Monday, February 4, 2013







Translated by Ahmed H Arwo

In the name of Allah the most merciful and the most gracious

Thanks Allah and blessings to the prophet Muhammad SCW

The Chairmen of the Parliament, Honourable Members, National Political Parties, Honourable Guests and Members of the Media, Ladies and Gentlemen I salute you with the Islamic greeting: Assaalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatulla Wa Barakaatu.

Mr. Chairman,

According to the constitution, I have to attend annually, this joint session of the parliament, presenting our achievements of last year and highlighting our plan for this year. I shall share with you the state of the nation in general.

May I express my thanks and appreciation of both houses of the Parliament for their good working relationship with my government, last year and through the reign of my presidency? Your cooperation with my government is highly cherished. This enabled us to realize our agenda of development and progress to the benefit of the nation. We are wholeheartedly gratified for this worthy collaboration.

My thanks and veneration goes out to the citizens of this great nation. Our people showed as usual, unity, courage and selflessness for the general good of the nation. They stood fast with my government in exercising its responsibility. Without this support and understanding great part of our agenda would never came to fruition.


Mr. Chairman and Honourable Members,

A year passed, since I promised in front of you, to hold local government elections in 2012, a commitment we fulfilled in time. We allowed re-opening of new political organizations, despite all the intricacy associated with it. We knew the contradiction between our system of multi-party democracy and our culture of tribal and clan affiliations. We decided to revitalize our democratization process and not to be petrified by potential hurdles. It was the best option in order to sustain a democratic society where political leaders are elected and accountable to the people. We boldly gave our citizens a chance to elect or be elected in a fair and free election.

My government took up its responsibility regarding this election financially and otherwise. Where we were expected to share with donor states by paying 25% of overall cost, we spent 33%. In addition to that, we shouldered transportation cost of all political parties in equal terms, taking their election observers to designated polling stations. In that regard, we incurred an expenditure of more than, One Billion Somaliland Shs.   

Mr. Chairman and Honourable Members,

We barred use of public assets i.e. government vehicles and premises etc, for party political purpose. By the same token, we outlawed civil servants to participate party political activities. Likewise, we provided to all competing parties, services of government owned media in equal and fair terms.

My government safeguarded neutrality and independence of the National Election Commission. We assured the safety and security of all 1800 polling stations, without interfering election process, a duty solely assumed by NEC.

The election was concluded peacefully. In the process, 7 political organizations were competing not only to gain councilors but to graduate into the political parties allowed by our multi-party system. Kulmiye, Wadani and UCID succeeded to be effectively the functioning political parties for the coming ten years, while 4 political parties and 1865 candidates failed. That demonstrates the convolution and hefty weight of this election on the nation.

In Somaliland, we reached this stage of progress and stability by the efforts of caring politicians and wise and peace loving elders. I wish to express my admiration and congratulation to the leaders of failed political parties, who accepted with honour the election results, despite their personal loss. That is democracy in its best form.


Mr. Chairman and Honourable Members,

Today and from the day I assumed presidency, I am determined to make economic growth my first priority, in-order to better the life of our people. This government declared war on corruption and misuse of public assets. With that in line, we reviewed our tax system to close potential loopholes and enhance revenue collection. We embarked upon a programme of training and up skilling our staff, equipping them with necessary know how to execute their duties.

For the first time since 2002, we filed with the Parliament the actual accounts of 2010 and 2012. With unprecedented efficiency we submitted 2013 budget and received Parliament approval before the end of the year. That proves successful and coordinated efforts of all concerned.

On the other hand, we instigated a well coordinated public awareness programmes on taxation, targeted to all citizens with special attention to business community, religious and community leaders. With tax payers on board, we realized significant yearly increase of tax revenue.

When this administration took power in 2010, we inherited a nation in deficit, with enormous national debt. The national budget was meager figure of $46 million. By contrast, this year (2013), our budget is One Trillion SL.Shs equivalent to $174 Million, an enormous increase of 278%.  

 These strides in tax collection never distracted us from the welfare of our citizens. We reduced tariff of essential commodities, to reduce its burden on the poor and low income citizens. Contrary to that, and owing to their adverse impact on national health, we increased tax on cigarettes and Qad by 5%. 

