Sub: Press Statement
This is in reference to the joint statement issued by a group of 15 International Partners on the situation in Lasanod and Somaliland elections following a joint call with H. E. the President of Somaliland, Muse Bihi Abdi, on 15 April 2023.
With regard to the elections, we strongly support the unanimous understanding between the President and the International community on the importance of urgent progress on elections in Somaliland and within the precincts of the constitution. We earnestly endorse the need to publish a roadmap for elections as prescribed by the constitution and the clarification of the sequencing and the timing of elections and as to allow stringent preparations is of a paramount importance. Time is of essence. We demand the Independent National Election commission (NEC) to expedite of coming up with a plausible timeframe for the said elections and that technical feasibilities are worked out. Silence is not an option, and to be on the sideline as observant of the prevailing debate is unacceptable. The political associations (G9) are legitimately prepared and ready to take their national responsibility as the stakeholders of the elections and surely emphasizing that they are fully prepared for the coming political parties’ election.
The controversial issue of a withdrawal of Somaliland forces centered on Lasanod is a thorny concern and it could only be resolved as an integral part of a negotiated settlement. We welcomed the efforts and initiatives by local traditional leaders of Somaliland and the regional actors to secure a verifiable ceasefire and to smooth the progress of a dialogue. We urge them to be seized to the matter unrelentingly and to pursue those decent intentions unreservedly. Always where there is a will, there is a way.
The political associations(G9) are in a total agreement with the Somaliland government and the international partners that the security and well-being of the affected populations should be put at the center of all political decisions and dialogue.
We strongly urge the traditional leaders of Lasanod to play their part and come to the table with no pre-conditions for a negotiated settlement encompassing all of the thorny issues that triggered the violence in the first place, and to work towards attaining sustainable peace and stability. The political associations are committed to take their part, and play an active forward-looking role in that aspect. We stalwartly commend the President of Somaliland’s stance of repeatedly announcing the desire for a serious dialogue and to accomplish for a negotiated settlement. We expect the traditional leaders and seasoned politicians from Lasanod area to replicate that aspiration and remain seized to the attainment of a long-lasting durable solution. In addition, we call on the international partners and the traditional leaders to strongly advocate the removal of all non-Lasanod combatants from the region. We underscore that the Sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Somaliland are not-negotiable and sacrosanct.
Eng. Hamse Hassan Ahmed ‘’Odey’’
Secretary and the Liaison of the Umbrella
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