Somalilandsun: In his maiden visit to Somaliland Danish ambassador to Kenya & Somalia, Ole Thonke engaged with several entities with a stake in programs funded by the Government of Denmark namely Democratization process , Judiciary, economic and social development among many.
In the couple of days of the Somaliland visit Amb. Thonke met and held discussions with the president Musa Bihi, Political parties, National Elections Commission, Non State Actors and the Chief Justice.
To launch the hectic Schedule President Musa Bihi Abdi hosted Amb. Ole Thonke at the Somaliland presidency in Hargeisa for discussions that culminated with unanimity on the importance and relevance of Danish Support.
Also discussed were matters related to the Somaliland democratization process and more specifically the forthcoming Consolidated Parliamentary and local councils elections slated for mid this year.
Denmark shall provide all necessary support towards a timely, fair and transparent balloting exercise.
Amb. Ole Thonke also informed that his country which is a contributor to the multi-Millions dollars Somaliland Development Fund shall see an intensified participation from the Copenhagen based authorities.
“The Government of Denmark plays a key role in the EU’s contribution to the SDF and more is planned in the year and beyond because we are satisfied with how funds are utilized” said the visiting envoy adding that citizens of Somaliland shall continue to enjoy the largesse of Denmark as pertains to economic and social development
On his own behalf, that of the people and his administration President Bihi thanked the envoy for his visit and Government of Denmark for its continued support to Somaliland, especially through its contribution to the SDF.
In conclusion president Bihi told Amb Thonke that the people of Somaliland shall always be grateful to the Danish government for being one of the first countries to open an office in the capital that serves the interests of both countries.
The next engagement for the visiting Danish Envoy was to the Judiciary where he was hosted by the Chief Justice and President of the Somaliland Constitutional Court, Prof Adan Haji Ali
The discussions at the Supreme Court premises dwelt on advances made in provision of fair access to justice by all Danish support to the democracy roadmap in Somaliland, upcoming elections, the role of the constitutional court in adjudicating differences and authenticating results, and the strengthening of the judiciary system through technical support.
Next to meet with the Danish Delegation were members of the Somaliland Elections Commission at the electoral body’s hqs in Hargeisa where the upcoming and first consolidated parliamentary and local council’s elections were discussed.
The NEC commissioners briefed Amb Thonke on matters related to completed plans for the ballot namely voter registration, and the end July date pending Guurti and presidential approval.
The Ambassador praised NEC for its pivotal role in sustaining Somaliland’s democratization process at the face of insurmountable constraints while promising continued support from the Government in Oslo and people of Denmark. In conclusion both parties agreed to not only sustain but enhance cooperation & partnership
On issues related to the participation of local civil Society organizations in the country’s democratization process Amb Thonke met and held discussions with officials of the CSOs umbrella body the Somaliland Non State Actors Forum –SONSAF in the capital Hargeisa.
The meeting chaired by SONSAF chairperson Anwar Warsame dwelt on issues pertaining to CSO observer status , their take on NEC Preparations , participation of women, youth and minorities in the Somaliland elections slated for mid this tear
Finally the Danish envoy to Kenya and Somalia Amb Ole Thonke met with officials of the three political parties of ruling Kulmiye and Opposition UCID and Wadani with whom the Somaliland democratization process and Forthcoming elections were brainstormed.
This visit is poignant not only because Denmark is a strong supporter of the Somaliland development fund but the democratization process as well as can be exemplified by the acts of 5th July 2020 when it joined the UK and the Netherlands in approving four agreements with the Somaliland Government to improve critical infrastructure to support economic growth. These projects were prioritized by Phase II of the Government of Somaliland’s National Development Plan, and will improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of people across Somaliland.
The new agreements, supporting projects on roads, agricultural facilities, water systems and fisheries some of which are now being implemented will spur economic growth benefitting the region and helping contribute towards a stable, peaceful and resilient Somaliland while improving its resilience to future pandemics through enhanced water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) infrastructure.