här kan du titta några intressanta klip om Somaliland

Somaliland: A land in limbo

Places That Don’t Exist: Somaliland Part 1

Somaliland Part 2

Somaliland Part 3

Ancient rock paintings in Somaliland

Somaliland Part 4

Här är det BBC  journalisten,  Simon Reeve, som reser till Både Somalia och Somaliland och jämför hur Somalia befinner sig i kaos medan Somaliland blomstrar.

Här är de kommentarer folk kommenterade om just den här video klippet om Somaliland. Läs de!

Källa: BBC

Read your comments

Places That Don’t Exist was broadcast in the UK on Wednesday, 4 May, 2005 at 1930 BST on BBC Two.

This page is now closed. Thank you for your emails.

The comments published on this page reflect the balance of views we received.

Thanks for voicing my country’s desperate cry for recognition
Zack, England

I actually spent the early part of my childhood growing up in Somalia, and they were some of the best years of my life. We left in 1985, and I still look back on the warm and kind people there. This programme was fascinating, and watching the people of Somaliland brought back a lot of memories. I just really hope they can have peace with Somalia, be recognised by the International community, and that peace can return to Somalia too, so that one day I can return there, and also visit the beautiful Somaliland.
Aogan Kearney, UK

It is heartening to see a country that is striving to develop and throw off the shackles of stupid and pointless warfare. It is typical that the Rest of The World fails to reward and recognise peace with the prosperity it deserves. I would happily help this country better itself and it has earned itself at least one British friend tonight. I will find out what one middle-Englander can do to help.
Daniel Sinclair, UK

Being a Somalilander myself and growing up in the West, I felt that this was an interesting documentary, highlighting the peace and freedom that is felt in Somaliland in contrast to Somalia. Thanks for voicing my country’s desperate cry for recognition to the British public.
Zack, England

Excellent! About time more publicity is given to Somaliland. It is inexplicable that it is not recognised internationally, and needs all the support.
Jeremy Vose, UK

Thank you very much for showing this programme. I was born in Hargeisa in 1961 when my father was working for the Desert Locust Survey, so I have followed the goings-on with interest ever since. I do think that when we are fighting for freedom and democracy, the very least we, especially we British, should do is to recognise and support the wonderful efforts of the people of Somaliland in their efforts to create peace, stability and rule of law.
Charles Roffey, The Netherlands

After watching the programme presented by Simon Reeve I think that it is about time that Somaliland is recognised as an official country by the international community and even more so by the UK as her former rulers.
James Farmer, UK

Let us forgive and let us open our hearts
A brother from south

Having just watched this excellent programme on BBC Two I am amazed and appalled that countries like Somaliland do not receive the international recognition they deserve. Somaliland appears to have a more sophisticated level of infrastructure than Somalia (if one can use such a term in these circumstances) and, more importantly, a willingness to develop. This is probably borne out of the lack of recognition they have received from the international community.

I find it ironic that the UN trains the local police force but is unlikely to provide humanitarian aid to a country that clearly needs it. Out of sight, out of mind is all too easy for the Western world but too often we seem to close our eyes to countries that appear to have potential. While I appreciate there are undoubtedly a multitude of issues associated with Somaliland is it not time we gave it a chance or would foreign money do more harm than good?
James Dellborg, UK

I would like to say to brothers and sisters up in the north of Somalia: we need you and we need you now to rebuild our country and forget the past as we all have horrible stories to tell. Unity is the future. If you do not believe me, look at Europe – they used to be fierce enemies not long ago. Let us forgive and let us open our hearts.
A brother from south

Recognition of Somaliland, although under consideration by a growing number of African and Western governments, is still vigorously resisted by many members of both the African Union (AU) and the Arab League on the grounds that the unity and territorial integrity of member states is sacrosanct. For me, as long as we have peace and harmony in our land, nothing else matters.
Faisal, UK

If America has Recognized Kosovo, The AU Should Recognize Somaliland

There has been some quite interesting reaction arising from the piece in this column last week on Somaliland titled: SOMALILAND: A VIABLE STATE BUT UNRECOGNIZED.

In an SMS text message to me one reader wrote: “Rarely do I agree with what you write but today I do. The African Union as well as the United Nations must recognize Somaliland to prove that they are not rubber stamps of George W Bush. If America has recognized Kosovo, the AU should recognize Somaliland. Otherwise Somaliland should seek Iran and Russian support!” I did allow myself a little grin having read the unsigned telephone text message from a reader of this column. I have since been consulting the super information highway, the Internet and have come to discover that among frequent visitors to Somaliland of recently has been Gendayi Fraser, the US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs. I really do not know what this African American lady has been up to in Somaliland.

But if these visits to the little country in the Horn of Africa has been aimed at striking a quid pro quo – “become our small outpost here – and we will prop you up to gain international recognition” – fine. What matters for me as a bottom line is how leaders of Somaliland will want to play their cards with the Americans. The Americans have their interests as a nation and Somaliland leaders must know their interests as a small country! And frankly, it is not true that practically everything the Americans do is wrong: No. I was among the first who applauded the American led NATO initiative to reverse ethnic cleansing in the Balkans during the presidency of President Bill Clinton. The recognition of Kosovo is therefore a logical and appropriate response to that initiative.

