Annual Constitutional Address

0
46

Ladies and Gentlemen,

After a prolonged struggle ignited by grievances from the unified government’s appointment in 1960, countless lives and vast resources have been sacrificed. This arduous journey has traversed various phases.

Thousands of Somaliland citizens perished, cities lay in ruins, and wealth was decimated. The war concluded in 1991 when Somaliland reclaimed its sovereignty.

Over the 33 years since regaining independence, Somaliland has undergone numerous phases, each marked by its own trials and triumphs. Significant achievements include fostering peace, establishing governance structures, and garnering international recognition, despite remaining unrecognized by much of the world.

Five presidents have assumed office through peaceful transitions. Additionally, three presidents, two Houses of Representatives, and three local councils have been elected through a system of one person, one vote—a rarity among many developing countries in Africa.

Somaliland has taken on this formidable task despite facing reluctance from the international community to grant it legal and political recognition. Furthermore, certain African governments and proponents of democracy have yet to acknowledge our nation. Nevertheless, I am confident that recognition will come in due time.

This underscores the hypocrisy evident in the policies of certain states—a criticism particularly poignant for those who champion democracy.

The successive KULMIYE-led governments, elected by the people, have diligently worked to implement the party’s proposed programs for the nation. Thankfully, a substantial portion of these promises has been fulfilled. This is evident in the National Budget, which escalated from 285 billion SL Shillings in 2010 to 2.25 trillion SL Shillings in 2023, representing a remarkable 787% increase. This vision prioritizes nation-building, with a central focus on enhancing the income of citizens.

During the second term of the KULMIYE government, significant efforts were made in several key areas:

  • Enhancing internal security and national defense.
  • Ensuring stability in the economy by combating inflation, maintaining currency exchange stability, and reforming the financial system.
  • Improving government through good governance practices and restructuring the civil service system to prioritize skilled and knowledgeable employment.
  • Investing in economic infrastructure and enhancing social services.
  • Advancing basic community services such as access to water, healthcare, and education.
  • Promoting open and fair competition for employment opportunities, exemplified by initiatives like the National Employment Program.
  • Engaging in diplomatic relations and actively pursuing international recognition for the Republic of Somaliland.

 

Ladies and gentlemen;

As you know, economic growth is crucial for the development of the country. During my tenure, this government has established a conducive environment for economic development and implemented rules to facilitate this growth.

The infrastructure supporting our economy, along with key production sectors such as livestock, agriculture, fishing, and mining, has been significantly improved.

The second KULMIYE government faced various international and local challenges. Among these were the global COVID-19 pandemic and the contentious aftermath of the 2017 election, which some opposition parties turned into a prolonged controversy. This dispute, ongoing for six and a half years, negatively impacted the country’s security and stability. Additionally, the wars in Ukraine and Gaza have had adverse effects on the global economy, including Somaliland.

Although the global economic crisis affected us, Somaliland has partially weathered it due to the government’s policies, such as:

  • Modernizing and developing the revenue collection process
  • Increasing foreign tax income and reducing dependence on customs taxes
  • Building public confidence in paying taxes
  • Streamlining spending management
  • Ensuring transparency in the use of the National Budget

International guidelines have been implemented to strengthen the accountability of government institutions and protect national assets, guided by the accounting system and financial management principles. These guidelines for enhancing accountability and improving the country’s financial system have enabled successive KULMIYE-led governments to significantly increase the national budget.

 

Figure 1: Government Budget Growth

Government Budget
2010 2023 Growth Percentage
285,126,660,000 2,530,336,471,862 2,245,209,811,862 787%

        

The Second Government of KULMIYE increased the government budget by 63%.

 

FIGURE 2: Government Budget Growth

Government Budget 
2017 2023 Growth Percentage
1,553,204,022,280 2,530,336,471,862 977,132,449,582 63%

 

The increase in the government budget has made the government the largest employer in the country, currently employing 26,917 workers. Most of these employees are young people who have been recruited through the National Employment Program based on their knowledge, skills, and open competition.

When the KULMIYE party came to power in 2010, there were 9,591 civil servants. By 2017, this number had increased to 14,854, representing a 55% increase. Between 2017 and 2023, the number of government employees further increased to 26,917, an 81% increase. Overall, during the tenure of the KULMIYE party, the number of government employees has grown by 181%, adding 17,326 new jobs.

