Somaliland: SRSG Somalia Amb Keating Discusses Drought and Democracy in Hargeisa


Ministry of foreign Affairs press statement
Special Representative of the Secretary General to Somalia Michael Keating and Somaliland foreign minister Dr Saad Ali Shire after meeting in Hargeisa

Somalilandsun , – A Senior UN delegation visited Somaliland on 2nd April, 2017 to discuss a number of matters including how to improve the response to the devastating drought which is presently affecting 1.5 million people in Somaliland and has resulted in the deaths of 70% of livestock, the backbone of the country’s economy.

The Ministry of foreign affairs received the Special Representative of the Secretary General, Michael Keating and his delegation which included officials from OCHA, and UNSOM to discuss how to improve the drought response. Minister Saad Ali Shire thanked the UN for its assistance so far, but raised concerns that support from the international community in response to the drought has been too limited, and required an increase in resources and improved coordination and information-sharing. He also pointed out the work of the Somaliland National Drought Committee, which had reached almost 130,000 households with assistance. He added that the drought was exacerbated by climate change which is something that was not caused by Somaliland
The Foreign Minister stressed the level of urgency, noting that time was running out to prevent a possible famine, saying: “if the gu rains do not arrive, then there will be a spike in the mortality rate”
The government of Somaliland also noted that it was seeking support from the UN to help fund the upcoming elections which had been pushed back until later in the year due to the drought. He noted that if the #UN was prepared to support the election process in Somalia, it should also do so in Somaliland. He emphasized that people of Somaliland had decided for themselves to embrace democracy as a form of governance, and not due to any external pressure.
Michael Keating expressed solidarity and sympathy for the people of Somaliland that are affected by drought and made clear his willingness to press the international community to support Somaliland with humanitarian aid. The Minister and the Special Representative subsequently undertook a joint monitoring visit to Gabiley to view the drought response efforts being undertaken there. The government of Somaliland hopes the visit will lead to a more coordinated and effective response in efforts to tackle the drought.