But what is of remarkable misnomer here is when the international community looks away at a toddler nation born out of impossible circumstances – the disappearance of an erstwhile unitary state of Somalia into anarchy and chaos. As we saw last week, Somaliland was a British Protectorate for over 80 years while Somalia was Italian ruled.

At Somaliland independence in 1960, it went into a hasty Union with Italian ruled Somalia in the south to create a unified Somali Republic. But the eras of coups in the mid-sixties brought catastrophe to this unified Somali Republic when Gen. Mohamed Siad Barre pulled his coup. As a result of Siad Barre’s undemocratic move, there was resistance in Somaliland aimed at reasserting itself as in the days at independence in 1960. But the overthrow of Siad Barre himself in 1991 plunged Somalia deeper into further chaos, which is yet to recover.

But Somaliland has since mid-nineties reasserted itself as a separate country from the erstwhile military government of Gen. Siad Barre. The other day, I allowed myself a little research on what Somaliland government looks like. I have since discovered Somaliland is a constitutional multi-party state, comprising the President, Vice-President, and the legislature – parliament. Legislative power is vested into the House of Representatives and House of Elders (senate).

With a population of 3.5 million people, Somaliland runs competitive politics with three major political parties. The last vote was taken in 2003 and the next vote is due April this year. In the last vote, Mr. Dahir Riyale Kahin of the Unity, Democracy and Independence Party won the presidential vote over two competitors. He presides over a 27-man cabinet.

What is most instructive about Somaliland’s form of democracy is its capability to fuse western-style institutions of government with its own traditional forms of social and political organization. Its bicameral parliament reflects this fusion of traditional and modern, with the senate consisting of traditional elders and the House of Representatives consisting of elected representatives. But how has Somaliland survived without international recognition and therefore without “international donor support” most African countries enjoy? Hard information coming my way reveals that Somaliland, an essentially livestock economy is doing very well in its bilateral trade with countries such as Saudi Arabia. It has managed to make its capital Hargeisa function normally like any other city of a modern country, with working traffic lights and has put up even two universities of international standards.

Today, according to hard information, Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland is among the safest towns in Africa. But the irony here is that while there is no government worth its name in Mogadishu (Somalia) but it is the “government” of the Ethiopian occupied capital that is recognized by the United Nations, keeping a blind eye on a Somaliland government that is democratically elected and doing wonders without donor support except the efforts of the people themselves. So Somaliland is soldiering on with virtually no external help. Whilst Somalilanders in the Diaspora have heavily supported economic development, lack of international recognition has meant that Somaliland does not qualify for bilateral aid or support from international financial institutions.

But according to observers, this isolation has not however resulted in isolationism. Lack of access to external aid has forced this country of 3.5 million people to become more self-reliant than many African states. Along with self-reliance, Somaliland is succeeding to unite its people above clannish divides, which have seen its southern flanks in the name of the former Italy-ruled Somalia disintegrate and disappear as a cohesive state. As I argued in the last perspective, the very reason that Somaliland has managed to evolve as a sustainable state is an adequate reason to reward it with immediate international recognition to serve as a spur and catalysts to its southern brethren now at each other’s throats.

The same reasons that may have spurred the United States and its western allies to offer recognition to the newly born state of Kosovo cannot be contradictory to what Somaliland deserves today.

Makwaia  Kuhenga is a Senior Journalist & Author
Email: makwaia@makwaia.com


An Oasis of Stability in East Africa

An Oasis of Stability in East Africa
Dr. Bob Arnot NBC NEWS

Unknown to many Americans, there is a Somalia that didn’t murder U.S. Rangers and drag them through the streets, where U.N. soldiers never set foot, and where there are no roving gangs of warlords. It is a land where refugees are eagerly returning, where there is a functioning democracy, where free enterprise is booming and what is more a country where they love Americans. So why can’t Somaliland get any respect?

SOMALILAND HAS accomplished everything that America ever hoped that Somalia would and more from ending clan violence to establishing a parliament. What is its reward?

Ten years after it broke away from the rest of Somalia and declared its independence, no country has yet formally recognized Somaliland. And that has caused real hardships. It cannot sign agreements with multilateral donors such as the World Bank or International Monetary Fund.

It cannot receive more than token aid – for emergency and humanitarian reasons – but no meaningful bilateral development assistance from other governments let alone substantive loans to rehabilitate its dilapidated infrastructure.

Somaliland sorely lacks the extensive veterinary care it needs to guarantee its livestock are free of disease for export. It cannot drill for oil, build new industry, improve its universities or rebuild its roads. It can not create jobs for the tens of thousands of refugees returning to Somaliland’s relative stability, nor build a substantial police force or army to protect itself.

SOMALILAND HAS accomplished everything that America ever hoped that Somalia would and more from ending clan violence to establishing a parliament. What is its reward?

Ten years after it broke away from the rest of Somalia and declared its independence, no country has yet formally recognized Somaliland. And that has caused real hardships. It cannot sign agreements with multilateral donors such as the World Bank or International Monetary Fund.

It cannot receive more than token aid – for emergency and humanitarian reasons – but no meaningful bilateral development assistance from other governments let alone substantive loans to rehabilitate its dilapidated infrastructure.

Somaliland sorely lacks the extensive veterinary care it needs to guarantee its livestock are free of disease for export. It cannot drill for oil, build new industry, improve its universities or rebuild its roads. It can not create jobs for the tens of thousands of refugees returning to Somaliland’s relative stability, nor build a substantial police force or army to protect itself.

