Somaliland: Homegrown Democracy In The Horn Of Africa Somaliland Forum

Press Release: 9 Somaliland Forum Ref: SF/EC/mg 04/15/2005

The Somaliland Forum Organization dutifully encourages the United Nations, African Union, and Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the Arab League and the European Union to weigh and study Somaliland's case for recognition deliberately. Is there a developing Country in the World today which is practicing democracy better than Somaliland? After careful consideration, one cannot come to a different conclusion than marvel the success this country has achieved in such a short period. Omitting and ignoring such achievements from the World stage neither helps the Horn of Africa nor advances Democracy around the world.

The people of Somaliland had the right to self-determination like any other free society. The country obtained its independence in 1960 and subsequently initiated a 'Union' with Somalia. In 1991, Somaliland withdrew from that 'Union' after lingering in 30 years of unbalanced entanglement with Somalia in which the scale was overwhelmingly tipped toward Somalia. There are not many Nations in the Globe which, haven't at one time or another, exercised this inalienable right. Somaliland will never negotiate this right as evidenced by not attending the futile and countless reconciliation conferences of the failed State, nor will she sell her soul again to submit to anyone.

Somaliland had nothing to apologize to anyone for, especially Somalia. She won independence before any of the original ethnic Somali territories of Eastern Ethiopia, Northeast Kenya, ex-French Somaliland (Djibouti) and ex-Italian Trusteeship of Somalia. Somaliland was a separate State Pre and Post Colonization and was recognized by 35 nations in 1960. This fact alone validates Somaliland sovereignty. Therefore, why would anyone argue today that Somaliland is part of any of the 4 territories when in reality, she preceded them all? And if Somaliland is part of any of them, than what exempts the other 4 territories from being part of the equation? Is Djibouti or any of the others willing to join a unified Somali flag? The simple answer is no, therefore, they cannot have it both ways.

Since the 5 Territories will never unite under one flag, is it not prudent for IGAD and particularly the AU to deal with the possible instead of the impossible? Squabbling about non-issues negates the future that could be attained for the Horn as well as Africa. Somaliland broke no international treaties nor to the agreed principles or boundaries at the end of Colonialism. The secessionist argument also has no merit. How could a State secede from a Territory it was never ingrained nor intrinsic part of? It wasn't even a breach of a partnership. It is that simple.

It was Somaliland that first initiated the 'Union'. Just as she had the right to initiate such union, she had the right to exit that 'Union." It is to everyone's benefit that the Recognition process be expedited. The UN and AU must recognize the statutory requirements for Statehood had been gratified. The Charters agreed upon by the AU had also been safeguarded by Somaliland's refusal to disregard the Colonial boundaries agreed upon.

Since September the 11th, 2001, terrorism has increased exponentially around the World. Terrorism or extremism camouflaged in any way or shape is a threat to any civilized people. They are equivalent to an opportunistic bacteria looking for a guest host. Any weak host is susceptible to this penetration. Somalia in its chaos, today finds herself such a host. Unfortunately, such extremists crossed into Somaliland from Mogadishu and assassinated a British

couple and an NGO employee who was originally from Kenya. Their attempt to destabilize Somaliland failed miserably. The Somaliland government immediately denounced these acts and apprehended 5 suspects. The government sent a clear indication that it was a Nation of laws and such barbaric acts will never be tolerated.

The people stood against the reprehensible acts of those who hold a distorted or narrow view of Islam. Such extremism will not be allowed in its boundaries. The sanctity of life and respect for humanity is what Islam instructs. Such groups find Somaliland's shift to Democracy directly foreboding. Somaliland, without equivocation, holds that Islam and Democracy could coexist.

Democracy is a notion the country has put into practice. Democratic Nations need to immediately recognize and support emerging democracies, especially Muslim democracies that are very scarce to begin with. Representative governments are the antidote to terrorism and extremism. This support would also diminish civil unrest and unnecessary uprisings. This is not a benefit to Somaliland alone, but to all nations.

The apprehension as to whether Somaliland be recognized should now be incontestable. Possible options ceased to exist in 1991. Submission to or dependence on a lawless Somalia is a suicidal road to take. The only thing the many Warlords in Somalia agree upon is their animosity and envy towards Somaliland. Had they channeled a fraction of the effort into building their Nation; they would enjoy what Somaliland has enjoyed for the past 14 years.

Neighboring Countries should not see Somaliland as a threat but a future partner coexisting in peace and trade. In a peaceful Horn, all the Nations will benefit. Somaliland will eventually tap into her natural resources to further her development and those around her. The gateway to Somaliland, the port of Berbera, on the Gulf of Adan, is also a great asset to not only Somaliland but also all others. Those who presuppose Somaliland's success is to others failure are regrettably erroneous. It is not to her interest to see her neighbors fail. To the contrary, Somaliland insists on all African Nations to finally come together and develop this vastly fruitful Continent, which is burdened with despair, disease, dictators, destruction, underdevelopment and corruption.

The Somaliland Forum Organization elicits and kindly reminds the World community the urgency that exists in the Horn of Africa. The UN, AU, IGAD, AL, EU and the United States of America must all recognize and concede the established achievements of Somaliland carefully and without duplicity. If Democracy is to be advanced around the world, is it not applicable to the Republic of Somaliland? --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The Somaliland Forum is an independent organization which brings together Somaliland citizens in the Diaspora who support the sovereignty and Independence of Somaliland. The Forum helps Somaliland communities and friends around the Globe to work together and contribute to the socioeconomic and political development of the Republic of Somaliland. For more information: Somalilandforum.com or Chair