by Yusuf Dirir Ali. MD
Somaliland is invited to attend a London conference on Somalia. This conference is spearheaded by the British Government and there are conflicting reports stating different scenarios of what the international community is attempting to achieve through this conference. I hope the international community is sophisticated enough and not naive to confuse Somaliland with the anarchic Somalia. The international community must not try in any way, shape or form to drag Somaliland into UN/AU trusteeship or a union with Somalia.
These options are not acceptable to the people of Somaliland and they are going to be a waste of time and resources. These options will simply not give fruitful solutions to the Somalia problems. The Somalia-Somaliland union was tried voluntarily more than 50 years ago and without the influences of the international community. As matter of fact, the British Government that granted independence to Somaliland in 1960 was rightfully against that union with Somalia. Time proved that British government was right, the union failed badly and did not simply work for either Somalia or Somaliland and it is the root cause of the past five decade’s political catastrophe in the Horn of Africa region.
Repeating the Union mistake will benefit no one, not Somaliland, Somalia, the neighbouring states or the international community. It is not going to bring about a real panacea to the problem as described by Andrew Mitchell, the British Development secretary: “If we ignore Somalia then it will continue on its spiral, destabilizing the region and exporting terrorism, piracy, drugs, people and disease.” I completely agree with him, but I think the right approach is not being perused.
On the other hand, looking at the points enumerated in London Conference on Somalia: Building Momentum, it is obvious that the London conference is misguided to the best, because anyone with the least experience in this region will tell you that this international intervention will make a bad situation even much worst. The conference host country and the rest of the international community do not make a sharp distinction between Somaliland on one hand and Somalia and its warlord fiefdoms on the other hand. I think this is a terrible bad mistake and that ought to be corrected.
Somaliland is independent from Somalia. It is a stable country in peace with itself and its neighbors. It has a democratically elected government and internationally defined borders, the Somaliland citizens have democratically opted to reclaim their independence in 1991 in a national referendum. Since 1991 Somaliland was busy fighting terrorism, piracy and is fully cooperating with the international community in those areas. Thanks to the Somaliland efforts and sacrifices, the problems of piracy, human trafficking, famine and terrorism are now curbed in Somalia and that is where the international community is supposed to focus its attention.
I caution the international community not to entertain the idea of creating a forced Somaliland-Somalia union or an international trusteeship on these two countries, this will only serve the interest of terrorists and international parasites also known as AMISOM countries and the UN representative Mr. Mahiga and his team, who are aggressively trying to prolong their tenure and hefty pay on the backs of the starving and terrorized Somalis. Mr. Mahiga and the international community are integral part of the Somalia predicament. They have created mini states within Somalia. These mini states or Regional states of Somalia are the cause of new conflicts in previously stable regions. Not only that but they also contributed immensely to the discord witin the TFG and its parliament.
Somaliland will not accept to be part of the Somalia ruin, but will be ready to contribute to the international efforts in bringing stability and peace to Somalia - that is if Somaliland is recognized as a sovereign state. The international community can contribute to further develop and assist Somaliland to stay the course, but dismantling and undoing Somaliland’s success is objectionable. Somaliland will not settle for anything that will compromise its independence and will not allow the replication of the déjà vu Iraqi and Afghani international community’s letdown. I think this is what a fair-minded and tax-paying citizen everywhere in the world would ask for.
There is no need to spend time and international resources on spreading anarchy and terrorism to Somaliland. The people of Somaliland, Somalia and the rest of the Muslim world will perceive this as a part of a wider western conspiracy to reestablishing a new form of neo-colonialism by using the UN/AU and some Arab countries in the process. This will be a new pretext for international terrorists everywhere to cause further pandemonium.
UN/AU trusteeship and Somaliland-Somalia union will not solve or contain the Somalia crisis, but will have dire consequences for the whole region and the rest of the world. The international community must learn to mend what is broken down and not to shatter what remains intact.
Yusuf Dirir Ali. MD