And what Somaliland fears most is a forced reunion with Somalia. Somaliland, a former British colony, was severely punished, after its first marriage to the former Italian colony in the south in 1960.

After that union to create what used to be known as the Republic of Somalia, tens of thousands of Somalilanders were murdered by Somali Army officers. Bodies are still found today, bound together, and buried in mass graves, with bullets through the backs of their heads. Over 40,000 men women and children were murdered in the capital city of Hargeysa when government MiG jets bombed the city.

After such a dreadful union, who would want rejoin Somalia again? As it turns out, it is almost no one in Somaliland. Somalilanders call the Somali Republic’s actions genocide, and are saying “never again” to a reunion.

But not so in the south, in the former Italian Somalia, where there is a fervent desire to reunite a greater Somalia. And it is that wish which threatens the fragile democracy in Somaliland.

Somaliland has pleaded and begged with the international community for recognition, but that plea is not based on hardship alone.

Somaliland argues that America needs a strong and faithful ally at the border of Africa and the Middle East.

Somaliland shields the soft underbelly of Ethiopia and, as a secular democratic state, is a bulwark against extremist international anarchy and terrorism. On a practical level, it offers a huge airstrip, over 13,000 feet, and a deep-water port of Berbera on the Gulf of Aden, which, the government points out, is safer for U.S.
warships than Aden, in Yemen, where the USS Cole was bombed by terrorists last October.

One of the pillars of the Organization of African Unity is that African colonial borders should not be redrawn.

So who is opposed to recognition of Somaliland? From Rome to Cairo, there are many powerful players trying to nix Somaliland’s quest for independence:

Sudan, supported by Egypt and Libya, thinks an independent Somaliland sets a precedent for dividing warring Sudan into two independent countries, North and South.

Neighboring Djibouti senses, although Somaliland government sources say erroneously, that Somaliland threatens the need for Djibouti to continue to exist.

Islamic fundamentalist states say Somaliland forms a barrier to the solidification of their hold on Somalia and to their expansion to Ethiopia and Kenya.

Certain Arab governments who would rather see a reunited Muslim Somalia to outflank Ethiopia from south and east, to be used to secure Egypt’s unlimited use of the Nile waters and to forestall any form of future Israeli presence in the area.

France, which supports Djibouti and is desirous of enhancing its influence in the region.

And Italy, which the Somaliland government says is “still nostalgic dreaming of a formal colony whose capital is Mogadishu.”

However, the most potent argument against recognition centers on a very fine, albeit dubious, technical point. Susan Rice, the Undersecretary of State for Africa during the Clinton administration, was flatly against recognition because it meant redrawing colonial borders. One of the pillars of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) is that African colonial borders should not be redrawn.

But here is the irony. Julius Nyerere, first president of Tanzania, in the formative stages of the OAU, pleaded against redrawing African borders so that British Somaliland would not joint with Italian Somalia. Why? The fear was that a united Somalia would be a harbinger for the emergence of Greater Somalia, which, in order to annex surrounding Somali territories, would invade Ethiopia and Kenya. (The Republic of Somalia did invade Ethiopia in 1977, and Somali raiders still attack Kenya).

Even more ironic, Nyerere redrew his own borders, joining Tanganyika with Zanzibar to form Tanzania. Yet nearly 40 years later, Nyerere’s argument is being used to prevent Somaliland from being recognized as a sovereign state even though it was, briefly, an independent state after its liberation from British.
On balance, the OAU’s doctrine on the “inviolability” of boundaries inherited from the colonial powers does not apply to Somaliland because it is situated within the boundaries of the British Somaliland Protectorate defined in 1886 when it was declared a British protectorate.
Somalilanders lament that the United States and the United Nations have had little trouble with redrawing borders in the Balkans or the former Soviet Union, but still resist to recognize their nascent republic.

On the 10th anniversary of its declaration of independence, Somaliland is beginning a vigorous international campaign for recognition beginning with South Africa, Ethiopia and Kenya. Somaliland’s President Mohammed Egal, has been criss-crossing the globe, appealing to any government who will listen

. ‘Our history and our identity have completely disappeared from the world for 30 years, and now we are telling the world that there is a country called Somaliland.’

Somaliland president “Our history and our identity have completely disappeared from the world for 30 years, and now we are telling the world that there is a country called Somaliland,” Egal told NBC News. “We have to educate our friends and brothers and compatriots in the international community who we are and where we come from.”
Egal, a former prime minister of the Somali Republic until he was overthrown in a coup and jailed for 12 years, argues passionately for an independent and internationally recognized Somaliland.

But a lack of international recognition casts a long shadow over Somaliland’s future, seriously hindering economic development, strangulating the burgeoning private sector and eroding public trust in the country’s future. This, observers fear, may bring about a political downturn which undermines the republican order and ushers in social anarchy and lawlessness. That, they say, will spell a doomsday scenario in which almost anything could happen.

“Certainly the forces of darkness will gleefully celebrate the eclipse of the only secular democracy in the Somali speaking region of the Horn [of Africa] and feverishly try to fill the vacuum by establishing a Taliban-like regime,” says Saad Noor, Somaliland’s representative in Washington.

“If successful, they will hookup with fellow Islamic extremists in southeast Ethiopia and shake up the very foundation of the Ethiopian regime. Djibouti will not be safe either. The crescendo will come to a thunderous roar if the coveted southern shores of the Gulf of Aden, from the entrance of the Red Sea at Bab el Mandab to Berbera basin. falls under the control of an organization like the one that blew up the USS Cole.”

