(Mohammed Dahir Ahmed)
Somaliland Presidential election is scheduled for 13th of November 2017. The election campaign has been started on the 12th of October 2017 by the three competing parties: Kulmiye, Ucid and Waddani.
Issues contended by the three parties includes Somaliland quest for recognition, Economic growth and youth job creation, Justice, Anti-graft or anti-corruption, Quality of health and Education in the country, Infrastructure and security.
Security tops on the agenda these days as the Republic of Somaliland is located in the volatile regions of Horn of Africa and Gulf of Aden.
Somaliland electorate are soliciting themselves on which of the three presidential candidates has the capacity, experience and the pre-requisite skills to withstand the security threats emanating from neighboring Somalia and the Gulf of Aden.
As reported by the Indian Ocean newsletter in (ION 1436) edition, Somaliland faces a threat from Al-Shabaab insurgents in neighboring Somalia.
“Although they have scored a few recent victories, the Islamic fundamentalists of Al-Shabaab have lost ground overall in the center and south of Somalia and know that new forces are due to be deployed.
As a consequence, it is highly likely that they are intending to focus their efforts on Somaliland. As a former military commander and Interior minister, Muse Bihi Abdi holds more sway with the voters, since they trust him on the security of the country in comparison with the other candidates.
However, the former presidential chief of staff and now the leader of Waddani party Hersi Ali Haji Hassan, who played a significant role in the deterioration of relations between the government of Ahmed Silanyo, and Addis Ababa and Western countries is suspected of collusion with Islamist groups”.
Waddani party argues that they will keep and further improve the security. However security experts told me that let alone Waddani party to do something about the security; there is a real worry that powerful personalities within Wadani party leadership are a threat to Somaliland security and the regional security as well.
Moreover, Wadani Presidential candidate Abdurrahman Irro is not knowledgeable about the local and regional security environment since he never worked on any security related institution and never attended the various peace building, conflict resolution and disarmament conferences which took place in the country.