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Dialogue is the Right Option
ISSUE 71
Front Page
Index

Headlines

- Imprisoned May 31st Veterans Denied Trial

- A Briton Raises Donation For Hargeisa Hospital

- Blunder by SOLJA Associates

- The Somaliland Government Sues Haatuf

- KULMIYE Party Rejects Kahin as Somaliland President

Health

- Drug: The Double Edged Knife (Part Ten)

- Nonprofit Group to Undertake Public Health Program in Hargeisa

- Smoking Kills Yearly 2.5 Million World Wide

Culture

- Rageh Mania!

International News

- Photos Raise Allegations of Torture

- A Tall Story

- CIA Categorizes Ethiopia as Illicit Drugs Transit Hub

- The Writing on the Wall

- Local Muslim Leader Sentenced in Fraud Case

- Federal Appeals Court Says Somali in Minnesota Can Be Deported

- Some Somalis Try to Clear Country's Reputation as 'Terrorist Haven'

- World Bank Planning Joint UN-Somalia Endeavor

- 133 Would-Be Illegal Immigrants Detained in Puntland

- What Was This Man Doing In Mumbai?

Peace Talks

- Muhammad Jirde Hussein Pledges Support for Somalia

- 18 Somalians Killed In Rivals Clash

Editorial & Opinions

- Dialogue is the Right Option

- Appeal to Ahmed Mohamed Sillanyo

- Human Rights and the Politics of Silence in Somaliland

- Somaliland’s Progress Should Not Be Held Hostage to KULMIYE’s Intransigence

- Somalilanders: Be Aware!

- This is Not the Somaliland I Envisioned

- Why is KULMIYE Refusing to Accept the Decision of the Constitutional Court?

- Somaliland’s Neglected Infrastructure

- May 1988


The fact that both President Dahir Rayale and Chairman Ahmed Sillanyo still consider dialogue as the only way for getting the country out of the present political impasse is encouraging. That is why a group of Sultans and civic leaders have taken the initiative to mediate an amicable resolution of the stand-off between the UDUB and KULMIYE parties over the April 14 presidential election. These efforts should be supported by all Somalilanders.

So far, the issue of KULMIYE’s reluctance to concede the presidential election has been seen as the stumbling block before the starting of a process of a negotiated settlement. Each side is exploiting the issue of election concession to weaken the position of the other side. This tactic has been politically counter-productive for both President Rayale and KULMIYE.

Mr. Ahmed Sillanyo’s insistence that UDUB come to the negotiating table without claiming to be the winner of the presidential election has in itself been an unnecessary pre-condition. It has put KULMIYE in the awkward position of being portrayed as the intransigent side. Elements within UDUB and the government who are against dialogue in order to protect their illicitly acquired privileges, have used this issue against Kulmiye and have gone to the extent of accusing its leaders of trying to undermine Somaliland’s sovereignty. The situation has prompted Ahmed Sillanyo to take a rather reconciliatory position during Thursday's press statement in which he reasserted his party’s full support and respect for Somaliland’s constitution and recognition of the country’s institutions.

On the other hand, President Rayale’s demand that KULMIYE first concede that it had lost the election as a pre-condition for holding talks with its leaders has at best been self-defeating. KULMIYE’s refusal to accept the final election results won’t change the fact that President Rayale had been announced winner of the poll, even though by a mere 217 votes. That's why UDUB and government officials shouldn’t have sounded hysterical, as if the legitimacy of the presidency was conditional on getting KULMIYE’s approval. Of course it would have been good for the country, both for domestic and international reasons, and for KULMIYE as well, if Mr. Sillanyo would have had come forward to speak for the record about what went wrong with the election, proposed a joint effort by the political parties and the civil society for the development of a more reliable electoral system and, then, gone to Dahir Rayale to congratulate him. Still, now that a process of mediation has begun, both president Rayale and Sillanyo should not squander this opportunity. The people of Somaliland want a quick solution to this impasse.

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