Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Somaliland - Kulmiye colours

Kulmiye colours, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

These are the colours of the Kulmiye (Peace, Unity and Development) Party, one of three politcial parties in Somaliland. It is a fairly new party and its leader Mr Silanyo almost won the Presidential election in 2003 and the party came a close second in the Parliamentary elections in 2005.

Time for a quick update on the issue of the three journalists who were arrested in Somaliland earlier in the month. It seems as if they are still under custody and that all sorts of nonsense is going on in connection with their trial. They are being accused under an old 1952 law, from Somalia (which is the default law, I understand, in the absence of specific post-1991 Somaliland law). However, it seems as if there is a complete press law which was passed by the authorities in Somaliland and by the President himself, which is a lot more lenient than the old law and is the law which should be applied in this case. In other words, a lot of shenanigans going on.

There is a very good letter, written by the Secretary General of Reporters Without Borders, to the President.

In the meantime, there is also news of a military stand-off on Somaliland soil between Somaliland troops and those of Puntland, a neighbouring area of Somalia, which wants autonomy withing a federal Somalia. Apparently there was skirmishing there about three years ago. It could just be that there might be oil under the ground in this part of eastern Somaliland.

In fact, there seem to be all sorts of conspiracy theories doing the rounds about the US's interest in Somalia, with respect to large US corporations having secured oil exploration rights from the old pre-1991 government of Somalia.



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