Somaliland247's Blog

July 8, 2011

Somaliland President Ahmed Siilaanyo today left for South Sudan to attend the Declaration of Independence of the Republic of South Sudan on the 9th of July, 2011


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Somaliland President Ahmed Siilaanyo today left for South Sudan to attend the Declaration of Independence of the Republic of South Sudan on the 9th of July, 2011

Somaliland President Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud Silanyo leaving for South Sudan today at Berbera International Airport 7th July 2011

 

Berbera-Somaliland President Ahmed Siilaanyo received an official invitation from the president of South Sudan Salva Kiir to attend the Declaration of Independence of the Republic of South Sudan on the 9th of July, 2011. South Sudan is set to become the 54th nation in the African continent after long fought civil against Northern Sudan’s rule that saw thousands of lives lost and millions displaced.

The invitation of Somaliland’s president Ahmed Siilanyo to South Sudan’s historic day has been welcomed with delight in Somaliland by both the government of Somaliland and its citizens. Somaliland believes it could use the south’s independence as a precedent as it seeks more support for its case for international recognition and become the 55th nation in the continent after South Sudan. Some foreign observers and politicians believe the Juba government will recognize Somaliland which will pave the way for other regional powers to follow.

Somaliland became a British protectorate in 1888 after the Berlin Conference of 1884-85 during which the European Powers effectively carved up the African continent between themselves. It was in June 26th 1960 upon an agreement signed between Britain and Somaliland that it became an independent country. At that time Somaliland was formerly recognized as the Republic of Somaliland by the UN and 34 countries, including Britain, USA and Egypt. Somaliland willingly decided to unite with South Somalia formerly Italian Somalia on July 1st, 1960 when the South gained their sovereignty from Italia. Somaliland however reclaimed its Sovereignty in 1991 after the overthrow of former dictator Mohamed Siyad Bare and his henchmen after a long brutal civil war.

May 23, 2011

VIDEO| France24TV: Report on ‘Somaliland’s 20th Anniversary of Independence’ 18 May


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VIDEO| France24TV: Report on ‘Somaliland’s 20th Anniversary of Independence’ 18 May

May 21, 2011

Kenya ready to recognize Somaliland


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Kenya ready to recognize Somaliland

Kenyan Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs Richard Onyonka

The Kenyan government has expressed support for the recognition of Somaliland, which is an autonomous region of Somalia.

Kenyan Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs Richard Onyonka said that Nairobi supports the recognition of Somaliland as an independent state and Kenya will encourage the countries of the African Union to officially recognize Somaliland, a Press TV correspondent in Nairobi reported late on Friday.

Onyonka made the remarks in an address to a group of Somalilanders living in Nairobi.

Somalilander Mohamed Saleh, who attended the gathering, said Somaliland deserves recognition since it has been relatively peaceful for years.

“We have managed to remain stable in a very volatile region and this should push the global community to recognize our sovereignty from the bigger Somalia,” he stated.

Somaliland, situated in northwestern Somalia, unilaterally declared independence from the rest of the African country in 1991.

Presstv:http://www.presstv.com/detail/180921.html

March 22, 2011

Somaliland ‘yearns for international recognition’


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Somaliland ‘yearns for international recognition’

Lord Anderson of Swansea calls on the international community to recognise the autonomy of the Somaliland region of northern Somalia.

The wind of change is howling around the Arab world. Longstanding autocratic presidents are blown away; monarchs seek to make peace with their people by devising constitutions to limit their powers. In this turbulence there is one outstanding and depressing exception Somalia.

There has been anarchy in the country for some 20 years. The internationally recognised Transitional Federal Government controls but a small part of the territory; various warring clans exercise a form of authority elsewhere. An Islamist movement with links to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has rumoured links to the pirates who successfully create havoc among international shipping across an ever-wider swathe of sea.

Somaliland is the exception, the former British Protectorate with its capital Hargeisa, where the pirates are imprisoned a haven of stability which has recently held democratic elections. The country yearns for international recognition, having been de facto autonomous for many years.

