Somaliland´s Presidential Election Assumes Growing Priority as Major Powers Sense Strategic Urgency of the Horn Situation

Somaliland´s Presidential Election Assumes Growing Priority as Major Powers Sense Strategic Urgency of the Horn Situation


(Hadhwanaagnews)  Thursday, April 22, 2010

Somaliland´s Presidential Election Assumes Growing Priority as Major Powers Sense Strategic Urgency of the Horn Situation

Analysis. From GIS Station Hargeisa, and other sources in the region. Somaliland´s delayed Presidential election is back on track after a period of active foreign interference to manipulate the electoral rolls, and is expected to take place before the end of 2010. The issue has assumed a significantly-increased profile within the US State Department and other foreign governments as security concerns mount in neighboring Somalia and, across the Bab el-Mandeb, in Yemen and the Arabian Peninsula.

The US took the unprecedented step, in March 2010, of inviting a major delegation of Cabinet members and officials from the Republic of Somaliland to Washington for a series of talks on the country´s future. The move was tantamount to de facto recognition of Somaliland´s sovereign status, something which the Egyptian Government and the Arab League, under Secretary-General (and Egyptian Presidential hopeful) Amr Moussa have ensured had not happened through the African Union (AU).

The US step, and the fact that Yemen – which had earlier refused recognition to Somaliland – has now itself opened a discreet diplomatic mission in Hargeisa, are signs that the Egyptian position on Somaliland is beginning to crumble. Significantly, Iranian moves, supported by Egypt, to hint that Somaliland was about to receive diplomatic recognition from Israel have, despite significant publicity, been seen to have been canards to mobilize support for Somaliland´s continued isolation.

Ironically, Egypt´s desire to see all Red Sea access cut to Ethiopian traders – a move designed to somehow weaken Ethiopia and its potential to cut off the headwaters of the Blue Nile, Egypt´s lifeline1 - has backfired, placing Egypt on the side of Iranian expansion down through the Arabian Peninsula and into the Horn.2 Extract from Defense & Foreign Affairs Special Analysis 2 April 21, 2010 D&FA Confidential © 2010 Global Information System, ISSA

The situation was not helped when the Government was forced to postpone the Presidential elections, in large part due to the corruption of voter registration records by an external group, run by international financier George Soros.3

Getting the electoral rolls and the election process back on track, and ensuring transparency and credibility for the process, has, as a result, clearly been a priority for the Government, the opposition parties, and the international community spearheaded by the US, the UK, and some European Union (EU) countries.

The election was postponed more than once as a result of lack of preparation on the part of the three national political parties – the ruling party (Unity of Democratic Alliance: UDUB) and the two opposition parties, KULMIYE and UCID – and because of an internationally-financed Voter Registration List which was found to be seriously flawed and unusable.

The international community – mainly the EU, led by the UK – unwittingly initially gave credibility to the opposition because of the delays, blaming the Government, and exerting pressure on the UDUB Government. The US State Department´s Africa Bureau reversed this trend by firmly supporting a realistic locally-determined and reasonable intra-party compromise which postponed the election so that it could be held after a Voter Registration acceptable to the parties could be restored.

However, EU diplomats – and particularly some UK officials, applying discreet pressure while the UK Government of Prime Minister Gordon Brown is distracted by the forthcoming Parliamentary election in the UK – have continued putting pressure on Somaliland´s National Electoral Commission (NEC) to declare an election date while there has been no sign of the emergence of an agreed-on Voter Registration List.

A US observer noted: “It seems that the Europeans are oblivious to the dangers which surround this whole process. It seems that the Europeans have outdone the Americans in demanding ‘democracy´ without looking at the realities of whether democracy could be achieved absent sound voter lists, and without paying any regard for the consequences for stability in the Horn of Africa and Red Sea. This is too significant an area for world trade and security to allow Somaliland to be destabilized at this point; that would be profoundly damaging to regional and global security interests.”

The three parties competing for the presidency have dramatically-varied experience, which has also led to some caution by regional and US observers as to the wisdom of pushing for elections before the proper voter registration and voter education has been undertaken.

  • The ruling party, UDUB, was established by the founding president the late Mohamed Ibrahim Egal and now led by his (then) vice-president Dahir Riyale Kahin, who was elected to the Presidency by a popular vote in 2003. The party, known for its liberal tradition and pro-Western posture, has been in power since its establishment and as such is the only political organization in Somaliland which has had practical experience in government.
  • The main opposition party, Kulmiye4, was created hastily after the death of Pres. Egal so that its leader, Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo, could run for the presidency in 2003. He lost the election, which was deemed fair and free, to Pres. Kahin. The party´s membership is mainly drawn from one of the three major Isaac sub-clans which constitute the majority of the Somaliland population and as such is narrowly-based and lacks wide political support from the non-Isaac clans in the western and eastern regions of the country. Further, because of its relentless quest for popular support, at any price, the party has co-opted a group of known Islamists who came either from political organizations which failed to be recognized as political parties or splintered from other parties and organizations. Of recent however, the party became top heavy with known members of said group. They include:

1. Abdul-Aziz Samaale, the first deputy speaker of the House of Representatives.
2. Dr (of medicine) Mohamed Abdi Gaboose, major political advisor to Mr Silanyo.
3. Eng. Mohamed Hashi Elmi, political advisor.
Extract from Defense & Foreign Affairs Special Analysis 3 April 21, 2010 D&FA Confidential © 2010 Global Information System, ISSA

These men in Kulmiye, and many others who are less visible but hold important policy positions in the party structure, believe that the Somaliland Constitution should be abandoned, and that the nation should be ruled by Qur´anic law. In this regard, Kulmiye is supportive of Islamic extremists such al-Shabaab in neighboring Somalia. Some Kulmiye officials have said that they believe that democracy was a Western conspiracy to destroy the Islamic world. As such they see the US and other Western democracies as the enemy.

One Kulmiye source in Hargeisa told GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs: “Many in the party are marking their time, hoping that Silanyo – who is ageing – will either die soon (preferably if he wins the Presidential election), or will retire after the election if he loses.” Fearing the advent of such a scenario, a seasoned Horn of Africa strategic analyst expressed concern about the possibility of Kilmiye taking power in Hargeisa, with its unpredictable ramifications for Somaliland´s quest for international recognition and for the stability of the region.

Mr Silanyo – who visited Washington, DC, in late 2009 – is known to be a pan-Somalist. In other words, he is known to be against the concept of a sovereign Republic of Somaliland, and in favor of returning Somaliland to the union with the former Italian Somaliland, including Puntland. There is widespread belief that if he was elected, and pushed for a return to the old union of Somalia, then Somaliland itself could break down into civil war, and, in that respect, make the now-stable Republic much like its neighbor, the presently lawless Somalia.

The other party, UCID, is considered to be more of a non-governmental organization (NGO) than a political party, and is solely run by its leader, Faysal Warabe, to collect contributions from the Somaliland diaspora. It has no noticeable political base and as such could only hope to be a tie-breaker in the forthcoming election, but that is not considered probable.

Footnotes:

1. A meeting of Nile countries held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, during mid-April 2010 resulted in Egypt threatening countries in the Nile Basin. One observer at the Sharm el-Sheikh conference said: “There is fear among the Egyptian population that the upper Nile countries [including and particularly Ethiopia] want to control the waters of the Nile. They say this was driving politicians away from signing the proposed Nile Cooperative Framework Agreement.” Randa Abdul Azm, the Cairo Bureau Chief of Al Arabiya TV channel, was quoted as saying that Egyptians grow up with the knowledge that Egypt is a gift of the Nile, meaning that without the Nile, Egypt cannot exist. Thus, politicians fear the risk of giving away what they consider Egypt´s historical rights over the Nile. The decade-long program to create an agreement on the use of Nile waters, the bulk of which come from the Blue Nile which originates in Ethiopia, was supposed to deliver two outcomes; a legally binding framework and an institution to be called the Nile Basin Commission. However, Egypt and Sudan have blocked proposals by all other Nile Basin states, yet the initiative expires in 2012.

2. See: Copley, Gregory R.: “Media, and Political, Hysteria Over Yemen Obfuscates a Broader, Deeper Strategic Matrix of Long-Term Importance”, in Defense & Foreign Affairs Special Analysis, January 17, 2010, and “Somaliland Emerging as Key Counter-Balance to Worsening Somalia Situation, and as Vital Element in Red Sea Security”, in Defense & Foreign Affairs Special Analysis, March 19, 2010.

3. The Special Analysis report of March 19, 2010, noted: “Somaliland has had a strong elected parliament and government since it resumed independence in 1991 from its dysfunctional union with Italian Somaliland in 1960 to create Somalia, but there have been strong attempts to distort the election process. That subversion of the election process – by creating false voter registration records – occurred in recent years as a result of foreign non-governmental organization (NGO) activity linked to US financier George Soros (who funded the “color revolutions” in Georgia, Ukraine, Serbia, and Kyrgyz Republic) and former Finnish leader and subsequent UN official Marti Ahtisaari. Ahtisaari had been documented by major European intelligence services as having taken extensive bribes from Albanian groups to ensure that he would give the UN imprimatur to the independence of Kosovo from Serbia, claims which the UN subsequently refused to properly investigate”. …” There was evidence that the NGO activity was designed to create a new government in Somaliland which would grant major mineral, energy, and other concessions to the hidden sponsors of the de facto coup. The NGO bribed a number of Somaliland election commission employees when it began the phony voter registration Extract from Defense & Foreign Affairs Special Analysis 4 April 21, 2010 D&FA Confidential © 2010 Global Information System, ISSA

campaign, and the endeavor was subsequently stopped, and a new, transparent voter registration was undertaken to prepare the country for elections, expected [at the time of writing] to be held in 2011.”

