Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Voter Registration Halted After Somaliland Terror Attacks

Officials in Somalia's breakaway republic of Somaliland have halted an ongoing voter-registration process following terror attacks that killed at least 20 people last week, Radio Garowe reported.
Mohamed Ismail Mohamed, chairman of the Somaliland Election Commission, told a Saturday press conference in the separatist region's capital city Hargeisa that the series of suicide bombings impacted the voter-registration process that was already underway.
"The [Somaliland] Election Commission has postponed the voter-registration process for ten days," Mr. Mohamed said, while praising the successful completion of the process in regions like Awdal, the native region of Somaliland leader Dahir Riyale.
The Election Commission chairman sent condolences to the families of the deceased, while underlining that the terror attacks were "aimed at destroying the stability in Somaliland." Full story
Meanwhile, security forces continue to have a heavy presence on Hargeisa streets with multiple checkpoints and have completely shut down the vital road that drives by the presidential palace, which was one of the suicide bombers' targets.
International organizations, like the EU, pay millions of dollars in grants to the Somaliland government to host democratic elections next year.

Somaliland, in Somalia's northwest, has its own government and has been relatively stable since the mid-1990s. The separatist enclave is scheduled to hold presidential elections in March 2009.


Samira Hassan

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