By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The government has reaffirmed its full control of all territorial waters despite alleged management by the Somalia Federal Government –SFG
This was informed by the Somaliland minister of interior Mohamed Waran’ade during a press conference in Hargeisa where he also informed that the purported SFG contracting of an international firm to help set up a coast guard is purely a matter internal to it,SFG.
“Activities of the SFG are its own internal affairs that have no bearing to Somaliland in anyway” said Waran’ade.
The interior minister was reacting to media reports that Rotterdam-based Atlantic Marine and Offshore has signed a major order with the Somalian government to set up a coast guard operation geared towards combating piracy and to strengthen its, SFG, control over its territorial waters and natural resources.
Minister Waran’ade, who added that the country’s territorial waters which are managed by his interior ministry are safe and secure, said the ever vigilant Somaliland coast guard is ready and prepared as usual to thwart all illegal activities from any quarters.
“Somaliland’s observance of international etiquettes should not be construed as meekness as any infringement by those who never observe proper decorum shall be met with devastating force as a prelude to protecting citizens and their sovereignty as a nation” said the interior minister.
Though the somaliland coast guard is entirely funded by the government of the yet to be recognized country, it has managed to contain the nation’s territorial waters thus deterring the menace of Somalia piracy with the arrest of hundreds of pirates who are currently serving stiff sentences at Hargeisa, Mandera, Berbera and Erigavo prisons.
Though No details were given as to the potential size of the force or of the cost involved or extent of jurisdiction of the deal, AMO will build, maintain and operate the coast guard fleet which will include long-range patrol vessels equipped with high-speed intervention vessels. The company will also provide training.
Since the SFG assumed office in Mogadishu last year, the president of Somalia Hasan sheikh Mahmud who is fixated on the untenable notion of unifying Somaliland and his war devastated Somalia has utilized every opportunity to spew venom not only on the sovereignty of somaliland but on the various agreements entered by the two countries during four phases of internationally sanctioned talks.
Somaliland hopes to gain international recognition very soon after the country has carried out two free and fair presidential elections , one parliamentary election and two municipal elections.
The country has its own flag, its own currency, banks, passport, police and military force.
Somaliland broke away from Somalia in May 18, 1991 after a bloody civil war against the dictatorship of the socialist regime of Siad Barre.
Despite its status 22 years status as unrecognized country, somaliland has managed to secure peace and stability in the Horn region termed as the most volatile on earth due to its well-disciplined, equipped and trained armed forces whose display of might on 18th May 2013 coupled with the publicly declared intent by Ethiopia to defend somaliland at all costs raised fear in Mogadishu and the ire of the SFG President Hasan who was reported to have embarked on a hasty and secret protestation to the Ethiopians and other governments.