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Somaliland Sun Editorial Team, May 20, 2013
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|Somaliland: We shall disagree to agree with the TFG-Habsade|
|Sunday, 13 May 2012 22:36|
By: Yumoha Pasha
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The Sool belligerents have been asked to table their grievances peaceful since sovereignty of Somaliland is irrevocable.
This was said by the minister of Public works and Housing Hon Ahmed Abdi Habsade during an exclusive interview with the Hornnewspaper (www.hornnewspaer.com ) and somalilandsun at his offices in Hargeisa where he termed secessionists in some parts of Sool region as a misguided few under the pay of Anti- Somaliland elements.
Hon Habsade also informed that talks with Somalia will be held as per the dictates of the London conference, and the two sides will either agree and reach a mutual understanding or disagree and continue prevalent status quos thus a never achievable quest for Somaliland's recognition while Somalia remains a failed state.
Minister Habsade who is the senior most politician from Sool region in the Silanyo government also touched on the ministry of public works and housing saying that though its mandate is very important as it is responsible for all public infrastructures and transport in the whole country, it is underfunded thus unable to perform to its peak.
Below are the verbatim excerpts of the interview.
Q. Minister kindly give a brief ministerial situation report?
A. As you are aware I assumed duties at the ministry of Public works and housing-MPW&H recently after I was transferred from the information ministry.
The MPW&H is responsible for all public buildings and transport in the country, two areas that are very important to national development thus a need for proper management. The activities of the ministry are in line with national development plans though the budget allocated and expected results do not complement each other.
This anomaly is uniform within government ministries due to the low pockets of central coffers which are further exacerbated by the country's non-recognition which means we cannot secure bilateral aid or loans from government financiers like the IMF, World Bank & ADB etc. Despite this constraint MPW&H is performing excellently and the sky is the limit.
Q. Honourable minister you are a member of the Somalia talks technical committee appointed by president Silanyo, being the oldest and most experienced member of the committee how do you perceive the talks?
A. It is first important to understand that Somaliland and Somalia are two brotherly countries, with shared boundaries which were put in place by their two European colonial masters of Britain and Italy respectively. Be it unfortunate or fortunate the two countries were united upon independence.
I personally witnessed all these events from the quest for independence from Britain to the union with Somalia which was reluctant but pushed and forced by Somaliland.
The haste in unity was responsible for non-signing of any union agreements, "Let's wrap our union with a handshake for the glory of a greater Somalia", and within a month Somaliland was complaining of ill treatment which resulted in unsuccessful civilian and military coups, these grievances which were the reason for the union breakup continue to date"
As I said I witnessed all these events and I believe it is time we settled issues once and for all through the proposed talks where we all shall table our issues of interest thus concur and sign a mutually binding agreement or disagree and continue prevalent stand-off. And this will have to be done face to face therefore the issue of talking is a foregone conclusion which is a must undertaking.
As per talks preparations the two technical committees have not yet met due to the inclusion of two Somalilanders in the TFG committee which was meant to create disharmony.
Our therefore refused to sit on the same table with the TFG puppets from Somaliland, due to the dictates of the London conference which determined that the talks shall be between Somaliland and Somalia represented by the TFG and not between Somaliland and its citizens or some regional administration under the TFG.
Q. Minister Habsade the government of President Silanyo has been accused of many ills, what are your comments on this?
A. Personally I do not see any of the ills you are referring to, the government of president Silanyo is an all-encompassing one, with skilled, learned and experienced operatives capable of fulfilling the demands of administering a country.
Within a period of less than two years the Silanyo administration has made tangible development strides in all sectors that are visible even to the blind.
We have managed to control public expenditure, curtail corruption, increased revenue which is not distributed haphazardly because you are my INADHEER (cousin) or TOLKA (clan) but is properly controlled by the finance ministry for the benefit of Somalilanders especially the long suffering and ill paid civil servants whose salaries were increased 100% not to mention free primary school education which has seen unprecedented new school registrations.
Instead of accusing the government for stopping corruption and establishing strict and transparent public finance management , Silanyo's government should be praised for improving the living standards of civil servants as well as meeting the Educational objectives of the Millennium Development Goals-MDG as all children both from poor or affluent families have access to free education.
To the government which is concerned with improving the lives of citizens the accusation of ills are the dull and tuneless beats emanating from the cacophony of failed politicians and former administrators now in opposition.
Q. Finally Minister Habsade, what is the general situation of Sool region?
A. The noises you hear from Sool are from a few self-seeking young people who have no interest in the welfare of other residents.
These people do not love the region more than I do, why, I am Sool born and reared and I am interested in the welfare of my people as well as my country Somaliland.
What I fail to understand is why do the belligerent few refuse to accept the government oft repeated calls for peaceful negotiations, this refusal and continued animosity seems to be a clear signal that there are no tangible grievances to table to the government.
What type of people will refuse to negotiate thus reconcile peaceful and instead force poor residents to ignore appeals for discussions, force students to throw away books and pens and pick guns, thus fight and continue to die for nothing
"Wallahi" this is absurd and I will never be part of it, What I always say to these misguided few from Sool is, WHY NOT DISCUSS PEACEFULLY AT FIRST AND IF YOUR PURPORTED GRIEVANCES ARE NOT ADDRESSED THEN, PICK UP YOUR GUNS AND FIGHT, BUT FIGHT NOT BEFORE TALKING.
Q. Things have been cool for a month without fresh armed skirmishes between Some Sool region tribal militias and the national army, are there secret talks going on?
A. The government has never instigated clashes, while President Silanyo is on record for continuously urging co-existence through peaceful reconciliation, take a piece of paper and write all your grievances against the central government and they shall be addressed to your satisfaction. This cannot be done because the militias are bankrolled and controlled by Puntland.
It is vital that these few trouble makers in Sool understand the sovereignty of Somaliland is sacrosanct therefore never to be revoked. We left Hamar (Mogadishu) refused anything to do with Puntland because of the belief in Somaliland.
We are all citizens of this country and as such we need to live in harmony without thoughts of hiving some parts in order to form some administration. Because this will never happen let us sit in talks with the government so as to allow SOOL people take their rightful place in the country for there is no other way that our people can equitably share in national development.
Thank you Minister
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