Somaliland and South Sudan – The Inseparable Friends


Somaliland and South Sudan made of the same clothBy: Abdul-Aziz Al-Mutairi

Somalilandsun- Friends indeed are friends in need: this is famous proverb in many languages, which explains that the real friends are those share the pain at the hard times under similar circumstance.

Somaliland and South Sudan had common history of liberation struggle in the heart of Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia; Somaliland and South Sudan gained freedom after long armed struggle against most dangerous and inhuman dictators in the east Africa; Somali National Movement (SNM) and Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) liberated their countries from the dictators in Mogadishu (Siyad Barre 1969-1991) and Khartoum.

Mogadishu and Khartoum regimes used all forms of prohibited weapon against civilians in Hargiesa and Juba including air bombardment, rape and mass killing of civilians, in addition to chemical weapon used in Hargiesa by Siyad Barre regime.

The people of Somaliland and South Sudan had identical aim of living in peace and democracy, and they both achieved at high cost. The Barre regime killed more than 60,000 civilians in less than three months period, and Juba was facing similar situation where Khartoum military aircrafts bombed the main areas in South Sudan. In both countries, the freedom fighters created lasting peace and democracy as they are ready to catch up the economy developments in the region and to make up to the time they spend in liberation fighting.

As friends and ex-freedom fighters, South Sudan President Mr. Salva Mayardit invited his counterpart Somaliland President Mr. Ahmed Siilaanyo to the first independence of free South Sudan. This was a historic moment and outcome of decades of freedom struggle.

However, today Somaliland and South Sudan are on different diplomatic status because Somalia failed to understand what Sudan realized that public demand is always inevitable. The people of Somaliland voted with high majority for independence during 2001 Referendum under international election monitors.

The government of South Sudan installed the flag of Somaliland along with other international flags at the freedom square in Juba. This underscored the deep-rooted relations between the two nations – Somaliland and South Sudan. Although, Somaliland is not recognized internationally, but still the government of Juba has taken a bold step to show the world that Somaliland deserves recognition and that freedom fighters are friends of all time – hard and good times.

Somaliland inaugurated an office in Juba that serves its interest including resilient diplomatic relations, and the office created strong economic ties. Somaliland’s major private companies serve the people of South Sudan starting from freedom struggle until now, particularly in the money transfer and telecommunication. The companies used to transfer remittance from South Sudanese Diaspora to their families in back home. This was lifeline for the threatened citizens of South Sudan.

President of Sudan Mr. Omar Al-Bashir realized that the independence of South Sudan is the only way to create stable and peaceful region, while, Somalia President Mr. Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud is hanging on the failed theory of uniting the Somali people in the horn of Africa.

Such theory created significant instability in the region including full-scale war against Ethiopia in 1977 and diplomatic unrest against Kenya. Mr. Mohamoud, during his latest speech, ensured that unity of Somali people will remain on top of his priority.

Today, as per the firsthand reports from Mogadishu stated, the government of President Mr. Mohamoud appointed Mr. Abdirahman Nur Dinari as a new ambassador to Juba. Mr. Dinari’s first assignment is to cut off the relation between Somaliland and South Sudan.

This is unexpected move by the shaky government in Mogadishu, the new ambassador handed over an official letter dictating to South Sudan President Mr. Salva Mayardit to close Somaliland office and bring down Somaliland flag, along with his credential papers.

This illustrates the naïve approach of the shaky government in Mogadishu, who failed to stabilize Mogadishu before talking about relations between Somaliland and South Sudan. Mr. Mohamoud failed to realize the both – Somaliland and South Sudan – formed democratic and functioning governments, and that his regime is seeking an international support (AMISOM) to defeat the Islamist. He failed to sort out the internal issues instead of interfering an external relations between two independent countries.

This is violation to the “Somaliland-Somalia Talk” that started in London than Dubai. It will enlighten the enmity and lack of goodwill in Mogadishu towards Somaliland, and that Somalia is not willing to solve pending issues with Somaliland. This is disrupting and underestimates the efforts of the international community that brought Somaliland and Somalia on negotiation table for the first time, including Great Britain and Norway.

The people of Somaliland will protect their hard-earned freedom and the nominated leaders in Mogadishu must realize and respect the public demand of Somaliland. Somaliland ensures good neighbor to all regional countries, but it is committed to protect its border based on Colonial Border, and according to African Union Declaration of 1964.

By\Abdulaziz Al-Mutairi