Mandera Senator Amb. Eng. Mohamed Maalim Mahmoud said during a banquet hosted by Somaliland President Muse Bihi on the eve of the Commemoration of Independence of Somaliland from Britain on the 26th June 1960 said Somaliland has become a key ally of Kenya in seeking peace and security in the Horn of Africa.
Engineer Mahmoud who was part of a strong Kenyan delegation of leaders and business people who graced the official opening of the expanded Berbera Port said Somaliland has made great strides despite lacking international recognition.
“Mr. President, I and other members of the Kenya delegation are extremely elated to be in Somaliland and to witness and celebrate with the people of Somaliland in two momentous occassions this week,” said the Senator.
“The first one being the Inauguration of the first phase of the expansion and modernization of the Berbera Port and launch of its second phase. That was a monumental infrastructural feat for Somaliland and our Eastern Africa Region as a whole,” he added.
He said that Kenyans share Somaliland’s happiness and pride in this milestone achievement which will boost regional trade and investments and our overall goal of regional economic integration and shared development and prosperity.
“The second happy moment of our visit is to participate in celebration your independence from Britain on 26th June 1960.”
“This auspicious occasion is of great significance not just to the people of Somaliland but also to all of us, Somali Speaking people’s. It marks the day when the first free and independent flag by a Somali people was hoisted.”
He said that whilst Somaliland’s history as a nation and a people may have been chequered and with challenging and sometimes traumatic experiences, there are exceptional good aspects of the country’s history which are quite remarkable.
“As a leader from one of the five Somali territories, the NFD which shares with your people the unique bond of a cultural space, I can state that your gallant contributions and successes are acknowledged and makes all Somali speaking people’s proud.”
“Your achievements, successes and developments in every sphere of human development with minimal external support, and with your own resources and initiatives are worthy of celebration.”
The senator said that Somaliland’s state-craft and democratic credentials have set it apart from many nation states in Africa and beyond. We salute the people of Somaliland.
“Kenya and Somaliland have historical ties and cordial relations.We are bound by many things, including a colonial historical legacy. We have tens of thousands of Kenyans of Somaliland ancestry who have active links to their roots. But more recently, we have an equal number of Kenyans living and working in Somaliland which is their second home.”
He sad last December’s official visit to Kenya by President Bihi in which he signed a joint communiqué with President Uhuru Kenyatta has set the stage for the two countries to expand and deepen their relations.
“As a political leader in Kenya, and as members of the recently launched Kenya-Somaliland Parliamentary Caucus, we shall endeavour to do everything we can to promote our two Countries relations and cooperation using the communiqué as an important anchor.”
The senator at the same time said Kenyan leaders will offer themselves to assist and support the talks between Somaliland and the Federal government of Somalia so that an amicable solution which is a win for both parties is realized.
“In the meanwhile, we urge for resumption of the talks as soon as Somalia gets done with her elections to enable dialogue and negotiation between two parties with legitimate mandates.”