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Somaliland Legislators Defend ‎Independence, Ties With Ethiopia
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Somaliland Legislators Defend ‎Independence, Ties With Ethiopia‎   

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Hargeysa, Somaliland, May 6, 2006 – Somaliland’s legislators in the lower house of parliament (House of Representatives) on last Sunday reiterated their strong support for the independence of their country.

Responding to a statement in which the interim parliament of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia attacked Ethiopia for upgrading the diplomatic status of its commercial office in the Somaliland capital Hargeysa, lower house leaders defended the move saying that their country’s ties with Ethiopia were bound to grow.

“The independence of Somaliland wasn’t something given but an achievement realized through the barrel of a gun amid huge sacrifices in terms of both lives and properties lost,” said Abdul Aziz Samale, the acting speaker of the Somaliland House of Representatives.

The government of Ethiopia established a representation office in Hargeysa more than 5 years ago. The TFG’s parliament which was formed in exile in 2004 remained in Nairobi until early this year. It relocated to Baidoa in Somalia as of February this year.

On Saturday some members of the TFG’s parliament tried to make a noise about the arrival of a new diplomat in Hargeysa to head the Ethiopian mission in the Somaliland capital. They accused Ethiopia of granting a defacto recognition to Somaliland.

However according to most observers the sudden sharpening in the anti-Somaliland and anti-Ethiopian rhetoric within the TFG’s parliament was understood as a disguised attempt to disgrace premier Ali Mohamed Geedi who is known for his good ties with Ethiopia.

Both the TFG’s president Abdillahi Yusuf and interim parliament speaker Sharif Hassan have recently been reported as being in favor of Geedi’s removal from the job of premier.

However the hostile remarks made by some of the TFG parliament members against Somaliland’s independence and its relations with Ethiopia drew strong reaction from legislators in Hargeysa as well as the public.

Mr. Samale said Somaliland will not ask for permission from anyone including the so-called TFG in order to develop relations with other governments.

The deputy speaker Basha Farah was also critical of the TFG parliament for “poking their nose into Somaliland affairs while avoiding to address even one single issue of Somalia’s many pressing problems.”

The Somaliland legislators also received support for their pro-independence and pro-Ethiopia stance from the country’s main opposition parties; KULMIYE and UCID.

Source: Somaliland Times

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