Addis -Ababa(Walta/ANN) In its November19, 2010 ‘A Week in the Horn” report, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) raised issues on the visit of Somaliland’s President, the new Cabinet in Mogadishu.
Somaliland’s President visits Addis Ababa
The new President of Somaliland, Mr. Ahmed Mohamed ‘Silanyo’, leading a high level delegation, arrived in Addis Ababa on Wednesday for a three day official visit to Ethiopia, November 17th – November 20th. The President’s delegation was accorded a warm welcome on its arrival at Bole International Airport by Ato Hailemariam Desalegn, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister.
During his visit, the President met and held extensive discussions with Prime Minister Meles on issues of mutual concern. He thanked the Ethiopian Government for the continuous and principled support extended to Somaliland and its people, and requested the Prime Minister to continue with this to enable Somaliland to succeed in its endeavors to ensure the sustainability of peace and stability in the region. Prime Minister Meles congratulated President Silanyo on the successful conduct of the recent elections and on winning the Presidency of Somaliland. He stressed the importance of the peaceful transfer of power in Somaliland as a lesson to all in the region and more widely. He said it would encourage Ethiopia to further its efforts to develop the relations existing between the administration in Hargeisa and the government of Ethiopia.
Emphasizing the closely linked destiny of the two peoples, Prime Minister Meles expressed his firm conviction that prosperity was not sustainable without peace and stability. He emphasized that the Somaliland administration should redouble its efforts to develop its economy. The Berbera Corridor was one aspect of this that should be looked into, as it could be made into an effective tool for economic recovery through building up the infrastructure of both Somaliland and Ethiopia for their common good. It would, of course, require large resources, and the two leaders agreed to work together to encourage interested partners to invest in the development of the corridor. This would also create a favorable environment for investment in other fields.
Prime Minister Meles underlined the strategic guiding principles for further enhancing the relationship between the two peoples. He thanked the leadership and people of Somaliland for their support in foiling the recent attempt by Eritrea to smuggle terrorists through Somaliland territories into Ethiopia’s Somali Regional State. He also emphasized the need for further vigilance in this regard. He stressed the importance of Somaliland’s stability for the region, and said that this should be further nurtured through economic recovery. There was a need for Somaliland and Puntland to strengthen their cooperation in terms of security and to address the challenges both face from Al-Shabaab terrorists and other groups bent on destabilizing the entire region. These and other security-related issues need a lot of political work, he added. Somaliland should give leadership in dealing with all those security challenges that the region as a whole was facing; it could take the support of Ethiopia for granted in this respect.
President Silanyo also met and held extensive discussions with General Samora Yunus, the Chief of Defense Staff of the Ethiopian National Armed Forces (ENDF). General Samora expressed the ENDF’s satisfaction with the existing security cooperation with the Somaliland security institutions, and reaffirmed the ENDF’s commitment to further enhance cooperation in training, with joint exercises and capacity-building, to ensure peace and stability of Somaliland. He encouraged Somaliland to cooperate with Puntland to prevent extremist elements using their common border to destabilize both administrations. President Silanyo thanked General Samora for his support, emphasizing that the defense institutions of Somaliland would redouble their efforts to cooperate with the ENDF in dealing with security challenges along their common border.
The new TFG Prime Minister in Mogadishu unveils his new Cabinet
Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed ‘Farmaajo’, announced a much reduced cabinet of only 18 members last Friday. It includes only three members of the previous cabinet of Omar Ali Sharmarke who resigned in September. The choice of ministers was made in accordance with the Transitional Charter’s 4.5 formula of clan power sharing. There are three Deputy Prime Ministers, all newcomers to the cabinet: Mr. Mohamed Abdullahi Omaar, from Somaliland, will be Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister; Mr. Abdihakim Mohamoud Haji-Faqi, from Bay region, and a former Somali diplomat, is appointed Defence Minister as well as a Deputy Prime Minister; and Dr. Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, from Puntland, and a professor of economy at Niagara University in the United States, is Minister of Planning and International Cooperation and a Deputy Prime Minister.
Ahlu Suna Wal Jamaa, which signed an agreement with the TFG in March 2010, secured three ministerial positions including the important posts of the Ministers of Interior and of National Security. The new cabinet lineup also includes some intellectuals from the Diaspora. Earlier this week, Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi ‘Farmaajo’ also announced the names of eighteen Deputy Ministers and nine State Ministers to complete his ministerial appointments. Both the timing and the number of appointments surprised observers of the process. Eighteen out of the twenty seven appointments are Members of Parliament who had previously showed some discontent over the first phase of Cabinet formation last week. Parliament will convene on Saturday to deliberate on the appointments and its approval of the Prime Minister’s Cabinet.
By, Carraale M. Jama Freelance Journalist and Human Rights Activist
Araweelonews Somaliland Office
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