Monday, June 27, 2005

Final Session of Somaliland Convention in LA held Today

Los Angeles, Ca.The final session of the Somaliland Conventions being held here today was titled Democracy, Governance and Politics in Somaliland. The panel was made up of representatives of the government, the two opposition parties and members of the public. The moderator was Mr. Ibrahim Megag Samater , a professor of economics at Japan international University and a former leader of the SNM

The panel was made up of Mr. Ahmed Hashi Abdi of UDUB, Mr. Ahmed Mohamed Mahamoud (Silanyo)of KULMIYE, Mr. Faisal Ali FArah(Warabe) of UCID, Mr. Abdillahi Mohamed Dualeh the Minister of Information and Dr. Mohamoud Hassan Tani. All speakers began by saying how important this Convention was and thanked all those that planned and implemented this meeting.

Mr. Abdi began the discussion by listing the priorities of the government, specifically the need of international recognition for the government and people of Somaliland. He went on to list other areas such as education, economic development, employment, health and commerce. He concluded by inviting the people present to come back home and help in the rebuilding the nation.

Mr. Farah (Waraabe) started his presentation by telling the people that things were not improving in the country and that the government was not doing its share in nation building and demanded accountability from the government. He also suggested that since all the Parties were here that a Memorandum of Understanding be signed for an honest and clean elections. He said that his Party was interested in new leadership for the country, an inclusive government, the building of the schools and all other infrastructures. He concluded by talking about the different programs his Party has put together to help the people of Somaliland.

Mr. Mohamoud "Silanyo" started his presentation by telling the people that we should not be afraid of opposition to the government. The fact that we disagree dose not mean that we are fighting or trying to change the government by force. He went on to say that even though democracy is seen as a Western concept, we should accept the ideals of democracy and allow our people to voice their opinion without harassment from the government. He then went on to point out that he, as well all the people in Somaliland, would not disagree with the importance of the things that Mr. Ahmed Hashi talked about. He then said that he wanted to talk about the area he sees as points of disagreements with the government.

He said what the Country needed was a government bureaucracy that was made up of people who are well educated and are working for the benefit of the Nation as a whole and not people that are there for other reasons. What is needed, he said, are people that will follow the Constitution and serve all the people of Somaliland. He was particularly concerned with the emergency laws that are being used by the government and which he said were unconstitutional. He condemned the illegal detention of people just on the order of the Minister of Interior without due process. He said that both opposition parties have made their objections known but nothing is being done to rectify the situation. One of the first steps of his administration, if elected, will be to abolish this practice and every person charged my the with any offence will have his day in court. A Constitutional government has no business detaining its people without cause.

One of the major areas of our economy is the banking system, both the Commercial and Central, and nobody but the government is depositing funds in our banks, he said. We should demand accountability from our banks and expect an annual report in order to restore the people's confidence in the banking system. Steps must also be taken to develope private banks. The best way to hold institutions accountable is through the use of Board of Directors to oversee institutions, he said. We should have a Board of Directors for the banks as well as the Port of Barbara, the Departments of Water and Electricity. As for the National Radio, he said that it should be independent and impartial entity and no government official should have the power to dictate the Radio Station's news coverage or it's editorial content.

In the area of foreign policy, Mr. Silanyo, acknowledged the important work that the Foreign Minister, Mrs. Edna Adan Ismail, has done. However a great deal on work still needs to be done, especially in our relationship with the Islamic Nations, he said. The path to the recognition of Somaliland by the International Community would become easier if we have a strategy that explains our needs to the Arab and Islamic world.
He concluded his remarks by stating the importance of dialogue among the people of Somaliland and the fact all disagreements can be overcome through peaceful negotiating and understanding

Mohamoud Ali
Somaliland.Org Reporter
Los Angeles, California

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