WhiteAfrican

Where Africa and Technology Collide!

Somaliland: this is NOT Somalia!

Flag of the Repulic of Somaliland - Unrecognized countryI thought I knew the geography of Africa fairly well, especially East Africa. However, I was doing some reading recently and realized that I did not know that the Republic of Somaliland had declared itself a country almost 15 years ago (1991). Somalia does not have the best reputation in the world, whereas Somaliland has been fairly quiet and peaceful as far as internal conflict goes.

Map of the Republic of Somaliland

Because Somaliland is not recognized, the IMF will not lend them any money. This has made it difficult, but it has also been a blessing – Somaliland is virtually debt free! The government is run on a couple million dollars per year, and because of this lack of money they have little corruption within the government – another amazing fact.

It appears that the BBC did a special on unrecognized countries called Places That Don’t Exist. Somaliland was highlighted, along with Transnistria, Taiwan, South Ossetia, and Nagorno-Karabakh.

They rebuilt their country after a devastating civil war with very little help from the outside world, but with sheer hard work and a belief in their own national identity they’ve been able to build a functioning state.
– Simon Reeve, BBC News Correspondent

43 Comments

  1. Transnistria? WTH?? What a tongue-twisting name for a country… 🙂

    Taiwan, yeah. A friend of mine who recently moved there told me about those japanese interest into the island – they wanted TW to become part of Japan. How crazy is that?

  2. Yeah, border disputes are nuts. Just think of Norther Kenya and the areas around Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia – they’re in constant flux.

  3. Dear White African Brother,
    Before you blame your geography teacher what a bum he was, let me correct you and put your mind at ease.
    Don’t believe a word of what you read about “Somaliland” there is no such a thing call Somalia or a country, it is all a hype and myth. It is two cities, with is populated from the one clan. The map, the flag and the hype written by Professors for hire from United State and United Kingdom the blog from the Pilipino girl, all this is a big lie. The map you see is divided into three as we speak, but this one clan runs around the world and tells people they control all these area, but they don’t. it is huge con job. And some westerns are actually aiding and abetting them with this con.

    Recent Somali history:

    The country erupted into a full blown civil war in 1991, when two clans overthrew the central government of Somalia, and like hutu style massacred other clans by the thousands. One of the clans was the one that now is claiming to be “Somaliland” they and the other clan that holds the capital city of Somali hostage, destroyed the country so they can divide the country apart. Each clan can have a country, and the rest of Somalis to be terminated, such Hitlirian ambition! The problem was there were many other clan living in the country and they could not wipe them all out.

    Before the imperial colonials divided the original Somalia into five parts, each Somali clan had their own lands and their own rulers. Of course, when the two Somalia (Italian Somaliland and British Somaliland) took their independent from the colonies 1960, all five Somali clans joint hands, they form a country and modern governance. For 30 years Somalia was a country nation, until the civil war. When these two clans, who destroyed the central government decided to dived the country into two, following the old colonial boundaries for Italian and British Somaliland, and since these two clans refused to work with the rest of Somalis to form government, the rest of the clans decided to go back to their clan boundaries before the colonial.(Somalis had 14 reconciliation conferences, 4 government since 1991, each government was destroyed by these two clans who work together from Hargeysa(so call Somaliland) and Mogadishu.

    When you hear Somaliland, what the separatist clan, it means the former British Protectorate Somaliland. The old British Somaliland belongs to three major clans, and they are 5 regions. Northern Daroods clan, which own two and half regions (Sool, Sanag and the half now call Cayn) said no to the secession and decide to form their own Country/government call Puntland with the Southern Daroods clans. ( when I say northern and southern, it means British and Italian Somaliland respectively) One region and Half of the former British Somaliland belongs to a clan name Isaak, they are the ones who destroy the country so they can have their little country, and they want secession, however, they cannot fulfill any of the international laws and General Assembly articles one needs to fulfill in order to call one a nation.

    So they try to hijack the voices and the people of other regions who refuse to be part of their hallucination, the other clans take is, if Somalia will not have central government, then it will be divided into clans nations, if you don’t like tough. You want a country, come to the conferences and the reconciliations process between clans and let us form a country nation, if not, then each clan knows where their lines begin and end, if trespass there is a war!

    The so call Somaliland is being bushed by the British Government and other western nations. however, Somalia cannot be divided into two, it can be divided into five state nations, or it stays as one, the world can either take it or leave it.

    So don’t believe the hype this is the ultimate con, “Somaliland” it only exists in paper which helps United nation and some NGO to bill their spurious spending and it exists in the minds of the separatists Somalis and their western supporters. There is no country call Somaliland in Africa. And when they tell you this part of the country is peaceful, that is lie. They have their share of battles, and as of yesterday there was a fight in the Regions belong to the North Daroods, when the Isaaq clan invaded into their to take lands. Everyday, there is a war between Puntland ( Darood Clan) and Somaliland( Isaaks Clan) But it is not reported as much as Southern wars are reported. Again, the con to show the world this is peaceful area. Just last week 10 people died in clashes between the northern clans.

    Don’t believe the hype and be inform. ; )

  4. Yasmiin, thank you for your reply! Most of us realize that what is fronted by the media is usually much different than what is actually happening on the ground in a particular region (take the hurricane Katrina coverage as an example).

    Nothing against Somalis, but as someone who grew up in East Africa, I can tell you that I did not pay as much attention to that country as I should have. Maybe I was too preoccupied with another war-torn country (Sudan). Either way, I find it’s never to late to learn something or to have my pre-conceived notions squashed.

    Thank you again for your input.

  5. Malao – Berbera As Possible Capital Of ‘The Other Berberia’ (Ancient
    Somaliland)
    Prof. Dr. Muhammad Shamsaddin Megalommatis – — – 29 August, 2005
    —————————————————————————­—–

    By Prof. Dr. Muhammad Shamsaddin Megalommatis

    As continuation of our previous article, we will study further excerpts
    of ‘the Periplus of the Red Sea’ pertaining to ‘the Other
    Berberia’, which almost 2000 years ago was delineated within the
    present borders of Somaliland. It is true that we have somewhat earlier
    references to this area, and we intend to mention them within this
    series of articles, but they are rather due to hearsay (f.i. diplomatic
    reports of those times) and not to personal autopsy and navigational
    experience in the area in question as is the text of the Periplus of
    the Red Sea. Consequently, these references offer at times
    self-contradictory, confusing and/or erroneous information, which does
    not necessarily damage the importance of the author (in this case the
    famous Roman erudite Pliny the Elder) but makes of the excerpt a less
    valuable piece of puzzle in the reconstruction of the Ancient History
    of Somaliland.

    Sailing around Malao – Berbera

    The 8th chapter of the Periplus of the Red Sea is focused on Malao, a
    port of call that has been identified with the modern harbour of
    Berbera. We publish it integrally, adding our commentary next.

    Text

    8. After Avalites there is another market-town, better than this,
    called Malao, distant a sail of about eight hundred stadia. The
    anchorage is an open roadstead, sheltered by a spit running out from
    the east. Here the natives are more peaceable. There are imported into
    this place the things already mentioned, and many tunics, cloaks from
    Arsinoe, dressed and dyed; drinking-cups, sheets of soft copper in
    small quantity, iron, and gold and silver coin, not much. There are
    exported from these places myrrh, a little frankincense, (that known as
    far-side), the harder cinnamon, duaca, Indian copal and macir, which
    are imported into Arabia; and slaves, but rarely.

    Analysis

    In the previous article, we analyzed the reasons for the identification
    of Avalites with the area at the southern suburbs of Assab, in Eritrea,
    and not Zeila (Seylac) in Somaliland. The distance mentioned in this
    chapter (800 stadia) makes plausible the identification of Malao with
    Berbera, and it seems that the mariners sailed at those days straight
    from the Bab el Mandeb to Berbera, without circumnavigating the
    Tadjoura Gulf in the area of modern Djibouti.

    Quite interestingly, the author, after identifying Avalites as
    ‘harbour’ and ‘small market-town’, describes Malao as
    ‘market-town’, which makes us conclude that Malao was larger than
    Avalites. This is also corroborated by the fact that more products were
    imported here than in Avalites, “the things already mentioned”
    being a textual hint at those earlier listed in chapter 7 about
    Avalites. Immediately after these words, the author comes up with an
    ‘additional’ list of imported items at Malao.

    Here starts the most interesting part of the Avalites and Malao imports
    comparison. Whereas in Avalites there are six different products
    mentioned as imported (“flint glass, assorted; juice of sour grapes
    from Diospolis; dressed cloth, assorted, made for the Berbers; wheat,
    wine, and a little tin”), in Malao seven more types of products are
    reportedly traded in. More than double!

    If we now pay attention to the quality (and consequently the value) of
    the products mentioned in both cases, we find out a striking
    difference. Let’s concentrate first on the Textile Sector.

    In Avalites were imported: “dressed cloth, assorted, made for the
    Berbers”.

    In Malao were imported: “many tunics, cloaks from Arsinoe, dressed
    and dyed”.

    We notice a kind of contempt in the textual precision ‘made for the
    Berbers’; it sounds like the French colonial expression ‘bon pour
    l’ Orient’ (”good for the East”), which implies that this
    sort of low(ly) French production was to be distributed outside France
    and Europe, somewhere in colonized areas (or at least in countries that
    were not technologically advanced as much as Europe was). It is
    apparent that nobody in Alexandria or Egypt would wear “dressed
    cloth, assorted, made for the Berbers”, except possibly traveling
    Berberic traders of course. But this concerns Avalites only!

    With respect to Malao textile imports, the atmosphere changes totally!
    Tunics were expensive cloths for important people in Alexandria, Rome
    and other important cities of the Roman world. On the other hand,
    cloaks from Arsinoe (Suez) were famous in Roman Egypt, and expensive.

    Subsequently, we feel that at Malao we are met with a richer and more
    important environment, where people are not dressed as in the
    countryside! Why is it so?

    Further comparison between the Avalites and Malao imports helps us shed
    more light on the issue. Let’s focus now on the Metals Sector, which
    involves also currency in cash (there was no plastic or even paper
    money at those days!).

    In Avalites were imported: “a little tin” only.

    In Malao were imported: “drinking-cups, sheets of soft copper in
    small quantity, iron, and gold and silver coin, not much”.

    It becomes clear that not only more metal was imported in Malao, but
    also that the Malao imports corresponded to the needs of a local
    administration, not provincial authorities. Drinking cups were metallic
    in the Antiquity; that is why this product is mentioned at this order.
    But who would use at those days a metallic cup to drink except
    high-ranking magistrates, top military, wealthy merchants, local
    noblesse, palatial employees, and royal families? If this concerns the
    Malao imported drinking cups, it is even more so for imports such as
    gold and silver coin. The entire sentence allows us to assume that
    Malao was the capital of the Other Berberia, although the author does
    not state something like this explicitly. So, iron was necessary for
    the needs of the local arsenal, and currency (silver coin) and gold
    were for the payment of the various Malao exports. Everything indicates
    that there was power centralization at Malao, whereas Avalites was a
    border point where fights and disputes happened frequently.

    There is another point in the text to support this approach; the
    description of the Malao inhabitants as ‘more peaceable’ signifies
    presence of central power, culture and education, security and civil
    society. We can most probably assume the presence of a local royal
    authority that controlled as far as Avalites in the northwest. This
    stands in striking contradiction with the last sentence of the Avalites
    chapter (‘And the Berbers who live in the place are very unruly’),
    which should be interpreted as revealing the defensive attitude of the
    Avalites natives, with regard to foreigners, Axumite Abyssinians or any
    navigators and merchants; the attitude was due to the need of defending
    the Berberic exports’ maritime transportation to the Yemenite coast
    (Ocelis and Mouza).

    The mention of the Malao exports offers further information. Certainly
    the Malao exports were more numerous and more valuable than those of
    Avalites. Quite interestingly they were exported to the Yemenite
    Kingdom of Haribael, the king of the merged Saba and Himyar states.
    This happened in accordance with the maritime transport of the Avalites
    products to Yemen. It represents therefore the choice of a royal
    authority of which we hear nothing, although through the text’s lines
    we feel its existence. The independence of the Other Berberia and the
    existence of a central, royal power around Berbera are also indicated
    by the export of slaves. Since no foreign colons or invaders were
    present, the export of slaves can be a matter of a victorious central
    power of some size. We could assume that these Malao exported slaves
    were not local Berbers, but war prisoners of the local king who had to
    fight various inland tribes.

    Another interesting point is that faraway products, such as Indian
    copal and macir, ‘had’ to be transported to Malao to be further
    exported to Yemen. If there were no local authority, the omnipresent
    Yemenites of the two kingdoms, Saba/Himyar and Hadhramawt, who had
    already colonized Azania, would have ‘arranged’ that these Indian
    products, like many other Indian exports, be transported straight to
    their harbours, either in Yemen or in Azania, and consequently be sold
    to them in lower price!