Then and only then, many fear, will the Western democracies shed a tear for the passing of Somaliland.

Dr. Bob Arnot covers Africa’s humanitarian and political issues for NBC News.

Finding Calm in the Most Unexpected Place (Somaliland)

Finding Calm in the Most Unexpected Place (Somaliland)

I have just moved out of the hotel I have been living in since I arrived and into a house with a huge compound which has bananas, papaya, guava, pomegranate and oranges

Finding Calm in the Most Unexpected Place.

I’m a self-confessed disaster junky. I studied in Northern Ireland in the eighties, worked in Cambodia when it was still the wild west and not yet back-packer heaven; in Afghanistan where I would wake at night to wonder if it was an earthquake or a rocket attack; and Angola, where every day was a battle on a different and more personal level. And now here I am in the next hardship post – Hargeisa, Somaliland. By: Louisa Norman.

Mention Somaliland to anyone and once they have stopped looking blank, the first question is usually one of these: is it safe? are you mad? or… where?. The answer to the first is; ‘absolutely’, to the second, ‘maybe’ and the third, well, it takes a while. Still that’s what you get for choosing to work in a country that technically doesn’t exist.

My fascination with this place began last year when I was asked to come to make an assessment as to whether PSI should start a programme. Until that point I was also in the ‘…where?!’ category. But as soon as I arrived at airport I knew this place was different.

This is a country where the language was not written down until 1972 and the oral tradition is still strong – which may also explain why the phone network is as cheap as it is. Social and clan relationships are paramount. The strength of the private sector is due in large part to the strength of these social relationships – no-one would dare default on a transaction, as they would be ostracised by the entire community. There are no banks for instance but the informal system of money transfer works with extraordinary efficiency and money can be transferred to and from almost anywhere in the world to anywhere in the country within 24 hours. I remember a friend telling me some years back ‘if you want to move money, trust a Somali’ and its true.

There is virtually no crime here. The same social networks that control financial transactions, also ensure that theft is in no-one’s interests either. When I first arrived here I sat down with the NGO Security Officer and asked him to tell me what crimes had been committed in the last 12 months. He sat back, put his hands behind his head, thought for a while and said ‘well…last year someone stole some solar panels’. And really that was all he could think of. So, it is fairly ironic that friends in Nairobi and Johannesburg worry about my safety. Mogadishu is geographically closer to Nairobi than Hargeisa and about a million miles away culturally from the place I experience on a daily basis.

There is a drive and sense of potential here that I have rarely come across before. With very little donor support, the country largely operates on an entrepreneurial spirit and remittances from the large Somali diaspora. The flip-side of this is that, supported by these same remittances, Khat chewing is endemic. Nothing much happens in the afternoon when most of the men are indulging in this expensive habit which can cost between $2-$20 a day.

We have a beautiful office which is featured on a local poster of ‘New Hargeisa’ (copies available on request!) and has the best IT I have ever had anywhere: fast, dependable internet, an excellent wireless network, zippy little scanners and the cheapest phones in the world. We even have power 24 hours a day provided by the local hotel. So, no more power cuts or noisy generators, no more excuses to Washington about not being able to deliver reports on time, and no more faxing the monthly financials at midnight. That’s an adjustment in itself. Now, several months after arriving, the office is slowly filling up with staff and the compound with tortoises that the guards find on the street and re-house with us.

I have just moved out of the hotel I have been living in since I arrived and into a house with a huge compound which has bananas, papaya, guava, pomegranate and oranges. The house took 2 months of fairly intense project management to renovate, but it was worth it for the garden alone. As I write this my cleaner has just walked in and handed me sweetcorn that the guards have been growing at our office. It’s a fair swap, so tomorrow I will bring in some papaya from my garden.

OK, I admit, its not paradise. There are certainly downsides: entertainment is limited so it helps to be very low maintenance; we cannot buy alcohol or retire to the bar at the end of a long day; and the small expat community is still paying the price for the murders of foreigners four years ago with an overly cautious security policy and 24 hour armed guards. This is generally not as daunting as it sounds – until you go to the beach and find yourself prancing about in a bikini while Kalashnikov-toting guards in boots and fatigues look on in amusement. At least I think its amusement. Luckily my prancing and bikini days are just about over. Still, it makes for some good stories at parties (yes, we have them too).

I came here because in my ignorance, I thought there might be some danger to feed the disaster junky in me but instead I found something else. Life is about balance and I think the disaster junky may finally and unexpectedly have found some kind of equilibrium here in this dry, dusty spot. My friends and I regularly congratulate ourselves on discovering one of the world’s more misunderstood hardship posts.

Come to think of it, I’m not sure I should have just openly admitted any of this where my boss will see it – he still thinks it’s a hardship posting.

This article first appeared on PSI Impact.

By: Louisa Norman.


The United States government should officially recognize the independence of Somaliland

Denna  artikeln är interessant och  läsa. OBS! den är inte ny artikel.

The United States government should officially recognize the independence of Somaliland, a moderate Muslim democracy in the Horn of Africa. Such an argument may seem counterintuitive at a time when tensions are rising in the region. But I submit that it is precisely because of those rising tensions that it is time for the Bush administration to act, especially if it is truly serious about democracy promotion, counter-terrorism, and curtailing the spread of Islamic fundamentalism.

