Somaliland: Britain to open consulate in Hargeisa


Amb Matt Baugh at the Hargeisa Book Fair“This office will enable the UK establish closer relations with the government, institutions and people of Somaliland” Ambassador Matt Bough

By: Yusuf M Hasan

HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The British government is set to open a liaison office in Hargeisa.

This was revealed by Her Majesty’s Non-Resident Ambassador to the Somali Republic Matt Baugh at the Hargeisa Book Fair where he also informed that the British government will continue its development support to Somaliland.

Ambassador John William Matthew Baugh who is based at the British high commission in Nairobi Kenya is in the country for the first time on official business as well as participation in the Hargeisa book fair.

The British envoy whose delegation includes Political, Economic and Humanitarian officers said that it was a pleasure to be a guest of the Hargeisa Book Fair that availed him the opportunity to see Somaliland’s culture first hand.

While congratulating the organizers of the fair for a job well done, he informed that the support of the British government to the fair which is in the third year will be continued. He further hoped that the Hargeisa Book Fair will soon attain international status due to the quality of presentations and items on display.

The Amb who later met with President Ahmed Mahmoud Silanyo at the presidency said that he is satisfied with existing cordial relations between his country and Somaliland thus the imminent opening of a liaison office.

As per Somalilanders in the United Kingdom the envoy said, “British Somalilanders are one of the most disciplined and hardworking within the large diaspora in Britain”

He further informed that Somalilanders in Britain play a very vital role as they are visibly active in local councils as elected councilors, civil servants and major economic players with investments in various businesses.

According to the British diplomat Her Majesty’s Government support to Somaliland is diversified will be continued indefinitely and owing to the superb show at the Hargeisa Book Fair, cultural activities that we not funded in the past will be included

Amb Matt Bough also informed about a fund established by a British and Danish governments cooperation that is geared towards supporting the government of Somaliland successfully implement its five year National Development Plan.

The envoy further revealed that the purpose of the Special development fund established by the two governments is geared towards assisting the local administration Improve livelihoods through poverty alleviation and avail basic services.

In conclusion Her Majesty’s Non-Resident Ambassador to the Somali Republic

Matt Baugh urged the government to work diligently towards successful implementation of the NDP which took a lot of concerted efforts to produce and has the support of his government and others.

Mr Baugh is a career civil servant and is on secondment to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from the UK Department for International Development. He has spent much of his career dealing with conflict, security and humanitarian issues. Since 1999 he has worked in Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan and the Balkans, as well as a number of major relief operations and protracted emergencies. He also helped to set up and lead the UK’s Post Conflict Reconstruction Unit, now the UK Stabilisation Unit. He is a graduate of the UK Joint Services Command and Staff College’s Higher Command and Staff Course (2010) and was previously Principal Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for International Development (2008-9).

On his appointment as Her Majesty’s Non-Resident Ambassador to the Somali Republic, Mr Baugh said:

“I am deeply honoured to have become the first British Ambassador to Somalia for 21 years. This further demonstrates the UK’s commitment to the people and country of Somalia. “

Curriculum vitae

Full name:John William Matthew Baugh (Known as Matt)

Married to:Dr Caroline Baugh


May 2010 – Present UK Senior Representative for Somalia, British Office for Somalia

Jan 2010 – April 2010 Student on the Higher Command and Staff Course, Joint Services Command and Staff College

Jan 2008 – Sept 2009 Principal Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for International Development

June 2006 – Sept 2007 DFID, Head of Iraq Department

Jan 2005 – May 2006 Head of UK Post-Conflict Reconstruction Unit

Nov 2002 – Dec 2004 Khartoum, First Secretary

Sept 2001 – Oct 2002 DFID, Head of Afghanistan Crisis Team

July 2000 – Oct 2002 DFID, Head of Humanitarian Policy and Global Response Team

April 1999-July 2000 DFID, Head of Kosovo Crisis Unit