Aug 26, 2006
Ottawa and the Deputy Speaker of the Somaliland

Ottawa and the Deputy Speaker of the Somaliland

It was a great day for the Ottawa SomalilanderCommunity. A respectable member of our Ottawa Somalilander Community has triumphantly comeback from home after successfully wining a seat in the recent parliamentary election in Somaliland.  Honourable Basha Mohamed  Farah is also the current deputy Chairman of the Somaliland House of Representatives.

The Hall of the Villa Marconi was full of enthusiastic members of the community.  The tables were full of cakes sambuusas. The children were running with flowers, and the flash of the camera was very present and very blinding. There was a wonderful display of the Canadian and the Somalilander flag all over the place.

I was the Master of the ceremony, and I called first the Principal of the Ottawa Islamic School, Sheikh Mohamed Dalmer.  The great Sheikh read the Quran and gave us a religious sermon on the vitality of helping our people back home in the fields of Education and Health.

After the I reminded the audience of the upcoming SOPRI Conference that will happen from 8-10 Sept in Wahington DC area, and how it is very important to attend that conference, where great American and International supporters of Somaliland will express their views to the American people and Government. I also stated that the President of Somaliland and the leaders of the Opposition are expected to be coming there. It will be a Somalilander get-together day in N. America. Nobody should miss it!

After that, I gave the floor to the Great SNM Mujahid and one of the most respectable elders of Ottawa, Mr Abshir  Nur, and let me say, he also just returned from Somaliland.  Mr Abshir gave a wonderful and factual brief of the situation back home. He also
stated how great, vigilant and responsible the people of Somaliland are.

After Abshir, Hussein Ali Hussein, one of the most active members of the community, gave a brief history of Ottawa Somalilander Communities. Mr Hussein is a great intellectual and he made a good analysis into affairs of the Ottawa community and the different phases of its history.

It was Abdi Yonis who made possible this ceremony.  He conducted it in the name of the Elders Committee of the Ottawa Community. He stood up to talk about the importance of this ceremony.  He thanked the wonderful women who prepared the cakes and the sambusas.  He also thanked the members of the community who helped him prepare this event.  However, the core of his speech was the future plans for this community. 

Right after Abdi Yonis, I announced the presence of Mr. Ahmed Ibrahim who is running for a councilman here inOttawa. That is the way it should be. Therefore, I asked him to say few words about his campaign. He did it in a masterly way and we all pledged him our votes.

At last, I let one of our most visible political figures in Ottawa, Mr Abdillahi Geeljire, introduce the deputy Speaker Mr. Basha, and he did it with style and a great sense of humour. Well the Honourable Deputy Speaker, Mr Basha  Mohamed

Farah made a most remarkable speech. He actually captured the Hall with his eloquence. It was one of the best speeches and  of the most informative that I ever listened to.  He talked about the progress which the parliament has made so far. The different
legislations that they have so far completed, the plans that they have for the future, and the logistical problems that they have and possible ways to get solutions for that. Everybody enjoyed Basha’s presentations, and it even tasted fair and sincere to
the most sceptical.

After a brief recess  question period started.  Dr Eyo who is a great friend of Somaliland asked the honourable Bash what would be Somaliland future relationship with Somalila, in which the honourable deputy responded: Except for a Union, Somaliland is
ready for any other possible relationship. Dr Eyo and everybody applauded the sharp response.  Two of the most prominent elders , Mr Ismael Dualeh and Mohamed Haji Dualeh  asked the speaker some pertinent questions in which the honourable deputy speaker answered in a very responsible manner.

Then the crowing of the great event was when the great statesman Mr Ibrahim Megag Samater stood up to say few words of congratulations, encouragements and prayers. Ibrahim who is a great intellectual, has got a way mixing humour and wisdom and that was a very electrifying closure of the day.

Mohamud Tani

Ahmed Hassan Ahmed Gedi

Posted at 04:58 pm by Somaliland
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And you thought it was hard starting a business in your country…

August 22, 2006

And you thought it was hard starting a business in your country…

Filed under: Africa, Developing world, Blogs and bloggers — Ethan @ 7:15 pm

One of the miracles of Somalia is the extent to which a state without a central government has managed to be a business-friendly environment. (Indeed, there are libertarians who’ve made the argument that the absence of a central government makes starting a business easier. I’m guessing most of them have never had to hire gunmen with AK-47s to protect their business infrastructure…) Somali Telecom has had great success building a mobile phone company in Somaliland - started in the US, the company is now based in Dubai and manages a family of companies in Somaliland and Puntland.

