Somaliland: The Legal Case for International Recogntion


The Somaliland case for recognition

Somaliland sun-This paper will be discussing some points which are very important to the Case for Somaliland international recognition and International law:
1- Somalialnd 2-The case for Unitary Government, 3- Case for Sovereignty ,4- Montevideo Convention of 1933, are as follows:
5- International legal Framework for sucussion ,6- Rights for Selef determantion ,International law
7- Application of International Law to the secussion of somaliland .8- Recogniton of states in international law,
9- Cretria of international law are somaliland Fullfill 10 -Conculation

About Somaliland
I need to first give you a brief history of country, SomalilandThe Republic of Somaliland re-asserted its sovereignty in May 1991 after a thirty year union with neighbouring Somalia which culminated in a long civil war and genocidal attacks on the people of Somaliland. Somaliland is not a region which has seceded from a country, but is a state, which was, for a brief period in 1960 an independent country known as the STATE OF SOMALILAND but hastily united voluntarily with another state (Somalia) and then ended that union, albeit unilaterally, in 1991.
Reduced to a practical level, “recognition is an authoritative statement issued by competent foreign policy decision-makers in a country so as to signal the willingness of their state to treat with a new state or to accept that factual or legal consequences flow from a new situation”. Despite the traditional international law debates of whether recognition was declaratory in nature or constitutive and the allied criteria for statehood, these no longer mark the most salient dividing line in the law of recognition and

