On 16 November at an historic meeting held at the EU headquarter in Brussels chaired by Conservative Development spokesman Nirj Deva MEP, with prominent MEP’s Charles Tannock and James Carver on the Panel together with Sir Desmond de Silva QC the former Chief Prosecutor of a UN sponsored international criminal Court, H.E Saad Ali Shire the Foreign Minister of Somaliland, presented the political and legal case for recognition of Somaliland’s independence.
While Somalia has found itself embroiled in a civil war that has raged on for more than two decades, since declaring independence in 1991 Somaliland has remained peaceful and adhered to every standard of good governance and successful democratic process.
Mr Deva, MEP for the South East of England, said: “For too long we have been blind to the trials, tribulations and concerns of this small country; one that has at every turn striven and struggled to achieve all the hallmarks of a free and democratic society. We should be ashamed that as a body of like-minded states, supposedly dedicated to the ideals of free society, we have proven content to make this someone else’s issue; someone else’s fight.”
H.E Saad Ali Shire said: “Somaliland has established its own currency, founded an effective public sector, set-up both a police force and trained army and held a succession of free and fair elections, ushering in the peaceful and concurrent transition of power.”
In the more than two decades since declaring independence, Somaliland’s sovereignty has yet to be fully recognized by a single international partner, despite the growing global acclaim for what has become a model of stability and good governance.
The eminent international lawyer Sir Desmond de Silva QC, told today’s conference in the European Parliament in Brussels: “Piracy, extremism and rampant crime have seen Somalia facing international sanctions; sanctions which have been unfairly levied to include Somaliland the people of which have to bear the yoke of UN sanctions for which the people of Somaliland are in no way responsible. This is a human rights issue as to whether the people of Somaliland should be penalised for doing no wrong”
“So long as they remain even nominally attached to Somalia, 3.5 million people will continue to suffer the consequences of actions in which they took no part. Where is the justice in that? This is a country that has met every condition of good governance. Yet, if we do not act now, we risk allowing another territory in Africa to slip into being a failed state.”
MEP Charles Tannock made a powerful plea for the recognition of Somaliland as a separate state and MEP James Carver gave the assembled parliamentarians a vivid account of his most recent visit to Somaliland and sang its praises as a properlyfunctioning democratic state that needed to be recognised as such”
Mr Deva concluded: “How can we commend in one moment the worthiness of Somaliland, a nation that has, as a functioning reality, been independent for more than 25 years; an island of stability in one of the most troubled regions of the globe, and yet, when the time comes for sentiment to give way to action, the European Union is nowhere to be found?
“We must find ourselves committed to passing a resolution through the European Parliament, demanding the international community’s attention and recommending that this case be referred to the International Court of Justice.
“We cannot wait for the Commission to act. It must be our responsibility to end the perverse limbo state of independence without recognition. This must be solved, not through politics, but with the law.”
The meeting in Brussels was arranged by The Rt Hon Sir Desmond de Silva QC and hosted by the ECR Group, whose members include different European countries : UK delegation: Robert Taylor;Polish delegation: Katarzyna Ochman;German delegation: Michael Strauss on;Flemish delegation: Yannick Vanderveeren;Danish delegation: Kristian Olesen;Czech delegation: Jan Krelina; Dutch delegation: Maarten Van Der Flierte; Finnish delegation: Otto Juote; Latvian delegation: Karlis Bumeisters. The Ministers proposal for independence was not challenged by any members.
Following the meeting in Brussels Minister Saad Ali Shire met in London with Ambassador Ali Aden Awale, Edna Adan, Sir Desmond de Silva and Ian Fenwick on 19 November to discuss the success of the meeting and strategy on the forthcoming EU Resolution.
Photos supplied with authority to republish.
EU Headquarters Brussels 16 November: L-R; H.E Saad Ali Shire, Somaliland Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nirj Deva MEP, Sir Desmond de Silva, Charles Tannock MEP,
James Carver MEP.
London 19 November: L-R; Amb Ali Aden Awale, Sir Desmond de Silva, Ian Fenwick, H.E Minister Saad Ali Shire.