July 21, 2012 ·5 Comments
The 2012 Theme: Somaliland Statehood and Recognition And the Ongoing Dialogue with Somalia
For the last few months the long awaited dialogue between Somaliland and Somalia has gathered moment with already two official encounters happening within three months both in London and a third un-official encounter in Istanbul. This looks like a total turnaround from the days when the mention of any talk or for that matter any interaction with Somalia was considered a heresy in Somaliland. Laws were passed to buffer Somaliland from territorial encroachments or claims of Somalia sovereignty over Somaliland.
True that the ghost sovereignty of the collapsed state of Somalia still, at least in the minds of the international community, resides in Mogadishu and especially in the absence of an accepted alternative government. But alternatives there are; it is argued that, the state authority and sovereignty are distributed in the various geographical polities carved out of the collapsed Somalia. These polities actually exercise authority over populations and territories often wider than Mogadishu-based governments. In that perspective Somaliland has a special place among the polities that arose out of the rubble of the collapsed state.
The formation of the new Somaliland state is primarily anchored in two key factors: 1. the armed struggle which defeated the Barre regime and liberated the entire geographical territory of Somaliland by force and 2. The historical reality of being a state which received its independence from the British in 1960 as most states in the African continent were, with its distinct borders and citizenry defined through the international treaties. Armed with these facts, the Somaliland people established their new state at the Grand all clan Conference in Burao on 18th May, 1991.
In the following years after the reclamation of independence Somaliland statehood development has taken a distinct “tri-jectory” of three stages: the peace and early state building stage, the democratization stage and the ongoing international recognition building stage. While all the above activities are still ongoing, yet each one signifies a single-minded pursuit and unity of purpose of the Somaliland government and people to attain a set goal. There hardly was any significant descent on pursuing these goals except for the brief 1994-96 internal conflict, the final resolution of which ushered Somaliland into an extended period of national cohesion and cooperation.
The first two stages are considered to be successfully accomplished, while the “the recognition” stage is the focus of the day. The seriousness of this last agenda is demonstrated by consensus built around the “talks” with Somalia and the fact that the Somaliland people and their government have at last open the gates of their protective wall built to avoid any questioning or discourse about their chosen path of unilateral declaration of independence. The Somaliland government and people are now prepared to talk to their Somalia counterparts as two equal parties at least around the table.
Therefore, as customary in Somaliland political culture, there should also be an intense internal dialogue on the issues of talks with Somalia, on the engagement of the international community in the discussion of Somaliland sovereignty and on the strategy of negotiations to be pursued. In this backdrop, Social Research & Development Institute (SORADI) adopted this issue as the theme of its 3rd Annual Conference on Somaliland development. This call for papers for this conference shall be open to academicians, researchers, politicians, the civil society, Government officials and entities and the diaspora. The Conference will be open to diverse voices and opinions on the issue of Somaliland recognition and the possible outcomes of the Somaliland–Somalia talks.
The following four panels will form the core of the conference presentations and discussions:
Panel 1: Historical background, union experience and secession in context
Panel 2: Two decades of de facto sovereignty and the realities on the ground today
Panel 3: Somalia – Somaliland talks: What each side wants to achieve and what are the challenges and opportunities for both sides.
Panel 4: Other related issues on Somaliland and Horn of Africa region development.
The Conference will take place in Hargeisa on 27-28 October, 2012.
Mohamed Fadal, Director.
Please contact for queries and abstract submissions: Mohamed Fadal (email@example.com.)
Social Research and Development Institute (SORADI), Hargeisa, Somaliland.
Tel: + 252 2 528762 Cell: + 252 2 4474649
July 21, 2012Follow @somalilandpress