    In the following chapter, the text of the Periplus of the Red Sea
    describes in detail eastern harbours at the coast of ‘the Other
    Berberia’, like Mundu (Bandar Hais), Mosyllon, etc. We will continue
    our analysis in the next article; here we intend to correct false
    interpretations that intend to minimize the importance of the coast of
    the Other Berberia in the entire East – West trade network of those
    days.

    Maritime and land routes in Eastern Africa

    Although the text of the Periplus of the Red Sea describes mostly
    coastal and open sea navigation, the author occasionally refers to land
    roads linking two harbours or an inland city with coastal ports of
    call. At a later point in the text, the author hints at a land road
    from the Azanian coast of Eastern Africa and the area of Rhapta
    (Daressalam in Tanzania) to Axum and to the Nile Valley. It is clear
    that this land alternative was not the frequent choice, and the reason
    is simple: it was not that safe because of the lack of central
    administrations, royal authorities, and proper communication network.
    The prevailing jungle conditions made the land trip extremely dangerous
    and unsafe. The alternative existed only, when there were major reasons
    to avoid the maritime route of circumnavigating the Horn of Africa.

    However, academic ‘militantism’ often disregards textual sources,
    epigraphic documentation, and archeological evidence in order to impose
    preconceived schemes and efforts of interpretation that lead to
    inaccurate reconstruction of the historical past. A good example of
    such militant historiography is the article “Of Nubians and
    Nabateans: Implications of research on neglected dimensions of ancient
    world history” by Jesse Benjamin of the Department of Sociology, of
    the Hobart and William Smith Colleges (Geneva, NY 14456, USA) that was
    published in the Journal of Asian and African Studies {Nov 2001, v36 i4
    p361(22)}. An abstract can be found in the following link:
    stcloudstate.edu/…/…/nubians.asp

    In his contribution, Jesse Benjamin, in the name of an inconsistent
    Afrocentrism that damages the pertinent reconstruction of the Eastern
    African past, tries to make a link between the Nubians (a Nilo-Saharan
    African people) with the Semitic Nabataeans of the Rekem / Petra
    kingdom at the area of modern Jordan. The article seems irrelevant of
    our subject, but in his effort to distort Eastern African History Jesse
    Benjamin disregards outrageously the Ancient sources. We reproduce here
    two paragraphs from his aforementioned abstract that bear evidence to
    total alteration of truth with regard to the frequency of the trade
    routes in the area we discuss, and at the same time introduce a novelty
    by presenting a foreign people as totally infiltrated in and even
    controlling large areas of Eastern Africa. All this is attempted in a
    completely anhistorical way. After the selected excerpt, we will
    analyze the basic historical mistakes and inaccuracies of the author.

    “While the search for the ruins of Rhapta still continues, Miller
    (1969) has also suggested, and with some substantial corroboration,
    that the transshipment from Rhapta and the East Coast of Africa
    followed several routes. While occasionally the route taken was the
    coasting trade around the Horn and into the ports of Aromata, Mosyllum,
    Mundus, Malao, and Avalites, the goods usually reached these entrepot
    ports via overland routes north from Mogadishu and Mombasa. It is even
    suggested that the Mombasa / Maji / Avalites route also diverged
    westward at Maji, to the Nile Valley routes from Juba and Malakal in
    Central Africa, northward to Egypt and its port, Alexandria.

    The first two overland routes (from Mombasa and Mogadishu) would
    certainly have been in Nabatean hands as soon as they moved northward
    in the Arabian Peninsula toward various Mediterranean ports. The latter
    route, much less traversed and less constant over time, would have
    furnished an alternative route outside of the Nabatean monopoly. Such
    extensive attempts to circumvent the main trade routes further
    demonstrate the centrality of Nabatean stewardship of this trade
    between distant regions of the Ancient World. This is demonstrated by
    Rome’s later annexation of Nabatea under the title, Arabia Petraea
    (Houston 1926:111-114; Miller 1969), in their efforts to confront the
    power of Petra as a pivotal entrepot between Africa and China, on the
    one hand, and the Mediterranean, on the other”.

    In the aforementioned excerpt, Jesse Benjamin misinterprets Miller
    first, because that scholar suggested alternative possibilities, and
    Jesse Benjamin pretends hereby that these routes were not the
    alternatives but the mainly used routes, which is false. Miller’s
    approach and text are in straight opposition to Jesse Benjamin’s
    sentence “While occasionally the route taken was the coasting trade
    around the Horn and into the ports of Aromata, Mosyllum, Mundus, Malao,
    and Avalites, the goods usually reached these entrepot ports via
    overland routes north from Mogadishu and Mombasa”.

    We have actually no textual, epigraphic and/or archeological material
    records to allow us think that the maritime route was taken
    “occasionally”. There is no source indicating such a possibility.
    Contrarily, the Periplus of the Red Sea, and any other textual
    evidence, corroborates the evaluation of the maritime road from
    Avalites to Rhapta as the main, usual, ordinary, most frequented one.
    We can assume the land short ways were an exception that did not
    represent more than 2% of the trips effectuated. For a scholar, the
    baseless conclusion that “the goods usually reached these entrepot
    ports via overland routes north from Mogadishu and Mombasa”
    constitutes a serious blow for his credibility and seriousness.

    Even worse, Jesse Benjamin presents his erroneous assumptions and
    preconceived schemes as expressing other scholars’ opinions, without
    caring to specify who said so. When it is he who suggests the
    following, the argumentation presented as an objective observation with
    a verb in passive form (“It is even suggested that the Mombasa / Maji
    / Avalites route also diverged westward at Maji, to the Nile Valley
    routes from Juba and Malakal in Central Africa, northward to Egypt and
    its port, Alexandria”) takes the form of deceitful treachery, which
    cannot be the way a scholar develops ideas and approaches. There is no
    proof for the identification of the land road ‘Mombasa / Maji /
    Avalites’, and it would take years for an academic interdisciplinary
    team to undertake explorations to find support (archeological and/or
    epigraphic) for this imaginative theory of Benjamin’s.

    What any specialist of the subject would have rejected is the next
    paragraph of Benjamin’s, which consists in the paramount attempt of
    falsification of the Eastern African History. After the land roads
    ‘become’ the most frequented, they are ‘offered’ to foreigners,
    who never crossed the Eastern African land trade roads! The sentence
    “The first two overland routes (from Mombasa and Mogadishu) would
    certainly have been in Nabatean hands as soon as they moved northward
    in the Arabian Peninsula toward various Mediterranean ports” is
    relevant of sheer fiction. We have no indication of Aramaean Nabataean
    presence in the south of Yemen (where they constantly traveled through
    the Arabian peninsula land trade roads) and – with respect to Africa
    – in the south of Egypt (where other Aramaeans, mostly Palmyrene from
    Tadmor / Palmyra, had also formed commercial communities and entrepots,
    particularly in the area of Qena – Kaine (‘new’) in Greek).

    The Nabataeans had no significant maritime tradition even in the area
    of the Red Sea (‘Arabian Gulf’ in the Antiquity), and one wonders
    how the Sabaean / Himyarite Yemenites, who had colonized and controlled
    the entire Azania in the south of the Other Berberia, would have
    accepted Nabataeans from the north cross to Africa and establish there
    a land road trade network that would have led the maritime network
    (that the Yemenites controlled) to extinction and dead end.

    A second, similar, question should be expressed with regard to the
    Axumite Abyssinian Kingdom. How would king Zoscales of Axum, mentioned
    in the Periplus of the Red Sea, have allowed the faraway Nabataeans to
    cross its territory (and if he had not done so, from where would they
    have arrived beyond Axum’s southern border?) to do something that, if
    it had been possible, he would have already done it (control of the
    land routes between Avalites and Rhapta and imposition of the land
    routes as the most frequent ones). How Axum, the country that would be
    the greatest beneficiary of such a development, failed to achieve such
    a change, and an intruder, the faraway Nabataeans, are reported to have
    got it done?

    If this mythical issue was even a matter of attempt for the Nabataeans,
    whose king Melichus II is modestly mentioned in the Periplus of the Red
    Sea, the Yemenites would have made a military expedition and erased the
    tiny Rekem / Petra kingdom from the earth.

    When one adds to this aberration the expression “the centrality of
    Nabatean stewardship of this trade between distant regions of the
    Ancient World”, one enters into the area of the ludicrous.

    At the end, Jesse Benjamin proves how little he knows of Roman History,
    let alone the History of the Trade between East and West. Rome’s
    annexation of the Nabataean Kingdom has nothing to do with a wrongly
    surmised strong position of that kingdom, but with the need of Rome to
    be closer to the area where the main rival, the Arsacid Parthian Empire
    of Iran, tried to levy the greatest commercial profit.

    Jesse Benjamin seems to forget that a few years after Octavian invaded
    Egypt (30 BCE), Rome sent a military naval expedition against Arabia
    Felix (Aden) to minimize the Yemenite control of the maritime trade
    routes. The author of Periplus of the Red Sea, although writing the
    text we analyze hereby about 100 years after the Roman naval
    expedition, expresses what could call as reminiscences of the greatest
    Roman effort in the East (up to his time).

    Finally, if the Nabataeans controlled the Eastern African routes (that
    were the ‘most frequented ones’), how could they not have kicked
    out the Roman garrisons at Leuke Kome (the major town at the
    northernmost confines of the Arabic Red Sea coast, so near the
    southernmost confines of the Nabataean Kingdom), since the Roman
    soldiers did not ‘certainly’ work there for the interests of
    Malichus II, but for the ultimate wealth and glory of Nero?

  6. Yasmiin you are such a lying jealous b****. No country called Somaliland huh? More like no country called Somalia which itself has not been recognised by a single country. We in Somaliland are on the up while you guys down south are still killing one another like savages who have escaped from a zoo. So dont come on such websites and write down facts for other people to read which are just not true.

    God Bless Somaliland.

  7. I am afraid White Africa, there is country called Somaliland. It has de facto recognition. The African Union sent a fact-finding mission there in May and the European Union has also been working in supporting its efforts in development and democracy.

    Its sad that Yasmin was not forthright…you cannot cover the truth…Yasmin..and in the age of internet!!!!!

    A South African election observer team just returned from Somaliland and observed the peaceful parliamentary elections of 29 September 2005. You may want to read the Institute for Security Studies published article below:

    http://www.iss.co.za/pubs/ASR/12No4/EJhazbhay.html

    http://www.iss.org.za/pubs/ASR/13No2/Edit.pdf

    Best wishes, Mahomed

  8. Seems to me that to make such claims as yasmiin & Faisal, one should visit the places in question. Has Yasmiin been to Somaliland? Has Faisal been to Somalia? What conditions are in the UN Charter defining a country?

    For the record, most of what I’ve heard about Somaliland is positive, from people in respectable positions (national and international governments, and people living there, so I’m pro Somaliland until I see the situations described by Yasmiin, though I agree Sanaag and Sool aren’t under Hargeisa’s control now.)

  9. Dear Yasmin!
    Don’t you feel an ounce of shame? Do you have lie even in the holy month of Ramadan? Subhana laah. May god help you! You seriously have issues.

    But i would like to tell you, Somaliland is like a shining star. Can you hide a shining star with your bare hands? Well, yes from your very own eyes ONLY.

  10. Lets be accurate here in saying parts of Sool and Sanaag are not controlled by Somaliland. Eg: Erigavo and surrounding areas are peacefully under Somaliland’s administration.

    Why not the option that clans on the border can have joint nationality and move in and out of Somaliland and Puntland. And, also work a way to share border revunues jointly?

    Mahomed

  11. Dawood,
    First of all, let me correct you on one thing Puntland states are not trying to secede from Somalia. They are states that have their regional government until the rest of Somalia catches up with them; there is also Hiiraan Regional government, and Midland Regional government. So far all these area in Somali are peaceful, and there are functioning governments there. The only problem seem to be in Mogadishu, which as we speak they are trying to solve that problem.
    Ok Dawood, I can compromise, The Isaak Clan refused to reconcile with the rest of Somali clan, they also said they will not joint back “…We, however, will not re-join them [somalia] in any Union.”

    Since you so generous decided to hand SSC regions to both Somaliland and Puntland, why don’t I do one better. The fact is that Isaak clans, especially Habar Awal do not want to be part of Somalia, right. They time and time again told us they want to protect Ethiopia from Somalis. Why don’t we do this for everyone’s sake, let us hand Northwest Region( Hargeysa and Berbera) to Ethiopia, they can join Ethiopia, several problems will be solved right there. The terror in the South will immediately stop (they promise us that, if recognize terror of the horn will stop) Second they will no longer be part of Somalia, which I am sure will make them ecstatic, thirdly, landlocked Ethiopia will have port, Forth, since they ( Hargeysa/Somaliland) worry Somalia will one day attacked Ethiopia that problem will be also solve, because when we lose both Northwest region to Ethiopia, and Naturally Awdel will became part of Djibouti. We, Somalis will be smaller and therefore weaker. Is not that argument they were saying all along?

    I don’t think we can force the people of SSC to become part of Somaliland against their wishes, they sat every negotiating table, and participate every conference between Somalis, they are happy being Somalis, I think it will be easier for all around if only Northwest Somalia is move to Ethiopia, and Awdal move to Djibouti which they used to part of anyway. We will redraw few lines, and we will not make another country consisted of one clan. Do you agree to that terms? The world can breath easier now that there is not some new country full of fanatics.

