|Kenyan Parliament Deputy Speaker, Farah Ma’allin, Gives Historic Speech At Joint Session Of Somaliland’s Legislators|
|Hargeysa, Somaliland, December 26, 2009 (SL Times) – A Kenyan parliamentary delegation led by Kenyan Parliament Deputy Speaker, Farah Maallin Ahmed, arrived in Hargeysa this week on an official visit. They were met at the airport by the Speaker of Somaliland Parliament, Abdirahman Muhammad Abdillahi, the first Deputy Speaker of Somaliland parliament, Abdi al-Aziz Muhammad Samaale, the Minister of Finance, Hussein Ali Duale (Awil), the Minister of Interior, Abdillahi Ismail Ali, the Mayor of Hargeysa, Hussein Mohamud Jiir, and Somaliland diplomat, Muhammad Aar.
Speaking to the press, the Kenyan Parliament Deputy Speaker, Farah Maallin, said the purpose of their visit is to get a close look at the situation in Somaliland and the condition of Somali refugees. The delegation met with Somaliland’s president, the leaders of the political parties and civil society groups. They also visited Sheikh and the port of Berbera.
But the high point of their visit was the historic speech that the honorable Farah Ma’allin gave at a joint session of Somaliland’s lower and Upper House. The speech was both in Somali and English.
In his speech, Farah Maallin praised the people and leaders of Somaliland for the peace and stability in the country. He said although he is from Kenya, the world is now a global village and they follow closely events in Somaliland and whenever Somaliland is hurt they feel hurt and whenever Somaliland does well, they also feel well.
He said he is impressed with Somaliland’s political culture which is based on consulting with the people which is what democracy is all about. He added that there is no contradiction between Islam and democracy, and that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) practiced Shura and did not impose a leader on Muslims but instead let Muslims to choose a leader among themselves after he died.
Farah Maallin warned Somalilanders against conflict in the coming elections. He reminded Somaliland’s leaders that whatever problems arise they should focus on solving it themselves through peaceful means, as Somalilanders are known for, and not through violence. He also urged Somalilanders not to put much faith in foreign mediation saying that their experience in the Kenyan election dispute has shown that foreigners are often not as sincere as they seem and have their own interests.
When it comes to recognizing Somaliland, he said that is a decision for his country’s government to make. But he did give his personal opinion which was that Somaliland can secede from Somalia but Somalis will always need each other. As he put it, “if you secede, it is fine; if you don’t secede it is also fine; but Somalis will always have links no matter what happens and the important thing is to try to save what can be saved.”
He lambasted the warring factions in south Somalia and said, “Those men in Mogadishu have no power and no freedom and are in no position to decide whether Somaliland secedes or not because there’s nothing there.” He also called what is going on in Mogadishu shameful and has nothing to do with Islam.
Farah Maallin concluded by promising that he and his colleagues in the Kenyan parliament will do all they can to help Somaliland and Somalis.
Farah Maallin’s speech was warmly welcomed by the Somalilanders in the legislative hall and beyond.
Somaliland’s legislative leaders thanked the Kenyan delegation. The first Deputy Speaker of Somaliland’s Upper House, Ahmad Sheikh Nuh Furreh praised Farah Ma’allin for his brilliant speech and outstanding knowledge, but he also reminded his guests that Somaliland has been waiting for twenty years to get the diplomatic recognition it deserves. “If Somaliland is recognized, it could then help with solving Somalia’s problem,” added Ahmad Sheikh Nuh Furreh.
There are historical relations between Kenya and Somaliland. The two countries once used the same currency when they were both under British administration, and people of Somaliland origin played an important role in establishing Nairobi city.
This is not the first high level Kenyan delegation that visits Somaliland. The current Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga visited Somaliland and called on the international community to recognize Somaliland when he was the minister of energy. Kenyan parliament member, Paul Muite, led a parliamentary committee on a visit to Somaliland in 2006 and said Somaliland should be recognized as a sovereign state. Professor Ali Mazrui, one of Africa’s most renowned intellectuals and a native of Kenya is among many Kenyans who believe in Somaliland’s right to international diplomatic recognition.
source: Somaliland Times