• Briefs the US under Secretary of state for political affairs Ms Wendy Sherman
• Concurs with Business Council For International Understanding –BCIU on imperative need to facilitate US investments in various sectors in Somaliland
• Meets USAID Chief who informs that the US government shall increase direct development aid to Somaliland
• Discusses Horn of Africa regional security issues and needs with the Pentagon
• Briefs Senate committee on Africa Affairs on prevalent status in Somaliland
• Presents a paper titled “Somaliland’s Achievements in a Fragile Region” at the Atlantic Council
By: Yusuf M Hasan
WASHINGTON DC (Somalilandsun) – “after a period of neglect, the international community has taken preliminary steps to restore political stability in the Horn of Africa region which has endured decades of violent repression, civil war, terrorism, and piracy.
This is per the Somaliland president Ahmed Mahmud Silanyo who is currently visiting the USA who adds that “Ironically, Just north of Somalia the world has paid much less attention to a nearby model of success, the Republic of Somaliland enjoys starkly different circumstances
The president who is in his first official visit to the US as president of the yet unrecognized republic of Somaliland he heads has achieved within a short period of time an immeasurable success as pertains to putting his country’s agenda firmly in the world agenda.
The head of state who is leading a broad-based delegation that consists of senior government officials and political leaders is set to round up his US tour with a briefing meeting with his countrymen and women living in North America in at Chantilly, Virginia.
In the course of his official tour president Silanyo has so far held consultative talks with the US under Secretary of state, Business Council for International Understanding, USAID, and Chair of the Senate committee on Africa Affairs ad presented a paper at the prestigious Atlantic council.
At the meeting with state department’s Under Secretary for Political Affairs Ms Wendy Sherman discussions revolved around issues of mutual concern, including stability, democracy and governance, and the need to combat al-Shabaab. The United States expressed support for continued dialogue between the Government of Somalia and Somaliland authorities, as took place in Turkey on April 13. The United States reiterated its strong support for a peaceful and united Somalia.
President Silanyo also urged the US government to support the bid by Somaliland to secure observer status at various organizations like IGAD, AU, UN and others.
Both Ms Sherman and her head of the African desk Don Yamamoto revealed that the recent recognition of the Mogadishu government by the Obama administration does not impinge in anyway existing relations between the US and Somaliland.
The undersecretary who commended Somaliland on various achievements garnered despite its unrecognized status as a sovereign country, promised her government’s continued development aid in addition to significant support to forthcoming presidential and parliamentary elections.
According to the Somaliland diplomatic representative in the USA Mr Rashid Nuur Gaaruf the covenants of the meeting between the Somaliland delegation and the US team led by Undersecretary Wendy Sherman were cemented at a sumptuous lunch in the state department Washington DC.
Business Council for International Understanding
On the economic front president Silanyo urged Americans to benefit both their companies and citizens of Somaliland by investing in the yet untapped and lucrative natural resource sector that has so far only attracted European and Middle East multi-nationals.
The president urged this during a luncheon meeting hosted by the Business Council for International Understanding-BCIU at the Willard hotel where top honchos of the council promised to solicit American investments for Somaliland.
President Silanyo who concurred with BCIU on the imperative need for enhanced economic and financial partnership with US based investors, said that his country which is endowed with a lot of natural resources and other investments opportunities is a sure profitable bet for any investor.
With members from more than 150 world-leading companies, BCIU provides an on-going forum for senior business executives to interact with heads of state/government, cabinet ministers, and senior government officials.
The United States Agency for International Development-USAID has informed that its interventions in Somaliland have not been affected by the US government’s recognition of the Mogadishu government.
This was informed during a meeting the head of state president Ahmed Mahmud Silanyo held with senior USAID officials in Washington DC where the agency not only promised to sustain its partnership with various stakeholders in Somaliland but enhance on them as well during the forthcoming years.
USAID is the United States federal government agency primarily responsible for administering civilian foreign aid. It was created USAID in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy.
Though its mandate is to implement development assistance programs in the areas authorized by the Congress in the Foreign Assistance Act which it undertakes in the guise of a technically independent federal agency its operations are subject to the foreign policy guidance of the President, Secretary of State, and the National Security Council. USAID’s Administrator works under the direct authority and foreign policy guidance of the Secretary of State
Senate committee on Africa Affairs
The Somaliland political scenario as pertains to the wider horn Africa region were presented by President Silanyo to the US Senate committee on Africa Affairs during a honour luncheon hosted in his delegations honour by the committee’s chair Senator Jeff Flake at Capitol Hill, Washington DC.
While urging concerted US support for his country President Silanyo told Senator Jeff Flake that “it was the primary responsibility of the authorities and people of Somaliland to make efforts to acquire political recognition from the international community/
In support of his bosses comments the foreign minister Dr Mohamed Abdilahi Omar, told Senator Jeff Flake that Somaliland deserves recognition as sovereign nation having demonstrated the characteristics and fulfilled all prerequisites of a strong democratic state since it reasserted its independence from Somalia on May 18, 1991.
Somaliland has demonstrated the characteristics of a strong democratic state”,
Senator Jeff Flake a ranking member and senior member representing of the minority party (Republican) in the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations for African Affairs hosted President Silanyo and members of his delegation in his office.
“Somaliland is a functioning, stable and democratic state, which has a constitution which entrenches, among other aspects, the separation of power between the three arms of government the existence of active opposition political parties with some capacity to influence public policy; and a budding independent press” President Silanyo told Senator Jeff Flakes
On his part the Senator from Arizona Jeff Flake who is a senior member of the
minority party (Republican) Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations for African Affairs promised President Silanyo concerted support for his country following the briefing which he termed as enlightening and a revelations of matters pertinent to the Somalia –Somaliland situation.
Members of his delegation in his office.
In the course of the hectic schedule of his USA tour president Silanyo and his delegation parleyed the pentagon on security and other issues as relates to Somaliland and the Horn Africa region’s war on terror and piracy.
At a closed door luncheon meeting hosted at the Pentagon president Silanyo informed senior US military chiefs the prevailing security situation in Somaliland especially as pertains to the war on terror and anti-piracy.
Said he “My country that remains unrecognized as a sovereign state has managed to secure its borders from marauding terrorists and pirates thus a significant contributor to international efforts in the horn of Africa region”
While brushing aside recent reports that Al-shabaab terrorists escaping from the AMISOM onslaught in Somalia are creating bases in Somaliland, president Silanyo who said that national security forces remain vigilant of this scourge though encumbered by insufficient equipment thus urging the Pentagon to facilitate availability of modern weapons and training.
According to foreign minister Dr Mohamed Abdilahi Omar the meeting and discussions with Senior US defence officers at the Pentagon that encompassed various aspects within Somaliland and the wider horn region ended in concurrence on establishing sustainable relationships in the areas Security as well as matters related to Somalia Somaliland.
Atlantic council Address Somaliland’s Achievement in a fragile region
The Somaliland Team
President Silanyo who is leading a high powered delegation to the US is accompanied by the first lady Ms Amina Mohamed Sh Jirdeh ‘Amina Weris’
Others who have accompanied him to the various meetings include
Mr Hirsi Ali H Hassan, Minister of Presidential Affairs
Dr Mohamed A. Omar, Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Co-operation
Dr Saad Shire, Minister of Planning & Development
Eng. Hussein A. Duale, Minister of Mining, Energy & Water Resources
Mr Osman Abdilahi Sahardid, State Minister of Finance
Mr Rashid Gaaruf, US-Somaliland Ambassador