July 4, 2012 ·18 Comments
BY YUSUF DIRIR ALI, MD
I differ with most of the dissenting opinions on Somaliland-Somalia dialogue. However, I entirely agree with those who feel the selected members of our negotiating team must have the experience and competence to triumphantly win our sovereignty back from Somalia.
Furthermore, we fully understand that we are negotiating with ourselves, because we are confidently convinced that our opponents do not have the chance of coming up with historic, legal and morally valid arguments against our case, but still, this process must not be taken flippantly.
Somaliland is in cross roads and we are at the stage of winning it now or never. In that regard, history will never pardon us if we do not use all our cards and become successful at this moment in time. Thus, we must do justice to our cause and grant it the seriousness it deserves.
Somalia president and other government official’s visit to Somaliland must strictly be ruled out before the sovereignty issue is resolved.
The selection of dialogue venues must be based on their neutrality, on their international political weights and on the democratic credentials of the hosting countries. I think there is no single African, Arab or a Muslim country that is capable fulfilling these conditions. Therefore, I would not consider them as logical venues for future meetings, but instead would go for the UK or Norway for obvious countless reasons.
This is the tick of time for which Somalilanders long-sufferingly waited and sacrificed everything they cherished for more than half century. There must be no room for the omission of a fact or unwelcome slips of the pen or the tongue. For that reason, we need to bring in seasoned foreign as well as Somaliland diplomats, lawyers and economy experts to meticulously prepare our case.
During last Somaliland-Somalia meeting in Dubai, UAE, many Somalilanders were gravely offended to read the Arab media calling Somaliland a region in Somalia and the Somaliland government one of the many feuding factions in that country. What is more, the Somaliland map was misrepresented and there was no sight of Somaliland flag on the Arab media. Our government must strongly protest future comparable impudent acts.
More importantly, we must educate the international media and the international community alike. We must clearly mark out the historic and geopolitical differences of Somaliland and Somalia.
To give the right contrasting pictures of the two countries, we do not only need seasoned multilingual media specialists to give press conferences, but also relevant print and audiovisual materials to be widely distributed in the internet and to the international media.
Besides the Somaliland-Somalia dialogue, another occasion of valuable importance is the upcoming conference in Istanbul, Turkey. We must learn from our previous mistakes and go to the most extreme levels of organizations and preparations for this conference.We must work hard to prepare for the next meeting and be ready to deliver a meticulously prepared and resonant argument to the world.
Somaliland is in the finishing line of a long and difficult sovereignty Marathon in a politically hostile train, hence we need to end this marathon as soon as possible with grace and international admiration.