“rather, the critical tension in recognition law is concentrated along two axes, in ways related to the traditional debate but distinct from it: first, along the axis between recognition conceived as a legal act and recognition conceived as a political act; and second, along an axis between a collective and a unilateral process of recognition.” (Grant T.D (1999) The Recognition of States Law and Practice in Debate and Evolution, Praeger, Westport, Conn., page xx.)
I also need to explain that Somaliland’s existence as an Independent State is a historical fact that dates back to 1884 when our people signed Treaties of Protection with Great Britain and become ‘British Somaliland Protectorate’ At a time when most other countries in Africa were Colonies.
After many years of harmonious association with Great Britain, during which period our people fought alongside Great Britain in the two World Wars, we achieved a negotiated Independence from Great Britain on the 26th June 1960, thus earning my country an early place among the very few independent countries in Africa that were fully sovereign and free from colonial bondage. Somaliland is former british protectarate ,it gained indepedent in 1960 and was recognized as idepedent state.
The day after independence, Somaliland becomes recognized by 34 UN Member States, including the five permanent Members of the Security Council, and I am proud to report that Somaliland became the first independent Somali State to gain membership of the United Nations.
Somaliland Goverment : Somaliland has strong goverment
Effective government
• Somaliland has a central government which exercises effective control over the majority of its territory. It has held internationally recognised free and fair election, most recently in June 2010, and has effective government institutions including a constitution approved by a popular vote, a democratically elected President, national parliament, local governments, and an independent judiciary.
The Respective Roles of the two Houses parlemant
The Somaliland House of Representatives is described in Article 39 the Constitution as “the first part of the country’s legislature, passing laws and approving and overseeing the general political situation and the direction of the country”. The powers of the House of Representative are set out in Article 53, 54 and 55 of the Constitution and can be summarised under the following headings:
Legislation: To pass all legislation, together with the House of Elders, but exclusively in respect of all financial laws.
Finances, taxation, and oversight of the budget and financial accounts of the State.
Presidential Appointments: To approve all the presidential appointments set out in the Constitution.
Oversight of Government Policies/actions: To debate, comment on and approve the Government plan and programme; give advice and recommendations to the Government about the general direction of its policies.
Powers to summon ministers or officials as part of their oversight of executive action.
Ratification of international agreements.
Decisions about state of emergency.
Impeachment powers.
Peace and stabilty in region : Peace in Somaliland
aftermath of SNM War againist Siyad batreThe peace and stability that are enjoyed in Somaliland today have been hard won and have been achieved through the sheer determination of its people and its elders. Unlike peace conferences in other parts of Africa, peace was brokered in Somaliland entirely on the initiative and with the resources of its people.
Judicairy system
Somaliland had its own judicial system headed by High Court at Hargeisa until 1960. On independence, as the short lived State of Somaliland,
Somaliland Democracy
The democratization process in Somaliland continues to move forward showing signs of strength and stability. The people of Somaliland have, in the span of decade managed to successfully implement five free and fair elections (two Local Council Elections in December 2002 and November 2012, the Presidential elections in April 2003 and June 2010, and a Parliamentary Election in September 2005). The National Electoral Commission (NEC) of Somaliland, in conjunction with roles played by the civil society, the media, security, the political parties, the international community, and especially the people of Somaliland has during these elections gained important experience and is now in a strategic position to solidly ground the democratization process in Somaliland through the up-coming elections.
Somaliland political party
The success of these upcoming elections will be an important milestone in the Somaliland’s march towards the creation of a democratic society. It will also demonstrate the deep commitment to change. While these elections are very important to the people of Somaliland, the elections will also demonstrate to the larger Somali region, the path that can be taken to democracy.
Three political party are Somaliland are Kulmiye ,Ucid and Wadani …..
The case for Unitary Government
is based on the real-life experience of the people of Somaliland who have suffered injustice, oppression, and genocide as a result of the hasty union they entered into with another country, Somalia, whose people had a different culture, different colonial past, different system of administration, different life-styles, different trading partners, and had even indifferent local foods. In Somaliland, we spoke one language, while in Somalia they spoke several different languages and dialects. In short, Somaliland and Somalia were two countries whose many differences far outnumbered the similarities that had made them want to unite in the first place.
Because of these differences, conflict between Somaliland and Somalia was inevitable and became apparent very soon after union. It was aggravated further when the capital was moved to Mogadishu, taking with it the economy and everything else that mattered to the people of Somaliland.
Our schools, hospitals, and other public services gradually lost importance or became totally shut down. This led to the discontentment and eventually to open hostility. The disappointment of the people was such that it prompted the Sand Hurst-trained Army Officers of Somaliland to attempt a Military Coup d’Etat as early as December 19961, to separate the two countries. Regretfully, the Coup failed and over the years that followed, generated even more hostility and punitive measures against the people of Somaliland.
The conflict between the people of Somaliland and the government of Somalia worsened and culminated into an all out war. By 1988, the government of Somalia resorted to the aerial bombardment of the major cities of Somaliland, and indiscriminately killed the inhabitants, destroyed civilian dwellings, schools, hospitals, and mosques. The report of the American Human Rights Watch described the brutality they witnessed as ‘A Government at war with its own people’.
To escape the carnage, over half a million of our people became internally displaced, and an additional million sought refuge in neighboring countries. Others fled to wherever else they could find asylum, some crossing the entire African continent to reach the shores of West Africa.
Finally by 1991, Somaliland was free again and its people began to rebuild the country . They have been extraordinarily successful in doing so as I will shortly recount, but it is important to appreciate that this reconstruction, and Somaliland’s political maturity, have been achieved without the external recognition on which nearly all other nations under the sun expect and receive. Somaliland’s lack of recognition means that we cannot receive more than a few crumbs from the table to international community. We receive no assistance from the World Bank, No aid from international agencies; only a few international NGOs are present in Somaliland. Yet, we look after all our. We are indeed in all respect the envy of many African countries.
The state of Somaliland fulfilled the all conditions of statehood and still not recognized by one country of the international community, Somaliland declared its unilateral independence from Somalia in 1991 and Somaliland grassroots voted 97% to be an independent state, on the other hand many other countries who were declared their independence after Somaliland have been recognized such as Eritrea which seceded from Ethiopia in 1993, South Sudan from Sudan in 2011 although the African Union claimed the Colonial borders should not be changed and respected as it was but Eritrea and South Sudan get international recognition,also Kosovo, East Timor and many other former Soviet Union countries gained official recognition.
The Reality that is Somaliland today.
The generally accepted criteria for statehood, as laid down by the Montevideo Convention of 1933, are as follows:
The generally accepted criteria for statehood, as laid down by the Montevideo Convention of 1933, are as follows:
A- Permanent population
B- Define territory
C- Government that controls most of the country
D- Capacity to enter into relations with other states.
Case for Sovereignty
Somaliland claim of sovereignty and 25 years’ practice of independence suffer from lack of proper information, pervasive misunderstanding, and anxiety of opening up a Pandora’s Box. Considering objectively Somaliland’s case for sovereignty and diplomatic recognition dispels these problems.
Somaliland’s claim for independence is based primarily on historical title:
o As a British Protectorate, it had a colonial history different from that of the former Italian colony of Somalia;
o It attained independence from Britain in 1960 before it voluntarily entered into the failed union with Somalia;
o The universal referendum of the Somaliland citizens affirmed by an overwhelming majority (over 97%) Somaliland’s decision to reclaim its independence.
sl lawBritain granted and recognized the independence of Somaliland in 1960 before Somaliland opted as a sovereign nation for unification with Somalia—Somaliland like other countries (Egypt and Syria, Senegal and Mali, Senegal and Gambia for instance) should be allowed to opt out of the failed union
Somaliland’s independence restores the colonial borders of the former British Protectorate of Somaliland and therefore does not violate the OAU Charter or the Consultative Act of the African Union principle that former colonial borders should be maintained upon independence.
The validity of the 1960 Act of Union was deeply flawed;
o In June 1960, representatives from Somaliland and Somalia each signed different Acts of Union agreeing to different terms of unification,
o The official Act of Union was passed retrospectively in January 1961 by the new National Assembly in which Somalia was overrepresented;
o In the referendum of the new Constitution of the Somali State held in June 1961, the Somaliland population did not vote due to discontent with its intent, method, and management. Only less than 17% turned out and an overwhelming majority of them voted against the so-called Act of Union.
The unification of Somaliland and Somalia failed to meet domestic or international legal standards for treaty formation; the Act of Union falls short of the Vienna Convention’s legal requirements for a valid international treaty.
Montevideo Convention of 1933, are as follows:
dear Friends , there is broad consensus within the international community that Somaliland fulfils all these requirements.
A) – Permanent Population
There is no minimum requirement for population. Somaliland’s population is estimated at approximately 4 million which ranks Somaliland above 80 countries in the World.
B) – Defined Territory
the Constituion of somaliland say :Territory of Somaliland
2. (1) The territory of Somaliland shall be all that territory which on the commencement of this Constitution, is comprised in Her Britannic Majesty’s Protectorate of Somaliland.
The territory of Somaliland is defined by the borders of the former British Somaliland Protectorate, which are defined by the following international treaties:
• The Anglo-French Treaty of 1888
• The Anglo-Italian Protocol of 1894
• The Anglo-Ethiopian Treaty of 1897
The borders of Somaliland were confirmed and demarcated again by the British in 1935 and 1957.
The frontiers of Somaliland encompass an area of 137,600 square kilometers with 850 kilometers of coastline, ranking Somaliland ahead of many African States.
C – Government
A State requires a government that functions as a political body within the law of the land. In the case of Somaliland, it has possessed such a government since 1991that has maintained the stability of the country to this day. Somaliland’s Constitution was approved in May 2001 through a popular referendum that won support from over 97% of the 850,000 people who voted.
D) – Capacity to enter into Relations with other States.
The capacity of a State to enter into relations with others States is a function of independence. A government must not be subject to authority of another state in its handling of its foreign affairs in order to pass this test, Despite its unrecognised status, Somaliland has entered into informal and formal relationships with a number of other states, including the United Kingdom, Sweden, the United States, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya. It has also achieved de facto recognition from a number of other nations around the world.
International legal Framework for sucussion .
international law does not grant sub-state entities agenral right to secede their present states nor does it prohibit secession ,exception to this supposed neutrality arise from the international legal principle of integrity and self deternation defining ,these exceptions is diffcult ,however ,beocuse termintion defiing these exceptions is diffrent ,how ever ,becouse territorial integrity and self determantion are legally ambigous terms for instance ,some scholars argue that territorial integrity merly safe quards the inviolaabilty of international borders but does not regulate an internal affairs such as secession other claim that territory of the state .
the principle of the self determantion similarly lends its self to restrict or expansive interpretaing .some argue that self determantion only allows for the creation of new states in context of deconcilzation ,many others scholars asserts that right of self determantion legally entities people subject to extreme perssecution to remedy their situation through secessuion , most agree that difinition of people with collection right to self determantion is unclear .
International law
in language echoed by the international convent on civil and political right (ICCPR). & international convennat on economic ,social &cultral right (ICESCR),the declarion aseerts that .
all people have right of self determantion ,by virute of right their freely determantion their political statues and freely pursue thier economic ,social and cultural development .

