Somalilandsun – Cardiff has become the second local authority in the UK to recognise the Republic of Somaliland.
The council approved a motion to endorse recognition of Somaliland during a meeting at City Hall, following in the footsteps of Sheffield council.
While the motion did get cross-party support and passed with 45 votes in favour, members of the Independent group left the council chamber, saying they did not believe they had enough information to support it.
Members of the Somaliland community celebrated outside City Hall dancing and cheering after the vote was passed.
The motion, proposed by Labour councillor Lynda Thorne, called on the council to represent concerns of the city’s vast Somaliland community at Welsh and UK government and Commonwealth level.
It said Somaliland communities have lived here since the 1850s and play a huge part in the life of the city.
“Many Somaliland citizens remain concerned about the international status of Somaliland and are asking the Cardiff Council in its civic role as the capital city of Wales and as part of its duties under the Equalities Act and as gesture of friendship to this Cardiff community to represent their concerns to the Commonwealth, UK and Welsh Governments.
“As such this Council resolves to endorse the recognition of the Republic of Somaliland, which has now operated peacefully with democratic elections for nearly 25 years as an independent republic.
“We respect the UN concept that recognition should start with the Regional Government body but notes that the African Union has for many years failed to act on its own report recommending recognition.
“We therefore call on the UK and Welsh Governments to recognise Somaliland as a sovereign state and in the meantime resolve to fully acknowledge the ties of friendship with Somaliland.”
Liberal Democrat councillor Judith Woodman offered her support.
She said: “I know the Somaliland community very well having worked with them for a number of years. I know how much they care for their community and want this motion to be passed.
“I will be supporting this motion today because I know the level of feeling of the majority of the Somaliland community.”
Labour councillor Ashley Govier also backed the motion. “I don’t profess to understand all the issues this country faces. I support this motion because I believe in peace, equality and fairness.”