4. Kulmiye essentially means “unity” or “gathering together” in Somali. The party logo shows two hands shaking each other. Kulmiye is also the name of party leader Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo´s son, and was the name of the Vice-President of Somalia under the late Pres. Mohammed Siad Barre. Somaliland sources indicate that the name is also “code” for revived unity between former Italian Somaliland and the Republic of Somaliland (former British Somaliland). Politicians in the former Italian Somalia have publicly declared support for Silanyo because they believe that he would then re-create a united Somalia under his leadership.

Fotbolls sjärnan Zlatan Ibrahimovic och Sveriges Kung Carl Gustav

Somaliland calls for ‘special status’

OBS! en äldre artikel, men mycket intressant att läsa.
Note: an older article.
Somaliland calls for ‘special status’

President of the self-declared republic of Somaliland Mohamed Ibrahim Egal has called for it to be given special status by the United Nations.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Egal said the breakaway republic needed to pursue separate development outside Somalia.

His comments are a significant climbdown from his previous determination to secure international recognition for Somaliland as an independent state.

He said an interim status like that of Kosovo or East Timor would allow Somaliland to deal with donors and international financial institutions – and unlock international purse strings.

Somaliland, a former British protectorate, broke away from Somalia in 1991 and has repeatedly expressed fears of being dragged back into the country’s long-running civil war.

Investment

“We accept the fact that the international community at the moment is not geared towards giving us sovereign recognition,” Mr Egal told the London-based newspaper.

Somaliland
Broke away from Somalia – 1991

Population – 3.5m

Life expectancy – 48

Capital – Hargeisa

Currency – shilling

“So what we say is that, just like the Palestinians or the Kosovans or the people in Timor, we should be given a special status, an interim special status whereby we can at least deal with donors and the international financial institutions.”

Somaliland is relatively stable compared to Somalia and it is keen to encourage investment from foreign companies and from its diaspora.

It has several airlines and telecommunications companies operating out of its capital, Hargeisa, and also offers the cheapest internet access rates in the region.

However, the lack of international recognition stifles development.

In the banking sector credit and money transfers are impossible; in the oil industry insurance rates are at the astronomical war levels applicable in neighbouring Somalia.

Hence the appeal by President Egal.

He has also signed a new law to set up political parties within 18 months, by which time a constitutional referendum will be held.

Somaliland opposes the current UN-backed efforts to reunite Somalia, which it sees as a threat to its current autonomy.

OBS! en äldre artikel, men mycket intressant att läsa.
Note: an older article.

Sources: BBC

This month, the people of the self-declared Republic of Somaliland, in the Horn of Africa, will mark ten years since they broke away from Somalia.

The self-declared republic has a government, an army, a national flag and an anthem. It even has its own currency. But in the decade that has passed, Somaliland has been unable to secure international recognition as an independent state.

Charles Haviland reports on how Somaliland is on the road to development despite its uncertain diplomatic status.

Click here to listen to Assignment


In 1960, British Somaliland, on the Gulf of Aden, and Italian Somaliland, on the Indian Ocean, gained independence from their colonial powers. In a spirit of pan-Somali nationalism, they merged to form the United Republic of Somalia. The former British colony comprised its north western part.

But that spirit of harmony did not last long. Hussein Bulhan, director of the Somaliland Centre for Peace and Development, explains:

‘The iniquity began from the very start. There was a very disproportionate representation in the Parliament. The capital city became Mogadishu – in the South. The president was a southerner…the prime minister was from the south. So frustration began from the start.’


Internal Violence
In 1969, Muhammad Siad Barre assumed power in Somalia. He began to elect people from his own clan (the Marehan) for governments posts, to the exclusion of other clans, such as the Mijertyn and Issaq.

In the early 80s, opposition to Siad Barre’s military regime began to emerge. Members of the Issaq clan formed a guerrilla group, to fight against southern rule. It was called the Somali National Movement (SNM). In 1988, the SNM launched an offensive in the northern cities of Hargeisa and Burco.

The forces of Siad Barre’s government responded by bombarding the cities and pursuing the separatist rebels. Schools were razed; water and electricity were made inaccessible. Half a million northerners fled into Ethiopia. Some fifty thousand people died. Those who returned, after the Somali army had left the north, found their homes looted and mined.

Abdurrahman Ahmed Hassan, the chairman of a voluntary group recently set up to preserve the graves of civilians killed by government troops in 1988, describes what United Nations experts found during their excavations:

‘People were chained together. Women and children also. I think, about thousands.’


Early in 1991, under pressure from opposition clans, Siad Barre fled Mogadishu. His departure offered the momentum for the north west to break away from Somalia and declare itself independent.

Break-Away Region
On 18 May 1991, Somaliland proclaimed itself independent with the slogan, ‘No More Mogadishu.’ Hargeisa was chosen as capital. In May 1993, a council of elders elected Mohammed Ibrahim Egal as the president.

During its first years, Somaliland was convulsed by internal clan-based violence. However, recently, rival clan members have reached power-sharing treaties.

Hussein Hassan Ali Mousseh, a clan elder from the town of Erigavo, in eastern Somaliland recalls:

‘All the clans came here and said let us forget claims, let us begin a new chapter.’


In order for a new chapter to begin, clan members needed to be properly represented in the government.

The Issue Of Representation
Currently members of Somaliland’s Parliament are chosen along clan lines. But this could change if a new draft multi-party constitution is approved by referendum at the end of May.

The legal adviser to the parliament, Ahmed Ali Kahen, explains:

‘There has been an attempt to make a framework in which parties do not divide along those lines. There are going to be three main national parties and each party has to have representatives from all the other regions, where all clans are represented…It will resolve the issue of division along regional or tribal lines.’

The referendum is due to be followed by elections in 2002.

Unrecognised
So far, the international community has not recognised Somaliland’s independent status and is unwilling to endorse the fragmentation of the Horn of Africa.

Because of its unofficial status, Somaliland can not enter into formal trade agreements with other nations or seek assistance from world financial institutions.

The national revenue relies on two main sources: livestock exports and remittances from the Somali diaspora. A population of roughly 3.5 million depends on these. A large percentage of the population live in poverty.

President Egal says Somaliland’s unofficial status creates many obstacles:

‘The most disabling thing is the lack of communication with the international community. We have no ambassadors. We only have international agencies…We have no telephone code of our own. We are still using the Somalia code.’

There are no proper banks but rather money traders who trade Somaliland currency – the shilling. As it is not a member of the international postal union, Somaliland must hire multinational companies, such as DHL, to deliver its mail abroad.

Attracting Foreign Investment
President Egal also says attracting foreign investment is difficult. Somaliland is believed to have rich oil deposits in the coastal region but companies interested in exploring them are hindered by the lack of proper insurance for their equipment and personnel.

In a move to fuel the economy in the region, President Egal has endorsed a liberal economic regime. Foreign companies are allowed to buy stakes in local enterprises, and small and medium-sized businesses are in the making.

The result is a thriving private sector. Somaliland currently has five private airlines, several electricity companies and as many as five telecommunications companies, which offer both mobile and landline telephone services.

Despite this economic boom, Somaliland still awaits diplomatic recognition ten years after declaring itself a nation.

Sources: BBC

Regions and territories: Somaliland

Regions and territories: Somaliland

Map of Somaliland

A breakaway, semi-desert territory on the coast of the Gulf of Aden, Somaliland declared independence after the overthrow of Somali military dictator Siad Barre in 1991.

The move followed a secessionist struggle during which Siad Barre’s forces pursued rebel guerrillas in the territory. Tens of thousands of people were killed and towns were flattened.

Overview

Though not internationally recognised, Somaliland has a working political system, government institutions, a police force and its own currency. The territory has lobbied hard to win support for its claim to be a sovereign state.

Men herding goats and sheep in Hargeisa

Livestock rearing is a key economic activity

The former British protectorate has also escaped much of the chaos and violence that plague Somalia, although attacks on Western aid workers in 2003 raised fears that Islamic militants in the territory were targeting foreigners.

Although there is a thriving private business sector, poverty and unemployment are widespread. The economy is highly dependent on money sent home by members of the diaspora. Duties from Berbera, a port used by landlocked Ethiopia, and livestock exports are important sources of revenue.

The latter have been hit by embargoes on exports, imposed by some Gulf countries to inhibit the spread of Rift Valley Fever.

Somaliland is in dispute with the neighbouring autonomous Somali region of Puntland over the Sanaag and Sool areas, some of whose inhabitants owe their allegiance to Puntland.

Monument to those who fought in Somaliland secessionist war,  Hargeisa

A monument commemorates those who fought for secession

Somaliland’s leaders have distanced themselves from Somalia’s central transitional government, set up in 2004 following long-running talks in Kenya, which they see as a threat to Somaliland’s autonomy.

Somaliland was independent for a few days in 1960, between the end of British colonial rule and its union with the former Italian colony of Somalia. More than 40 years later voters in the territory overwhelmingly backed its self-declared independence in a 2001 referendum.

Facts

  • Territory: Somaliland
  • Status: Self-declared republic. Not recognised internationally.
  • Population: 3.5 million (Somaliland government estimate)
  • Capital: Hargeisa
  • Major languages: Somali, Arabic, English
  • Major religion: Islam
  • Life expectancy: n/a
  • Monetary unit: Somaliland shilling
  • Main exports: Livestock
  • GNI per capita: n/a
  • Internet domain: n/a
  • International dialling code: +252

Leaders

President: Dahir Riyale Kahin

Dahir Riyale Kahin, from the ruling Unity of Democrats (UDUB) party, won Somaliland’s first multi-party presidential elections in April 2003 with a slim majority.

His 5-year term, which officially ended in May 2008, was controversially extended by Somaliland’s council of elders. After several false starts, a deal was reached with the opposition to hold the presidential election on 27 September 2009. Disputes remain about the veracity of the electoral register, however, and the opposition may yet boycott the vote.

Mr Riyale was originally appointed in 2002 by the council of elders, following the death of his predecessor Mohamed Ibrahim Egal.

Somaliland President Dahir Riyale Kahin

Dahir Riyale Kahin – pressing for world’s recognition of Somaliland

On taking office he said his priorities would be to ensure the territory’s continued security and to press for international recognition for its independence.

Voters went to the polls in September 2005 to elect a new parliament; MPs had hitherto been chosen by clans through a process of consultation. Somaliland’s leaders saw the election as the culmination of a democratic process which, they hoped, would better the chances of international recognition.

Media

Since 1991, Radio Hargeisa has been the Somaliland government’s official mouthpiece. The government also owns Somaliland National Television (SLNTV).

The authorities maintain a tight hold on broadcasting. Radio is the most accessible form of media, although Radio Hargeisa is the only permitted domestic outlet. The BBC is available in Hargeisa on 89 FM.

A private TV station, Somaliland Television (SLTV), is permitted to operate. A cable TV service is run by Hargeysa Cable.

The press can carry criticism of the government but the market for printed publications is small.

The press

  • Somaliland Times – Hargeisa, English-language weekly published by Haatuf Media Network
  • Haatuf – Hargeisa, private daily
  • Jamhuuriya – Hargeisa, private
  • Mandeeq – Hargeisa, state-owned

Television

  • Somaliland National TV (SLNTV) – government-controlled, Hargeisa area
  • Somaliland Television (SLTV) – private

Radio

  • Radio Hargeisa – government-controlled

Sources: BBC

Land where grass is a spectacle

Land where grass is a spectacle

Camels on their way to Berbera and Arabia. Photo/JOHN FOX

Camels on their way to Berbera and Arabia. Photo/JOHN FOX

By JOHN FOX
Posted Saturday, January 30 2010 at 15:52

Look!” my companion said, “look over there!” Through the car window I could see only the anthills and the occasional trees that had been there for the last hour or so.

“Where? What are you seeing?” I asked.

“Grass,” he said. “I think that is grass over there.”

Remarkable, isn’t it, how quickly we come to appreciate things when they go missing?

That must have been the first patch of grass we had seen for our 10 days in Somaliland – in all our travels from Hargeisa north to Berbera at the coast of the Gulf of Aden, south-east through Sheikh to Burao, and then cutting back west and across a desert to Odweine.

On the plateau beyond the Goolis Mountains, we were crossing the widest, most desolate plain of the Lhabr Gerhajis, where an anthill or a tree – and certainly a patch of grass – becomes an event.

Nearer Odweine there were gazelles here and there. And then a few isolated homesteads and kraals.

When it rains these people must be marooned. But this was the dry Jilal that lasts from December through to April: the season that the explorer Richard Burton, who visited in the mid 19th century, called the worst for his travelling with mules and camels because of the lack of grass and water.

I had taken Burton’s book with me: his First Footsteps in East Africa, in which he describes his journey to the ancient Islamic centre of Harar, disguised as an Arab merchant.

But I was particularly interested in what he had to say about Berbera – and then compare with our own experience of it, a century and a half later.

He called it “the great emporium of Eastern Africa”. He was fascinated by its long history of being ruled, turn and turn about, by Persians, Arabs, Turks, the Oromo and Somalis.

And he wished that Britain had chosen it as a staging post rather than Aden across on the north shore of the gulf – a place he regarded as bleak, unhealthy and an “engineer folly of stone and lime”.

As for Berbera, he described it as having “a salubrious climate, a mild monsoon, a fine open country, an excellent harbour, and a soil highly productive”.

Sadly, there are few remnants left in Berbera of its varied and rich past – of the kind we can find on our own coast in places such as Lamu, Malindi and Mombasa.

As for the salubrious climate, we were surprised at how cold it was when we were there in early January. I had advised my colleagues not to bother about carrying sweaters because when I was in Hargeisa this last December, they were not at all necessary.

The best way to keep warm at the Maan-Soor Hotel on the open coast to the east of the town was to sit directly in the sun – but only in the morning, because by the afternoon, the chill breeze was coming strongly off the sea.

As the main port for the region – used by Ethiopia as well as Somaliland – Berbera has suffered from the livestock ban imposed 11 years ago because of Rift Valley fever.

But with the lifting of the ban in November by Saudi Arabia, the commerce of the town has come to life again. And driving back to Hargeisa we saw stretched lines of camels being herded to the port.

Sources: Daily Nation

Direct flights to Somaliland launched

Direct flights to Somaliland launched

Official from the Kenya Airport Authority moves dancers way from  the runway after an East African Safari Air Express lands at the Kisumu  Airport. The airline has launched direct flights to Somaliland. PHOTO/  JAMES NJUGUNA

Official from the Kenya Airport Authority moves dancers way from the runway after an East African Safari Air Express lands at the Kisumu Airport. The airline has launched direct flights to Somaliland. PHOTO/ JAMES NJUGUNA

By NATION Correspondent
Posted Sunday, January 31 2010 at 20:00

Travelling to Somaliland is now easier with the launch of direct flights to the city of Hargeisa in the country by East African Safari Air Express.

This follows the signing of a bilateral trade agreement between the airline and the Government of Somaliland last year.

However, no bilateral agreements have been put in place between the Kenyan government and the country

The firm will be operating scheduled flights twice a week, on Tuesday and Saturday’s.

Mr Hussein Ali Duale, minister of Finance of Somaliland, said this is bound to open the country to trade from the East African Community.

The two-hour flight from JKIA cuts down on a tedious 12-hour journey of connecting flights.

Kenya should back Somaliland’s quest for recognition

Kenya should back Somaliland’s quest for recognition

Published on

By Peter Aringo

A Kenyan parliamentary delegation visited Somaliland last year and was led by Farah Maalim, the Deputy Speaker of the Kenya National assembly.

The aim of the delegation was to study the economic, political and humanitarian situation in Somaliland. They were to report their findings and recommendations to the Speaker of the National assembly who, if he approved their report, would transmit it to the House Business Committee for allocation of parliamentary time for the House to debate it and make a decision. The report is before Parliament awaiting debate and approval.

This was not the first Kenyan parliamentary delegation to visit Somaliland. Between December 19 and 26, 2006, Mr Paul Muite, led a Kenyan parliamentary delegation on a fact-finding mission to Somaliland, at the invitation of its leadership. The initiatives are a reflection of positive obsession by the people of Somaliland to achieve recognition by the international community as an independent and sovereign state among the international community of nations.

Lack of international recognition has negatively affected Somaliland. The Republic of Somaliland cannot do business with other governments and multi lateral organisations.

Nor does the government of Somaliland have access to the kind of bilateral and multilateral financial assistance that would assist in the reconstructions and the development of the country.

The absence of international banks has tied the hands of Somaliland private sector. Bedsides foreign investors are reluctant to do business in a country where the validity of their agreement with the government is legally questionable.

Uncertainty

Somaliland travel documents are not valid for international travel and this adversely affects businesspersons, students and scholars. Majority of Somalilanders in the Diaspora are reluctant to return home under conditions of such uncertainty.

The Maalim delegation has made the recommendation that the Kenya government should develop a framework for limited engagement with Somaliland to promote trade and enhance security in the Horn of Africa. Kenya has provided this regional leadership in the creation of the Transitional Federal Government for Somalia and in the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that settled the Sudan conflict.

The indigenous homegrown strategies which have brought reconciliation, peace and stability in Somaliland can provide lessons from which Kenyan, Igad and AU can learn and adopt and apply to Somalia to end hostility and war.

The delegation acknowledged in their report to the Kenya Parliament the accomplishments of the government and the people of Somaliland. These include the consolidation of civil administration which now covers 90 per cent of the country’s disciplined arm, police force and a stable currency.

The government and the people of Somaliland have consolidated democracy through a multiparty electoral system and creation of viable and accountable democratic institutions. If Parliament approves the report of the parliamentary delegation, it will send appropriate signal to the government of Kenya to engage with Somaliland and to lead the campaign for the recognition of the Republic of Somaliland as a full member of Igad, AU and the United Nations.

Complex crisis

Kenya should lead the way in open and direct engagement with the Republic of Somaliland. The security of Kenya has been complicated by piracy in the Gulf of Eden and the Indian Ocean and this has direct bearing on international trade and peace in the region.

Kenya should use its immense influence in Igad and AU to put pressure on Somalia to renounce the notion of “a Greater Somalia” and Somali expansionism through the recognition of Somaliland.

This would offer a lasting solution to the complex crisis in Somalia and in the north-east region of Africa.

The writer is a former Alego Usonga MP.

Sources: The Standard

French Delegation Visits Somaliland

Förra veckan var diplomaternas vecka i Somaliland. Innan den franska ambassadören i Djibouti, Dominique Decherf kom till Somaliland, fanns Storbrittaniens Ethiopia ambassadör i Somaliland, för att träffa regerinegn och oppositions partierna. Omvärlden trycker på Somalilands regering att genomföra den planerade president valet som kommer att äga rum i Somaliland. Enligt val kommitionens ordförande, ska president valet hållas i Juni, men det är inte  riktigt klar än. Val kommitionen har inte faststäält val datum än.

De senaste dagarna har röst sedelerna nåtts i Somaliland.