    The Borderlines will only redrawn to make the unhappy clan once again happy, they will not be part of Somalia, they confess they love Ethiopians better than Somalis in so many writings; therefore, we will make them happy, without messing the other Somalis lives. ; )

    PS: the fact finding mission that was going on, found the facts… (I will leave that surprise for the separatist to find out latter)

    Khadar, dear I don’t worship “the month of Ramadan”, I tell the truth everyday for god is my witness. There is no Country call “Somaliland” however, there is a country that is call Somalia. Khadar since you are fond of truth, can you tell me why does Hargaysa a.k.a “Somaliland” wants to secede from the rest of Somalia? I mean we hear you separatist say “we are democrat, this train has move on… blah blah,” but we never hear why you want to secede, any reason why you hide that fact? Warning: …treat other as you want to be treated. Happy Ramadan.

    Faisal: tsk, tsk, tsk, I said what I wanted to say to you on my website, honorable gentleman.

  12. Yasmin!

    I think its time you face some serious realities.

    To seccede is not NEW to the Horn of Africa. Ethiopia let go of Eritrea in 1993 after a UN referendeum. Recall the then OAU did NOT support Eritrea. Eritreans did it themselves and won the batte themselves in the field against Ethiopia. Finally, the OAU admitted Eritrea.

    At the moment South Sudan has its own government. For the first time in Africa, the peace agreement supports the idea of South Sudan deciding whether it wants to seperate in 6 years time. Yes, supported by the AU.

    Yes, Somalia exists, only as a fiction state on paper. You cannot even get legal passports. You need to buy it in the market. Some country, indeed!

    Somaliland? You apply for a passport and obtain it legally from the Ministry. Its accepted by many governments. So, yes, you can be a democrat and seccede where required. Do you recall that Libya broke away from its union with Tunisia? Senegal from Mali, and Egypt from Syria.

    Good luck with some solid reading of realities and facts.

  13. SOMALILAND RECOGNITION

    “Any attempt to coerce Somaliland back to the Somali fold would entail a bitter and probably futile conflict” ICG warned.

    “The UN and the African Union, on the other hand, were urged to “adopt a more open-minded approach to the question of Somaliland’s ultimate status,”

    The international community should take Somaliland’s demands under formal consideration, including a legal review of the territory’s case vis-à-vis the current AU charter and grant Somaliland observer status pending a final decision on its international status” ICG urged.

    “The Bush and Blair administrations should come together and immediately recognize Somaliland to reward them for pursuing a constructive path toward free market democracy. If we do so, I would bet that, within a year, most other nations will have followed our lead. “ Washington Post by Richard W. Rahn a senior fellow of the Discovery Institute

    “my belief is that we should stop waiting as we have done for about 14 years for the Somalis to come together and love each other. This is not going to happen. We should build on the one source of strength in the area – Somaliland. Recognition may not be the risky step that it seems to be. I believe that if we were to give a lead, many other countries would quickly fall into line. There can be no doubt that we would have to give that lead.” Tony Worthington MP Britain

    “The Somalis in the south had completely destroyed Hargeysa – every house and hospital had been destroyed by MiGs, Tanks and other equipment. How on earth one can expect there to be a reunion of those peoples is beyond credibility.

    We saw mass graves, in which thousands of Somalilanders had been murdered in cold blood with their hands and their feet tied together. Bodies were piled up and crammed into ditches, and bones were scattered all over the area—we could still see them.” Tony Baldry MP Britain

    The fourteen old patience of Somaliland people in these trying times for diplomatic recognition proves the perseverance and resilience of that nation and its commitment to independent, sovereign state. Somaliland suffered, before, from a two-decade long humiliation, dereliction, injustice, and repression (1960-1980) and a decade long merciless campaign of atrocities and destruction (1981-1991) through indiscriminate heavy bombardment on civilians, cities (Hargeisa and Burao) towns, and rural areas by warplanes, tanks and artillery. It was motivated by both tribal hatred and desire for land expansion and devised to ethnic cleanse an entire people, either by massacring or expelling in order to resettle refugees from Ethiopian-ruled Western Somali Province and others in their motherland. The insane campaign, which violated Islamic righteousness, conscience, and morality, was mounted from Mogadisho by Siyad`s divisive, brutal regime.

    The valiant armed struggle of SNM (1981-1991), supported by its courageous people, rescued Somaliland and its people from the well plotted statelessness in January 1991. This liberation facilitated the victorious national reconciliation, the immediate withdrawal from the disastrous union with Somalia, and the reclamation of Somaliland sovereignty in the Pan-Somaliland Conference held in Burao, capital of Togdheer region, in May 1991. Subsequently, law and order were restored, clan militias were disarmed, and democratic institutions were established. The joint efforts of Somaliland police and army made Somaliland a peaceful, stable country since its proclamation, and protect it from international terrorism, drug trafficking and smuggling. The army is also ready to defend the country from external aggressions. As a result, the country is now the most peaceful country in the Horn of Africa, and one of the most peaceful in all of Africa; there is low
    inflation, a growing economy and a balanced budget.

    The United Nations, which has the authority of international legitimacy, is still withholding the legitimate recognition of Somaliland unjustifiably for the last 14 years. Somaliland has fulfilled the fundamental condition for diplomatic recognition: An existing independent nation with its own colonial-drawn borders- a legal basis for diplomatic recognition. Somaliland fulfils the criteria of statehood according to Article 1 of the 1933 Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of State: Somaliland has a permanent population; a defined territory (the former British Somaliland) with clear international boundaries of which it has an effective control; a democratic government, and a capacity to enter into relations with other states. Somaliland fulfils the criteria for recognizing new states, according to the guidelines set out by the European Union (EU) in 1992, even though they only apply to European nations. Article 4 of African Union charter asserts that the organization respects and recognizes independence of African countries based on colonial borders. The diplomatic recognition of all the 54 current African states is based on these colonial borders. Provisions on sovereignty in the charters of the UN and Arab League also support and recognize independence based on colonial borders. Somaliland is not a breakaway or a separatist country. The UN, the African Union, and the Arab League know undisputedly that Somaliland achieved independence before Somalia on June 26, 1960 within its colonial borders, and was one of the 17 African countries that obtained independence in 1960 from Europe. However, it had unratified merger with Somalia for 30 years (July 1960- January 1991) but withdrew from that union due to the above mentioned atrocities and destruction. In that year of independence, 1960, and before the merger, 35 countries recognized Somaliland diplomatically including Egypt, Israel and the five Permanent Members of the Security Council. Why not now? What is the difference between then and Now? Somaliland is not the first country that withdrew from a union. Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia withdrew from the Soviet Union collapse in 1989, Bosnia and Macedonia withdrew from the Federation of disintegrated Yugoslavia in 1990s and East Timor from Indonesia 20 Feb 2002. All these new countries were automatically recognized by the United Nations. Somaliland is not exception as it fulfilled the same criteria. We are by no means the first African State to have entered into a voluntary union with another state and subsequently withdrawn from that union intact. Egypt and Syria, Senegal and Gambia, and Senegal and Mali have all done likewise. Nor is Somaliland the first African colonial entity to have asserted its separation and independence from another; Eritrea and the Sahrawi Republic are today both full members of the African Union.

    The Somalilanders, almost unanimously, ask what more they can do when the international community continues to recognize Liberia, Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of the Congo and other anarchic, violent places as sovereign units. It is time to give them an answer.

    Besides the withdrawal decision of May 1991, the landmark referendum held in Somaliland on May 31, 2001, overwhelmingly approved Somaliland constitution and reaffirmed, in the presence of international election monitors, the will of the Somaliland people to have independent, sovereign state of their own. Neither the UN nor the regional organizations (African Union and Arab League) have the right to nullify the decision of Somaliland people in that referendum.

    In May 2001, an overwhelming majority of Somalilanders re-affirmed their support for their sovereignty in a Constitution entrenched in the Charters of the African Union and the United Nations. In December 2002, we held our First Local Government elections. Five months later in April 2003 we followed it by our very first Presidential elections where three political parties, peacefully contested the seat of the President of Somaliland and the simple majority won by our President H.E Dahir Rayale kahin.

    The neglect of Somaliland by the international community exposes its shocking double standard that on one hand advocates for peace, stability, and democratic institutions, and, on the other hand, ignores peaceful, stable, democratic Somaliland by denying it of diplomatic recognition. This denial has no legal basis in the court of international law. The delay is just a mere hope by the UN and regional organizations that Somaliland may return to the union with Somalia one day. This political gambling at the expense of Somaliland people for 14 years is irresponsible. It is also perpetuation of lawlessness, despair, famine, and violent, factional fighting in Somalia. This unfounded hope will not affect the iron will of Somaliland people toward self-determination but will consolidate their unchanging stance to have independent, sovereign state from the injustice and killing machine of Somalia. Somaliland government will not attend any peace talks held for Somalia because that would undermine its sovereignty and damage its legitimacy for recognition.

    The government of Somaliland rejected publicly the pressure from UN, African Union, Arab League, and IGAD, and showed the impracticality of what is called “Federalism”. When the UN, African Union, and the Arab League push Somaliland to reunify with Somalia again, can they guarantee for Somaliland people that a ruthless Southern military or civilian dictator will not emerge in Federal Somalia again, dissolving any federal constitution, parliament, and government immediately, and inflicting the same atrocities and destruction upon Somaliland again?

    The answer is simply NO. Then, they should stop that push , recognize Somaliland, and let the two peoples live in peace separately. Somalia itself has no delusion that Somaliland has international legitimacy for recognition for achieving independence before it in 1960.

    There is no doubt that Somalia would be peaceful and stable country today led by its own government if Somaliland were recognized long time ago. This would happen for two reasons. First, the people of Somalia would not waste any more time on waiting for Somaliland. Secondly, they would emulate jealously with Somaliland. Now, neither Somaliland is recognized nor Somalia has peace, both peoples are punished equally in the hands of UN. The current UN policy of keeping both countries at bay is not working any more. The sooner Somaliland is recognized the better chance to restore peace, law, and order in Somalia.

    There is no question that Somaliland will be recognized diplomatically, soon or later, for having full legitimacy and the statehood of Somaliland will be real. The patience and resilience will pay soon.. Opposing Somaliland sovereignty is treason but opposing an incumbent rule or administration advocating better political reforms is a progressive democratic view and must be respected by all.

    The administration, governance, and defense of Somaliland solely belong to Somaliland people. God`s willing, Somaliland will hail soon its diplomatic recognition and will consolidate its statehood.

  14. SOMALILAND

    The land and people

    Somaliland comprises the territory, boundaries and people of the former British Somaliland Protectorate, defined by the following international instruments (GOS-Background: 1994):

    1. The Anglo-French Treaty of 1888

    2. The Anglo-Italian Protocol of 1894

    3. The Anglo-Ethiopian Treaty of 18972
    From the shores of the Gulf of Aden, Somaliland extends southwards to the Somali National Regional State of Ethiopia, bounded by Djibouti to the west and Somalia (Puntland) to the east. Within these borders, Somaliland’s territory covers an area of 137, 600 square kilometres, with a northern littoral of 850 kilometres (GOS – Somaliland in Figures, 1999). The territory’s geography is distinguished by three main topographical features locally known as the Guban, Oogo and Hawd (Lewis: 1961).

    The Guban (meaning “burnt”) is the narrow coastal region, which is hot and humid with temperatures exceeding 40 degrees centigrade during the summer season (Xagaa) between June and August. The terrain is relatively barren, allowing only desert-type sparse vegetation. Eastwards from the main port of Berbera stony mountains hug the coastline, while to the west, the plain widens to provide rich grazing for pastoralists during the cooler months between October and March. With the exception of Berbera, the population of the Guban’s sparse settlements tends to migrate southwards to the highlands during the torrid summer months, returning home when the climate becomes more bearable.

    Inland from the coast, elevation climbs rapidly as the Guban gives way to the Oogo: the cooler highland zone dominated by the Gollis mountain range, which crosses Somaliland from west to east. The Oogo zone possesses an abundant supply of underground water, which together with its agreeable climate has encouraged settlement and development. The Oogo is home to all of Somaliland’s major towns and supports a degree of cultivation, notably between Hargeysa and Boorame in the west, and around Ceerigaabo in the east.

    The third topographical zone is the Hawd, which stretches across the border from Somaliland into Ethiopia. Although rich in pasture, the Hawd has virtually no permanent water sources. Historically, nomadic pastoralists grazed their herds in the Hawd during the rains, but were forced to migrate to more hospitable areas during the harsh dry season (Jiilaal) when water sources dried up. In the past half century, however, since the introduction of berkado (cemented underground water reservoirs), the Hawd has come to support permanent settlements. This has led to a steady process of desertification, decimating the rich pastures that once made the zone ideal for rearing livestock.

