Somalia: Puntland Vice President Receives Human Rights ...


Somalia: Puntland Vice President Receives Human Rights WorkingGroup in Garowe

4 December 2012

The Vice President of Puntland State of Somalia H.E. Abdisamad Ali Shire received a delegation of the Human Rights Working Group consisting of diplomats from the European Union member countries, Switzerland, and the United States of America.

The nine-member delegation arrived in Garowe on Tuesday and was led by the current Chair of the Human Rights Working Group, Counsilor at the  Royal  Danish Embassy in Nairobi Mr. Tomas Kønigsfeldt. The visiting delegation included representatives from the E.U., Denmark, Belgium, Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands,
Switzerland, the U.K., and the U.S.

Vice President Shire was  joined by  a number of  Puntland Cabinet ministers, including Health Minister, Information Minister, Deputy Justice Minister, Deputy Environment Minister, Deputy Women’s Development Minister, State Minister for International Cooperation, and State Minister for Security.

Discussions covered a range of topics, including the democratization process in Puntland, human rights, media freedoms, women’s rights, the situation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Puntland, and prison conditions.

The Vice President briefed the delegation about the situation in Puntland, emphasizing that Puntland Government respects human rights, and that all IDPs enjoy equal access to basic services in Puntland, thereby creating more burdens for the Puntland Government.

The Vice President stated that the Puntland Government is in the process of nominating a Human Rights Defender, while noting that 15 radio and TV stations operate freely in Puntland.
The Vice President assured the visiting delegation that, in January2009 election, Puntland President H.E. Abdirahman Mohamed Mohamud (Farole) promised to move Puntland  towards  a multi-party political system, while noting that the current Administration has enacted legislation, that political associations are being declared, and that the process is moving forward.

The Vice President also noted that President Farole, senior Cabinet ministers, and officials of the Puntland Electoral Commission have been travelling the regions in
recent months to engage communities and raise public awareness about the democratization process in Puntland.

Puntland Information Minister Mohamud Aideed Dirir and Head of Delegation Mr. Tomas Kønigsfeldt held a joint press conference at the Puntland State House.
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