HARGEISA, 14 September 2009 (Somalilandpress) – Somaliland American Council (SAC) is dismayed by the excessive use of power by Rayale’s government and condemning the actions of President Dahir Rayale’s government that resulted for the death of 3 innocent and unarmed people who were simple exercising their right to demonstrate. SAC also strongly condemns Rayale government for closing down the people’s house (the parliament). There are three reported deaths of innocent people today and dozens of injured people. The police fired live bullets on unarmed citizens who were demonstrating in front of the Somaliland parliament to show their support to the members and the leadership of the parliament. This is a direct violation of the Somaliland constitution, international human rights, and the young democratic process in Somaliland. The government action is precipitated when the parliament debated a motion to impeach President Rayale for failing to hold elections in Somaliland.
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The Somaliland government has been in office for 7 years and failed to hold elections so far; the government was elected to office for 5 years, at the end of its term in office, President Rayale failed to hold elections, then members of Guurti have extended the term of the government for 12 months once and 6 months the second time to hold elections; the election has not taken place yet, and the second 6months extension will expire at the end of October 2009. The reports from Somaliland last week indicated that President Rayale is planning to sent a 3rd request for extension to the Lower House of Guurti very soon.
The people are exercising their right to protest by demonstrating against the actions of the government to close down the parliament and its failure to hold the elections after being in office for 7 years. SAC calls on the Somaliland government to exercise restraint and respect the rights of its people. SAC calls on the people to strongly defend their rights peacefully and do not accept the dictatorial actions of the Rayale government. The people has suffered tremendously and paid dearly with over 100,000 lives lost (under Siad Barre’s regime ) to gain these rights and they are prepared to die to protect their rights again.
The Somaliland parliament is doing the right thing to pressure the government to hold elections immediately and to give he people the right to choose their leaders. SAC calls on the members of Guurti to do the same; by standing with the people and protecting democracy in Somaliland. SAC calls on the “Guurti” to refuse to give 3rd extension to President Rayale – after his letter of request for 3rd extension is received in few weeks. Rayale’s government has indeed damaged the hard-won reputation of Somaliland and its people. SAC calls on Rayale to resign and give the people the right to elect their president.
Somaliland American Council