The Atlantic Council’s Michael S. Ansari Africa Center hosted a speech today by His Excellency Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud Silanyo, president of the Republic of Somaliland. President Silanyo is at the start of a working visit to confer with senior US officials and other stakeholders on the prospects for peace and security in the volatile Horn of Africa region. Although its 1991 declaration of renewed independence has yet to be formally recognized by the international community, Somaliland has nonetheless managed to establish a stable polity with multiparty presidential, parliamentary, and municipal elections which have been deemed free and fair by international observers. As a result, an increasing number of countries have found opportunities to engage with the Somaliland government on security issues and development projects.
The president was accompanied by a delegation that included First Lady Amina Haji Mahammad Jirde; Hersi Ali H. Hassan, minister of presidential affairs; Mohamed Abdullahi Omar, minister of foreign affairs; Sa’ad Ali Shire, minister of planning; Hussein Abdi Dualeh, minister of mining, energy, and water resources; and Osman Sahardiid, minister of state for finance.
Africa Center Director J. Peter Pham introduced President Silanyo and moderated an open discussion with the president and foreign minister following the address.
For more information on Somaliland, see:
- J. Peter Pham, “The Somaliland Exception: Lessons on Postconflict State Building from the Part of the Former Somalia That Works,” Marine Corps University Journal, Spring 2012.
- Christopher Clapham, Holger Hansen, Jeffrey Herbst, J. Peter Pham, Patrick Mazimhaka, Susan Schulman, and Greg Mills, African Game Changer? The Consequences of Somaliland’s International (Non) Recognition, Brenthurst Foundation Discussion Paper, June 2011.