 

Figure 3: Increase in Civil Servants

Civil Servants
2010 2023 Growth Percentage
9,591 26,917 17,326 181%

 

The second KULMIYE government increased the number of civil servants by 81%.

 

Figure 4:  Increase in Civil Servants

Civil Servants
2017 2023 Growth Percentage
14,854 26,917 12,063 81%

 

For the first time, the Civil Servants’ Entitlement and Retirement Act, along with 18 guidelines, was drafted to support the welfare and development of civil servants.

Recognizing the importance of laws for the construction and development of the nation, the government created and passed 47 laws from 2017 to 2023. In contrast, from 1993 to 2017, only 50 effective government and assembly laws were enacted. This demonstrates the government’s commitment to making Somaliland a country based on law and order.

In contrast, the House of Representatives, in its current three-year term, has passed only one act.

 

1.1.  FINANCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE:

Economic infrastructure plays a pivotal role in fostering national income growth, facilitating the circulation of commercial goods, and enticing investment, thereby creating a conducive environment for economic expansion.

  • The current length of the port stands at 1,050 meters quay, with a depth of 16 meters capable of accommodating heavy ships carrying up to 18,000 tons of 20 feet.
  • In a recent Service Excellence Competition organized by the World Bank, the Port of Berbera ranked 106th out of 405 ports worldwide, leading Sub-Saharan African countries. Credit and praise are due to the chiefs and staff of the port. Currently, the port employs 1,358 permanent workers and 2,000 irregular workers. Upon completion of the second phase of the port’s construction, this number is expected to increase.
  • The commencement of the Second Phase of the Berbera Port’s construction, a 600-meter extension, is imminent, contingent upon the signing of the Business Agreement for the Berbera Economic Corridor (Berbera Corridor). Our vision is to expand the Berbera Port to a length of 1,600 meters, capable of handling over 2 million containers annually.
  • Presently, the main cranes in the Berbera Port are linked with three large cranes. Upon completion of the Second Phase, seven new large cranes will be added, bringing the total to ten cranes.
  • The Berbera Economic Zone has been finalized, with 33 companies currently registered.

 

Berbera Fuel Jetty

The construction of the modern Berbera offshore oil pipeline, spanning 2,000 meters in length, has been completed and is fully operational. These modern pipelines streamline the process of refueling ships, enhancing efficiency in fueling operations. The funding for this pipeline was provided by Ardmore Capital Management, and the investment made by the company will be reimbursed to the Government of Somaliland.

 

Establishment of Somaliland Airline

The initiation of Somaliland Airline’s operations requires meticulous preparation, including the training of technicians (engineers and mechanics), pilots, and other essential staff.

Currently, there are four pilot training planes stationed in Hargeisa, all belonging to Somaliland. Additionally, Hargeisa is equipped with experienced pilots and technicians who are prepared to train aspiring students.

This marks the initial phase in the execution of the Somaliland Airline plan.

Roads

During the first term of the KULMIYE Government, 92 kilometers of the Eerigabo Road were constructed. In the second term, the KULMIYE Party further expanded the road network by building an additional 182 kilometers. Hence, I am pleased to announce that the 274-kilometer Burco-Eirigabo road is now complete, with only three bridges pending construction, which will be initiated soon.

Moreover, the construction of the 250-kilometer Berbera-Wajale Corridor, inclusive of 6 large and 6 small culverts, as well as 28 small culverts, has been successfully concluded. Specifically, the Berbera-Wajale Corridor spans 248 kilometers, with an additional 22 kilometers allocated for the Hargeysa Bypass.

Furthermore, the construction of the 62-kilometer Burco-Sheikh Road, featuring four completed concrete bridges, has been finalized. Additionally, the completion of the 22-kilometer Hargeisa Bypass Road has alleviated significant traffic pressure on roads traversing through the city of Hargeisa.

Across the nation, the government has constructed a total of 516 kilometers of roads and erected 10 modern bridges. Furthermore, 354 kilometers of dirt roads have been built, interconnecting various cities in Somaliland.

