By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The governments of Denmark and Somaliland have concurred on the imperatives of enhancing existing relations between the two countries.
This development follows a meeting between President Ahmed Mahmud Silanyo and the Danish trade and development minister Mogens Jensen at the Hargeisa presidency in which the Danish team also revealed intent to support the ongoing democratization process in Somaliland.
At a post meeting press briefing at the presidency jointly conducted by the Somaliland minister of foreign affairs Mohamed Behi Yuns and Minister Mogens Jensen, the two governments’ said discussions undertaken since arrival of the broad Danish team have so far been conclusive.
“The government and people of Somaliland value very much the support given by the people of Denmark towards improved live hoods especially as pertains to the Somaliland Development Fund-SDF” said FM Behi Yuns adding that Somalilanders are intent on not only sustaining but enhancing on the very deep relations existing between the two nations.
Thanking the Danish minister and his delegation which is the highest and biggest o visit Somaliland from Copenhagen Minister Behi who informed that the visiting Danes who held very successful meetings with line ministries of the Danish aid also revealed that the Jensen led team has already visited a number of beneficiary sectors among them the Livestock market ad shall call at numerous others before departure.
Denmark together with Britain and Norway are main contributors to the multi-million Somaliland Development Fund (SDF) which is geared to the provision of a single vehicle through which donors can support Somaliland’s development goals.
While Denamrk is also contributor to several other sectors directly through the government or via non governmental and international organizations the success of the World bank fronted Somaliland business Fund that supports local economic growth through grants to local entrepreneurs is attributed to the Danish contribution currently around %10m
“The government of Denmark is satisfied with the impact of its support towards development of various sectors in Somaliland and is intent on increasing its contribution in the coming years” said the Danish Trade and development minister Mogens Jensen
Thanking Somalilanders for the warm reception granted his team which includes senior government officials and several Copenhagen based journalists Minister Jensen said that his meetings with president Silanyo and other government officials were very conclusive and shed more on the avenues for enhanced cooperation.
“We discussed further issues as pertains to making Somaliland a better place for its people to live in as part of continued cooperation in the long standing partnership between our countries” said Jensen
Acknowledging that the contribution of Denmark has achieved meaningful impacts in the creation of sustainable livelihoods for Somalilanders Mogens Jensen revealed that his country intent on creating jobs locally and developing economic growth shall increase its interventions in various sectors like Agriculture ,Fishing and Vocational training among others/
While thanking Somaliland for continued advancements of Gender issues minister Jensen also noted the stand taken by Somaliland towards eliminating Female Genital Mutilation-FGM, specifically congratulating first lady Amina Mohamed Jirde “Amina Weris’ for having signed the country’s commitment during the Girl Summit 2014 in London.
On the imperatives of establishing a stable democracy with growth and jobs for its people the Danish minister who not only acknowledged success but numerous challenges urged the authorities to the pursuit of assured Human rights as well as freedom of expression and of journalists.
As for the presidential and parliamentary elections slated for mid-2015 in which minister Mogens Jensen who informed that the government of Somaliland has assured him that they shall be held on time also said a voter register was very important for free and fair elections thus urged for an expedited registration exercise in which his country shall support.
Queried on his country’s stance on the sovereignty of Somaliland ad its 23 years quest or international recognition Mr. Jensen said, “Though Denmark recognizes the achievements garnered by Somaliland its position is aligned to that of the rest of the International community and the UN”
“We shall declare our stand to this issue during a High level ministerial conference on Somalia to be hosted by my government in Copenhagen” said the Danish Trade and development Minister Mogens Jensen
Listen to the Behi and Jensen press briefing mostly in the English language.