Edna Adan Ismail breaks her silence on Catholic church debate

Edna Adan Ismail, Founder and Director of Edna Adan University Hospital, spoke publicly about the controversial Hargeisa Catholic church issue for the first time on Friday.

Marianne Vecchione, the American aid worker who was spearheading the reopening of the Catholic Church, was working as a volunteer at Edna’s hospital.

“I was not happy with her statements, whether she said it at my hospital or at Alpha University, she said it in my country, Somaliland,” Ismail said.

“From now on, I will make sure every foreign aid worker who works at my hospital will sign an agreement promising to refrain from discussing religion in Somaliland and to stick to what they came here to do,” Ismail said.

“Any foreign aid worker who refuses to sign the agreement will not be welcomed in Somaliland. You can practice your religion, but do not interfere with mine,” Ismail said.

Vecchione stirred controversy last week when she announced that she received permission from the Government of the Republic of Somaliland to reopen the historic Catholic church in Hargeisa, that was built 70 years ago when Somaliland was a British Protectorate.

Somaliland’s Religous Affairs Minister, Sheikh Khalil Abdullahi Ahmed announced on Thursday that the Catholic church will remain closed due to the public’s disapproval of its reopening.