The newly proclaimed Somaliland, in Northern Somalia, on Friday appealed for international aid to help shelter and feed a large number of people returning home “after the civil war”.
A spokesman told Radio Hargeisa, monitored by the BBC, that people returning home faced food shortages and their homes had been destroyed. They also lived under constant danger of landmines planted in the area by forces loyal to former president Siyad Barre the long-time dictator.
He urged international relief agencies to “hasten assistance of these people” because Somaliland was “unable to offer any help”.
Rebels of the Somali National Movement (SNM) running Northern Somalia proclaimed secession from the rest of the country and set up a “sovereign and independent state” on May 18, following the conference involving leaders of Northern clans.
They made the city of Hargeisa their capital. The region was formerly a British colony, which became part of Somalia with the former Italian-ruled South on independence in 1960.
SNM president Abdirahman Ahmed Ali meanwhile had talks Friday in the Northern port city of Berbera with the secretary general of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), Hamid Algabid, OIC announced from its base in Saudi Arabia.
Algabid said OIC was keen “to preserve the territorial integrity of Somalia” and once again declared itself ready to “help Somali brothers to solve their problem”.
The SNM was one of the three main rebel movements fighting the dictatorial regime of Major General Siyad Barre who was driven from Mogadishu in late January after 21 years by another faction, United Somali Congress (USC).
Since the general was overthrown, rebel factions drawn from Somalia’s different clans have been fighting each other, with USC accused of forming a government without consulting other groups.
In part of a lengthy statement announcing secession, SNM said that the North had always been underprivileged with regard to the South of the country, adding that people had not been consulted before unification.
The SNM leader told the OIC of rebels’ “contacts … with leaders in Southern Somalia, in Mogadishu, in order to reach understanding between two countries,” OIC statement in Jeddah said.
- The UNIQUE Case For The International Recognition Of Somaliland
- The World Can Learn From How Somaliland Overcame Militias
- Somaliland: The Little Country That Could By David Shinn
- Somaliland Is A Beacon Of Democracy In An Unstable Region
- Masuuliyiinta Xidh-Xidhan Iyo Dareemada Dhagarta Xambaarsan Ee Laga Soo Werinayo Dhinaca Madaxtooyada
- KOIGI: Acknowledge Somaliland To Cure Festering Wound On Africa