- The top United Nations envoy to Somalia has today congratulated officials in the self-declared autonomous region of Somaliland for striking an agreement to end a stalemate on delayed presidential elections.
Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, hailed the parties for taking a “courageous step towards a peaceful and successful outcome to the impasse that had characterised their political life of late.”
The Memorandum of Understanding signed by officials, he said, is a “step in the right direction” which should result in a free and fair plebiscite in the Horn of Africa nation.
The agreement is a “testament to the Somalilanders’ tradition of resolving internal conflict peacefully as well as a credit to the public officials who understand their role as civil servants,” Mr Ould-Abdallah noted.
It should also encourage all Somalis to achieve peace through dialogue, compromise and tolerance, he stressed.
“Violence will never achieve what peaceful dialogue can,” he said.
Somaliland's political crisis began in May 2008 when President Dahir Riyale's five-year term in office was extended by an additional year by the upper house of parliament, the House of Guurti. Opposition parties condemned the extension calling it unconstitutional.
A year later, President Riyale received a second term extension after the House of Guurti allowed him to remain in office until the presidential elections slated for the end 2009 are held.
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