    The inhabitants of these zones are ethnic Somalis, united by race, language, religion (Sunni Islam) and culture, which they share with the Somali inhabitants of neighbouring states. Population estimates vary between 2-3 million inhabitants.3 Somaliland’s inhabitants also identify themselves with various clans and sub-clans, described in a submission by the Somaliland government to the 1996 Organisation of African Unity (OAU) summit as including the Isaaq, Gadabuursi, Ciise, Dhulbahante, and Warsangeli clans (Mohamoud: 1996). The west is inhabited mainly by the Ciise and Gadabuursi clans. The central regions are chiefly settled by the Isaaq, while the eastern areas are peopled principally by the Warsangeli and Dhulbahante clans. Numerous smaller kin-groups share the Somaliland territory with these major groupings, and the major clans also contain innumerable sub-divisions.

    Historical overview

    The establishment of the Somaliland Protectorate in the second half of the 19th Century epitomized the “absent-mindedness” with which much of the British Empire is said to have been acquired. Perceiving in the Somali hinterland a potential source of fresh meat for the British garrison across the Red Sea at Aden – a key naval coaling station on the sea route to India – the British entered into a series of agreements with the traditional leadership of the clans of the area. The original treaties represented no serious territorial ambitions on the part of British,4 but inroads by other imperial powers (namely France, Italy, and Abyssinia) endowed the British claims to Somaliland with strategic importance in the context of the “Scramble for Africa”. Through an awkward sequence of agreements strung out between 1885 and 1955, the colonial powers ultimately arrived at Somaliland’s present shape – a territory determined not by geography or demographics, but rather by the arbitrary logic of international and regional politics. In the process, the British surrendered considerable expanses of territory to the aggressive eastward expansion of King Menelik of Ethiopia (Drysdale: 1994). Most of the western, eastern and southern boundaries simply represent compass bearings. Only in the southwest, where the boundary follows peaks of the mountain ranges, does the demarcation correspond to recognizable landmarks. The southern border thus divided many of Somaliland’s nomads from their most fertile pastures.

    Although the British sought little more from Somaliland than rations for their troops, big game for their hunters, and a bit of adventure (for explorers like Richard Burton), they inevitably discovered more than they had bargained for. In 1899, they were confronted with a vigorous uprising led by the leader of the puritanical Salihiyya order, Sayid Maxamed Cabdulle Xasan (known to the British pejoratively as “the Mad Mullah”), which reminded them disconcertingly of the Mahdist revolt only years earlier in the Sudan. The Sayid’s Darawiish (Dervish) movement tied up the energies of the British in bloody and unpredictable campaigning for two decades. In 1910, at the height of the uprising, the British were obliged to retreat to their coastal outposts, leaving Somaliland’s interior in violent turmoil. The subsequent years were a period of such acute distress and scarcity that they came to be locally known as Xaarame Cune (literally: “eating the forbidden”). It is estimated that during this period as much as one third of Somaliland’s male population perished (Jardine: 1926).

    Following the defeat of the Dervish Movement in 1920, the British gradually initiated administrative and social service programs in Somaliland. Some roads were cleared, a few students were sent to Sudan for higher education and a number of agricultural and water initiatives were undertaken. But in the 1940s, their efforts were again interrupted – this time by the Second World War. In 1940, British forces retreated from Somaliland to Aden, paving the way for a short-lived occupation by Italian fascist forces. In 1941, Somaliland was recaptured by the British, and remained in their hands until independence nearly two decades later.

    In the world-wide wave of anti-colonial sentiment that followed the Second World War, the “wind of change” was blowing as strongly in Somaliland as elsewhere in Africa, and the British undertook to prepare their protectorate for existence as an independent state. In the few years that remained to complete the task, their neglect of the territory became dismally obvious. On independence day, June 26 1960, Somaliland possessed only a handful of university graduates and a single secondary school. Not a single sealed road linked the major towns. The principal natural resource of the territory was its livestock, and an industrial base was non-existent. Nevertheless, in its newfound freedom, Somaliland greeted these challenges with optimism – even euphoria.

    Pre-independence socio-economic context

    One reason for Somaliland’s optimism was the relative prosperity it enjoyed in the decade prior independence. During the 1950s, the Arabian oil boom generated an unprecedented demand for Somali livestock. The central towns of Hargeysa, Berbera, and Burco became the hubs of that trade, forming a triangle that would eventually become the core of economic development in the region. During the same period, in the Hawd region, the colonial authorities (in the person of engineer Jack Laurence5) built a chain of earth dams along the Ethiopian border to collect run-off water. These man-made depressions prolonged the period nomads could graze their livestock in the Hawd, and thus changed the face of the land forever. Permanent settlements began to appear, raising surplus livestock for export to Arabia through the markets of Somaliland’s central economic hub. In the years following independence, this zone became increasingly specialized in the commercial production of livestock and related export services. The relative economic dominance of this central triangle, and its relationship with the Arabian livestock markets, has changed very little up to the present day.

    Eastern Somaliland (composed essentially of present day Sool and Sanaag regions) was affected relatively little by the livestock export boom. Nomadic pastoralism has historically been the predominant social and economic mode in eastern Somaliland, but the area has nevertheless evolved somewhat separately of the central economic zone between Hargeysa, Berbera and Burco. Sanaag region has long maintained independent, sometimes clandestine, trade ties with the Arabian countries, especially Yemen. Export of livestock and frankincense in exchange for consumer goods from the Arabian side evolved into a strong commercial and cultural relationship of central importance to Sanaag’s social and economic life. Further south, the inhabitants of Sool region long ago developed a niche as an economic and social gateway between Somaliland and Somalia – a role the region still plays.

    Western Somaliland, comprising present day Awdal and western Woqooyi Galbeed regions, also embarked on a course of slightly separate development. Around the turn of the century, inhabitants of the area began to borrow ox-plough farming techniques from neighbouring Oromo groups (in Ethiopia) and have since developed an agropastoral mode of production in which cattle raised in sedentary agricultural villages have replaced camels as the principal stock. The region has since become increasingly specialized in the production of cereal crops – chiefly sorghum and maize – which are traded throughout Somaliland. More recently, cereal production has been supplemented by fruits and vegetables grown on small scale irrigated farms for domestic consumption.

    The sedentary agricultural mode of production in the west created a concentration of settlements unmatched elsewhere in Somaliland, including Gabiley, Tog Wajaale, Dila and Boorame. Furthermore, this zone came to serve increasingly as a transhipment point in the trade linking Djibouti, Jigjiga and Dire Dawa to the major population centres of Somaliland. Despite the region’s “separate development”, western Somaliland’s relative prosperity, the metropolitan influences from neighbouring towns, and the settled nature of the population have encouraged its gradual integration within Somaliland’s broader economic and political context.

    The growing importance of central Somaliland over the past century has been matched by the gradual decline of the coastal areas. The importance of ancient settlements like Seylac, Bullaxaar, Xiis, Maydh, Laas Qoray and Ceelaayo was diminished when the British colonial authorities shifted their administrative centres from the uncomfortable coastal climate to the cooler Oogo zone, and was further eclipsed by the development of major ports at Berbera and Djibouti. Among the coastal towns, only Berbera, by virtue of its port facilities and its key role in the central “triangle” export trade, has gained in size and importance.

    From independence to unification

    For most of the period of British rule in Somaliland, very little political activity was either permitted or encouraged. The colonial authorities exercised control through a system of indirect rule that relied upon traditional leadership structures. Only in the two decades prior to independence did the British foster any meaningful indigenous political development. The small, educated civil service elite, which adopted British administrative discipline and work ethics, also inherited – to an extent – a reluctance to involve itself directly in politics. Thus as Somaliland braced itself for independence in 1960, it was equipped with a relatively strong civil service, adequate both in quality and in quantity, but was almost entirely lacking in political cadre.

    As the clock ticked towards independence, the few political leaders who had emerged were absorbed with a single issue: the question of unity with their neighbour to the south: the United Nations Trust Territory of Somalia. Those who advised caution, or engaged in a nuanced debate over issues were overwhelmed by the nationalist cause of unification in the quest for a pan-Somali state – Greater Somalia – to include Somaliland, Somalia, the Somali-inhabited region of Ethiopia, the Côte Français des Somaliens (Djibouti) and Kenya’s Northern Frontier District (NFD). Immediate and unconditional merger with other Somali territories – beginning with Somalia – was considered by many in Somaliland to be a panacea; so powerful and persuasive was the impulse towards unity that even the sceptics were borne along by its urge.

    The politics of independence led to a mushrooming of political parties in the closing years of the 1950s. The Somali National League (SNL), the National United Front (NUF) and the United Somali Party (USP) all emerged in response to the overarching need of that particular moment in history: to receive the independence of the Somaliland Protectorate from the British authorities. In 1960, their purpose served, they disappeared – just as the Somaliland state disappeared into the new “Somali Republic.”6 But before even a year elapsed, the Somaliland population’s initial euphoria was exchanged for a more sober appreciation of the true situation.

    Politically, Somalilanders entered the union at a disadvantage. Despite Somaliland’s preference that a single Act of Union be agreed to by both governments prior to merger, this fundamental step was never taken. A presidential decree entitled the “Law of Union of the State of Somaliland and Somalia” submitted to the combined legislatures failed to win their approval, and the matter was ultimately referred to the people in a problematic referendum. Somaliland’s Prime Minister was assigned the relatively junior post of Minister of Education in a cabinet heavily dominated by southerners. Likewise, Somaliland was allocated only 33 seats in parliament versus 99 for the south. The designation of Muqdisho as the remote national capital left the majority of Somalilanders estranged from their new government and alienated from the country’s social and economic nucleus.

    The north had sacrificed more than the south. The south, with the capital and National Assembly at Muqdisho, was still the hub of affairs; but from its former position as the capital of a small state Hargeysa had declined to a mere provincial headquarters remote from the centre of things. Even though many northern officials now held key positions in the government, northern pride found it hard to stomach this reduction in prestige. (Lewis: 1965)

    Northern discontent with these arrangements surfaced almost immediately. When a referendum was held in June 1961 to approve the new, joint Constitution, the Somali National League (SNL), decided to boycott it. Of the 100,000 recorded voters in Somaliland, over 60% opposed the constitution, 72% in Hargeysa, 69% in Berbera, 66% in Burco and 69% in Ceerigaabo. As a vote of confidence in unity with the south, Somaliland had given a resoundingly negative verdict (Drysdale: 1994). Nevertheless, the vote was carried by a southern majority.

    The outcome of the referendum was echoed in popular plays and songs critical of unification, and in the unsuccessful efforts only six months later by a group of Sandhurst-trained military officers to stage a coup d’etat in Hargeysa. The rebellion, which was poorly organized and quickly suppressed, proved to be less of an embarrassment to national unity than the subsequent trial of the officers involved:

    When the leaders of the attempted coup were brought to trial in Muqdisho before a British judge on charges of treason… he acquitted the officers on the grounds that the court had no jurisdiction over the State of Somaliland in the absence of an Act of Union. (GOS – Background: 1994)

    The ruling in favour of the northern coup plotters had exposed a very basic flaw at the heart of the Somali Republic: legally, it did not exist. It would survive for only three decades before the contradictions at its core would lead to its dissolution.

    From unity to civil war

    The unification of Somaliland and Somalia had been predicated not on the promise of a bilateral treaty, but rather a multilateral one in which the three remaining Somali territories would also ultimately be incorporated. That dream would also be badly shaken in the years that followed independence. In 1963, the British awarded independence to Kenya, including the mainly Somali-inhabited Northern Frontier District (NFD), disregarding their pledge to respect the findings of an independent commission that an overwhelming majority of the people in the NFD sought unity with Somalia. The following year, in 1964, Ethiopia and Somalia fought their first major military action over the disputed Somali-inhabited region of Ethiopia, in which the might of the Somali armed forces was shown to be unequal to the task of annexing the territory. The initial momentum towards a pan-Somali state had suffered another setback.

    The fledgling Somali Republic was soon in difficulty at home. During a brief period of parliamentary civilian rule (1960-1969), the country’s experiment with western democracy proved poorly adapted to the clan-based nature of Somali politics, and was soon corrupted. Against a backdrop of growing popular discontent, President Cabdirashiid Cali Sharmaarke was assassinated by one of his bodyguards while touring the Laas Caanood area, and one week later on October 21, 1969 the army commander, General Maxamed Siyaad Barre, seized power in a bloodless coup.

    Although few Somalis relished the prospect of military rule, Barre’s “Supreme Revolutionary Council” was widely received as a welcome alternative to the disappointments of civilian rule. A mix of young idealists and ideologues flocked to his banner of “Scientific Socialism”, which also won the backing of the Soviet Union. The “Revolution” quickly introduced the first official Somali script, launched massive literacy campaigns, and embarked on an ambitious programme of self-help schemes and social development projects.