Why does Somaliland deserve U.S. recognition?

First and foremost, it is important to recollect that, after achieving independence from British colonial rule on June 26, 1960, Somaliland was duly recognized as a sovereign entity by the United Nations and thirty-five countries, including the United States. Several days later, on July 1, the independent country of Somaliland voluntarily joined with its newly independent southern counterpart (the former UN Trust Territory of Somalia that was a former Italian colony) to create the present-day Republic of Somalia.

Somalilanders rightfully note that they voluntarily joined a union after independence, and that, under international law, they should (and do) have the right to abrogate that union, as they did in 1991. Examples abound in the second half of the twentieth century of international recognition of countries that have emerged from failed federations or failed states, including East Timor, Eritrea, Gambia, and the successor states of the former Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. The same legal principle should be applied to Somaliland.

The political basis for Somaliland’s claim is that the voluntary union of 1960 was derailed in 1969 by a military coup d’etat in Mogadishu that ushered in more than two decades of brutal military rule under the dictatorship of General Mohamed Siyad Barre. Himself a southerner, Barre destroyed the foundations of the north-south democratic compact, most notably by unleashing a murderous campaign (bordering on genocide) against northern civilians that resulted in more than 50,000 deaths and created over 500,000 refugees as part of a widening civil war during the 1980s.

Even after Barre was overthrown in 1991 by a coalition of guerrilla armies, including the northern-based Somali National Movement (SNM), northern expectations of a government of national unity were dashed when southern guerrilla movements reneged on an earlier agreement and unilaterally named a southerner president, which in turn was followed by the intensification of inter and intra-clan conflict in the south. Nearly thirty years of unfulfilled promises and brutal policies ripped the fabric of the already fragile north-south political compact.

A “point of no return” had been reached for Somalilanders intent on reasserting their country’s independence. In May 2001, a popular mandate was given to dissolving the union, when a resounding number of ballots cast (97 percent) in a national Somaliland referendum favored the adoption of a new constitution that explicitly underscored Somaliland’s independence.

Somaliland deserves recognition if the Bush administration is truly sincere about promoting democracy in the wider Middle East. In sharp contrast to southern Somalia where instability and crisis have reigned and in fact intensified in the last fifteen years, Somaliland has established a democratic polity that, if recognized, would make it the envy of democracy activists in the Muslim world. The essence of Somaliland’s successful democratization was captured by U.S.-based International Republican Institute and the National Endowment for Democracy in convening a September 2006 panel discussion on Somaliland.

They wrote that “Somaliland’s embrace of democracy, its persistence in holding round after round of elections, both winners and losers abiding by the rules, the involvement of the grassroots, the positive role of traditional authorities, the culture of negotiation and conflict resolution, the temperance of ethnicity or clan affiliation and its deployment for constructive purposes, the adaptation of modern technology, the conservative use of limited resources, and the support of the diaspora and the professional and intellectual classes are some of the more outstanding features of Somaliland’s political culture that are often sorely lacking elsewhere.”

Somaliland also deserves recognition from a purely U.S.-centric national security perspective. The Somaliland government and population embody a moderate voice in the Muslim world that rejects radical interpretations of Islam, including that espoused by various portions of the Council of Somali Islamic Courts (CSIC) currently in control of Mogadishu and its environs.

It would serve as a bulwark against the further expansion of radical ideologies in the Horn of Africa by offering a shining example (along with Mali and Senegal and other predominantly Muslim Sub-Saharan African democracies) of how Islam and democracy are not mutually exclusive, but rather mutually reinforcing. Somaliland leaders are also eager to cooperate with the Bush administration in a variety of counter-terrorism measures, including working with the Combined Joint Task Force—Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) based in Djibouti. They are currently prohibited from doing so due to U.S. legislation that prevents cooperation with unrecognized Somaliland authorities.

The critiques of the pro-independence position are numerous, but don’t stand up to close examination. One strand of thought is that Somaliland is not economically viable. This position is reminiscent of claims made by Europeans during the 1950s with respect to their African colonies, with the aim of delaying independence throughout Africa. In any case, the argument is belied by Somaliland’s creation of a highly self-sufficient, well-functioning economy even though it has no access to the economic benefits that would come with statehood, such as access to loans from international financial institutions.

A second critique, typically offered by African policymakers, is that recognition of Somaliland will “open a pandora’s box” of secessionist claims throughout Africa. However, as in the case of Eritrea, which gained independence from Ethiopia in 1993, the Somaliland case does not call into question the African mantra of the “inviolability of frontiers” inherited at independence. The north-south union followed the independence and recognition of both the British and Italian Somali territories, and its dissolution therefore would constitute a unique case of returning to the boundaries inherited from the colonial era.

Others, especially those connected to UN efforts throughout the Horn of Africa, argue that recognition will derail the UN-sponsored “building blocks” approach to national reconciliation that includes the reconstitution of a central government in Mogadishu. This approach, however, has been an utter failure, as witnessed by the short-lived Transitional National Government (TNG) and its replacement by a Transitional Federal Government (TFG), the authority of which extends little beyond the town of Baidoa. What authority it has is largely due to the intervention of Ethiopian troops opposed to the further expansion of the Islamic Courts. It is time to recognize that the UN-sponsored “building blocks” cannot be stacked together to create a reunified central authority in Mogadishu.

