Somalilandsun: The Republic of Somaliland is a successor state to the former British Somaliland protectorate. The country, located between Dijibouti in the North, Ethiopia on the East and Somalia in the South, has been advancing its cause for international
recognition in the last decade.
From the 23th-24th of November 2020, members of civil society, political organizations and trade unions of South Africa gathered in Sandton to discuss the issue of and the strengthening of the relations with the people of Somaliland.
The Organizations which participated in the conference were the ANC, SACP, COSATU, NEHAWU, #Africa4Palestine, FOCUS, Communist Party of Swaziland, Communist Party of Zimbabwe, PUDEMO as well as academics, members of the media, opinion makers and others.
The conference was addressed by amongst others, the Somaliland’s Minister of Finance Dr Saad Ali Shire, Ambassador of Somaliland Ahmed Jama Shir, South African intellectual Professor Iqbal Jhazbhay and the 1st Deputy General Secretary of the South African Communist Party Cde Solly Mapaila.
Somaliland is a successor state to the former British Somaliland protectorate. The country, located between Dijibouti in the North, Ethiopia on the East and Somalia in the South, has been advancing its cause for international recognition in the last decade.
The African Union’s Charter and resolutions allow for the self-determination of Somaliland and the AU therefore should be recognising and supporting the people and government of Somaliland.
Furthermore, we call on SADC countries to, with immediate effect, re-establish and normalise relations with Somaliland. We specifically call on the South African government to reinstate full relations including allowing entry into our Republic of persons carrying a Somaliland passports.
It is shameful that South Africa has failed to continue recognising the Somaliland passport given that other countries including the USA, UK, Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti and many others allow the passport to be used upon entry to their countries. Consequently we are failing the people of Somaliland who want to trade, study-in and travel to our country.
The conference adopted three primary goals:
1. Trade and Investment Conference for 2021
Southern African business as well relevant bodies within the public sector will be engaged in the coming months and a trade & investment conference will be held in the first quarter of 2021. The purpose would be to showcase business, trade and investment opportunities in Somaliland and the region. Such a conference will also seek to attract possible investment in South Africa by the visiting delegations.
2. Political Engagement
A task team will be established to start engagements with the leadership of the Alliance and other progressive political parties with the intention of advancing certain issues with the Government of South Africa, the Southern African Development Community and eventually within the African Union and its Pan African Parliament.
3. Establishment of Solidarity
The people of Somaliland have expressed the need to establish a solidarity movement in Southern Africa. Consequently, the conference has agreed to establish a Somaliland Action Group that will be responsible for creating further awareness in our communities. In addition, the Somaliland Action Group will actively increase people to people relations.
The group will work with existing organizations that work on international solidarity such
as Friends of Cuba Society (Focus), #Africa4Palestine, Western Sahara Solidarity Group, South African Solidarity Union for Venezuela (SASUVE) and the Swaziland Solidarity Network. South Africa and Southern Africa has been at the forefront of both giving and receiving international solidarity, as the former President of Mozambique has explained: “Solidarity is an assertion that no people is alone, no people is isolated in the struggle for progress. Solidarity is the conscious alliance of the progressive and peace-loving
revolutionary forces against exploitation of human by human. International solidarity is not an act of charity: it is an act of unity between allies fighting on different terrains toward the same objectives.
The foremost of these objectives is to assist in the development of humanity to the highest level possible.”
It is in this spirit of internationalism that we convened in and that we call all progressive organizations and peace loving peoples of our country, region and continent to mobilising in support of the people of Somaliland and a more prosperous continent.