the State of Somaliland immediately received congratulatory telegrams from 35 countries, including all five permanent members of the UN Security Council welcoming its sovereignty. This was the practice in which recognition was extended to new decolonised states. As an independent state, the State of Somaliland entered into various treaties with the UK.
including Northern Kenya, Italian Somalia, French Somaliland and Eastern Ethiopia.
A legal expert commented that the legal validity of the legislative instruments establishing the union were “questionable”.
. In the majority of the districts in Somaliland the referendum on the constitution held on 20 June 1961 was largely boycotted and, in sharp contrast to the Somalia regions, in the vast majority of Somaliland regions, the constitution was rejected.
with political and military positions being awarded disproportionately to “southern” Somalis. The 1961 an attempted coup by a group of highly qualified Somaliland military officers was an indication of the disenchantment with the union that Somaliland had entered into.
marked by widespread human right abuses. the Somali National Movement (SNM) in 1981.
In response to growing opposition, the Barre regime waged a targeted war on the north (Somaliland), killing an estimated 50,000 civilians and displacing an estimated 500,000 people. Northern towns such as Hargeisa and Burao were shelled and bombed. Government forces also laid over a million unmarked land mines in the north. Human Rights Watch described the Barre regime as “a government at war with its people”.
Groups in Mogadishu initially attempted to form their own governments without any consultation and the country sank into a state of anarchy.
Leaders of the SNM and elders of northern (Somaliland) clans met at the ‘Grand Conference of the Northern Peoples’ in Burao. The Union with Somalia was revoked and the territory of the State of Somaliland (based on the borders of the former British Somaliland Protectorate) became the Republic of Somaliland.
. After a long period of persecution of the majority of the Somaliland population the people of Somaliland withdrew from the union their representatives had voluntarily entered in 1960.
, in tandem with state building and national governance. It is the understanding arrived at in these meetings that have enabled Somaliland to establish peace and national governance.
. On 31 May 2001, 97.9% of Somaliland’s population voted in favour of the new constitution in a referendum endorsed by international observers as free and fair.
establishes the separation of power between the three arms of government, balances representative democracy with traditional governance institutions, ensures the existence of active opposition political parties, a free and pluralistic media and fundamental human rights and freedoms.
International and local observers have stated that all these elections were free and on the whole fair. In both cases the losing side accepted the outcome gracefully.
Somaliland has not been a party to the recent changes in Somalia and has agreed to enter into discussions with the new Somalia government with a view to reaching amicable agreements on future co-operation between the two independent states and the settlement of all outstanding issues of joint concern.