French Delegation Visits Somaliland

Hargeysa, Somaliland, April 17, 2010 (SL Times) – A French delegation led by the French Ambassador in Djibouti Mr Dominique Decherf arrived in Hargeysa’s Egal International Airport Friday.
Speaking to the press at Mansoor Hotel, Mr Dominique Decherf said the main reason he came to Somaliland was to check on the progress of the preparations for Somaliland’s presidential election and to press Somaliland’s government, political parties and the electoral commission on the necessity of holding election for pushing forward the democratic process; and towards this end, the ambassador will meet with the three political parties, the election commission and will hold a special meeting with the president. Ambassador Dominique Decherf also revealed that his country will assist Somaliland in the field of university education, French language studies. This is the second time that Mr Dominique Decherf visits Somaliland.
Somaliland Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Mr Abdirahman Osman Adan also spoke to the press. He welcomed the delegation and said they came here so that they will convey to their government what they found out. “As you know, the British deputy ambassador left the day before yesterday and we are expecting many other delegations,” he added.
Accompanying the delegation was Somaliland representative in France, Mr Ali Ismail Hassan who said, “Whatever I was going to say was already said by the Ambassador and the minister, but you can see the important job that Somaliland’s office is doing in France.”
The French delegation had four members. Two of them were from the French embassy in Djibouti, and two were from the ministries of education and culture. The delegation included Banos Robles Bernard from the ministry of education, Thierry Choiner the General Secretary of the French embassy in Djibouti and Jacques Sabrot the director of the French cultural office in Djibouti.

British Delegation Arrives In Hargeysa

British Delegation Arrives In Hargeysa

Hargeysa, Somaliland, April 17, 2010 (SL Times) – A delegation from the British embassy in the UK led by the Deputy Ambassador John Marshall arrived in Hargeysa.

The purpose of the visit was to check on the preparation for the presidential election including the election code of conduct that was signed this week by Somaliland’s three political parties. The delegation met with Somaliland’s president, the election commission and the political parties.

Asked by Haatuf news about the reason behind the British delegation’s visit, the Spokesman of the Election Commission Muhammad Ahmed Hirsi Geelle said it was part of the visits that the British embassy regularly pays to Somaliland and it also had to do with the election.

Somaliland Vice President Returns To The Country

Hargeysa, Somaliland, April 17, 2010 (SL Times) – Somaliland vice president Ahmed Yusuf Yasin returned to Somaliland on Friday.
The vice president came back from France where he was for medical treatment. He was warmly welcomed in Berbera airport by government ministers, Berbera officials, and ordinary citizens.
The Somaliland Times welcomes the vice president and prays to Allah to preserve his health.

Sources:The Somaliland Times

Somalilands fd utrikesminister fick medalj av Frankrikes president Nicolas Sarkozy

Somalilands fd utrikesministern fick medalj av Frankrikes president Nicolas Sarkozy

April 20, 2010 somaliland1991

Somaliland f.d. utrikesministern, Edna Adan fick en medalj av Frankrikes president Nicolas Sarkoszy

Som skickade med Frankrikes Djibouti ambassadör Dominika. Tanken var att hon skulle ta emot medaljen där i Frankrike, men hon valde att ta emot den istället i Hargeisa. Medaljen är en av de fina medaljer som president, Nicolas Sarkoszy delar ut till de individer som gjort goda insatser för människor. Edna Adan var Somalilands första kvinnliga utrikesminister någonsin. Hon är också f.d. Hustru till den avlidne f.d. President i Somaliland, Mohammed Hagi Ibrahim (Egal) som avled 3 Maj 2003 i Syd Afrika. Hon är utbildat till barnmorska och f.d. WHO ledare.

Hon har sagt att hon har alltid drömt om att bygga en kvinna Sjukhus. I dag driver hon och är sjukhus direktör Edna Hospital of Somaliland. Han har fått många fina priser de senaste åren, hon reser utomnland och bruka hålla föredrag.

© Somaliland1991

Somaliland Finally Prepares Presidential Polls

Somaliland Finally Prepares Presidential Polls’

Hargeysa, Somaliland, April 17, 2010 (SL Times) – The National Electoral Commission in Somaliland finally is ready to organize the country’s second presidential elections in June this year, two years late.


president Rayaale

According to a brief news release by the government in Hargeysa, Somaliland’s National Electoral Commission has presided over a meeting with the countries political parties, agreeing on the last details for holding the twice postponed presidential elections.
During the meeting, Somalilander political parties signed the code of conduct for the upcoming presidential election. Representatives from President Dahir Riyale Kahin’s ruling UDUB party agreed with the main opposition party Kulmiye and other opposition parties.
The electoral commission presided the meeting that slated the presidential elections to be held in June 2010 “after registration of voters list is completed and new voter identification cards are issued,” according to the government release.
Somaliland organized its first presidential elections in April 2003. The poll, which was deemed both free and fair by international observers, ended in one of the closest poll races ever seen in Africa. President Riyale won the vote with 42.08 percent of the poll, followed by Kulmiye’s candidate receiving 42.07 percent of votes.
President Riyale’s term ended in 2008, but as the electoral commission was not able to organize a nation-wide poll at that state, the Hargeysa parliament agreed to extend his term by one year. Last year, parties agreed to organize elections in September, but again the term of President Riyale had to e extended because voter lists were not ready.
Now, however, the under-funded National Electoral Commission has announced it is close to finishing the electoral preparations. It has established an electronic voter registration system and has started issuing voting registration cards to citizens.
Somaliland – comprising of former British Somaliland – broke away from Somalia – or former Italian Somaliland – as Somalia collapsed into conflict in 1991. While the conflict still goes on in Somalia, Somaliland has managed to establish the only functioning democracy on the African Horn, successfully upholding peace and stability and introducing its own currency and legislation.
The government of Somaliland however never has achieved international recognition, despite a growing Western desire to establish formal ties. This also means that Somaliland is not eligible for international funding and development aid – a fact contributing to the electoral commission’s long delay in getting a voter registration system in place.


Source: Afrol News, April 14, 2010

Somalilands Vice president kom tillbaka till Somaliland

Somalilands Vice president, Ahmed Yasin,  kom tillbaka till Somaliland, efter lång sjukhusvistelse i Paris. Vice presidneten har lagts på sjukhus i Paris och opererats där. Han kom tillbaka till sitt hemland i fredags (igår). Han anlände hamn staden Berberas flygplats, där han välkomnades stora skaror av folk och en mängd dignitärer.  Hans flygplan kunde inte landa i Hargeisa flygplats  pga, stora bygg arbete som pågår där. Efter ankomsten i Berbera, for han vidare till huvudstaden Hargeisa, där tusentals människor kantades vid  gatorna, för att välkomna honom, Ahmed Yasin. Han åkte geneom den stora huvudleden i Hargeisa, och åkte direkt till president palatset, där Somalilands president väntade honom och andra statsråd. Därefter åkte han till sitt residens, det rapporteras att det fanns en mängd människor som samlade sig kring vice presidentens hus. Det sägs att han ska hålla en presskonferens de kommande dagarna. Frågan är om hankommer att ställa upp som vice president kandidat i den kommande president valet som äga rum i Somaliland, med tanke på hans hälso tillstånd.

En ny flyglinje från Stockholm-Berbera

En ny flyglinje från Stockholm-Berbera

En ny flygplan har börjat ta passagerare  från Stockholm till Berbera i Somaliland. Det här första gången en passagerare flygplan åker till Somaliland från Stockholm.  Det har redan börjat traffikera mellan Stockholm och Berbera.Flyplanet som heter Air Malaika

Det här är ett större flygplan som är tänkt att flyga  direkt till Berbera.

Sedan  terrordådet skedde i Somaliland 29 Oktober 2008,

har Ethiopian Airlines stoppat sina flygningar från Addis Abeba till Hargeisa. För många somaliland i diaspora har det varit jobbigt att resa till hemlandet Somaliland. Det internationella flygplatsen Egal internationell Airport är avstägnd de senaste månaderna, eftersom det pågår stora byggarbete. Det ska byggas nya banor, där stora flygpassagerare kan landa typ  stora Boeng. Det ska också byggas nya terminal i Egal Intenatioanell Airport. Luftverk ministern Waran Ade, har gjort stora insatser på flygplatsen och gett ett kinesisk bygg företag att bygga flyplatsen. Alla flygningar till Hargeisa omdirigeras till hamn staden Berbera.

Egal Internationell Airport i Hargiesa

Här Står luftverkministern Ali Mohammed Waran-Ade och inspekterar flygplatsen. Sedan han tillträdde som ministern för  några år sedan, har han gjort stora insatser på flygplatsen, han  låg bakom natt flygningar på flyplatsen, för första gången i Flygplatsens historia. Hargeisas flyplats bygges av kolonial makten (Storbrittanien) 1953. Detta har gjort att flygplan kan både avta och  landa  natte tid.  Flygplatsen har en stor parkering plats. Säkerheten kring flygplatsen har stärks, efter terrordådet i Hargeisa. Det gäller strikta  regler numera, för att komma in själva flygplatsen.

Flygplatsens egen brandkår.

Luftverkministern, Ali Mohammed Waran-Ade

© Somaliland1991

Hargeisa: Revisiting a Familiar Place

Hargeisa: Revisiting a Familiar Place
By Fadumo Omar Mohamed
March 18, 2010

nd we do not expect people to be moved by what is not unusual.  That element of tragedy, which lies in the very fact of frequency, has not yet wrought itself into the coarse emotion of mankind; and perhaps our frames could hardly bear much of it.  If we had a keen vision and feeling for all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and squirrel’s heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence.

George Eliot, Middlemarch

On Wednesday 29 October 2008 the three suicide bombers launched their attacks in Hargeisa, on the residence and office of President Dahir Rayalle Kahin, the UNDP compound, and the Ethiopian commercial liaison premises. This article is in memory of the many victims who died, and is dedicated to those who suffered terrible injuries, and to their families.  It is my own account of being in Hargeisa on that particular day and, furthermore, of being in Hargeisa Hospital on that horrifying morning as the dead and injured were brought in.  I just want to share my story and try to shed some light on the hard, empty, despairing, dark agony and sadness endured by all the families who lost their loved ones, and the feelings they will experience every day, every week, every month and every year for the rest of their lives.

