SOMALILAND FORUM
PRESS RELEASE 01.01.2004 REF: SLF/EC-29 03/04

Attack on Somaliland by Colonel Abdillahi Yussuf and Puntland:
Somaliland Forum Calls on IGAD and International Community to Condemn Abdillahi Yusuf

On 7th of December, 2002, the President of the Republic of Somaliland Hon. Dahir Rayale Kahin paid an official state visit to Laasanod, Sool, one of the six regions of Somaliland. As the President and his entourage were resting in their Guesthouses, a militia controlled by Abdillahi Yusuf attacked the President and his delegation in their guesthouse. In the interests of peace and stability; and to save innocent civilian lives, the delegation led by Presidential Rayale peacefully retreated from the city and thus prevented unnecessary loss of life. Somaliland informed the international community then about Abdillahi Yusuf's aggression on Somaliland.

In the Summer of 2003, Abdillahi Yusuf announced the additional creation of a new regional administration in Puntland consisting primarily of towns and cities in Somaliland and named this new region "Cayn", and threatened Somaliland with violence should it object to his new regional administration. Somaliland has done every thing possible to avoid conflict in the region, and also appealed to Abdillahi Yusuf to stop violating the territorial integrity of Somaliland and not to destroy the fragile peace prevalent in the region.

Finally, on 22nd December 2003, Colonel Abdillahi Yusuf of Puntland, attacked the Capital of Sool region "Lasanod" and captured the town by force, killing two persons and jailing hundreds of innocent civilians. Undoubtedly, this time Abdillahi Yusuf has gone one step too far and intends to start an armed conflict between Somaliland and Puntland. Yesterday, 31st December, 2003 on his interview with the BBC, Abdillahi Yusuf declared unequivocally that he will not remove his Militia from Las Anod.

We, Somaliland Forum, an independent organisation that represents the Somaliland Diaspora, condemn the senseless murder of innocent civilians by Puntland militia, jailing of the people and the illegal occupation by Col Abdillahi Yusuf's militia on Somaliland territory. The Republic of Somaliland, as is evident from its short history of statehood, is a peace-loving country. Nevertheless, when faced with external aggression, the Republic of Somaliland reserves the right to uphold its territorial integrity and not accept external aggression on its borders. We believe that Abdillahi Yusuf's actions speak louder than words, and that the International community must hold him responsible for his latest aggression on Somaliland.

We request from and urge the international Community, IGAD and the African Union leaders to hold this warlord personally responsible for these terrorist attacks on Somaliland. We request from these bodies to send a loud and clear message to Abdillahi Yusuf in the strongest possible terms to remove his Militia from Las Anod and immediately cease all provocative acts. Ironically, at this present time, Colonel Abdillahi Yusuf is being entertained by IGAD leaders in Nairobi, Kenya, as an important leader in the so-called Somali Reconciliation Conference, while at the same time, he is orchestrating terrorist attacks against Somaliland. If IGAD member nations are serious about their efforts for peace and stability in the horn of Africa, they must start with this dangerous Warlord.

Somaliland Forum

For More Information On Somaliland Forum please Contact:

N. America: Adam Hersi Adam Hersi Email: adamhirsi@yahoo.com

Europe: Dahir A Jama Tel : 44 7960 173 184 Email: D.Jama@btopenworld.com