Another business that’s helping spawn more businesses is Daallo Airlines, which provides weekly service from Nairobi to Mogadishu and Hargeisa. I haven’t been able to get their online booking application to work, so I can’t tell you the price. But a recent article from Karen Allen with the BBC suggests that there’s a lot of demand for their services. Allen reports that in a neighborhood of Nairobi popular with Somalis, the hotels are jammed full as expat Somali businessmen hoping to get to Mogadishu to get a piece of the action.

Many expatriate Somalis have been fiscally succesful, and some estimates suggest that Somalis send as much as a billion US dollars home every year in remittances. Two major obstacles had been preventing business investment in Somalia - the closing of the international airport in Mogadishu, and the security situation in the capital. But the airport reopened in July, and many report that the streets of Somalia are much safer under the UIC than they were before the Islamists took control. And Allen reports that people are literally lining up to fly back to Mogadishu and find new business opportunities.

It’s not always returning citizens and their countrymen who open the first wave of businesses in troubled and recovering nations (I’m not brave enough to speculate whether Somalia is recovering or just troubled.) Nigel Twose, in the World Bank Private Sector Development blog has an interesting story about Lebanese entrepreneurs in Liberia:

Last Wednesday, I was sitting in the lobby of my hotel in Monrovia, waiting for my flight to Dakar and back to Jo’burg. Across from me were three men of Lebanese origin: the manager of the hotel, a 20-something, and an older man who had just left Lebanon to escape the war. The three of them were huddled over a laptop. One suddenly asked me: “Do you think Kentucky Fried Chicken would work in Monrovia?”

The entrepreneurial logic may well be sound: chicken is the most popular meat in Liberia, existing Lebanese falafel restaurants are full to bursting, the UN soliders and people working with reconstruction efforts in Liberia often have salaries that allow them to afford KFC prices. You may not be tempted to open a fast food franchise in a city that’s just recently regained electricity, but it just might be a great business opportunity for someone sufficiently brave and resourceful.

Twose notes that he’d just sat through a series of meetings where government ministers worried about Lebanese dominance of the Liberian economy and needs to ensure that the economy is “Liberianized”. On the one hand, local economic development may - inadvertently - favor ethnic minorities in businesses in Africa. The Lebanese - who dominate business in many African nations - often have outside capital with which to build businesses. Because they usually don’t have local political ambitions, successful Lebanese businessmen aren’t viewed as political threats, which might give them fewer political hassles than native-born counterparts. On the other hand, Twose cautions Liberia against shutting out the Lebanese, as they may be the people most capable of rapid economic development of Liberia.

(Twose doesn’t mention - but his post made me think of - Amy Chua’s book “World on Fire”, which argues that the business success of ethnic minorities can lead to global instability…)

What makes a country attractive to foreign investors? What makes a country welcoming to expatriates who want to come home? Are the Somalis in Kenya and the Lebanese in Liberia visionary, or foolish?

Posted at 04:54 pm by Somaliland
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Overview Of Humanitarian Environment In Somaliland

Overview Of Humanitarian Environment In Somaliland


Over the past ten years, the degree of peace and stability obtained in Somaliland and the presence of viable government counterparts has allowed a large number of UN agencies, international NGOs and local partners to work in a coordinated manner on both humanitarian and recovery development programmes, as the region moves ever closer to political, economic and social recovery and reconstruction.

Somaliland has an estimated population of 2 – 3 million and broke away from Somalia in 1991 declaring ‘independence’. It has not been recognized to date by the international community. Somaliland did not participate in the recent peace process (2003/4) initiated in neighboring Kenya and has continued to reiterate its sovereignty.

Meanwhile, a promising democratic system has been put in place as ongoing political development and economic recovery materialize. Legislative elections were held on 29 September 2005 (following council elections in 2002 and presidential elections in 2003) which according to international observers present, were carried out in a peaceful, free and fair manner. Of the 1.2 million refugees that fled Somalia’s conflict in 1991, 700,000 have returned back to Somaliland, attracted by the dynamic urban areas and relative stability of the region.

