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  • Somaliland Continues to Strive for Recognition

    Amid the lawless bloodbath that is Somalia, the northern state of Somaliland remains a rare example of functioning democracy in the Muslim world.

    Unlike the rest of Somalia, Somaliland has maintained relative stability and peace despite occasional border conflicts with the semi-autonomous Somali province of Puntland. Since its unilateral referendum on independence in 2001, Somaliland has remained dedicated to free democratic elections, as demonstrated by the presidential elections in 2003 and 2010 as well as parliamentary and local elections.

    Furthermore, Somaliland has been a major partner in combating regional piracy. In 2010, Somaliland built a maximum security prison (with the help of the U.N. Office of Drugs and Crime) to relieve the burden of regional partners lacking the capacity and/or will to incarcerate pirates.

    Despite its dedication to democracy and the rule of law, Somaliland’s independence is not internationally recognized. Though the U.S. has recognized the need for a stable area to serve as a bulwark against terrorism and an ally in fighting piracy, the Obama Administration currently follows the position of the African Union by refusing to acknowledge Somaliland’s independence, reluctant to encourage further portioning of African nations.

    The presidents of Somalia and Somaliland have met in Dubai and London to discuss Somaliland’s future relations with Somalia. According to Somalia’s new constitution, Somaliland is recognized as part of Somalia, thus voiding its independence. This is a non-starter for Somaliland, as a coerced reunification would likely bring chaos rather than opportunities for growth and stability.

    Recognizing Somaliland’s independence, or at least establishing some form of official representation there, would allow the U.S. to expand cooperation with Somaliland in fighting piracy, both through increased military and intelligence coordination and through increased economic development in the area, which could provide would-be pirates with legitimate employment.

    Somaliland can provide a model for a stable working democracy in the region and a sign that the future in the larger area of the Horn of Africa is not without hope.

    Alexander Macdonald is an intern in the Davis Policy Center at The Heritage Foundation.

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    12 Responses to Somaliland Continues to Strive for Recognition

    1. xol2 says:

      Somaliland's recognition will prevent any further fundamental and Terrorism to grow in the Region. Also this step will give vital assistance by eradicating Piracy in the Somali peninsula.

      US and Obama Administration must look through the support and recognition of Somaliland Republic

      Kadar Kaariye
      Hargeysa, Somaliland

    2. Ahmed says:

      Nicely done…….let the world see what Somaliland has acheived. Its about time for US to get one foriegn policy right and atleast grant Somaliland some sort of observer status…..Or stop democracy here and there anesthetic-rhetoric.

    3. Adam says:

      Mr Alexander is ill informed ,there is NO peace in the somaliland enclave ,there is war going on buhoodle as we speak between the isak clan which calles themself a somaliland and the SSC http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjQ272sisIY ,the whole somaliland thing is based on clans one clan would like to support somaliland enclave project while three other clans that live that region would like to remain part of somalia,the gudabuuri (samaroon) clan have created there own state which is called awdal state and the dhulbahante have created there own state which is khatumo state and the warsangeli have there own state which is maakhir state,so its complicated thing and i am afraid Alexander was toured the hargiesa which is dominated by the isaak clan and was told we have democracy while clan based war is going in most parts of somaliland,the only solution is to keep somalia as one single united country or else each clan will create its own state say they are democratic and they should get international recognition its crazy !

      • Duale says:

        Adam – let me guess. You are from the pirate state of Majertenia correct? Aka Puntland, to the rest of the world. Is it not Puntland who states first and foremost in their law that Puntland is founded by clan i.e. Majerteen, the same clan most pirates belong to. Somaliland's flag is flying high in every corner of Somaliland from Zaylac to Ceerigaabo (the birthplace of Musa Ismail, Habr Yunis, Habr Awal, Gahejis, etc. as well as the site of all of their graves). Sheikh Isaaq himself is buried in Mayd, Sanaag. Unlike Darood, who was from Sri Lanka and was buried God knows where.

        P.S. The SSC is a terrorist organization (and is recognized as such by the US, UK, etc. and rightly so). Just Google "Somaliland" or "Las Anod" and you will see all of their bloody work. If you are speaking the truth, then those opposed to Somaliland would settle their issues with ballots, and not bullets.

      • omar says:

        If Somaliland is not givien recognition it will cause a bigger war. keeping Somalia as one is not a soultion because Somalis don't want to be united. I think the last 20 years has shown that. If people were fighting eachother for 20 years then its stupid to try to keep them togther. let each group go its own way and live and let live.

    4. Ali Mohamoud Noor says:

      Somaliland is all about a past, present and future of a great African nation

      Somaliland has always been a culturally unique and a single entity ever since was the mother of all freedoms in our region. It was the starting point for the formation of modern Somali history which in the beginning was a great success registred by Somalilanders themselves being as the enduring place of hope but as the Titanic derailed by it`s would-be brethren who put the corner stones of collapsing our much cherished dream which finally ended up in bloody civil wars.

