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Closing Remarks By The Minister Of Information
ISSUE 133
Front Page
Index

Headlines

- Conference on future of the Horn successfully concluded

- Somaliland Participates In First Regional Counter Terrorism Conference
- International conference on Anti-money laundering held in Hargeisa

- Women's group trains female police officers

- Livestock Professionals meeting held in STVS, Hargeisa, jointly organized by The Somaliland Ministry of Livestock and The Somali Livestock Professional Forum

People

- Interview with Prof. Francis Kornegay

International News

- Najaf toll: US claims 300, fighters say 36

- Forgotten And Left To Anarchy And Isolation

Peace Talks

- Joint communiqué Issued by the 9th IGAD ministerial facilitation committee meeting on the Somali national reconciliation conference

Daallo Airlines Flies You Everywhere

 

Editorial & Opinions

- The International Community is Betraying Somaliland

- The Somalia-Somaliland Stalemate Within The Context Of The Geopolitics Of Conflict And Accommodation In The Horn Of Africa

- Interaction Of Peace, Security And Development Within The Framework Of Somaliland's International Recognition - A Practical Experience
- Closing Remarks By The Minister Of Information

- No Honor Among Theives

- The Other IGAD JOINT COMMUNIQUÉ


Closing Remarks By The Minister Of Information

Mr. Chairman

Distinguished Delegates and Participants,
Fellow Colleagues,
Ladies and Gentlemen
Good Afternoon,

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 advocating.

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 International standards.

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 pattern.

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

 


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