Somalilandsun – In its heydays as the international community’s democratization darling Somaliland was both a regular host and participants at world forums .
Touting it as a model of successful democratization process for a fledgling yet unrecognized country coming out civil war, the IC was to be heard championing the Somaliland success as a model worthy of emulating by other regional and Africa countries.
But in the recent past Somaliland has not only been very absent from these democratization forums but a regular victim of condemnations from the international community courtesy of frequent election delays.
This diplomatic downturn has not only resulted in Somaliland losing credibility internationally but grievously injured its quest for international recognition as a sovereign nation.
The dramatic turn of events that has seen the international community not only fail to hold democracy oriented events in Somaliland, but refuse to invite it to similar held elsewhere as well in addition to failure to mention it at these forums ensued from earlier in mid 2015 following postponed presidential elections and subsequent tenure extension for the Silanyo administration.
The delay March 2015 elections that were heralded as the first in Somaliland which shall combine both the presidential and parliamentary ones also ensued not only with Silanyo tenure extension but separation of the two ballots.
Though the delay and subsequent tenure extension of presidential election and term was irking to the International community partnering the Somaliland democratization process what was most flabbergasting pertained to that of the legislature that ended ensuring and legalizing an 11 years illegal tenure
So apart from a number of condemnation statements issued jointly by the IC members partnering the country’s democratization what has been the fallout with specific bodies or governments
During past reports to the UNSC, Somaliland though included as part of Somalia usually received glowing mention as pertains its democratization
While not alluding to or showing any interest in the Somaliland quest for international recognition the UNSC was known to have regularly commended citizens and government of Somaliland for the successful democratization process termed as worthy of emulation by most in the third world.
But from mid 2015 and following postponed elections things took an about-turn thus democratization commendation turned to condemnation within the world body.
In the latest and his first report on Somalia and Somaliland to the UNSC the new Secretary General Antonio Guterres termed the regular presidential and parliamentary elections delays as destructive to the democratization process.
Raising alarm on this downturn from successful to dying, the UN chief said he was fearful that prevalent status is steadily eroding the promise of increased credibility that Somaliland held internationally”
According to Antonio Guterres it was imperative that all stakeholders in Somaliland come up with strategies to ensure that the democratization process is revived through a revised ballot timetable acceptable to all.
The European continental body which has been in the forefront of finding the Somaliland democratization process is according to its envoy for Somalia and Somalia Ambassador Veronique Lorenzo deeply disappointed.
“The decision taken by the government of Somaliland to not only postponement presidential elections, extend presidential tenure as well as separate parliamentary polls is very disheartening” The EU envoy told the nation newspaper during an interview in Nairobi.
According to Amb Veronique Lorenzo most disappointing was the further delay until 2018 of parliamentary elections thus an accumulated 11 years illegal tenure for legislators in Somaliland.
“Unless a rethink the ballot delays reflect negatively on the Somaliland democratization process says Amb Lorenzo who is the first female EU Envoy to occupy this office she took over from predecessor Michelle Cervone.
The EU together with a number of its members are major financiers to the Somaliland democratization process since inception in 2002,
Most disappointed internationally is the government of the United Kingdom which shares a centuries old history with Somaliland this country having been under protectorate
Even after granting Somaliland independence in 1960 as well as duration of its former colony’s union with Somalia now defunct and reclamation of sovereignty in 1991 till recently Britain has always had an affinity.
But this changed immediately the mid 2015 elections were postponed with the U.K. signing and issuing condemnation statements on behalf of other IC partners.
Then earlier in the year in Hargeisa the deputy U.K. Envoy to Somalia and Somaliland Andrew Allen told a group of journalists that the postponed elections and tenure extensions are ill boding for the prestige of Somaliland internationally
“Your country’s democratization process was a shining example for the region” said Andrew Allen who without mincing words cautioned that further delays will result in very negative implications.
Somaliland democratization Steering Committee
While the displeasure from the very many quarters internationally are ill boding most severe repercussions for Somaliland shall be felt if its democratization steering committee composed of membership including Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, the U.K. , USA and EU decamp.
In 2017 alone this committee issued two very recriminatory statements following the second postponement of presidential elections on which they not not urged for a reversal but warned of dire consequences in lieu as well.
Being major donors to the democratization process this site is a major negative impact to the country now at the doldrums of losing it prestige as a bastion of democracy in the hon and entire Africa as well.
In the meantime as if if we are all blind and deaf the administration is persistent in its claims that its international relations are not only apt but at its best heights ever, though we all know otherwise
While boasting of enhanced international relations the administration is finding it hard to explain absence of over 50% from the election budget the donor partners having withdrawn their support .
Not only are elections coffers almost dried out but the hefty DP Somaliland development fund has discernibly reduced its development projects for similar reasons , disaffection from the donor community
In reminiscence the IC partners made the multimillion SDF kitty possible after confidence in the democratization process following the successful 2010 presidential elections that ensued with a peaceful handover from then incumbent UDUB party administration of Rayale to current Kulmiye one of Silanyo
So why not reciprocate? For the good of the country
An original analysis of Geeska Afrika translated by Somalilandsun