May 28, 2008

Somaliland: Airport Development Shows International Engagement

Sample ImageFunding from the British Government and expertise from the International Organization for Migration have come together in an important upgrade to Hargeysa airport.

Below is an article released by Qaran News and published by the Somaliland Times:

The United Kingdom Ambassador to Ethiopia, H.E. Norman Ling today [24 May 2008] formally opened two new additions at Egal International airport in Hargeysa. The two new areas consist of a new departure/arrival lounge and a new immigration area.

The two new additions are the first phase in a long term plan to update the immigration services at Somaliland's major international points of travel, the Egal International Airport in Hargeysa and the port of Berbera. The proposed second phase consist of plans to update similar areas at Borama and Buroa airports, as well as, the two major border centres at Togwajale and Lowyo-adde.

These new development projects have been funded by the government of the United Kingdom and are being implemented by the international travel agency, IOM [International Organization for Migration].

The ceremony at the Egal International Airport, the first phase in updating Somaliland's immigration facilities was attended by several members of the Somaliland government, The Commander of the Somaliland Police Force, the Mayor of Hargeysa, diplomats from the British embassy in Addis Ababa, senior officers from the Somaliland immigration service and members from IOM.

The head of the Somaliland Immigration Service, Mr Mohamed Nur Osman gave a brief background to the current developments at Egal International airport and port of Berbera. Mr Mohamed Nur highlighted Somaliland's efforts to update its immigration facilities to meet the needs of the people of Somaliland and visitors to the country.

Mr Mohamed Nur thanked the government of the United Kingdom for providing the necessary funds for these projects to go ahead, as well as, the expertise from IOM which allowed Somaliland immigration officers from across the country to increase their knowledge of modern facilities, including computers and international immigration procedures.

The Somaliland Minister of Civil Aviation, Mr Ali Mohamed Waran-adde also spoke at the ceremony to open the two new additions at Egal International airport. Mr Ali Mohamed also thanked the United Kingdom government for providing the means for these projects to take place. Mr Ali Mohamed also spoke of the strong ties between the two nations.

Responding on behalf of his delegation, Ambassador Ling stated that it's the intention of his government to participate in development projects in Somaliland. Ambassador Ling declared that although this is his first visit to Somaliland since his appointment as Her Majesty's Ambassador to Ethiopia, the traditional links between Somaliland and the United Kingdom have always been acknowledged.

Ambassador Ling continued by stating that his government has been providing over $15 Million dollars in development assistance to Somaliland which will continue and may be increased in the near future.

Other speakers at the ceremony to open the new additions at Egal International airport in Hargeysa included Ms. Adrienne Testa from IOM, who gave a brief presentation of the new facilities and a dateline for the expected completion of the second phase of the development.

Ms.Testa also gave a report on the co-operation between the Somaliland Immigration Services and IOM which is heading into its second year.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, the Somaliland Minister of Home Affairs, Mr Abdillahi Ismail Ali gave a brief speech to highlight the development of Somaliland's immigration and border services. Mr Abdillahi Ismail stated that Somaliland has achieved many remarkably things in the 17 years since reclaiming its sovereignty and that it is time for the international community to recognise its achievements, and support its position as the most stable country in the region.