The Feasibility Study for the construction of the Hargeisa-Oodwene-Burco road, spanning 186 kilometers, has commenced, and construction will proceed, God willing.

The Technical Study for the construction of the Lawya-Addo-Fardaha-Boorama Road, covering 256 kilometers, has been completed, and soon the commencement of the construction of this vital road, which connects various parts of the country, will be announced.

Additionally, the Feasibility Study for the construction of the Horse Road, connecting to the country’s capital in Hargeisa, will be initiated soon.

Moreover, the Technical Study for the construction of the 78-kilometer Maydh-Eerigabo Road has also been completed.

On the infrastructure front, the construction of Berbera International Airport’s 4-kilometer-long runway has been completed, and the width of the airport has been expanded from 45 meters to 60 meters, enhancing its capacity to serve countries across the entire African continent.

In addition, a modern terminal will soon be built at Igal International Airport, replacing the old terminal. The new terminal will be capable of serving more than 1 million passengers a year.

Overall, the roads and bridges constructed during the second term of the KULMIYE government are summarized in the table below:

T.S Paved Roads Bridges Dirt Roads
516 KM 10 354 KM

 

National Contracted Projects

Regardless of circumstances, the government has endeavored to ensure that development projects are consistently pursued without interruption throughout its tenure.

From 2018 to 2023, a total of 438 national contracts were financed from the national budget, amounting to 996.8 billion SL Shillings.

 

Somaliland Shilling

Despite the negative impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and the conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza on the Horn of Africa Markets Exchange, the government has successfully stabilized the exchange rate between the Somaliland Shilling and the Dollar in the country’s markets. This achievement has instilled confidence and stability in the country’s markets and investments.

The estimated total monetary value of our country’s economy (GDP) stands at $4 billion dollars. However, the government manages a national budget of only $362 million dollars, which represents just 11% of the country’s economy. Consequently, the remaining 89% of the economy, under the control of the free market, holds the potential to significantly boost economic growth by investing in industries, mining, fishing, animal husbandry, and infrastructure development, thereby creating employment opportunities for the youth.

Considering that $3.63 billion of the country’s GDP is within the purview of the free market, it is crucial for this portion of the economy to actively contribute to the country’s development. Otherwise, our progress will remain stagnant. 

One of the challenges posed by the free market economy is the tendency for wealth to be concentrated in land ownership, rather than being circulated and invested. Consequently, those with financial means acquire land, while those without struggle to find adequate housing.

This phenomenon can lead to the emergence of economic disparities, where wealth and prosperity are confined to a privileged few, while the majority of the population faces hardships and poverty. Such disparities pose a threat to the security and unity of our nation.

In accordance with Article 11 of the JSL Constitution, which upholds the principles of the free market and the protection of private property, the government has developed policies and procedures to ensure that our economic system fosters equitable distribution of prosperity among our people, rather than concentrating it in the hands of a select few.

These policies and guidelines also aim to bridge the economic and wealth disparities between our rural and urban populations, ensuring that social services and economic opportunities in our country are administered fairly and equitably, in alignment with the principles of our Constitution and our cherished values.

 

1.2. Agricultural Production:

Agriculture holds the second position in the country’s economy, following livestock which takes the lead. Approximately 25% of Somaliland’s population directly depends on agricultural production.

The arable land in our country is estimated to be around 1.7 million hectares, yet currently only about 500,000 hectares are under cultivation. Moreover, 90% of the cultivated land in our country relies on rainfed agriculture, which is heavily dependent on rainfall.

Given the climatic conditions of our country, the annual rainfall varies, with approximately 200 millimeters on the coasts and between 500 to 600 millimeters inland. This variability significantly affects the yield of rainfed crops, as it relies on the timing and volume of rainfall received each year.

In response, the Government has dedicated significant efforts to enhance agricultural production and development. Key activities undertaken include:

  • Implementation of the National Policy for Agricultural Development.
  • Establishment and execution of the Agricultural Research Institute of the Republic of Somaliland, aimed at enhancing agricultural knowledge, production techniques, and irrigation practices.
  • Soil conservation initiatives and measures to combat soil erosion.
  •  Enhancement of farmers’ knowledge and experimentation with new crop varieties resilient to our local environment and climate conditions.

