As the Somaliland head of state condemns an IGAD communique lumping his country with Somalia at a dinner he hosted for the national recognition committee in Hargeisa
By: Yusuf M Hasan
The Government of Somaliland shall soon dispatch diplomats to the African Union headquarters and some of its members states as pertains agitation for international recognition of its Sovereignty
This was disclosed at a dinner party cum consultation meeting president Ahmed Mohamed Mahmoud Silanyo hosted for the national recognition committee at the presidency in Hargeisa.
President Silanyo who stressed on the independence of Somaliland which he termed as not only non negotiable but irrevocable as well, also took issue with the IGAD leaders communique released after meeting in Mogadishu in which his 25 years self ruling country was termed as a region of Somalia thus under Somalia federal Government authority.
“We hereby affirm to the international community that nobody in Mogadishu, now or in the future represents Somaliland” said president Silanyo adding that continued denial of his country’s sovereignty and self-rule is a miscalculation through ignorance by the international community .
Either by design or coincidence the foreign policy consultation meeting at the Somaliland presidency in Hargeisa came on the eve of a communique by IGAD leaders in Mogadishu where the regional body’s 28th annual conference stated that Somaliland was a regional administration of Somalia thence obligated fully participated in October elections just as other regions like Jubaland, Puntland,and Galmudug etc.
Other speakers at the party cum consultation meeting hosted for the national recognition committee by president Silanyo in Hargeisa included Minister of foreign affairs Dr Saad Ali Shire, Ms Edna Aden Ismail, UCID party leader Eng Feisal Ali Warabe,1st and 2nd deputy speakers of parliament Bashe Mohamed Farah and Said Jama Ali.
Read below verbatim excerpts of The full speech by president Silanyo at his meet with Somaliland National recognition committee and availed by the presidential press office
Ladies and gentlemen,
“As we are aware today the 13th September 2016 the annual one day IGAD heads of state meeting hosted by Somalia concluded in Mogadishu. We the Government and people of the Republic of Somaliland highly support the holding of such an important meeting in Mogadishu which we perceive as heroic quest to restore peace and security as well as establish a countrywide people’s leadership in Somalia by the African Union and international community at large.
In this respect, we in Somaliland are not only ready but prepared as well in giving a hand towards the efforts by the International Community and AU to reconcile and restore peace between our warring brothers and sisters in Somalia. For it is our national belief that a secure and peaceful neighbour is to the interest of our people and country which facts can ascertain are ripe and have established after successful reconciliation peaceful co-existence, thence our desire for similar peace and development for our neighbours.
Despite our desire for peace in Somalia and readiness to help in any way as well as support for concerted international efforts, I take this opportunity to condemn some articles of the Communiqué by IGAD leaders in Mogadishu that pertains to the unity of Somalia. We perceive this article terming Somaliland as a self ruling region of Somalia as not only a lie but misconception of facts based misinformation thus far from facts and the reality on the ground.
So, once again, let me reiterate and confirm to the world that Somaliland is a free, independent and sovereign country and not as misconstrued a region of Somalia under administration by the Somalia federal Government in Mogadishu.
To this effect we wish to inform the International Community that nobody based in Mogadishu has the authority to act on behalf of Somaliland.
For Somalilanders who are solely represented by representatives elected through free and fair elections, perceive any assertion to the said by the International Community, as a clear and flagrant usurping of not only their country’s successful democratization but denial of recognition for existing structures of governance (parliament and Government)
Ladies and gentlemen,
I hereby confirm to the African Union, European Union, IGAD, USA, Arab League, Islamic Countries Organization and all member states of the United Nations the following undisputable facts:
1. The republic of Somaliland, a former British protectorate is a country with a history that dates from 1887 when its current international were demarcated by the trio of Great Britain, Ethiopia and Italy.
2. Somaliland has been a sovereign country since 26th June 1960 when it was granted independence by Britain. On the 1st of July 1960 Somaliland entered a voluntary Union with Somalia a former Italian colony.
3. Somaliland entered into this voluntary Union and later withdrew just like some African countries, i.e.
a. Egypt and Syria in 1958 and withdrawing in 196;
b. French Sudan and Senegal in 1960 and dissolved same year;
c. Senegal and Gambia of 1981 and dissolved in 1989.
4. In the 1961 referendum 53% of Somaliland citizens rejected Union with Somalia to form the republic of Somalia.
5. Again in 1961 military officers in Hargeisa staged a coup in a bid to unfortunately unsuccessful to forcefully withdraw from the Union with Italian Somalia.
6. For 25 years since Somaliland withdrew from Union with Somalia it has never participated in any conferences reconciling the Neighbouring country and today, Somaliland and its people shall not be part of participants of the ongoing Government building process.
7. Somaliland neither being a regional administration of Somalia federal Government nor a signatory to the Road Map for building Government structures in the Neighbouring country.
8. As a result of a consensus reached by traditional leaders in 1991, Somaliland withdrew from its Union with Somalia and reclaimed its sovereignty during a broad national conference held in Burao City.
9. For Somaliland citizens their quest for withdrawal from the Union with Somalia and subsequent sovereignty has been manifested on various occasions; notably: in 2016 when over one million Somalilanders signed a petition calling for the international community to recognize their country and in the 2001 referendum in which 97.7% of the population votes for withdrawal from Union with Somalia.
10. Somaliland has fulfilled all conditions and criteria’s set for statehood, namely democratically elected Government and parliament, international boundaries, national currency and Flag among others.
11. The sovereignty of Somaliland is irrevocable and non negotiable for whatever reasons and at any time ever, least of reunion with Somalia.
All the above are clear indicators to the much ignored fact that the independence and very being of Somaliland is not built or based on dreams but ones that testify to the determination of citizens thus requiring respect and reciprocation by all stakeholders. We therefore urge the International Community to finally come to gears with these facts and accord Somaliland citizens their legal and human rights to a fully recognized self ruling country.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The sovereignty and nationhood of Somaliland is also an important prerequisite to peace, security, democratization, trade and development in the Horn Africa region. We therefore urge the AU, IGAD and International Community in general to review their stance on Somaliland, include its quest for recognition in all agendas for their future meetings.
We also urge these International and Regional Bodies to sent fact finding missions to Somaliland in order to ascertain first hand wishes of citizens rather than rely on false information. For this will ensure that future communiqués are based on factual information thus acceptable to all.
Finally ladies and gentlemen,
I hereby urge citizens of Somaliland both at home and in abroad:
1) To unite for the sake of protecting and advancing their country’s nationhood and sovereignty.
2) To raise their voices in support of recognition at big and small forums worldwide.”
I’m Hussein Aden Igeh (Hussein Deyr)
Somaliland Presidential Spokesman,
within 48 hours of this meeting and a day after a meeting in Hargeisa between a visiting British diplomatic mission and President Silanyo the UK Embassy, on behalf of the Somaliland democratization support committee, released a statement castigating the postpobe ment of parliamentary elections while warning of its negative implications internationally. Editor