HARGEISA – Somaliland’s Telecoms Minister, Mustafa Farah Abrar on Tuesday, once again denounced Somalia’s controversial ‘National Telecommunications Act’, after it was signed into effect by Somalia President, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo, earlier this week (Oct 2).
Abrar told Eryal TV on Tuesday that the new law has nothing to do with Somaliland’s telecommunications sector.
“The law signed by Somalia’s president doesn’t concern us. We are an independent country and have our own telecoms law, Somaliland’s Telecommunications Law (Law No. 50), that was signed into effect by our President on July 5th, 2011,” Abrar said.
Somaliland’s Telecommunications Law was passed by the House of Representatives on April 10th, 2011, and by the House of Elders on June 13th, 2011.
“Mogadishu’s new law doesn’t concern us, we have our own telecommunications law that already regulates our telecommunications sector,” Abrar reiterated during the interview.
In a separate interview with VOA’s Somali Service on Wednesday, Abrar stated that Somaliland is currently looking into purchasing their own country calling code, and plans to unveil a new calling code ‘soon’.
Both countries currently share the +252 country calling code.
Following the approval of Somalia’s telecoms law by the country’s parliament last August, Abrar held a press conference warning Somalia against interfering in Somaliland’s affairs.
Somalia’s telecoms law claims to regulate ‘the whole telecom market in Somalia’, including telecom companies based in Somaliland.
Somtel, Telesom and Somcable, the three largest telecom companies in Somaliland, have yet to discuss the new law and their stance on the telecoms battle between the two countries.
This is a developing story. Please check back at The National for more.