An Open letter to
Somaliland House of Elders
Somaliland House of Parliament
EU office in Somaliland
AU Office in Somaliland
UNPOS office in Somaliland
Somaliland Islamic scholars
Somaliland Civil Society
Somaliland Women Group
Somaliland people are facing leadership worry.
It is true that the administration of Somaliland president MR Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo has committed human rights violations and is planning to generate a dangerous electoral crisis.
The people of Somaliland are looking forward to participate in the upcoming local government election on 28 November as Somaliland Election Committee announced; however there is a great risk that the small nation may lose their unique asset which is stability, for the reason that Somaliland’s current government has often exercising injustice decisions and lack of clarity of who is doing what.
Unfortunately, it is also a fact that the Somaliland people will go to the elections without registration. People will just go where ever they choose and cast their votes; there is also no doubt that this deprived election process may create disagreement and instability.
Somaliland’s government has helped create a measure of stability and democratic governance even as Somalia has remained mired in armed conflict. But Somaliland’s gains are fragile and currently under threat.
The administration of President Silanyo has regularly flouted human rights by putting ordinary innocent people in prison like Traditional Elders King Osman, King Rabi, and Governor of Marodijex Region Ahmed Hamarji, Direct General of Somaliland, Minister of Rehabitation, Reconstruction and resettlement Mr Ahmed Ilmi Barre, Vice President Advisor Mr Osman Said Jama, and many other Somalilanders.
Somaliland has spent 21 years trying to build stability and democracy, but all its gains are at risk if the government continues to undermine the rule of law “The electoral crisis has laid bare the need to create functioning government institutions that will respect human rights.”
There are also many Human rights groups who visited Somaliland in June 2012 in which researchers interviewed government officials, opposition leaders, civil society activists, local analysts, and victims of human rights abuses.
Somaliland declared its independence from Somalia in 1991 after the demise of Somalia’s last functioning government. Many countries are working with Somaliland however no country has yet recognized Somaliland. In addition, many international investors are interested in investing in Somaliland, however the underprivileged government leadership and lack of recognition damages the trust of external investors.
The international actors always continue to engage more deeply with Somaliland and press Somaliland’s government to respect human rights and the territory’s emerging democratic norms, and provide assistance tailored to bolster key government institutions, the media, and civil society.
In recent years the Silanyo administration has regularly treated the opposition-controlled legislature as an irritant, refusing to respect its role in the legislative process or in overseeing opaque government expenditures. Little has been done to build the capacity of the nominally independent judiciary; the lower courts are often incapable of applying the law while the Supreme Court has acted as though it is entirely beholden to the president.
Government actions in violation of domestic and international law have directly infringed upon the rights of Somalilanders, many Somaliland people who visited to Somaliland this year said.
The last few months the Imprisonment of local journalist became part of Somaliland’s daily activities and the Silanyo administration has also circumvented the courts and trampled on the rights of criminal defendants by relying on a “Justice System” that is entirely under the control of the executive and that have no right to act as independent Judiciary.
The local courts and high court sentence and imprison Somalilanders, including people accused of common crimes and juveniles, without any presence of due process. They regularly sentence defendants en masse on the basis of little or no evidence after truncated hearings in which the accused are given no right to speak.
But patterns of low-level harassment targeting journalists, opposition activists, and others are the most common. On numerous occasions government officials have detained, usually for brief periods, individuals who have publicly criticized the government or provided press coverage deemed to be unfavorable. In March 2012, there was a very surprising incident when the Former Director General of Somaliland Foreign Affairs Mohamoud Raage resigned his position as DG and accused his Minster DR Mohamed Abdullahi for Stolen Public Fund and using Minister’s budget for his personal interest, unfortunately, the CID detained Mr Mohamoud in the country (Restriction of Movement) without Court Process and this case never come to court hearing.
Somaliland’s precarious situation in the region has deterred Somalilanders from protesting loudly when their rights are abused for fear of damaging their territory’s hard-won stability and its quest for international recognition. Many Somaliland people argued that they are effectively “hostages to peace” – unable to confront Somaliland’s deepest problems effectively for fear of upsetting the fragile balance that has kept the territory from going the way of Somalia and other countries in the region.
The repeated unjust decisions in regard to appointing and dismissing the government high positions threaten also the foundations of its emerging democratic system. “Somaliland is currently at a dangerous crossroads, 21 years of progress towards democratic governance and general respect for human rights will either be consolidated or endangered, depending on President Silanyo’s next moves.
The factors which may create severe instability is when the Somaliland Government decide to preplan or preselect which party will win the upcoming local elections where they already exclude UDUB Party and Nasiye Party from competition by using government Budget and illegal dictions reached by Registration election Committee.
Many Somaliland people are arguing that the upcoming election is almost a waste of time where the Government executive committee has already decided that The Ruling Party Kulmiye, The Speakers Party Wadani and Former Somaliland Vice President’s Party Xaqsoor should win the election, where the reality on the ground shows different since Umada, Reys, Wadani and UCID are the most popular parties across the Country.
Finally, There is concern about health condition of Somaliland president and the involvement of his Wife Aamina Jirde’s in the country’s decision making process and the role of his Minister of presidency Mr Hirsi H Ali Hassan who has very little knowledge in term of leadership and management, above and beyond that he has a history of engaging and involving gang violence and promotion of instability during previous government ruling time.
Considering all above information, we are voluntarily recommending that Somaliland Elders, Traditional People, House of Elders, House of Parliament, Civil Society, EU, EGAD, AU, and international community should seriously consider the future of Somaliland nation and its absence of transparence leadership.
Mahad Saalah Hassan
Somaliland Human Right Movement ( SOHUR)
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