By Gulaid Dalha
Somali Commentator – Addressing the nation, the incumbent President of the Republic of Somaliland, H.E. Musa Bihi Abdi yesterday (Saturday) held a press conference at the Presidency, where he pointed out a wide range of issues. The President, who has been in office for a month and a week, told the media outlets gathered at the Presidential Palace the current issues existing inside the country. Below is the speech of the President.
RELATION WITH OPPOSITION PARTIES
In his remarks, president Bihi revealed that there is a pleasant relation and atmosphere between the opposition parties and his government. He likewise spurred the opposition parties to undertake their duty and work for the nation. Said he, “There are three political parties in our country; two are opposition parties while one is the ruling party. I am in charge of the Ruling Party. We are ready to cooperate with the opposition parties despite the existence of some of the bone-of-the-contentions between Waddani Party and my party, yet we are on the track to strengthen the relation. We had some initial talks and I look forward to meeting them again. We reserve the political parties and welcome them.
President Bihi also told to the press that his government is welcoming the constructive criticism of the opposition parties. Talking about this Hon. Abdi said, “We have a good relation with UCID party. We are glad to hear from them and listen to their healthy, constructive criticism for the sake of Somaliland.”
Urging the solidarity, the president of Somaliland Hon. Behi reiterated the need to unite people of Somaliland. He also warned against dividing people or rendering them asunder. “There are many eminent figures in the society – the traditional leaders, religious clerics, businessmen and the other public figures. They participate the leadership of the country. But everyone talking to the press must feel the responsibility of his speech. We must avoid the defamatory, slanderous words that will impede our people”, said the president of the Republic of Somaliland.
Following the escalating inflation problem, the president of Somaliland Hon. Muse Bihi Abdi said that his government is planning a new comprehensive plan to curb inflation which has highly plummeted the purchasing power of the citizens. Hon. Bihi said, “Inflation is a national disaster. A new comprehensive plan, which has been highly pondered by the pundits on the field, is in due course available for the coming couple or three days. We are devising a way to curb inflation which is on the last stages.”
NATIONAL SECURITY – FLARING UP TENSIONS IN THE EAST
President Bihi has also pointed out that the tensions in the east are utterly under the responsibility of Somalia. The president has highlighted that Somalia has always perpetrated frontier tensions. Noting this, he said, “The world knows that Somalia incites incursions. Somalia has repeatedly alleged that Somaliland perpetrated incursions. The International Community must realize that Somaliland troops have moved to Tukaraq which is 70 km inside Somaliland territory.”
Muse Bihi Abdi, the president of Somaliland, has also highlighted that the borders of Somaliland are sacrosanct. “Somaliland borders and frontiers are sacrosanct, which were demarcated by the colonials in 1887.”
Pledging the security of Somaliland borders, Hon. Abdi said, “Somaliland constitution reveals that the government should defend its borders at all times. That is why I am in office; that is why I was sworn; the two Houses and the citizens all monitor our duties. The International Community should also know that Somalia has now deployed and amassed troops along the border. This ignites the tension.”
Vying for new economic sources, President Bihi urged the citizens to quit chewing khat and ponder an alternative way to improving the productivity of Somaliland due to the scanty rainfalls. The president stated that Somaliland spends $524 million a year on khat from Ethiopia – which is roughly 30% of Somaliland’s gross domestic product (GDP).
Depicting a distinct deviation from the past, President Muse paid a working tour to the neighboring countries, Djibouti and Ethiopia. The president portrayed the convictional and tangible developments of Somaliland and its quest for international recognition.
UAE MILITARY BASE IN BERBERA
Retorting a question posed by a journalist on UAE military base in Berbera, Hon. Behi said, “The military base deal was legal and we have not rescinded it. The deal was endorsed by the House of Elders and House of Representatives. The government cannot suspend it unless the parliamentarians boycott it. Nevertheless, the two Houses approved the main points which need to be explained in detail. So we want from UAE to explain the endorsed points to detail.”
Vowing the efforts of his government to getting free and fair press, Hon. Behi said, “We need the press; without press, we will be blind and our vision will be blurred. The press portrays constructive criticism. We have been opposition party and we know the value of Press.”