At one of the Screening rooms at Chatham House on March 15, the Honorable House Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Somaliland, Abdirahman Mohamed Abdullahi “Irro”, spoke at length of a myriad of perceived ills in Somaliland where he was expected to represent the struggling country’s array of needs and aspirations foremost of which was its 26-year old quest for international recognition.
The Chairman registered his talk as “Strengthening accountability in Somaliland: Parliament’s role and prospects for reform”, requesting an audience at the Royal Institute of International Affairs.
Instead, the Honorable Chairman started a long, barely audible harangue on the many ills and critiques the opposition party he led, Waddani, perceived against the incumbent government.
The Chairman told the handful of people gathered around the round table that Somaliland was an avowed enemy against the freedom of the press and that one of the journalists that the government put behind bars was right there with him – Munir Ahmed Egal of Somalilandtoday.
Another, he said, was Abdimalik Oldon who was still languishing behind bars.
Mr. Irro told the people rounded up to screen what he had to say that no less than 23 journalists were jailed without due cause by the government of Somaliland.The Honorable Chairman skipped the reasons that justified the incarcerations. He, for instance, opted not to mention that Munir was charged on assault and battery of a ‘columnist’ – Aqoonyahan Jiir, and that Oldon turned a political traitor to the cause of Somaliland by actively and conspicuously celebrating the victory of Somalia president-elect Farmajo in Mogadishu.
The Honorable Chairman said Oldon and Munir were among 23 ‘journalists’ that the government unceremoniously threw in jail for varied periods of time to silence them, primarily, for their opposition to the Emirati DP World and military base in Berbera.
Of tremendous interest and an eye-opener to the people of Somaliland was a House Speaker going to great lengths to buck a democratically – and overwhelmingly – passed motion by the House he led as was the case of the proposed UAE military base on 12 February 2017.
The House Speaker committed his hand, the media reported, by soliciting support from the Somalia president (who has nothing to do with Somaliland) and a partial representative of the UN secretary General in Somalia, Mr. Micahel Keating, asking them to stop the establishment of the UAE Base (See below).
Petitioning UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia Michael Keating , Secretary-General and 3 others
UAE defense base in Somaliland is illegal and MUST be stopped
The UAE government in January submitted a formal application seeking permission from the “Somaliland Administration” to open a military base in the port town of Berbera.
Somaliland is part of the Federal Republic of Somalia and do not have the authority both constitutionally and logically to agree the establishment of a military base within the Somali territory.
We therefore call The Somali President H.E Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo , The UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia Michael Keating to interfere and prevent the establishment of this illegal military.
The United Arab Emirates has donated military equipment to Somaliland Police force. The equipment includes armoured vehicles, traffic police motorbikes, jeep vehicles and water tankers, This is ILLEGAL action of arming a federal state within Somalia without the permission of the central government.
This donation is also an act of bribery to make sure the Somali land administration to agree to the establishment of the military base.
Any state selling or donating arms to Somalia has to show that there are strict measures in place to make sure the weapons will not be used by paramilitary militias to flagrantly violate rights. If they haven’t done that, no transfer should take place.
Since the UAE donated to Somaliland , the administration has involved in several clashes with local militia in the Khatumo state region of Somalia and Puntland.
We also urge The prime minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Emir of Dubai Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to stop intruding the Somali territory without the Permission of the FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF SOMALIA.
This petition will be delivered to:UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia Michael Keating , Secretary-General oSecretary-General of the United Nations António GuterresSomali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo
Speaking of the extensions made to the government, Chairman Irro chose not to mention that he, himself, was in parliament for 12 years and that two more years were extended to term of his fellow MPs by the Guurti – or that why he did no protest or resign before as he was 7 years overdue as an MP and House Speaker already.
Of late, it has become something of a trend in Somaliland that anybody who spoke negatively against the republic was to be projected as a hero, and that everybody was free to even go actively against the very existence of Somaliland without fear of the consequences – consequences that Mr. Irro’s parliament endorsed.