At the outset, I need to give credit to the Somaliland247 blog for bringing this matter to my attention, but it is something that I wish to discuss as well concerning the relevance of the recent wikileaks posting to my interest in the international recognition of the nationhood of Somaliland.
As it happens, Mr. Richard Mills, a political attachè at the US Embassy in London, on February 6, 2009 reported that Her Majesty’s Government in England failed to consider Somaliland’s independence as a serious enough priority, giving two very valid reasons to support Somaliland independence: it would help the ability of that fledgling nation to build its infrastructure after the civil wars of the 1980’s, and it would also help aid an indigenous democracy against the pressure of militant Islam in the Horn of Africa. Witness, for example, the spread of the Sharia Law Courts over much of Somalia.
Indeed, it is a bit puzzling why Great Britain, who ought to be aware of the separate Somaliland identity as a result of having granted it a separate independence in 1960 (a matter about which I would like to know a lot more, though
it would probably require a trip to visit the archives of the British Colonial office). Indeed, this particular document may be one of the ones to come out in this latest wikileaks set that has a positive effect, showing that whatever might be said about the direction of American diplomacy, that the US State Department has humane and far-thinking employees who look out for the interests of the United States in supporting home-grown efforts at the establishment of legitimate and democratic states, even in very challenging regions of the world. I hope Mr. Mills gets some kind of recognition for his honesty and sagacity, most of all the reward of having one’s ideas taken seriously and implemented.
Perhaps, for the good people of Somaliland, the fact that a blunt-speaking American political attachè in London has your back is a sign that at least some people in the rest of the world, even those who are not Somalilanders, show a deep concern and interest in the well being of a nation that has made an excellent start at democratic politics and the rule of law in a very inhospitable region to do so. To let such noble and good work go unrewarded would be a grave shame. Let us, as best as we can, seek to prevent that from happening by providing a voice to a so-far-forgotten nation.