Delegations from the European Union, Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Ethiopia, Kenya & Djibouti were among a number of foreign delegations who attended the inauguration of the fifth – and the third democratically elected – president of the Republic of Somaliland on Wednesday at the Presidential Palace, Hargeisa.

Ms. Veronique Lorenzo, the honorable Ambassador of the EU, speaking at the ceremony, first congratulated Somaliland and its people for ‘completing a peaceful, inclusive and transparent presidential election”.

“These elections,” she said ‘have demonstrated a strong commitment, responsibility and political maturity of the institutions, of the political parties and of society as a whole.”

“Somaliland has given an example Somalis around the world should be proud (of),” Ambassador Lorenzo said.

The Ambassador advised the President to re-patch the tattered tempers of competing camps in the election as a president of a united Somaliland. Speaking of the election, Ms Lorenzo said “It was not all smooth. There are winners and there are losers and elections are tiring and a divisive race.”

“Mr. President-elect,” Ambassador said, directly addressing the new president, Mr. Musa Bihi Abdi “You have some healing to do. And we trust you to reach out and apply the palm of dialogue”.

Ambassador Lorenzo pointed out that only a united, inclusive society will be able to move forward together.

Ms. Lorenzo’s words highlighted the marked absence of leaders of Waddani political party from the ceremony for reasons that have not been publicized despite the fact that they were invited same as UCID, the third political party in Somaliland.

The Ambassador also spoke of their hope for Somaliland to play moderating force in the region’s peace and stability, voicing that re-energized talks between Somaliland and Somalia will soon take off on a good note, promising a continued commitment to support the development initiatives of the country.

Ambassador David Concar, also speaking at the occasion, congratulated Mr. Bihi on successfully competing for and winning the highest executive function of the country.

Ambassador Concar delighted the gathered as well as the whole of Somaliland by announcing that the United Kingdom will commit a further 25 million Pounds to the Somaliland Development Fund.

Concluding the event, the new president spoke of his hope to root out corruption and misuse public office.

“I will come up with a government whose officers are accountable to the public,” he promised, as he later Tweeted.

The ambassadors of the Netherlands and Sweden in Kenya also lent their support and felicitations to the occasion, pledging heightened commitment to development support to Somaliland.

The minister of Transportation of Federal Ethiopia and the Minister of defense of Djibouti also spoke of their hope of re-invigorated relations with Somaliland.

Following Tweets show a cross-section of views of the take-over ceremony.

 

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