Somaliland Update: Presidential Address And First Female Mayor in Somaliland History

Don’t Let Somalia Hold Somaliland Hostage, Says Somaliland President

Somaliland’s President, Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo, stated in a recent address that two decades of stable independence, rule of law, and democracy should be enough for the world to recognize the independence of Somaliland without holding its future hostage to the continuing anarchy and lack of legitimate authority within Somalia [1].  Despite the support of some Western nations, though, and some African ones, it appears that the African Union needs convincing that Somaliland’s independence will not set a precedent for secessionist movements around the world.

Why does Somaliland need recognition? For one, Somaliland has a genuine nationhood that has remained despite Somali misrule for five decades.  It was a terrible mistake for Somaliland to give up its independence after five days in 1960 to join with Italian Somaliland to form a mismached nation that lacked a true national identity.  With the overthrow of the democratic regime, there was no longer anything holding Somaliland into a nation against its will except for force, and a ten year civil war from 1981 to 1991 finished Siad Barre’s rule at heavy cost to the people, infrastructure, and land of Somaliland.

With recognition comes the ability for Somaliland to defend itself–to receive aid, increase its military holdings, and engage in open and fully recognized trade and bilateral relations with other nations in the world.  Additionally, recognition brings with it membership in international organizations–the Arab League, the African Union, and the United Nations, that bring honor and respect and legitimacy to the nation of Somaliland.  For a worthy nation to be forced to dwell outside of legitimate channels because of the folly of the African Union and because of the fears of mismatched and failed states that Somaliland’s independence would establish a precedent for their own oppressed and marginalized minorities, is an outrage.

And yet that Pandora’s Box has already been opened.  Somaliland was a separate colony before independence, British Somaliland.  French Somaliland and Italian Somaliland were both recognized as nations and the world has not ended yet (Djibouti and Somalia, respectively).  There are very few nations for whom the Somaliland example would give a precedent for secession–Zanzibar from Tanzania, ceratainly (because they were separate colonies as well), and Western Sahara from Morocco (a just case that should be recognized easily), but no other cases spring to mind.

However, the African Union is already going to accept South Sudan as a nation, a nation that never until its independence vote early this year had a recognized identity as its own apart from the greater Sudan.  South Sudan’s independence, rather than Somaliland’s, is the real precedent setter, and one that the African Union has accepted.  Who could force the Ashanti/Akan peoples of the Ivory Coast and Ghana to remain in nations that seek to hold them down, now that the South Sudanese have been granted their independence.  Who is to keep the Ibo in Nigeria in the face of genocidal hatred by the Muslim Hausa of the north?

Once the African Union consents to the statehood of South Sudan, which is expected in June, than all of its pleadings about wanting to respect the boundaries of its member states is all talk, no walk.  At that point, its hostility towards the recognition of Somaliland’s independence is no longer a matter of principle, but merely a political swipe at a legitimate nation without just cause because of petty and selfish whims on the part of the African Union’s leadership.  Is that body willing to act as it ought, or will it remain a prisoner to its fears of secession even after granting such movements legitimacy by recognizing South Sudan.  It is already too late for the African Union to resist the recognition of secession, now it can only put down fairly and openly the terms by which the right of revolution will be granted to worthy nations.

First Somaliland Female Mayor

After corruption charges brought a no-confidence vote against former Gabiley City mayor Aden Muhumed, the district got its first female mayor when the elders and officials of the Gabiley District Committee chose Ms. Kadra Haaji to replace him [2].  Ms. Haaji is the first female mayor in the history of the nation of Somaliland.

Little is known of Ms. Haaji at this time, but she was previously a deputy in the region and worked with community initiatives for the development of that region.  Gabiley city is about 50km from Hargeisa (Somaliland’s national capital) in the Northwest Region of the nation.  Hopefully she can do a better job than her predecessor, who is suspected, according to the Attorney General of Somaliland, of misappropriating more than 250 million Somaliland Shillings in government funds during his time as mayor.

[1] http://somaliland247.wordpress.com/2011/05/27/somaliland-needs-recognition-says-leader/

[2] http://somaliland247.wordpress.com/2011/05/29/somaliland%e2%80%99s-first-woman-mayor-takes-office-in-gabiley-city/

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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2 Responses to Somaliland Update: Presidential Address And First Female Mayor in Somaliland History

  1. Pingback: A Modest Proposal For A Plebiscite To Resolve The Status Of The Republic Of Somaliland | Edge Induced Cohesion

  2. Pingback: On The Applicability Of Divorce Law To The Recognition Of New Sovereign States | Edge Induced Cohesion

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