As Expatriates defy vacate order
By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The UK alleged security threat for westerners goes unheeded while citizens demonstrate against the negative travel advisory to their country.
Citizens in various towns have taken to the streets, demonstrating in protest against the last Sunday UK travel ban and security threat alert for westerners in Somaliland.
Thousands of Erigavo residents brought all activities in the sanaag region capital city as they protested the lumping of their country with others infested with terrorism.
“Somaliland is a peaceful and terrorism free country as opposed to others where terror thrives’ chanted the Erigavo demonstrators.
After their round the entire town demonstration the protesters who converged at the Freedom garden were addressed by various leaders among Mayor Ismail Haji Nuur, Sanaag regional Governor Aden Egal Diriye ‘Geeljire’ and several traditional and political leaders who all condemned the terming of peaceful Somaliland as terrorist infected thus insecure for expatriates from the western world.
Last Sunday, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office released a travel advisory in which it advised its citizens to leave Somaliland immediately due to an imminent security threat against westerners especially as pertains to kidnappings.
The government of Somaliland has negated the alleged security threat while confirming that the security of all expatriates/foreigners in the country is the responsibility of the government. The police commissioner went as far as to invite British security branches to visit thus first hand experience of existing security.
Since the UK travel ban thousands of residents of Berbera, Gabile and Hargeisa have taken to the streets in similar protest demonstrations.
Meanwhile a number of expatriates contacted by Somalilandsun have informed that, though they have taken extra precautionary security measures they are not planning to leave as a result of the insecurity alert from Britain.
A spot check also shows that less than ten expatriates have heeded the alert and left the country while most remain at their stations though with restrained movements thus ensconced in their compounds.
“Apart from my inability to move around as usual my situation remains the same” said one programme manager of an international organization who requested anonymity.