Somaliland: “National Security Imperative” Says Interior minister

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As he, interior minister Ali Waran’ade reveals state machinations to reconcile organizers of proposed national dialogue conference fronted by opposition political parties.

Interior minister Ali Waranade 2

By: Yusuf M Hasan

Somalilandsun – The government is committed to the assurance of sustainable security in all corners of the Republic of Somaliland.

This was informed by the Minister of Interior Ali Mohamed Waran’ade during an interview with the Somaliland National TV from his current perch in the UK capital city of London where he is on official duties.

“Recently the government through my ministry re-introduced the 999 special police unit which was equipped with 20 vehicles for operations within the capital city Hargeisa” Said Waran’ade

Informing that the regional based 999 police units have been constituted Minister Waran’ade said that a large consignment of vehicles and communication gear is currently being off-loaded at the Berbera port and shall be distributed soonest possible to all the relevant regional and district police commands nationwide.

Addressing the issue of the much touted national dialogue conference that is set to pool its participants from the national divide in a bid to divulge on mistakes purported of the current administration of president Ahmed Mahmud Silanyo and his ruling Kulmiye party thence issue corrective measures, minister Waran’ade said the state and organizers are about to reach as consensus.

Since announcement of the national dialogue conference which was originally fronted by the National Consultation and Rectification Forum-NCRF but later taken over by the two opposition political parties of UCID and Wadani, political tensions have been on the rise between proponents and opposers of the conference.

The acrimony arising from the national Dialogue conference especially between some high ranking ministers and its original proponents of the NCRF emanated from the argument, by the state, that the council was an illegal entity thence without the moral or constitutional authority to embark on such a national adventure.

The NCRF which is composed of national luminaries among them former finance minister Mohamed Hashi Elmi, SNM commander Degaweine, Haqsoor and UCID party bosses Hasan Isse Jama and Feisal Ali Respectively etc, has (NCRF) remained adamant on the actual holding of the national dialogue which was and remains perceived as an anti-ruling party ploy.

As temperatures rose high between a section of the president Silanyo cabinet and the NCRF precipitated by not only the planned national conference that was supposed to enjoin various categories of stakeholders, in jumped the two opposition parties of UCID and Wadani with claim of ownership of proposed dialogue.

Feisal Warabe and Irro reconcile

Before putting their lot into the dialogue fray the two official Somaliland opposition parties’ hitherto cutthroat political antagonists first put their differences apart and jointly announced their 100% backing of the parley that was and is still slated for participation by politicians, traditional leaders, civil society organizations, women leaders, youth and the government among others.

The national conference now seen by some as blessing in disguise by some for having forced the up till then political enemies of UCID and Wadani to set aside their differences is also perceived by others as not only a national security but one destined to impinge negatively on prevalent co-existence among various clans in the country.

While Waran’ade who as minister responsible for internal security had earlier on stated that “at no time will the national dialogue which is treasonable be allowed to take place at all owing to the inherent security risks to the nation” seems to have mellowed and taken a big about turn with present statement which reveals that the two, state and Conference organizers, are about to reach consensus, though without detailing what guidelines are being put in place be it abandonment of entire dialogue process or government nod and participation.

As for the NCRF which acknowledges its non registration as a council, justification for the planned meeting is in these words:

“Somaliland state building and democratization is an ongoing process at which the national stakeholders, including the state organs, the civil society and the public at large are tirelessly engaged in collaboration with their international partners. It is a process which has no end and hence is incumbent upon any of the above stakeholders to contribute to improve and enrich it continuously. Central to the Somaliland model of development is the principle of “dialogue” – a principle which has now become the trademark of Somaliland state building and democratization process and through which its people overcame countless challenges”

The NCRF adamancy went as far as to publicly release its proposed objectives and four pointed agenda of the national symposium whose actionable recommendations for the way forward will draw from the conference as namely:

1. Advancing the democratization process by addressing the challenges of recent and upcoming elections.

2. Appraising the Kulmiye Government’s performance and addressing the challenges facing the national governance institutions including the Executive, the Legislature, the judiciary as well as national the political parties.

3. Appraising the state of Somaliland quest for international recognition and reviewing the trajectory of dialogue with Somalia; and developing actionable recommendations for the way forward and

4. Organizing consultations on the governance backlog issues including reform of the constitution; the election/selection of the Guurti; equitable power-sharing arrangements of all Somaliland communities and balanced regional development; and developing actionable recommendations for the way forward.

Meanwhile a planned meeting between the head of state and Wadani Chair Abdirahman Irro fronted by the house of elders is expected to ease tensions between the two especially after opposition parties alleged machinations by the state to dethrone Irro from his perch as speaker of parliament.

With the political leadership in the face of Guurti chair Suleiman Aden and elder Haji Abdi Warabe now reported to be mediating between the head of state president Ahmed Mahmud Silanyo and the speaker of the Somaliland house of representatives who is also leader of the Wadani party Abdirahman Irro, the Waran’ade about turn only time will tell as par the fate proposed national dialogue.

With all the hullabaloos about the holding or not holding of the national dialogue symposium the government should maybe take note of the old English language adage “A Frog Does Not Stop An Elephant From Drinking Water”

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