Feb 25 2002 BBC Monitoring Service – A former Somaliland cabinet minister [who resigned from the government of President Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal] and prominent Somaliland politician, Mr Ahmad Muhammad Mahmud Silanyo, has today held a news conference at his house in Hargeysa. In the news conference, Mr Silanyo commented on several issues, including the need to bridge the differences between the government and the opposition forces. Mr Silanyo said that after he recently returned from abroad he held talks with the Somaliland president, Hon Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal, adding that he was warmly welcomed by the president, with whom he discussed the prevailing situation of the country. Mr Silanyo also said he discussed with President Egal ways of bridging the gap between the government and the opposition parties which, he said he had discussed and reached an agreement on with the president.
Mr Silanyo also disclosed that he held talks with Somaliland opposition and traditional leaders, and agreed to settle the existing differences on dialogue. He further disclosed that he had held a meeting with the government officials, who, told him of the government’s readiness to discuss with all parties concerned on all issues regarding the public interest. However, he said the officials made it clear to him that the government would not discuss with any group, whatsoever, on issues pertaining to the extension of the president’s and the vice-president’s tenure of office which had already been extended and approved by parliament, and all other issues regarding clan matters.
Regarding inflammatory statements issued by some leaders, Mr Silanyo said there was no need of making remarks that would create violence.
Finally, Mr Silanyo called on the Somalilanders to protect their sovereignty and unity.
Source: Radio Hargeysa