in parctice the excerice of this through the process of deconloztion especaily in africa , result in ethinacally heterognous states corresponding to colnial forinties or former colonial adminstarion boundries model after the process of decolozation in latin america the creation of state using preexisting colonial boundaries .
often refcured to as uti possidits recired the support of the ofganztion of africa unity (oau).in 1964 .the OAU ( now AU) continues to insist that the members statesof which somalia is one respect the borders existing on their achivment .
the right of self determantion did not cease to exist ,however with the effective completion of deconcilation ,many edcholars insist that right to remedial secession exists ,the nation of remedial secession for people subject to exterme porsection or unable to internally realize their right to self determantion .
thus theory postulates that if gruop fill victim to serious breaches of fundamantal human and civil right thorugh the abuse of soveign power ,them international law recognizes the right of affilacted group to seceede form the offending .
the lagal seources for the right derive perimarly form UN general Assemply (GA) resolution ,although Earler sources form the inter -war period exist .
All peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.
All peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.
The inclusion of the right to self-determination in the International Covenants on Human Rights and in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, referred to above, emphasizes that self-determination is an integral part of human rights law which has a universal application. At the same time, it is recognized that compliance with the right of self-determination is a fundamental condition for the enjoyment of other human rights and fundamental freedoms, be they civil, political, economic, social or cultural
Application of International Law to the secussion of somaliland .
whether the legal doctrines just descibed entile somaliland to secede form somalia requires a three part analysis frist self determantion is only available to people under international law ,the obviuor quations ,their fore is whether the in habitants of somaliland are people , i argue that they are next i explore wherther self determantion allowes somaliland to secede anin instance of deconcilation ,in other words ,did not somaliland reatian right to secede due to the invalidity of act of union with itialian somalia .
i argue that it did and finaly can somaliland remedey its inabilty to excerise internal self determantion though secession ? i argue that it can.
Recogniton of states in international law.
princile of recognintion of states to recognize acommunity as states is no declare that fullfill condition of states hood as requaried by international law .
if these condition are present existing states are under the duty to grant recogntion . in the absence of international organ compltent to aseertain and auther itativally to declare the presence of requirment of full international personality states already estabilshed fullfill that the functions in their capacity as organs of international law in this acting acting they adminstion the law of nations .
this rule of law signititues that in granting or with holding recogntion states don not claim and are not entitled to serve excutivily the interst of their national polcity and convenience regardless of the principles of international law in ther matter .
although recogntion in this decaltory of an existing fact such declation ,made in impartial recogntion states and the new community of international right and duties assocatied with full state hood ,perior to recognition such right and oblibation exist only to the extent to which they have been expressly conceeded or legitamtliy assert by reference of complelling rules of humanity and justice ,either by the existing members of recogntion .