For most of the time in one’s life these bad and odd feelings are so stacked against you that if you thought about confronting them rationally, you would not even know how to begin to take them on. Following my own devastating personal experience in 1990 I have been in this same situation for nearly 20 years. I still have times when total darkness falls upon me and, roaring, envelopes me, and then I feel as if it happened today with the world around me collapsing.

In October 2008 I was in Hargeisa, on a brief visit to Somaliland, and I had never been to Hargeisa before. But there I was, ‘revisiting a familiar place’.

Ambassador Hussein Hassan Farah

His Excellency Ambassador Hussein Hassan Farah (left) being interviewed by a Nigerian journalist in 1980

Mogadishu was home for a diplomat’s wife

I was a young person when in 1975 I last left Somaliland. I had lived in Burao which was my birthplace. After I married a diplomat (see photograph on the left), Mogadishu was home for me; no matter where in the world I went, I always used to return to Mogadishu.  My last memory of Mogadishu is of a morning in 1990 of such dismay and dreadfulness that having started as a ‘normal morning’ it ended with my world, internally and externally, going upside down and never subsequently returning to ‘normal’ for myself and my family.

The particular morning that my world, and world of my family, turned upside down, was that of Monday 4 December 1990. I woke up with my late husband, His Excellency Ambassador Hussein Hassan Farah, and our two daughters, Huda and Zainab, who were under 6 and 2 years old at the time, now young  ladies of 22 and 26.

Ambassor Hussein Hassan Farah
His Excellency Ambassador Hussein Hassan Farah inspecting troops on his way to the Nigerian Presidential Palace to present his accreditation to President Shehu Shagari, October 1980

We got ready for our everyday routine; my husband went to work and I dropped my eldest daughter at her school having planned to engage in some activities and charity work with some other mothers of my daughter’s classmates.

It was about 9am when I heard that my husband had been assassinated, shot dead, along with his driver, just before he reached his office in the old Somali Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Also, I was told that whoever killed my husband would come and hunt for me and my daughters and there was no way that I could stay in our house. My daughter who was in school and I had to be taken to a safe place; my other daughter and her nanny had already been evacuated from our home.

From that Monday I never returned to my home in Mogadishu.  I attended the funeral of my husband in complete and utterly hidden identity and received condolences in total security in a secret place, never having the chance to grieve properly with my family and friends.  Three weeks later I fled with the two girls to London and joined my family here. From that morning my life, and the lives of my children, never returned to ‘normal’.

December 1990 is almost 20 years ago and I am still picking up the pieces and trying to fix what was smashed inside me on that day.  Many times I have found myself combing the shelves of well-stocked bookstores, trying to find something that would reassure me that the relentless despair I was experiencing was anywhere close to being ‘normal’.  I found many professional resources on the psychological impact of tragic loss by assassination as well as autobiographies of families whose loved ones had died in tragic circumstances like mine; yet still all that does not take away my pain; even my training as a psychotherapist has done little to soothe me.  I have never been able to articulate or explain adequately to my daughters what happened to their father and why. From that day until now they still keep asking me the same question again and again, “Why was our father assassinated?”  My answers are still the same: “I do not know”.

Similar feelings of helplessness in Nigeria and Egypt

Ambassador Hussein H. Farah
His Excellency Ambassador Hussein Hassan Farah (right) at the ceremony in which he presented his accreditation to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak (left), October 1982

I have been in trifling, powerless, helpless situations many times in my life. Being the wife of a diplomat is a very complicated position: on the one hand you are an impartial figure in a foreign country and you should not be a target at all; on the other hand you are in position of danger all the time. At the beginning of 1982 I remember myself and my late husband attending a reception in honour of Pope John Paul II, hosted by the Nigerian Government in Lagos. Outside the event an attacker was shot.

At the celebration ceremony on Egyptian National Day, 6 October 1985, an Islamic extremist forced his way in an attempt to kill President Hosni Mubarak. We were trapped under our seats until the situation was brought under control. People on both sides lost their lives. The annual celebrations always used to be a very sensitive time for diplomats as it was the date when President Anwar Sadat was assassinated. On that occasion some diplomats lost their lives and many others were injured. I also remember when unexpected student demonstrators attacked both our home and the Somali Embassy in Egypt on 21 October 1988. Most of the time in those panicky situations you do not know what is happening. You place your safety in the hands of others; all you see is security officers swooping, whispering, atmospheric changes and scariness, if no more.

I arrived in Hargeisa on 22 October 2008

I arrived in Hargeisa on Wednesday 22 October 2008. As a volunteer I was to help for three weeks in the mental health wards of Hargeisa, Borama, and Burao Hospitals. I also gave lectures on mental and psychosocial health in the Hargeisa Nursing School and to nurses in the Edna Adan Maternity Hospital.

Wednesday 29 October was a ‘normal’ morning. I arrived in Hargeisa General Hospital by 8am and I had five other appointments for that day. I was standing in front of a blackboard, holding chalk in my hand and writing information about some of the patients; the ward nurses had selected patients for me to assess.  When I heard the first blast I thought some of the mentally-ill patients had climbed on the roof and were hammering down the building. Other staff in the room said, “An explosion happened somewhere”.  The second blast, louder than the first, shook the building, plunging some dust and dirt down upon us. Immediately running out of the building, we heard great commotion and howling coming from Main Street in front of the Hospital.  Then the third blast hit the Presidential Residence which was just behind the Hospital and next to mental health ward itself.  Half of the roof of the ward came down.  There were many patients who were extremely ill, and they all huddled either in their beds, against walls or, outside the ward, under trees.

By then it had become clear to us that Hargeisa was under some sort of attack.  The noises in the street got louder and louder; the howling increased; the street in front of the Hospital was by then full of school children running around aimlessly, and soldiers pointing guns and running aimlessly too. Some of the mentally-ill patients had run off into the streets.  I remember my eyes passing fleetingly over what seemed to be another disaster in the making, with hundreds of school children and soldiers with heavy weapons in close proximity; and all I did was to stand in the middle of a world that seemed to have gone mad. I remember turning my head left and right with helpless, unknown and puzzled head and eyes.

In the mental health ward everybody start panicking. Should we have let all the mentally-ill patients leave, or not? There were about 82 inpatients and outpatients who had come for their medication. The latter had already run off into the disaster area.  Within 10 minutes the first casualties arrived in the hospital. Some of them were carried in the arms of ordinary people; others were walking-wounded. Ambulances brought more, and other casualties arrived in private cars. Some had bad burns and multiple injuries. Others were dead and mutilated; they arrived in pieces, carried on sheets. I had never seen so much spilled, flowing blood.

So, I share with you all these direct experiences and more, plus my own personal tragedy, loss, despair and pain brought about by a brutal murder which I did not actually witness.  Yet, one year after the Hargeisa bombings, I still feel that I have never witnessed a more ‘helpless’ situation than the one in Hargeisa on that day. Somaliland had little with which to respond to death and the pleas and moans of the wounded, nothing with which to stem the flow of dripping blood forming a trail along the route from the place of the explosion to the door of the hospital. And in the hospital what was to be done with the casualties?  Leave them to sort themselves into the dead and the living? Yet, in the absence of resources, doctors, nurses, and countless others worked miracles.  The demands on the community were out of all proportion. But with determination and passion many worked until next day, non-stop. A fighting spirit was alive and well.

Fadumo Omar Mohamed and her daughters
Fadumo Omar Mohamed with her daughters Huda (left),
Zainab (right)

I left Hargeisa with a heavy heart on 30 October, 2008

Although we are all aware that death will come at its appointed time yet the slaughtering of innocents in this manner has an extreme, painful, mysterious psychological impact on the people who are left behind. All the victims of the bombings were innocent citizens who had left home that morning to go about their daily business: the mother who took her children to school but never collected them; the father who had gone to work for his family, never to return. How could anyone be so evil as to cause such distress? Why would they wish to? There are no easy ways to explain atrocities like the Hargeisa bombings, the 7 July bombings in London, and the destruction of the Twin Towers in New York. What is the state of mind which plans destruction on these scales with such meticulous care and forethought. As human beings we are the creators of events, good or bad. We can choose between one and the other.

I flew from Hargeisa on the morning of Thursday 30 October 2008 and headed for London. Since then, reflection on that experience has never shifted from my mind and heart and it gives me nightmares from time to time.  I have tried many times to make sense of this heartbreaking issue but this has inevitably reminded me of my own pain and despair that I have been trying to let go for 20 years.

——–

- Fadumo has a M.Sc. degree in psychodynamic psychotherapy counselling and has worked for many psychological organisations in the UK. Currently she is a counsellor for the Kensington and Chelsea Primary Care Trust Psychological Service within the National Health Service.  Also she has private practice in West London.  Her email is fadumo_m@hotmail.com

- The article was originally published in the Anglo Somali Society Journal (Issue No. 47 Spring 2010)

________________________________________________________________


Sångerskan Sado Ali stödjer och försvarar monster Ali Samantar

Sångerskan Sado Ali stödjer och försvarar monster Ali Samantar

April 15, 2010 – somaliland1991 | Redigera

Här sitter från vänster Ali Samantar dåvarande Somalias premiärminister, vice president och förvarsministern bredvid honom sitter diktatorn, Siyad Barre. Här njuter de livet dödandet av civilbefolkningen i Somaliland.