    But the regime’s popularity proved short-lived. Barre’s vision demanded the dismantling of the traditional clan-based social order, economic networks and political institutions upon which the majority of Somalis still depended. The regime’s primitive attempts at social engineering revealed an ideological arsenal dominated by crude shock campaigns and a cult of personality that drew heavily upon China’s Cultural Revolution and the “Juche” philosophy of North Korea’s Kim Il Sung (Lewis: 1994). Each campaign employed armies of revolutionary opportunists to ensure coerced participation of the population. No aspect of Somali private or public identity was spared the government’s zeal for command and control: culture, family life, nomadism, traditional authority and social organization, religious beliefs were all denounced as anachronistic or subversive and targeted for reform. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, a subtle and manipulative exercise in corruption and clan politics was beginning to take shape.

    As the first flush of enthusiasm for his “Revolution” began to fade in the mid-1970s, Barre turned to the pan-Somali dream to reinvigorate his flagging support base. With the help of the Soviet Union, Barre built up the Somali army to become one of the largest and best equipped in sub-Saharan Africa. By 1975, clandestine units were operating across the border in Ethiopia’s Somali region, and in 1977 full-scale war broke out as Barre launched his forces in a dramatic offensive across the border. Somali forces made early, rapid gains, but when the Soviet Union withdrew its support from Barre and weighed in heavily on the Ethiopian side instead, the tide began to turn. The Somali army was routed, suffering heavy losses and Barre was forced to capitulate.

    The 1977-8 Somali-Ethiopian War marked a watershed for the Barre regime, for the Somali people, and for the state they had fashioned for themselves less than 2 decades previously. Somalia’s defeat decisively buried the dream of a pan-Somali state – a fact underscored by Djibouti’s choice of independence rather than union with the Somali Republic in a referendum the previous year (1977). Two important threads in the fabric of Somali unity had just unravelled.

    The defeat also sowed the seeds of mistrust between the north and the south. Northern officers who had been at the front felt not only that they had borne the brunt of the campaign, but also that they had been deliberately undermined by the machinations of a southern military hierarchy. Northern civilians, who had backed the war enthusiastically, also felt that they had been subtly manipulated by rival southern interests and suffered disproportionately from the conflict.

    Far more profound and far-reaching on its impact in relations between North and South, however, was the massive human influx to Somalia generated by the war. More than 1,000 refugees a day poured into Somalia – most of them ethnic Somalis, although a substantial Oromo minority joined them in their exodus. By 1981 refugees constituted about 40% of the national population (Simons: 1995) – about 400,000 of them in the north.

    Although the refugees were settled throughout Somalia, their arrival in the North created considerable tension. Most of the refugees were Ogaden Somalis, a group non-resident in the North, and whose political leadership were closely associated with the Barre regime. Local inhabitants felt overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of the arrivals, who overflowed from the designated camps and began to settle in the major towns. Aid resources earmarked to settle and care for the refugees, without any obvious benefit to the local people, became a source of envy and resentment. Many refugees, by virtue of their clan, were favoured by the regime for posts in local government and in the military garrisons of the area. Over time, the refugees also received preferential treatment in terms of business licenses, contracts, and other commercial benefits. As the rift between the refugees and their hosts widened, refugee militia were established and armed by the Barre government, escalating the situation dangerously. In a memorandum to the president dated March 30,1982, a group of 21 Isaaq elders enumerated the grievances of their community concerning the refugees, warning ominously (and prophetically) of “the dangers facing us,” which included “a real threat to the unity of the Somali people,” and “the threat of disintegration”(Africa Watch: 1990).7

    Tensions between the local inhabitants and the refugees were just a symptom of the government’s cynical manipulation of kinship divisions within Somali society for the purposes of “divide and rule.” Shaken by its defeat in the Somali-Ethiopian War and by an attempted coup d’etat by military officers in Muqdisho in April 1978, the regime had concentrated the economic resources of the country in its hands, using their selective redistribution to ensure loyalty to regime. Massive amounts of foreign aid were diverted and misappropriated by the regime, whose cronies amassed enormous private wealth.8 Very little of the assistance ever reached the north,9 except for that destined for the refugees, whose allegiance was important to the ruling clique; perversely, northerners suffered instead from the draconian economic conditions often imposed by foreign donors.

    In contrast with the treatment the government accorded the refugees, during the 1980s, it became evident that the Isaaq clan had been singled out as a target for political, economic, social and cultural oppression (Ghalib: 1995). At the national level they were discriminated against in terms of public employment, international appointments, and even business opportunities. Two major sources of revenue for the Isaaq community, the “Franco Valuta” exchange system, in which traders were permitted to retain a portion of their hard currency earnings to purchase import goods abroad, and the traffic in qaad, were both abruptly curtailed for reasons that seemed based as much on clan politics as any other rationale.

    In the north itself, the government crackdown manifested itself in a variety of ways. Restrictions were placed selectively on the livestock export trade, making it increasingly difficult for Isaaq exporters to acquire licenses, open Letters of Credit, or transport livestock to Berbera for export, while their competitors from other clans were relatively unaffected. Similarly, multiple layers of bureaucrats and security systems preyed upon the Isaaq business community, initially by skimming profits and later by cutting to the bone their commercial earnings. Ultimately, business activity was reduced to a subsistence level, as traders resorted to bribery and smuggling in order to provide goods to the urban population, who endured curfew for months on end. As repression intensified, urban commerce such as transport, retail stores, and hotels was effectively placed off-limits to the Isaaq.

    Some of the regime’s methods were more direct. In February 1982, imported goods estimated at a value of US $50 million were confiscated from Berbera port (Africa Watch: 1990) – an act interpreted by many in the Isaaq business community as a declaration of war by the government. A threshold had indeed been crossed, and outright appropriation of Isaaq’s private property by government officials and members of the security forces became commonplace.

    The State of Somaliland was occupied wholly by a corrupt and inexperienced army of officers purporting to be administrative officers in charge of Districts and regions. The judicial system no longer functioned. It was superfluous since Habeas Corpus had been annulled in October 1969. The country was effectively administered…by the Hangash (military intelligence), the Dabarjebinta [sic] (military counter-intelligence), the Koofiyad ‘Asta [sic] (red berets – military police), the Barista Hisbiga [sic] (party investigators), and the Guulwadayaal (party militia). Imprisonment, torture, and execution without trial were de rigeur. (GOS – Background: 1994)

    In 1981, the pent up frustration within the Isaaq community was explosively triggered by the government’s arrest of a group of Hargeysa intellectuals,10 whose only crime was to have organized self-help programs (Ghalib: 1995). Accused of distributing anti-government propaganda and other subversive activities, they were handed down sentences ranging from death (later commuted to life imprisonment) to long-term prison sentences. Their detention and torture helped to mobilize national and international condemnation of the regime.

    At roughly the same time, consultations within the Isaaq, both within Somalia and in the diaspora communities of the Gulf, Saudi Arabia, and the United Kingdom, led to the formation in London, of the rebel Somali National Movement (SNM). By 1982, the SNM had established bases in Ethiopia, from where it waged an armed struggle against the regime’s forces in the north, initially in the form of clandestine cross-border incursions. In January 1983, the SNM campaign gathered momentum with a daring raid on Mandheera Central Prison, which released over 1,000 political detainees and other inmates who had been condemned to death (GOS – Background: 1994).

    In return, the government redoubled its campaign of brutal repression. In the urban centres, arbitrary arrests, detentions and executions accelerated. In the rural areas, the regime sought to undermine the SNM’s support among nomads by destroying their livelihoods. Water points were declared off limits, closed, destroyed, poisoned and mined. Commercial trucks were grounded, starving the rural community of food, medicines, and other consumer goods. Villages were razed to the ground and soldiers allowed to confiscate livestock without compensation.

    In May 1988, following the signature of peace accord between Ethiopia and Somalia that threatened to terminate their campaign, the SNM launched an all-out offensive against government forces in Hargeysa and Burco. Caught off-guard, the government responded with a brutal ground and aerial bombardment. Over 50,000 people are estimated to have died, and more than 500,000 fled across the border to Ethiopia, harassed by government fighter-bombers piloted by foreign mercenaries. What remained of Northern towns and villages was systematically destroyed by government forces, looted and strewn with hundreds of thousands of landmines.

    The fall of the regime was now only two years away. From its bases in Ethiopia, the SNM offered a springboard for newly established guerrilla groups in the south and continued its campaign in the north. Government retribution against suspected SNM sympathizers escalated to new levels leading to mass detentions and executions both in the North, and in Muqdisho. In January 1991, as USC militia entered the Somali capital, SNM forces launched a lightning offensive in the North, recapturing the major towns and putting the government troops to flight. The war was over.

    Reconciliation and peace

    Cessation of hostilities in the immediate aftermath of the SNM victory was advanced by the relatively low level of animosity between the Isaaq and other communities. Although military resistance to government rule in the north was concentrated mainly within the Isaaq, some members of other groups had also opposed the government, and many had worked hard to contain the violence. Government attempts to provoke inter-communal violence between the clans in the north had been strongly resisted and ultimately proved unsuccessful – largely because they relied upon interest groups within clans, and not upon broad-based support. In 1988, for example, a meeting of the Dhulbahante leadership in Laas Caanood opted not to mobilize as a clan against either the SNM or the Isaaq, despite pressures from senior Dhulbahante figures within the government.

    During the war, prisoners held by clan militias (not by government forces) had been generally well-treated, and prisoner exchanges were common. Trade and commerce had continued between the various clans through mutually agreed channels. Regular contacts between leaders of the various communities inside and outside Somalia had helped to defuse potential animosity between them. Once the government was removed from the scene, there remained few obstacles to real peace.

    In February 1991, the responsibility for peace-making fell upon the traditional leaders (Guurti) of the various clans. A meeting convened by the SNM at the port town of Berbera established a formal cease-fire and fixed a date for a conference of the Guurti to be held in Burco two months later, to be followed by an SNM Central Committee meeting. In the meantime, the Guurti would have time to consult with their constituents. Their peace-making skills were about to be tested on a grand scale.

    Burco has often played the role of cradle of change in Somaliland’s history, but rarely as dramatically as during the 1991 Grand Conference. More than a dozen Garaaddo, Suldaanno and Ugaasyo (titled traditional leaders) representing the Isaaq, the Harti and the Dir clans, together with their delegations, converged upon Burco. They were joined at the conference by participants from other sectors of society, including artists, intellectuals, and business people (who provided most of the financing) as well as delegates from the diaspora. The conclusions of the conference were presented as recommendations to the subsequent SNM Central Committee meeting, which agreed upon the following:

    Reconciliation of the warring parties to the conflict

    Declaration of the Somaliland Republic on 18 May 1991

    A transitional two-year rule by the SNM, and the accommodation of the non-Isaaq communities in the government structure during this period.

    Initiation of a separate reconciliation process for Sanaag region
    Although the agreement reached at Burco remains the cornerstone of the peace that prevails in Somaliland today, it by no means settled all grievances, nor resolved all differences: it simply terminated active hostilities and created a common political framework. It was then followed by diverse local reconciliation initiatives (Farah and Lewis: 1993) that have continued, almost without pause, ever since.

    State-building

    The Burco conference had effectively neutralized the potential for violent conflict between the Isaaq and their neighbours, but it did little to resolve the latent tensions within the SNM itself. During the war against the regime, the SNM’s internal struggles had been sublimated by the twin imperatives of survival and solidarity, but with the common enemy defeated, schisms rapidly emerged.

    Less than a year after the Burco meeting, the government of Cabdirahman Axmad Cali “Tuur” found itself at war with a coalition of militias loosely based on clan, and linked by political affiliation with the Calan Cas (Red Flag) faction of the SNM. Clashes took place first in Burco, then Berbera, and Hargeysa was reduced to a state of near-anarchy.

    In October 1992, the Guurti once again stepped in, with representatives from the Gadabuursi clan playing a lead role in peace-making. A cease-fire was agreed at the town of Sheekh, and a date fixed for a broader reconciliation conference to be held at Boorame, in western Somaliland. The Grand Boorame Conference held between January and May 1993 represents another watershed in Somaliland’s recovery and development. In the absence of meaningful support, the burden for hosting the meeting was shouldered by the Boorame community. During five-months of deliberations, the 150-member Guurti, together with hundreds of delegates and observers from across Somaliland, agreed upon the following:

    The peaceful transfer of power from the SNM interim government to a beel (community) based system

    Election of a civilian president (Maxamed Xaaji Ibrahim Cigal) and a vice president (Cabdirahman aw Cali)

    Adoption of a National Charter and a Peace Charter, intended to serve as the basis for efforts towards peace-building and state-building, during a further transitional period of two years.

    The Guurti also used the occasion to review and revamp the ongoing reconciliation processes in different parts of the country.

    A combination of factors including deeply rooted mistrust between clans, continuing factional discord within the SNM, the clash of powerful egos, and international interests, all came into play when the Boorame process moved from conference hall to the proving grounds of Somaliland in mid-1993.11 By November 1994, these tensions had erupted into full-scale conflict that engulfed the central regions of Woqooyi Galbeed and Togdheer (Bryden: 1994) for almost two years. Fighting broke out in Hargeysa in November 1994, and by March 1995 Burco was also in flames. The war continued until early 1996, displacing a considerable portion of Hargeysa’s inhabitants and the entire population of Burco.

