Blogs: The team on the ground – the authorised versions

As the full international observation team begins to assemble in Hargeisa for the district and council elections on 28 November, Steve Kibble has sent some early dispatches.

Read in full in our [...]

Article: Somaliland – Open for Business

Quman Jibril Akli of Somaliland Focus quoted in the Guardian…. click here [...]

Press release: Somaliland’s women praised for building democracy

Women and young people are playing a key role in building a democratic society in Somaliland, says a report on Somaliland’s 2010 presidential elections by the international election observation team.

Sucaad Odowa-Nielsen, a member of the Somaliland diaspora in the UK who participated as an election observer, described the contribution of women to campaigning as “well-organised, resourceful [...]

Election Observers 2010: Ed Hobey

Ed ‘The Mole’ Hobey was IEO Logistics Co-ordinator.

“I must admit that my first thought on landing in Hargeisa was ‘what have I got myself into?’ I had spent the past few weeks trying to explain to my ever-worrying mum the difference between Somalia and Somaliland. I had reassured her that – after years of civil war [...]

Election Observers 2010: Conrad Heine

Conrad Heine was the media co-ordinator for the International Election Observer team.

[Originally published in The Economist Online]

“TO QUOTE one of my more knowledgeable colleagues: “Elections are funny things. Highly technical and procedural exercises that are yet filled with emotion and rhetoric.” During Britain’s recent election, emotion ran short. In Somaliland, it is present in spades. An [...]

Election Observers 2010: Yusuf Ali

Yusuf Ali is a British Somali scholar living in the UK.

“My last time in Somaliland was ten years ago when I was involved with the establishment of the University of Hargeisa. Today, I am very happy to find out that the university has grown as a fully functioning institution.

I have also been impressed by the orderly [...]

Election Observers 2010: Said Jama

Said Jama is a 66-year old scholar based in London.

“To my calculation, the country has immensely suffered at all levels under the dictatorial rule of Siad Barre followed by successive incompetent administrations. The people’s genuine aspiration to recovery and development met with disappointment. The realisation of this aspiration, I believe, can only be accomplished through the [...]

Election Observers 2010: Said Jama’s words to the young people of Somaliland:

“It is undeniable that the young generation is presently burdened by the weight of the old generation’s negative legacy. Apart from overcoming these dire consequences, the young generation is equally entrusted with the responsibility of charting the future path for peace and development, a historical duty they are bound to tackle. They should always bear in [...]

Election Observers 2010: Aly Verjee

“Elections are funny things. Highly technical and procedural exercises that are yet filled with emotionand rhetoric. Logistically sophisticated endeavours which ultimately can be quite simple and sometimes stark in the outcomes produced. I’ve seen polls in a few transition countries – DR Congo in 2006, Sudan in 2010 – and invariably voters’ expectations are high; change, [...]