By: Eng. Hussein Adan Igeh
Somalilandsun – As we are approaching the 23rd anniversary of the independence of our Sweet Homeland; the maturity, name and reputation of the State of Republic of Somaliland is growing by the day. The celebrations on May 18th of every year have become a versatile and widely held global event. It is a special and precious day for all peace-loving fellow citizens. It is the day of the repossession of the once lost freedom and independence of our homeland. Solidarity, national unity, patriotic feelings among the citizens (at home as well as abroad) and global exuberant celebrations are all the special features that are associated with the celebration of 18th May of each year. It is also an exceptional day to commemorate all those martyrs who lost their lives for not only to defend the existence, honour and name of their own people but also the naissance of the roots and foundation of our most cherished asset that we have today; Sweet Homeland; the Republic of Somaliland!
Following more than 75 years of colonial rule, the British Somaliland Protectorate gained its independence on 26 June 1960. Just five days later, on 1 July, it joined with the former Italian Somalia to create the unitary state of the Republic of Somalia. Despite early hopefulness associated with independence and nationhood euphoria, processes of unification and a rules-based integration between the two states proved to be a failure by any measure. The voluntarily union with Somalia has caused nothing else but destruction and lost opportunity for millions of Somalilanders. It was a missed opportunity that obviously never turns back.
Historically, legally and politically Somaliland has a unique case for seeking and demanding tirelessly international recognition. The Republic of Somaliland was once an independent and sovereign country that voluntarily merged with Italian Somalia and the nuptials failed. The union of the two countries (1960-1991) was an indisputable failure and the popular referendums in Somaliland (in 2001) have shown immovable resistance to its restoration. Today, Somaliland could have enjoyed its independence and would have been a success story had they not voluntarily united with Somalia Italiano on 26th June 1960.
The World is rewarding the wrong State!
The people of the Somaliland Republic have done nothing wrong except being fast determined to realize their ideals and aspirations by exercising their fundamental and universal right for self-determination. Our people have made a clear choice to embrace the democratic norms and values. Some countries in the region may have interpreted this step as a dangerous threat to their dictatorial regimes and they prefer to fight against this phenomenon by any means. Nothing else but it is the choice that our nation has made what created the growing hatred and hostility towards the existence of our country. Somaliland’s democratic achievements, its sustained stability and the belief in a constructive engagement in international issues for peace and security have created a lot of animosity from the neighbouring countries.
The Western powers and their allies are utterly convinced that failed states are the seedbed for terrorism and extremism. The long-term solution for this global challenge is establishing democratic institutions and multi-party elections. Unfortunately this principle is not applied more widely. The Republic of Somaliland should have been long recognised as a member of the international community. The people of Somaliland should have been rewarded for their credentials, democratic achievements and sustained stability in a volatile region. It is utterly incomprehensible the logic and motive why the UN still clings to an absurd notion that Somaliland should rejoin its wayward and unruly neighbour Somalia, knowing the fact that Somalia (often taken as the archetype of a failed state) has for more than two decades exemplified the deficiencies of statelessness. The government of Somalia has entirely failed to create and develop a rules-based system to protect and promote the peace, security and socio-economic well-being of its population. However, strangely enough the attention of many of the world’s leading developed countries and the international development partners is nowadays increasingly focused on a country that failed to meet even the most basic criteria of statehood.
Also the USA, the EU, Britain and the rest of the world seem content to sit idly by and not to act to preserve this young African democracy. May be the western powers would have acted when this brave and resourceful nation descends into the familiar chaos of its neighbour (Somalia), which can only harm the entire Horn Region and, surely the rest of the world will pay the price!!
Somaliland has succeeded to provide the country’s inhabitants to enjoy a peaceful and congenial environment in which they live side by side in peace and harmony. Somaliland has been (and that is still the case) an independent country for the last 23 years and governed itself peacefully since 18th May 1991 under a National constitution endorsed at a national popular referendum. Somaliland has held 5 times democratic and internationally monitored local and national elections. The people of the Republic of Somaliland have shown to the outside world their value, belief and exceptional quality with respect to dealing and adoption of universal democratic norms and values. Somaliland’s democracy model is an encouraging and promising sign for all African states, which can lead that Africa makes overtures to the right direction.
The Republic of Somaliland should have long been recognized as a member of the international community. However regrettable it might be, the right for self-determination of Somaliland people has been time and time again ignored and thwarted by reluctant and unpredictable world powers as well as the UN and AU. The Republic of Somaliland became the victim of an ambiguous world of double standards. Democracy, good governance, free market and respect for human rights are all universal standards that fully embraced by the West as long as this serves for their geo-political and economic interests. If that is not the case, democracy and other international standards suddenly become considered to be hazardous and the Western countries look to the other end.
No matter whatever happens next but one thing is certain: the self-determination and the incredible perseverance of the noble people of Somaliland will ultimately prevail.
May God Bless and Protect this Great Nation (The Republic of Somaliland)
By |Eng. Hussein Adan Igeh |Hussein Deyr |Birmingham, UK|