Somalia: Somaliland minister appeals for security cooperation with Puntland
Aug 13, 2010 - 1:06:59 PM
A Cabinet minister in Somalia's separatist region of Somaliland has appealed for security cooperation with neighboring Puntland regional autonomy, Radio Garowe reports.
Dr. Mohamed Abdi Gabose, Somaliland's new interior minister, told a press conference in the regional capital Hargeisa on Thursday that his Ministry plans to have security cooperation with all its neighbors.
Dr. Gabose is a practicing medical doctor appointed by newly elected Somaliland President Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo, who won June's election against former Somaliland leader Dahir Riyale.
|Dr. Gabose, Somaliland's interior minister|
"We plan to have security cooperation with neighbors, especially Puntland," Somaliland Interior Minister Dr. Gabose told reporters at his office in Hargeisa.
Dr. Gabose praised Puntland "for ensuring no insecurity comes to us [Somaliland] from the Puntland side."
He pledged that Somaliland's new government will strengthen security relations with Puntland, while maintaining relations with neighboring countries, Ethiopia and Djibouti.
Dr. Gabose also said that Somaliland's Ministry of Internal Affairs will play a part in upgrading the "image of major cities," a reference to cleanliness and overall orderliness of Somaliland's major towns.
Asked whether or not he will continue his practice as a medical doctor, Dr. Gabose responded: "Yes, I will work at my clinic during the early hours of the morning and then proceed to my work at the Ministry."
This is the first time a senior official in Somaliland has publicly appealed for security cooperation with Puntland. The two stable regions in northern Somalia have had troubled relations over Sool and Sanaag regions since 2002, including military clashes at times.
Puntland President Abdirahman Mohamed Farole has demanded that Somaliland withdraw its troops from Las Anod, one of Puntland's major towns.
Somaliland's new administration, led by President Ahmed Silanyo, has publicly stated that it will pursue "peaceful negotiations" on the matter of Sool and Sanaag.
Observers say this new policy is in stark contrast to the policy of former Somaliland P
resident Dahir Riyale who ordered Somaliland troops to march into Las Anod in Oct. 2007, causing more than 50,000 civilians to flee their homes, according to UN statistics.