Livestock export forms the backbone of the Somaliland economy but this sector has been exposed to several shocks in recent years, including the livestock ban of 2000 (by Gulf States due to outbreak of Rift Valley Fever) and the lack of national capacity to establish necessary regulations and infrastructure to facilitate certification of animals for export.                

Also, some areas have experienced several years of drought which severely impacted on the Somaliland pastoral livelihood (60-65% of the population rely on livestock for their livelihood) causing enormous hardship as livestock losses amounted to 60-80% of herds; destitution (creating rural – urban migration); and severe environmental degradation.                          

UN agencies, international and local NGOs responded to the situation, particularly in the most affected areas of Togdheer, Sanaag and Sool. The 2006 Gu rains (April – June) had mixed outcomes throughout Somalia. In Togdhere, Sool, and Sanaag recovery continues and the number of people in livelihood recovery has significantly reduced thanks to increased herd sizes, reduced debt levels and generally improved access to rangeland and water.

The disputed areas of Sool and Sanaag between Puntland and Somaliland remain generally calm with few incidences of insecurity. Somaliland forces remain in the same position near Lasanod town since 2004. In an effort to enhance security and safety of humanitarian workers, the UN in collaboration with the local authorities established a Special Protection Unit (SPU) in October 2003 to provide protection for humanitarian workers of the UN and International NGOs.

Presently, the most pressing humanitarian concerns in Somaliland focus on the continued disruption to livelihoods following several years of drought; issues relating to IDPs, returnees and urban destitute; concern over increased risk of extremist activities reducing humanitarian access; inadequate protection particularly for IDPs and other vulnerable groups and continued low human development indicators (especially in education and health).

Posted at 04:50 pm by Somaliland
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Breaking Up (a Country) Is Hard to Do

Breaking Up (a Country) Is Hard to Do

By Gary Bass
Sunday, August 27, 2006; Page B03

Now that the dreaded words "civil war" have been officially dropped into the Iraq debate, the next word the White House should brace itself for is "partition." As Iraq spirals out of control, arguments for dividing the country along ethnic lines have begun to surface with increasing frequency among scholars, diplomats and others.

As early as November 2003, Leslie H. Gelb, a Carter administration assistant secretary of state, wrote an op-ed in the New York Times that suggested breaking up the British-imposed "historical defect" of a unified Iraq and replacing it with "a three-state solution: Kurds in the north, Sunnis in the center and Shiites in the south." Earlier this summer, in a confidential memo to Prime Minister Tony Blair that was leaked to the BBC, William Patey, the outgoing British ambassador to Iraq, warned that "a de facto division" of the country is more likely than a transition to a stable democracy. And in his new book, "The End of Iraq," Peter Galbraith, a former U.S. ambassador to Croatia and a longtime advocate for the Kurdish cause, argues that Americans must recognize that "Iraq has broken up in all but name."

A partitioned Iraq would join a long line of chopped-up countries. After World War I, President Woodrow Wilson invoked national self-determination to justify carving up the multiethnic Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires. Partition was later tried as a last-ditch solution to ethnic violence in places such as Cyprus, India, Ireland, Palestine and, to some extent, Bosnia. Kosovo, now a province of Serbia with a restive population that is 90 percent ethnic Albanian, is likely to be next.

At first glance, the idea of separation seems appealing: If they can't live together, let them live apart. But what do we really understand about such a radical step? Surveying the literature of past experiments in partition reveals that the closer one looks, the messier the outcome gets.

One core problem with partition is that it's excruciatingly hard to draw a neat line to divide groups. Some partition advocates have therefore called for moving the people first. In a 1996 article, "Possible and Impossible Solutions to Ethnic Civil Wars," published in the journal International Security, Lehigh University political scientist Chaim Kaufmann argued that because ethnic warfare hardens group identities, ethnic civil wars can only really end with total victory by one group or by physically separating all of them. Rather than send in troops to save multiethnic nations, he wrote, the international community should "facilitate and protect population movements to create true national homelands." As a last resort, it should intervene decisively by drawing a separation line; the remaining civilians of the enemy ethnic group on the wrong side of the line should be interned, to become part of a population exchange after the war. (He cheerily calls this "conquer and divide.")

