Berbera, 19 Jul 2009 — Somaliland authorities arrested an MP from Somalia’s transitional federal parliament on orders from Somaliland police Commissioner, Mr Mohamed Saqadi Dubad on Saturday.
Mr Abdalla Ali Ahmed, who hails from Somaliland, was also the former mayor of Somaliland’s port city of Berbera and returned after five years in Somalia. MP Abdalla flew from the Kenyan capital Nairobi on Friday after officially resigning from the weak government of Sheikh Sharif Ahmed.
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Upon arrival he met with local reporters and held a brief press conference at the airport describing the situation in Somalia.
“I arrived in Berbera airport today, I came back for good, I’m done over there (Somalia), I want to hold a separate press conference later in the day here in Berbera or Hargeisa, but the truth is I have just arrived from Nairobi,” he said.
He added: “I want to tell you little about the situation in Somalia, it seems the extremist rebels – Hizbul-Islam and Alshabab group have the upper hand and the government faces onslaught. It will collapse; the honest truth is the government is on life support.”
The threat, Abdalla said, goes beyond these groups to individual extremists and that Somaliland could become a target like in the past [October suicide bombings] and that the government in Somalia is non-existence; it is just a “name”.
The authorities in Berbera did not explain why he was arrested but there is long history of suspicious and political tensions between Somaliland authority and Somali lawmakers from Somalia.
Somaliland became the first independent Somali state in June 1960 and unified with occupied Somalia but that union failed. Somaliland restored its constitution and independence in 1991 after a bloody war with Somalia’s military Junta; however, Somalia has not recovered from the war and has not had an effective central government since the early 1990’s.
Rebels have been making gains since Ethiopian troops, who intervened in 2006, left the country early this year. Many efforts were made by the international community to establish an authority for the failed state but all were unsuccessful.