 

2.1. EDUCATION

 

Education is the cornerstone of any society’s progress, illuminating the path toward positive change. Recognizing its importance, the government has prioritized education significantly.

The National Education Budget has been increased by 92.8% to enhance the quality of education and expand access for students. 

Access to Education:

– The number of students attending primary and middle schools increased from 257,340 in 2017 to 406,360 in 2023, a rise of 149,020 students or 58%.

– Secondary school attendance grew from 54,702 students in 2017 to 80,705 students in 2023, marking an increase of 26,003 students or 47%.

Teacher Workforce:

– The number of teachers rose from 5,345 in 2017 to 14,432 in 2023, an increase of 9,087 teachers or 170%.

School Infrastructure:

– The number of schools increased from 1,621 in 2017 to 2,452 in 2023, an addition of 831 schools or 51%.

Educational Resources:

– Under the government’s “One Child: One Book Policy,” 1,524,700 books were distributed to school students between 2017 and 2023.

 

Figure 5: Education Budget 2017-2023

Education Budget
2017 2023 Growth Percentage
109,713,276,000 211,611,904,342 101,898,628,342 92.8%

 

Figure 6: Student Growth

Students 2017 2023 Growth Percentage
Middle School Students  257,340 406,360 149,020 58%
High School 

Students 

54,702 80,705 26,003 47%
Teachers  5,345 14,432 9,087 170%
Schools  1,621 2,452 831 51%

 

2.2. HEALTH

Public health significantly impacts a country’s economic development. A healthy community thrives and prospers. Consequently, the government has focused on enhancing health services, increasing the number of health professionals, improving the health system, and expanding health facilities. To achieve these goals:

– The National Health Policy has been completed and implemented.

– Building on the successful response to the Covid-19 pandemic, which earned global admiration, the National Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan has also been completed.

– The national health budget has been increased from $7.3 million to $19.5 million between 2017 and 2023, marking a 167% increase.

 

Figure 7: Increase in Health Budget

2017 2023 Growth Percentage
$7.3 million USD $19.5 million USD $12.2 million USD 167%

 

Between 2017 and 2023, health services were provided to 8,063,910 citizens. During this period:

– 714,825 children were vaccinated against various diseases.

– Hargeisa, Borama, and Burco hospitals were equipped with 32 kidney dialysis machines. The kidney dialysis medical service is completely free in our country, making it a first in Somaliland.

– The number of ambulances in the country increased from 68 in 2017 to 129, representing an 89.7% increase.

– A total of 2,393 medical facilities, including hospitals, maternal and child health centers (MCH), district health centers, and regional health centers, were constructed.

– The number of health professionals in the country rose from 1,702 in 2017 to 3,086 in 2023, marking an increase of 1,384 professionals, or 81%.

 

 Figure 8: Growth of Health Professionals in the country 2017-2023

2017 2023 Growth Percentage
Emergency vehicles 68 129 61 90%
Doctors 177 525 348 197%
Nurses  976 1727 751 77%
Midwives 549 834 285 52%
Total 1,702 3,086 1,384 81%

 

2.3. WATER

Water is the lifeblood of humans. Our country is a semi-arid desert, and many parts of Somaliland lack sufficient water year-round, with the lives of people and animals dependent on rainwater.

From 2010 to 2017, the First KULMIYE Government excavated:

– 358 long wells

– 563 short wells

– 257 pools

The Second KULMIYE Government has adopted a policy to utilize underground water and capture rainwater that often flows into the sea. Between 2017 and 2023, they have:

– Drilled 208 wells

– Drilled 74 shallow wells

– Excavated 135 dams

– Dug 85 pools

– Repaired 317 wells

Great priority has been given to ensuring Hargeisa has sufficient water, which it has long needed. Consequently, water production in Gedeeble increased from 6,500,000 liters per day to 18,500,000 liters per day, enough to supply 1.2 million people in Hargeisa at a usage rate of 15 liters per person per day. 

The water distribution system in Hargeisa city has been completed to deliver the increased water production, especially to new neighborhoods previously not included in the old distribution system.

Additionally, the largest dam in Somaliland, now under control, measures 658 meters in length and 10 meters in height, holding 1.1 billion liters of water. This will reduce the dependency on wells and underground water.

