Letter: No credit to the UN for peace in Somaliland

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The Independent Online
Sir: I was surprised by the claims of the UN Secretary-General, Boutros Boutros-Ghali (report, 1 November), that the UN has established peace in 99 per cent of the Somali territory, and that 20,000 Somalis have held a demonstration to support the UN. These are wild claims one would have expected from a dictator in the Third World, not from the head of a world body. The republic of Somaliland is the only area in former Somalia where peace has been restored and legitimate government, judiciary and legislative councils established. But they have all been put together with virtually no help from the UN.

The credit belongs to the Somalis and the few non-government organisations, such as the Save the Children Fund (UK), which have helped the local people to stand on their feet. Instead of supporting local initiatives, the UN Secretariat has embarked on a dangerous course of destabilisation and dismemberment in Somaliland, and has threatened to send in troops against the wish of the people. As for the rest of former Somalia, the insecurity is still as widespread as it was in December 1992 when the American troops arrived.

Not a single demonstration has taken place in favour of UN policies in Somaliland or Somalia, as Mr Boutros-Ghali claims. On the contrary, there were demonstrations against the UN operation in Somaliland and Somalia. The latest demonstration was held on Sunday in London by the Somaliland community in the UK.

The UN operation is not a success as the secretary-general wants us to believe, but a total failure in every respect. If he is serious about restoring peace in Somalia, he should stop deceiving the international community and come to terms with the reality.

Yours faithfully,

ISMAIL IBRAHIM AHMED

Editor, Somaliland magazine

Southall, Middlesex

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