Somaliland: Foreign Office Misinformation on Somaliland Feeds into Terrorism


An Open Letter to the British Prime Minister, His Excellency, Hon. David Cameron

Somalilandsun – I write to you my concern of the Foreign Office (FO) inept at the state of Somaliland. As a British Citizen of Somaliland descent, I will explain in this letter, why my native country should make it into your priorities. My concern lies over the irrelevant approximation of the FO into the security and the stability of Somaliland.

With this regard, I feel Somaliland should deserve your endeavour to review the FO faulty information into the reality of Somaliland. As I set out contextually why you should hold the FO to account for its damning manifestation of misinformation on Somaliland, I start off by introducing to you that my native country has got good governance based on locally defused democratisation. That democracy, it has been empirically evidenced to be one of the best democracies in the developing world. The late Ethiopian Prime Minister, Mr Males Zenawi was quoted to have said that the Democracy in Somaliland is a roadmap not only to Ethiopia but as African countries as whole.

With that in mind, however terrorism challenged our democratisation and good governance, it has been impotent to inseminate its objective to destabilise it. Furthermore, getting back into the point as to why Somaliland should be your priority – I feel it will spare it into economic difficulties with your intervention to get it right the FO misinformation. Pointedly, to that wrong information, the Foreign Office over the past years and in particular most recent months carried out its internet portal that Somaliland had been facing imminent attacks from terrorist groups. This statement has caused us economic damage that the terrorist groups could have wished to deliver in terror. From that perspective, the FO dramatised the wishes of this terrorist group and appears to have coerced our international business partners and potential investors into suspending their business interests in Somaliland. In elaborating further on this, the Gunnel suspended its oil exploration in Somaliland citing on the faulty Foreign Office security warning on Somaliland a couple months earlier.

With that regards, the FO appears to have driven Somaliland into economic decline, which has been growing at a stunning rate since the current government came into power. In succinct, the economy was growing steadfastly with a promise to creating employment opportunities for our young generation with unemployment rate of above 80%. That hope was short exchanged by the FO wrongly footed about the Somaliland and was a foray into our economy as it had driven out investment and compromised its openness to business. For example, the Gunnel oil exploration has suspended injecting millions of dollars into the local economy that could have provided jobs to our thousands university graduates and school leavers. Your government has predisposed them to despondent life by denying livelihood and putting at risk of falling into hands of people with terrorism agenda to exploit their situation. We need you to review the FO’s damaging statistical anecdote into the security of Somaliland that is a cringe at your moral as I am sure you would not have wished your government policy seen to have been in liability to Somaliland. I anticipate getting these facts to your attention vehemently to engender your government to nurturing not economically enfeeble policy on Somaliland but aiding to achieve economic growth and to defeating terrorism not only within but in the region as a whole.

Furthermore, to the fallacy of the Foreign Office on Somaliland with disparaging and insouciant to, I have dichotomised into the resilient and diligent people of Somaliland; and the Foreign Office inept at Somaliland security. Both points are delineated below:

The Foreign Office inept at Somaliland security

As at your first thought on Somaliland, it elicits statistical facts to you that it is a country whereby terrorism has by far discernibly failed. However, with limited resources at our disposal, we have been powerless to quell the Foreign Office misinformation into dramatizing the terrorist propaganda. As a concerned citizen, I should have resorted into writing to you with expectation that this letter will make its way to your desk. It is of my view, and believes in you that you will bring new down to the FO security perception on Somaliland that is counterintuitive to your conscious.

Somaliland is the very few in the region that terrorism has failed to disrupt. However, the Home Office myth based on terrorist wish list purporting them to be planning attacks on Somaliland impacts on the economy. This is an outdated statement that has been erected on the Foreign Office website for years but has most recently been reinforced in the British and the international media. The consequences have led to foreign investors that over recent times have shown interest to do a business with Somaliland to suspend their endeavour to invest in as elaborated on previously. This is a remiss of your government to have unwittingly economically bankrupting Somaliland. To this end, it would be in the interest of Somaliland and the region if the FO ceased flagrantly dissipating wrong information on Somaliland – it aids terrorism objectives. If Somaliland were to succumb to the misinformation of Foreign Office, it would be by far implicated not only the region but further afield. I’m sure this will not happen under your watch.

The resilient and diligent people of Somaliland

The horn of Arica is a region with endemic civil wars – and a poverty stricken region. In Somaliland, the former has been consigned into history through locally diffused conflict management that led into building the most advanced democracy in the developing countries. With this view, Somaliland has the comparative advantage of good governance in contrast to the rest of African countries as a whole. A good example could be our reigning incumbent president – he is by far the most experienced and educated of the leaders in Africa. He is very tolerant to his critics (allows them a breathing space), and a charismatic leader.

To mirror examples on the character of our leader, in my capacity as a member of the opposition official who has been into Somaliland politics for over thirteen years. In the first ever presidential election in 2002, our president, his right honourable, Mr Ahmed Mohammed Mohamud (Siilanyo) lost by 80 votes only. When he was asked how he had felt losing the election by 80 votes, he was quoted to have said “however it was very difficult to me accepting losing with 80 votes, what matters most had been the wellbeing of my people and could not imagine of my conscious associated to anything that may have felt them their security threatened”. He further added to that “when I am out to the street of capital Hargeisa and see my people struggling to wining their livelihood at the hardest way by selling very basics commodities but smiling of hopefulness outburst their face, that feeling deep got into my heart, and my people’s security was by a far a priority than my ambition and they do not deserved to be disturbed”.

In Africa and even in developed world no leader could have conceded a defeat for presidential election by a margin of 80 votes. This is what has made Somaliland a distinctive to the rest of the African states.

With that political maturity and statesmanship of our president has shown to our people, they deeply felt indebted to him. In responding to that ownership of responsibility, the Somaliland public in the last presidential election in 2010 voted for him by landslide victory. This explicates, that our people and leaders are profoundly embedded in owning up responsibilities. To this end, they are committed to protecting their country – and subduing terrorism threats. This has made my native country the safest country in the region – It did not have a single terrorism incident for the past five years while the rest of the countries in the region have been experienced terrorism incidents. Good example is Uganda and Kenya and even Britain was not an exception to. For example, Alshabab terrorist group carried out successful attack on Uganda on the 11th July 2010 killing 74 people and injuring 70 others, and Kenya too felt victim of terror attack from Alshaba on the 28 September 2013 killing more than 68 and injuring hundreds. Somaliland is at forefront in eradicating terrorism from the region and was saddened at the loss of life taken senselessly and condemned to strongest term.

In conclusion, the people of Somaliland are grateful for the assistance they have received from successive British governments. That assistance aided Somaliland to strengthen the democracy and security, and Without the British support it would not have been possible to have gone through four elections successfully. With the damning views by FO on Somaliland that I succinctly explained, I will kindly request to send a fact finding mission to Somaliland to look into the appropriateness of approximation of the Foreign Office’s shortcoming security warning on Somaliland pertaining to the level of threat Somaliland exposed to terrorism. Evidence point out as argued to be disproportionate. Finally, I hope this letter will endow you with an opportunity to review the Foreign Office security view on Somaliland.

Thank you and look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Ahmed Abdi Isse

An Academic

Email: isseahmed@