To share these increased revenue, we increase top-up funding to Local Governments by 20% in 2012, whereas their direct revenue increased by 25%.  With that finance, all regions and most districts launched development projects. New infrastructure were constructed, existing ones upgraded, markets modernized, sanitation and environment issues addressed.


Mr. Chairman, Honourable Members,

No one can over estimate importance of peace and security is for the basic needs of a society, affecting all aspects of people's life. No development is possible where there is no peace and order. Keeping that in mind, we strengthened this essential sector in quantity and quality. We injected new blood with up to date equipments of armament, transportation and telecommunication tools.

We also undertook intensive training programme, bringing rounds of soldiers and officers to our training facility at Dararweyne. The tailor made training programmes comprising both physical and mental exercises are well suited to build their field capability.

We constructed new premises, refurbished existing buildings and other amenities and upgraded all conveniences necessary for their basic needs i.e. sporting, social and health. Remarkably, Buroa military hospital was uplifted with up to date medical supplies and equipments.     

We are proud to establish an elite military unit with specific intensive training and special equipment. This commandos unit is capable to be deployed with short notice throughout the country, whenever and wherever duties call.

Mr. Chairman,

To uphold law and order requires an effective police force, that in mind, we recruited secondary school graduates as well as University degree holders. These recruits were subjected to specific and in-depth coaching. We modernized the training facilities at Mandhera and put into operation a schedule of training programmes, in all seasons for all ranks and file. Till the end of the year 3900 members were trained.

New police stations were built in most districts across the nation, and old ones upgraded. We established special police unit for rabid deployment across the country and with special tasks. This unit (Rapid Reaction Unit) is equipped for special duties and is structured to undertake their obligations in short notification throughout the country.  

We enlarged Coastal Guards and Immigration Department. These units have huge responsibility of protecting and defending our long coastal line and all entry posts with our neigbhours in land, as well as all airports and seaports. New recruits were selected for their education and physical capacity. They were provided with up-to-the-minute equipment to exercise their duties. At this age of time, telecommunication and electronic policing is a must. We brought the equipment and tools to address this need and educated our officer to master them.

As to Immigration Department, a new head office was erected comprising of three storey building with all indispensable services. We reviewed all immigration processes to facilitate the needs of visitors to our country. Security of person and passport is assured with scanning modern machinery.  Visas are made easily available on arrival and on line. We plan to modernize our passport to be one of the safest in the world. We intend to make it an electronic passport.

In this region of wars and political turmoil, we have to pay attention to the security sector. Our national security is paramount and receives extra attention it deserves. We augmented National Security and improved their performance. We have first-rate working relationship with all our neighbor countries and international community in large, regarding terrorism and piracy. That arrangement is essential in this modern world, where terror and insecurity is internationalized.

We are proud of our functioning democracy and liberty. We are a nation of law and order, where no one is above the law. All these forces are subject to the law of the country, working within the law and accountable to it. In that regard, we put into operation National Police Law, as well as National Security Law.

This nation is united to protect its security. I applaud the role our citizens play in national security. Our citizens are the eyes and ears of the nation. Their collaboration with security forces made this country safe and watertight. 


Mr. Chairman, Honourable Members,

Education is a key to economic development and poverty reduction. Taking that to account, it has special place on the national agenda of my government. Following introduction of free elementary public schooling two years ago, we extended free education scheme and set an exclusive fund. At the moment we have 17,996 pupils. For the last two years there is an increase of 7,817, equivalent to 43.35%.

We constructed 145 elementary/intermediate schools across the nation, and refurbished 10 secondary schools, whereas 24 schools are under construction.  We put into operation our own printing facility and supplied free text books to most Elementary/Intermediate schools.

Last year 6,646 students graduated from various universities in diverse fields. Despite high unemployment, there is no enemy stronger than ignorance. No nation will prosper without education. It is the educated class of a nation that creates new opportunities, where there was none. We are hopeful, that universities will bring new technology and know-how, to reduce the massive employment we experience.  

To gauge and link our education with the need of the society, the Ministry of Education formalized and put into operation a National Education Strategy.