Kaufmann praised the role of the League of Nations in helping to organize ethnic population exchanges between Greece and Turkey following World War I, and declared that a successful mission in Bosnia would have required that the international community "overcome its squeamishness about large-scale population transfers." And he argued that Hutu refugees not be allowed to return to Rwanda after the 1994 genocide, proposing instead an orderly resettling of more than a quarter of the populations of Rwanda and Burundi to prevent "another genocide" one day. In a follow-up article in the same publication two years later, titled "When All Else Fails," he suggested that India's 1947 partition didn't go far enough -- it should have carved up Kashmir and created a Sikh homeland, too.

In a New York Times op-ed in 1993, during the war in Bosnia, the controversial University of Chicago political scientist John Mearsheimer similarly called for moving borders and populations to create "a Bosnian state peopled almost exclusively by Muslims, a Croatian state for Croatians and a Serbian state made up mainly of Serbians." In 1995, he and MIT's Stephen Van Evera published "When Peace Means War" in the New Republic, arguing that the United States should never have signed the Dayton peace accords, because they allowed for an insufficient partition. While Bosnia was now made up of two entities -- a Serb republic and a Muslim-Croat federation -- the latter had to be quickly partitioned, too, or it would bloodily collapse, reigniting the wider war. (More than a decade later, this still hasn't happened.) They also wanted the United States to help with population transfers such as moving Serb civilians out of Sarajevo.

The critics of partition, on the other hand, see separation as a kind of ethnic cleansing with a human face. In a 2000 statistical study published in World Politics, "Partition as a Solution to Ethnic War," Yale political science professor Nicholas Sambanis found that partitions did not significantly reduce the risk of wars breaking out again. He points to the 1998-2000 war between Ethiopia and Eritrea after a 1993 partition; the violent 1992 collapse of the partition of Somaliland; and the recurring wars between India and Pakistan since partition, including the 1971 partition that sliced Bangladesh from Pakistan -- not to mention the post-partition Arab-Israeli wars of 1956, 1967, 1973 and 1982. He warns against carving up warring African countries into many little monoethnic states, which would only replace civil war with international war.

In his 2000 book, "Ethnic Groups in Conflict," Duke University professor Donald Horowitz writes that "the only thing secession and partition are unlikely to produce is ethnically homogenous or harmonious states." India today, for instance, has more than 100 million Muslims.

Still, partition theorists think that groups can never be made to live together again after ethnic war. This is surely true in some cases, but how many? After generations of warfare, it seems impossible to create a common sense of Indian and Pakistani identity, or Israeli and Palestinian identity. But ethnic cooperation is common worldwide. Not that long ago in Bosnia, Muslims, Croats and Serbs were all peacefully intermixed as both Bosnians and Yugoslavs.

Even if partition could be imposed, the creation of ethnic statelets gives an international seal of approval to the ethnic nationalists. As Stanford professor James D. Fearon points out in "Separatist Wars, Partition, and World Order," an article in the summer 2004 issue of Security Studies, if the world promises statehood as a reward for a particularly bloody ethnic war, that gives a perverse incentive to rebels such as the Kosovo Liberation Army: The worse the violence, the better the outcome. This is also an alarming signal to send to multiethnic countries such as Belgium, Canada, India, Indonesia, Nigeria -- and even the United States.

With all this to consider, it's no wonder that even partition's stoutest supporters see it as a last-ditch option. If Iraq is partitioned, it probably will be only after the United States experiences the same kind of panicky desperation that helped prompt Britain's mid-century partitions in its crumbling imperial possessions.

Gary J. Bass is an associate professor at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton.


Posted at 04:45 pm by Somaliland
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Somaliland Seeks US Help In Battle For Recognition

Somaliland Seeks US Help In Battle For Recognition

 By David White in London
Financial Times, Aug.-24-06

Elected President, Dahir Rayale Kahin, plans to visit Washington next month and hold talks with top State Department officials to ratchet up a campaign for international recognition.

 Somaliland, the unrecognised breakaway republic of northwest Somalia, is seeking US government support to confront the Islamic Courts movement, which has been expanding its control across Somalian territory.

A ministerial delegation from Somaliland led by its elected president, Dahir Rayale Kahin, plans to visit Washington next month and hold talks with top State Department officials to ratchet up a campaign for international recognition.

Leaders of the self-declared state hope to use recent developments in Somalia - and international concern about the growing power of the Islamic Courts - as leverage to further its case.

