Somaliland: President Farmajo’s Tour is Irrelevant to Us- Dr Saad Ali
The government of Somaliland does not pursue activities geared with ill intent towards others be those neighbouring or in far away places. Similarly we expect others to treat us the same, so said the Somaliland minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation Dr Saad Ali Shire during an exclusive interview with Geeska Afrika in Hargeisa. Among issues discussed were the impacts to Somaliland as pertains I. the recent visit to the UAE by president Farmajo of Somalia , II. Postponed elections vis ‘a’ vis international relations and III. The withdrawal of the Hargeisa based government from international donor conference for Somalia to be held in London this May. Geeska Afrika – Is it possible that the recent visit to the UAE by the president of Somalia might impact negatively on the status of the Emirati military base in Berbera, since it was a major issue of his sojourn to Abu Dhabi and subsequent discussions with he Emir and deputy army chief of staff.
Foreign Minister – President Farmajo went to the UAE on matters related to his country but not on behalf of Somaliland which he is neither president nor have any authority over. At the same time it is important for many to grasp that the UAE military base deal is a forgone conclusion having initially been agreed upon by the governments in Hargeisa and Abu Dhabi not to mention subsequent approval by a joint s Deion of the Somaliland parliament. So let me reiterate that nobody and nobody at all from a foreign country can interfere in a deal entered legally between Somaliland and the UAE. On the other hand if the Said or any other as or shall be entered by agreement between Somalia and the UAE or others then be assured that Somaliland will not be seen complaining here and there. For we are a fully functional country that adheres to international norms or relations between nations even devoid of international recognition Q. First is it confirmed that Somaliland has been removed from list of countries invited to the Somalia donor conference hosted by the U.K. In London this coming May, purportedly for repeated elections postponement? If so what are repercussions for non participation considering the importance of the conference in which donors are expected to pledge next four years development funding? A- First and foremost the May conference in London has nothing to do with Somaliland since it is specific to issues internally Somalia. Coming in the heels of the earlier four ones held specifically for Somalia and without the participation of Somaliland, it is therefore obvious the outcome shall not impact either positively or negatively on Somaliland In this context it is also apparent that Somaliland elections have nothing to do with the alleged withdrawal of invitation to the conference that we would not have attended whatsoever Q- On the various occasions that presidential and parliamentary elections have been postponed with subsequent tenure extension for both branches, the international community has always reacted sharply and negatively through numerous communiques in which they clearly state disapproval Can this be construed as indication that a dent exists as pertains Somaliland’s international relations?
A- While the government and people of Somaliland are known for their desire for a successfully democratization process, yes a number of planned elections in the recent past have not been held thus delayed. That being so, the postponements were necessitated by some unavoidable factors clearly understood and Acknowledged by our IC partners. Being in tandem with all actions leading to the delays, and despite its justified castigations, Somaliland continues to maintain cordiality with all its democratization , development , humanitarian and diplomatic etc partners. This can be ascertained by intensified quest for international recognition as a sovereign nation which is garnering broad support globally. Q- Though the national election commission, three national political parties were unanimous in postponing presidential el toons as a result of drought severity in the country, van you affirm that the Somaliland democratization partners are not only willing but ready to continue funding the forthcoming international elections?
A- Sure it is true that. The decision was taken in concert not to mention that it was the first time for political parties to agree in any election delays. Similarly the Guurti, Somaliland’s upper chamber of parliament made a pen apt decision considering that the time was and is being utilized to solicit for and subsequent distribution of drought relief to suffering citizens all over Somaliland. We utilized the availed duration properly since most people worldwide are aware of the drought situation and actually offering support. Geeska Afrika – Finally minister what is your take on the alleged motion against her he UAE military base in Berbera table in the Mogadishu based Somalia parliament? Foreign Minister – unfortunately the motion is purported to have been tabled in Mogadishu Somalia while the base is in Berbera Somaliland, therefore my take is that this is an exercise in futility
Geeska Afrika Thank you minister for your time and thoughts Dr Saad Ali Shire – Thanks for having me and welcome