Somaliland making inroads into African political corridors and world media - President Kahin

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Hargeisa, 19 May 2005--Somaliland President Dahir Riyale Kahin today said that his government had succeeded in getting the attention of African countries and making Somaliland's quest for recognition more visible than anytime before.

In his address to the nation on Wednesday on the 14th anniversary of Somaliland's restoration of its sovereignty on 18th May 1991, Kahin said when he took the reins of power following the death of late President Mohammed Ibrahim Egal in 2002, he promised to the nation to focus on two issues: "to be more vigorous in explaining our issue to the world, particularly African countries which were mostly in the dark about our issue, and to speed up the democratization process and establish a multi-party system in our country."

He said that his government had succeeded in explaining the issue of Somaliland and the need for its recognition to African countries, particularly those in the East, North and South of the continent, as well as to Europe, America and Latin American states. On the democratization process, Kahin said that Somaliland's successful and peaceful holding of the municipal elections and Presidential elections had given a boost to the country's serious efforts to building a society based on democratic practices. "Our achievements have been recognized by respected international institutions such as the Royal Institute, the International Crisis Group, the South African Institute of International Affairs as well as by media organizations such as Al Jazeera, the Gulf Information Center, the Sub-Saharan Informer and the BBC," he said.

Building Military Capabilities

Kahin said that his government would soon start establishing a ranking system for the military and build military academies to train and develop the capability of the country's military, adding that the highest-ranking personnel of the former SNM fighters would form the core of the military command. He said that the first military college would be opened in Adadley, a former military camp east of Hargeisa, with former military officers working as instructors and trainers, while some officers will be sent for training to friendly countries. He didn't mention the countries he had in mind.

On Terrorism and AIDs

President Kahin said that Somaliland would continue with its efforts in fighting terrorism as per the constitution of the country. He also reiterated his government's resolve to continue its relentless campaign against AIDs and other communicable diseases, adding that the government will soon reveal a national policy towards AIDs.

Encouraging Women and Youth To Enter Politics

The Somaliland President urged women and the youth to take a more active part in the country's politics. He said that his government would continue to encourage women and the youth to enter politics both in the municipal and national levels. He also affirmed that the government would work hard to generate employment for the youth and for the former SNM fighters.

Inviting Somaliland Intellectuals In the Diaspora

President Kahin said that soon after the parliamentary elections due to take place on 15th September 2005, he would extend an invitation to about 100 Somaliland academics and intellectuals to attend a forum in Hargeisa to discuss the role they could play in formulating a national strategy for economic development

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