image The Republic of Somaliland has the responsibility for maintaining peace and protecting its citizens, and has the right to intervene within the borders of its territory. These borders were established during the period of colonial rule, and were inherited by the Republic of Somaliland upon its independence on 26 June 1960. In 1991, upon the collapse of the Somali state, Somaliland reasserted its independence, in accordance with international law and precedent, based on these same colonial borders and in line with the principles in the then OAU Charter. The democratically elected Government of the Republic of Somaliland has both the sovereign authority and political legitimacy to govern within these borders. Under the administration of H.E. President Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud Silanyo, the Government of the Republic of Somaliland has made great efforts to encourage reconciliation, strengthen peace and security, and ensure development of the eastern regions of Somaliland. We have resolved disputes with local militia and incorporated their legitimate representatives into our Government, and we engage with the regions’ traditional leadership to address the concerns of their communities. We have initiated over thirty development projects for Sool and Sanaag, including an investment to build Las Anod University, and we are raising funds to build the road from Burao to Erigavo to better connect the east to our country’s capital. The Republic of Somaliland is a democracy. Everyone has a voice in the future development of our country. However, incitement of violence is not acceptable, and will only lead to instability that may be exploited by terrorist groups such as al-Shabaab. We will continue to cooperate with the international community and with our neighbors, including Somalia and its regional administration of Puntland, to ensure that our countries remain peaceful and secure. We remain committed to the peaceful resolution of all disputes, be they internal or external. We welcome all opportunities to engage in dialogue with local actors and with our neighbors. We call on the international community to help facilitate such discussions where necessary, taking into account the reality of Somaliland’s 23 years of independence and self-government.