Republic of Somaliland Requests Exemption from U.S. Executive Order Intended to Prevent the Entry of Foreign Terrorists

Republic of Somaliland Requests Exemption from U.S. Executive Order Intended to Prevent the Entry of Foreign Terrorists

For Immediate Release


Hargeisa, Somaliland – The Republic of Somaliland today sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly to request an exemption for Somaliland residents from the January 27 U.S. Executive Order restricting entry into the United States by individuals from Somalia and six other nations.

In the letter, Somaliland’s Foreign Minister Dr. Sa´ad Ali Shire urged the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security to take this action in light of the fact that Somaliland is an independent, democratic and stable nation that– unlike the nations affected by the Order – does not suffer from what the Order describes as “deteriorating conditions… [that] due to war, strife, disaster, and civil unrest increase the likelihood that terrorists will use any means possible to enter the United States.”

The letter also explains as the collapse of Somalia’s governing institutions and civil society dominated global attention and vast resources from the United States and other nations, Somaliland focused on building strong state institutions, maintaining peace within its borders and creating a sustainable economy. Having met the requirements for sovereign recognition, Somaliland functions as an independent government and nation, as well as a model for others. Unlike the nations subject to the suspension imposed by the recent Executive Order, Somaliland has full control over its territory and has not experienced the emergence of terrorist organizations. In fact, no acts of terrorism have occurred in Somaliland since October 2008. In contrast, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism has collected data indicating that Somalia has endured no fewer than one hundred terrorist attacks each year over the same period, and a significant increase in these numbers in recent years.

The letter notes that despite Somaliland’s accomplishments, “As a result of the January 27 Executive Order, Somaliland residents may not travel to the United States to visit family, pursue educational advancement or strengthen commercial ties between our two nations.” The letter also states that, “The mutual benefits realized through these contacts are immeasurable, and contribute both to our nation’s continued vitality and its ability to serve as a reliable partner to the United States in a challenging region.”

The Foreign Minister’s letter appeals for the U.S. Government’s favorable consideration of this exemption, which would “not only relieve Somalilanders of the unintended and undue burdens caused by the Executive Order, but also acknowledge – for Somaliland and others in the region and the world – that strong and responsible governance provides a foundation upon which America’s partners can secure progress for their citizens and contribute to shared international objectives.”

The Republic of Somaliland is a sovereign state in the Horn of Africa sharing its borders with the Republic of Djibouti, Federal Republic of Ethiopia and Federal Republic of Somalia. The former British Somaliland Protectorate achieved full independence from the United Kingdom in 1960 and subsequently united with Somalia, thereby creating the Somali Republic. The Republic of Somaliland reclaimed its independence in 1991.

Year End Newsletter 2012

Year End Newsletter 2012

2012 has been another busy year which also saw the graduation of our first 21 midwives who obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Midwifery.

As always, training of health workers remains our priority because without competent health workers, patients cannot be looked after as they should.

For this reason, we have launched the Edna Adan University where 200 students have registered with us to study Public Health, Nursing, Midwifery, and Laboratory Technology. This has been made possible with the donations you have made to us through the Friends of the Edna Adan Hospital USA so that we may cover part of the costs of the teachers and related needs.

I am proud to say that the Edna Adan University is the first and only University in Somaliland to be headed by a woman, Prof. Roda Ali Ahmed.

With support from the Fistula Hospital, and in partnership with the Norwegian Organization NNM, with support of Anesthesia Experts from Kijabe Hospital in Kenya, and in collaboration with Amoud University, we are also starting next month the first training for Anesthesia Technicians in Hargeisa as our country is in great need of anesthetists who are well trained and who can administer anesthesia safely.

With our own doctors and with support from visiting surgeons from the USA, Australia and UK, we have delivered 1057 babies this year, up to the end of October, including 166 C.sections; and over 700 major and minor operations.

We have continued to be the major referral hospital for obstetrical problems and our very own two women doctors are among the surgeons who safely perform C. Sections at our hospital. My greatest wish is to find the resources and a placement for our two female doctors to get their specialisation training, one in general surgery and the other in obstetrics.

Our needs have grown as the cost of living has worsened. Food and other running cost have grown and so have the cost of medicines and medical equipment. For this reason, the shortfalls of the hospital have grown to a level that we had never seen before as we continue to attract the poorest members of our community.

I think the face of little Asma before and after her operations tells a better story than I could in a thousand years.

Most pressing is our need for professionals to help support our new and young University in the areas of Public Health, Nursing/Midwifery and English as a foreign language.

During 2012, I was greatly Honored and humbled to have been awarded the Global Citizen Award in Central Park, New York in September, and to have been added to the Hall of Fame of Women in Emergencies in Orlando, Florida in October.

