Monday, September 19, 2005

Awil’s Early August Rendezvous With Geedi In Djibouti

Djibouti, September 17, 2005 (SL Times) – Somaliland’s Finance Minister Hussein Ali Dualle (a.k.a Awil), has met again with Ali Mohamed Geedi, the Premier of the Abdillahi Yusuf-led faction in the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia.

The secret meeting between the two took place this time in Djibouti during Awil’s trip to the neighboring country in early August 2005, reliable sources have disclosed to the Somaliland Times.

It was also reported by this newspaper (August 6 edition) that Awil met secretly with Mr. Geedi in Addis Ababa’s Sheraton Hotel on July 20, 2005. Awil had denied the report, describing it as baseless.

On August 2, 2005, Mr. Awil left Hargeysa for Djibouti ostensibly to take part in a meeting between a US Congress delegation visiting Djibouti at the time, and Somaliland’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Edna Adan Ismail. Ms Edna Ismail had to fly from Cairo, Egypt, to meet with the group of American legislators. She arrived in Djibouti on August 4 and on the next day flew to Hargeysa. However, Awil overstayed in Djibouti for 3 days during which he was believed to have met Geedi.

There is growing suspicion in Hargeysa that Awil might have conducted many more clandestine meetings with TFG officials than the two mentioned above.Mr. Awil was often criticized in the past for spending more time on suspicious trips to east African capitals, particularly Addis Ababa, Nairobi and Djibouti than on his work at the ministry of finance.

It has been the policy of successive Somaliland governments, including the incumbent Administration, not to meet with officials of any Somalia government that claims jurisdiction over Somaliland, such as the current one headed by Abdillahi Yusuf and Geedi. It is not yet clear whether the present Somaliland government headed by President Dahir Rayale Kahin has decided to reconsider the policy of no talks with Somalia’s governments that claim sovereignty over Somaliland.

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