Upon his return from the high-level delegation representing the Government of the Republic of Somaliland led by the President, H.E Ahmed Mohamed M. Silanyo, visit to Ireland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E Mohamed Behi Yonis noted that this was a prosperous and historic visit, and fundamental in strengthening bilateral ties with Ireland whilst pushing for Somaliland’s recognition.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs took the opportunity to address the nation and reaffirm his candidacy within the Kulmiye Party. Addressing the media, Ministers and fellow supporters at the VIP lounge in Hargeisa’s Egal Airport, Minister Yonis assured his audience that if elected he will lead the Kulmiye Party to act in the best interest of the country and hopefully secure a second-term as the nation’s ruling party for Kulmiye.
“I am hopeful that the Kulmiye Party Central Council will elect a candidate on the basis of one’s qualification, career experience, capability, worthiness and stellar achievements in their role to date,” stated Minister Yonis.
Following Minister Yonis’ facilitation and organization of the first official State visit by a President of the Republic of Somaliland to meet a fellow Head of State, Minister Yonis took the opportunity to address his critics, who questioned his eligibility as a candidate due to the number of years he spent working outside of Somaliland, by explaining that
“Some of the people may be unaware that I once was a teacher at Bulahar, Salahley, Balligubadle, Sheikh, Berbera and Burco. I know more about my country, I love my nation and I owe it to my people to showcase a new style of leadership based on my knowledge and experience towards achieving our common goals of international recognition and economic development for Somaliland. My experience and contacts will be an asset to Somaliland as we start a new chapter in our journey towards international recognition, and I am hopeful that we can achieve this dream under my leadership.”
Amongst Minister Yonis’ supporters who received him warmly at the Airport include community, ministers, traditional leaders and leading Sultans and members of the Kulmiye Party Central Council. The officials, Sultans and the other members who had speeches stated Minister Yonis as the right and most appropriate candidate to be elected as Somaliland’s future.
Prior to his appointment on 25 June 2013 as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister Yonis was the Deputy Joint Special Representative for Operations and Management in the African Union and United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur, Sudan. Overseeing the United Nations largest peacekeeping operation for over 8 years and commanding a budget of over US$1 billion per year, Minister Yonis was the most senior Somali within the United Nations. He is no stranger to positions of leadership having spent a significant period at the African Development Bank in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, leaving the Bank as a Director.
The Harvard educated Minister holds several qualifications including masters degree in public administration from Harvard University, bachelor’s degree in political science from Miami University learned Conflict Management from Canadian Institute for Conflict Resolution as well as Diploma in Education. In addition to Somali, Mr. Yonis speaks fluent Arabic, French, and English.
Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs * International Cooperation