Africa Somaliland:SONSAF Conference on Somalia’s Debt Relief and Somaliland Perspective
By Goth Mohamed Goth
A one-day forum on the decision by the international community to scrap the Federal government of Somalia debt and the position of the Republic of Somaliland was held at the University of Hargeisa, on Monday.
The forum organized by Somaliland Non-State Actors(SONSAF)brought together government officials, representatives of civil societies organizations, academicians, university students, members of the Somaliland parliament and other dignitaries.
Mr Anwar Abdurrahman Warsame, the chairman of SONSAF speaking during the event said, “The purpose of this meeting was to discuss Somalia’s efforts to achieve debt relief through the global lender’s Highly Indebted Poor Country program, which has about $4.7 billion in external debt, accounting for about 100% of its GDP, which the International Monetary Fund has declared to be unsustainable and the position of Somaliland government.
He also reminded those attending the forum that most of the debt was incurred by the Somali Republic, a period when Somaliland Republic and the Federal government of Somaliland were still in a Union but the current package excludes Somaliland thence the need to sought the outstanding matters and forge a clear position for the government of Somaliland.
Dr Mahmoud Yusuf Madoobe, the chancellor of University of Hargeisa speaking during the occasion gave in-depth briefing of the aims at getting a clear clarification on the position for the government of Somaliland. He invited government officials attending the forum to present their perspectives on the matters at hand.
Mr Salaben Ali Koore, minister of information, culture and national guidance speaking on behalf of the government of Somaliland said that we are not opposed to the debt relief but at the same time we demand both governments of Somaliland and Somalia should sit on the table together to sought out outstanding issues.
“The government of Somaliland calls on the international community and the donor’s nations maintain focus on issues specific to countries in fragile situations as in the case of Somaliland Republic and the Federal government of Somalia, therefore Somaliland has the sole right as a sovereign nation to o access new funds from the International Monetary Fund or the International Development Association for economic growth “, the information minister said.
He said that the government of Somaliland has asked a lot of questions and that they shall produce a clear position on the matter soon, and further strongly urged the international community to engage any move which will cause the two (Somaliland and Somalia) countries to descend again into deep civil strife.
Dr. Saad Ali Shire, minister of finance called on multilateral lenders not to accelerate the debt-forgiveness process for Somalia since it has not put in place the appropriate measures needed.
“We do not recommend lenders to accelerate the debt-forgiveness process although it was the former Somali republic which incurred the debt, since it, the federal government is the one signing such deals, then we should ask ourselves who are we going to deal with? Is it the Federal Government of Somalia or the lenders, “he said?