#Somalia: Somaliland frees MP who questioned Independence Day

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A member of Somaliland parliament, a self-declared republic in northern Somalia, has been released from jail on Monday, June 17, 2019, authorities said, Axadle reports.

Mohamed Ahmed Dhakool was arrested last month by state police after raising questions over the commemoration of 18th May, a day that Somaliland declared its independence from Somalia in 1991.

The lawmaker argued that that the exact Independence Day is 26th June 1960, where Somaliland gained independence from the British colonial. He was freed after the house rejected to strip him of his immunity for prosecution.

Somaliland, which remained unrecognized by the international community for 28 years has clamped down on any persons campaigning against what it terms “State sovereignty” over the past two years.

Somaliland often accuses Somali government in Mogadishu of interfering in its internal political affairs. It claims that Somalia uses Somalilanders in the country’s capital to mobilize dissent back home.

The breakaway region had suspended long-running talks with Somalia in March after it rejected a USD$422 million Berbera port deal signed with Ethiopia and DP World, UAE logistics Port Company.

The indefinite postponement of the talks between the two sides is not unusual. Since commencing in 2013, talks have been frequently postponed over the slightest provocation.

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