    Despite numerous attempts to quell the conflict within Somaliland society, as well as from the diaspora, peace talks made little progress until 1996 (Bryden and Farah: 1996). Finally, in February 1997, after nearly five months of consultations, peace was concluded in Hargeysa (Bradbury: 1997) at a Conference that achieved the following:

    · Cessation of hostilities (the “Ceel Xume” opposition group from Burco did not attend this conference but later joined the general peace settlement).

    · A new constitutional document, to be valid during a further 3-year transition period.

    · Re-elected President Cigal, with a new vice president, Dahir Riyaale Kahin, for a term of 5 years.

    · Addressed some of the grievances of opposition groups, by increasing their share in the two Houses of Parliament.

    · Accommodated Somaliland’s minority communities in terms of political representation
    The Hargeysa Conference was followed by the longest period of uninterrupted peace since Somaliland’s reclamation of independence – a sign that things are moving along the right track. But the challenges to reconstruction and development remain formidable: indeed, the complexity of the issues and the stakes involved appear to have grown. Somaliland has made tremendous progress, but there is no room for complacency if past gains are to be consolidated and progress to be sustained. The remainder of this paper is dedicated to illuminating the way forward.

    2 Subsequent agreements between Britain and Ethiopia in 1942, 1944, 1948 and 1954 concerned the implementation of the 1897 treaty, but did not alter the substance of the original accord.

    3 The official figure from the Ministry of National Planning and Co-ordination is 3 million.

    4 The original treaties gave the British no rights to cede territory on behalf of the Somaliland clans – a prerogative that the British nevertheless exercised illegally and unilaterally in their negotiations with other imperial powers.

    5 Laurence was the husband of renowned Canadian author Margaret Laurence, whose early works include two volumes based on her experiences in Somaliland: A Tree for Poverty and The Prophet’s Camel Bell.

    6 Many Somalilanders resent the use of the term “Somalia” to describe Somaliland’s union with the south. They argue that Somaliland and Somalia united to form the “Somali Republic,” and that substitution of “Somali Republic” with Somalia in casual use has helped to obscure Somaliland’s independent origins and the voluntary nature of the union.

    7 For a detailed account of events during this period, see: Somalia: A Government at War with its Own People (London: Africa Watch, 1990).

    8 An entire section of Mogadishu distinguished by extravagant Villas came to be known as Booli Qaran, meaning the “National Loot”.

    9 Between 1987-89, an estimated 6.4% of total overseas investment was allocated to the north (GOS – Background: 1994).

    10 The group was variously known as the Hargeysa Group, Ufo (a type of whirlwind signalling a change in the weather), and Ragga u Dhashay Magaalada (Men Born of the City – a pseudonym employed by anti-government pamphleteers).

    11 The United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM) declined to recognize the legitimacy of the Boorame process and sponsored alternative leadership instead, contributing directly to a destructive round of civil strife in 1994-96.

    Axmed Says:

    November 3rd, 2005 at 7:50 am
    Renewed push for recognition of Somaliland independence

    afrol News, 12 June – After the 31 May referendum over the Constitution of breakaway Somaliland – including a paragraph stating its independence – campaigners for an international recognition of former British Somaliland are making a new diplomatic push. Over 97 percent had backed the government in its strive for independence.

    A statement released yesterday by the Somaliland Forum, a Diaspora group campaigning for the international recognition of Somaliland’s independence, made clear that “on May 31, 2001, the people of Somaliland made their wishes clear to the world.” The wishes were of a quick international recognition of their ten year old state.

    In its “Message from the People of Somaliland to the International Community”, the Somaliland Forum (SLF) called on the international community “to recognise the state of Somaliland and grant the people of Somaliland their God-given right to self-determination.”

    The SLF is a powerful Diaspora working for the recognition of Somaliland. Access to financing from Somalilanders living and working abroad has made the organisation an important support to the poorly financed Somaliland government in its international campaign. The SLF for example contacted and financed the international observers to the 31 May referendum, giving it more weight and substance. The organisation also plaid a vital part in financing the smooth referendum itself.

    – The republic of Somaliland reinstated its sovereignty in May 1991 from Somalia, the illegal and ill-fated union of July 1960, the SLF communiqué states, leaning closely on to the statements made by Somaliland President Muhammad Ibrahim Egal on the background of the new state. “The international community, however, has been ignoring this historic decision, for Somaliland still yearns for a diplomatic recognition a decade later.”

    In a plea especially directed towards the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) and the European Union, the SLF “urge them to respect the wishes and rights of the people of Somaliland”. In the referendum, the people of Somaliland had “approved the constitution of Somaliland, which, in addition to upholding the sovereignty of Somaliland, also sets the rules and procedures under which their government will operate.”

    World leaders are set to await the actions taken by the OAU, which in uncertain how to assess its most holy principle, enshrined in the OAU charter, of the inviolability of the old, colonial borders. As Somaliland actually had been a separate (British) colony before independence, and enjoyed four days of independence before joining with former Italian Somaliland, gives the petition certain legitimacy.

    OAU and UN support however still goes totally towards the Transitional National Government (TNG) of Somalia in Mogadishu, which claims to represent all Somalia, including Somaliland. Great hopes were given the TNG, established last year as the first central government in Somalia (except Somaliland) after ten years of civil war. The more and more visible failure of the TNG – now only controlling parts of Mogadishu – however could shift sympathy in favour of Somaliland, which has experienced peace, order and economic development since its establishment in 1991.

    Leaning on the continuing chaos in Somalia outside Somaliland, the SLF urges world leaders “to recognize Somaliland and reward the hard work and dedication the people of Somaliland have shown in rebuilding their country from the ashes without any outside assistance.” Especially the OAU should fulfil its “duty in promoting and safeguarding peace and stability in Africa and recognise Somaliland.”

    Sources: Based on Somaliland Forum, UN sources and afrol archives

    Axmed Says:

    November 3rd, 2005 at 7:55 am
    Somali Reconciliation processes: A perpetual failure

    Mohamed Hashi Elmi

    The international community has conferred legitimacy on Somalia’s warlords by hosting them, in Five-Star hotels, at the expense of the donor countries while shaking hands with Heads of States. Now these Warlords were declared by the international community as being the sole representatives of the people in Somalia. This appeasement however does not change the fact that the majority of the people in Somalia see these warlords as pure criminals who have been responsible for perpetrating their suffering for over a decade.

    Among this lot of suspected mass murderers are individuals wanted in Somaliland for war crimes and crimes against humanity that had been committed here back in the 1980s. The mass graves found in the outskirts of every major town and city, and in particularly around the capital Hargeisa, stand testimony to the large-scale human rights violation and colossal destruction and pillage of property that took place.

    Since 1991, when SNM, SPM and USC forces defeated the army of Mohamed Siad Barre, Somalia plunged into civil wars, internal displacements, genocide, destruction etc. To stop bloodshed and destruction, outside intervention was inevitable. The UN, IGAD countries, AU, EU, US and the Arab League were all eager to find solution to the Somalia problem.

    Conferences were, held with the desired objectives of making peace and National Reconciliation among the Somalia’s Warring factions. Equally important was to return properties taken by force to their rightful owners, to bring the perpetrators of human rights abuses to justice and then to establish a central authority for Somalia.

    The question, which comes to mind now is: will the Mbagathi Crowned president, Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, achieve some degree of success where his predecessor failed? Why Reconciliation conferences for Somalia always create more warlords, conflicts and end up in disasters? These and many more questions need to be addressed in order to understand Somalia’s chronic problems and the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development’s (IGAD) lack of genuine intentions for dealing with the crisis in Somalia.

    Unlike Somalia, for example, Somaliland (The Former British Protectorate) convened its conferences inside the country. No foreign governments or International Organisations were invited or involved. The first reconciliation conference of all clan leaders held in Burao in 1991. It was under trees on mats and in partially demolished buildings. The total expense of the conference was less than ten thousand ($10,000) US Dollars, all paid by the citizens. The follow-up conferences, one in Borama 1993 and in Hargeisa 1997, were convened in similar circumstances.

    Then, Somaliland demobilized its militia in 1993, formed a National army, a police force, custodial corps and established all governmental institutions. It began its democratization in May 2001 with plebiscite on a new Constitution (97% yes vote), with the introduction of multiparty electoral system and in December 2002 with municipal elections that were open and transparent. Following in 2003 was the Presidential election. All these were achieved with great success and with insignificant financial assistance from outside. The final stage is the legislative elections scheduled on March 2005. Determination to move forward was the key to all these successes. Today, Somaliland enjoys peace and stability accompanied by experimental multi party democracy.

    Reconciliation Conferences for Somalia took totally different approach. The fourteen conferences, which were held on Somalia since 1991, were initiated, organized and financed by foreign Governments and International organizations. They were, convened outside Somalia and erratically managed by IGAD countries.

    The first two conferences were hosted in and by Djibouti Government in 1991 to form Government of National Unity, in which Ali Mahdi was nominated the President of Somalia. Somehow the armed-wing of United Somali Congress (USC), lead by General Mohamed Farah Aideed, was ignored. That initial mistake was the cause of the split of the USC into two factions and triggered the ensuing civil war for the control of the capital Mogadishu and the neighboring regions.

    Since 1993, subsequent Conferences on Somalia sponsored by the UN were held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. General Mohamed Farah Aideed was dissatisfied and felt antagonized. As a result, fighting broke out between Aideed’s forces and those of the UN. Despite these failures, lack of commitment to peace by the Somalia warlords and without improvement to the methodology, Somalia’s major events and Peace Conferences still continued; In Sodere, Ethiopia (1996), Cairo, Egypt (1997) and Khartoum in January 2002 and so on.

    In the year 2000, the government of Djibouti again convened a conference at Arta in which the Transitional National Government (TNG) was formed and Abdi-Qasim Salad Hassan was elected President. The TNG failed because of incompetence, corruption, and the lack of a working program. It could not even control more than few blocks of the capital, Mogadishu, and it gradually melted into non-existence.

    These failures could rightly be attributed to the derailing of the concept of peacemaking and reconciliation for the election campaign just to Crown a criminal warlord. Hence, to save the Conference itself for that purpose outweighed the desired objectives of a meaningful peace settlement among warring parties and antagonists. Peacemaking and reconciliation was inescapable prerequisite for the establishment of Central Authority for Somalia.

    Secondly, IGAD States, unfortunately could not overcome their political differences, internal divisions, and rivalry to gain fame and recognition of regional power. Djibouti Government and some Arab League States openly supported the TNG and Ethiopia the SRRC.
    The Role of Senior Somali Professionals and Scholars, chaired by Mr Abdirazaq H. Hussein (former Somalia Prime minister) was neither helpful, healthy nor realistic, by recommending to IGAD members the following:

    “Adopting the South African Truth and Reconciliation model is not viable, under the present circumstances in Somalia, for the following reasons:
    I. Most of the warring parties, and all antagonists have jointed the peace process and are active in the formation of the transitional federal government.
    II. Repercussions of a televised voluntary public confession of crimes committed, in a Somali context, needs further careful study.
    Adopting the Rwandan and Bosnian Models of setting-up an International Criminal Court to try people who have joined the peace process and are part of the transitional federal government is also not practical.
    The massacres, crimes against humanity, and human rights violations that took place in Somalia are very grave and will be deferred to the elected Somali parliamentary government as soon as the transitional period (five years) is over. This elected body will decide what model is appropriate to bring those who committed these crimes to justice”.

    Work of two years and an expenditure of millions of US Dollars have again produced corrupt criminal leaders to decide the destiny of the people they have destroyed.
    Mbagathi President, Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, admitted in his recent State visit to Sana’a Yemen that he was the first man to fire the first shot that triggered the civil war in Somalia.

    He spent four million U. S. Dollars to be elected while his people are suffering from the worst drought in recent history of the region. Why do the warlords spend such huge sums of money just to be elected? There are two main reasons for that, first they fear of revenge of the crimes they committed and power is a source of protection for them. Secondly, it is investment to get much more from the State. Peace and development for Somalia are not viable propositions with the warlords.

    The words peace reconciliation and development are used in Somalia’s externally driven processes because they are attractive and appealing to the donor countries but they are excluded in any IGAD agenda and in the minds of the warlords. The exclusion of peace and reconciliation from the agendas is a signal of encouragement to the warlords. It enhances their political position by expanding their territories of control and forming alliance with other groups.

    As usual, whenever a warlord is elected, the game continues; State visits to Arab countries and the EU for financial support, acquisition of ammunition and to occupy the seats of the AU, The Arab League and the UN, and like his predecessors, to wage fresh civil wars. As soon as the Mbagathi initiative was over, the newly elected President has started a fresh civil war between Puntland militia and Somaliland forces.

    To complete the cycle, the beneficiaries of Somalia crisis, United Nations Political Office (UNPOS), Kenya and Djibouti, will be on the drawing board soon, only to plan the venue for Somalia’s next Reconciliation Conference. So the tragic events of violence will continue. Like the Great Lake regions, wars could spread from country to another.

    It is not surprising that the President, Prime minister and the entire 275 members of parliament are in exile in Nairobi, Kenya and probably will be there until their tenure of office expires.