Cretaira of international law are Somaliland Fullfill
it is sufficient for me to re-assert that Somaliland’s Unitary Government can be considered a miracle and a rare African success story that need to be given full credit. Undermining the achievements of Somaliland sadly would also undermine the goals that are the promote peace, stability and good governance in Africa.
The right to self-determination, enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations “UN” and International Covenants of Human Rights, states that “All people have the right of self-determination” and that by virtue of that right they are free to determine their political status to pursue their economic, social and cultural development.
Conclution :
Somaliland has right to recognize as State but the question where is international community ,are protecting for International law which govermning the right of world people and their goverment , I hope that I have been able to show what lessons the rest of Africa can learn from the story of Somaliland on the topic of the Federation, ethnicity and Unitary Government.
its true there is no answer about somaliland for the case for International Recognition , i hope as Soon as possible will answer for African union and IGAd and EU & UN also America , We hope to protect the right people
I hope that I have been able to show what lessons the rest of Africa can learn from the story of Somaliland on the topic of the Federation, ethnicity and Unitary Government.
In the late 1800s, the Somali- inhabited lands of the Horn of Africa were parceled out in the crudest and most insensitive way. As a result, the excitement of independence of Somaliland in 1960 ,combined with the desire to fulfill the ‘Greater Somalia’ ambitions that our people had at that time and which was intended to precede the Pan-African dream of that period, produced a major catastrophe for our people. It led to the death of that dream and the only period of peace and development we have enjoyed since is since our separation from Somalia in 1991.

The Union with Somalia never worked in the same way that federalism failed elsewhere. In the United States, its Act of union led a century later to a civil war with enormous loss of life and scars that are still visible to this day. In Europe, Germany’s unification under Bismark in 1870 attempted to contain and control dynamic forces which exploded not once but twice in global conflict in 1914 and 1939.
In Africa, there are many examples of the consequences of federalism, which have caused wars to erupt that often reverse the economic progress our people are entitled to have. These situations are too current and painful for all of us and I will not take up more of your time to enunciate individual cases.
Independence and sovereignty for Somaliland is a reality with no turning back the clock. Union with another country only resulted in death for our people and destruction for our country Somaliland. Going our separate ways is what has worked for us. Going back into chaos is Unthinkable.
What remains now are for the international community to come to terms with that reality and to arrive at the only possible and just conclusion:

Recognition of Somaliland as rightful member of the world community of nations.

Thank you very much
Director For legal Affairs
MR: Rajab Ismail Salah ___________
252-63- 4416899
Minsitry foreign Affairs ,Somaliland