By M.A. Egge
The President of the Republic of Somaliland Musa Bihi Abdi has once again reiterated and maintained that the country is destined to hold elections since the funds for the exercise have already been set aside and catered for in its budget.
He likewise pointed out the country will always defend its territorial borders from aggression and not allow them to be dismembered.
He also said that the electioneering task is incumbent upon the National Elections Commission to execute.
The Head of State expressed the sentiments to the International Community (IC) in a meeting held virtually on Saturday 15th April 2023 that saw his parley with the ambassadors and deputy ambassadors of countries such as Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and also the representative of the European Union.
President Musa also demanded that the foreign Puntland army that invaded Somaliland must vacate the country for tangible peaceful stability to be realized.
He briefed them on the chronological happenings of events in Las Anod, a factors that was largely focused on.
A press release from the Presidency signed by its communications director Nassir Yusuf Dahir went as follows:-
1: The government initially sent a delegation of ministers to the town of Las Anod to resolve a crisis and to open a dialogue with the area traditional leaders but the traditional leaders refused and totally rejected the meeting.
2: The government unconditionally allowed the traditional leaders who have been absent for along time to return and be part of bringing peace to the city. Unfortunately, they entered the city with waving a foreign government’s flag while armed with weapons and troops, making the situation that was to be settled deteriorate even further.
3: The government approved and welcomed the meeting called by the Las Anod fraternity and traditional leaders that the government considered as a positive move, but their resolutions tuned out to be subversive and totally against the nationhood of Somaliland hence undermining the peaceful stability cherished in Las Anod for the past 15 years.
4: The government then decided to withdraw its forces back to the barracks to avoid loss of unnecessary collateral damage.
5: The government called for an unconditional ceasefire when the Sool traditional leaders declared war against the nation of Somaliland..
6: The government welcomed the efforts of other traditional leaders of Somaliland who took it upon themselves to be peace emissaries, waited in Oog for some time then returned to Hargeisa when no one could start the dialogue with them.
7:The government then welcomed the mediation by the Ethiopian government on how the traditional leaders of Somaliland and those of Las Anod would hold talks in Addis Ababa, but this also failed when again it was not forthcoming from the other side.
The thanked the President of Somaliland for making the virtual meeting possible and suggested the possibility of withdrawing the government forces from Las Anod.
To this proposal and suggestion by the diplomats, the President gave the condition of Puntland’s complete withdrawal of its forces and their armaments from Somaliland.
The President noted that the myriad of Puntland troops and their artilleries in the city of Las Anod has blended with the residents and perpetrated clannish and tribal enclaves undermining the nationhood of the country.
He pointed out that the national armed forces have restrained itself from being on the offensive to avoid serious collateral damages.
He was categorical that after the foreigners leave and the country is left to manage itself that serious talks can be initiated amongst its own people and their interests.
The President informed the diplomats that Somaliland is governed by its integral sovereignty, and just as any other African country it will not allow its territory to be dismembered at all (as Puntland authorities are bent on doing in Las Anod), but it will fully and decisively defend its borders from all forms of aggression.
He said that such a move is allowed it would also affect and open ways in other African countries.
Finally, the President briefed the ambassadors on Election Affairs, telling them that the government has already prepared the expenses related to the elections, and that the responsibility of conducting it is entrusted to the National Elections Commission.