Closing Remarks By The Minister Of Information
Distinguished Delegates and Participants,
Ladies and Gentlemen
I'm extremely delighted to be here with you this afternoon for the closing
ceremony of this important conference. I'm equally honored to be amongst
distinguished friends and colleagues as well as my fellow countrymen.
I would like to thank the African Renaissance Center For Social science
Research, Media and Development (ARECSMED) and the Ministry of Information
who have jointly sponsored and organized this historic conference.
Also, I would like to thank the distinguished academics, scholars and other
professional who have participated in this conference. Our government fully
appreciates the time you have taken from your demanding schedule. Thank you.
Over the course of the last two days, you have had an opportunity to engage
in an enlightened and lively discussion on important issues that matter and
could be of help to the cause of Somaliland and the region at large.
Although your stay was extremely short, yet, I would hope that you may take
back with you a rewarding experience about Somaliland, and I urge my colleagues
from the continent to promote Somaliland's case – a just cause that is worth
For quite some time now, Somaliland has embarked on an ambitious painstaking
program of nation-building and democratization process - a process that has
been realized by and in large. These include among others: -
Reconciliation and Demobilization of Militia
Restoration of the independence of Somaliland
Institutional Building - spreading government apparatus
Conducted a referendum on the national constitution, which was
overwhelmingly approved by the people of Somaliland
Held local council elections
Held Presidential elections
And to complete the process of
democratization a date has been set for the parliamentary elections
Somaliland is committed that elections are held on
time (March 29, 2005) in a fair and just manner, and in compliance with
Somaliland has played a pivotal role in the
region's geopolitical stability and will continue to do so.
Recently, however, a new phenomenon of terrorism has emerged in the region,
which may pose a potential threat to the stability of the region as a whole.
Somaliland will fight all forms of terrorism. Somaliland will not tolerate terrorists
or allow them to operate in Somaliland and use it to terrorize its
neighbors, particularly Ethiopia.
Somaliland's independence is based upon the right to self-determination
entrenched in the Charters of the Organizations of African Unity and the
United Nations. This right was freely and democratically expressed on 31 May
2001 in a referendum. An overwhelming majority of the electorate voted in
favor of a new constitution that affirmed Somaliland's independent status.
International observers described the process as free, fair and consistent
with International norms for referenda and elections.
In fact, Somaliland's demand for international recognition is consistent
with Article III of the OAU Charter and Article IV of the Constitutive Act
of the African Union, which pertain to the integrity of borders existing on
attainment of independence. Other African states have been united with
neighboring states and subsequently reclaimed their independence in
accordance with these principles, including Eritrea, Gambia, and the Sahrawi
Republic. The dissolution of the United Arab Republic followed a similar
Incidentally, Somaliland's declaration of independence is predicated upon
the territory's prior existence as a recognized, independent state. It
therefore does not set a precedent for the break-up of Somalia or for other
secessionist groups in Africa. To the contrary, Somaliland fully respects
the unity and territorial integrity of (former Italian) Somalia.
In addition, Somaliland has nothing to do with the so-called conference in Mbagathi. Any attempt by the International Community to impose on Somaliland
the outcome of Mbagathi will be considered as an "act of War" and that could
be a recipe for the destabilization of the entire region.
We further advise the international community to respect the territorial
integrity of Somaliland and accept Somaliland and Somalia as two separate
states. Anything short of this is doomed to fail and will become a
non-starter. It is high time that the international community accepts the
reality that prevails on the ground.
When and if a legitimate, representative government is established in
Somalia, the government of Somaliland (GOS) is prepared to enter into talks
with that government concerning the nature of the relationship between the
two states (two independent states). The GOS seeks to establish peaceful
co-existence and fraternal relations with a future government in Somalia.
In short, Somaliland's sovereignty and independence is non-negotiable and
irrevocable - How straightforward you want me to be.
A Word of advice to skeptics and nay-sayers irrespective of where they come
from including Somaliland, Somaliland's independence is a foregone conclusion
and they must understand this very clearly.
Finally, with those few statements regarding Somaliland's position, I hereby
officially close the conference.
Thank you very much.
Abdillahi M. Duale, Minister of Information