Somaliland, a former British protectorate that joined a united Somalia after independence in 1960, broke away 15 years ago but has since failed to win official recognition from any other nation or a seat on international bodies such as the United Nations, African Union or Arab League. Its leaders say they are well placed to lend crucial support to Somalia's UN-backed transitional government and strengthen co-operation against international terrorism.

The Islamist movement won control of Somalia's coastal capital Mogadishu in June, ousting warlords reportedly backed by the US. It has since extended its hold, leaving the struggling transitional government virtually isolated in the town of Baidoa, 250km inland.

Mr Kahin held talks in London last week with David Triesman, UK foreign office minister responsible for Africa, as part of a mission pressing Somaliland's case.

But both British and US officials, while acknowledging Somaliland's record in achieving stability and setting up democratic institutions, said they regarded the issue of recognition as being a matter for the AU. Somaliland applied for membership of the body in December.

A US official said Washington dealt with Somaliland's government as a regional authority but not as an independent state.

Ministers accompanying Mr Kahin in London said they hoped an east African country such as Kenya might take the lead in granting recognition. But there has been little indication of Kenya's readiness to do so. Arab countries, notably Egypt, which is an AU member, have strongly opposed a break-up of Somalia.

Hussein Ali Dualeh, Somaliland's finance minister, warned that the country would fight against reunification, and that a conflict could spill over into neighbouring countries, including Ethiopia. "If we are forced into a war, it will be a war that has no end," he told the Financial Times in London.

Mr Dualeh argued the country was being punished by the international community for its success. He said it was not asking for bilateral aid from the US or Britain but wanted access to World Bank and African Development Bank credit.

Posted at 04:39 pm by Somaliland
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Aug 20, 2006
Hargeisa city



Airport Rd

Posted at 05:16 pm by Somaliland
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Aug 16, 2006
Belgians released in Somaliland

Somaliland is on the Gulf of Aden.

Belgians released in Somaliland

Wed 16/08/06 - The three Belgian police officers who were detained in Somaliland on Tuesday, were released on Wednesday afternoon. The three had just finished escorting a failed asylum seeker back there, when they were detained. Somaliland is a breakaway region of Northern Somalia, which is not recognised by the international community.

(picture AP)

The authorities there claimed that the three Belgian police officers didn't have the correct visa to enter Somaliland.

The Federal Police officers had flown into Somaliland on Tuesday morning, landing at Hargeisa Airport.

Hargeisa (photo) is the self-proclaimed capital of Somaliland, which broke away from the rest of Somalia after the fall of the Somali dictator Siad Barre in 1991.

House arrest

The three officers were to have returned straight away, after ensuring that the asylum seeker was safely returned to his homeland.

However, the three were taken from the aircraft and detained, while the asylum seeker was put back on the plane.

The Belgians had to hand over their passports and plane tickets before being taken to a hotel, where they stayed under house arrest.

Pressure exerted by the Belgian Embassy in the Kenyan capital Nairobi on the authorities in Somaliland to get the three police officers released as quickly as possible resulted in their release later on Thursday.

Diplomatic isolation 

Somaliland is a former British protectorate on the Gulf of Aden.

It became part of the newly-independent state of Somalia in 1960.

The region split from the rest of Somalia in 1991, after the fall of the Somali dictator Siad Barre.

Somaliland declared itself independent 15 years ago, but to this day, the country is not recoginised by the international community.

Nevertheless, in contrast to the rest of Somalia, Somaliland is politically stable.

The majority of the region's 3.5 million people are Muslims.

Posted at 04:20 pm by Somaliland
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Somaliland photo

Hargeisa is a very safe city, Money Exchangers with all types of money display their cash openly on the streets.

Hargeisa is a very safe city,  Money Exchangers with all types of money display their cash openly on the streets.

Posted at 02:34 pm by Somaliland
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Aug 15, 2006
Belgians arrested in Somaliland

Belgians arrested in Somaliland

The authorities in Somalia's breakaway region of Somaliland have arrested three Belgian immigration officials because they did not have the proper papers. The officials were accompanying a Somali man deported from Belgium. The Somaliland authorities said not only did the Belgians have no visas, but also they did not have the required documents for repatriating the man. The deportee was sent back to Ethiopia, from where the group had taken a connecting flight.

Somaliland declared its independence from Somalia in 1991 following the overthrow of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre. However, the country is not recognised internationally.

