What ever happened to the exemplary relations between Somaliland and Ethiopia?
The relationship between Ethiopia and Somaliland is not just a relationship between neighboring countries. Their relationship is especial one between the two countries because the same people live in both sides of the border. The people who are part of the Ethiopian federation in the Somali state of Ethiopia were part of Somaliland Protectorate (Houd and Reserved Area) before 1954; before the region changed hands. That means the same people live in both sides of the border, which means that Ethiopia and Somaliland do not only share borders, they also share people. For that reason and more our relationship ought to be protected, respected and developed for ever. No few elements or other reasons must never be allowed to stain, strain and weaken such special relationship in my opinion.
Somaliland and Ethiopian relations must persist and live longer for ever, for the interest of both countries, for the horn of Africa to heel and for the region to prosper.
The relationship between Somaliland and Ethiopia regarding people to people relationship and the free movement of people and trade as well as safe guiding and securing the security of the two countries must be priority number one for both countries. It must be enhanced and maintained all the time.
This is a way forward for keeping and sustaining the stability and security of the Horn of Africa. It is one way of helping the people of both countries and those of the region at large. It is a way to ‘help-peoples-help-themselves’. It is a way to defeat the common enemies of both countries who ever they may be and where ever they may come from.
The relationship between Ethiopia and Somaliland goes back to thousands of years, when Somaliland was known as the “land of punt” and Ethiopia was referred as the “land where Gods love to be” in the days of the Egyptian civilization.
Other relationships can be traced back from King, Ashama Ibn Abjar, to Emperor Menelek II, to the subsequent governments, to Haile Mariam to Late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and to the present Prime Minister, his excellence Hailemariam Desalegn
The first Somaliland migration was the 3rd Muslim migration to Ethiopia
Ethiopia has a history of saving people running from persecution by the hands of their own; starting from the first Muslim migration in 614-615 BH to the third migration from Somaliland to Ethiopia in the1980-1990.
The Somaliland migration to Ethiopia in 1980-1990 could be called the 3rd Muslim migration to Ethiopia. The first Muslim migration to Ethiopia of 614-615 BH and the Somaliland migration to Ethiopia in the1980s had similar circumstances. Both the peoples were running from the persecutions and sufferings borne by what was considered as their kinsmen. In the case of the Muslims from Mecca, they sought refuge from Qurash persecution. In the case of Somaliland it was the government of Siyad Barre and supporters from Mogadishu. They were considered as their kinsmen but they committed genocide and ethnic cleansing against the people of Somaliland kinsmen or not.
In both cases it was Ethiopia and their rulers who saved the “Sahabah of the prophet” as well as the targeted people of Somaliland in different times in history for different reasons but from the same end- persecution of innocent people! It was Ethiopia which welcomed these peoples and accepted them in their home land with out hesitation. They comforted them when they needed that most.
The first Muslim migration to Ethiopia (Abyssinia than)
“The Muslims who originally converged in Mecca sought refuge from Qurash persecution in the Kingdom of Aksum in BH (614–615 CE.)
This act is known as the first migration to Abyssinia, the hardships and sufferings borne by the Muslims were from their kinsmen. Prophet Mohamed (pbuh) at last permitted the believers to immigrate to some other place. The Muslims immigrated to Ethiopia known than as Abyssinia. At that time Ethiopia was ruled by a Christian King Ashama ibn Abjar who (according to Muslim tradition, later embraced Islam) was famous for his compassion and equity. In Rajab of the fifth year of the mission, the first group migrated to Axum. This is known as the first migration to Axum. Later on, a bigger group immigrated to Axum (separately). This is called the second migration to Ethiopia. Some “Sahabah” took part in both the migrations.”
Somaliland and Ethiopia had centuries old relationship with the exception of a short period of time between1960-1990 when Somaliland entered an ill-fated union with Somalia in an illegitimate way which eventually ended in May, 1991 when Somaliland reinstituted its 1960 government in her soil after long struggle where hundreds of thousands lost their lives and billions of dollars were stolen, robbed and ransacked from Somaliland by Somalia. (Reprinted From “Somaliland and Ethiopia relationship is centuries old it must persist” by Ibrahim M Mead)
Some Solution of the entangled (Somaliland / Ethiopia) Relationship
How any relationship and the relationship between Somaliland and Ethiopia is not different plays out, depends on a number of internal, bilateral, regional and global factors I think the way forward is that the two parties be honest to each other, appreciate the concerns of each party and play cool and continue to develop and nurture the relationship of the two countries.” Don’t forget that the weeds that hinder the growth and the blossom of the two countries relationship ought to be uprooted and cleared out from the garden of healthy relationship. No one party need not insist in keeping elements which are alleged that they are not helpful in maintaining and developing the exemplary relationships of the two countries which existed before Siilanyo’s administration.
Often when you feel that your relationship is on the rocks, the first thing on one’s mind must be:
1- How to stop the pleading
2- How to stop it from ending the relationship
3- How to create an environment where by the other party appreciates the other party’s effort.
Convincing the other party that you are serious about solving the contentious issue in question is important
Figuring out what is essentially broken with your relationship is the first step to healing it and moving forward in a new way altogether. Commit your self fully not only to discuss but to address the issues in a frank and open manner
Try to view the criticism of the other party as constructive criticism which you can use to improve the situation. Once the two parties discover the problems which mudded the water then you can work together to overcome them
You cannot continue to build on damaged foundations and the same applies to a relationship therefore it takes two (Somaliland and Ethiopia) to work together to break it down and re-build it and make even stronger. There are ways to do this; however they all revolve around some basic tenets which are:
2- Trust and honesty
3- Mutual understanding
4- two way straight
5- Hard work and commitment are needed in every relationship and in this Somaliland/Ethiopian special relationship in particular.
How ever peace and prayers
Ibrahim M Mead