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Foreign Minister Dualle Faces Strong Criticism After Accusing Donors Of Interference
Hargeysa, Somaliland, April 19, 2008 (SL Times) – Somaliland minister of Foreign Affairs Abdillahi Mohamed Dualle’s last Monday statement in which he accused a donor mission which concluded a visit to Somaliland only two days earlier of interfering in the internal affairs of Somaliland, attracted strong criticism from the public.
“I called their representative here to tell him that the donors mission has acted irresponsibly by encouraging discord among stakeholders” Minister Dualle said while addressing the Guurti, upper house of parliament, on Monday morning.
The donor mission which besides the European Commission included representatives of the UK, USA, Norway, Denmark and Sweden, arrived in Hargeysa on April 8, 2006 to show support for the country’s National Electoral Commission as well as a consensus reached by the 3 main parties of UCID, KULMIYE and UDUB on a time line for conducting the voter registration and the presidential and local government elections.
An agreement formally signed by the 3 political parties on Wednesday April 9, set October 5 for the completion of the voter registration, October 6 for the local government elections and December 31 for the presidential election.
The 3 parties and the NEC were supposed to commemorate the agreement on the time line at a function that was scheduled to be held on Thursday evening, April 10. Among those invited were members of the visiting donor delegation.
However the ceremony was cancelled following the Guurti’s decision on Thursday morning to unilaterally extend president Dahir Riyale’s term in office for one year.
The donor delegation returned to Nairobi on Thursday afternoon and readout a brief press statement to the media inside the VIP lounge at Hargeysa airport. The delegation expressed their disappointment in the unilateral decision taken by the Guurti to extend the president’s term in office for another 12 months irrespective of the new election timetable agreed upon a day earlier by the 3 national parties, UCID, KULMIYE and UDUB which was set by the NEC.
The Guurti’s decision was condemned by Somaliland’s two major political opposition parties; KULMIYE and UCID. The NEC refused to comply with the extension. Instead the NEC reiterated its adherence to the time line it had already set out in agreement with the 3 political parties.
In an interview with the Somali service of the BBC broadcast on Monday afternoon, the Somaliland minister of Foreign Affairs expressed his government’s satisfaction with the Guurti’s decision to extend Riyale’s tenure for another year after the expiry of his mandate on May 15, 2008.
“It is legal and final. They cannot be blamed for doing their job” he said.
Mr. Dualle went on to accuse the donor delegation of interfering in the internal affairs of Somaliland. “They paid no heed to my advice that they should see the Guurti first. They seemed to listen to one side only. But they can keep their money and we can do without them.”
In its editorial the next morning (April 15) the Somali language daily Haatuf blasted the minister for ‘being completely undiplomatic, unfair, ungrateful and dishonest with regard to the donors’.
“The donors said they came here with a message of support for the NEC and the 3 partite agreement, so what could possibly be wrong with that” Haatuf inquired.
The UCID party followed by condemning Mr. Dualle’s remarks about the donor delegation.
Besides the negative commentary devoted by the local media to Dualle’s accusations against the donors providing logistical technical and training assistance in support of the NEC, the statements were also the subject of harsh criticism during this week’s teashop debates.
Source: Somaliland Times