Our hospital received a lot of attention this year with the premier of the documentary, Half the Sky, on PBS television. We were featured at the top of Part II in a segment with Nicolas Kristof and film star Diane Lane which focused on our efforts opposing the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). The entire program is available to Netflix subscribers in the USA and Canada. The DVD can be purchased at It will be shown in countries around the world in 2013.

Finally, I am looking forward to welcoming to the hospital Christopher Stanfield who is currently engaged in a heroic feat to try and raise funds for our hospital. Christopher is walking to the hospital all the way from Cairo, Egypt! He had to give up his American traveling companion and his camel upon entering Sudan and is currently walking through Ethiopia. Follow progress of his adventure on Facebook and on his Travel Blog. I plan to walk with him the final kilometre.

Newly Possible Surgeries

Newly Possible Surgeries

The newly-built Operating Theaters are being put to very great use at the Edna Adan University Hospital these days.

The Kijabe Surgeon who operated on our patients returned from Borama to follow up on the patients. The five young Hydrocephalus patients have now gone home, a week following the surgery to place shunts to drain the fluid from their brains.

We also have photos of a breast surgery patient, before and after.

Another patient, one with severe burns, was transferred here from another hospital. The surgery included extensive skin grafts. Edna reports:

“Sutures were removed, wounds inspected, some patients allowed to go home and return for dressings, and others retained for a few more days for further dressings and care.

“As soon as beds vacated, we have to prepare space for any emergencies as well the Cleft Lips being done in a week and the fistula repairs planned from the 6th of February.”

Hydrocephalus patients in Africa

First Operations

First Operations

Here is a followup to yesterday’s blog post announcing the opening of the two new operating theaters.

We have photos of the first set of operations, including surgeries on five small children who suffered from Hydrocephalus. These were performed by two surgeons and one anesthetist who are residing at the hospital for one week and working hard, putting the new facilities to good use.

First Operations

New Operating Theaters Open

New Operating Theaters Open

The following is a report by Edna Adan about the grand opening of the new Operating Theatres. Already, numerous surgeries have been performed.

The past few days have been some of the busiest and also happiest days of my life: We opened the theatres and started operations!

1. Opening. Ceremony was attended by the First Lady of Somaliland, the Minister of Health, the Minister of Religious Affairs, members of the Board of Trustees of the Hospital, national and international partners such as THET, SOMDEV, WAHA, Universities of Hargeisa and Borama, staff, students, friends and others dignitaries as well as the media.

After the openning ceremony, we cleaned and re-sterilized the theatres getting ourselves and premises ready for operations.

2. We then had the visit of the American Medical Team from the Kijabe Mission Hospital in Kenya. They are a team of doctors, mainly surgeons, who came to us in 2007 to offer help with the operations on children with Hydrocephalus (big head with spinal fluid). Since we only had one theatre at that time, and since that one theatre was used for everything, the risk would have been too great for these kids who easily die of post-operative infections. When theatres were being built, we informed them and they came to see the premises and agreed to start the operations this January.

You may wish to know that all the cost of these operations (dressings, instruments, food for children and mother, clothing, medication etc…) is totally free of charge and am covering it personally. This also includes the food and accommodation of the two surgeons and one anesthetist living at our hospital for the week that they are here.

We have already done the first four children who are doing well and possibly one or two more tomorrow. This is the first time that this is being done in Somaliland, and if all goes well, we will be doing camps for these children each time that we can get the surgeons. In the past, this surgery was available only to those who could be flown abroad, who had a visa and whose families had the money to pay for it.

3. The surgeons are also doing orthopedic surgery and plastic surgery on persons who had burns and who have developed contractures of hands, fingers, arms and neck. They have done ten so far and more tomorrow.

Each day, we have all been in the theatre from seven in the morning until after ten pm at night. I am so proud of our staff and so happy that we could do this for our people.

4. On the 30th of this month, after the current patients have hopefully gone home, we will be doing two days of cleft lip repair. We will do as many as we can in two days for those who show up.

5. Starting on the 6th of February, we have sent out the announcements for the first Fistula Camp this year with support from the WAHA team who operated on the 34 women last year. These will be covered by the funds already received from the Fistula Foundation.

6. In March, we expect another Fistula Camp.

7. We are still waiting for some of the theatre equipment bought and ordered from Dubai and managing with what was received and in hand.

8. The current team helped us to un-pack the Glostavent but their anesthetist is not familiar with this machine so have not yet started using it.


Photos of these medical conditions are difficult to look at… one can only imagine how much more difficult they are to live with!

Surgical Camp 2013

Surgical Camp 2013

Update from two years later:

Various teams of surgeons schedule frequent visits to Edna Hospital where they make use of our Operating Theaters to do what they can for people in need (mostly infants and children) who suffer from a variety of terrible conditions including cleft palate, spina bifida, and severe burns. We promote these “Surgical Camps” on nationwide radio and by circulating these posters.

The operating theaters, which opened 2 years ago, are just one way in which Edna Hospital has, over 11 years, grown well beyond its original mission as a Maternity Hospital.

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