Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Honorable David McGuinty and Honorable Hussein Egeh

On the 25th of April, exactly at 1:00 PM we were ushered into the office of Mr. David McGuinty, the Honorable member of the Canadian Parliament from Ottawa- South. We were escorting his Honorable Mr. Hussein Egeh, the chairman of the foreign affaires committee of the parliament of Somaliland. This event was prepared by three of the most illustrious activists of the Somaliland cause in Ottawa, thecapital city of Canada.

1- Mr. Ahmed Hassan Ahmed- Quick, the mastermind of the Ottawa E-mail group, the managing editor of theWaridaad blog, the head of the Kulmiye party in Ottawa, and a member of the liberal party of Canada, and a close friend of the ex-liberal MP from my riding Mr. Marc Godbout.

2- Mr. Rashid Hussein Ali-Lufthansa, a great activistand contributor to both the Somaliland causes and tothe African francophone communities in Ottawa, afriend of ex-Minister for Africa, the liberal MP from Ottawa-Vanier, Mr. Mauril Belanger.

3- Mr. Ahmed Said Hiir, former Executive Director ofthe Somaliland Center, and a big friend of Sheila Copps, the former deputy Prime-Minister of Canada.Unfortunately Mr. Hiir did not accompany us to the parliament, however, the three of us and Mr. Egeh had quite a pleasant discussion with Mr. McGuinty.

Mr. Egeh began the discussion by thanking Mr. McGuinty for the wonderful opportunity he is giving to him in his mission of trying to strengthen the ties and the relations between Canada and Somaliland. Mr. Egeh then proceeded to talk about the democracy in Somaliland,the recent election for the parliament in which he wona seat from a party that in the opposition. He explained to the Canadian MP how in Somaliland it is the opposition that leads the parliament, and how that shows the maturity of the democracy in Somaliland. We also participated the discussions, and Mr. Quicky explained to Mr. McGuinty, how in Ottawa-Carleton, the majority of the Somali people are members of the Somaliland Community, and how most of them support the liberal party.

Mr. Lufthansa explained to his honorable Mr McGuinty on the differences between Somalia and Somaliland. Hetalked about the different colonial history, and howbecause of that and other factors we are two different countries as distinct as Mozambique and Zimbabwe, or as Libya and Tunisia or as Eritrea and Ethiopia. Furthermore, Mr. Lufthansa emphasized that inSomaliland we were practicing democracy for 15 years,without any external help. While in Somalia with billions of aid, with peace keeping armies of thewhole world and with best intentions of all the international experts, the place still belongs to jackals and war-lords. God have mercy on them, but the world can now understand why we are going our way.Mr.

McGuinty was very pleased with Mr. Egeh and the message he was giving to the western world. He thanked him for coming and promised that he will do all he can for the fledgling democracy in Somaliland, which he termed as a great hope for Africa.

Mr. McGuinty told us that he worked in West Africa fora period of three years. He also worked several years in Europe. Therefore, he is a man aware of the world outside North America, and that is a plus.

Finally, I asked him whether as the rumors are saying,he will run for the Liberal leadership and will become Canada’s next Prime Minister. He did not answer that question.

In conclusion, let me put it this way. That day inwhich the two democratically elected MPs, one from Somaliland and the other from Canada were discussing abetter world, was a day that could be described as awonderful and a memorable day. It will go down to the history of both nations. According to my observations and predictions, it was the first of its kind, but surely it will not be the last.

Mohamud Tani

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