According to the Secretary-General of the United Nations in April 2023, Somalis contribute only 0.003% of the atmospheric emissions that cause global climate change, yet they are among the world’s most affected by its consequences.

Climate change has negatively impacted the environment and livelihoods of communities, leading to recurrent and prolonged droughts, floods, disease outbreaks, erosion, and widespread malnutrition.

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing Somaliland in the 21st century. For instance, the country has experienced repeated droughts and cyclones like Cyclone Sagar. These events have caused severe water shortages and resulted in the death of nearly 70% of Somaliland’s livestock.

Additionally, negative climate change has forced many pastoralists and farmers to migrate to cities. This urban migration has caused cities to develop several problems associated with rapid urbanization, such as imbalances in social services including water, health, education, roads, and public safety.

Climate change has also led to ongoing conflicts and disputes over land and water resources.

To mitigate the effects of climate change, the government has taken the following measures:

– Developed and implemented the Climate Change Policy, Environment Management Act, and Forest and Wilderness Protection Act.

– The Marine Environment Policy is underway and nearing completion.

– Established 43 grazing reserves, including Gumbarah, Gool-Aday, Dhamalada, Banka Qoryaale, Banka Unuf, Dila, Banka Aroori, Banka Tuuyo, Ban Awl, Daad-Madheedh, and others.

– Created 8 forest parks, including Libaley, Gaan-Liba, Debis, Wagar, Dallo, Almadow, Jifada, and Geedeeble.

– During successive KULMIYE governments, established 15 centers for propagating plants, now housing 3 million plants, up from just 3 centers in 2010, representing a 400% increase.

– Implemented a 100% tax exemption for all natural gas burning to reduce coal use and save the country’s plants and environment.

– Completely banned the trade of plastic bags, which cause significant environmental damage.

After the end of the Cold War, it was expected that the world would become more stable, peaceful, and economically developed. However, as global power concentrated in one place, numerous wars based on race, religion, and ethnicity occurred, leading to economic recessions worldwide.

For example, the war in Ukraine has significantly impacted daily life globally, causing food shortages. Additionally, piracy and terror wars in this century have destabilized the Horn of Africa, the Middle East, and many countries in central and West Africa. Conflicts in the Middle East have also affected the Red Sea, a crucial passage for global trade, particularly between the East and the West, resulting in increased shipping container costs and insurance. Consequently, the prices of food and fuel have risen, affecting normal life in many countries, including Somaliland.

Given the challenging circumstances surrounding the Horn of Africa, the Red Sea, and Somali territories, the government has prioritized border defense and internal security, making it the top priority in the budget. Ensuring internal security necessitates political stability.

Democracy and elections come with their challenges. In the 2017 presidential election, the winning party surpassed the runner-up by eighty thousand votes (80,000). However, the losing party was dissatisfied and initiated actions that threatened the country’s political stability. They also spread negative rhetoric, encouraging Somaliland’s enemies to harm our nationalism.

On August 11, 2023, a conspiracy against the nation resulted in the death of a police officer during a meeting at Mount Gacan-Libaax. The nation is committed to bringing the perpetrators to justice. This incident led some Somaliland Traditional Elders to propose holding similar elections.

After assessing the situation, my government decided to hold the proposed elections, despite their economic and social burdens. Our security and national defense agencies have ensured internal security by preventing terrorist acts by sea and land.

The rapid influx of people into cities has created economic, social, and security burdens. For instance:

– In the past six and a half years, 147,000 lawsuits, including criminal, civil, and enforcement cases, were filed in the courts.

– From 2017 to 2023, 126,000 criminal, civil, and executive cases were processed.

– Hundreds of rapes and 469 murders occurred, with all criminals apprehended by the Security Forces.

– In 2023, there were 6,536 traffic accidents, mostly minor, but still significant compared to the number of cars in our country.

 

These measures to secure the nation’s security and justice have strengthened our country, resulting in complete peace and security. Markets remain open late at night, trading gold and hard currencies.

This success is due to the cooperation of the Armed Forces, the Judiciary, and the noble people of our country. I extend my congratulations and compliments to all RSL soldiers, their families, and their children, recognizing them as national heroes for their sacrifices for the people and the country.