Skandal sångerskan, Sado Ali

En av de mest kände somaliska sångerskan, Sado Ali, har de senaste månaderna deklarerat ett öppet krig mot Somaliland och dess befolkning. Hon är känd bland somalitalande befolkningen runt om i världen. Hon började sin karriär i Somalilands huvudstad Hargeisa, och har snabb blivit känd efter Idiris Duale, en av den pionjären i Hargeisas teater, som upptäckte henne och gjort hennes senare känd. Hon har sjungit ett fler tal låtar och deltagit ett fler tal teaterteaterföreställningar. Somalilands huvudstad, Hargeisa, har alltid varit och är fortfarande centrum för den somaliska kulturen vad gäller musik, kompositörer, poeter, komedier. Hargeisa är en kultur stad. Nästan alla de stora kända artister som idag finns runt om i världen har börjat sin musikaliska karriär här i Hargeisa. Det är ju här i Hargeisa som de korats till som artister, sångare/sångerska, Komedi osv.

Eftersom Hargeisa blev den somaliska kulturens centrum har man genomåren lyfte stadens värdefulla somaliska kulturen. En mängd kända sångare/Sångerska har finslipat här i Hargeisa, en av de är Sado Ali. Som vi nämnde här ovan har Idiris Duale, som var en av de stadens mest kände kultur person som upptäckte henne. Hon har öppet deklarerat öppet krig mot Somaliland, hennes senaste låt handlar om hur hon vill att människor i Laas Anood ska göra upprop mot Somaliland. Den här första gången i historia som en så känd sångerska i den somalitalande områden sprider hat bland den etniska befolkningen i Somaliland. Många kända artisar har tagit avstånd från henne och menar att  hon är cynisk sjuk person som inte skiljer politik och kultur. Nu använder hon den senaste låten som vapen mot Somaliland och dess folk. Hon har öppet börjat stötta och försvara en av de kvarvande krigsförbrytelse i modern tid i Somalia, nämligen Ali Samantar som ska ställas inför rätta i USA, som var Somalias siste Premiär ministern, samtidigt försvar ministern.

Han gav order att döda civilbefolkningen i Somaliland 1988-1991 januari och förstöra, jämna med marken, Somalilands stora städer. Han är känd med sin brutalitet och grymhet. Han ska åtalas eller lämnas tillbaka till Somaliland för sitt brott mot Somalilands befolkning. För första gången i modern tid som en stridflygplan flögs från Hargeisa flygplats och bombade staden och dess befolkning. Över 70 000 människor miste livet. Skolor, sjukhus, vägar, hus, moskéer jämnades med marken. Lade landminor i nästan alla stora städer, tusentals människor miste sina ben, bland barn, kvinnor, och äldre. Mer än 2 miljoner människor tvingades lämna sina hem under kriget, tusental människor dog pga., Svält, sjukdomar. Han har blod i sina händer, han ska inte skipas rättvisan utan ställas inför rätta och straffas hårt. Det som han har gjort människorna i Somaliland är oförglömmig. Jag har mina tidigare inlägg visat några artiklar om Ali Samantar och den amerikanska tv bolagens ABC: s rapporting i USA, om Ali Samantar. Sado Ali har börjat åka runt i städerna i USA, föra att stödja honom (Ali Samantar) både moralisk och ekonomisk, samlar pengar, för att avlöna hans advokater i USA och hans uppehälle.

Det ligger människans natur att glömma sin historia. Jag tycker att hon ska tacka oss i Somaliland och Hargeisa, för att hennes karriär gick så bra. Frågan är vem skulle veta vem hon är eller göra henne så känd som hon är nu om inte Hargeisa och dess kultur människor upptäckte henne. Svar ingen. Det så sjukt av henne att stödja honom och rättfärdiga det han gjorde mot civilbefolkningen i Somaliland var rätt. Helt sjukt.

Som Bob Marley sa ”If you Know  your history”

Hon ska tacka Hargiesa för och dess folk som gjort henne känd.

© Somaliland1991

Hawlgalkii Birjeexee Lagula Baxay C/Laahi Askar 12-Kii April 1983-Kii Qabtii 2aad

Hawlgalkii Birjeexee Lagula Baxay C/Laahi Askar 12-Kii April 1983-Kii

Qabtii 2aad

Waxaynu ku xusnay qaybtaa hore, dhacdadaas oo 21-guuradeedu ku beegan maalinta isniinta ah aynu soo dhaafnay iyo xaaladdii ay maalintaa ku sugnayd magaalada Hargeysa. Waxaynu dhex-taagnayn Miiskii Saraakiisha ee uu ku xidhnaa Cabdillaahi Askar. Waxa bilaabmay hawl-galkii, Xabadda ayaa faraha ka baxday, isla markiiba laba ka mid ah Sideedii Mujaahid ee gudaha xaruntaa galay ayay xabado ku dhaceen. Gaadhigii kale ee Saddexda Mujaahid saarnaayeen ee gaadhka albaabka dhinaca galbeed lagu qaybiyey, iyana weli ma hayno waxay muteen.

Haddaba, haddii aynu halkaa ka sii amba-qaadno, waxaa hawl-galkaa ka sheekeeyey, siddii qaybtii horeba ku xusnayd Mujaahid Aadan Maal Caqli oo ka mid ah, saddexda nin ee maanta ka nool 11-kii Halyey ee hawl-galkaa fuliyay.

Aadan Maal oo siddii hawl-galkaasi u dhacay uga waramay Boobe Yuusuf Ducaale oo ururiya Taariikhda, isaga oo sii amba-qaadaya sheekaddii hawl-galkaas, waxa uu yidhi:- “Shantayadii dagaalamaysay ee difaaca loo qaybiyey, markiiba laba ayay ku dhacday. Kuwaas oo kala ahaa; Biixi Xaaji Xasan iyo Siciid Birjeex. Waxaanu ku soo hadhnay saddex keliya, Siciid isagu dhaawacii gaadhigaba kalamuu soo degin. Biixise, waanu is-agtaagnayn oo bidixda ayuu iga xigay markii ay cuskatay, markaa kadib ayaan arkay Ninkii Biixi toogtay oo meel xas ah dhex rafanaya. Ninkii xaska dhex rafanayay, ayaan xabad ku riday. Inta uu dhaqaaqay, ayuu cadceed-galabeedii isku beegay oo dhinaceeda naga maray. Cadceedduna way sii dhacaysay oo way na-cawaraysay. Markaa ninkii iyo cadceedii, ayaa isku beegmay oo waxa igu adkaatay inay indhahaygu qabtaan. Laakiin, haddana xabad baan ku riday oo aan ku dhuftay, balse inta uu dhacay ayuu haddana siqay. Mujaahid Maloosh iyo Ibraahim Carab, ayaa ka dabba wareegay, hase ahaatee waxa ka horyimid gaadhkii dibadda ee aanu u qaybinay gaadhkoodii kale ee dibadda, markaa kuwii ayay isla libdheen. Aniguna, waxaan u baydhay kuwii gaadiidka daaqadaha guryaha, si aan nalooga soo toogan. Baabuurkii saddexdu saarnaayeen, dibadda ayay hawshoodii ka soo bilaabeen, taasina waxay keentay in gaadhkoodii la soo eryado oo ay xaggayagii iyo gudaha ku soo yaacaan.”

Halkaa markay arrintu maraysay, weli lama hayo Cabdillaahi Askar iyo halka uu ku xidhan yahay. Aadan Maal, wuxuu sheegay inuu markaas maqlayay Ibraahim Koodbuur oo ku musanaabayay “Waar ragga laayaay, waar ragga laayaay” wakhtigaas oo ay saddex albaab oo isku xigay ka baadhayeen Cabdillaahi Askar, isaga iyo Cabdisalaan Turki. “C/Salaan Turki, albaabkii bidixda xigay ayuu jabiyay, kadibna wuxuu yidhi kuma jiro, markaasaan ku idhi ‘waar ka midigta.. Waar ka midigta….’ Dabadeedna wuu ku orday oo gacanta ayuu ula tagay. Cabdillaahi Askar, markaa wuxuu bilaabay qaylo, waxaanu kor ugu dhawaaqay; ‘waar waykan…waar waykan..’ Malaha wuxuu maqlay, markii aanu islahayn kana kuma jiro, kana kuma jiro.”

Aadan Maal, isaga oo ka sii sheekaynaya siday wax u dhaceen daqiiqadihii markaa ku xigay, wuxuu yidhi; “Dhawaaqii Cabdillaahi Askar kadib, Cabdisalaan Turki ayaa albaabkii gacanta ula tegay, Ibraahim Koodbuurna qoriga dabbadiisa ayuu ku dhuftay, markaasuu mar labaadna ku celiyay oo ku dhuftay. Waxa jabay albaabkii, dabadeedna Cabdillaahi Askar oo qaawan, ayaa isaga oo boodaya soo dhaafay. Kamuu xidhnayn lugaha, balse waxa uu ka xidhnaa gacmaha oo keliya, Nigis yarna wuu xidhnaa, waxaana ku yaallay nabaradii lagu dhuftay. Markii uu soo baxay ayaan is-hortaagay, aniga oo ka soo jeestay xagii daaqadaha, waxaanan ku idhi; ‘Waar Baabuurka fuul…. Waar baabuurka fuul..” balse anigii ayaabu iga shakiyay. Ibraahim iyo Cabdisalaan Turki oo uu soo dhaafay markii hore ayuu ku jeestay oo uu ku yidhi; ‘waar ma baabuurkaan fuullaa?’ Ibraahim Koodbuur, ayaa la-hadli waayay, markaas ayaan anigu ku idhi Ibraahim; ‘waar Ninka baabuurka fuul dheh’ dabadeedna Ibraahim, ayaa u ishaaray inuu baabuurka fuulo. Kadib, xagii baabuurka ayuu u dhaaqay oo dhinacii darawalka ayuu maray, dabadeed waxaan ku idhi; ‘dhinaca kale mar oo ka soo gal.’ Ibraahinna, gaadhigii ayuu fuulay oo shidhkii ayuu la galay. Aniga iyo Cabdisalaan Turki, waxaanu ku dhaqaaqnay Biixi X. Xasan oo dhaawacnaa. Dhawr goor, ayaa degdeg awgii baabuurku naga dhaqaaqay oo haddana joogsaday, oo haddana naga dhaqaaqay oo haddana joogsaday. Markaas baabuurkii in doorra ayuu naga goostay oo albaabkii laga baxayay ayuu ku dhowaaday, anaguna Biixi oo dhaawacan ayaanu daba sidnay. Markii dambe ayuu Biixi X. Xasan nagu yidhi; ‘waar anigu dhintaye, yaanu baabuurku idinka tegin.’ Sidaas ayaanu baabuurkii ku fuulnay, Biixi-na halkii baanu kaga tagnay oo naftu kaga baxday, nololna laguma soo gaadhin.

