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Somaliland: Country Urged to Enhance Democratization Process
Monday, 21 January 2013 12:18

Amb David H ShinnAmb David H Shinn"I doubt that the formal recognition by USA of the new Somali government will have any significant impact on Washington's interaction with Somaliland" Amb Shinn

By: Yusuf M Hasan

HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The US is expected to maintain its dual policy as pertains to its engagement with Somalia and Somaliland.

This was informed to somalilandsun by Ambassador David Shinn during an interview in which he allayed mounting fears in Somaliland that a related to the recent formal recognition of the new Somali government by Washington.

The former US diplomat who is an expert on Horn Africa issues also urged Somaliland to work even harder to implement democratic governance, resolve differences with factions in Sool and Sanaag and leave the door open for discussions with officials in Mogadishu.

Below are the full verbatim excerpts of the interview

Does the USA recognition of the new Somali government change its dual track policy for engaging Somalia and Somaliland?

During the visit to Washington in January by Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, the United States officially recognized Somalia. During a press conference, a reporter from the Voice of America asked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton if the United States will continue its previous dual track policy of dealing with both the Somali government in Mogadishu and regional administrations. Secretary Clinton did not respond directly to the question. She emphasized that the United States looks forward to the successful conclusion of Somalia's political transition, which will mark the beginning of a new era of Somali governance. She made no reference to Somaliland.

Do we assume the USA has abandoned commitments towards supporting dialogue between Somali and Somaliland dialogue?

While I don't speak for the U.S. government, I doubt that the formal recognition of the new Somali government will have any significant impact on Washington's interaction with Somaliland. I believe the U.S. government will continue to work with Somaliland as it has in recent years. While there may not be public references to the two track policy, the separate administration in Somaliland remains a reality and I believe Washington will treat it as such. It is up to the leaders of Somalia and Somaliland to determine the nature of their relationship. I see no indication that the United States has abandoned any commitments reached in last year's London conference. Nor do I expect this development will change in any perceptible way U.S. policy on combatting piracy in the region.

What's your advice to Somaliland in view of the enhanced USA partnership with Somalia?

From my position as an outside observer, the best approach for Somaliland is to work even harder to implement democratic governance, resolve differences with factions in Sool and Sanaag and leave the door open for discussions with officials in Mogadishu.

 

Comments

 
+4 # Mustafe 2013-01-21 13:22
Recognizing few politicians who have no control over one street of Mugadisho is pointless and won't make no different on the ground. Aideed (caydiid) had more control in Mugadisho back in 1992 when he shot down the two American Black Hawk Helicaptors.
 
 
-4 # FM 2013-01-21 15:09
People,
We Somalis are 1 people, splitting Somalia up will do no favours.
Somaliland is Somalia.
 
 
+1 # Dhagta 2013-01-21 16:41
Zoomalia die hard people like FM are day dreaming. Look at the beauty of our flag is that not even you all. Our children were sleeping with happines for last 20 year and will remain same.
 
 
0 # Shafici 2013-01-21 17:34
"While I don't speak for the U.S. government, I doubt that the formal recognition of the new Somali government will have any significant impact on Washington's interaction with Somaliland. I believe the U.S. government will continue to work with Somaliland as it has in recent years."

Mr Amb David's comments is always welcome as he's someone who has a considerable knowledge about Horn of Africa issues. Although I agree with the above comments, the timing of this was premature as Somaliland and Somalia are preparing to talk. Given the respective positions of the Somaliland and Somalia govenment, this may actually hasten the break down of the talks.

In Somaliland, this has been seen as a major blow and a failure of the Somaliland government. The government is actually under presure to withdraw from the talks.

On the other hand, the Somalia government has perceived the USA recognition as a means to flex its musles and the president has already mentioned that they consider Somaliland as part and percel of the Somalia Federal Republic and no special arrangment will be made for them in the coming London Conference, which I presume they will be invited.

I don't think the USA has thought through this and the consequences of it. Also, it shows what matters more to the USA is the fight against piracy and Al-shabab instead of a lasting solution to the problems of the region. American policies in the past have played major part in prolonging the Somali conflict and I think without an official clearification of how it will deal with Somaliland, this may bring back the condition that brought exterimism and piracy in the frist place.

It's America's prerogative to recognise whoever she wants but America should clarify if it is dealings with Somaliland has changed as a consequences of its recognition to Somalia government.
 
 
0 # Ali Artan 2013-01-21 19:57
Shafici , your are right Americans are always looking after their interest only and now their current aim is to get rid of the Al shabab elements.as far as Somaliland and Somalia talks are concerned .Somaliland had already clearly mentioned to continue the talks in line with previous methodology no Somalanders to be included otherwise it is null & void
 
 
0 # Ali Artan 2013-01-21 20:00
Shafici , your is rght American will always looking after their interest and their current aim is to get rid of the Al shabab elements.as far as Somaliland and Somalia talks are concerned .Somaliland had already clearly mentioned to continue the talks in line with previous methodology no Somalanders to be included otherwise it is null & void
 
 
0 # abdifatah 2013-01-21 20:03
Iam somalilander and i know every thing i have many document atlat agreement and aviation of somalia and if world will not recognise somaliland i know what i do?
 
 
0 # Gaade 2013-01-21 22:20
First of all, it’s not only America which recognised the Somalia government but other countries including Britain have already recognised it. This is why Britain appointed an official ambassador to Somalia. So as you can see this is not exclusive to America, though Americans formulated it in a way to extract the best possible publicity to win the hearts and the minds of Somalians. Remember America has very large Somalian population in its country.

Secondly, in order Somaliland to have a clean break from Somalia and any agreement to be binding, there has to be legitimate Somalia government that is recognised and capable of making those difficult decisions. So the act of recognition for Somalia government is actually good from that perspective. Problems will occur if the Somalia government overplays it or those who are giving recognition refuse to deal with Somaliland as a separate entity until the Somaliland status will be finalised.

The devil is in the detail but I don’t think America is going her own way to ignore the realities on the ground.
 
 
0 # Ali Artan 2013-01-22 17:53
abdifatah, may be you are young and born after 1991 or you not a somalander as you stated earlier . First of all we are writing our opinions and you have you will and wish write whatever you belief .
I remember , Grazria masscre , Water boarding , Hargeisa bombardment , killings , Burao 40 elders masscare , Burao des0ction , killings , Eil afwein air Bombarment , aFLAFEIN- kALSHEIKH People loaded on dump 0cks and asked driver to unload and all shot dead among them , children , aged men &women , Erigavo massacre , Hargesia populations devastation's. I remember things that can not express here .Please go to Mogadishu and leave alone
 
 
0 # Ali Artan 2013-01-22 17:53
abdifatah, may be you are young and born after 1991 or you not a somalander as you stated earlier . First of all we are writing our opinions and you have you will and wish write whatever you belief .
I remember , Grazria masscre , Water boarding , Hargeisa bombardment , killings , Burao 40 elders masscare , Burao des0ction , killings , Eil afwein air Bombarment , aFLAFEIN- kALSHEIKH People loaded on dump 0cks and asked driver to unload and all shot dead among them , children , aged men &women , Erigavo massacre , Hargesia populations devastation's. I remember things that can not express here .Please go to Mogadishu and leave alone
 
 
-1 # Lamaseege 2013-01-27 20:13
Hit the road jack.

Somaliland is a country and their people make that choice. We are somaliland forever. :cry:
 

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