WASHINGTON (Somalilandpress) — The leader of Somaliland’s main opposition Kulmiye Party, Mr Ahmed Mohamed Mohamud ‘Silanyo’ affirmed that Somaliland would be committed to contribute to the peace, stability and democratisation of its own region if elected, Somalilandpress reports.
He made the remark at a meeting held at the office of National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in Washington, DC, with Mr Princeton N. Lyman, the former Council on Foreign Relations, who is also a member of American Academy of Diplomacy and the Aspen Institute.
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Panel members and other attendees at the meeting included Amb. David H. Shinn, the former US Ambassador to Ethiopia, Mark Billera, USAID Regional Coordinator for Africa, Dave Peterson, Senior Director of NED in Africa, members of US State department including Mathew Walsh, intellectuals and aid agencies.
Mr Silanyo gave a brief overview of the country’s history, current politics and challenges it faces. He also assured them if his Party wins the April-election they were committed to education and training, diplomacy and stability, economic development, democracy and good governance.
Mr Silanyo was accompanied by his foreign Secretary, Dr Mohamed Abdullahi Omar, who stated in a speech to the NED that Kulmiye’ foreign policy will actively seek to raise to a higher level existing ties with countries around the globe – neighbours and abroad. He added Somaliland under Kulmiye would constructively engage in its own region and at the same time would contribute significantly to global issues and concerns.
After completing their speeches, the two leaders faced a number of questions from US officials on democracy, relationship with neighbouring countries, the Party’s policies, education and the economy.
The visit to the headquarter of National Endowment for Democracy came as a surprise to many Somalilanders at a time when government sources were suggesting Mr Silanyo was deported from the United States.
On Thursday [14th Jan.] Mr Silanyo and Dr Mohamed met with US Congressman Donald Payne and number of other officials from the US State Department. The government led by President Rayale insist that Donald Payne is strongly opposed to Somaliland independence, however to Kulmiye party and many Somalilanders, it’s rather a reflection of Somaliland’s failed foreign policy under president Rayale.
Somaliland, which restored its statehood in 1991 is not internationally recognized but has formed a hybrid system of governance under the Constitution of Somaliland, combining traditional and western institutions. It maintains its own government, institutions, police, military and three political parties as well as a parliament.
The Presidential elections are expected to be held in April and over one million of the republic’s three million are eligible to vote for UDUB , UCID or Kulmiye party.
The pictures below are from Kulmiye’s conference in London on Saturday [18th January], photos courtesy of QaranNews. The conference was organised by Kulmiye London branch led by Kayse Hidig as well as Kulmiye Cardiff branch chairman Mr Abdi Ba’aw. The delegation welcome Kulmiye chairman Mr Ibrahim Hussein.
Source: Somalilandpress, 17 January 2010