Welcome to Scribd. Sign in or start your free trial to enjoy unlimited e-books, audiobooks & documents.Find out more
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Somaliland african best kept secret

Somaliland african best kept secret

|Views: 60|Likes:
Published by shimbir
Somaliland a challenge to the international community
Somaliland a challenge to the international community

More info:

Published by: shimbir on Mar 20, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less





“Somaliland should be let to go its way, for it hasresources to sustain itself. The situation in Somalianow is a culture of rules without rulers, a statelesssociety,”“There is order there [Somaliland], they have the potential to survive. One day, he says, Somaliland will organise and get back to the larger Somalia.
Interview with Ali Mazrui
“The fact of the situation in Somaliland is that they have elected a government in the most demo-cratic way possible, within the constraints of public finance; they have started the process of demobiliza-tion and disarmament; they have structured customservices in the port of Berbera and introduced anaudit system. None of this effort can be attributed toa single United Nations initiative
John Drysdale
Transcending diplomatic purgatory?
Some major African players are taking a newlook at Somaliland, that state on the strategicHorn of Africa that continues to pay the polit-ical and economic price for declaring inde-pendence twice: in 1960 and 1991.Somaliland is labelled as a ‘breakaway state’by some analysts, while others describe it as ‘thelittle country that could’. Professor Ioan Lewis,the doyen of Somali studies, accentuates this
 Africa’s best kept secret, A challenge to the international community?
This essay outlines recent developments in the Horn of Africa with particular focus on theemerging democratic state of Somaliland. It maps out the key political contours of Somalilandand Somalia. In this respect, the implications of recent developments for the international com-munity and multilateral institutions are analysed. Somaliland has shown extraordinary determi-nation to succeed. Those governing Somaliland have shown respect for democratic principles,begun to develop natural assets which will strengthen the economy, and rebuilt much of the cap-ital city. The union with Somalia has proved difficult to say the least, while relations with Kenya,Djibouti and African multilateral organisations remain complex. Yet despite the advances thecitizens of Somaliland have made, recognition of Somaliland as a viable independent entity bythe international community remains an uncertain hope.
teaches at the University of South Africa and is a member of the ANC’s Commission of Religious Affairs. This is an updated version of an earlier draft published in
latter observation in his seminal and up-datedbook,
 A Modern History of the Somali
. His con-clusion in this revised study states:For the moment, thus, it seemed thatdespite the reluctance to recognize theSomaliland Republic officially, thismight actually be for some time the onlyviable Somali state on offer. It mightaccordingly prove necessary to recognizethat, in this as in so many other cases,half a loaf is better than none.
In fact, Somaliland did nothing more thanend a union it had entered into as a sovereignindependent state, and has since pulled itself up by its own bootstraps. Recently, Senegal,the European Union and Somaliland’s neigh-bour, Ethiopia, have shown promising signsof wanting to end the impasse.Ethiopia hosted Somaliland PresidentDahir Riyale Kahin on a state visit in 2002and 2003, and President Wade of Senegalhosted the Somaliland president in early2003. Somaliland’s northern neighbour,Djibouti, has also shown signs of planning tomend fences with Somaliland. Recently,Somaliland President Kahin made a three-dayofficial visit to Djibouti, where its was agreedto re-establish diplomatic links and to co-operate on border security.A South African delegation paid a fact-find-ing visit to Somaliland in January 2003 anddeclared it to be “a challenge rather than aproblem for the African Union”.
More recent-ly, the South African department of ForeignAffairs sent a diplomat under UN auspices toexplore the situation in Somaliland. In May2003, South African Foreign Affairs MinisterNkosazana Zuma hosted the SomalilandForeign Affairs Minister for talks on advancingpeace and stability in the region. Law advisersfrom the South African Department of ForeignAffairs support Somaliland’s argument forindependence. “It is undeniable that Somali-land does indeed qualify for statehood, and it isincumbent upon the international communityto recognise it,” reads the DFA legal report.As Fatima Ismail, a UN human rightsexpert notes:The country has shown the AfricanRenaissance spirit of self-reliance andresilience and has produced a sustain-able government and constitution. …They have got their act together while inthe south (Somalia) the TransitionalNational Government (TNG) has beenunable to do so. … The internationalcommunity must take notice of this. Itcannot remain ostrich-like with its headin the sand
.The energy that the international communityhas put into the process that led to the instal-lation of the southern TNG government inSomalia has not produced the desired result.Kenya is currently hosting the 14
interna-tional peace conference on Somalia.
Kenya’s mediation of the peaceprocess in Somalia
