Somaliland: An Open Letter to President Obama


Prof Daar urges Obama to stop crying and start the somaliland recognition process

Somalilandsun -The Obama Administration should Re-affirm the UN membership of the Republic of Somaliland before another Resource Hungry Power Jumps to the Opportunity
Mr. President,
According to American and international law, the Republic of Somaliland, with or without diplomatic recognition, is as much a United Nations General Assembly member as the United States of America is.
Neither the USA and other permanent Security Council members nor the UN Secretariat have any legal competence to disallow the Republic of Somaliland, as its sovereign people choose to call it, to resume sitting on its UN seat without any serious reason deserving banishment.
Sir, I am not writing to you to ask you to recognize the Republic of Somaliland as a UN member; a former US administration had already done that long before you had become the present USA president.
The Dwight D. Eisenhower administration together with the other Security Council permanent members plus more than three scores of other ordinary UN member states recognized Somaliland, prior to its later union with Somalia, as a UN member with a defined territory bounded by internationally recognized boundaries whose people alone were/are sovereign over it.
The Government of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is my witness: Sovereign Somaliland arrived at the UN in 1960 during the tenure of Dag Hammarskjöld, as Secretary General, with credentials signed on behalf of Harold Macmillan, the late British Prime Minister, as a country with recognized independence.
The former USA and Security Council recognition of the sovereign state of Somaliland as a UN member is irretrievable; it is a done deal.
(Three months later than the acceptance of Somaliland by the Security Council, The Somaliland-Somalia union was officially admitted to the UN on 20 September 1960 as the Somali Republic, not as the Republic of Somalia and not as Somalia as some UN websites wrongly label.)
I am rather writing it to you, with all due respect, sir, to request you not to contravene the legally binding decision made by the Eisenhower administration -as an individual country and as a permanent United Nations Security Council member- by which it had signed the automatic ascension of Somaliland to UN membership upon its independence from Great Britain back in 196o.
I believe that your administration and all others which might follow are obliged to abide by the ruling of a former American administration and the commitment of the Security Council to the people of Somaliland to include and maintain Somaliland in the UN just like other ex-colonies.
Other ex-colonies ascended to UN membership in the same manner. Somaliland is an equal quantity to all other ex-colonies, which cast votes of equal weight in the General Assembly with USA and with other permanent Security Council members.
Somaliland refuses to be exempted and left out in the cold.
Denial of diplomatic recognition by peer countries need not be ostensibly used to mask Somaliland’s UN membership.
To the contrary, the Republic of Somaliland is in effect the 194nd UN member state and the 55th in the African Union (AU), according to where their respective counts stand as of today.
The Security Council ought to review its position on Somaliland and should conform to its own past decision on it as a UN member, lest It would be accused of allegedly colluding with Somalia which has no right whatsoever to hinder the return of the Republic of Somaliland to the General Assembly..
The Republic of Somaliland is not a region seceding from Somalia to be held in limbo as an autonomous region aspiring to be allowed to be free from Somalia. Nothing could be further from the truth. The same UN Security Council, which had earlier recognized Somaliland as a separate UN member state, before Somalia had even become independent, should not operate on the oft repeated false premise that Somaliland is a daughter state seceding from Somalia. It should operate on the more apt fact that Somaliland is a United Nations member state, which had legally withdrawn from its former, un-ratified union with a neighboring country, Somalia.
None other than the UN Security Council, including USA as a permanent member, is responsible to ensure that the people of the Republic of Somaliland be not robbed of their UN membership.
Sir, Somaliland and Somalia, as the US and UN Security Council records register, are two mutually exclusive African sister countries which united once upon a time in 1960 and separated 23 years ago in 1991 after Somaliland, which did not need the permission of Somalia to leave the union, legally and unilaterally dissolved the union between them,
In recognition that international law permitted the sovereign people of Somaliland to exercise their sovereignty to unite their country with any other, if they so choose, the Eisenhower administration and the UN Security Council did not hinder Somaliland to unite with Somalia in 1960. The same USA government, which he presided over then, and which you preside over today, would be contradicting itself if it addressed Somaliland as one needing the approval of Somalia and/or the African Union to dissolve its union with Somalia. It should acknowledge the people of Somaliland exercised, this time around, too, the same sovereignty as before to have dissolved the Somaliland-Somalia union. In addition, they used the same sovereignty to have re-founded, in due process of law, the Republic of Somaliland as a legal successor to the sovereign state of Somaliland, and should be allowed to acquire diplomatic recognition without any further delay.
.According to American and to international law the union between Somaliland and Somalia is dissolved without any contention; it is history.
Had it been around today, the same Eisenhower administration would not have continued to recognize a dissolved union in fear of contravening its former recognition of Somaliland as a sovereign UN member. But you are, Mr. President, sitting on the same seat as President Eisenhower, did and should, assuming the same attitude, uphold such past legally binding US decision on Somaliland and discontinue recognizing a dissolved union.
Previous American presidents did not, for example, continue recognizing Senegambia (the dissolved union between Senegal and Gambia) and the United Arab Republic (the dissolved UAR union between Egypt and Syria). They allowed all the individual countries of the above dissolved unions resume their respective, separate UN seats without any hindrance.
Sir, you could as gracefully not only discontinue recognizing the already dissolved union between Somaliland and Somalia, without referring the Somaliland side of the case only and not the Somalia side which is equally African, to the African Union, but also re-affirm Somaliland’s UN membership straight away before another resource hungry power might just do so.
The Author Prof. Ahmed Abdi Da’ar is Director: Somaliland Peace and Development Consultancy (Under formation), London UK. 18 Sept. 2014

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