    There are no simple solutions to Somalia crisis but to curb the expansion of violence from Somaliland and the region as whole and the International Community must recognize Somaliland, which was a separate State that got its independence in 1960, from Great Britain and voluntarily united with Somalia. A marriage that was not successful.

    Ethnicity as claimed by the Mbagathi president cannot alter the Recognized International Borders. The claim of territories by ethnicity will not be confined to Somaliland alone, it could also spill over across the border to Ethiopia for the same reason. The border between Somaliland and Somalia is not different from that passing between other countries, through out Africa, Europe and Asia clans sharing ethnicity or lineage inhabit, at least, in two or more different countries, and good examples are, Mr. Ibrahim Hassan Gagale’s list in his open letter on Somaliland / Somalia Border Conflict, 04 November 2004:
    · Fulani: inhabits in Mali, Niger, Chad etc
    · Hausa: inhabits in Nigeria and North-western Niger.
    · Yoruba: inhabits in South-west Nigeria and Benin.
    · Bobo: inhabits in Western Burkina Faso and Mali.
    · Massai: inhabits in North-central Kenya and Southern Tanzania.
    · Issaq: inhabits in Somaliland, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya.
    · Samaron: inhabits in Somaliland, Ethiopia and Djibouti.
    · Hawiye: inhabits in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya.
    · Darod: inhabits in Somaliland, Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya. So are many others throughout the African continent and even other continents”.

    The author is a former Minister of Industry and Commerce and a winner of the prestigious award of the United Nations Habitat for Humanity in 1996.

  15. WORLD BEYOND RECOGNITION

    There are many countries that don’t officially exist, but their lack of status and inaccessibility make them perfect for an adventure holiday, says Simon Reeve.

    Top tips for hot tots Holiday ideas for young families PAGE 6Fruits of the Caribbean The best luxury resorts in the Grenadines PAGES 4-5Somaliland’s Minister for Tourism was delighted that he finally had a rare foreign visitor he could take to see his country’s national treasures. “Don’t worry!” said the enthusiastic minister, as I reluctantly agreed to accompany him to some rock etchings recently discovered at Laas Ga’al outside Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland. “The drawings are beautiful, and it will just be a small detour from the road.” After bumping along potholed dirt tracks through the parched African bush, I started to think my scepticism was justified. But we crested a hill, dodged wiry bushes on a wide plain, and scrambled over boulders to find exquisite rock paintings dating back thousands of years.

    Even under the scorching sun, the paintings had strong, vibrant colours and stark outlines, showing the area’s ancient inhabitants worshipping cattle and venerating a pregnant cow. In a low cave farther up the hill I found human figures dancing along the rock.

    Laas Ga’al is probably the most significant Neolithic rock-painting site in Africa, and for a brief moment I felt like an explorer finding hidden treasures, at a time when the entire world seems within easy reach. But there are still areas of the world off the beaten track which can excite and amaze. Somaliland is not on many tourist maps. In fact, it is not supposed to be on any maps at all, because, according to the international community, Somaliland does not exist.

    Although there are almost 200 official countries in the world there are also dozens more unrecognised states such as Somaliland that remain separate and independent. These countries are home to millions of people; they have their own rulers, armies, police forces; they issue passports and even postage stamps; but they are not officially recognised by the rest of the world.

    I was visiting Somaliland as part of a journey to and through a group of these unofficial states for a five-part BBC2 series, Holidays in the Danger Zone:Places That Don’t Exist. Besides Somaliland, my travels to some of the world’s most obscure corners took me to Transniestria (between Moldova and Ukraine), Nagorno-Karabakh in Azerbaijan, and three regions of Georgia that broke away after the collapse of the Soviet Union. My itinerary also included Taiwan, surprisingly, for lack of recognition is not limited to poor nations. No major power recognises Taiwan as a proper country. It has one of the world’s largest economies but no seat at the UN.

    I also wanted to visit the neighbouring states from which the unrecognised countries had declared their independence, generally after bloody conflict. In the case of Somaliland, that’s Somalia. So I began several months of travel by flying into a dusty airstrip outside Mogadishu, the Somali capital, on a tiny UN flight from Nairobi.

    Years of fighting have destroyed once-beautiful Mogadishu, which is now the most dangerous city on the planet for foreigners. The crew and I had to pay a dozen gunmen to keep us alive. Corpses lie in the streets for days, and locals eke out a living in a state of utter chaos. I went to the main market and bought myself a Somali passport from a man called Mr Big Beard.

    Despite the chaos, and though Somalia has no real government, the rest of the world recognises it as an official country. By contrast Somaliland, in the north of Somalia, has a government, police, democracy and traffic lights, but no recognition, making it extremely difficult for the country to attract aid, investment, or visitors.

    A UN cargo flight stopped briefly in Mogadishu to lift us out of chaos and take us north. The chirpy Afrikaans pilot casually warned the flight might be a bit rough. He wasn’t joking. I could have kissed the ground after landing in Somaliland. A smartly dressed immigration official stamped our passports. His presence and uniform were an immediate sign of order.

    Britain is the former colonial power in Somaliland, an overwhelmingly Muslim nation. Locals went to Britain’s aid during the Second World War, and Somalilanders still feel a strong attachment to Britain. They struggle to understand why the UK has not recognised their country and politely quiz visitors about the reasons. As we drove into the sweltering capital, Hargeisa, Yusuf Abdi Gabobe, my towering local guide, explained that Somaliland voluntarily joined Somalia after independence from Britain, but when the relationship soured in the 1980s Somalilanders fought a war for independence.

    Visiting Somaliland is to receive a humbling lesson in survival. Hargeisa, where 50,000 died during the conflict, is being rebuilt with little help from the outside world, and refugees are returning from camps in Ethiopia. A Somali MiG jet which bombed the city sits atop a poignant war memorial.

    Outside Hargeisa there are ancient rock paintings and stunning journeys into the mountains and the port of Berbera, home to a runway once hired by Nasa as an emergency space shuttle landing strip. Tracks run along the coast west from Berbera towards Djibouti, and mangroves, gorgeous islands and coral reef. But Somaliland’s main attraction is its determined and inspirational people. Without aid or loans and largely ignored by the world, they are building a state from scratch and seem determined to keep their independence.

    I was sad to leave, but we headed back to the edge of Europe, to Transniestria, a nation of 700,000 people that split from Moldova to become an extraordinary Soviet-era theme park. The hammer and sickle of the Soviet Union still adorns many buildings, while Lenin looms over the streets and stands proud outside the House of Soviets in the capital, Tiraspol.

    Our route to Transniestria took us through Moldova, the poorest country in Europe. Ruritanian-style villages were empty of all but children and the elderly. Everyone else had fled abroad in search of work. I met a villager who sold a kidney to buy a cow, and the hospitable President kindly taught me to fish, got me drunk, and claimed that Transniestria is a black hole for arms-smuggling and crime.

    Moldovans had warned me that hungry armed men roam the streets of Transniestria, but though the border is tense, the leafy lanes of Tiraspol were full of cafés and restaurants. Fighting talk was limited to thoughts on political strife in neighbouring Ukraine and the impact on the price of salo (pig fat), a major Ukrainian export. Transniestrians eat it covered with chocolate, which is as unappetising as it sounds.

    Transniestrians celebrated their National Independence Day while we visited, an event that bore a striking resemblance to old Soviet parades. The army goose-stepped past a platform of officers awarded medals by the pound. Having always wanted to visit Soviet-era Russia, I watched goggle-eyed. They still have the KGB in Transniestria, a fact we discovered when they detained us for spying. It was tense in their cells, but after a while the KGB agents softened, gave us KGB cap-badges as souvenirs, and allowed us to leave.

    The collapse of the Soviet Union was the cue for a number of smaller regions to declare independence. In the Caucasus, never the most stable part of the world, I visited Nagorno-Karabakh and the three breakaway regions of Georgia: Ajaria, South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

    Karabakh sits high in snowy mountains, which locals believe makes them the longest-lived people in the world. The scenery and churches were impressive, but it is difficult to visit without asking awkward questions. Before Karabakh declared independence from Azerbaijan its population was evenly split between Azeris and Armenians. After a bloody war only a handful of Azeris remain.

    To the north, Georgia gave the world a Golden Fleece and Stalin, who it commemorates with a museum. When my guides vanished I sat on Stalin’s personal lavatory and struck my own small blow against the veneration of a murdering madman.

    Georgia rarely failed to impress. There were ancient monasteries to explore, old sulphur baths, trendy new bars in the capital, Tbilisi, and a population that prides itself more on drinking toasts than on eating.

    We headed towards South Ossetia, and crossed yet another tense border to be told the government would only allow us to linger for a few hours. It was time enough to learn that the people are Ossetes, who speak a different language to Georgians, to share birthday toasts with young Ossetian soldiers, and to realise that the locals are prepared to fight and die for their independence. But it was an uncomfortable visit, and we were rather obviously shadowed everywhere by the secret police.

    Heading west across Georgia, an overnight train took us to Ajaria, a summer paradise with beaches that attracted tourists from across the former Soviet Union. Ajaria was formerly a breakaway region headed by a strongman whose son closed roads to race a Lambourghini along the seafront. Strangely this did not go down well with locals (average monthly wage £20). They kicked out the strongman and were partially welcomed back into Georgia.

    Farther north, the government of Abkhazia reneged on an offer of entry, so we left the Caucasus and headed east to Taiwan. When Mao’s Communists defeated Chinese Nationalists they fled to Taiwan and took over. China says it wants Taiwan back, and will use force if necessary.

    For decades, the nationalists in Taiwan claimed they were the rightful rulers of China and wallowed in heritage, protecting buildings the Chinese destroyed during their economic boom. Ancient temples and chic hotels sit snugly beside mountain lakes. In the capital, Taipei, visitors can trek to the top of Taipei 101, the tallest building in the world, to watch as planes fly beneath them.

    But of all the unofficial and official countries I visited, Somaliland had the greatest impact. War between Somalia and Somaliland could erupt again, but there is also a much more optimistic future for the country. Perhaps one day Somaliland will have its own seat at the United Nations, and tourists will flock to its stunning beaches. It is nothing less than Somalilanders deserve.

    ‘Holidays in the Danger Zone: Places That Don’t Exist’, written and presented by Simon Reeve, starts on Wednesday, at 7.30pm on BBC2. For further information visit http://www.shootandscribble.com.

    Adventure basics

    Getting there Flights to Somaliland are available from Daallo Airlines (www.daallo.com) via Djibouti. Several airlines fly to Chisinau, the capital of Moldova, from where buses and taxis will take visitors to Transniestria, or at least to the border, where more taxis wait on the other side. Major airlines also fly to Tbilisi in Georgia, from where visitors can take a train to Ajaria (tickets are around £5). Entry to Abkhazia and South Ossetia is more difficult and best attempted via Russia. British Airways (0870 850 9850; http://www.ba.com) flies to Yerevan in Armenia, from where you can take the long road south-east to Nagorno-Karabakh inside Azerbaijan. Make sure relevant permissions are obtained. The Foreign Office advises against travelling to many unrecognised nations, so most personal travel insurance policies will be invalid.

    Staying there Taiwan has many good-quality hotels, but tourist facilities in most unrecognised nations are poor. Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland, has a couple of surprisingly good hotels, including the Ambassador (www.ambassadorhotelhargeisa.com), which has comfortable rooms and friendly staff. Outside Hargeisa people are so pleased anyone is visiting Somaliland they make up for poor facilities with a warm welcome.

    When to go Taiwan is good from spring to summer. Nagorno-Karabkh and Georgia’s breakaway statew are freezing in winter. Transniestria has a warmer climate than the UK. Somaliland is warm in winter and one of the hottest parts of the world in summer.

    Eating out Taiwan can boast excellent food, but beware of scantily clad women selling amphetamine betel nuts by the side of the road. In Transniestria it helps to have a local guide who knows the restaurants and can book your meal several hours ahead, otherwise you will probably have a very long wait. Good, hearty organic produce is plentiful in Nagorno-Karabakh; otherwise, why does everyone there live so long?

    Security update Unless war breaks out with China, Taiwan is safe. I cannot encourage anyone to visit Mogadishu in Somalia, but by contrast Somaliland is relatively safe, though visitors must always remember that they are a long way from a Western embassy. The same is true of Transniestria, Ajaria, South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Nagorno-Karabakh, which also fall into a diplomatic no-man’s land: Western governments don’t recognise the existence of these breakaway nations, so it will be harder for them to help if you get into trouble.

  16. Hi white african!

    How are u doin. U probably dont care, and u really dont want another somali in ur blog, arguing for this and that. I am a somalilander and a somali- confusing is n’it? well u r white and african, so whatever. Anyways, grow up in xamar (mogadisho) and it was beatiful place before the war. 1989 i had to leave it with my familly, i was five. We live in Sweden now, cold place. Anyways i was in somaliland 2003, and it was fine to me. Well it needs some work, but ppl are positiv and strong, i was impressed, a lot off them had horribel memories from the war but they where all positive. There is a state that is not recognis but it works=somaliland
    And there is a failed state that is recognised but not finctioning= somalia
    Ironi.
    Personally i feel bad for somalia and i have hopes for somaliland.

