The Republic of Somaliland is situated in the Eastern Horn of Africa. It has internationally recognized borders, which were clearly demarcated by the British and that separate it from Somalia, Ethiopia and the Republic of Djibouti. Somaliland became a sovereign country after its independence from Britain on June 26, 1960. It was then known as the Republic of Somaliland and was recognized as sovereign country by 36 member states of the U.N.O.
The Republic of Somaliland entered in a controversial & illegal union with Somalia on July 1st, 1960. The people of Somaliland have benefited nothing from the union with Somalia, but were on the receiving end of thirty years of oppression, dictatorship and genocide. That union was annulled after the people of Somaliland have overwhelmingly voted in a referendum for the restoration of their independence from Somalia in the early 1990s, following the well celebrated SNM victory over the fascist regime of Siad Barre.
The Republic of Somaliland has always had multiparty and a democratic system, before it joined the illegal union with Somalia and again after the restoration of its independence. The current Somaliland government is freely, fairly and democratically elected by its citizens.
The geographic territory controlled by the current Somaliland Republic has not changed an inch, since the Berbera agreement between the British Government and the Somaliland elder’s in the early 1880s.
Hence, the Republic of Somaliland has well defined borders, a representative government, and a permanent population and has not made alterations to its colonial boundaries. Somaliland has recently entered into agreements with many countries that include some of the U.N.O Security Council members.
All these facts indicate that Somaliland is in line with the international legality of a sovereign nation. Regretfully, the international community is conditioning Somaliland to get the approval of the illegitimate Somalia entity, before it can be internationally recognized as a sovereign nation. Suffice to say that there is no international precedence of a similar case that was treated with such a prejudice.
Then again, Somalia has no defined borders since it claims all the Somali inhabited regions of Kenya, Ethiopia, Somaliland and Djibouti. Contrary to the international law and the Organization of African Union charter, the Somalia borders are infinite and Somalia is not even a signatory to Addis Ababa agreement of the African Union, which states that all union member countries are to respect the international borders as laid down by the Europeans before the independence of each and every country in Africa.
There is no Somalia government that exerts its controls over its territory. Instead, it is of common knowledge that Somalia is an anarchic entity and it is infested with sea pirates, warlord fiefdoms, and international terrorist and human traffickers. The people of Somalia did not elect the current so-called Transitional Federal Government of Somalia, which controls only few blocks in Mogadishu; therefore, Somalia has virtually no permanent population, no government and no territory of its own. Once more, Somalia is literally run by merciless terrorists, foreign non- governmental agencies and by the mercenary Ugandan forces’ commander in Mogadishu, and for that reason Somalia can not freely and legally enter into an agreement with another sovereign country.
To the contrary, the Republic of Somaliland is independently doing more than its share in fighting sea piracy, international terrorism and respecting the international law, and therefore is helpful in maintaining the international peace, yet it is being asked to take an authorization for its sovereignty from what is internationally known to be an illegal entity – Somalia. Will any citizen of any country be eager to willingly consider his country joining in a union with a place like Somalia? If the answer is no, why then is Somaliland being forced to take such a catastrophic venture?
The reasoning behind this disgraceful repudiation of international justice to the Republic of Somaliland is quite perplexing to the law-abiding Somaliland citizens. This current international Somaliland status of “no recognition” is not conducive to future regional or international peace and stability. In conclusion, the international community has no choice but to uphold the international law and recognize the Republic of Somaliland without further hindrances, prejudice or procrastinations.
By Dr. Yusuf Dirir Ali, MD