A fourth critique claims that the “time is not right” for recognition because it will further intensify the widening crisis between the Islamic Courts and the TFG, and between their respective regional and international supporters. This argument has been heard repeatedly in the last fifteen years whenever efforts at reconstructing a unified central government were thought to be on the “verge of success.” Success has proved elusive over all this time, however, and it is now clear that southern Somalia will remain in crisis regardless of what is done with respect to Somaliland recognition.

The most dire prediction of some Somali watchers is that the Islamic Courts movement will emerge victorious in the current conflict, assert its control over all Somali territories outside of Somaliland, and then threaten open warfare with Somaliland to bring it back into the Somali fold. If this should happen, it will likely be too late for the United States or others to intervene in a timely and effective manner to prevent Somaliland’s absorption into an Islamist Somalia. This reality makes recognition all the more urgent.

One of the more nuanced critiques of recognition is that loyalty to Somaliland in its eastern districts of Sanaag and Sool is contested, especially among the Warsengeli and Dhulbahante clans, and that any movement toward independence would potentially require the redrawing of Somaliland’s eastern boundary – which the leadership in Hargeysa ( Somaliland’s capital) is unwilling to entertain.

It is important to reiterate that Somaliland’s current boundaries are those of the original British Somaliland Protectorate created in 1884 and the independent country recognized by the international community beginning on June 26, 1960, and therefore have a solid legal basis under international law. The 2001 referendum provided an unequivocal popular basis for the independence claim. One way of resolving this issue, as was done with Eritrea in May 1993, would be to hold a territory-wide, UN-sponsored and internationally monitored popular referendum on independence that would be binding. If, as would be expected, pro-independence forces prevailed, those unwilling to live under Somaliland rule would have to make hard decisions about whether to continue living in Somaliland. .

A final critique involves the concept of “African solutions for African problems.” Proponents contend that the United States should wait for African countries led by the AU to first recognize Somaliland. This approach is the topic of a thought-provoking International Crisis Group report, “Somaliland: Time for African Union Leadership,” published in May 2006, and was publicly endorsed by Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer in a presentation on November 17, 2006 at the annual meeting of the African Studies Association.

Although Frazer’s statement that the United States would recognize Somaliland if the AU acted first was welcomed by specialists on Somaliland, it is unclear when or if a AU recognition process will actually unfold. The encouragement of African action should not become the basis for inaction on the part of the United States.

The time for U.S. recognition of Somaliland is now, not only because it is right, but because it is in the interests of the United States. Recognition of Somaliland, followed by expanded engagement by Somaliland with the international community, would serve as a powerful lesson for other countries within the region (not least of all southern Somalia) of the benefits associated with the creation and consolidation of democratic systems of governance. Somaliland would become a model to emulate, and the United States would be congratulated for undertaking a proactive policy in support of a moderate, Muslim democracy.

Peter J. Schraeder is a professor in the Department of Political Science at Loyola University Chicago. He writes on African politics and U.S. Africa policy.


en historisk dag för både president Obama och amerikanska folket

I natt kl 3.00 svensk tid kom beskedet, om att amerikanska representanthuset har sagt ja till omdebatterade allmän sjukvårdsreformen, som har pågått nästan ett års tid nu i Washington. Det var oklart in i det sista om det skulle bli ja eller nej. Men President Obama spelade skickligt taktik, när han kom överenskommelse med de demokrater som var tveksamma till förslaget och fick de på sin sida. Republikarerna var bittra över resulatet. 219 sag  ja mot 212. Det här var en av president Obamas val frågor, som han drev under president valet i USA 2008. Nu kan han andas ut, för att han lyckades att få demokraterna i representanthuset  att rösta ja till förlaget.  Det blir historisk dag för president  Barack Obama, Han har lyckast driva in i det sista en sjukvårdsreform , som många tidigare presidenter i USA inte lyckade genomföra, från president Theodore Roosevelt , John FK Kennedy, Nixon, Harry Truman och inte minst Bill Clinton. För många människor i Europa är det här  obegripligt att världens mäktigaste land både ekonomisk och millitär, att  över 47 miljoner amerikaner  inte har tillgång till sjukdvård förutom akut. Det är absurt. Jag förstår att många amerikaner är arga på Obamas sjukvårdreform, men på långsiktig om 10-15 år kommer de som är  arga nu eller är motståndare till allmän sjukvårdförsäkring att tacka för president Barack Obama för det. Det ligger i människans natur att vi ogillar stora förändningar både små och stora, men när det kommit i gång, kommer  folk att gilla det.

Lycka till President Barck Obama


This article is about Somaliland’s fanatical, hasty unification with Somalia in 1960


Jag vill bara meddela här till våra kära läsare på Somaliland1991, att denna artikel är ett år gammal, men den är väldigt intressant att läsa.

Ibrahim Hassan Gagale.

[This article is about Somaliland’s fanatical, hasty unification with Somalia in 1960 and how Somalia doomed the union with political deprivation (1960-1982) and atrocities (1982-1990). It also states reasons of why the union is not revivable. In this article, North is referred to Somaliland and South is referred to Somalia as used in the three decades of the union.]

