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|Urgently Needed Initiatives|
Urgently Needed Initiatives
President Rayale's visit to the United Kingdom was a big success. The president needs to build on that success by taking some necessary domestic and foreign initiatives. On the domestic front, the first priority should be in the area of security. It is now clear that Somaliland is being targeted by al-Qaida and radical Islamic fundamentalists. It is also clear that some Somalilanders are part of this evil campaign, which has so far targeted foreigners in Somaliland, but which, if left unchecked may go beyond those targets. Somaliland's government must come up with a strategy for disrupting, dismantling and destroying these terror networks.
Since Somaliland has inadequate resources to fight terrorism, it should be more aggressive in approaching governments that are likely to assist it in this matter. It is also essential to explain to Somalilanders that terrorists are not common criminals and should be treated as a unique and separate category akin to mass murderers. In other words, terrorists are a threat to our very existence as a nation and should be treated as such. Somaliland's task may be made easier by the fact that many of the radical fundamentalists as well as Abdiqasim Salad Hasan's agents (whether they are secular or use a religious cover) are known.
Other areas that need urgent attention:
Serious preparations should be made for the parliamentary elections. The reason for delaying the elections was supposed to have been that more time would be available for preparation, but that is not what happened and a lot of time was wasted. This must be corrected and preparations should start soon. The parliamentary election campaign should not be long (2 months maximum), and Somalilanders should be aware that this is the final step in meeting the requirements for international recognition and not a time for pursuing selfish or parochial interests.
The military and police should have ranks and a clear chain of command. Otherwise, it would be easy for undifferentiated armed individuals to degenerate into tribal militias.
President Rayale should start laying the groundwork for achieving a diplomatic breakthrough in North America similar to the one he accomplished in the UK and Europe. It would take a lot of work but it could be done with the help of Somaliland's diaspora.