UN Envoy Visits Somaliland, Election Crisis Unresolved

Published on Friday 11th September 2009

The United Nations top envoy to Somalia, Mr. Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, has visited the capital of the breakaway republic of Somaliland, Radio Garowe reports.

Somaliland's foreign affairs minister, Mr. Abdullahi Mohamed Du'ale, welcomed the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative to Somalia, Mr. Abdallah, on Thursday at Egal International Airport in Hargeisa, capital of Somaliland.

A press statement issued from President Dahir Riyale's office stated that Mr. Abdallah met with the Somaliland leader at the State House in Hargeisa, where the two officials discussed peace and elections among other issues.

President Riyale requested that the UN award Somaliland a "special status," especially with respect to development projects funded by the UN, according to the press statement.

Further, Somaliland's leader said he fully supports that the ongoing election crisis to be resolved peacefully.

Mr. Abdallah, who is expected to meet other parties in Hargeisa, reportedly praised Somaliland for ensuring local peace and stability.

According to the press statement from the Somaliland president's office, the UN Envoy said: "We will open a new UN political affairs office in Hargeisa...this office will further advance UN funding support to Somaliland in the fields of maritime security and counterterrorism."

Meanwhile, the political deadlock continues in Somaliland following the election commission's announcement to postpone September's presidential election for a third time since 2008.

The building that houses the lower house of parliament, the House of Representatives, is still shut down and under the control of security forces.

An independent source in Hargeisa warned of opposition demonstrations in the coming days, as the September 27 election date nears and the political crisis remains unresolved.


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