The Government of Somaliland and international partners* met yesterday as part of the “Somaliland Development Forum” series. The series of meetings is intended to provide a high-level forum to strengthen development cooperation and discuss issues of mutual interest.
The meeting was an opportunity for the Government of Somaliland to brief the international community on ongoing reforms and development progress being made. Among other items discussed, the Minister for Planning and National Development presented an NDP III roadmap and potential opportunities for cooperation aligned with Somaliland’s own priorities.
The international partners welcomed the commitment of the Government of Somaliland to ensure that the next National Development Plan would present a concise, prioritized, and costed plan for Somaliland’s development over the next five years. The international partners also welcomed the reassurance from the high-level Somaliland delegation that both the President and opposition parties remain committed to holding presidential elections next year and that funding to support the election is already being allocated in the 2022 budget.
At the meeting, recent developments in Somaliland were also discussed. Somaliland’s international partners took the opportunity to express their strong concerns regarding the forced displacement of specific communities in Somaliland. While noting that Somaliland regards these operations as matters related to security, and recognizing the responsibility of all governments to safeguard and protect the lives of their people, partners underlined the importance of upholding security with respect to due process and the rule of law. The international partners believed that these actions were carried out in violation of basic human rights principles enshrined in Somaliland’s constitution and international conventions that Somaliland has committed to.
While the international partners commended Somaliland’s positive democratic and economic development over recent years, these forced displacements constitute a serious setback and called on the government to immediately stop the forced displacements and arbitrary detentions witnessed in recent weeks. The partners also called on the Somaliland government to ensure that houses and businesses of those displaced remain unoccupied and that a system be put in place that allows for legal and voluntary return for those who are not considered a security threat by the courts.
International partners welcomed the high-level delegation’s assurance of Somaliland’s commitment to protecting basic human rights, rule of law, and due process for all within its territory. International partners also welcomed the promise from the high-level delegation that forced displacement would stop and that assets of those displaced would be protected and could be reclaimed following due process. The international partners will continue to monitor events in Somaliland to ensure that these commitments are upheld.
The meeting ended with international partners stating that they stand ready to support Somaliland in reaching ambitions of progress and prosperity for the people in Somaliland and that they looked forward to supporting the preparations for the NDP III and also the presidential elections scheduled for 2022.
*International partners included Denmark, EU, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, UK, and the USA.
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