We have excellent cooperation with international community, both governments and agencies, especially those who lend a hand to education sectors in the region. Testimony to that, we received a grant of EUR 11.00 million (US$14.8). 

Mr. Chairman, Honourable Members,

Considering its vital value to the well-being of the society, economically and socially, we give healthcare its worth in my commitment. Notwithstanding constraints on our capacity, our vision is to deliver all heath requirements of the nation within the country, in the shortest possible time.

Apart from our skimpy financial capability, we earmarked significant funds in our 5 year development plan, as well as current operational budget. We spent extra time, energy and finance on disease prevention. We undertook diverse health-related public awareness campaigns in all districts of the state.

In-addition to building new centers, and upgrading existing hospitals and health centers in most districts, a new modern Mother and Child Teaching Hospital in Hargeysa is constructed. A hospital built with government participation but mostly funded by an Italian charity with the help of friends and family of the late Dr. Mohamed Aden Sheikh. The hospital is named after this great philanthropist and humanitarian Somali doctor, may Allah bless his soul.

To underscore in legal terms, the value of heath care to the nation, we prepared and dully passed to the Parliament, the National Health Bill for their perusal and approval. This will make clearly and legally obligatory duty of the government to care the heath of its citizens.

Mr. Chairman and Honourable Members,


As stated more often, my administration gave top priority to economic growth and wealth creation. Vital interest is paid to increase of national produce and raising farm productivity. We engaged farming community, offering training and seminars to teach them modern farming techniques. We pioneered to grow new produces that are imported in huge volumes. Our objective is to stride towards self-sufficiency in food production. This will create employment, and save us exporting scarcely earned hard currency.

Following introduction of rice plantation to our farmers, and after thorough testing its quality and productivity, we concluded its viability as a potential local produce. We will encourage and take necessary steps to educate our farmers to plant rice. Rice as the predominant food in our country by large, its marketability and profitability is beyond doubt. Many other produces are introduced; some are in the testing process, while many are successfully cultivated.

A new 16 office property is built within Head office area. We also renovated our buildings and facilities in Aburin, Buroa and Gabiley.


Livestock is the major export of our country. Its economic value obliges us to give the predilection it merits. Continuously teams of veterinarian are deployed across the country. They vaccinate 500,000 heads of sheep and goat. New 50 veterinarian graduates from Sheikh Veterinary School, Buroa University and from Ethiopian Universities were employed.

We exported the largest number of live animal this year providing wealth and employment to good number of our people. To better animal welfare, shelters with necessary amenities were erected in the animal marketplace of most cities and towns.  .


Mr. Chairman, Honourable Members,

There is no doubt that our nationhood is mature and its sovereignty is guaranteed. We fulfilled all conditions necessary for statehood. Somaliland is peaceful country whose frontiers are secure with functioning law and order. It is a country with fully practical institutions necessary for check and balance. Somaliland is a democracy where its institutions work together within the constitution and where the rule of law is the norm.

I am elected democratically as you (Parliament) are. We are all under the law and accountable to the people. That gives us the legality of representing our people and it is the reason we are respected among the nations. It is the check and balance in action that I am in front of you, and answerable to you. It is within this framework we work together.

In Somaliland, we respect human rights and cherish freedom of speech. Equally, we respect international law, treaties and conventions. It is certain that we engage with international community and receive negligible help. Nevertheless, we are yet to receive what we deserve. Our right to be recognized as a sovereign state is yet to come, so is the economic assistance we need.

We visited many countries exhibiting to them our case for recognition. We received many delegates from many countries, diplomats and business leaders. We developed working relationship with large and famous public relation firms. We acquired tangible progress towards having good relationship with the world at large, especially with the neighbor states, the Arab World, Europe and America.

The dialogue between Somaliland and Somalia started with success. We engaged Somalia with equal footing. This process was devised internationally, by the London Conference of 23 February 2012. In that conference and in an open podium, world leaders requested, in one voice that we start dialogue with Somalia. That leaves our destiny in our own hands. We went to the conference after wide consultation upon which all sectors of the society agreed. This parliament (both houses), were at the center of this agreement that gave us the legitimacy to engage. We went as a team representing executive and legislative branch of the state, as well as leaders of the three political parties. It was an inclusive team.      

