Thursday, June 05, 2003

His Excellancy--President Riyales Address on May 18
HARGEISA-- Following is the English translation of the text of President Dahir Riyale Kahin's address to the people of Somaliland on 18th May, the 12th anniversary of the declaration of Somaliland as a sovereign state. The speech also carries Riyale's message to the people on his inauguration as the first elected President of the country. The inauguration ceremony took place on May 16.

Leaders of the National Parliament,

Chairmen of the three National Parties,

Commanders of the Armed Forces,

The Heads of the Social Clans,

The Religions Scholars,

The Women,

the youth and all other Sections of the Society of Somaliland,

The Businessmen.

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

Ladies and Gentlemen.

The different situations that Somaliland had passed through can not be summarized in one speech, but if I try to give you a brief outline, it is worth remembering when the country fell into the hands of the SNM fighters; they courageously decided to hold a reconciliation conference in Buroa between the hitherto feuding tribes to make peace and reconciliation. In the conference it was collectively decided to reclaim and declare Somaliland’s independence.

May 18th declaration of independence was followed by the Borama conference where the national charter was drawn up, and where his Excellency the late president Mohamed Ibrahim Egal, may Allah bless his soul was elected. In 1996-1997, the late president Mohamed Ibrahim Egal was re-elected along with the Vice president Dahir Rayale Kahin. Our constitution was also drawn up at that time, which made it possible for us to conduct free, peaceful, and democratic municipality and presidential elections, while parliamentary election still remain. Those successes were the result of the continuous support of the people of Somaliland to their government, and the prevalent peaceful conditions, of which we are about to reap the fruits of those achievements in the near future. I advice you to guard, care and protect those successes and pray that the Almighty may guard us and help us reach our aspirations.

This inauguration ceremony today marks a watershed in the history of our young nation. It is a new beginning, giving us new hopes and new dreams. It also demands us to achieve new goals, open new windows of opportunity and meet the challenges ahead with a new spirit of dedication and determination.

Today we have to renew our faith in our selves and in our capabilities and together create a new national spirit of unity and patriotism. Today, as I take the oath of office of the President of our country, I do this with a feeling of great humility and honor. I express my deepest thanks to all citizens of Somaliland, who have voted for us and have renewed their trust and mandate to me and my Vice president to lead the country over the coming five years. It is a trust and a heavy responsibility on our shoulders and we will work to the best of our ability to be worthy of it.

Today I have been sworn in as the president of Somaliland and not the president of any single party or group. I will be the president of all Somalilanders regardless of whether they have voted for or against me. This is one of the many blessings of democracy that all must share the victory. My commitment to serve this nation goes across political lines and rises above all political persuasions. I also extend my hand to other parties to join us, because we believe only together we can build a peaceful, strong and prosperous Somaliland. MORE

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