Somaliland is admired for its democracy and peaceful, free, and fair elections. To continue this legacy, we must complete the basic pillars necessary for the development of democracy and the implementation of one-person, one-vote elections. These pillars include:

  • Ensuring that National Friends and Political Organizations become law-abiding political institutions where all citizens of the Republic of Somaliland are equal, fostering a mature democracy based on clear principles and policies, including a clear outline of their plans to govern if they win.
  • Ensuring that all Party finances comply with national laws, prohibiting foreign funding of political parties or organizations established in Somaliland. The laws of the country forbid parties or political organizations from receiving funds from foreign sources.
  • Creating parties and organizations to elevate society beyond tribal divisions, promoting national integration and collective development.

Elections are inherently loud and competitive, with fierce party contests. As long as each country exhibits patience and political maturity, it will benefit from the positive aspects of electoral competition. We aim to elect a leader nominated by the People’s Voice from among the contestants.

This year, 1,227,048 citizens have registered for the upcoming elections. The election budget will cost $20,000,000, funded by the state budget collected from taxpayers. When dividing the number of registered voters by the cost per voter, it stands at $16.5, while elections in European countries and the United States cost between $1-3 per voter.

This situation requires us as a nation to re-evaluate the election system and financing to make our elections cheaper, shorter, and more efficient.

I call on all National Parties and Political Organizations to accept the elections in good faith and abide by the election laws.

On February 13, 2012, Somaliland agreed to engage in dialogue with Somalia, resulting in ten meetings. However, none of the agreements reached during these meetings were implemented by the previous Mogadishu Governments. This failure highlighted the lack of sincerity on the part of the Mogadishu-based Government in resolving the longstanding issues between the two countries, which united in 1960.

While opinions may vary, historical facts, laws, and the will of the people cannot be denied. It is evident to us that the Mogadishu-based Government overlooks the fact that Somaliland and Somalia are two equal countries that united in 1960 in pursuit of the Greater Somalia idea. Given the realities on the ground, it is unlikely that further meetings with Somalia will yield beneficial results for Somaliland.

Hence, in considering the interests of Somaliland, it was imperative to prioritize where our true interests lie. Somaliland’s interest lies in partnering with any government that respects its sovereignty and independence, and is willing to engage in equal cooperation based on mutual respect and benefit.

The agreement between Ethiopia and Somaliland on January 1 is founded on the principles I have outlined, emphasizing the equality of the two countries. One will receive recognition, while the other will secure a naval base for rent. The essence of this cooperation is to foster trade development, with the Port of Berbera serving both the people of Somaliland and the nation of Ethiopia.

Ethiopia stands as the most populated landlocked country in the world and the seventh largest overall. Despite this, the AU convention stipulates that all African countries are bound by their colonial-era borders. Somaliland remains the only country with international borders that are actively functioning, yet the AU hesitates to grant it recognition.

It is evident from this context that both countries stand to gain significant benefits from this exchange. One stands to gain international recognition, while the other secures access to a reliable naval base and the services of the Berbera Port.

Somaliland’s foreign policy is characterized by stability and consistency, rooted in the principles of good neighborliness, peace, cooperation, and collaboration with all countries worldwide, particularly neighboring nations, epitomizing a Zero Conflict Policy.

However, this steadfastness does not imply that the Republic of Somaliland will remain passive if denied the opportunity for peaceful coexistence and good neighborly relations within the Horn of Africa.

Somaliland is a sovereign nation with a resilient populace, determined to assert its independence regardless of the time it may take. The people of Somaliland deserve recognition for their unwavering commitment, and they will reciprocate accordingly to any attempts to provoke or challenge them.

Under my leadership, this government has tirelessly pursued the recognition of Somaliland’s identity. You may recall our numerous diplomatic engagements across Africa, where we sought to forge alliances and garner support.

For instance, during my visit to Guinea Conakry, the then-president demonstrated readiness to recognize Somaliland, evident in the warm presidential welcome extended to our delegation. However, Somalia reacted by severing ties with Guinea Conakry on the same day, prompting a vocal response from the president of Somalia at the time during an African Union meeting, accusing the President of Guinea Conakry of violating the AU Charter.