The traditional argument against such recognition has been that of creating a precedent for other disaffected regions in Africa but now Eritrea has broken away from Ethiopia; South Sudan will shortly be independent and there is a spirit of radical constitutional change throughout the Arab world.

Somaliland wishes to join the Commonwealth; already its parliamentarians informally attend meetings of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.

Surely, now is the time for the British government to revisit the issue and to encourage African members of the Commonwealth to press the African Union to work for international recognition of this remarkable democratic enclave within the classic failed state of Somalia.

Donald Anderson was Labour MP for Monmouth from 1966 until 1970 and for Swansea East from 1974 until 2005, when he was rasied to the peerage.

Source: Yahoo News

January 30, 2011

As Southern Sudan, Somaliland deserves AU’s recognition


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As Southern Sudan, Somaliland deserves AU’s recognition

The African Union (AU) chief told AP the organization intends to be the first to recognize Southern Sudan as a new state should the result of its referendum be secession.

Malawi’s President Bingu wa Mutharika made the statement on 26th Jan 2011 after meeting Southern Sudan’s Leader Salva Kiir. Mutharika currently holds the rotating chairmanship of the 53-member African Union. “Sudan will be on the agenda when the AU holds a regular AU meeting later this month” He concluded (AP).

After 21-years of civil war against Arab compatriots, the early results show strong support for secession. The final and official result will be announced on early February 2011. The referendum was part of peace deal signed 2005 between the late leader of Southern Sudan Dr. John Garn and Sudan’s Arab led government in Khartoum.

This statement is showcasing the AU’s support to secession even before the official result announced. It seems the AU recognized South Sudan without agreed constitution, and no official name for the new government. No defined territory and population.

What is puzzling is why the AU and other international organizations like UN are giving a blind eye to the question of independence by Somaliland?! The world recognized southern Sudan government and Khartoum had no option but to accept. It is very normal that independence and secession could come from outside like East Timor, Yugoslavia, Bangladesh. All these countries won independence with outside intervention and local authorities were forced to accept.

This invalidates AU’s argument asking Somaliland to negotiate with the shaky and powerless government in Mogadishu over its independence. Somaliland has elected government and parliament and controls every inch of its colonial border (British Somaliland), unlike transitional government in Mogadishu that controls less than two percent of the capital.

Somaliland has world-standard, modern and democratic nation; it hosted free and fair elections; it has army that obeys international military regulations; police with excellent human rights record; currency that is circulated in many parts of East Africa; flag that flies in many countries; national anthem; finally it has elected parliament and government.

In 2010, the Somaliland opposition won presidential election and there was peaceful, civilized and democratic power transfer, unlike many African countries where dictators hang on the power like Ivory Coast and Kenya. Today’s Opposition Leader and Former President Dahir Riyale Kahn handed over the leadership to the Former Opposition Leader and today’s President Mohamed Ahmed Siilanyo – The power-transfer ceremony was rare seen in Africa.

UN’s charters that define nations say “A sovereign state is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, independence from other states and powers, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states”. Somaliland fulfills all these conditions and more like democracy, free-fair elections, good governance and excellent human Rights record, in addition to freedom of expression.

Again, Somaliland’s case does not underestimate the right of self-determination of the people of Southern Sudanese, instead the government of Somaliland was first to vow recognizing the new government out of Southern Sudan despite its unrecognized status.

Both people of Somaliland and Southern Sudan suffered under brutal and merciless regimes for decades; both people faced discrimination on different bases; thousands of both people were murdered in addition to genocide and ethnic-cleansing by the regimes in Mogadishu and Khartoum.

Somaliland and Southern Sudan emerged after years of freedom armed struggle, they forced the occupying regimes to leave or negotiate peacefully. In Somaliland, regime was overthrown by force and Southern Sudanese forced Al-Bashir regime to negotiate and accept their demands.

