Over 100 People Feared Dead After Boat Capsizes
Opening Of Sheikh Secondary School Delayed
Review 2002: Somaliland Confounded All The Skeptics
One Woman's Fight to Rescue the Environment
Relief Organizations Assists 1 Million In Somali Zone 5
UNDP Helps Keep Remittance Lifeline To Open
Somali Children Smuggled To U.S.
Now Somali Delegates Face Eviction
Ethnic Clashes In Ethiopia Somali Zone 5
Hotel services to Somali peace delegates halted
"Peace In Somalia Will Take Years" - Mediator
Rayale Describes his West African Tour as Successful
Somali Boy Passes Away
Nine Bus Passengers Killed By Gunmen In Somalia
Globalization & Self-Determination Movements: International Conference to Be Held at Pomona College in January
Joint Communiqué of the 2nd Tripartite Meeting of Foreign Ministers Ethiopia, Sudan and Yemen
The UN condemns killings of children in Somalia
Eritrea Joins Arab League As Observer
Exclusive Interview with International Actor/Comedian Billy Connolly
"I am Swinging This Flower To You" III
Another Human Tragedy at Sea
Kulmiye Party’s irresponsible Policy
Praying For A Miracle
Justice For the Atrocities of the 1980s: The Responsibility of Politicians and Political Parties
"It Is A Wonderful Place"
SL-Times: What has been the purpose of your visit to Somaliland and what impression it might have left on you?
Billy: It is a wonderful place. The purpose of my visit is to help in raising money for assisting the people of Somaliland. I work with an organization called Comic Relief. All the people who work for this organization are Comedians or rather people who are connected with comedy in one way or another, such as comedian writers. We all get together in Britain every two years, and give money to people who are on the unfortunate side of things. So these people send me sometimes to places where recipients of the assistance live to check whether the donated money has been spent properly and then to see if there was good reason for sending more help. On this occasion it was for getting more help for the poor people faced with poor health. And we are very good at raising money. The best impression I have of Somaliland is people are very kind to one another. I love the way they look after one another. It is a wonderful thing. I met some patients in the hospital [Hargeisa Group Hospital] who were being helped very well by their relatives or friends. I would ask them how many children do you have and then the lady would say ‘may be 6’. I have one here and the other 5 are being watched by a friend or a cousin or an uncle gave me the fare of the bus up to here. Every question we asked seemed to lead to help from a friend on relatives. This was very impressive. It was also very lovely to see how nomadic Bedouins were being helped in looking after the health of their animals through modern veterinary methods. This is absolutely important since livestock is the backbone of the economy. The nomads have shown me why here, in Somaliland, people help each other. As nomads living in an environment where drought is frequent they are bound to share available resources such as grazing and water in order to survive. The world is round and there are lessons here for everybody.
- A lot of people here believe that Somaliland could have done much better if it were recognized by the international community. Would you agree?
I think the sooner Somaliland is recognized by everyone the better it will be for everybody. Because then you can qualify for grants but also people can come here to do business. Then the economy would improve by creating jobs, and so on, and of course, there is a vast coastal area, which could be a potential attraction for tourism. I think diving must be sensational here.
- Tell us about your experience in Mozambique?
Yes I have been twice in Mozambique. The first time it was hellish. In the second time they were doing a little bit better than when there were the floods. But while I was at the airport in London, on my way here, I saw in one of the newspapers a British celebrity woman lying on the beach in Mozambique. Then I said to myself "Oh my God," but when I was in Mozambique they were shooting at one another, mines were exploding, people were hungry and violent. But then I recognized it as the beginning of good things in Mozambique.
- Don’t you think the British government as the former colonial power has ducked all its obligations and responsibilities towards the Somaliland people who fought along side its forces during Second World War?
Although Somaliland hasn’t been a colony but a protectorate, and the British government has used you when it suited it, especially since your people fought for Britain in places like Burma in WWII (Here I met some people who fought in Burma), I think the British government is morally obliged to help you now. Britain must not forget this people.
- Would you personally plead with the British Government to support Somaliland?
We would like to plead with the British government in television and embarrass them into doing something for Somaliland.
- What have the people of Scotland done with their Clans?
It is partly so far behind us now. On the face of it, they are still proud of it.