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First museum opens in Somaliland to preserve history of its secession

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Somalia’s breakaway region of Somaliland has inaugurated its first museum to preserve the history of its self-declared independence in 1991.

The Saryan Museum built in the Somaliland capital Hargeisa was founded by Saed Shukri Hussein, one of the liberation fighters of the autonomous region, local news portal Horn Diplomat reports.

Among the collection at the museum are exhibits from the Somali National Movement (SNM) which fought for the region’s independence.

The SNM fought against the government of the Somali Democratic Republic’s military ruler Siad Barre who ruled from 1969 to 1991 after a coup.

Four militia groups including SNM led a rebellion that ousted the Barre regime.

The SNM declared the northwestern Somali regions independent and established the Republic of Somaliland after disagreements with the other rebel groups.

Although not recognised as a sovereign state, Somaliland is internationally recognised as an autonomous region of Somalia.

With a population of about 4 million, Somaliland can boast of an army, its own currency and legal system, and is appreciated for holding credible elections.

The territory has been experiencing stability, economic prosperity and has been influential in the fight against piracy and terrorism in the horn of Africa.

The territory has been under pressure to hold unity talks with Somalia which have so far been futile.

25 years of diplomatic isolation has made it difficult for Somaliland to have access to loans from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Somaliland

Protests in Somaliland As Opposition Claim Election Fraud

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Wadani Party supporters took to the streets of various opposition strongholds to protest what they claim to be election irregularities.

In Burco police used live bullets to disperse protestors.

Riots erupted hours after senior Wadani officials held a press conference on Thursday morning, accusing the ruling party of purchasing and using ballot papers forged with NEC’s official stamp.

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Somaliland

British MP praises Somaliland Elections at the House of Commons

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“With recent events in Zimbabwe and total election chaos in Kenya will the Prime Minister join me in celebrating the hugely successful election this week in Somaliland with direct help from this country” Zac Goldsmith British Member of Parliament

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Somaliland

Vote Counting Under Way in Somaliland Presidential Election

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WASHINGTON/HARGEISA — Vote counting is underway in Somaliland after the breakaway republic held its presidential election.

Three candidates are competing to replace President Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud, who opted not to seek re-election.

The three candidates, Muse Bihi Abdi of the ruling Kulmiye party, Faysal Ali Warabe of UCID and Abdirahman Mohamed Abdullahi of the Waddani party, cast their votes Monday in Hargeisa, the capital.
Somaliland’s electoral commission said voting was peaceful in all of the republic’s six regions. It said it recorded an incident in Togdher region where at least one person was injured after a soldier’s gun accidentally discharged.

Of the more than 1,600 polling stations, only a few had people in line when voting ended at 6 p.m. Electoral officials closed the stations, but allowed those in line to cast their ballots.

Final results are not expected for several days. Under the vote-counting system, polling stations send their results to regional offices, who will pass them on to the electoral commission.
Voting was watched by a total of 60 election observers from 27 countries whose salaries were paid by Britain.

The observers said they heard reports of some problems, but not many.

“I’m referring to isolated instances, with one of the more serious being in Hargeisa where a polling station was closed down because of a disturbance.

That prevented or delayed the closing of the polling station and the count. We’re not sure of details yet,” said the observer, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“There were also some complaints from parties of voters being prevented from voting, though again, we didn’t hear of anything that seemed systematic or widespread.”

More than 700,000 people were expected to vote. Turnout was thought to be high, but the commission says it was too early to give figures.

Somaliland, a former British colony, broke away from the rest of Somalia in 1991. The territory has run its own affairs since, but has never been recognized as an independent country.

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