A union, when it is about countries, is an act of uniting two or more countries with the objective of enhancing strength and advancing common interest. However, any union succeeds only if its initiative is fully deliberated, its constitution is well- thought of and defined and all sides respect and abide by it with real commitment to put it forward. The voluntary unification that took place between Somaliland and Somalia on July 1st, 1960 was driven by chauvinism (Blind patriotism) from the part of Somaliland people who failed to foresee that such hasty act in Africa without deliberations on possibilities could result in devastating consequences as happened in the 1980s. The successive, South-centered governments throughout the history of the union clearly indicated that Somalia was not ready for the unity but just took advantage of the fanatical patriotism of the North which carelessly threw its independence to unwelcoming place.

In the thirty years of the union (1960-1990), Somaliland people have learned a lot from Somalia that dismisses any chance of reviving the doomed union in the future. The following past actions of Somalia that failed the union and make it impossible to revive in the future are:-

When the first government was formed in 1960 for the New Republic of Somalia, emerging from former British Somaliland and former Italian Somalia, the South took the president, Mr. Aden Abdulle Osman (1960-1964), the prime minister, Mr. Abdirasheed Ali Sharma`arke, the ministers of foreign affairs, interior, finance, Commander of the National Armed Forces, and the National Police Chief. The union parliament was sham too for the South taking unfair number of seats. This political hijack by the South was the first political blow to the power-sharing of the freshly formed union. Mr. Mohamed Haji Ibrahim Egal, who was prime minister of the North at the eve of unification, was denied of the premiership which he had as a right after the South took the presidency. President Aden Abdulle Osman was re-elected in 1964 (1964-1967) and repeated the same political blunders by giving the prime minister to Mr. Abdirizak Haji Hussein (South-born) and other major cabinet posts to the South again.

The North was treated as an ordinary region in Somalia like Mudug or Benadir ignoring the fact that the North became independent state, taking independence on June 26, 1960, before the South, which became independent on July 1st, 1960, and that the North initiated the unification of the two newly independent countries in the Horn of Africa. The political betrayal and humiliation by the South angered the politicians, traditional leaders, intellectuals, business community as well as military officers of the North. This deep resentment influenced North-born young military officers, at the command of Hassan Kayd, to lead the unsuccessful military coup in Hargeisa on December 10, 1961 to reclaim independence and dignity of the North from the South-breached union. Instead of addressing the grievances that led to the Northern mutiny and starting national dialogue for reconciliation, president Aden Abdulle Osman immediately transferred South-born military to North and North-born military to South to suppress and repress Northern people socially and politically to punish them for the rightful military mutiny. The Southern troops turned Northern Regions into semi-colony with no freedom at all. Northern people were forced to travel to Mogadisho for school certificates (Even middle school certificates), passports, healthcare, business licenses etc.

In such situation of political deprivation and lack of investment in the North, General Siad Barre (South-born) overthrew the civilian government of the shaky union through bloodless coup on October 21, 1969 dissolving the constitution and the parliament immediately after the assassination of president Abdirasheed Ali Sharma`arke (South-born) on October 15, 1969. Many people believed that president Abdirasheed (1967-1969) was murdered for giving prime minister post to the North and that is why General Siad Barre toppled Egal`s two-year old government too (1967-1969). President Abdirasheed gave the prime minister to the North to control the damage inflicted on power-sharing by president Aden Abdulle Osman. General Siad Barre ruled Somalia for 21 years with iron-fist dictatorship (1969-1990) that curtailed all civil liberties. He continued the political deprivation and suppression of the North and strengthened the political domination of the South.

Worse than South-centered civilian governments, General Siad Barre grossly breached the agreement of the union which was shared between the North and the South only by making it a union shared by all Somalis in the five Somali-territories (Somaliwein) in the Horn of Africa. He gave special political and military privilege to the Ogaden tribe inhabiting in Western Somalia (Occupied by Ethiopia) and in Somalia Northeastern Region (Occupied by Kenya) thus adopting refugees as citizens and making citizens, especially those in the North, as second class citizens. General Bile Rafle, born in Somali Galbeed, became the governor of Hargeisa and Burao in the 1970s, and General Aden Gabyow, born in N.F.D, Kenya, became once the minister of defense of the then Republic of Somalia. These citizen-turned refugees widely participated in the atrocities and displacement of the central tribes in Somaliland (Isaaq Clan) during civil wars. Northern officials in South-owned governments were symbolic and powerless. Their posts were intended to mislead Northern public perception to believe in power-sharing that did not exist. If the Northern officials in the government had real power, they would prevent injustices and crimes committed against the North.

During the disastrous union, Darod and Hawiye clans dominated the government. Isaaq clan (The biggest clan in the North) was alienated throughout the union to eliminate political rivalry from North. It was also political hostility focus for challenging the hijacked union. The middle clans and the minorities were not in the radar of the political system of the union. Southern governments also practiced “divide and rule” policy in the North turning native clans against each other politically before the civil wars and finally arming them against each other during civil wars.

