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NOVIB Accused Of Meddling In Samo-Talis's Affairs
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NOVIB Accused Of Meddling In Samo-Talis Affairs

Hargeisa, Jan 24, 2004 (SL Times) – Ahmed A. Kahin who is a board
member of the human rights group Samo-Talis has accused the Dutch NGO
NOVIB of meddling in the internal affairs of his organization.
In a letter dated Oct 22, 2003 and sent to Samo-Talis by NOVIB, the
Dutch NGO refers to discussions it had held with Samo-Talis about an
un-named board member.

In this letter the board member is identified only as a one who
“played a negative role” during two NOVIB related events; a symposium
for Somali Civil Society Organizations held at Hargeisa in Feb 2003
and a decision taken by Somaliland's Planning Ministry in early August
the same year, banning NOVIB from working in the country.

NOVIB’s letter indicated that Samo-Talis disagreed with the board
member in question. However NOVIB went on to emphasize the fact that
Samo-Talis took no action against the “board member”.

Mr. Kahin says he was the board member purported to have played a
“negative role”.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Mr. Kahin said he was dismayed that
NOVIB interfered in Samo-Talis's internal affairs to the extent of
demanding his expulsion from the organization’s governing board.
Mr. Kahin said NOVIB could have been displeased with him in connection
with concerns voiced during the Feb symposium by 14 Somaliland
organizations that they were not consulted with in advance with regard
to the information material submitted as an agenda for discussion.
Mr. Kahin said the only thing he did was reading, in person, the
Somaliland organizations' position paper on the concerns over the
draft reports that the symposium was to discuss.

“If any Somaliland organization, including Samo-Talis, has retracted
its stand, it has to openly say so,” Mr. Kahin said. He also said he
was surprised to see an advertisement in one of the local newspapers
announcing a General Assembly meeting for Samo-Talis without his
knowledge despite being the board member responsible for
Administrative affairs.

As evident from the letter to Samo-Talis, the Dutch NGO suggests that
its Somaliland counter-part hold a general assembly meeting in return
for its release of $5000 in favor of Samo-Talis.

Mr. Kahin said he was confident Samo-Talis would be able to resolve
its own affairs. He also denied that he had anything to do with the
decision of the government, last August, banning NOVIB from working in
the country.

“I only learned of this from the newspapers and there was no way in
which I could have had a hand in this,” he added.


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