Hargeisa, Somaliland, July 28, 2019 (Saxafi) — The United Nations Special envoy in Somaliland and Somalia on Sunday called for dialogue to help address challenges facing Somaliland.

James Swan, special envoy of the UN secretary-general for Somaliland and Somalia who made a two-day visit to Somaliland capital of Hargeisa, urged further efforts by political leaders in Somaliland to organize parliamentary and local elections.


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“I want to take this occasion to emphasize the importance of building and maintaining open channels of communication to resolve differences peacefully and constructively,” the UN envoy said in a statement issued in Mogadishu after the visit.

The visit comes at the time when the Somaliland political parties reached a consensus, with the support of the EU ambassador, Nicolas Berlanga Martinez, on the issues pertaining to the forthcoming parliamentary and local elections.

UN Special Envoy Calls Of Dialogue To Resolve Challenges In Somaliland
Somaliland president, Muse Bihi Abdi (right) received the UN Special Envoy, Ambassador James Swan at Hargeisa, Somaliland on July 28, 2019

During his two-day visit, the UN Special Envoy met with Somaliland’s President Muse Bihi Abdi and senior members of his cabinet, as well as women leaders and beneficiaries of UN programs.

“Part of the reason I’m here is to help strengthen our collaboration regarding humanitarian activities, economic development and capacity-building for local governance and service delivery,” Swan said.

He said he was pleased to see some of the projects helping refugees and community members alike as they acquire skills to support themselves and their families.

“The communities hosting refugees and asylum-seekers are already making a big contribution to these groups, and these programs not only equip the refugees with critical skills but also benefit the wider community,” said the UN envoy.

The new UN envoy, James Swan, is no stranger to Somaliland, having visited the country on numerous occasions whilst serving as the United States ambassador during the administration of former president, Ahmed Mohamed Mohamud “Sillanyo”.

Somaliland has its own government and its own army, flag, and prints its own currency.

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