HARGEISA (SD) – The President of Somaliland, Muse Bihi Abdi, today attended an international conference on peace and state-building, at time when the enclave is facing a continuous democratic challenges.
A speech by President Bihi, a leader accused of authoritarian tendencies did not address nor reflected the country’s current electoral impasse due to intention to extend his term in office and disband the current national opposition parties.
“Upon the liberation of our country from the tyranny of Siyad Barre regime, we inherited a war-ravaged country in which tens of thousands of our people had been killed and the main cities, Hargeisa and Burao, almost entirely destroyed.” said Bihi at the opening of the conference.
The conference is organized by The BRENTHURST Foundation from South Africa led by Dr. Greg Mills, a supporter of Somaliland’s quest for independence.
It is not clear whether the conference on security and state-building, part of the popular African Security Dialogue program, will address the current challenges facing Somaliland in democratization and elections.
The conference, which was attended by scholars, politicians, researchers, journalists and others from at least 17 (seventeen) countries, the two days conference will discuss key security issues issues in the continent.
Dr. Greg Mills, who spoke at the event, described the conference as a security and state-building conference, the first of its kind to be held in the Horn of Africa.
Somaliland pro-democracy activists welcomed the conference but said it came at a time when Somaliland’s statehood and electoral process are dismantled and are facing major setbacks.
Opposition leaders and academics from 17 countries have been invited to the conference, while national parties and Somaliland scholars have not been invited to a conference on security and good governance in their backyard.
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