After all talks and negotiations between Northern leaders and Siad Barre`s regime to reverse the anti-North policies failed, the Northern people had no choice but to challenge the unabated injustices of the South with armed resistance. A group of Isaaq emigrants living in London founded the Somali National Movement (SNM), with political and military wings, in April 1981 to overthrow Siad Barre`s dictatorship. The military wing of SNM waged relentless attacks against Southern troops of oppression, suppression, and repression based in the North. It launched its first operation, operating from bases in Ethiopia, in February 1982 against the government troops. These military operations of SNM successfully continued and devastated the government troops until the major offensive of SNM in 1988. Claiming that all Isaaqs were supporters of the SNM guerrilla movement, Siad Barre`s government unleashed all sorts of human rights abuses against them such as killings, detentions, rapes, torture, unfair trials, confiscation of private properties, curfews and checkpoints in cities, towns, villages and rural areas in the North. Constraints on freedom of movement and employment and business discrimination against Isaaq were also common. Even Isaaq community living in the South suffered the same human rights abuses equally. Siad Barre also sent Northern prominent leaders and politicians such as Mohamed Haji Ibrahim Egal, Omar Arteh Qalib, Ismael Ali Aboker, top military officers and scholars to prison arbitrarily.

The military wing of SNM launched major offensive against government forces based in Hargeisa and Burao in May 1988 destroying most of the troops and arsenal stationed there and crippling Siad Barre`s administration in the North. In Response to SNM offensive, Siad Barre declared all-out war against Isaaq clan and started bombarding Hargeisa and Burao brutally and indiscriminately with artillery, tanks and war planes, some of them piloted by mercenaries from former Rhodesia, forcing the population of these cities to flee into Ethiopia for sanctuary leaving Hargiesa and Burao in ruins. Tens of thousands of civilians were murdered, massacred or executed summarily. In July 1989, Forty-seven (47) people, mainly from Isaaq clan, were slaughtered at Jasiira Beach near Mogadisho by Siad Barre`s Red Berets. In February 2000, the bodies of more than 700 people were discovered in mass grave near the Airport of Berbera. Other mass grave sites were also found at Malko Durduro in Hargeisa, near Burao, Gabiley and Erigavo. These mass graves held Isaaq victims of massacres and mid-night executions carried out by troops loyal to Barre`s regime in the years 1988 and 1989. It was brutal military campaign of ethnic cleansing against the entire Isaaq clan. In January 1991, the heroic armed struggle of SNM and USC finally ousted Siad Barre and his dictatorship simultaneously in the North and in the South. Siad Barre fled the country on January 26, 1991.

Having seen the political deprivation and atrocities against the North and its people, the Northern Congress held in Burao on May 18, 1991 unanimously proclaimed the withdrawal of the North from the union with the South and reclaimed its independence of June 26, 1960 renaming itself: Somaliland Republic. The referendum held in Somaliland on May 31st, 2001 reaffirmed Somaliland sovereignty from Somalia. Somaliland is not a secessionist or breakaway region from Somalia as anti-Somaliland groups claim. It just withdrew from the union it joined as an independent state on July 1st, 1960 after it failed in the hands of Somalia. Djabouti became independent state in 1977 and rejected to join the union after witnessing how the South mistreated the North. Somaliland, Somalia and Djabouti are independent with equal status and legitimacy.

The Somaliland people shall not revive the doomed union with Somalia for the following 7 (Seven) reasons:

1 – The above history of political deprivation and atrocities committed against Somaliland people during the union have no justification or excuse at all.

2 – Somalia does not admit those injustices and heinous crimes against Somaliland people. It purposefully denies or covers them up by claiming that the people of Somalia suffered equally. What they do not want to hear is that they were responsible for the injustices and atrocities in Somaliland but the destructive civil wars in Somalia were self-inflicted. President Aden Abdulle Osman and General Siad Barre can not be blamed for the injustices and crimes against the North alone because they were supported by Southern politicians, military commanders, troops and tribes loyal to Siad Barre`s regime.

3 – Any federal government shared with the tribes inhabiting in the central regions of Somalia (Mudug and Galgudud) is unlikely to survive long because they are power-obsessed, self-aggrandizing and uncompromising. Some of these tribes hijacked the union in the first decade of its age, some other supported and defended Siad Barre`s brutal dictatorship and another is blamed for the endless anarchy and violence in Somalia.

4 – Somalia still believes in government shared by Somaliwein (Government for all Somalis from Somalia, Somaliland, Djabouti, Somali Northeastern Region (Kenya) and Western Somalia (Ehtiopia). This is no man`s government that leads to political chaos and socio-economic setbacks. Somaliland belongs to Somalilanders only.

5 – The place is Africa where democracy, fair elections and rule of law are not respected. Chronic tribalism, brutal dictatorships and crippling corruptions are common and normal practice of the day. Any federal government can be easily overthrown at any time by military coups, just like General Siad Barre did, with the immediate dissolution of elected parliament and constitution. No one can guarantee or trust that this will not happen again.

6 – Neither Somaliland people nor the people of Somalia can afford to have another risky unity that leads to brutal dictatorship or despotic turned-elected governments that plunge both peoples into other violent, atrocious civil wars. They need to have separate, safe, sisterly states with mutual relations like the 18 Arab countries that also share religion, language and culture but living in peaceful, prosperous independent states. Both nations must reject blind patriotism that led them to devastating civil wars in the past.

7 – The place is Africa where the laws of the jungle rein, where tribalism and localism are more important than nationalism and patriotism and where poverty and ignorance drive people to seek living in tribal corrupt or dictatorial governments instead of making sacrifices and hard work for better life and for self-sufficiency.

The critics of Somaliland independence, who advocate for reviving the disastrous unity, are either blind or indifferent to these political betrayal and appalling atrocities in this article. Their reckless, chauvinistic approach for unity must be rejected by Somaliland.

Ibrahim Hassan Gagale.


February 19, 2009