SOMALILAND COMMUNITY in Wales.
IMMEDIATE PRESS RELEASE 28th October 2003
Two prominent Somaliland Ministers will be visiting Wales this week. The main aims of their visit are:
1. To thank the people of Wales for their unparalleled help during the 10 years of Hidden War against the Somaliland people by the Military Dictator, Siad Barre
2. To promote and develop trade with Wales and UK in general on bilateral and multilateral basis and persuade international business to invest in Somaliland
3. To promote achievements of Somaliland emerging from a country destroyed by unjust war to a country of peace, freedom, opportunity, development and enterprise
4. To further develop friendship with Wales and persuade the Welsh people to support Somaliland politically and economically.
Today at 8:00 pm the two Ministers will be meeting with The Rt. Hon. Alun Michael MP, Minister of Rural Affairs at his office in Westminster. Alun Michael is the MP of South Cardiff where many Somalis live.
After their successful visits to the United States of America and China Dr Edna Adan Ismail, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Eng. Mohamed Hashi Elmi, Minister of Commerce and Industry will spend two days in Wales between 28th and 29th October.
During the two days visit the following events will take place:
Tuesday 28th October: morning 11:00 am – 12:00 meeting with members of the National Assembly of Wales; in the afternoon 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm meeting with 1st Deputy Lord Mayor, Councillor Lynda Thorne at Lord Mayor’s Mansion; in
the evening 8:00 – 11:00 pm Reception, Dinner and Presentations at City Hall hosted jointly by the Somaliland Community and the Ethnic Business Support Programme.
Wednesday 29th October: Morning 9.30 am – 11:30 am meeting with Welsh Companies that expressed interest to trade with Somaliland and the event is hosted by Welsh Trade International in partnership with UK Somaliland Chamber of Commerce;
9:00 – 11:00 pm meeting with members of the Somaliland Community.
The two Ministers are available for interviewing and the journalists are very welcome.
For further information please contact:
Eid Ali Ahmed Abdikarim Adan
Somaliland Campaigner & Activist Director of Somali Centre and UK
Representative of Tel: 02920 198498 Somaliland Chamber
of Commerce Tel: 02920 383317 Tel: 02920 499916 (day time)
Mobile: 07866125077 Mobile: 07967710945
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Notes for Editors:
Against all odds Somaliland has successful managed to overcome the destruction carried out by the military dictatorship. Now Somaliland is a country of peace, freedom, equality and enterprise. On 15th August 2000 The
Financial Times reported, “ It (Somaliland) could serve as a model for Africa: peaceful, stable, little crime, no debt, a liberal economic regime as of this month, a multi-part electoral system”.
All the members of Somaliland Community are very proud to have in Wales two prominent, competent, well-liked and highly intellectual and educated Somaliland Ministers. We hope their visit will raise the profile of Somaliland and lead to lasting economic, social, cultural and political ties between Wales and Somaliland. The people of Wales showed solidarity with
Somaliland people during the 10 years Hidden War as a result of which many Somalilanders have received sanctuary and safety in Wales. We hope that the people of Wales will continue their support and at this time give all
possible help to Somaliland people to rebuild their country.
Somaliland, a British Colony for nearly 80 years, became independent on 26th June 1960. However, it gave up its freedom after four days as reported in the Daily Herald Newspaper of London on 29th June 1960: “The Colony That Rejected Freedom – Somaliland, a British Colony for nearly 80 years, became
independent last Sunday. And on Friday, after four days of freedom, this British outpost will surrender its sovereignty and merge with Somalia…Now it has become an area of historical significance. And the reason is that its merger with Somalia is unique, as Somalia itself is not yet free.”
Full-scale civil war was started in Somaliland in May 1988. The government response was brutal: artillery and aircraft bombed the major towns into rubble and forced the displacement of roughly half a million refugees across the border into Ethiopia. More than 80,000 people were killed. Dwellings were systematically destroyed, while their settlement and water points were extensively mined. The case was more or less same as the Genocide in Rwanda but it did not get similar coverage except in Wales by HTV Wales, BBC Wales,
South Wales Echo and Western Mail of him the Somaliland people here in Wales and back home are very thankful for their support for a time of need and desperation.
After 31 years, on 18th May 1991 Somaliland regained its rejected freedom in 1960. In May 2001, a new constitution establishing a multi-part electoral system was approved by plebiscite. Local Government elections followed in December 2002 and peacefully contested presidential election was held in
April 2003. With only parliamentary election scheduled for 2005 remaining, Somaliland’s multi-party democratisation process is complete.
The Colonial Administration in British Somaliland to Her Majesty Government testifies Somaliland people love for peace, freedom and equality in a 1952 report:
“…they have ethnologically and politically claims to racial individualism that would seem to be at least as good as our own, while there is no reason to suppose that their love of independence and liberty is any less than of the Americans or ours”.
On 28th July 2003 the highly credible lobby group, International Crisis Group, based in Brussels issued a comprehensive report on Somaliland:
Democratisation and its Discontents. This report is highly recommended to all interested parties to understand the history and present situation of Somaliland. The report says:
“Somaliland’s democratisation renders the prospects for reunification with the rest of Somalia increasingly improbable, not only because the aspiring state’s political institutions have little in common with the kinds of interim, factional arrangements likely to emerge in the south, but also
because its leadership is becoming more accountable to its electorate – the majority of whom no longer desire any form of association with Somalia.
For the full report please refer to the Group’s website: