Somaliland: London MPs and Sheffield Councilors to Debate SL Quest or Recognition


Somalilandsun – Following a motion tabbed by Councilor Mohammad Maroof of Sheffield council MPs from London and Sheffield Councilors shall debate has initiated in favour of the recognition of the republic of Somaliland in a debate to be held on the 2nd of April 2014 in Sheffield.

The news of the motion , supported particularly by the local Somaliland communities in Sheffield and UK in general as well as MPs and Councilors from other cities, has been received with great relief and jubilation in Somaliland. Locals in Hargeisa have expressed their happiness “with Britain finally standing-up to the expectations by the people of Somaliland whom it colonized from 1884 to 1960 “.

Background: Somalilanders have been settling in Britain for well over a century. In the 19th century many arrived in Britain as seamen and traders and they settled close to ports such as London, Cardiff and Bristol. After World War Two with labour shortages in Britain many workers and their families came to the UK from overseas. Many Somalis came to Sheffield in the 1940s – 1960s period to work, often in the steel industry. Significantly more settled in the UK during the 1990s as they fled the civil war raging in their country. Most settled in London, however as there were existing communities in Sheffield, many were attracted northwards. Manchester and Leicester were also popular cities in which to settle.(Sheffield.Gov)

Following is a text caption of the motion to be debated on April 2, 2014 at Sheffield Council regarding the British recognition of the republic of Somaliland:

“Notice of Motion Given By Councillor Mohammad Maroof of Sheffield ..

That this Council:

(a) notes that thousands of people from Somaliland live in Sheffield and recognise and appreciate the important contribution they make to the City and the close ties Sheffield has with Somaliland;

(b) supports the Somaliland community in Sheffield and their campaign to have Somaliland recognised as a sovereign state and gain a seat in the UN, with reasons for recognition including:

(i) the Somaliland government believes that recognition would entrench democracy in the Horn of Africa;

(ii) recognising Somaliland will aim to strengthen cooperation in the fight against terrorism, extremism, piracy, illegal fishing, toxic dumping, and other serious crimes; and

(iii) the marketing of Somaliland as a safe tourist destination, primarily cultural and eco-tourism could also emerge as an important segment of the Somaliland economy;

(c) notes that since 1991 Somaliland have had a democratically elected Government and President, in this time there have been 4 elections and changes of president, it looks after international waters with no piracy, it has opposition parties and is not a recipient of international aid;

(d) believes that recognition will help to bring about stability in Somaliland, creating a situation where people can live in peace and harmony with the support of the International Community, and that recognition would bring international banks, jobs and finance;

(e) welcomes the support for this campaign by local MP’s Paul Blomfield and Clive Betts and the work they are doing with the Cross Party Somaliland Group and would encourage other local MP’s to also support this Group; and

(f) calls upon the Government to recognise Somaliland as an independent state and to encourage other Governments around the world to do the same.

Source : Sheffield Democracy