On Monday, Somaliland people across all regions celebrated the 24th anniversary of the date on which Somaliland reclaimed it’s independence from the rest of Somalia.
President Ahmed Mohamed Siilaanyo provided 15-minute address on the occasion of 18 May that touches on various issues including the dispute over the extension of the term of the President, international community concerns pertaining to the postponement of the scheduled elections of Somaliland as well as the establishment of Somalia’s national army.
“We spared no effort to ensure that elections take place on time and avoid any hindrance against Somaliland’s democracy. I never wanted the elections to be postponed and my term to be extended. However, there are times when your plans could not work as you intended due to difficult circumstances and that is why Somaliland elections are not taking place as planned” President Silanyo said.
The President did not specify the circumstances that caused the delay of the elections but he said election stakeholders could not blame it on his administration alone.
“The Government is not solely responsible for the delay of the planned elections but we all (stakeholders) share the responsibility.”
In his speech President Silanyo emphasized that according to Somaliland Constitution, the Guurti has the mandate of extending the terms of the President and the House of Representatives and that he (as a President) has never influenced them to do so.
“According to our Constitution, extending the term of the Government is exclusively a task for the House of Elders “Guurti”. I never interfered them. They made this decision (term extension) independently after evaluating the situation of the country. Nonetheless, my administration bears responsibility to enforce any law the Guurti makes”.
President Silanyo added that the International Community received misrepresented information which caused them to express concerns over the Guurti’s decision to extend the term of his administration and he doubted the intention of the International Community to mediate Somaliland’s internal conflicts.
“We appreciate the support of International Community. However, we wonder why the International Community is rushing to involve in Somaliland’s local affairs while they haven’t yet responded to our request in which we asked them to get involved in the talks between Somaliland and Somalia. Let me remind them that Somaliland has extensive experience in solving its own problems without any external intervention. We are planning to hold dialogue with the opposition parties and I am confident that we will be able to resolve the issue” says President Silanyo.
Finally, the President warned International Community of their involvement in the establishment of the so-called Somalia national army.
“We warn the international community that the establishment of a national army for Somalia will have disastrous consequences in the Horn of Africa. Somalia repeatedly said that this army will be used for restoring the unification of Somalia. We strongly urge the International Community to reconsider their support to this initiative and halt the constant supply of weapons to Somalia while the army embargo is still on Somaliland.”