    Have a nice life friend.

    salam

  17. Jamal From Stockholm

    August 2, 2006 at 7:21 am

    Yo, it is so sad to see how you people are speaking about your fellow cushitic people (Somalia one and only, Eritrea, oromo-Ethiopian and djibouti) Man you live in the “white mans world”
    What happens if they divide SOMALIA, _____ the four minutes peace and dont forgett the war against ALL MUSLIMS. Somalis
    have to be the leaders, you better believe it. _____ the borders why is the acceptens of the white man so strong,
    live your own life

  18. Obejective Observer

    November 18, 2006 at 12:53 pm

    Actually Sanaag region is fully controlled by the Somaliland government. While in Sool region the Somaliland government manages about 60 of that region at the moment.

    Sool is a Somaliland border region asnd as you can imagine any region bordering a volatile country such as Somalia is not that easy to manage. just look at the US-Mexican border problem or the Pakistani-Afghanistan border.

    The small pockets of south eastern Sool region outside of Somaliland control at the moment will be brought under full controll sooner or later.

  19. stop this somaliland garbage. Somalia is one for muslim somalis. If you want to divid it that means every tribe for their own land. Don’t try to compine several tribes and cut of others that will start a war.

  20. hallo,somalland is the best and it will be reconised

    somali people are jeulous somaliland has the power.now somalia are fighting and destroying their country
    but somaliland are going up while somalia are going down.11country’s are going to help somaliland build their country for 5 years.the world siad they are going to reconise soaliland as soon as possible
    soon somaliland is going to be one of the best african country look at somalia they exsist and they don’t even have a proper goverments poor them but i dont care somaliland TOP!

    LoNg LiVe SoMaLiLaNd!!!!!!!you know???

  21. somalilkand is soo sexy you know
    and the best SeXy SoiMaLiLaNd!!!!

  22. listen y cnt ppl tke da facts der is somaliland gemme!!somalians r jus h8in gemme!its narffink hld tyt marliland!zoop zoop

  23. what the hell are some of u talikng about.obejective oserber seems u dont kniow anything. i am from sanaag and i can tell u that just from laasqoray to badhan to the outskirts of arigavo is contolled by puntland. and about sool,what the hell. almost all of sool is controlled by puntland. only 40% of sool is controlled by puntland is just pure agnorance when we even controol parts of toogdheer colled cayn.
    and sorry to dissapoint youall but my people the warsangeli dont want to joint you.

  24. Mohamed Hassan

    March 6, 2007 at 5:51 pm

    Hello Somalian guys, I am Somalilander and really supporty the existance of Somaliland “by any means necessary” so what i am saying to you guys is “Stop these blah blah about Somaliland and try to find out a way to solve the civil war in your country then and build effect and functional government Like somaliland people did”, then we will talk as two nighbourhood countries about the reall seperation of the two nations. in that case you will talk as a nation not as a Clan as you are talking about now. Nation to nation not the other side round.

    Finally, as Dr. Nkrumah said, `Forward ever, backward never’! I can comfortably say: `Forward ever with Somaliland’s independence and stability, backward never for re-union with Somalia.’!!

    God bless you somaliland and rest of the world.

  25. Mohamed Hassan

    March 6, 2007 at 6:07 pm

    Hello Somalian guys, I am Somalilander and really supporty the existance of Somaliland “by any means necessary” so what i am saying to you guys is “Stop these blah blah about Somaliland and try to find out a way to solve the civil war in your country then and build effective and functional government Like somaliland people did”, then we will talk as two nighbourhood countries about the reall seperation of the two nations. in that case you will talk as a nation not as a Clan as you are talking about now. Nation to nation not the other side round.

    Finally, as Dr. Nkrumah said, `Forward ever, backward never’! I can comfortably say: `Forward ever with Somaliland’s independence and stability, backward never for re-union with Somalia.’!!

    God bless you somaliland and rest of the world.

  26. Im Hawiya person , i support Somaliland independent , and i wish if we have peace like Somaliand , I envy somalilanders when they go home every in Hargiesa , I envy them when they shaw me Photos from Hargiesa , the Houses , Internet Cafee , Women selling Golds in the street , schools and Hospitals , my city Magadisho , is burning now , I wish if we have Somalilander leader in hamar , we have to give them credet , we southeren are jealous from Somalilanders , they live in peace and wealth , and we control by ethiopian and Abdulahi yusef BeirDofar people

  27. how the heck are you suppose to find anything on this site?

  28. I luv my country or region (Somaliland) — but above all the unity of me Country is my main subject. think who can we unite- one language- one culture and one religion .– So why are we disputing over region we have over 5000yrs old culture and traditionsn and ancient language — ————–There are hidden agendas————–
    If you love your home as family- family is one united ( five states of Somalia) Long live Somalia
    Long live Somalia God bless Somalia and the world any questions

  29. i suddenly saw this site

  30. i would say that somaliland is a recognisable country adn deserves it. i am sorry about the occupation of mogadishu by jews ethiopia troops led by abdilahi yusuf who is also one of them( he has the colour of a somali man and language and the name abdilahi but he is deeply allien and far from the reality on the ground. ) which one could say that somaliland should under abdilahi yusuf. particularly yaasmiin. do you think that somaliland can be under the control of this cannibal and brutal killers or rather blood shedders in anyway?
    i would like to hear your word.

  31. see more article regadind somaliland on above website

  32. Janets website has nothing to do with Somaliland it is a Somalia website and therefore, sadly, very hostile to Somaliland. Visit above for Somaliland news(annoyingly it uses both English and Somali. I will translate any piece if you need just email me). Also check www. awdalnews.com for opinions and articles.

  33. im a somalilander and i luv am country but i dont get why some somali people dont understand that somaliland is a beautiful country now it has every thing en i think you shud go there but peple shouls stop saying dat it dont exsist becuase somaliland is well known but itz just not on da map soo i think you shud stopp sayin things you dont know about!!

    somaliland for ever

  34. Your blog is interesting!

    Keep up the good work!

  35. before the 1960’s Somaliland was British. 1960 26 june they became indenpendent from England, the first flag that was made by somalians was at hargeysa.

    yasmiin and the others who are talking nonnessence let me refresh your mind. There are five parts that are together known as somalia, these following five parts are:
    Somaliland (British part)
    Somali south(Italian part)
    Somali Djibouti(France part)
    Somali Galbeed(Ethopian part)
    Somali ENFD(Kenian part)
    The Ethopian and kenians still got there parts and will keep them.

    So like you can see somaliland does excist AND queen of England was there when Somaliland became independent if you don’t believe I will pay your flight ticket come to London and embarrese yourself front of the Queen.

    There is no need to hate because we are peacefull and this is written by a girl that is 15 years old and knows her history and believes that it does excist but it is not on the ma

  36. before the 1960’s Somaliland was British. 1960 26 june they became indenpendent from England, the first flag that was made by somalians was at hargeysa.

    yasmiin and the others who are talking nonnessence let me refresh your mind. There are five parts that are together known as somalia, these following five parts are:
    Somaliland (British part)
    Somali south(Italian part)
    Somali Djibouti(France part)
    Somali Galbeed(Ethopian part)
    Somali ENFD(Kenian part)
    The Ethopian and kenians still got there parts and will keep them.

    So like you can see somaliland does excist AND queen of England was there when Somaliland became independent if you don’t believe I will pay your flight ticket come to London and embarrese yourself front of the Queen.

    There is no need to hate because we are peacefull and this is written by a girl that is 15 years old and knows her history and believes that it does excist but it is not on the map not yet

  37. Forward thinking

    January 4, 2009 at 9:32 am

    Hi, I am from Burco, Somaliland and my father (god bless his soul) fort in the civil war and was killed fighting for Somaliland. We all know about each clan, regional etc disputes. However I believe that Somaliland should continue as it is, where most Somalis enjoy peace and security, and Somalia should not interfere with Somaliland issues. If so, Somaliland should provide any help necessary to their brothers in order o bring them the peace and security they enjoy without going to clan politics. Somaliland has taken in and shown support to refugees from Somalia and I recognise and acknowledge their support (I am a witness). But other help is needed in terms of bring about peace or even a platform for peace.

    My main point is that once Somaliland and Somalia have reached a peaceful position and some sort of democratic level, with security under control, then some sort of reconciliation can begin, merge the states of the horn of Africa together, this would include the orgedan region which is occupied by Ethiopia.

    I am tired of this infighting between brothers and sister, who share the same religion, all Sunni, who are all Somalis, who can trace their blood line to their ancestors better than any sophisticated technology which used by westerners, I live in the UK and hardly any one knows their relatives before their grand parent.

    Every country has had their civil war and has worked it out for example, USA, UK, Germany etc.

    its time for the great horn of Africa to workout its problems fast and move on to come together under one flag , nation.

    I am sick and tired of seeing brother and sister dying for stupid reasons , bring new change and thinking do not take one step forward and two steps back and revert to clan wars, we are stronger united then divided

    God bless The Horn of Africa

  38. all i can say Somaliland haa nolaatoo long live Somaliland

  39. Incontro del Comitato Mondiale Pan-Africanesimo alla Universita di Firenze del 22 -sett/09

    Info: pmanzelli@gmail.com .
    A mio avviso il problema chiave della Diaspora Africana, (a cui il COMOPA puo dare un contributo idealmente risolutivo) risiede nel superamento dell’ isolamento della comunita scientifica e culturale Africana , nel contesto della Scienza e della Cultura mondiale.

    Le comunita diasporiche come la FAT hanno pertanto la possibilita di contribuire a superare tale isolamento della comunita scientifica e culturale Africana, agendo come organizzazione capace di congiungere la Intellettualita ‘ scientifica e culturale Africana , con quella mondiale tramite un ampio confronto interuniversitario , come quello che speriamo di portare e termine con successo il 22/SETT/09 c/o la Universita di Firenze .

    Per tale occasione andrebbero contattati per renderli partecipi gli Studenti Africani presenti nelle Universita di Firenze ed altrove , in nodo che possano partecipare attivamente alla organizzazione dell’ evento del COMOPA a Firenze, sapendo che la questione che iniziamo a trattare , rappresenta uno dei nodi piu importanti del loro futuro Infatti essi potranno dare un attivo contributo ad una nuova espressione della Diaspora Africana , necessario per valorizzare la propria cultura di origine ,cosi’ che necessita di un cambiamento globale della scienza e della cultura venga ricondotto al valore essenziale di un “nuovo rinascimento della umanita” che si identifica nella formazione di complesse comunita’ transnazionali, capaci di condivisione e rispetto delle diverse forme di conoscenza sulla base di una profonda identita’ comune dell’ Uomo.

  40. Salaam all,
    I am from Sanaag, Somalia. In fact, I am from the Warsangeli clan, one of the oldest sultanates in Africa. And as of today, our neighbours the Isaqs are strugling within themselves to deal with their own dictator that they created. Typical of misguided young Somalis today who thankfully are spreading lies and mischief on cyperspace using words instead of bullets, but I hope that our non-Somali readers here will do us all a favour and avoid making the same mistakes committed by many well intentioned friends- take sides. Although, it does not matter really weather the world recognizes this “Somaliland” or not, what matters is what we do on the ground.

    I am old and wise enough to know that Great Britin and the west can not recognize this entity with the current border without our consent, because we have our own treaty with the British, and we were the only clan in Somali history who never raised a foreign flag on it’s territory. Nevertheless, we always prayed and worked to peacfully live side by side with our brethren the Isaqs hoping for a better day for all Somalis. Their own elders know it and politicians as well. The only time the Isaqs tried to invade our land in the early 90’s they were badly defeated, and in return most of our citizens left Erigavo, a once diverse city to the criminal elements of the SNM.
    Albiet, this is changing with time, recently many Warangelis are going back to their city after the departure of the SNM extremists, and slowly the city is going back to it’s decent history of coexistance.
    For those who are young or non-Somalis either read history from objective sources or be patient and wise- when this thread started four years ago Yasmin was attacked by the well greased machine of Isaq separatists, but with patience and with a sharp observing mind- you can than God that the world did not help in creating another African clan-based dictatorship.

    Regard,
    A Nobel Somali

  41. Long live Somaliland, Somaliland was created by its people and shed their blood for it. Nobody of UN created any country, but countries joined UN after bitter struggles with many loss of lives in one way or other. This is what Somaliland is up to, it will wait for however long it may take to get its recognition…

  42. long live somaliland..
    i just want to tell every one there is no power in the world that can turn somaliland to somalia blieve that
    another way the somaliland recognisation is fromed by thier poeple and it is not need more then that

  43. Dear Friend of Somaliland see the project NUTRA SCIENZA in (http://www1.unifi.it/dipchimica/CMpro-v-p-212.html )
    and also the project on malnutrition in Africa in :
    http://www.wbabin.net/science/manzelli74.pdf
    My best regards and cordiality’s Paolo pmanzelli@gmail.com

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