Prospects for Somaliland Recognition: Challenges and opportunities? Adam M. Jibril


Thirty years elapsed since Somaliland was reborn on 18th May 1991. Following the collapse of the Military regime, significant progress had been achieved with peace building based on reconciliation, state construction based on consensus, democratization based on multi party and traditional arrangements (Hybrid Political and Security Governance) all of which were funded locally. Hence then, the Somaliland public have taken for-granted that the international recognition is only a matter of time to come once they have put their house in order. After thirty years of exertion there is no such high hope regarding recognition. But the ordinary citizen in Somaliland remained to believe in their ability to continue the journey. However, few have clarity of how much the international politics are multifaceted and complex.

On the other hand, the discourse in these days about Somaliland’s recognition is loudly and widely deliberated by the world media throughout the democratic world, for the first time such questions as to whether the quest of Somaliland Recognition become imminent or is still remote are being discussed here in Somaliland. It is clear that the right way to enquiry into this issue is generally connected to the international legality insight, but it is also related to the rational of how the contemporary world affairs had been constructed and stand. It is basically evident that our world’s developments traversed through different stages in different times of history and varied levels of developments in relation to the modern state formation issues and how massive constraints are involved in the socio-economic and political relations.

Obviously, the relationship between Africa and the developed world reflects the divergence and convergence of interests and values that are in use throughout the world. It is from this point that the African Union position on the issue of Somaliland’s International recognition is unfairly being considered. Africa is generally passing through the threshold of modern state institutional building, and therefore, the immediate and main challenge it faces is to build the basics of Nation States on which the tribes, clans and ethnic groups were shaped as states by the European Colonialism, and thus had been a complex reality that was inherited. Hence the Continent’s Nation States had been feeble and viewed as vulnerable to fragmentation, as a result of which the current generation of leaders of Africa’s focus is on what they perceived as state building projects and they do this from the positions of keeping of the status-quo as top priority. Thus, they are predominantly not for democracy, human rights promotion or for the transformation of societies. Moreover, the issue of right of self-determination as principal for the African peoples under tyrants is entirely absent.

The Fundamental question therefore, remains what motivate democratically advanced world that sympathies with the Somaliland Cause and those less developed and none-democratic countries’ positions regarding Somaliland recognition. Obviously, for those who the issues of democracy, human rights and self-determination are not their priority in their countries never takes favorable stands for democracy outside of their country. The events in the last three decades had shown us that this is what reproduces the difficulties of the unjust status quo that Somaliland had been experiencing for the last thirty years.

To this regard, the Conflict of Interests and Values between the two sides, democracies and none-democratic countries in our globe is real and objective, and that is why they have different perceptions vis-à-vis Somaliland’s Peace Building and democratic achievements. One side sympathizes with Somaliland while the other camp is either indifferent or directly negate all of those hard-won gains Somaliland had been achieving.

Finally, there is a need for Somaliland to present a clear argument against Somali-Irredentism and the overall solutions for the multiple problems caused by ‘Greater Somalia’ ideology of the repressive regime of Siyad Barre that led to catastrophic internal and regional wars as its main consequences. The National Chauvinistic rhetoric, and radical religious ascendency upon the elite in Somalia made solutions through reconciliation very remote, if not impossible in the Horn of African Region, in this situation Somaliland had no other option but to go its way out of the Calamity. Regardless of all these the reality in Somaliland is evidently the only democratic and stable polity in the region. For all these reasons, the Somaliland people looks to the democratic countries for recognition and have full confidence that they will seriously consider the significance of addressing the Somaliland’s diplomatic status in view of the crucial need to farsightedly characterize what kind of a world would be emerging without unrecognized Somaliland in this troublous region.



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