Somaliland: Government Responds to Opposition Non-recognition Statement

The Minister for Interior, Mohamed Kahin Ahmed, flanked by the National Police Commissioner, Major-General Mohamed Adan Sanqadhi ‘Dabagale’, reassured the nation that keeping the peace was a priority following a declaration of non-recognition of government that opposition parties made Sunday.

Minister Kahin pointed out that the government would place more emphasis on ensuring the safety of all citizens and that none infringed on others’ rights and right to live and go about his/her business as usual.

“We have just concluded an exercise where 14 political associations had to prove follower base in all the regions. More than 83 000 people participated. Several thousand police officers, supported by around 2000 military personnel safeguarded the smooth process of the exercise. Not a single incident disturbing the peace was reported. That is peace. That is what a government does. That is why Somaliland is lauded for proving to be a beacon of stability in a volatile region. That is what distinguishes Somaliland  from many of its peers in the region, including our former brethren in government – Somalia to the south,” Minister Kahin said.

He pointed out the opposition had no right to declare Somaliland a state without a government.

“It is not the first time a government ended without an election. It is not the first time extensions had to be made to bridge a gap. The presidential (and founder) of Waddani Abdirahman Irro presided over the House of Representatives for over 15 years, overstaying his mandated term by 7 years. He was all for that overstay justifying it as necessary one way or the other. For him, then, the Guurti, that made those extensions did so legitimately and, now, he leaves it out of institutions he stated merited his recognition’. Opposition need reconcile the two contradicting views,” he said.

Minister Kahin added that not only did the opposition leave out the Guurti – the Upper House of Somaliland’s bicameral parliament – but also the National Electoral Commission (NEC) and the Committee for Registration of Political Associations and Approval of National Parties (CRPAANP), the two opposition parties endorsed within the year.

Kulmiye, he stated, was the only national political party that did not have a member nominated to the electoral commission where both Waddani and UCID had one each.

“As a party, we ask for people’s votes and trust. We have no right to ask for their blood. And that is how we have been electing government, how 5 Presidents have peacefully handed over mantles to one another in the past,” Kahin said.

On his part, General Sanqadhi, reiterated that nothing untoward would happen to tip the balance of peace and stability in the country.

“The police is an arm of the civil society that, together with other citizens, ensure security of nationals with an eagle eye,” he said.

“Nothing happened and nothing will happen to disturb the peace. We urge citizens not to encourage confrontations between pockets of demonstrators and the police forces. Where and when these occur, it is inevitable that clashes ensue. We must, together, all avoid to create such situations,” the Commissioner said.

The joint conference of the Minister and the Commissioner closely followed another joint press conference that the opposition UCID and Waddani held earlier in the evening where they declared that as of that moment they did not recognize the legitimacy of President Musa Bihi or his government.

The mandated term of the existing 3 national parties of Kulmiye, UCID, and Waddani comes to end on 26 December 2022; the government’s on 13 November leaving the nation on limbo.

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