Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Somaliland president sacks minister over police protests

HARGEISA (Reuters) - Somaliland's president sacked his interior minister and police commissioner after dozens of police attached to the country's anti-terrorism unit held a demonstration to protest non-payment of wages.

President Dahir Rayale Kahin blamed the protests on personal differences between the minister Ismail Aden Osman and the head of the police Mohamed Egeh Elmi.
"I have tried to resolve your misunderstanding a number of times, your personal conflict is the cause of the protests," a statement from Somaliland's presidency said on Tuesday. "I am obliged to remove you from your ministerial post."

A separate statement gave almost a similar reason for the sacking of the police commissioner.
About 50 members of the 300-strong Somaliland's Special Police Unit (SPU), trained to fight terrorists, marched to parliament on Monday complaining that they had not received their full $50 monthly allowance for the last three months.

They said $9 had been deducted each month from their allowance that is given by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and paid by the interior ministry.
Despite its relative peace unlike the rest of Somalia, the enclave of Somaliland is not recognised internationally, it broke away from the rest of Somalia in 1991 after dictator Mohamed Siad Barre was ousted by clan militia.

President Kahin appointed a committee chaired by Vice President Ahmed Yusuf Yasin to deal with the protests.

"The action taken by members of the SPU is against the culture and discipline of the security forces," he said. "I urge the committee ... urgently investigate in order to bring to justice those who were responsible for the protest."

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