Why Somaliland finds no global sympathizers?

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By Abdirahman M Dirye

Hargaysa-Addis Ababa— 04, 08, 2017. This France25 Channel yesterday
hostile remarks concluded with this “…. (Somaliland’s) recognition be
undeniably hard to attain” and the negative portrayal perhaps resulted
among others from Bollore French port operator loss of Berbera seaport
global bid to lease to port operators worldwide perhaps. However, DP
World secured Berbera port’s 30-years-old lease to run. The atypical
barb from French-owned government media against democratic Somaliland
with presidential elections in the next November coincided with
French’s first Ambassador to Mogadishu amid political turmoil of three
decades of Jihad, who submitted his credentials to Somalia’s president
whose compound’s relies on foreign forces for military protection and
his personal safety to go to the restroom and be right back.

This statement is an indicator of French indifference towards
democratic Somaliland. It is true Somaliland which is written much
about its richness of free mass media through five news sites were
recently blocked : lively parliament and the rule of law so far failed
to win the hearts of world major powers nonetheless the dream scripted
in Somalilanders’ hearts of Somaliland being independent; free and it
remains alive for the benefit of all: Somaliland’s strategic location
and vital geopolitics at the Red Sea dictates maritime’s international
commerce flow and its cessation and impacts merchant vessels
transportation costs. Berbara at the mouth of the Bab El Mandeb, a
narrow natural pathway of almost of the world’s oil supplies go
through can put naval checkpoint to collect fees or.... Somaliland’s
recognition benefits, not just Somalilanders adamant about their
self-determination but the entire world.

Unlike the troubling Somalia whose militia ragtag army backs by the US
air superiority, and AMISOM, African peacemakers failed to stabilize
Somalia militarily since US Restore Hope Operation; Somaliland’s
political stability is vital to the regional, and world’s businesses.
Surely, without Somaliland’s political courage to protect the Babul
Mandul, with naval forces from pirates and terrorist arms shipments in
transit, there would no free pass-way in the natural canal. US oil
tanker from Meccatan to Manhattan would take months causing
disruptions in the industrial world rather the present few days. Yet
Somaliland gets no appreciation from the user governments of the
canal. The prolonging of the voyage would be the minimum damage done
to global meltdown economies of the Western world.

Furthermore, Somaliland regularly holds elections and keeps the
revolving door for power open and makes sisterly African countries
rather ‘threatened’, yet it receives rhetorical admiration, not even
moral support never mind global recognition it deserves! Therefore,
there is growing uncertainty among Somaliland masses if the costly
presidential election in this November will ever bring international
semi-recognition or at the least open up foreign direct investment.

By the way, is it true then the democracy always preached by the world
leaders to push their vested interest down the throats of states
determine if a nation remains pariah or not? Rwanda is booming, but
with little freedom of speech. China deals governments regardless of
democracy.

The Washington Post remarkably stated this about Somaliland"
But when we interviewed two dozen Somaliland leaders in April and May
as part of a research project on islands of stability in conflict
zones, we came away with a picture of a vibrant polity in which local
communities feel invested in the success of the state. According to
Haroon Yusuf, director of the Social Research and Development
Institute in Hargeisa, Somalilanders have united behind the common
goal of establishing a government independent from Mogadishu.
Somaliland today features all the hallmarks of an aspiring state, with
its own currency, courts and coast guard. As a result, Yusuf said,
Somalilanders are “happy to invest everything here.”

The majority became cynics in global standard of justice of Hague of
International Tribunal and whether democracy has any value in American
and British foreign policy when deciding whom to stand by. Many
independent western analysts say greed guides the western judgment
very often.

On June 26, 1960, Somaliland achieved independence from Great Britain,
however, lost it in inconclusive search of unification of
Somali-speaking people scattered across the East Africa under
different leaderships. Few days after independence from Great Britain,
the first attempt to restore the lost independent was done by elite
military experts from Sunharts military college the likes of Hassan
Kayd, Abdilaho Congo, and Amb. Awil but met with failure; those behind
the plot languished behind bars but later released. In 1981, the
second attempt succeeded to liberate Somaliland territory from
communist military regime ran from Mogadishu.

The world too long has shown diplomatic reluctance to deal with
Somaliland openly, as a result, the isolation undermined Somaliland’s
economy leading to youth’s precarious exodus to the EU.

Hostile attitudes
Ever since Bollore firm lost the bid, French mass media Africa
Intelligence or Indian Ocean Newsletter both French press and they
finally joined Arab media which wants Somaliland to fight their dirty
water wars against Ethiopia for water greed, began concerted efforts
to discredit Somaliland’s selfless achievement and disappoint
Somalilanders who paid sacrifices in defending their homeland; French
citizen of Somaliland origin Zahra Halgan (warrior in English )at the
forefront singing for Somaliland’s recognition in Paris, London, and
in Hargaysa. In their dream to achieve outright independence, global
isolation, blockade, and rhetoric meant inhibition won’t discourage
them but punishes only the vulnerable folks.

