Somaliland: A Discussion with the Ethiopian Community Members in Borama

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Ethiopian Ambassador to Somaliland Gen Berhe Tesfaye (C) briefing the Borame meeting

Somalilandsun – Hundreds of Ethiopian community members living in Borama and its surroundings convened on Saturday 28 December 2013 a discussion session in Borama, Somaliland, where participants were urged to establish stronger association which will help to put in place more effective and broader self-support packages.

Discussions covered the overall development and security situation in Ethiopia where millions of people are continuing to graduate out of the abject state of poverty. Included was the briefing on the new Ethiopian Diaspora Policy aiming to deepening their benefits and participation in their country’s development endeavors. They were also urged to make use of the benefits forwarded to them by the Ethiopian Government including through the recent housing scheme aiming to benefit Ethiopians including in the Diaspora. Attending the meeting include Deputy Chief of Borama district, Mr. Abdi Nur Sugal, Mayor of Borama City, Mr. Suleiman Hassan Hadi and other high level officials from the security sector and a number of religious leaders.

Ethiopian Residents of Borame at the meeting with Ambassador Tesfaye

During the discussion, Head of the Ethiopian Consulate General office in Somaliland, Brigadier General Berhe Tesfay, noted the longstanding and growing relations that exist between Ethiopia and Somaliland in the areas of business, security, political and social affairs. He noted the Ethiopian government’s ambition and determination of ensuring sustainable growth which will benefit all segments of societies in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa region at large. This he said will pave the way for more meaningful cooperation between the two sides which in turn will enable people’s of Ethiopia and Somaliland to have better options of job opportunities in either sides. To this end, the General applauded the Ethiopian communities’ encouraging roles in reinforcing the growing Government-to-Government as well as people-to-people relations between Ethiopia and Somaliland. He appreciated the spirit of cooperation of Ethiopian communities in every parts of Somaliland for common efforts aimed at ensuring peace, security and stability. The high level officials from Borama also shared these sentiments.

Having said this, the General also expressed readiness to provide any possible support to the Ethiopian communities being established in Borama and in any parts of Somaliland. He appreciated the encouraging start the Borama Ethiopian community association in discharging its responsibility of addressing challenges its members were facing. He said the association could fulfill its overriding mission if it could address problems related to limited financial and material capacity by expanding its members and their regular monthly or bimonthly contributions. Members were so far limited as compared to the number of Ethiopian community residing in Borama and its surroundings which are estimated to be over one thousand. This will enable a satisfactory and amicable resolution of challenges facing the association’s members easier.

While noting that Ethiopia is developing rapidly as it continues growing double digit, the General urged the community association and its members in considering a return to home and engage themselves in one of the broader work opportunities being created by the Ethiopian Government’s developmental path and lead a decent way of life at home. In case anyone prefers staying in Somaliland, the Ethiopian mission in collaboration with the association and the Somaliland competent authorities will remain devoted to ensure that the Ethiopian communities’ rights would be fully respected as far as they respect their duties. The biggest stake lies on the community’s side as it requires them to create close, regular and sustainable relationships among themselves and with the Consulate General office as this will pave the way for broader and effective approach of providing planned support.

In his briefing on the new Ethiopian Diaspora Policy, he noted the details of initiatives the policy contains. These will ensure the full respect of the rights, duties and benefits of Ethiopian Diasporas in host countries as well as on home affairs. In his briefing on the Ethiopian Government’s housing scheme, General Berhe said the scheme was aiming to benefit those including in the Diaspora to own a house of their own with affordable prices without facing the onetime-payment high cost burden.

Ethiopian citizens at the Gen Tesfaye Briefing in Borame Somaliland

Participants on their part expressed their readiness to continue fighting anti-peace elements by exposing any terrorist and criminal activities to both sides. They said they will continue on uncovering any anti-civilian disruptive plots orchestrated by anti-peace elements such as alshabaab, ONLF and OLF and bringing the perpetrators into justice. The General who appreciated the participants expressed commitment also noted that this was an indication of the Ethiopian peoples’ unvarying stand towards peaceful co-existence and against extremism.

General Berhe also appreciated the Somaliland government institutions constructive role in addressing any challenges faced by the Ethiopian communities in Borama including through the amicable resolution of inter-community and intra-community misunderstandings. Deputy Chief of Borama district, Mr. Abdi Nur Sugal, on his part said his administration will remain committed in addressing any challenges the Ethiopian communities are facing. He said the joint efforts towards expedited cooperation and against common enemies will continue and emphasized the positive role the Ethiopian communities in Borama and other parts of Somaliland could play for the achievement of these. Mayor of Borama City, Mr. Suleiman Hassan Hadi, also shared the remarks. The meeting was completed with the community members’ expressed intent of organizing a bond-sale event for the renaissance dam in the months to come. A similar event was organized two months ago in Hargeisa.

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