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Somaliland: US Government to Act after Final IEO Report
Monday, 17 December 2012 03:49

Amb David H ShinnAmb David H Shinn"Somaliland should be commended for holding elections on a regular basis but with as much experience as it has had with elections since 1991, I would have thought it could do better by this time" Amb David Shinn

By: Yusuf M Hasan

HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) - The United States normally attaches considerable importance to the views of neutral international election observers.

The US government is awaiting the final report of the International Election Observer-IOE Mission which observes the local council elections held in 28th November before it makes comments.

This was revealed by Ambassador David Shinn during an interview with the Horn newspaper in which he also opinioned that the national police force needs international training

Below are the verbatim excerpts of the interview

How do you see the local elections held in Somaliland on 28 November and the report by the international observers?

Somaliland should be commended for holding elections on a regular basis. As you know, some countries in Africa and elsewhere around the world do not have scheduled elections or any elections. There were, however, some reports of violence and apparently no voting took place in some districts in eastern Somaliland. Voter turnout in the rest of Somaliland was reportedly high. Representatives of The Bartlett Development Planning Unit (DPU) organized a 51-member team of international observers to observe the elections. This is a relatively small number of observers for an area as large as Somaliland. They only observed about 20 percent of the polling stations. That means they were unable to observe the situation in most of Somaliland.

The DPU observers reported that the voting process was mainly free, relatively peaceful and marked by great public enthusiasm. On the other hand, they witnessed widespread evidence of attempts at multiple voting exacerbated by the lack of a voter registration system. With as much experience as Somaliland has had with elections since 1991, I would have thought it could do better by this time.

What impact will the final report on local council elections by international observers have on the government of the United States?

The United States normally attaches considerable importance to the views of neutral international election observers. As the DPU was the only international group to observe the elections, I assume that the United States will pay close attention to its final report. The United States will also look into allegations by groups such as XAQSOOR that have strongly criticized the election process.

Do you think the international community is ready to pay for the expenses of voter registration prior to future elections in Somaliland?

If the government of Somaliland can present a credible voter representation plan that is not excessively expensive, I believe elements of the international community could be persuaded to provide the funding. It is clear that voter registration is needed to improve the process.

How do you interpret the use of live bullets by Somaliland police against protesters armed with stones?

Since I was not present in Somaliland during the election, I am not in a position to judge if live bullets were used against stone-throwing protestors. If that happened, it was a mistake and the government needs to be sure it does not happen again. Personally, I favor international training for Somaliland police. Realistically, it probably will not happen. Because of bad experiences in other countries in the past with the training of police personnel, there is a reluctance to provide police training by many nations. A few countries, such as Turkey, do provide police training. Unquote


Amb David Shinn who is a renowned pundit on Horn Africa issues, who is currently an adjunct professor of international affairs at The George Washington University.

David Shinn, who received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from GW, is a former U.S. ambassador to Ethiopia (1996-99) and to Burkina Faso (1987-90).



0 # Ali I Artan 2012-12-17 16:45
we know ourselves that the current election was not fair, and it could damage the democratic process and it's reflection international and externally .
-1 # mohamed cheers 2012-12-17 17:43
The Municipal local Council elections
were conducted peacefully in free and fair elections throughout the 6 Provinces
of the Somaliland Democratic Republic.
Minor incidents are insignificant.< br 0>What counts is the overall votings have
been s success story.Amb David Shinn can
have his reflections but Somaliland remains a thriving democracy in line
with the Western democratic standards
and it's high time that the US Federal DNC Govt recognized the Statehood of
the de jure Somaliland before and after 1991 to current. However, if the US is unwilling to act, there's always the
AU,EU,AL0OIC, India,China0ssi a to oblige
in kind.
+1 # Gobaad 2012-12-18 10:05
Cheerow, qabiil baa kaa hadlinaye, adduunkoo dhan baa ogaaday wixii dhacay. And it is great that Amb. David Shin cast a doubt on the whole voting system situation and not if the Internation Community will be ready to fund unfair voting system.
+1 # Shafici 2012-12-18 14:37

Just read the magnificent piece that is written by one of the observers. She is American as well. She says it was "equal opportunity" whihc means that all the parties were at it. It's 0e that Haqsoor is being used by the evil people who want to descredit Somaliland democratic system. How else can you explain the motives behind people associated with Haqsoor wanting to write to the whole world and to the funders urging them not to fund Somaliland democracy. Somaliland democracy is not for a party. It's there for the people. Somalilanders, don't be fooled by these kids roaming round the net.
0 # mohamed cheers 2012-12-18 18:24
@Gobaad, Ali Jama,

I just don't understand your problems.
Gobaad am not Cheer but Cheers.
Ali Jama, the finance Minister you talking about was useless for that job.
0 # Ali I Artan 2012-12-18 18:44
I do not understand Gobaad's objectives and he is sounding differently .
With regard to MOHAMMED'S response on his overall assessment for the municipal election status .I do not agree with you how you have graded during you evaluation .In my opinion obviously there had been mismanagement from the Commission side and they should accept the errors to satisfy the nation.
I'm reporting outside Somali land and has been closely watching all events , I'm not sympathizer for any particular party all are equal to me .
we should look forward to protect our identity and destiny which is Somaliland and we shall avoid any undesirable activities that may have negative impact to our nation hood progress .
+2 # Gaade 2012-12-18 23:11
All the parties have indicated that they will accept the final results except Haqsoor. I think they should follow the foot steps of the other parties and stop being unreasonable. Anyway, it has been announced that the issue of the voter registration will be solved and this is a good sign that the failures of the system are being looked at by the government.
0 # mohamed cheers 2012-12-18 23:12
@Ali I Artan,
Just think of any election whereever it
takes place in the Global Village,
there are always disputes and this Somaliland Municipal local Council elections are no exception. Am mindful
of certain marginal discrepancies can
be understandable which are taken care of
in some meaningful ways. Am also mindful that overall the elections were handled by peaceful ways with the desired outcome successfully completed
satisfactoril y in timely orderly fashion. Therefore, the NEC,the Govt and all the international participants leave no doubt in my mind that the Municipal elections were democratically successful happy ending. Marginal disputes here and there are insignificant. I hope you folks can figure out where my thinking mode lays its eggs!
+1 # mohamed cheers 2012-12-18 23:24
Folks, am not putting the blame on either side..the nature of elections have always their nominal disputed tensions. Such events are quite normal
disturbances. That's it.
+1 # Issa 2012-12-18 23:55
Gobaad, You are the best here. Don't listen to cheer. He is for those who are lost. Keep going for Human kind not for the greedy and animalistic opportunistic.
-1 # Issa 2012-12-18 23:57
To me most how don't respect others then are for a long disappointement . Like many before them.
0 # mohamed cheers 2012-12-19 08:49
Where are you coming from buddy, looks
lyk you are fully laden with problems!
0 # Issa 2012-12-19 11:59
@ Cheer. Gobaad expressed a serious concern whist you continued you're usual support of all that for you're tribe. You are a tribalist full stop. Now do you understand where I am coming from!!!!
0 # Issa 2012-12-19 12:00
If not! Cheers. Its because you are a tribilist.
0 # Ahmed M. Yassin 2012-12-27 07:09
Hurrah for Somaliland to hold elections. However, If it is not fair election, it's lost cost, and it will create more instability.
0 # xaayow 2013-01-18 08:06
SNM Somaliland will nooooooooooooot be on the Mappppppppppp.< br 0>
Never never ever.


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