Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Calls to recognise Somaliland
HARGEISA, 16 APRIL 2003--An opposition leader in the breakaway republic of Somaliland, Faisal Ali Warabe, on Wednesday urged the international community to recognise his country following a peaceful presidential election.

"The undeclared sanction by the outside world against Somaliland is unfair and should stop, so that the elected president can enjoy a better relationship with the international community," said Faisal Ali, chairperson of the Justice and Restoration Party (Ucid).

Somaliland unilaterally declared independence from war-torn Somalia in May 1991, five months after dictator Mohamed Siad Barre was toppled, plunging the Horn of Africa country into anarchy.

Political observers here believe that the UCID would emerge last of the three parties that contested Monday's presidential elections, Somaliland's first.

"Whoever wins the election is recognized in the hearts and minds of our people, so please acknowledge our freedom," said Faisal Ali.

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