Similarly, when I visited Kenya, it followed suit by cutting ties with Somalia, engaging in a heated exchange at the African Conference. Such instances underscore the proactive approach of Somaliland in seeking recognition and fostering relationships with like-minded nations.

The government I lead has undertaken numerous diplomatic missions to various countries, including:

– Ethiopia

– UAE

– USA

– Kenya

– Guinea Conakry

– Djibouti

 

The ongoing conflict in Somalia manifests in the air and aviation war they have waged against the Republic of Somaliland.

In meetings held in Istanbul 1, Istanbul 2, and Djibouti, Somaliland and Somalia agreed to jointly manage the Air Authority of the entire Somali Peninsula, particularly Somaliland and Somalia. It was decided that the proceeds from air traffic would be shared. However, Somalia reneged on this promise and agreement. They unilaterally claimed ownership of 75% of the airspace, including airspace used by flights in the Republic of Somaliland, and asserted sole administration rights over it, along with the revenue generated.

Even more concerning, they have escalated hostilities to the extent of attempting to impede passenger and private planes carrying sick individuals, as witnessed on January 17, 2024.

As a response, on February 12, 2024, I issued an order for the Aviation and Airport Authority of the Republic of Somaliland to directly assume control of the airspace.

Somaliland has successfully taken over 100% of the Northern Sector and 50% of the Southern Sector. This demonstrates that the administration of Mogadishu now only governs 250 Nautical Miles, equivalent to approximately 463 KM of airspace within the territory of the former Somali Republic.

Furthermore, Somaliland has assumed control over all Primary Voice Communication for planes and flights utilizing airspace in both Somaliland and Somalia.

The Republic of Somaliland announces to the international community and airlines operating within Somaliland that the Aviation Administration in all areas of the Republic of Somaliland is under safe, responsible, and capable management. We assure them that any required service will be provided promptly and responsibly.

Additionally, we inform the United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) that the sole entity authorized to negotiate with the Somaliland Civil Aviation Authority is the Republic of Somaliland, which now controls the majority of airspace over the Somali Peninsula, as recognized by ICAO.

Lastly, I must emphasize that the ongoing conflict between Somaliland and Somalia is causing harm to innocent civilians and young people. The recent killing of a Somaliland scholar employed by the Hamar Aviation Agency is a tragic loss for our community. Those currently held in Hamar jails solely based on their ethnicity are victims of injustice and discrimination.

Somaliland is positioned along the Gulf of Aden near the entrance to the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, a pivotal hub for international trade. It is a nation poised for a future of peace, good neighborliness, and robust cooperation with all regional and global counterparts.

Somaliland’s political ethos is grounded in principles of peace and international collaboration. It is a nation steadfast in its endeavor to lift itself out of poverty, enhance social services, and advance knowledge.

Our vision is anchored in shaping the next two decades into a period of industriousness, harnessing the potential of our youth in alignment with the African Development Plan of 2063.

Some may question our ability to achieve this vision. The answer is a resounding yes—when we channel our public resources into our nation’s development plans.

The most remarkable developmental strides today are witnessed in Asian nations, where we once stood as equals in the 1960s. As we reflect on our history, we realize our divergence from the path of economic and intellectual independence, trading our freedom for the unity of the five Somalis.

The other Somali territories pursued their self-interests, while we lagged behind. Look at the progress of NFD, now united with Kenya, or the Somalis thriving in Ethiopia. The Somalis in French Somaliland charted their own course with Anfar.

Only two governments, Italy’s colonies, dared to unite for the Five Somalis’ cause. Today, it falls upon the people of Somaliland to reclaim their independence at any cost, aligning with global progress, and participating actively in regional and international deliberations.

This can be realized through coordination, unity, and unwavering perseverance. We achieve our objectives by standing firm in adversity, turning challenges into opportunities for success.

In conclusion, I extend my heartfelt wishes to the people of Somaliland for success, prosperity, progress, and enduring peace. Your demonstration of brotherhood, unity, and maturity serves as an inspiration for our collective journey ahead.

 

Warm regards,

His Excellency, Musa Bihi Abdi, President of the Republic of Somaliland.

 

                                                  THE END