Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Somaliland: Growing Democracy Yet No Aid

Somaliland Representative in Brussels, Mohamoud Daar, calls upon the European Union to reevaluate its policy on Somaliland, referencing the growing development in terms of democracy in the region.

Below is a statement published by Mr. Mouhamoud Abdi Daar:

After restoring its freedom and independence since the beginning of 1991 the people of Somaliland have continued to rebuild democratic structures of their country. The constitution of country upholds democratic principles of participation in the decision making process, competition among political parties and protection of civil and political liberties.

Since that time, the country has succeeded to establish an orderly transition to peace and stability and continuity of democratically-elected governments and good governance institutions. General elections of its parliament, local government and direct presidential elections, always observed by members of the international community, are now a permanent feature of the country’s democracy.

As is acknowledged, Somaliland has a defined territory within its old colonially demarcated boundaries, a permanent population of more than 3.5 million people and an independent government which has the capacity to enter into relations with other states of the African Union, the European Union, Americas, Asia and other countries as well as inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations. At present, Hargeisa, the capital, hosts many UN agencies and international NGOs. Various government delegations, parliamentarians and other distinguished personalities visit the country almost every year which is testimony to the growing understanding and international support of its people.

The people of Somaliland have strong faith in friendship and international cooperation. Much of the country’s development depends on the hard work, local initiative ad investments by its people and diaspora. All these efforts facilitated massive repatriation of refugees from outside and displaced persons, second only to South Africa’s, according to some agencies. The thriving economy of the country and its stability certainly play an important role in the attraction of voluntary repatriation and resettlement in the country.

In spite of these positive developments, there are other challenges and difficulties in the country faces. Owing to its present status, it cannot access much needed development funds to alleviate poverty and underdevelopment. The government is currently launching economic and social development programs in education, health, water supply, infrastructure, capacity-building as well as in the areas of livestock, environment, agriculture and rural developments. It strongly calls for more aid and generous assistance from the donor community more than ever before.

In conclusion, I should express our appreciation and emphasize that Somaliland, an oasis of tranquility, in a troubled region, will always look forward for greater support from the international community to consolidate stability and development. We call on the European Union to reevaluate and redefine its policy towards the Somali issue, taking into consideration the dynamic situation on the ground.

Mr. Mohamoud Abdi Daar,
Somaliland Representative in Brussels

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