The Kenyan government appointed a newmediator to take over the Somalia peace talksin Eldoret, Kenya, which have been boggeddown since they began in October 2002.Bethwell Kiplagat, a senior Kenyan diplomat,will replace Elijah W Mwangale, who wasblamed by Somali warlords and Westerndiplomats alike for not properly managing thetalks.“Warlords continue to hold sway inSomalia and violence has resumed to a dis-turbing degree. The international communityshould be looking at the reality on theground,” according to Fatima Ismail.Professor Hussein Bulhan, head of theSomaliland Academy for Peace and Develop-ment and former head of the Anti-ApartheidMovement at Boston University notes:If the international community plans toapply the principal of territorial unityand the fiction of a ‘sovereign Somalia’without understanding the history, factson the ground and the genocide experi-enced, it would be planting the seeds forconflict more deadly than previouslyseen in Africa.The expectation of the Somalilandpeople has rightly been raised by thesuccess of their democratic and modesteconomic development. To frustrate thisexpectation and to force a union withthe South, against the will of the people,is also to court a deadly conflict.78African Security Review 12(4) 2003
south. After months of deliberations attendedby many sectors of society, the grand confer-ence of Burco as well as the second confer-ence at Borama (similar to the South AfricanCodesa) revoked the act of union and rein-stated the independence that their territorypreviously enjoyed.This action raised hackles in the thenOrganisation of African Unity, ever nervousabout secession and determined, for better orworse, to maintain colonial boundaries. Infact, Somaliland’s declaration of independ-ence transgressed neither of these. The coun-try was not breaking some pre-independencebond with the south. It was merely breaking aunion that it had entered into as an inde-pendent state, for which there are numerousAfrican precedents. Somaliland has not vio-lated colonial boundaries. It has occupied nomore than that territory once occupied by theBritish, and recognised as independent in1960 by the international community.Not only are Somaliland citizens disen-chanted with the uneven arrangement andtraumatised by the civil war that killed morethan 50,000 of their compatriots and dis-placed around 500,000 of them. They also seeno inducement to return to formal ties withwhat is to all intents and purposes an anarchicstate.
The TNG of Somalia
The TNG of Somalia, that holds the seat at theUnited Nations, the Arab League and theAfrican Union, cannot pretend to control any-thing more than a few blocks of Mogadishu.What caused this rush towards recognising agovernment with neither territory nor adminis-tration, after having ignored what is arguably areal and effective government in Somaliland?Strangely, the TNG’s mandate expired inAugust 2003, yet it continues to attend inter-national summits such as the October 2003Summit of the OIC in Malaysia. The remain-der of the country remains ungovernable andin the control of warlords.Following the withdrawal of UN peace-keeping troops from Somalia in 1995, theinternational community, and particularly theUnited States that pulled out a year earlier,Supporting peace in Somaliland only where itprevails, providing an incentive to it andextending it, is a worthwhile and realistic tar-get. Ethiopia, which makes increasing use of the Somaliland port of Berbera, has opened adiplomatic trade-liaison office in the capital of Hargeisa, as have numerous other EU and UNagencies. The United States and other Westernpowers, mindful of the strategic importance of the Horn, continue to investigate establishingan interest office in Somaliland—somethingthat would be impossible in the ungovernableSomalia.Somaliland’s major problem is that is toosmall to wield any muscle against the interna-tional organisations that ignore it. It requires acountry willing to be a facilitator for its causeof reconstruction and diplomatic recognition.
Somaliland’s background
As the African focus moves increasingly off the Great Lakes and onto the Horn of Africa,this country of three and a half million peoplemay well become an example of stability,good governance and economic discipline.Geographically, Somaliland covers an area of 137,600 square kilometres and forms the topof the ‘figure seven’ shape made by the Hornof Africa. It is roughly the size of England andWales put together. It was formerly BritishSomaliland whereas Somalia (the bottom of the seven shape) was an Italian colony. Bothcolonies gained independence in 1960.Somaliland decided shortly after independ-ence to form a union with the south. Beforetaking this step, however, it had already beenrecognised by 35 countries. This partnershipwas decidedly biased in favour of the south.When southerner Siad Barre took power ina coup, he brutally crushed northern opposi-tion. This included flattening the Somalilandcapital of Hargeisa, using a combination of artillery, South African mercenaries andbomber aircraft that took off from the airporton the outskirts of the city. On the outskirts of the capital there are a number of UN-acknowledged mass graves as testimony tosouthern brutality.After Barre’s fall in 1991, the Somalilanderswasted no time in ending the union with theJhazbhay79

You're Reading a Free Preview

/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->