We desire to have good relationship with new Somali government. That government does not govern Somaliland. We are the government in this country. We regained our sovereignty more than twenty years ago. We are seeking world recognition as an independent and sovereign state and nothing less. We call upon Somali government and people to came to realty and understand, that we decided for our destiny and future long time ago with the free will of our people. It is our indispensable right and should be respected. No one can change our collective and national decision by force or otherwise.

Mr. Chairman, Honourable Members,

Our relationship with American government has not changed. This is well illustrated by a message sent to our representative in America Mr. Rashid Garuf by U.S State Department. The message states:

'Mr. Rashid- Not to worry U.S recognition of the government of Somalia will not prevent the U.S government from engaging in Somaliland nor prevent us from conducting our programs in Somaliland. We made sure to clarify this with the Somali government before deciding to recognize them. Of course our position has not changed that we cannot recognize Somaliland as independent state, but we do plan to continue to engage in SL. As we have been. We want to ensure that stability is maintained where it currently exists, and support expanding it where it doesn't. If you have any other specific questions, I'm happy to answer them. Will be interested also in your assessment of the reaction in Somaliland. I saw this article pop up yesterday."   


Mr. Chairman and Honourable members;

In-addition to the achievements categorized above, I would summarize few of the many successful projects my administration concluded this year.

  • We succeeded to close a number of outstanding hostilities and disputes. We closed the long standing dispute in Ceelbardaale, the hostility in Kalshaale and Buuhoodle. As a peace dividend, we concluded peace agreement with the armed SSC militia and appointed its leader as a minister in my cabinet.
  • We strengthened the capacity of Radio Hargeysa. With new transmitter, we extended its reach to all Somaliland regions and the neighbouring countries. Equally, our national TV reach is expanded to have viewers worldwide. This will help us politically as well as economically. Somaliland news and issues will attract to international audience and beyond our borders.
  • At the cost of $21.3 million dollars, Hargeysa water project that will provide adequate water supply to the capital city is underway. 42 new deep water wells were built for the last two years in six regions of the country. In contrast 89 wells were dug for a period of twenty years prior to my reign.
  • Many urban roads were renewed while many more new ones were built. The new tarmac roads in the major towns including capital city is    km in total. On the other hand, and in partnership with local communities significant inter-town roads are underway i.e. Dilla-Borame, Hargeysa-Salaxley, Hargeysa- Baligubadle, Kalabaydh-Wajaale, and Dowgacad.Roads are major ingredient necessary for economic development. They also play significant role in social integration and national security. Keeping that in mind, I will put the foundation, to construct Togdheer-Erigabo Road. It is a huge task and very expensive project. We will engage the whole nation and seek citizens' participation in material and manpower.
  • To better working environment of the government, we built new modern office blocks for most ministries, namely: Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Fish and Sea Resources, Ministry of Work and Social Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as Presidential Palace.  
  • We refurbished the two international airports in Hargeysa and Berbera, providing all security and other equipments required in a modern airport, as well as all other amenities. Buroa airport is under-construction.


2013 Operation Plan

Mr Chairman and honourable members,

My government held two days self-assessment and performance review. In the process, we addressed the burning issues and the area that we have to put extra commitment. We drafted an action plan comprising 130 points. From that we derived our operational plan and budget for the year 2013. The plan is comprehensive, covering all sectors and departments, i.e. Security and Defence, Justice, unemployment, food security, land reform, agriculture, and foreign and international relations. Special attention is given to education, heath and recognition.

We acknowledged that eastern regions are well behind from the rest of the nation in terms of development. To rectify this, we earmarked extra subsidy to the eastern regions. 38 individual projects are put into plan for Sool, Eastern Sanaag and Buhoodle regions. These projects are intended to enhance social and economic standards of inhabitants of these provinces.

Our operation plan for 2013 was comprehensively exhibited in the budget which received your approval without change. Please do accept my thanks for your cooperation once more.

In that plan, we gave extra weight to security, justice, land reform and management, unemployment and economic growth. We underscored with broad letter the heart of our foreign policy to be seeking recognition and defending our independence and sovereignty.   

