Cost of Continued Neglect:-
The people of Somaliland waited patiently for over 23 years for African countries and generally the international community to diplomatically recognize Somaliland as a sovereign state by history, legal grounds, and reciprocal interest. The people and their government shall continue to do all they can to attain their legitimate rights by peaceful means, as they have done for nearly a quarter of a century. But there is a national, regional, and international cost of continued neglect of Somaliland’s rights of self-determination and constructive role in the region. Diplomatic recognition allows Somaliland to:
- Obtain direct aid and loans to build on its successes; lack of diplomatic recognition leaves it starved of international assistance, cooperation, and investment
- Participate in the international forums as a legitimate member; lack of participation freezes it as a state with de fact but not de jure state
- Allows one successful model of African conflict resolution and democratic self-governance to thrive; denying recognition longer snuffs it in the bud;
- Contribute peace and co-existence in the region; continued non-recognition not only diminishes this contribution but also threatens the very existence of peaceful and democratic Somaliland.
Given these facts, can the people of Somaliland accept in equanimity the international community’s justice and goodwill?
- When the so-called Government of Somalia that does not control its capital city even with the help of foreign peacekeeping forces enjoys diplomatic recognition, giving its officials unlimited access to the benefits of recognition,
- While Somaliland that effectively controls its territory, successfully practices democracy, and contributes regional peace is kept diplomatically unrecognized and denied participation in the African Union and other organizations.
Lastly, is it not a tragic or laughable irony when:
- The President of Somalia—locked in his palace in Mogadishu, protected by foreign peacekeeping forces—claims to the world, with neither modesty nor shame, that he alone is the sovereign of Somaliland that on its own restored peace, controls its territory, and has governed itself democratically for over 23 years?
Still, since 2012 the Somaliland Government continues to engage in peaceful dialogue with Somalia’s representatives to settle the question of sovereignty in the hope of turning a new chapter of co-existence, mutual respect, and collaboration.
- We shall see if Somalia’s Government controlling only a sliver of its colonially defined territory has the will and wisdom to give up the wish to keep “hostage” the people of Somaliland. The wish finds support neither legally nor objectively but by the diplomatic recognition conferred to it yet denied to Somaliland.
- The Somaliland Government works patiently until the international community sorts out the facts of history and on the ground from the fiction conveniently exploited against its existence and interest