On 22 May 2018 the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO), in collaboration with MEP Frank Engel, will organise a conference entitled Somaliland – Negotiating Statehood, Perspectives through the 2017 EOM Report. This conference is the fruit of the recent democratic expression of the November 2017 Presidential elections, which saw the peaceful transition from outgoing President Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud’s ‘Silanyo’ to the current President, Muse Bihi Abdi.
A mission of 60 international election observers (EOM), partly funded by the British government and invited by Somaliland’s National Electoral Commission (NEC) was present before, during and after polling and observed campaigning, voting, counting, tallying and the publication of election results, which were ultimately judged as overall “free and fair”. During this conference, representatives of the Government of Somaliland will exchange perspectives with a number of speakers including the Head of the 2017 International Election Observation Mission.
Ever since Somaliland’s declaration of Independence in 1991, following a 9-year civil war with Somalia and the oppressive dictatorship of Somali ruler Siad Barre, the de facto independent Somaliland has conducted several free and fair elections, an impressive feat in a tumultuous and less stable Horn of Africa. In light of this successful and emblematic demonstration of democracy and rule of law, Somaliland is more than ever eager to be taken seriously. Therefore, following the release of the EOM report in the UK, the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) will convene a conference to present the report and raise awareness among European politicians, journalists and academics of the situation in this largely overlooked country in the Horn of Africa.
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