Somaliland: State to Reposes all Public Property in Private Hands

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By: Yusuf M Hasan

HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – All public buildings and land currently in private hands is to be returned to the government with immediate effect.

This development follows a presidential decree # JSL/M/XERM/249-2314/032014 in which also informs that no citizen in fraudulent possession of said property and have undertaken any developments in the said public property shall be compensated by the government.

In his decree the Somaliland president Ahmed Mahmud Silanyo informed that the decision to reposes all public property currently occupied by individuals emanates from recommendations made from a study by the ministry of public works, housing and transport.

According to the decree the president was also guided by the Somaliland constitution and more specifically article 12 section 3 and article 90 as well as article 31 section 2 of the land management #17/2001.

The presidential decree was further guided by a number of decision made by past Somaliland presidents and pertaining to possession of public buildings and land by citizens.

In further pursuit of establishing proper management of public property and extension of governance as well as being satisfied that current occupation is fraudulent the head of state decreed that:

1. As pertains to all state buildings not in Government hands and management be:

a) Handed over back to the government

b) The government shall not compensate for any developments undertaken by those illegally occupying said public property

c) Citizens who have illegally constructed residences on public land illegally to make compensation to the state in sums equally to the current market value.

d) Land set aside for roads and other public amenities cannot be occupied by any one individual whatsoever

e) Any individual found to have destroyed public property to be held accountable as per the law

2. All public buildings and land set aside for public amenities to be properly demarcated and titled as per the dictates of the laws of Somaliland.

3. All not in use Government buildings and land set aside for public amenities to be sold and subsequent proceeds put in the central coffers.

Accordingly this presidential decree is to be implemented by the committee established under provisions of article 31 section 2 of the land act #17/2001 which states “Any land belonging to the state and deemed necessary for disposal through sell to an individual, Company and Embassy etc can only be undertaken by a national committee with the mandate of the central government

The committee comprises of

a) Minister of Public works, Housing and transport –Chair

b) Minister of Finance –Member

c) Attorney General- Member and

d) Auditor General- Secretary

In its implementation of this decree its subsequent policies and procedures in general the national committee shall be assisted by:

I. The Presidency Minister

II. Minister of Interior

III. Minister of Education

IV. Minister of Justice

V. Minister of Labour and Social affairs and

VI. Solicitor General

Since the country reclaimed its sovereignty in 1991a large portion of state property has been under the occupation of citizens either by consent of the government or illegally.

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