Recognising Somaliland would boost the fight against piracy
On 6 June, Catherine Ashton, the EU‘s foreign policy chief, spoke to the Asia-Europe Meeting in Budapest and, among other things, she touched on the situation off the coast of Somalia, pointing out that 500 people have been imprisoned for piracy off the coast of Somalia and saying that the solution to piracy “lies on land”. It does, of course.
With the decent of Yemen and the port of Aden into chaos and with a very real risk that it will become the preserve of fundamentalists, one of the world’s most vital arteries has a distinct possibility of being cut.
So what to do? How can we help tackle the scourge of piracy and keep the Red Sea open for merchant shipping. Well, one simple way would be to recognise the country of Somaliland. A couple of weeks ago the peaceful democratic Islamic nation of Somaliland celebrated 20 years of independence. On the same day that Ashton was vapouring about things needing to be done, a Somaliland court put six pirates in prison for a total of 45 years.
Is it not time that this peaceful land was granted recognition by the international community? Not just because we morally should, but because it is in our interests to support the only part of that unhappy corner of the world that is looking forward to peace and prosperity?
Godfrey Bloom MEP