Somaliland: Samale Denies Alleged Links with Islamist Groups


Finance Minister Samale denies links to Islamist groups• The Finance minister terms allegation of links to an extremist islamists group as a baseless lie he attributes to his political ambitions for the country’s highest office-presidency

By: Yusuf M Hasan

HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – “I hereby solemnly swear that am not affiliated to any Islamist groups”

This was said by the finance minister Mr Abdiaziz Mohamed Samale during a press conference in his Hargeisa offices where he termed the allegations a malicious attempt to deny his bid for the presidency, public support.

“Reports about my affiliation to a certain religious group are lies intended to assassinate my character”

The finance minister was reacting to recent and continued reports by most media houses that he is a leading member and most likely a financier of the Al-shabaab group which is battling the Mogadishu government for control of Somalia.

“Although the allegations were started by the former government of President Dahir Rayale which me, Dr Gaboose and Eng. Hashi, my linkage to the Al-Qaeda allied Islamists group has seen a heightened renewal since my announcement of intent to vie for the presidency through a Kulmiye party ticket” said Samale.

While urging political opponents within the ruling party Kulmiye to stop using unethical tactics the finance minister said his ambition for higher political office is a reality not to be discarded easily.

On the 16th February Mr Samale M Abdiaziz widened the leadership tussle for the ruling Kulmiye party after he announced his intent to vie for the position of party of party chairman thus automatic presidential nominee for elections slated 2015.

Who is next Kulmiye party leader, Samale or BihiThe Samale announcement made at a luncheon he hosted for his Sub-clan of is reported to have irked which current party chair Musa Bihi who also hails from clan thus a major fall-out between the two.

Despite interventions from various quarters the wrangles by the two have opened a Pandora box with party faithful’s aligning with either camp thus a major showdown come the internal Kulmiye party elections mid this year.

The denial of much publicized links with extremist Islamist groups by the finance minister will not only raise his profile higher but will certainly give the government of president Silanyo a much needed and earned respite from accusations of maintaining persons associated with terrorists in high positions.