By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) –”As you are aware the country is facing innumerable difficulties as a result of illegal immigration by a large number of youths”
This was stated by the president of Somaliland H.E Ahmed Mahmud Silanyo in a press statement in which he also announced the appointed a seven member committee to deal with illegal immigration and its root cause of unemployment.
The statement which was released to the press by presidential spokesperson Ahmed Suleiman Duhul read:
Quote: “As you are aware the country is facing innumerable difficulties as a result of an increase in illegal immigration by a large number of youths that is not only creating a big brain drain but causing the lives of many in the Sahara desert and Mediterranean Sea among other places”
“At the same time a large number of family household continue to suffer not only from the numerous loss of youthful lives of their children but through exorbitant cost of payment to human traffickers who run the operations and subsequent ransom payment to gangs of armed groups who abduct the youths in the Sahara Desert.
“To this effect I have appointed a seven member government committee on Illegal immigratio0n and job creation whose mandate starts with immediate effect” Unquote
The memebers appointed to the presidential committee on illegal immigration and job creation are:
1. . Minister of Labour and Social Welfare –Committee Chair
2. Minister of Youth, Sports and Tourism –Member
3. Minister of interior- Member
4. Minister or Religion –Member
5. Minister of Information, Culture and National Guidance-Member
6. Minister of Planning-Member
7. Minister of Justice- Member
In his statement the president who stressed upon the committee members the importance attached to its mandate of coming up with strategies to deter illegal immigration as well as those geared towards job creation also urge diligence and speed in solving the issues at hand.
While somaliland has its share of youth unemployment just like other countries both developed and developing, illegal immigration has of late become a thorn in the flesh of not only the government but the common man as well due to the large numbers reported to be leaving the country on a daily basis and attendant difficulties encountered like abductions, demands for ransom and even deaths.
According to the Director General-DG ministry of Interior Mr. Abdisamad Omar Maal Over 150 youths are leaving the country on a monthly basis in pursuit of illegal immigration to various destinations.
The DG made the remarks during a debate at the university of Hargeisa-UoH titled “What are the reasons and Impact of Illegal Immigration and How to put a stop” organized by UoH’s Conflict resolution Centre and participated by a number of stakeholders representing the administration, legislature, Elders, parents, youths and students from various colleges of the university.
The stakeholders at the function held at Hargeisa University’s main campus were unanimous in the concern on the upsurge of illegal immigration thus recommending immediate joint government –community measures.
Among the measures said to have been put in place the administration include the setting up of a joint task force between the governments of Somaliland and Ethiopia whose capital Addis Ababa is the main transit point for local youths immigrating illegally.
“Our joint efforts with the Ethiopian authorities has so far resulted in the arrest of 45 persons who were trying to cross illegally into Ethiopia from a number of exit points in the country” Said DG Maal
While 30 of the arrested are youths ranging from 13 to 18 years of age and obviously intent on illegal immigration the other 15 are adults under investigation for being suspected Human traffickers.
The DG who said that the administration is concerned about the recent upsurge in this dangerous trade that is slowly shredding apart the country’s learned workforce not to mention never ending deaths in the Sahara desert urged parents to help deter it.
As the debaters were engrossed in discussions a number of households were mourning the demise of their loved ones that died in the Hands of Abductors based in the Libyan portion of the Sahara Desert.
By appointing the anti-illegal immigration and job creation committee president Silanyo has taken a bold move towards curbing these menace and it is now hoped that the new committee shall act properly by utilizing the large amounts of donor funds that are allocated to illegal immigration programs.