Sidaas ayaanu ku ambabaxnay, anagoo baabuur keliya wadana. Albaabka galbeed ayaanu ka baxnay. Jidka Bari ka mara guriga Cabdillaahi Darawal imika ku jiro, ayaanu qaadnay, waxaanu u joogsanay saddexdii Baabuurka kale saarnaa oo soo ordayay. Cidi nama eryanayso markaas, wax naga sii yaacaya mooyaane. Dugsigii 1 July ee imika Jaamacadda Hargeysa loo yaqaano, ayaanu bari ka marnay, Masaajidka Isha Boorama ku yaallana dhinaca galbeed ayaanu ka marnay. Magaalo-qalooc oo ahayd Xeradii Ayaxa, ayaanu sii dhex jibaaxnay. Midig ayaanu u baydhnay oo dalcadda karasharka, dariiqa ka dillaaca ayaanu marnay. Markii aanu ka baxnay dalcaddaa, ayaa baabuurkii naga hashkadeeyay oo uu is-taagay. Waxaa naga horeysa xerro Ciidan degan yahay iyo xaruntii Gantaalaha, labadaa dhexdooda ayaanu ku suganahay. Cadceeddu, markaa liiqay sii dhigaysaa, oo way sii dhacaysaa. Waxay nala noqotay in aanu Ciidankaa, cadceedda sii dhacaysa isugu toosino, taas oo anaga na caawinaysay. Xerradaa markii aanu dhaafnay, ayaanu bidix u baydhnay. Mar kale, ayaa baabuurkii hashkadii bilaabay, anagoo marayna halka ay ku kala baydhaan waddada Madaarka tagta iyo ta ina naxar u soo leexata. Kucladii gaadhiga, ayaanu in shidaalla ku shubnay, nasiib-wanaag wuu noo dhaqaaqay, markii aanu ilaa boqol tallaabo soconay ayuu haddana joogsaday. Tallo, ayaa nagu caddaatay, haddana waxay nala noqotay in aanu wax is-weydiino oo aanu tashano. Intii aanu tashanaynay, ayay cadceeddu godkii gashay oo gabalkii noogu dhacay halkaa. Dabadeed Cabdisalaan Turki, ayaa soo jeediyay in Salaatul Shukri aanu tukano, sidaas darteed markiiba waanu tukanay. Markii aanu tukanay, ayaanu baabuurkii yar taataabanay oo uu noo dhaqaaqay.”

Markaa kadib, waxay qoorsadeen waddada Habaas-weyn. Darfacle, goobta loo yaqaan markii ay dhaafeenna, gaadhiga ayay laydhkii u shiteen. Makhaayad ku taallay tuulada la yidhaahdo Cunaaye ayay is-yar taageen, waxaanay halkaa ku waraysteen qaar ka mid ah dad deegaankaa deggenaa oo ay weydiiyeen, bal in waddada ay hayaan ay kala baydhayso inta aanay gaadhin Gunburaha Banka iyo in kale. Markaa waxay u sheegeen dadkii ay la kulmeen, in ay kala baydhayso inta aan la gaadhin Gunburaha. Meesha oo Keyn ahayd awgeed, waxay weydiisteen dadkii in raaciyo cid dal-aqoon ah. Dadkii waxay u qaateen in ay yihiin Niman Jaadlayaal ah, dabadeedna waxay ku dareen laba nin. Labadii Nin waxay ku simeen ilaa Gunburaha Banka, halkaasna waxa ka sii raacay Nin kale oo dal-mariye ah. Kadib, waxay cagta saareen Waddada Gumar u baxda, muddo yar markii ay hayeenna waxa u muuqday kaaha Laydhka gaadhi hor-goynayay oo ka soo baxa dhinaca Ballay-gubadle, una jeeday dhinaca gumareed, kaas oo ay markii dambe ogaadeen inuu ahaa Bee-bee Ciidamadii Faqashtu lahaayeen oo iyaga loo soo diray. Bee-bee-gu, wuxuu ku dhacay Xorfad, ciidankii saarnaana markii uu ku dhacay godka, ayaa midba meel ku duulay. Mid ka mid ah, wuxuu dusha kaga tuuray geed oo uu ka laad-laadiyay, mid kalena dhulka ayuu ku dhacay oo luqunta ayuu wax ka noqday. Intii ay shilkaa ku hawl-lanaayeen kooxdii Bee-beegu, ayaa Mujaahidiinta iyo gaadhigoodiina Xuduudda ka tallaabeen. Markaa ka hor, siduu sheegay Aadan Maal markii ay tuulada Gumar gaadheen, waxaa halkaa ku joojiyay Ciidankii Faqashta ee degganaa, hase yeeshee Ibraahim Koodbuur ayaa u sheegay in aanu nahay Koofiyad-castii qaybta 26aad oo baadi-goobaysa baabuur lagala soo baxsaday, sidaas darteed wuxuu ku yidhi Ibraahim Koodbuur Ciidankii halkaa degganaa; ‘Wax baabuur ahi miyey idin dhaafeen?’ waxaanay ugu jawaabeen; “Maya.” Intaa kadibna, wuxuu Ibraahim faray Askartii in wixii baabuur ah ee ay arkaan ay joojiyaan, waxaanu u sheegay in aanu xagga Balli-cabbane u dhaafayno. Alla ha’u naxariistee, Ibraahim wuxuu markaa labisnaa Dirayskii Milateriga, taasina waxay u saamaxday inuu xeeshaa kala hortago askartii faqashta ee Tuuladaa joogtay.

Sidaas ayay kaga dhaqaaqeen Gumar, markii ay in yar ka socdeenna, waxay u baydheen wado yar oo la yidhaa Wado-tuug oo Xarshin ku beegan, Caraancaray-na xagga galbeed ka marta. Markii ay u baxeen bug-cadda geed-gaabka Xarshimeed, ayaa Siciid oo dhaawac ahaa oo baabuurka saarnaa yidhi; ‘waar biyo I siiya, kol haddii aynu soo talownay.’ Reer Banka afkiisa yaallay, ayay markaa joogsadeen oo ay biyo weydiisteen. Wakhti ayay ku qaadatay intii ay biyahay sugayeen, markii loo keenay ee ay Siciid biyihii siiyeena ragii reerka joogay, ayaa u sheegay in haddii gabal dhaco aan Xarshin la-geli karin, weliba iyaga waxa u dheeraa oo ay siteen hub. Sidaas darteed taladii ayay qaateen, halkaas ayaanay ku negaadeen habeenkaa. Saacaddu markii ay ahayd 2:45-daqiiqo, ayaa dabadeed Siciid naftii ka baxday (Alla ha’u naxariistee). Subaxnimadii hore ayay tooseen, waxaanay damceen in ay dhaqaaqaan, iyadoo Meydkii Siciid gaadhiga u saaran yahay, hase ahaatee baabuurkii ayaa kici waayay, waxay arkeen in xabadi kaga taallo qasabadda Batroolka, markaas halkii xabaddu ka dhaawacday qasabadda ayay warqad ku duubeen, kadibna way riixeen gaadhigii, in yar dabadeedna wuu u istaadhmay. Abaaro lixdii subaxnimo ayay ka dhaqaaqeen goobtaa, wakhti yar kadibna waxay gaadheen magaalada Xarshin. Xaruntii SNM ee Xarshin ayay Meydkii Siciid ku rogeen, halkaasna waa lagu aasay. Sidaas ayaanay ku nabad-galeen xubnihii kale ee Mujaahidiinta ahaa oo ay ku galeen Itoobiya, intii dhimatay mooyaane.

Hawl-galkaas layaabka leh, waxa uu fulay sannad kadib markii ururka SNM saldhigiisa milateri ka unkamay Itoobiya oo ku beegnayd, laba sannadood iyo lix maalmood kadib, markii ururka SNM lagaga dhawaaqay magaalada London ee dalka Ingiriiska (April 6, 1981). Hawl-galkaasi, wuxuu fure u noqday dhiirasho xoog leh oo dhalisay in ururku gaadho guulo is-dabba joogga. Mujaahidiintii hawl-galkaa fuliyay oo taariikhda Baal Dahab ah kaga jiraa, waxa maanta ka nool kow iyo tobankoodii, saddex Mujaahid. Magacyada 11-ka Mujaahid ee hawl-galkaa fuliyay, waxay kala yihiin:

1. Ibraahim Ismaaciil Maxamed (Koodbuur) oo ahaa Illaahay ha’u naxariistee hoggaamiyihii hawl-galkaa. Ibraahim Koodbuur, wuxuu ku geeriyooday markii dambe magaalada Rabaso oo ka tirsan Kilinka 5aad ee Itoobiya, sannadkii 1987-kii, waxaana la sheegay inuu u dhintay xannuunka Kaneecada.

2. Cabdisalaan Turki, wuxuu ahaa Mujaahidkii la socday Cabdillaahi Askar markii hore ee ay Hargeysa soo wada-galeen, hawl-galkana ay ku wada-jireen. Cabdisalaan Turki, wuxuu hadda ku nool yahay dalka Ingiriiska. Waxa lagu tilmaamaa C/salaan inuu ahaa Maskaxdii Khidadda hawl-galkaa.