Posted at 03:57 pm by Somaliland
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Aug 14, 2006
A country only to its own citizens


A country only to its own citizens

By Will Reno
Published August 13, 2006

HARGEISA, Somaliland -- Diplomats and international lawyers know this place as the northern bits of Somalia. To the extent that Americans know it, it's linked to the ill-fated U.S. intervention in Somalia in the early 1990s.

The people here distance themselves from all that. They call this place the Republic of Somaliland. They insist that they be called Somalilanders, not Somalis. In their minds, they are not part of a country most of the world associates with disorder.

I have come here to research a book on people who make their own peace when surrounded by war. The rest of the world does not recognize that the people, after much suffering, have built their own state, which they proclaimed on May 18, 1991. This is especially interesting to me because as an associate professor of political science at Northwestern University, I study how communities in war zones manage to stop fighting and create order.

Through the 1970s and 1980s the people here suffered the oppressions of a military dictatorship based in the south. Ruined buildings remain, reminders of the repression that culminated in 1988 with the city's bombardment.

According to Human Rights Watch, the New York-based human-rights organization, this operation took 50,000 lives, or about 1 in 5 of the city's population at that time. This is the event that forever foreclosed any possibility of reunion with the south.

Somalilanders argue that their persecution was far worse than what Serbia's president and internationally acknowledged war criminal Slobodan Milosevic meted out to Kosovo in the late 1990s.

Like Somaliland, Kosovo was part of a state that persecuted its own people on the basis of their community identity. Unlike Somaliland, the governments of the world agreed to recognize Kosovo's right to a separate existence, likely to culminate in their independence. The people here say: "How can the world have forgotten us?"

It is the ironic misfortune of Somalilanders that Mogadishu lacks its Milosevic. There is no single authority there with whom to negotiate or to coerce into accepting the independence of Somaliland. The old dictator, Mohamed Siad Barre, fled in January 1991, and in diplomatic terms, the place has remained in limbo ever since.

Educated Somalilanders point to their society's achievements since 1991. They show off a local library, clinics, a mental health facility. They have had help with this from residents who have returned after a widespread diaspora.

Political party leaders and government administrators, for example, are conversant with Chicago topics.

More important, these returnees bring to Somaliland a liberal and cosmopolitan view of the world.

Returnees from Canada, the U.S. and Britain bring democratic ideas about government. They organize groups to press for women's rights. They insist on vigorous local government and can be quite critical of how it operates. They combine these ideas with traditional ideas of egalitarianism that they inherit from their nomadic ancestors. They applaud the inclusion of elders in government, a significant innovation in African politics, where many complain of the "artificial" imposition of foreign ideas of government.

Amid all this, the country wears another face. The hard stares in the market directed at Americans and the constant blaring of the loudspeakers on the mosques illustrate the growing popularity of fundamentalist Islam. Islamic schools called madrassas sprout up as alternatives to the secular schools.

For people who cannot get a passport to travel--because Somaliland is not a recognized state, other governments will not accept its passports -- religious education funded by Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf states offers people a different way of connecting with the outside world.

It is a familiar sense that I remember from my work in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. In all of those places before wars began, the local middle class and liberal elite would tell me that war was impossible there.

Yet watching the BBC in the hotel, I can see that the war in the south is creeping north.

To prepare the way for the religiously pure society of the future, the fighters kill the women's rights advocates, peace activists, policy specialists and others who would moderate the country's politics.

For the people here, these problems boil down to the question of recognition. They say the lack of recognition separates them from the foreign diplomats, businesses and travelers with whom they share ideas. It ties their hands against people whose international connections do not depend on niceties of diplomacy and state recognition.

They argue that Somaliland was a separate British protectorate from 1884 to 1960, and that it enjoyed several days of independence until it was joined to the Italian-ruled south.

Somaliland presents the world with the classic dilemma of self-determination. Many diplomats argue that to grant recognition would encourage other separatists and lead to an increasingly fragmented map.

U.S. and European diplomats, for instance, fear this would pull apart other states and make already complicated foreign policy even more complex. Officials in other African countries are concerned that disenchantment could spread to their own countries.

Somalilanders counter that they already were a country before joining Somalia, and that recognition would not break precedent. They argue that supporting their accomplishments would contribute to stability in the region.

Recognition, they argue, would do that.

From my vantage point, they have a good argument.


Will Reno is an associate professor of political science at Northwestern University.

Posted at 07:11 pm by Somaliland
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