Developing Natural Resources

Mr. Chairman and Honourable members;

Developing our natural resources, will reduce the drastic unemployment and dire poverty in the country. My administration re-negotiated critical parts of all gas and oil contracts that the preceding government has concluded with foreign investors.  The open-end clauses were tied up with tangible results of jobs and time. For the first time, after 21 years; the oil companies are made to explore for oil and gas by spending $57 million dollars within the next two years.

We signed contracts with two companies to survey and mine Iron, Magnesium, and Coal. Coal as source of fuel will provide cheaper electricity. We plan to promote alternative energy. We plan to instigate 5 wind energy plants at Hargeysa Airport, sufficient for its energy needs. In Las Anod town, we will erect 4 additional wind energy towers

In democracy, all roads lead to the parliament. My administration will soon submit for your scrutiny and approval a National Energy Bill. That will give the nation under your representation a say to this imperative policy.


Voter Registration and Election Issues.

We have parliamentary elections upcoming this year and next. That of the House of Representatives is due in 2013, while the Upper House (Guurti) is scheduled to 2014, followed by Presidential election in 2015. With our experience from the recent local government election, we would not undertake any election not coupled with voters' registration.

It is nearly impossible to hold all these elections in time with registration. It will bleed this nation economically and socially. I shall appoint a National Commission to address this crucial issue and after nationwide consultation, we shall take collective decision acceptable to all. Expecting international donor help, we budgeted $1 million dollars to conduct the voter registration in 2013 from our scanty finance.

To practise what I preach, regarding election terms of presidency, I declare in front of all, that I will not stretch the term of my office by one day.


Central Government Act

To avoid incoherent government activities and set a coordinated structural cohesion, we shall submit Central Government Bill. The bill will define the borders between ministries and within. It will explicitly define responsibilities and authorities of each department and agency. It will streamline our performance and enhance governance.

 Constitutional Amendments

It is high time to review the constitution to better governance and associate it with our experience and developing practical needs. Following articles 126 and 127, I shall submit an official letter to undertake specific amendments for your scrutiny and approval. I shall follow the best option and the easiest way constitutionally allowed for amendments.


Mr. Chairman and Honourable members;

I vow in front of you once more, that I will respect the independence of the judiciary and the legislative body of the government. I shall safeguard human rights, free speech, and free media.

I believe the youth and women have inalienable rights to vividly play significant role in the affairs of the state. That is why; we lowered the minimum age to be elected as a local councillor to 25 years of age. I also submitted a bill setting quota for minorities and women; unluckily it did not get your approval. I shall resubmit and ask your honourable members to approve it prior to the next parliamentary elections.

We are aware the long and hard road we covered to rebuild this nation. We did that without external help and without international recognition. In 21 years, we established a fully functioning government, peaceful and stable democracy. Our economy grows continuously and we develop in every aspect of our life.

Allah willing, we shall accomplish more development. It is certain that prosperous days and years are ahead. We shall gain the international recognition which is the collective aspiration of this nation.

The independence of Somaliland came by the free will of its people. It is an independence they fought hard and long. It is an independence they will never sit back on other peoples' will. It is an independence they will defend socially, economically and militarily.

I appeal to the peace and development loving peoples of the world to respect the sovereignty and independence of Somaliland. It is our undeniable right which we have exercised collectively and freely.          


I insist on Somali leaders to avoid anything that damages the principles we agreed upon in London Conference. In equal terms, they ought to understand, the independence and sovereignty of Somaliland is sacrosanct and not negotiable. What we need is to endeavour how we can be good brotherly neighbours, establishing the best possible relationship between two independent and sovereign states: Somaliland and Somalia. This will bring peace and development to the benefit of our people.  

Finally, I plea to the great people of Somaliland to hold hands together, stand side by side and redouble their effort preserving the peace, security and development of the nation. I urge my fellow citizens, to be on alert, thwarting all the traps and treacheries of our enemy and to avoid all that divides us and dents our unity.

 Once more, I vehemently pledge to double my efforts towards our development and to bring our cause to fruition.  

Long live Somaliland. Allah willing

Thank you and Allah bless you.

HE. Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo

The President of Somaliland Republic

Hargeysa, 30/1/2013

No comments:

Post a Comment