Somaliland: “We Shall Defend Territorial Integrity” – Hashi

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Minister Hashi warns on airspace infringment

-ICAO, Somalia must substantiate move on Airspace

-Arbitrary UN action to bear grave repercussive results

By M.A. Egge

HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The state has sternly warned that it will never allow any entity to infringe upon its territorial integrity.

In a strongly worded press statement  the Aviation Minister, Hon. Mohammed Abdi Hashi cautioned the UN not to invoke arbitrary action over SL’s air space.

“Any action in this direction would only have grave repercussive results which has to be borne by the UN”, warned Hon. Hashi.

He took issue with the southern Somalia government as abetting in cahoots with the UN, a move which he said would bring turmoil to the horn region as a whole, if not checked.

The minister was responding to the news that his counterpart in Mogadishu has announced that the UN has reverted the running of the whole of the air space of the former Somalia government to the former Italian Somaliland contrary to the status quo, the situation on the ground, and by thus, against the agreements reached at the Istanbul SL/Somalia talks.

“I assume the words are only the sentiments of my Mogadishu counterpart”, adduced Hon. Hashi and further observed, “If it is otherwise and the sentiments reflects the stand of his government, then it would undermine and short-circuit the continuing SL/ Somalia talks”.

The SL/Somalia talks that was brokered in London in June last year had a major article in its MoU which specified that for the spirit of the talks to take effect no part was to undermine the other.

Later on in further SL/ Somalia talks, it was agreed that (after 90 days), thus come January 1st 2014, a technical team would run SL air space in Hargeisa- (comprising of Somalilanders), a decision that the UN’s body International Civil Aviation Organization was privy to.

In advent, the new twist in the long time fraught issues of SL airspace, is taking a turn whose saga puts SL on a serious collision course with the UN body and pits her directly against her southern neighbor in a new hostility form. .

“The arbitrary UN decision does not augur well for the future peace and stability of the area and would only brew turmoil”, thundered Hon. Hashi.

“This is not mere rhetoric but it is a decision well thought of by the cabinet beforehand”, he said.

Through UN Security Council Resolution No. 994 of 1994, the UN’s agency ICAO put former Somalia airspace into “receivership”: and appointed Caritas to run it for the sake and benefit of safe and smooth uninterrupted IATA traffic.

A letter confirming the words of Somalia’s Hersi Elmoge (assuming it is authentic) which is hereunder reproduced opens wide the gate for SL’s defence.

Saying that SL demanded explanations Hon. Hashi quipped, “We will definitely have to seek substantiation hence we’ll meet both the Somalis and the UN’s ICAO themselves to have some light shade on this issue”.

He said that Somalilanders were peace loving people who have persevered a lot over the past two decades having jumped many hurdles to rebuild the country from ashes of ruins.

“Our people are humble, have gone through a lot hence acquired wisdom to wade through friendly or hostile waters”, and added, “the youth know their cue and wouldn’t sit back to see their future destroyed”.

Saying that Somalia was putting in jeopardy the ongoing SL/ Somalia talks, the minister termed the southerners actions as counter-productive.

He said that they have so far tried to obstruct and undermine foreign investiture being established in SL hence have sent stimuli of negative feelers to probable and prospective investors to put them off.

This action, explained Hon. Hashi, is a serious misdemeanor that would promptly send the talks into disarray.

As for the UN, the minister was categorical that SL was a defacto country with all the rights of its territorial integrity hence if it is infringed upon, the prevalent conducive security, commercial and bilateral relations would disappear giving, rise to votility and internal displacements, something of a cross that the UN has to bear.

“I swear that the notion to suppress Somalilanders at the expenses of others is but a pipe-dream”, he swore.

Reiterating that this country is an entity well noted for two decades that is here and here to stay, and that it was independent enough as to have its own alternative options planned in advance.

Coaxed by prods from reporters, the minister said that further upgrading of Hargeisa airport would start by November whereby another mile would be added on the runway.

He once again reminded the people that the statement was a collective state decision whose boldness should not be seen as chest-thumping, but indeed, the crux of the matter.

Read the ICAO SFG letter

For somali speakers watch the Somaliland aviation minister press briefing

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