New York, 28 May 2016 – Just over a week after Somalilanders at home and abroad celebrated the 25th anniversary of Somaliland reclaiming its independence from Somalia, Somaliland Deputy Foreign Minister Ahmed Aden Ismail Kayse made an official visit to New York to appeal for international recognition of his country.
During meetings with a range of member states and UN agencies, Deputy Minister Kayse explained that Somaliland – a former Protectorate which won its independence from Britain in 1960 – had withdrawn from its voluntary union with Somalia 25 years ago after a costly civil war. In the years since it has built its own peace and a democratic system of governance. The Deputy Foreign Minister met with representatives of countries including Ethiopia, Italy, Russia, France, Djibouti and Turkey, as well as the UN’s Department of Political Affairs
The visit to New York follows in the wake of meetings the Deputy Minister and Somaliland Representative to the US Rashid Nur held in Washington D.C with the US State Department, USAID, and influential congresswoman Rep. Karen Bass
“Recognition of Somaliland as a state would benefit not just Somaliland, but the international community as a whole,” said Deputy Foreign Minister Kayse. “It would allow Somaliland to play an even stronger role in combatting terrorism and piracy and controlling irregular migration, as well as boosting Somaliland’s economic development by providing access to international credits and increased foreign direct investment.”
Somaliland meets all the criteria for statehood under customary international law: a permanent population, a defined territory, a government and the ability to enter into relations with other states. Nonetheless, no state had recognised Somaliland and this denies the Somalilanders their basic right to self-determination. Deputy Minister Kayse also appealed for other countries to share the task of facilitating the Dialogue between Somaliland and Somalia which was initiated following the London Conference on Somalia in 2012. The purpose of the Dialogue is to help clarify the future relations between Somaliland and Somalia.
Deputy Foreign Minister Kayse expressed his country’s gratitude for the development assistance provided by the international community to Somaliland. He asked the UN for more international assistance to help relieve the effects of the drought which had caused serious losses to Somaliland’s livestock industry and cost the lives of some herdsmen and their families.
Speaking at the end of his visit, Deputy Foreign Minister Kayse said “The denial of our people’s right to self-determination for a quarter of a century is a profound injustice. I appeal to the self-interest of the international community to recognise Somaliland as a sovereign state. Doing so will be of lasting benefit to peace and security in the Horn of Africa.”