Somaliland: Britain Supports Electoral Progress
A three member British government delegation left Hargeisa on Wednesday [22 April 2009] afternoon following a brief visit to Somaliland.
The delegation led by the British Ambassador to Ethiopia, Mr. Myles Wickstead, arrived in Hargeisa on Tuesday [21 April 2009] to express their congratulations to the people, the government, the opposition parties and the electoral commission of Somaliland for the presidential election held last April .
Accompanying the ambassador were his wife Mrs. Sheilagh Wickstead, David Bell, first secretary in the British High Commissioner in Nairobi and Mr. Owen Richards, Political Secretary at the British Embassy in Addis Ababa.
During their stay in Hargeisa, the delegates were warmly welcomed by Somaliland's officials, including President Dahir Rayale Kahin, leaders of the opposition parties, Election Commissioners and members of the civil society organizations. Somalilanders in general expressed gratitude and appreciation of the British government’s support for their country’s democratization process, and Somaliland's press also ran positive commentaries on the visit.
The British Ambassador Mr. Wickstead disclosed that his government would provide financial assistance to Somaliland’s forthcoming parliamentarian elections. He also stressed that the Parliamentary elections be held as soon as possible.
Mr. Wickstead pointed out that Britain was ready to step up assistance for Somaliland by providing support for health and education sectors as well as capacity building.