Somaliland’s Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation told VOA a delegation of international donors will meet with his administration Monday to find ways to assist the self-declared autonomous region’s burgeoning democracy.
Mohammed Yonis Awale said the meeting is a welcoming development that will help further stabilize the region and help ward off hard-line Islamist insurgent groups such as al-Shabab.
“This conference is about assessment of the needs of Somaliland. There have been so many delegations from the international community since the elections. And, as a follow up to the delegations, it came out that the country needs to have a conference on investment in Somaliland. So, the international community is coming to our country and we are happy with that.”
Analysts say the self-declared autonomous region’s stability paved the way for recent democratic elections that poll observers described as credible. Somaliland’s Electoral Commission declared opposition leader Ahmed Mahamoud Silanyo the winner of the June election defeating incumbent President Dahir Rayale Kahin.
Awale said the international investor community will assess the needs of Somaliland and find ways of strengthening the region’s strong democratic credentials.
“It will help on the side of creating employment and infrastructural development investment (that will) bring up the resources of the country and the capacity building of the country, as well in private and the public sector. So, it is something very important for our country at this stage.”
Somaliland officials say the willingness of residents living in the region in the Horn of Africa to fully embrace democracy has played a pivotal role in making it unattractive to insurgents.
Described by Washington as a terrorist organization with strong ties to al Qaida, al-Shabab and other rebel groups have been launching almost daily attacks on the internationally-backed Somali administration.
The insurgents have vowed to overthrow President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed’s government to implement the strictest form of the Sharia Law.