Somaliland is Fast Becoming a Model of Democracy in Africa-US Rep Chris Smith


Somalilandsun: Somaliland held her seventh muliparty elections on the 31st May 2021.

“1 congratulate the people of Somaliland for holding successful parliamentary and counsel
elections. Somaliland is fast becoming a democratic model not only for Somalia and the Horn, but for all of Africa.”

The congratulatory message was from Rep Chris Smith who is Ranking Member of the House Subcommittee on Africa and co-chair of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, wrote

The polls to first ever combine parliamentary and local Councils  in which Opposition parties  UCID and Wadani won sufficient seats to dislodge ruling Kulmiye party from political power dominance have been hailed as free, fair and credible

The acclaim  was by the  over 100 international monitors including European union and member countries diplomats, and prominent African persomalities including a former president.

But conscipciously absent among the excellencies was a single US representative, an anomaly that is yet to be ascertained

The state department was rescued by  Rep Chris Henry Smith a Republican who is  serving his 21st term as the U.S. Representative for New Jersey’s 4th congressional district.

Smith added, “While the international community has yet to recognize Somaliland as an
independent state, by putting into practice consistent respect for civil and political rights as articulated in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights -including importantly, Articles 18 and 19 – Somaliland will demonstrate to the world it deserves recognition. The United States government should engage substantively with Somaliland, as the United Kingdom and a number of European countries have, and African nations such as Kenya. Congress can lead the way in that regard by including a visit to Hargeisa and meeting publicly with Somaliland parliamentarians on any trips to the Horn of Africa.”
Somaliland is a de facto autonomous State located in the Horn of Africa and an island of calm
amid warlord-ridden Somalia, although Somalia’s government in Mogadishu claims de jure sovereignty over what it regards as a breakaway region.

While a number of past Horn Arica diplomats have “Regretted not pushing for the recognition of Somaliland ”   like former Bush administration assistant secretary for Africa, Rep Smith fist of serving officials has clout on US foreign policy directions thence the significance of hisattention to Somaliland.

Somaliland is Fast Becoming an African Model of Democracy-US Rep Chris Smith
Rep Chris Smith congratulates a successful #SomalilandElections2021w

According to Michael Rubin it is imperative that the Biden adminstration change back to the Dual Track policy in which Washington dealt with Somali and Somaliland separately less recognition.

Perhaps the State Department feels that to recognize democracy in Somaliland or to set foot in the region would somehow imbue it with formal recognition

Rather, the issue comes down to neglect and disinterest and perhaps Yamamoto’s own hostility, something about which many other diplomats stationed in Somalia now comment

Says Rubin  a Somaliland-Somalia and Horn Arica foreing policy in the US context in a comnetary State Department is AWOL in Somaliland elections

Full statement by Rep Chris Smith

Somaliland is Fast Becoming a Democratic Model-US Rep Chris Smith
Somaliland is Fast Becoming a Democratic Model-US Rep Chris Smith