By: Yumoha Pasha
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – If the press reports from local media is anything to go by , the issuance of Somali passports in an “open-secret” manner is Somaliland is not only damning, but indeed, undermining seriously the essence and integrity of the land .
The government had recently banned the issuance of Somalia passports in Somaliland hence ordered the closure of the premises of its operations and the arrests of those concerned.
However in new twist of fate the five culprits accused of the issue were on Sunday released without being duly charged.
As the local newspapers reported, the prosecutions entered a nolle- proseque in the case given that
CID maintained that they could not hold the suspects for over the mandated 45 days in custody.
Explanation as to why they were not charged or convicted was not available. The local Somali language dailies allege that 6 SL ministers benefit from the issuance of the illegal passports in SL in what is described as a syndicate. Despite the fact that the report claims to verify the names, if and when asked to, of the officials indulged in it (including names of 3 Somalia officials) the allegations are so damning that it touches on the security, integrity and independence of the country which- if it is true- has been seriously compromised and flouted.
The Somalia immigration officer, a general Gafow, was quite infuriated a couple of months ago when interior minister Hon. Ali M. Waran’ade banned the issuance of the modern E-Passports in the country such that he (the former) made a major issue out of it and burnt in public all past (green) Somali passports.
Gen Gafows happens to be the same person who in mid July this year was reported to have stormed a plane bound for Berbera and confisticated and tore 24 passports of different nationalities belonging to Somalilander passengers.
The passports saga reports this Monday’s news papers claimed that the pps go for $ 200 in SL market hence only $80 dollars was the official price.
It claims that 20 USD went to Gafow’s pockets and 100 USD was divided amongst the Somalilander cartel. It further claims that about 40 passports per day are issued in Hargeisa.
What is clear however in the report, (see Hubaal vol.02 issue 342 of Monday the 18th November 2013) is that the publisher are ready to verify their report if and when asked to. This is quite troubling if it is authenticated since it is a direct incursion to the country’s essence hence undermines its sovereignty while at the same time working against its aspirations.