In decades, Saudi Arabia the largest destination market for Somaliland
animals banned Somaliland’s livestock to subjugate Somaliland‘s
die-hard proponents of all walks of life. In 27 years of terror policy
by the kingdom failed to force Somaliland determined supporters to
give up their dream of nationhood and statehood but harmed ordinary
folks economically, starving millions of nomads to near-death; the ban
made them vulnerable to recurrent famines. Somalilanders remained
resilient and steadfast in the face of the danger holding their heads
high in the hope they will win the hearts of their diplomatic enemies
soon.

The UK’s historic ties
During Great Britain’s reign of Somaliland, the British clearly
demarcated Somaliland’s colonial separating from Somalia—they remained
intact— and it met most of the characteristics of statehood for
instance viability, and a permanent population of not less 4m people
despite the ongoing denial. Somaliland’s present generation can’t
decipher why the UK the former military protector of Somaliland over
two centuries isn’t pioneering lobbying for Somaliland’s global
recognition. Somaliland has historic ties with the Great Britain since
First and Second World Wars. Hundreds of forefathers from Somaliland
died for British Empire fighting in distant places from their homeland
during the Second World War. The last British governor of the
protectorate said something similar “we are leaving British Somaliland
but the friendship between here and the UK will flourish again” “one
good turn deserves another” has never the case. Elders statesmen
regret that their sacrifices seem gone in vain. The French Somaliland
Djibouti ex-soldiers grandchildren still receive pensions on behalf of
their late daddies while Somaliland ex-combatants beg to French
handouts receivers. Although the UK government is number donor to
Somaliland, however, the UK hosted Somali conferences One and Two in
London ashamedly sided with Somalia former ally of fascist Italy
during the Second World War by sending the second ambassador or so to
Mogadishu to stand by Somalia. That was tantamount to stab in the back
of Somaliland people by a strategic ally and it is a declaration of
war by other means.

Anglophilia in Somaliland is vanishing for the UK’s ignorance of the
close ties between the two nations. “They could stay neutral in
Somalia and Somaliland affairs” a resident in Hargaysa spelt out. “I
am horrified by the decision since my grandfather died for Great
Britain” British native with Somaliland ancestry protested.

The UK government relocated Somaliland’s dialogue with Somalia to
Turkey, impossible venue to let exit of the hanging on warring parties
due to the sensitivity of the Kurdish separatists the PPK. The UK
defaulted to its commitment to remain unfailing friend with Somaliland
people whose governor stated during the last British withdrawal from
Somaliland in the sixties. As a result, Somaliland took its business
elsewhere granting military base to UAE.

Victim of double standards
African Union’s Act of Sacrosanctity of colonial borders didn’t apply
to Sudan during the split since the Sudan had one European colonizer
the UK. To this day, South Sudan has dotted border lines unsure.
Somaliland proponents argue faith and politics entwined inform the
decisions made by the western leaders with exception of Bosnia---
being a white race might be playing a role. In the past two decades,
the list recognized countries are many but topped the list by
Christian led countries: Eritrea, East Timor, and South Sudan.
Somaliland’s strong case for statehood has been out of global agenda.
Somalilanders built their nation from scratch after the brutal
military regime led by Siyad Barre destroyed cities. They argue their
faith disadvantaged them like their peers from Kashmir crisis that has
been unresolved since 1945 and more recently Rohingya Muslims from
Myanmar and Chechnya returned to Russian Federation at the gunpoint.
Somaliland’s rival swimming in an ocean of domestic challenges of
Jihad and power bickering has no diplomatic weight over Somaliland’s
recognition pursuit. Somaliland is a functional democracy, not
handpicked leadership in congested hall like Somalia of which Turkey
fell in love with to exploit their vast resources unbothered of their
faith of Islam killing the same Muslim Kurds en masse with US F18 war
jets and Israeli latest tanks. “ look (yourself) at the mirror” during
world economic forum in Davos, Switzerland said Shimon Perez Israeli
Prime Minister responding to Turkish stunt of Palestinians death by
Israelis but many average Muslims didn’t understand the rhetoric and
won’t.

Somaliland fledgeling democracy defies the odds, moves on to build a
sustainable system that functions for the future generation and calls
the UK to play the role it deserves in the independence restoration
process. In Trump’s America of which Islam bashing is fashionable for
western leaders to earn votes, Somaliland still turns to Republican
Party for leadership to take pragmatic steps to make international
arbitration between Somaliland and failed Somalia. In 2011, Somaliland
sent high-level delegation led by the President Ahmed Silanyo to
Jubba, the capital of the South Sudan in the eve of the declaration of
the independence remembering the human loss they paid to achieve their
dear price “I got goose bumps our peer finally reborn free!” said
Somaliland woman whose parents killed during Siyad Barre’s onslaught
on Somaliland. She saw tears flowing over the cheeks of the South
Sudanese masses “will my dreams ever materialize like theirs? I can’t
internalize my pain anymore. I want my Somaliland to be like others: a
country without Somalia claiming over its territorial integrity to die
together; I hate political marriages sans divorce”. But her dream to
materialize or not only time will tell.

Dirye is Somaliland activist and media member of Wadani opposition
Party, follow on his twitter @mrdirye or mrdi...@gmail.com

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