Hargeysa, Somaliland, March 18, 2006– Somaliland president Dahir Rayale snubbed the newly appointed UNDP resident representative, Mr. Enric Laroche, when the two met on Tuesday.
Mr. Laroche arrived in Hargeysa at around 6pm on Monday, only few hours after he had presented his credentials to the TFG’s president Abdillahi Yusuf in Baidowa.
It was the first time since the fall of Siyad Barre in 1991, that a UN resident representative has formally presented his credentials to a Somali president. However the move was interpreted in Somaliland as an unwarranted UN endorsement of the TFG’s claims of having Jurisdiction over Somaliland , drawing anger and contempt.
Mr. Laroche was ushered into Mr. Rayale’s office around 10:15am. But the meeting lasted only for about 10 minutes. At one point Rayale asked the UNDP representative whether he brought along with him any credentials or documents addressed to him in his capacity as president of Somaliland to which Mr. Laroche replied “no I haven’t”. Then Mr. Rayale snapped at the UN officer, “You have just presented your credentials to a president of an unelected government that has been evicted from its headquarters and is still waiting to be given refuge somewhere, while I’m an elected president and yet you fail to present the simplest introductory document from your superiors.”
President Rayale then told the UNDP official that he should come back only if he could furnish the necessary credential documents and communication from his superiors.
It wasn’t yet clear whether the new UNDP resident representative, who replaces Maxwell Gelyard, has been ill-advised to make the visit to Hargeysa following his meeting with Abdillahi Yusuf in Baidowa, or the man was not simply well versed with the Somali politics.
Source: Somaliland Times