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Enough Support In Both Houses Of Parliament For Bill Banning Ahmedou Abdallah From Entering Somaliland
Hargeysa, Somaliland, April 5, 2008 (SL Times) – The Speaker of the Somaliland House of Representatives, Abdirahman Mohamed Abdillahi “Ero” on Thursday expressed support for a motion introduced in the upper house (Guurti) of parliament earlier this week, seeking the banning of the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Representative for Somalia, Ahmedou Ould Abdallah, from entering Somaliland for giving false information to the international community about the situation in Somaliland.
In his latest report to the Security Council on the situation in Somalia, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon alleged that a UN fact-finding mission sent to Somalia back in January attempted to visit Hargeysa but was prevented from doing so by security concerns caused by a political rally.
The report is understood to have been prepared for the UNSG by his representative for Somalia, Ahmedou Abdallah. The report said the fact-finding mission that was unable to visit Hargeysa for security reason has been to Mogadishu, Baidoa, Kismayo and Marka.
Describing the security situation in Mogadishu and Kismayo during the fact-finding mission’s visit, the report said “ The fact-finding team spent three days and two nights in Mogadishu, meeting officials and traveling in United Nations civilian armoured vehicles to many districts to assess the security situation in the city. Hostilities seem to be generally confined to five districts, including Yaqshid, Wardhigley, Hawl-Wadag, Hodan and Bondhere. While a number of districts were deserted, as an estimated 60 per cent of the population has temporarily fled the city, several other districts that were assessed to be safe at the time of the visit were seen to be populated: stores were open, transport was moving and the port was active.
The three days of relative calm experienced by the team belie the volatility of the security situation. Before the team arrived, there was serious fighting in Mogadishu that killed more than 30 people and wounded 60. In the days after the team departed, fighting once again broke out. Mortars were fired at the airport, where the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) is based, one mortar exploding close to the United Nations common compound. Those attacks coincided with the completion of the Burundian battalion’s deployment to AMISOM and illustrate how quickly the security situation can change.
The fact-finding team was the first United Nations mission to visit Kismaayo since the fighting began in mid-2006. While the city was free of fighting on the day the team visited, the situation in the city remains volatile, particularly because of fighting for control over the port and airport. Although the team met with Government officials representing an alliance of clans who claim to control most of “Jubaland”, it was clear to the team that the security situation is fluid and far from stable. More recently, a Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device on the road between the city and the airport, killing two international and one national staff member, leading MSF to temporarily withdraw its international staff from its operations in southern Somalia. The fact-finding mission also visited Baidoa and the port of Marka, where the situation is assessed to be more stable although underlying tensions remain.”
The report also described peace and stability in Somaliland as “fragile”.
As usual is the case with UN envoys for Somalia, the report was omitted of any reference to the realities on ground in Somaliland.
Neither respect nor acknowledgement is shown with regard to the aspiration of the people of Somaliland for independence and their right to self-determination.
Somaliland’s contribution to regional peace (Somaliland’s borders with both Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia and Red Sea waters are all secure) and stability, its successful democratization process and counter-terrorism efforts are all ignored while praise is poured on Abdillahi Yusuf, a ruthless warlord and Nur Adde, a hangman who sent thousands of innocent people to death during Siyad Barre’s dictatorship.
On Monday the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Guurti Abdillahi Sheikh Hassan introduced a bill that bars Ahmedou from setting fool on Somaliland soil.
It also calls on the government to stop all kinds of cooperation with the UN envoy.
The author of the bill proposes that it is passed in a Joint session of both houses of parliament.
The proposal has already gained the support of most members of parliament. The Guurti is expected to deliberate Hassan’s bill today.
Meanwhile Somaliland president Dahir Riyale is now under a growing public pressure to reverse his conciliatory attitudes towards Abdallah.
The UN envoy visited Somaliland for the first time in February. He met with Somaliland president Riyale and leaders of the opposition political parties.
According to a Somalilander who participated in one of those meetings, the UNSG representative had asked for Somaliland’s support of a plan to deploy peacekeeping forces in Somalia. Ahmedou Abdallah’s plan called for using the Somaliland port of Berbera as the entry point for these so-called peacekeepers.
Opposition leaders told Abdallah that although they would have very much liked to help their Somalia brethren realize peace, however Somaliland’s hands were tied by the country’s lack of recognition. The opposition leaders told him that Somaliland would never accept deployment of peacekeepers on its soil.
However president Riyale has so far remained silent on his true position with regard to Ahmedou Abdallah’s proposal.
In 2000 Somaliland legislators declared the UNSG’s former envoy for Somalia, David Stephen, as presonna-non-grata. His successor Winston Tubman was also bared from coming here.
President Riyale is expected to face criticism at parliament today for giving green light to the establishment of a branch for the United Nations Political Office for Somalia in Hargeysa.
Source: Somaliland Times