somaliland could avoid the problems that are facing the Old Somalia in the South. These included but were not limited to actions that can be taken to safe guard against the drought that is ravaging the south and the ensuing famine. They also discussed security matters with emphasis on deterrence of terrorist acts and piracy and the spread of armed extremist that might see the current situation in the South as an invitation to move their diabolical plans further North.

Mr. Mahiga was delighted by the warm welcome that he received on behalf of the President, Ahmad Mohamed Mohamoud (Silanyo), who is currently on his way to China for high-level talks with representatives of that government. He also passed on salutations from the Secretary General for the people of Somaliland and to Mr. Silanyo himself, who also happened to bump into him at the Independence Ceremony of South Sudan earlier last month. He congratulated the country and its people on the strides they have taken since unilaterally declaring independence from South Somalia in 1991 and on how good governance has moved Somaliland away from the violence and lawlessness that is plaguing the South. He then went onto business matters and stated that the aim of his trip to do fact-finding on the situation on the ground in Somaliland concerning the drought in the Horn of Africa.

Mahiga stated that East Africa is being ravaged by the worst drought in over 60 years and because of that the international community has begun massive fund raising drives so as to alleviate the burden on the governments in the Horn. He concluded that the effects of this drought have in fact reached Somaliland but that because of the stabile political and security situation the worst hasn’t touched the people of Somaliland.

The Vice President followed up by stating that Somaliland has felt the effects of the drought, be it the acute water shortage that has been effecting some parts of the country, to the loss of livestock by the nomadic herders, to the profiteers that have raised prices on commodities so as to take advantage of the drought and also the Holy month of Ramadan. Since the resources of the Government are limited he appealed for co-operation in these fields from the international community. He concluded that the situation on the ground can change drastically and that if steps are not taken to stem these problems in Somaliland they could in theory deteriorate to the point of South Somalia’s situation.