Monday, April 21, 2003

Somali Minister Hopeful of Somaliland Peace Efforts
JEDDAH, 22 APRILl 2003 (ARAB NEWS)-- Dahir Muhammad Sheikh, interior minister of Somalia’s Transitional National Government (TNG), yesterday congratulated the people of Somaliland on the outcome of the presidential poll in the northern breakaway region.

Dahir Riyale Kahin narrowly won the elections the results of which were announced on Saturday. A former British protectorate, Somaliland took advantage of the collapse of the former military regime in Somalia 12 years ago and unilaterally declared its independence in May 1991. Somaliland remains unrecognized internationally.

The TNG, which was formed in August 2000, has not recognized the secession of the northern region as a sovereign state.

“I congratulate the people of Somaliland on the election of their leadership. Although I do not recognize its declaration of an independent state, the regional administration has so far succeeded in establishing all necessary government institutions such as police, judiciary and civil service as against the chaos in the rest of Somalia. The pacification efforts in the region paved the way for the elections. I hope that the new leadership will work toward Somalia’s peace,” the minister told Arab News during a visit to Saudi Arabia, where he was treated for minor ailments.MORE

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