The following piece is part of our continuous coverage on the upcoming conference on Somalia in the British capital. Our policy of encouraging free and open discussion of the issues or presentations of all facts and opinions is always open to all regardless of view/political affiliation or beliefs.
OPINION | JANUARY 26, 2012
By Yusuf Dirir Ali, MD
I am in favor of attending the London conference on Somalia in February because I believe Somaliland sovereignty will not be adversely affected in any way, shape or form. We will achieve more by attending this conference – thanks to Her Majesty’s government for offering this generous grant to Somaliland. This opportunity will spare us both time and money for hiring multinational posh lobby firms to argue on our behalf.
This is a life time opening. For the first time in more than two decades, we will be able to present our case to the leaders of more than 40 countries; these include among others, our immediate neighbors and friendly members of the Security Council. This is an Allah (God) sent blessed opportunity for Somaliland.
We have nothing to fear, because we have to tell the story of Somaliland history and democracy that can not be claimed, denied or opposed by our opponents. Remember, our opponents consist of sea pirates, warlords and former Al-shabaab allies; they must have all the reasons of fearing us not the inverse, because they have no rational case to present against our cause. This is the right time to trounce them with the power of logic and irrefutable facts.
We will present our case and state that our well-merited sovereignty is not negotiable. We can ask the international community to recognize our sovereignty right away and if not to arrange for internationally monitored referendum. I have no worries what so ever regarding the international community forcing us into the abhorred union with Somalia. In the worst case scenario, Somaliland will get easy on the pocket, unprecedented and long-awaited international exposure and I think this is a chance that merits being highlighted, grasped and not wasted.
The downside of not attending the conference includes; maintaining the status quo of talking to our selves about our aspirations, but not to the international community. Risking losing whatever sympathy and support we get from the international community. Furthermore, wasting this opportunity will mount to a political disaster for Somaliland government. We can’t afford to cowardly cover ourselves with a blanket and talk to ourselves about recognition. We have to be bolder than that, no one; I say no one can take away what we have today.
Attending this London conference will tip the scale to our side; therefore, we must all be in favor of attending this conference. Yet still, we can ask for protocol alterations here and there, for instance, we can ask the host country to grant us a conference protocol status equal to other attending states, because apart from Djibouti, we will be the only Somali entity with a democratically elected, functioning government and with a real constituency. We can also ask for the schedule before hand and then decide which sessions to attend and which not to attend.
We must start preparing and rehearsing for our presentation from today. This conference will decide our destiny and we must present our case in the most eloquent and powerful fashion. How about getting Raqiya Omaar involved in this process or may be asking her to do the presentation on behalf Somaliland government? A good presentation of our case will get us all the support that we need from the international community and a bad presentation will make us lose our case, so we must pay a great attention to the presentation of the infinitesimal details of our case.
The anarchic TFG and its allies have lethal forces and evil ideas to destroy their country and the lives of their people, but Somaliland has noble ideas and democracy for building its country and the lives of its people, so let us face them and let the international community be the witness.
Dr Yusuf Dirir