In brief, Somaliland was an independent nation for five days before the disastrous unity with Italian Somalia on 1st July 1960. Somaliland had designated Prime Minister and Cabinet before the unity. The crawling unity continued until 18th May 1991, at the rebirth of Somaliland.

After 50 years, AU is not considering the freedom voice from Somaliland while it is offering unconditionally support to the new state in Southern Sudan that has no colonial border and defined population, which conflicts with African Union´s charter on the territorial integrity.

Interestingly, the strong diplomacy of Southern Sudanese and western backing forced AU and its leaders to accept Southern Sudan without considering the AU’s regulations that preserves the integrity of the colonial borders African nations inherited from European colonizers.

In contradiction, AU is waving conditions in accepting Somaliland as independent nation, which has a defined territory with bounders and inherited from the former British Somaliland; Somaliland has permanent population of 3.5 million. It controls its territory; it has bilateral diplomatic and security relations with neighboring countries; Somaliland Passport is been used in Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti. Somaliland President uses local passport while traveling to Europe and USA.

It was USA Former President Bill Clinton administration who started campaigning for southern Sudan, which built up pressure on Khartoum regime and forced the AU leaders to accept the new nation. Until today, former foreign secretary Madeleine Albright is leading the campaign that freed Southern Sudan. There are other USA famous figures including Congressmen and VIPs.

Most probably there are different interest behind such USA support including the oil in the region. It is very sure, that southern Sudanese without USA and western support could have face difficulties and conditions in achieving their dream of self-determination.

In such situations of AU’s failure, all members including Somaliland are forced to seek outside support to convince AU leaders, who cannot decide for their own destiny. Somaliland unambiguously fulfills all the condition for statehood as per AU charter but without western backing.

Somaliland has more territory and a bigger population than at least a dozen other African states, we point out. Recognition will not “open Pandora’s box in Africa”. Neither will it set a precedent that has been done already in East Timor and Kosovo. “The international community is focused on Somalia, it is okay. We are saying, ‘Keep doing what you’re doing in Mogadishu, but for goodness sake help those who help themselves: Somaliland’.” Congratulations to the Southern Sudanese:

The African Union (AU) Observers have certified South Sudan’s secession vote “free, fair, credible and a true reflection of the democratically-expressed will of the South Sudanese voters.” In its preliminary statement on the conduct of the vote, which could lead to the creation of Africa’s newest country and pave the way for the independence for Somaliland, the AU said the referendum was conducted in a safe and peaceful environment.

By\Abdulaziz Al-Mutairi

Email: az.almutairi@yahoo.com

January 27, 2011

VIDEOS/PHOTOS:Somaliland’s hopes for international recognition


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Somaliland’s hopes for international recognition

 

By BBC News : Zeinab Badawi

When you land at the clean, tidy airport in Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland, you feel you could have arrived in any small African state.

Freedom Square reminds people of the struggle to break away from Somalia

The police are courteous and wear freshly-pressed uniforms, the Somaliland flag flutters gently in the hot morning breeze, and you move briskly through the airport security.

The taxi you take into town is paid for in Somaliland’s currency, the shilling.

But do not get carried away – despite the outward trappings of statehood, this is a country that does not officially exist.

Somaliland unilaterally declared its independence from the rest of Somalia in May 1991, after the fall of the country’s military strongman, Mohamed Siad Barre.

He fled the country exactly 20 years ago on Wednesday, after two decades in power.

Monument

I made my way to Freedom Square in central Hargeisa to see the monument, which reminds those here of the bitter battle they fought to break away from the rest of Somalia. Around 50,000 people died.

The actual fighter jet used by Barre’s forces to bomb the city is on a dais, underneath the figure of a woman holding the green, white and red of the Somaliland flag, looking skywards in hope.

VIDEO:Somaliland’s hopes for international recognition

Jumhuriya newspaper

There, I spoke to a local journalist, Albdelhakim Mohamed from the Jumhuriya newspaper.

