Somaliland: SL/UK in Highly Politically Symbolic Meet aboard Battleship


The Somaliland team boards HRM Battleship RFA MOUNTS BAY

By: M.A.Egge

BERBERA (Somalilandsun) – The President H.E. Ahmed Mohammed Mohamoud has ordered the immediate distribution of basic relief necessities to the Berbera flood victims numbering 500 families.

At the same time the Head of State attended a highly elaborate politically symbolic function that brought to a close a fortnight of joint SL/UK navy training. It was held aboard the Royal Fleet Auxiliary’s (RFA) Mounts Bay warship.

The function was attended by two British ambassadors in a political scenario that was well elaborated by UK’s Ambassador to Somaliland/ Somalia H.E. Neil Wigan which underpinned the fact that it was more than a mere military co-operate.

The President, upon disembarking from the plane at Berbera Airport, first visited the flood victims sheltered at Bursade Primary School numberring about 500 families.

While reiterating the fact that the state was always at hand for its citizens in dire times and emergencies, he directed the immediate distribution of 1400 sacks of varieties of foodstuff and 700 bedding materials.

He then headed to the port where he witnessed the graduation of SL Coastguards from a fortnight of intense and specialized marine course given by the British army.

Upon inspecting a guaride mounted by the guards the Head of State was ferried by a UK marine trawler to board the RFA Mounts Bay battleship whereby a function was held in honour of the training in a closing ceremony.

In trying to underscore the importance of the meeting and the keen interests his government placed upon the UK/SL relations, Ambassador Weigan said, “This should not be seen as a mere inter-military training only, but it is indeed much more”.

He emphasized, “This UK/SL joint military operations not only fortifies the defense partnership but in fact it does reiterate the UK government diplomatic and political commitment”.

To further hammer the point home Amb. Weigan quoted 19th century Prussian soldier cum philosopher Carl Von Clausewitz who interpreted war as the continuation of politics by other means.

According to Carl’s famous saying, “War is not merely a political act but a real political instrument, a continuation of political intercourse, and a carrying out of the same by other means”.

“True to the fact , with us here is the President of SL, important ministers and two British ambassadors all aboard this battleship, the RFA Mounts Bay; it is but showing the reality of our shared mutual interests in political and diplomatic relations hence also the strengthening of military fortitude”.

He thanked the Captain of the ship Gerry Peterson and welcomed the President and his entourage on board.

The head of State on his part thanked Her Royal Majesty’s government for the continued and constant support it gave this country.

British Naval officers brief President Silanyo aboard their battleship

He paid tribute to the strong and historic relations of friendship, a commitment the ambassador re-affirmed, between the two countries.

Similar comment were quipped by the foreign minister Hon. Mohamed Bihi. The Head of State was conducted to an orientate tour around the battleship.

SL’s top priorities in its aspirations are international recognition human development, peace, stability and security plus general economic development.

Somaliland coast guards graduating from their British Naval Force training

The President who was accompanied by the First Lady Amina Sheikh Mohammed Jirde was flanked by the Ministers of Interior Hon. Ali Mohammed Waran-adde, Foreign Hon. Bihi, Aviation Hon. Mohammed Abdi Hashi and top military commanders.

Others in his entourage to Berbera were Minister of Resettlement and Rehabilitation Hon. Ahmed Abdi Kahin, Head of Relief Welfare at the Presidency Lady Amina Mohammed Dirie and HCR chief Fathia Haji Hussein.