      Somaliland, fomerly known as British Somaliland protectorate has became independent in1960 and declared itself as the first ever sovereign Somali nation through out the whole eastern and horn of Africa to proclaim back it`s international boundaries, thus putting it`s name besides all other free nations worldwide.

      Soon after the indepence Somaliland stepped up towards a voluntarily union with Somalia-Italiana, The latter followed her and gained indepence from Rome in a move earmarked as dedication for what once was a nationalistic syndrome as fenomena of establishing a very difficult task known as greater Somalia.

      The two Somali parts of North/South that partied together in their marriage to seek foster or adapt the three remaining kids who never born. This disfunctional union has failed to produce the other three territories who either chosen to become own sovereign state as Djibouti or are as the Somali region of Ethiopia which still remains under the rule of Adis Abeba and the Northern Frontier District (NFD) of Kenya simultaneously.

      Today, Somaliland with many nicknames as the beacon of democracy in Africa and throughout the Arab and muslim world, the isle of peace and icon of multi party system has become a role model for hundreds of third world countries.

      I am a proud Somalilander who strongly beleieves that international community will be one day conviced to admit that our non-stop march for world recognition is inevitable, and that this will happen sooner rather than later.

      Ali Mohamoud Noor Ali-Eid
      Oslo,
      Norway

    5. Ali Mohamoud Noor says:

      Somaliland is all about a past, present and future of a great African nation

      Somaliland has always been a culturally unique and a single entity ever since was the mother of all freedoms in our region. It was the starting point for the formation of modern Somali history which in the beginning was a great success registred by Somalilanders themselves being as the enduring place of hope but as the Titanic derailed by it`s would-be brethren who put the corner stones of collapsing our much cherished dream which finally ended up in bloody civil wars.

      Somaliland, fomerly known as British Somaliland protectorate has became independent in1960 and declared itself as the first ever sovereign Somali nation through out the whole eastern and horn of Africa to proclaim back it`s international boundaries, thus putting it`s name besides all other free nations worldwide.

      Soon after the indepence Somaliland stepped up towards a voluntarily union with Somalia-Italiana, The latter followed her and gained indepence from Rome in a move earmarked as dedication for what once was a nationalistic syndrome as fenomena of establishing a very difficult task known as greater Somalia.

      The two Somali parts of North/South that partied together in their marriage to seek foster or adapt the three remaining kids who never born. This disfunctional union has failed to produce the other three territories who either chosen to become own sovereign state as Djibouti or are as the Somali region of Ethiopia which still remains under the rule of Adis Abeba and the Northern Frontier District (NFD) of Kenya simultaneously.

      Today, Somaliland with many nicknames as the beacon of democracy in Africa and throughout the Arab and muslim world, the isle of peace and icon of multi party system has become a role model for hundreds of third world countries.

      I am a proud Somalilander who strongly beleieves that international community will be one day conviced to admit that our non-stop march for world recognition is inevitable, and that this will happen sooner rather than later.

      Ali Mohamoud Noor Ali-Eid
      Oslo,
      Norway

    6. Bobbie says:

      as long as people have the common will, there is always hope for humanity! God Bless the good of Somali land and respect to her people!

    7. Omer A Hassan says:

      THE RECOGNITION OF SOMALILAND & THE BEST WAY TO OBTAIN THAT.
      The recognition of Somaliland as an independent African state that has seats in the African Union and the United Nations depends upon its people with the right leadership of their current government. The problem is that very little is understood of this matter and what is actually blocking it all the time since 1991. The truth is that in order to obtain full international recognition from many countries in the world, our current government needs to seek the support of a member of the UN's Security Council, such as USA, UK, France, Russia or even China. Our government needs to ask them for the right help which is a clear referendum that specifies what is to vote for: SECEDE from Somalia or STAY with them.

    8. Omer A Hassan says:

      To obtain full status in the AU, and the UN, you need to convince at least one influential member of those international bodies, who may have interest in your country (such as UK nowadays), to support you in making an official referendum that clearly specifies whether Somaliland people likes to stay with Somalia or secede from that country on a specific time. Period. That is the ONLY official way and the best possible manner in which a country that have the desire to break away from another one can get the necessary recognition of world bodies, such as the AU, UN, EU etc. Remember that: Eritrea, East Timor & recently South Sudan all did that.
      Somaliland's referendum in 2001 was for their constitution ONLY, and did not have the official approval of any UN's Security Council, or AU member state.

    9. omer Hassan says:

      It is clear by now that it did NOT serve us with the purpose we needed that for: which was full and necessary recognition from any AU or UN member states. e need to grow up & understand that very clearly in order to proceed with our long-due demand and solve that problem in the above manner as soon as possible. Otherwise, we will always be wrongly guided into uncertainty by other stakeholders who do not want our people to get that; or even worse know the truth.

    10. John Fash says:

      A well written and presented article which shows how well informed the author is. It is high time that the international community looks no further than Somaliland, if the western world's is serious about their promise of encouraging good governance and democracy in Africa .

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