Senate urges Biden administration to engage with Somaliland, instead of pursuing failed ‘One Somalia’ policy

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Senator Jim Risch, the ranking member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee stated for years, “I’ve urged the US State Department to engage with Somaliland and not ignore its democratic progress”.

He intoned further, lamenting, “But as our allies praise Somaliland’s election progress this week, the US admin is silent given that the “one Somalia” policy doesn’t reflect the reality of what’s happening there”.

Senator Jim Risch, the ranking member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee points out the disparity between America’s single policy approach towards Somalia and the complex reality on the ground.

He criticizes the Biden administration’s silence regarding Somaliland’s election progress, contrasting it with proactive actions taken by other allies.

Risch’s point underscores the disconnect between Mogadishu’s claim of legitimacy and the lived experiences of the majority of Somaliland’s population, who have grown up under Somaliland’s independent governance since 1991.

Any attempt to force a union that 5.7 million Somalilanders do not want would lead to conflict and bloodshed, contrary to the stability goals sought by the US in the Horn of Africa region. This is why accepting the reality that the people of Somaliland want that has nothing to do with Somalia is the first step in taking tangible and meaningful steps to stabilize the region.