“We want our independence here in Somaliland,” he told me.

“We have a country. We have a parliament, a free press, and businesses just like London and New York.”

At the base of the monument, a body lay wrapped in cardboard.

At first I was not sure if it was part of the display, then I realised it was just a homeless man who had spent the night at its foot.

Around the monument is also a market where goods of all kinds are readily available.

Traditional spices mingle with the ubiquitous plastic of Chinese imports, brightly coloured sandals, plastic buckets and hair decorations.

Vital remittances

Abdirashid Duale admits Somaliland's unofficial status affects business with abroad

I walked through the market with Abdirashid Duale, the head of Dahabshiil, Africa’s largest money transfer company.

Tall, elegant and expensively clad – his company makes a lot of money here – he was reticent to commit to whether Somaliland should be recognised as independent; after all, his business interests extend all over Somalia.

When I ask him whether Somaliland’s unofficial status affects business, he admits it is a challenge.

But Dahabshiil, like other financial corporations in the 21st Century, can base its headquarters anywhere in the world these days. Mr Duale spends most of his time in neighbouring Kenya.

VIDEO:Somaliland President’s speaks of hopes for Somaliland recognition

From the people I chatted to informally in Hargeisa, I was left with the overwhelming impression that they would find it hard to re-integrate into the rest of Somalia.

Though with the Somaliland government so intent on independence it is hard to know if some were reluctant to speak their minds too freely.

People use money exchange centres to retrieve the funds sent to them by wire transfer

According to the World Bank, the Somali diaspora as a whole sends about $1bn (£632m) to their relatives back home every year.

Here in Hargeisa, with no official help from the outside world and no recognition as a state, most official aid is closed to them. So the remittances are a vital source of income.

People use the many money exchange centres dotted around Hargeisa to retrieve the funds sent to them by wire transfer.

I went into one office with Mr Duale.

Some people recognised him as the big boss, and I had no trouble being escorted into the back office where money was being counted.

Despite the scene, often money does not actually change hands – many transactions are carried out over the internet.

‘On our guard’

Somaliland seems a world away from the chaos and violence of south and central Somalia, which includes the capital Mogadishu.

The country is divided. Puntland in the north is a semi-autonomous state and Somaliland is a functioning state in all but name.

But Somaliland is not immune from the militant brand of Islamism that afflicts other parts of Somalia.

In 2008, suicide car bombings left dozens dead in Hargeisa, as well as in Puntland.

The leader of the main Islamist group al-Shabab, Ahmed Cabdi Godane – who is himself from Somaliland – was blamed for the attacks.

“We are on our guard,” President Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo told me.

“We are doing our level best to encourage young people through education and work, and to engage them in useful activities instead of going to extremist groups like al-Shabab.”

Somaliland is seen as a transit route for militant groups going into Somalia proper, and the government here is keen to assist international efforts to tackle this.

Although Mr Silanyo has been applauded for his efforts since taking office in July, this has not given him the international recognition he craves.

Referendum hopes

Somaliland is free from the violence plaguing Somalia

On a recent trip of Western capitals to press Somaliland’s case, he told me that it deserved to be seen as an independent country.

Historically, it was a different country from Somalia, which was divided by the French, Italian and British colonial powers, he explained.

Somaliland was British and was independent for five days in 1961, before it opted to join the rest of the country.

Those five days though are crucial in legal terms to the government and gives it a basis to claim it was once an independent state.

Ethnically, the people I encountered in Somaliland are no different from their brethren elsewhere, but their lives in the last 20 years have been relatively free from the violence and divisions that have plagued the rest of Somalia.

Now President Silanyo feels that with Southern Sudan likely to become independent, the people of Somaliland cannot be denied the chance of their own referendum to vote for secession.

The key question for the intentional community is whether it should be allowed to go it alone, or be forced to remain part of Somalia to help bring greater peace and prosperity to a country that has known only war for two decades?

Source: BBC World News

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