3. Biixi Xaaji Xasan, Illaahay ha’u naxariistee isagu wuxuu ku dhintay Miiskii Saraakiisha, intii hawl-galku socday maalintaa April 11, 1983.

4. Siciid Birjeex, Alle ha’u naxariistee waxa isna la dilay intii hawl-galku ka socday Miiska Saraakiisha.

5. Siciid (Kur-libaax) Illaahay ha’u naxariistee wuxuu ku geeriyooday magaalada Berbera sannadkii 1991-kii.

6. Axmed Xuseen Warsame (Maloosh), Illaahay ha’u naxariistee wuxuu ku geeriyooday magaalada Hargeysa, January 21, 2002.

7. Saleebaan Siciid (Saleebaan yare), Illaahay ha’u naxariistee wuxuu geeriyooday June 1988.

8. Aadan Maal Caqli, wuxuu isagu ka mid yahay Xubnaha weli nool, waxaanu ku nool yahay magaalada Hargeysa.

9. Maxamed Carab, waxa isna la sheegay inuu ku nool yahay Gobolka Sanaag. markii noogu danbaysay

10. Jaamac Maxamed Cali iyo

11. Axmed Ismaaciil Yuusuf, ayaa iyana ka mid ah Xubnaha Hoyday (intii dhimatay Illaahay naxariistii Janno ha siiyee).

“Bishu waa April, Toban beriyo laba, Bandhig Ciidamadu isu soo baxeen, waxay baawariyo baaruud hayeen, badka soo dhigeen, Baa Askar lagala baxay.

Waxa la yidhi Birjeex, waxa helay Badjeex. Badhbadhaadhnaydii, ba’ay baa xigtaa, boobow la yidhi.”

Tixdaasi, waxay ka mid tahay Gabay uu hal-haleel u soo tuuray Abwaan Aadan Tarabi Jaamac, kadib markii Cabdillaahi Askar iyo colkii soo furtay ay gaadheen magaalada Xarshin ee Itoobiya.

Maanta oo 27-sannadood laga joogo hawl-galkaas, waxa weli muuqata in aan si fiican looga wada dheregsanayn taariikhdii laabka lahayd ee dhacdaddaa, ama fikrado kala duwan iyo sheekooyin baahay laga kala haysto, taasna waxa u sababa ayaa la odhan karaa sadaradii taariikhda dhacdaddaa oo aan marnaba wada qorin dhammaanba dhinacyadii iyo halgamayaashii kale ee hawl-galkaas doorka weyn ka qaatay, la’aantoodna aanay wax badani suura-gal noqdeen. Sida uu qoraal-taariikheedka dhacdaddaa ku xusay Boobe Yuusuf Ducaale, hawl-galkii Birjeex waxa uu ahaa mid si weyn loo abaabulay, dhinacyo badanina ay ka qayb-qaateen, hase yeeshee 11-ka Mujaahid ee ku suntani ay ahaayeen intii muuqatay, inta dahsoonayd ee aan la ogeyna ay tiro badnaayeen. Waxa uu is-weydiiyay, cidda gaadiidka ugu deeqday? Cidii maal-gelisay? Cidii sahanka u ahayd? Intii kale ee war-qabtay iyo cidii xafidaysay Sirtooda ee lahayd guryihii ay fadhiisanayeen? Waxa uu u daayay daahfurka dhinacyadaas oo dhan taariikhda. Waxa iyana aan la xisaabin karin, inta u aanowday ee dhibaatadu ka soo gaadhay..

La sooco……

Sources: Haatuf

© Somaliland1991

In quite a state

Läs mer om det som rör om Somaliland i denna artikeln längst ner i artikeln!

How many countries in the world? The answer to that question is surprisingly difficult

Apr 8th 2010 | From The Economist print edition

APPLY online for visa-free entry to the United States and the Department for Homeland Security offers 251 choices for “country where you live”. The wide but rum selection includes Bouvet Island, an uninhabitable icy knoll belonging to Norway in the South Atlantic; South Yemen (which stopped being a state in 1990); and the “Neutral Zone”—a diamond-shaped bit of desert between Saudi Arabia and Iraq that vanished after the 1991 Gulf war.

That is the trouble with such lists. Places that are not real states at all end up on them. And places that approximate a bit more closely to countries (at least in their own eyes) may be absent. America’s list, for example, excludes Abkhazia and South Ossetia, self-proclaimed states that broke away from Georgia with Russian backing. Just three other countries—Nicaragua, Venezuela and the islet of Nauru—recognise those breakaway statelets as independent. Meanwhile nobody at all in the outside world seems ready—yet—to give southern Sudan a label of its own, though that day may not be far off.

Private-sector lists are just as odd as those compiled by governments. Hotmail offers 242 “countries/territories” from which you can register an e-mail account. Web-savvy penguins may be pleased that Bouvet Island is on the list. But human beings in Kosovo (recognised by 65 states) and Western Sahara (more than 80) will search in vain for their homeland.

Any attempt to find a clear definition of a country soon runs into a thicket of exceptions and anomalies. Diplomatic recognition is clearly not much guide to real life. In the early years of the cold war most countries recognised the Chinese regime in Taiwan (“Free China”) while the mainland communists (“Red China”) were isolated. Now the absurdity is the other way round. The number of countries with formal diplomatic ties to Taiwan has shrivelled to just 23—mostly small, cash-strapped islands. Yet Taiwan is not just a country, but a rather important one. Under mainland-pleasing names such as “Chinese Taipei” it is a member of the Asian Development Bank and the World Trade Organisation, and an observer at some OECD panels. It has nearly 100 “trade offices” around the world.

If diplomatic recognition is not the main thing that marks out a country, what does? Is it the ability to issue passports that are of some use to the holder, or simply actual control of a stretch of land? Again, the picture is cloudy. Legitimacy, physical control and the capacity to issue documents that other people accept don’t always coincide. For example, lots of countries that do not recognise Kosovo accept travellers bearing its passports. For decades, Lithuania’s exiled diplomats issued usable passports even though their country was under Soviet rule. The Sovereign Military Order of Malta, a do-gooding outfit with crusader roots, issues not only passports but postage stamps (and has diplomatic relations with over 100 countries). Its territory is just two nice buildings in Rome. Vatican City, an enclave of just 44 hectares in the middle of Italy’s capital, is only a little bigger—but it very much sees itself as a sovereign state (see article). Yet the Vatican’s diplomats serve the papacy—the Holy See—rather than the state where it is based. And the See, not the statelet, is an observer at the United Nations.

Not that presence or absence from the UN is much help to anyone seeking clarity. Israel joined the world body in 1949, but 19 of its 192 members do not accept the Jewish state’s existence, and many avoid uttering its name, preferring formulas like “Zionist entity”. A third of UN members do recognise Kosovo, but the UN itself does not.

Living in limbo

In reality, UN membership is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for functioning statehood. Being outside the UN means that Kosovo is still waiting for its own internet domain name, phone prefix and chance to play international football. But Taiwan, recognised by even fewer countries, manages to have all three.

The Turkish-backed administration in northern Cyprus proclaimed independence in 1983 but it has been recognised only by Turkey and remains in a state of partial economic isolation. Attempts have been made to start direct air links with Britain, but in 2009 a court ruled that this would contravene international law which gives the island’s internationally recognised government (which controls the Greek-speaking part of the island) sovereignty over its airspace.

A German thinker, Max Weber, defined statehood as “the monopoly of the legitimate use of violence”. That may be a practical approach but it doesn’t end the confusion. Chaotic Somalia spectacularly fails to meet this criterion, yet still counts as a sovereign state. Yet its northern bit, Somaliland, has met this standard with increasing impressiveness since it declared independence in 1991. It has a currency, car registrations and even biometric passports. But only private firms such as DHL, a courier company, link it to the outside world. International postal service requires membership of the Universal Postal Union, which for non-members of the UN need approval by at least two-thirds of that body’s members. The African Union refuses to recognise Somaliland’s independence because it dislikes changing any African borders. Outsiders hold back until African countries change their minds.

One reason for confusion is simple laziness. Deleting countries that have disappeared or places that have always been uninhabited should be easy (the Department of Homeland Security blames out-of-date historical data for its list and says it will change it soon). But sheer inertia, and a feeling among many sovereign states that changes of boundary and status set a bad precedent, makes changes less likely.

How far a populated patch of land qualifies as a country is ultimately a subjective question for politicians; it will never be settled by lawyers in a way that everybody accepts. And the fact that there are degrees of recognition—ranging from full diplomatic ties to virtually denying a state’s existence—gives governments a calibrated set of tools which can be used to reward good behaviour and penalise bad.

And whatever diplomatic theory says, life goes on. Taiwan is celebrating a friendly resolution from the European Parliament, and dishing out aid to Haiti. Kosovo rents dialling codes from Monaco and Slovenia. A football championship for teams from unrecognised countries is due to start next month in Malta. And a delegation of senior politicians from Somaliland had a friendly meeting at the White House on April 3rd. Presumably they had squared things with immigration control.

Sources: The Economist

© Somaliland1991


Kuwait Royal Family Pledges To Re-Build Sheikh Hospital

Kuwait Royal Family Pledges To Re-Build Sheikh Hospital

Berbera, Somaliland, April 10, 2010 (SL Times) – A son of the Emir of Kuwait has pledged to help in re-building Sheikh Hospital. Prince Ahmed Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah who is the son of the ruler of Kuwait came to Berbera, Somaliland this week and from there he went to Sheikh, a mountainous part of Somaliland where Kuwait’s ruling family owns a palace.
Somaliland has long historical ties with Kuwait, and those relations have gone through a boost recently when President Dahir Rayale Kahin visited Kuwait.

Sources: Somaliland Times