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African Delegates Raise Their Opinions On Somaliland’s Status
“It is a fact that one day Somaliland will sit on her rightful place in the African Union” Ambassador of Sahrawi Arab Republic to Algeria
“The Secretary General and Everyone else are aware of the progress that you made [ Somaliland ]” Mohamed Sahnoon, delegate from the UN
“The issue must be initiated and raised to the conference, first, by Somaliland government. The government must struggle very hard. There is no one else who will raise the issue, if they do not pursue it.” The president of Ghana, John Agyekum Kufuor
Khartoum, Sudan, January 28, 2006 (SL Times) – Some of the delegates from African countries who participated in the African Heads of states conference held at Khartoum, the capital city of Sudan, voiced their opinions about Somaliland’s status.
The editor-in-chief of the Somaliland Times, Yusuf Abdi Gabobe, interviewed some of the delegates during the conference.
Mr. Gabobe interviewed Mr. Mohamed Yeslem Beissat, the ambassador of the Sahrawi Arab Republic to Algeria. He asked how he sees the status of Somaliland, since his country was allowed recently to join the African Union?
The Ambassador says “Keep on going and don’t give up, because you have already achieved a lot and to tell you the truth, the Africans and Arabs should have been proud of you, but this is something the Africans and the Arabs owe you and I am quite sure that one day Somaliland will sit on her rightful place in the African Union and in the other institutions of the world. It took our country the Sahrawi Arab Republic, a long time and a long struggle to reach where we are today. Although our president is today sitting among the presidents of Africa and our flag is represented in this front desk, but the conference of the presidents of Africa during Ja’far Al-Numeire’s regime in 1978, held in Sudan, I was arrested in Khartoum when I arrived here in order to participate in the conference, representing my country. If it is African Union or the Arabs or United Nations, they can easily investigate the difference between, say, the Sahrawi Republic and Morocco, or the difference between Somaliland and Somalia. It is impossible to say that I am the only one that exists and will continue to exist, because I will say – me too; you do not exist either. So, let us see whom you can defeat in a battle. Did you ever win a war?”
Mr. Gabobe also interviewed Mohamed Sahnoun, the UN Representative in the Conference. He asks “Can you describe to me the status of Somaliland in the UN?” Sahnoun answers “The Secretary General and everyone else are aware of the progress Somaliland has made. We want to work towards improving your great achievements.”
H.E. Alpha Oumar Konare, Chairperson of the African Union Commission
Mr. Gabobe, in a related story, mentioned, Alfa Oumar Konare, the chairman of African Union Commission’s report to the ministries of Foreign Affairs meeting. The chairman of African Union Commission included in his report, the progress Somaliland has made towards the democratization process.
According to Mr. Gabobe, the Somaliland Times editor, the chairman, took as a good example, the recent parliamentary elections in Somaliland. He says “In conclusion, I want to inform the participants about the recent parliamentary elections held in Somaliland on the 29 th September 2005 by three political parties. It went on smoothly in a peaceful and respectful manner. All the political parties who took part in the elections obeyed the rules and regulations of the elections and the general law of the land. We, as Africans should be very proud of Somaliland's achievements and success.”
In conclusion, Mr. Gabobe who participated in a press conference held by the president of Ghana, John Agyekum Kufuor. Mr. Gabobe asked the president whether the issue of Somaliland recognition will be brought up during the conference. The president says “The issue must be initiated and raised to the conference, first, by Somaliland government. The government must struggle very hard. There is no one else who will raise the issue, if they do not pursue it.”
It is apparent that the Somaliland government is out of touch when it comes to conferences such as the one that was held in Sudan last week. They should have taken advantage and campaigned to win some African countries to their side.