The Republic of Somaliland, today, glossed over the findings of a UNFPA ‘SOMALIA’ census report publicized in Mogadishu on Tuesday contesting figures published but appearing to accept that the Republic of Somaliland was a state among the federal states of present-day Somalia as the report intimated.
In subsequent VOA, BBC interviews the FGS Deputy PM and its Minister of Planning swept in Somaliland into their jurisdiction, too.
The Republic of Somaliland Minister for Planning and International Cooperation told the press that the ROS did not recognize the finding of the report because, as he put it, it contained erroneous data, and because UNFPA misled Somaliland to believe it was going to publish a Somaliland-specific census report.
The Minister stated at no time that UNFPA committed an irredeemable damage to Somaliland by intentionally including it in a Somalia report, sanctioned and blessed by a Mogadishu minister – a junior counterpart to the more experienced, more learned ROS Minister, the Hon. Sa’ad Ali Shirreh.
UNFPA Representative for Somalia, Cheik Tidiane Cisse, begins his report preface with:
“There is something special happening for the Somali people. In most parts of the country, Somalis are enjoying relative peace and stability compared to previous years. In addition, we have now reached a key milestone in the country’s history: through the Population Estimation Survey we now have a rich source of information on Somalis that will support the formulation of humanitarian and development plans.”
To him, there is one Somalia. The Republic of Somaliland never happened, and not in any of his notebooks.
Philippe Lazzarini, the United Nations Resident Coordinator for Somalia, also, began a ‘Foreword’ stated he penned for the report with:
On behalf of the UN Country Team, it is my great pleasure to present the results of the Population Estimation Survey, a groundbreaking initiative by the Somali authorities and the international community to produce the first comprehensive estimates on the Somali population in over four decades. This nationwide survey conducted from late 2013 to early 2014 collected information from Somali women and men residing in 250,000 households in urban, rural, nomadic settings and camps for the internally displaced people (IDPs).
Mr. Lazzarini acknowledges in these few words that ownership of the report reverted to Somalia, meaning that the Mogadishu authorities he recognized as Somali authorities helped produce ‘this nationwide survey’.
The cover bears Mr. Lazzarini a clear testimony.
The Somaliland public, since the report was made public yesterday, did not expect that His Excellency the Minister for Planning would stoop down to discuss paltry, inconsequential details in the report, but to express the indignation all of Somaliland felt. He should have articulated the denial of the Republic’s independence, the intentional inclusion of Somaliland in report as it did Somalia regions, the indignity of a guest (UNFPA, UNHCR) soiling the bedding, peace and cooperation offered them here, and, above all, tricking the Republic of Somaliland and its Planning ministry to cooperation based on false, subversive premises tantamount to high treason against the people and government of the Republic of Somaliland.
The Minister must have expelled UNFPA and UNHCR, whose figures have been abundantly borrowed in report. The Minister must have shown more panache, more confidence and must have come up with a decisions or decisions that restored the ruffled dignity of the nation.
Instead, the Puntland punch was more packed than that of Sa’ad Ali Shirreh.
If the government of Somaliland does not come up with a more convincing stand than the Minister’s wishy-washy statements, a big question mark will be posted on all the doorposts of line ministries that this abominable report concerns.
Please find a copy of the full report below: