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Does Somaliland deserve recognition?

BBC Africa HYS Team | 15:48 UK time, Tuesday, 17 May 2011

 

Freedom Square, Hargeisa, Somaliland

 

This week marks the 20th anniversary of Somaliland's self-declared independence. In May 1991, after the fall of Mohamed Siad Barre, the northern third of Somalia seceded and established a capital in Hargeisa. Somaliland now has a functioning political system and its own currency but is yet to gain international recognition as an independent country.

Meanwhile, in Africa both Eritrea and South Sudan have become countries and, thanks to their official status worldwide, are able access assistance from global financial institutions.

Elsewhere, separatists are agitating for independence in Cabinda in Angola, in Casamance in Senegal, and in Western Sahara on the Moroccan border.

What should qualify a country for independence? Should the political considerations of other countries determine this? Or should there be criteria such as economic viability? Do you think recognising breakaway countries like Somaliland sets a dangerous precedent? Would an officially recognised Somaliland help bring peace and stability to the rest of Somalia? If you are from Somaliland we'd particularly like to hear from you.

If you would like to debate this topic LIVE on air on Tuesday 18 May at 1600 GMT, please include a telephone number. It will not be published.

 

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Somaliland shouldn't secede from the rest of Somalia. I know Somaliland have enjoyed a relative stability and made progress for the past twenty years while the rest of Somali is in disarray. However, breaking away from Somalia will only separate people who share the same religion, language and culture. it will also weakened the ambition and the hopes of uniting greater Somalia. Somalis are one people that share everything please let’s build our country for the next generation. Thank you

  • Comment number 2.

    Somaliland =Somalia? one religion, one Language, one Culture, One clan. is not like Jubba south Sudan or like sub-saharan in morocco. after the collapse of Somalia state they tried thier best, but this not mean to be a recognised state. Somaliland is Like Puntland and the like States within Somalia...so should not qualify for independence. the world could not accept 20 Somali countries!!!! while the world is suffering from one Somalia!!! recognision of Somaliland will pave the way that any Local adminstartion within Somalia will ask international recognition also.

  • Comment number 3.

    Somaliland has solid legal grounds to become an independent state. Somaliland's case don't violate the African Charter which calls for the respect of colonial borders, Somaliland inherits the borders of the Somaliland British Protectorate. Somaliland was briefly an independent country recognised by UK and other Commonwealth countries from 26 June until Somaliland voluntarily united with the former Italian colony of Somalia on July 1st 1960.

    Somaliland has stablished itself as a beacon of peace in a region known only to be instable and war-ravaged. Somaliland's coast line is safe from Piracy. Somalialnd enjoys peaceful coiexistance with its neighbouring countries namely Ethiopia and Djibouti.

    Somaliland has a credible democratically elected governments, one of few in the African continent.

    Somaliland deserves to be recognised for its history as an independent country and for its home ground institutions. The world should reward good governance and encourage democracy in Africa, hence support Somaliland.

  • Comment number 4.

    Some people say that, if Somaliland is recognised it will have a negative repercussions for Somalia's TFG. One wonders, how much more can go wrong for Somalia? Somalia is already at its lowest position and recognising Somaliland will neither add nor subtract any new depth. That is a lame excuse to penalise the people of Somaliland and hold them hostage until the warring clans of Mogadishu have a government. That is not fair.

    JY, Melbourne [Personal details removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 5.

    If the world is serious about peace, stability and security in Somalia in particular and the world at large, then it should first recognize all those who decide to take a bold step for the sake of peace. The people of Somali Land did just that and must be recognized as a sovereign people. If we refuse to recognize Somali Land why should we recognize Kosovo? Or is it because this is another African issue?

  • Comment number 6.

    I'm against countries seceeding for petty reasons, but in the case of Somaliland the reasons are anything but petty. Currently Somaliland is suffering economically under the state of the rest of Somalia.

    Either way it won't be a precedent as many countries around the world have already seceeded in the recent past.

  • Comment number 7.

    It is wrong and against humanity to decide people's future on the basis to save guard some other country's interest. It should be the people who live in that area to decide about their future like Somaliland people did back in 2001 when an internationally observed referendum was conducted and an overwhelming 97% decided to seperate from the rest of Somali. The international world should respect the will of the Somaliland people & accept their country as they accepted South Sudan & Eriteria. Besides, Somaliland as ironically known to the whole world achieved the best deomcratic system on any African Soil with very strong peice & stability and good goverance with their own Passport & Currency.

    I wonder what more it takes for the world to recognize this country that is indeed a gem among stones. Is it human to reward peice & democracy or Chaos & Tyranny.

    Are the democratic nations of the west only support countries that will fulfill their own interest or those who fulfill the real terms of democracy.

    Mohd Ali

  • Comment number 8.

    Does having one language, religion and culture justify being attached to a failed, lawless state? If a cancerous tumor was found on your leg and doctors told you that you had to have surgery to remove your leg in order to prevent the cancer from spreading, would you refuse just because the leg was once a part of your body, you share the same DNA, and it has been a part of your entire life? The lawlessness, piracy, terrorism and violence in Somalia is very much like a cancer that is threatening to spread not only throughout the country but the entire world. Somaliland has decided to amputate it’s leg and save its citizens from succumbing to this fate. By the world refusing to recognize Somaliland, it’s like the doctor refusing to perform a lifesaving operation because it might have negative repercussions on the cancer.
    A Hashi Canada
    [Personal details removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 9.

    While Somaliland has relative stability, isn't it awkward that Somaliland (that accounts for a third of Somalia) that has been declared a break-away region also has regions that do not consider themselves part of Somaliland. This the Sool Sanaag and Cayn region. The SSC accounts for more than half Somaliland, in terms of scale. Coming from this region, I think it is hypocritical and not to mention ironic to grant independence to region that has not the support of all the population. The elections that took place recently were boycotted in the SSC regions. How can that stand for a democratic outcome and a justification for independence. Next to that, one the primary reasons for declaring independence was that the atrocities committed by the Siad Barre regime, not only by Somali forces but also by the Somali secret service. And yet the high ranking people who had oversight to these atrocities, are either in the government of Somaliland, or were. The most obvious was the former president Daahir Riyaale Kaahin. The whole concept of Somaliland is based on hypocrisy.

  • Comment number 10.

    Somaliland is not seceding from the rest of Somalia. It is simply regaining it's independence. We should remember the country Somali was born between the unification of the North and South Somaia. Just like Egypt and Syria had once created a unified Arabic State.
    I think if we respect the will of the people than, the Somaliland people made their voices LOUD and CLEAR. They want to re-establish their sovereignty by hook or crook. That means if it requires another 20 year or more, we will never, never, NEVER, never be part of Somalia. It is up to the international community to support stability and reward good-governance.
    Finally, I have got one piece of advice for those Somalis who are still disillusioned the GREAT SOMALIA. We are not like Puntland or any other region in Somalia, we are a separate country made of 9 regions and we will remain so for both short and distant future. Therefore, stop comparing us to Somali regions.

  • Comment number 11.

    To hell with the international recognition. with or with out it, Somalis in Hargeisa had to find a secure zone for their children, free from the brutality of the warlords. If the international recognition really helps, let it save Somalia from self destruction, and if it can't help to protect life, what then is it for? As a matter of fact, the turmoil in the main Somalia is a show case of a major humanitarian let down by the professed custodians of this planet. If they cant help, let them simply back off.

  • Comment number 12.

    If people are saying Somalia should remain as one entity because they are the sa
    same people-one lanuage, religion and culture. How come they don't
    seem to be getting along in Mogudishu and Southern Somalia and Puntland.
    It is a stupid excuse to hold Somaliland hostage. Somaliland was under
    British rule from 1884 - 1960. It gained its independence in July 1960,
    had a seat at the UN Council, was recognised as a state by more 28 countries.
    It joined volunarily with the rest of Somalia and realised that this was a
    bad mistake.

  • Comment number 13.

    As I understand it, during the European colonial occupation of Africa, Somaliland was a British protectorate. The rest of Somalia was an Italian colony. On gaining indepenence from Britain, Somaliland voluntarily united with Italian Somalia.

    As I see it, Somaliland has every right to leave the union.

    Somaliland is a functioning democratic state. There is relative peace and stability in Somaliland. It is unfair of the world to deny the people of Somaliland economic and deplomatic support.

    It is time the African Union revisited its rule which guarantees states their colonial boundaries. After all, colonial boundaries were not drawn for the benefit of Africans. They were drawn for the convinience of the colonialists. These boundaries are now inconvinient for some Africans. We should, all over Africa, have the freedom to adjust the borders we inherited from the colonial state.

  • Comment number 14.

    It would be unfair not to mention that after achieving independence from British colonial rule on 26th June 1960, the republic of Somaliland was duly recognized as a sovereign entity by the United Nations and 35 countries including the United States. Several days later, on 1st July 1960 the independent country of Somaliland voluntarily joined with its newly independent southern counterpart (former Italian colony) to create the present-day Republic of Somalia. Therefore, we, the people of Somaliland rightfully know note that we voluntarily joined a union after independence, and that, under international law, we should (and do) have the right to abrogate that union as we did in 18th May 1991.

    On the other hand, one needs to get a closer look at the facts on the ground in Somaliland; we have established successful democracy, peace, stability, law and order, free and fair elections and the likes. Let me make one thing very clear, our case is not secession it is withdrawal from a union. In conclusion, the republic of Somaliland deserves recognition if the world is truly sincere about promoting democracy, peace, security and stability in the region where instability and crisis have reigned and in fact intensified in the last 2 decades. The people of Somaliland have reached a "point of no return" in May 2001 after a popular mandate in which about 97% of the voters favored the adoption of a new constitution that explicitly stressed Somaliland's independence.

    _
    Bashir Ali Abdi,
    Malaysia.

  • Comment number 15.

    It has come to light recently that there was no Act of Union between (previous British) Somaliland and Southern Somalia. There was no legal or formalised process that conforms to African Union standards/charter for unification and coupled with that there was neither a formalised unification process under UN charter.
    Does that mean Somaliland was hijacked and was under occupation, run by a colonial South Somali administration (with unwitting northern Somalia/Somaliland participation)?
    If such or any of the above is true, then that would entitle the Somaliland to regain its sovereignty.
    According to the Somalilanders they did (regain independence)!!
    Unification can never be ruled out if Somalilanders have a referendum to join the South through a legitimate process. As stated above (by other commentators) they have a lot more in common then they have differences.
    Common language, religion, cultural practices etc…

  • Comment number 16.

    Peace, stability and progression have to be weighed against war, instability and regression. In the current circumstances there is only one choice made available for Somaliland and it’s people and they are charting that course.

  • Comment number 17.

    We can tug & tussle the discussions, but the key issue is to discern whether it is the will is present in the majority of people who hail from Somaliland are for self determination (According to current government it was 97%). It may be different now.
    If yes (the will for self determination exists), we honour our brother’s wishes at the same time it is open for brothers to work amicably together for a peaceful region.
    If not (large majority dissenting against self determination), we strive to reconcile with our brother and tend to his ailing.
    Contention would arise when we are not qualified to tend to his ailing, we then have no say in the matter but to part way and let him (Somaliland) seek the remedy.
    Any caring, loving and genuine brother would follow one of the above courses of conduct or better.

    I am open for correction!!

  • Comment number 18.

    I also hail from the SSC region and to be honest with you the problem of the SSC is not Somaliland's or anyone else problem, it is simply our problem. We have some people who show their allegiances to Puntland and some to Mogadisho and some to God knows who, but the majority of people in Las-anood support Somaliland. We have more historic links with it’s people than anywhere else in Somalia . The SCC is violent and armed group which does not have the support of no more than hundred and their intension is very ambiguous.

  • Comment number 19.

    somaliland has history in colonial time , somaliland got freedom in 26 June 1960 and reunited Somalia July 1 1960 , we got just injustice and massacre , somaliland with long fighting win to get back their freedom from Somalia ,, today somaliland celebrating 20th birthday of peace stability and democracy in the horn of Africa , the world and British and African union must recognize somaliland sooner than later .

  • Comment number 20.

    People of Somaliland, Somalia, or Somali Speaking nations (nationals)! Think wholly being part of a region. What will benefit all?
    Is Somaliland’s independence detrimental to the people as a whole?
    Could this be seen as a stepping stone to Federalism and in turn would yield the ever sought UNITY?
    What is the reason for objection to Somaliland’s self determination?
    Discussions of effect on other nations of the world may be inappropriate path of thinking!!

    Is self determination a natural right? Emphatically NO!!
    But the factors surrounding the circumstance leading to such demands must be thoroughly examined and give appropriate hearing.

  • Comment number 21.

    What a crocodile tears, Somalilanders have made mistake in 1960 for sharing there entity such people, that bloody era is over Somaliland is gone, for those of you who are jealous about Somaliland my advice to you is get your bloody act together and save the remains of your destroyed country and get your people from the refugee camps of Kenya and the rest of the world, the world is sick and tired of you people

  • Comment number 22.

    Somalis are very emotional people be in the north or in the south. As far as politics is concern they seem divided, but they marry their kids, heal their sick, feed their hungry and bury their dead together.

    Since northwest (Somaliland) & northeast (Puntland) came to being, many other regions have followed. Also, just last two months, Awdal region that is suppose to be part and parcel of Somaliland said it was seceding the secessionist region of Somaliland. And las'asayr of Puntland announced it too was seceding from Puntland as well.

    This leaves the north seven region that includes the above mentioned four regions plus the Sool, Sanag and Cayn who have been resisting the secession since Somaliland declared its independency, thus creating seven regions of mostly one clan dominated each.

    So, the idea of recognition is not as clear cut as it is being made by these clan dominated regions and their Western allies. Somalia is not Sudan and promoting the secession of one region, in fact will give rise to many more who are equally clan dominated and who will follow the lead of the secessionists.

    My advise, is for Great Britain and allies to give back to the Somali people and help them heal their wounds and reconcile their differences, instead of exploiting the division, the anger and the suffering of the Somali people. It is time to give back and heal the wounds, through reconciliation. It was done for South Africa, Rwanda etc, who did not share as much as the Somalis share, so why not for Somalia.

    This can start with the proposal of the north taking the leadership of the country (Somali Republic) and teaching the democracy they claimed to have discovered. They too have a responsibility they need to fulfill toward the Somali state and Somali people as whole.

    Peace!

  • Comment number 23.

    The hard-won peace and stability that is enjoyed today in Somaliland was achieved, through the steep determination of our people and that of our traditional elders, the people of Somaliland determined to break away from so-called Somalia in 18th may 1991,
    And also re-affirmed their support for their country’s sovereignty in 2001 during a Constitutional Referendum that is consistent with the rights of people to self-determination, as entrenched in the Charters of the African Union and that of the United Nations.
    Somaliland has fulfilled the criteria needed to be a recognized government, Somaliland has chosen a system of free market economy, which seems to fully agree with the entrepreneurial character of their people, I believe that Somaliland deserved to be recognized and Undermining Somaliland sadly undermines the goals of promoting, poverty alleviation, peace, stability, and good governance in Africa.
    Failure to recognize Somaliland, would be a great discredit to human, rights and to democracy itself, and would destroy the hard-won stability, that Somaliland enjoys today.
    If Somaliland officially recognized, it can bring peace and stability in Somalia and horn of Africa, as i believe there are risks in recognizing break away countries like somaliland


  • Comment number 24.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 25.

    Right to self-determination is important and should be granted. Peaceful co-existence offered by freewill is important in the issues relating to Somali-land. The people should however ensure that all other factors such as economic (both natural and developed) resources that would sustain them as a country are available to make life easier even after support from other nations have been exhausted.

  • Comment number 26.

    Brother "Diaspora"
    I am trying not to doubt your level of genuineness in your deep concern for your fellow Somali speaking people (nations/nationals).
    You commented (on 22. At 15:10pm 18th May 201) saying ”… is being made by these clan dominated regions and their Western allies.”

    What western allies?

    If this urge for self determination is borne out of legitimate reasoning would you support it without dismissing your brother’s wish?

    You have raised some issues but what weight should we give to them?

  • Comment number 27.

    Yes Somaliland deserves recgonition and must be recgonized, cozSince the Republic of Somaliland restored its independence from the failed Union with the former Republic of Somalia in 1991, Thirty three (33) new countries have been recognized. The majority of these countries were in the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia and two (2) in Africa; Namibia (1991) and Eritrea (1993). South Sudan, which officially hasn’t even declared independence (will declare July 2011) is already promised recognition by the United States and other powers.
    None of these nations can claim greater injustice or grievance than the people of Somaliland nor can they claim to have once been an independent nation recognized by 35 nations as Somaliland was in June 1960. Indeed, Somaliland was an independent nation before Somalia received that distinction

  • Comment number 28.

    Please & please recognize Somaliland this is our basic universal right, our people have overwhelmed supported to be indepedent state from the rest our Somalia, we have self-determination and nobody will inforce us to reunite So-called Greater SOMALIA
    LONG LIVE SOMALILAND, UK, USA OTHER FRIENDLY NATIONS WHO SUPPORTED THROUGH OUT THIS 20 YRS

  • Comment number 29.

    This "country" has shown the rest of Africa how to conduct a clean and proper elections. It is hard to find in the continent of Africa a country that has had two consecutive fair elections.

    It has also shown that with determination you can believe in yourself and construct a full functioning state. As you all know about how Somaliland does not receive international loans yet they still use their meager means to make ends meet. Go to Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland, and see the nation on the move. You can see soo many businesess happening. You have the cheapest telecommunication in all of Africa. There is even these landline telephones where the customer only pays $10 a month so that his/her relative based in the states can call them all day and everyday for free because the area code is based in the states and it almost always begins with an area code 419, and that area code is located in Ohio, lool. It just shows the ingenuitys of the Somaliland people. You will only understand what I am talking about if you have ever been to countries like Kenya and Ethiopia where a one phone call to the states will cost you a hand and limb.

    Somaliland deserves recognition because they succeeded in saving their people while greater Somalia has been burning for the past 20 years. The international community consistently tells Somaliland "we cant recognize before you speak to the government of Somalia and negotiate a divorce". But how can you ever negotiate with a spouse who fell into a coma? Somaliland is been dealt with an unfair demand. For further views of mine you can go to my blog at myhajj.blogspot.com

  • Comment number 30.

    Congrats to Somaliland for this landmark. I think the first people to recognise Somaliland are other African countries. The biggest shame is that African countries haven't done so.

  • Comment number 31.

    Its time that Somaliland had the recognition that they have fought 20 years for. Let’s celebrate what Somaliland has become, a state free from war and disarray.

    Since the war in 1991, Somaliland has rebuilt itself, it’s trying to become a country where the next generation can grow up and be free from a war that has captivated the generation before. I believe for this purpose alone, they should be given the recognition that they so desperately need.

    I want Somaliland to continue to grow and prosper and become a place where people can visit and call home. I wish them nothing but success and I also hope that one day, the neighbouring Somalia, can try and maintain a peaceful coherence.

  • Comment number 32.

    @Dadweynehe..Your arguments are full of bias and logic. The minority group that resides in the Sool and Sanaag region make up-at most-7% of the over all Somaliland population. Therefore, do you believe that 7% should over rule the remainding percentage of people?

    For instance, in Canada you have a minority in the province of Quebec who are against the state of Canada. Therefore would you suggest that Canada should not be a country because that minority group is against her?

    Again, Somaliland is not asking for something new. Somaliland has been an independent before and chose to unite with Somalia. Now they want to regain their independence. Period.

  • Comment number 33.

    I was shocked to hear from Mary, the BBC Africa editor, when she said " ... Ethiopia hates Somalia". That the two countries have border problems and that they have fought does not mean that one hates the other. I was disappointed, to say the least, to hear this --- statement from an Africa Editor. I would consider her a liability for the the good name BBC built over 70+ years of service, and a source of disappointment for the 21st centure humankind.

  • Comment number 34.

    Somaliland had fulfilled legal criteria for recognition and seeks political recognition neither from Africa nor from the Southern Somalia, but from the Western world. All African problems aren’t solved by Africans, but have been involved by the outside world. We had waited Africa for about 20 years and we cannot wait anymore, where was Africa when political unrest happening in Libya? Somaliland is time for Western leadership.

  • Comment number 35.

    I am not sure whether Somaliland deserve recognition or not. What i do know however is, there has been stability and normality for a good twenty years in this part of Somalia and that is commendable. There are a lot of historical lessons here explaining how Somaliland was a different entity before and so on but history is the big problem for Africa so why not forget about history and think differently today. What would a greater Somalia with such strategic location achieve or be like had there been stability? Also why is it such a trade mark of desperately poor countries to bang on about secession especially in countries like Somalia? if every rivalry clan in the world becomes a country, their would be millions of countries in the world map and the international system will collapse. I no longer care about the name of my country. This is a great myth that is stamped on our DNA for the purpose of controlling us through emotional attachment even when the place had been the source of misery for us. We are programmed to love it unconditionally but why should we? What matters is my security in country A. If I am secured in my place of birth, then call it moon, if you like, I will be a happy citizen there. Today, Somalis are scattered all over the world and yet fight vigorously over a land they probably will never live in again. So what is the point secession or not.

  • Comment number 36.

    Somaliland has every right to be recognized as an independent nation. It was a sovereign state before it joined the other part to form the Somali Republic. I was there in Hargeisa as a young kid on June 26, 1960 when the populace was in a trance to join their brothers in the south. I followed the news when Barre and his cohorts were bombing the north, killing innocent civilians and ostracizing the rest from all government privileges. I was in Mogadishu when the secret service were hunting down people from Somaliland, putting them in jail and killing some of them. I was there when people trying to flee back to their homeland were being robbed and raped.

    All the people from Somaliland did was go back home, bury the hatchet and re-build their country in harmony, something rarely seen in the rest of Africa. What is wrong, then, in giving them their right to self-determination and recognition? Why tie their faith and economic well-being to a bunch of lunatics who could not resolve their differences for twenty years???

  • Comment number 37.

    Bob Marley once sang, One Love! One Heart! Let's get together and feel all right. While this is absolute true in Somaliland and its people demonstrated that across the cities and the villages, from the capital Hargaisa to Laascaanood (contrary to the claims of some who comments that Somaliland does not enjoy support in Laascaanood) it is the opposite in Somalia, where war rages and respect for human life gave way to Al-shabaab and groups associated with Al-Qaeda. While the tribes in Somali cannot agree on a way forward and a whole generation have become accustomed to war (which will it self-make peace hard to achieve in Somalia) Somaliland chose nationhood and state building.
    This did not come by through common language, religion or colour but through a difference in culture between the Somaliland tribes and their counter parts in Somalia. Somaliland tribes have a long history of having various mechanisms of settling disputes and these mechanisms played a vital role in bringing about the peace that she enjoys. However, these vital mechanisms are absent in Somalia. That is why it is an insult over simplification to argue just common language and region bind people together. The world has spent so much energy and money on finding solution to Somalia to no avail. Even the latest attempt is miserably failing and that alone tells a whole story. A people who supposedly have a common identity and aided by the whole world cannot find a break through!
    Contrary to what has been said in here, I would argue the world has golden opportunity not only to support democracy in Somaliland but to bring about a positive change in Somalia too. A recognised Somaliland would stand a better position to aide these efforts. Somaliland has proven record to conflict management. Even the old man under the tree with no complex theory of negotiation under his belt knows how to negotiate in the Somali way! Give Somaliland the recognition that her people deserve and support their aspirations free from the chaos that prevails in Somalia.

    Finally, in Somaliland the sun was shining today and to her people the argument of recognition was academic. A more fitting description could have been summed up with the words of Bob Marley again,
    Rise up this mornin',
    Smiled with the risin' sun,
    Three little birds
    Pitch by my doorstep
    Singin' sweet songs
    Of melodies pure and true,
    Sayin', ("This is my message to you-ou-ou:")

    Singin': "Don't worry 'bout a thing,
    'Cause every little thing gonna be all right."

  • Comment number 38.

    We always try to find excuses for our short comings. You can blame Somaliland for claiming independency, but you can also blame the West for not supporting it. A part of wasting you enegy in talking about the mistakes or shortcomings of Somaliland, I have not seen any one from Somalia who is talking about the positive steps Somaliland has taken. The cliché often associated with the anti-Somaliland camp is how can we recognition Somaliland, as it is just like any other parts of Somali regions and it is one clan government. One clan cannot be a country. The answer to that question is Somaliland's history is well documented and could be accessed from the internet. What I would like to say to these people is Somaliland is proud to have a different people of clans. However, there are many countries with only one clan, such as England, Denmark, Wales, Scotland, Ireland all Gulf States. There is nothing wrong with having one clan country, although Somaliland is not.

    I was really ashamed to read some of the comments by the so-called Somali media outlets today. Some of the articles were written by people with PhD's and they still. It reminds me few months ago when Andrew Mitchell visited Somaliland.
    I read few articles where prominent well educated Somalis where infuriated the support of the British government to Somaliland. Do these people have any idea, how much the British government give to countries like China, Russia and India? Not to mention the rest of Africa including Ethiopia and Kenya. Why you are not bothered about the British foreign aid to these countries and Israel? How can you claim that we are one nation, one language and all that rubbish and that we will come back to you one day and re-united with the rest of Somalia. Are you not against the existence and always wishing for our misery? I thing 20 years is a very long time and those children who are under 30 does not know what the unification with Somalia means. They only know Somalia, therefore they will never think of re-united with Somalia, and se themselves only as Somlilanders.

  • Comment number 39.

    Citing the unprecedented rally staged by the people of Somaliland home and abroad to commemorate the 20th anniversary since its independence from the rest of Somalia and to demand recognition as a state from the international community , the time has come to heed the will of the Somaliland people .

  • Comment number 40.

    The world knows that the case for Somaliland is unique and even if you compare with modern day countries like Eriteria, Somaliland was more deserved to earn recognition but for political reasons we are where we are. And after 20 years we are still yearning that long awaited recognition.

    However, one thing is for certain that the people of Somaliland are ever so determined and united to seek their right for self-determination. You only have to look at the new generation of people who were born during the last two decades and have only known the modern de facto of Somaliland.

    The longer the Southerners (our brothers in the South) ignore the facts on the ground that Somaliland is here to stay, the less chances that the two regions will ever come together in the foreseeable future.

    God Bless Somaliland and may peace return in the rest of Somalia as well.

  • Comment number 41.

    I see no reason whatsoever why Britain should not recognize Somaliland because there is no other nation on this earth that is so liberal and so open. According to Wikileaks, David Miliban had almost recognised Somaliland last year. Pity the adviser whose opinion was against everyone in UK Foreign Office. To this adviser it was the responsibility of the AU to do so first. The AU he was referring were the likes of Gadafi, Museveni, Gbagbo and other dictators who know nothing about freedom and self-determination.

    Today 20 years have gone since Somaliland seceded from Somalia. Many countries deal with Somaliland as de facto republic among them are Ethiopia, United Kingdom, United States and United Arab Emirates. But when it comes to recognising it they make up their own reasons though these reasons are so illogical. What, however, bothers me is not about Ethiopia's Males Zanawi withholding Somaliland's recognition but indeed Britain's Cameroon who presumably is more logical and less hypocrite than most of Africa's leaders. Hey Somaliland is the only true democracy in Africa.

  • Comment number 42.

    I believe, it is time Britain and the rest of the Free world get their priorities straight and do the right thing and that is to recognize Somaliland as it should have been two decades ago. We are condeming this people into live of poverty and economic stragnation. They are vibrant people, who aspire to do good unlike their shouthern neighbors who are relentlessly are bent on Somaliland's destruction through terrorism, tribal war ignition and political assassinations. We should remember Hargeysa Bombings in October 2008. Despite its meager resources, this tiny nation works hard to maintain peace, promote justice and democratic development and keep Piracy at bay away from its extensive maritime border. I think it is 20 yrs late to do the right thing, but we have to start some day and that day is actually today.

  • Comment number 43.

    Hello and greetings to you all from Somaliland.

    As a citizen of Somaliland I recognize my existence so does God, I also recognize and accept our government and our way. We have nothing in common with "Somalia" other than the name "Somali" as does Djibouti, Somali State of Ethiopia and NFD region in Kenya.

    They (Somalia) have a culture of guns, violence and oppression. We rejected all those and chose to go our own peaceful way. Piracy is non-existent in my country because its not in my blood or culture to rob, loot or ask for ransom. Same as terrorism.

    Their (Somalia) whole purpose of seeking greater Somalia is not because they want peaceful union but because they wish to invade Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti thats if they cant stop killing each others first.

    If they are not killing each others they will kill their nearest neighbors, we said no.

    We want to coexist with all including Somalia. They have no integrity, trust or values other than the gun, bribery and ransom.

    We do not care if the world does not recognize us, we recognize each others and so does the God that created us.

    No Somalia for us, they cant even unite two blocks in Mogadishu. Who is the president of this imaginary Somalia? Sheikh Sharif, Sheikh Hassan, Sheikh pirate or Sheikh warlord?

    Happy independence day to all Somaliland people and cheers to our friends.

  • Comment number 44.

    Somalia should remain united as one nation, one country, and one religion, Somaliland should destabilize the unity of the country, because the future of Somalia depends on it. The world has already bared witness to the defragmentation of Iraq, and somalians should NOT follow in that direction.

  • Comment number 45.

    Somaliland has the same right for the other African countries, special Southern Sudan, Eritrea and many more. It needs prompt recognition from United Nations and international community. No matter what religion it have, no matter its ethnicity, language and culture. The only problem in the East Africa is lack of stability and peace. Somaliland have done many requirements, it has good enough institutions, local municipal governors overs its territory. Somaliland is the reality of peace and prosperity that the world ignored and is going to disregard. We know that the people in Somaliland and Somalia has many things to share commonly. How many countries in the middle east have the same religion, language, and share cultural values. We as Somalilanders want to get immediate recognition, and soon will come true.

    Idris Mohamed Ismail
    Hargeisa, Somaliland

    E-mail: idirism@yahoo.com [Personal details removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 46.

    I think there is a missing point in this discussion, which for the benefit for those who do not understand the way Somalis operate, need to be aired. History of Somaliland and the legality of her succession is well documented and to some extent eloquently expressed in here. However, one needs to revisit the Somali history, which is actually part of the problem. Well, before the colonial powers came to rule the Somalia there was no a discernable administration in Somalia. Yes it was used to be ruled the Ottoman Empire but there was no such thing of Somali government. People were nomads and had their own rules to solve the disputes. Somalis did not experience a government or civic institutions as such before the colonial powers. Somalis were then egalitarian in the true meaning of the word and they still are. This poses its own problems. For a start there is no what we can call a ruling class or a clear structure of power distribution. For instance, every man is his own lawyer, politician and expert! The only think that people have some sort of respect is for their tribal affiliations. After all that is what gives them protection.
    However, where Somaliland tribes deferred from the tribes from the south was that they had their own unwritten rules which they used to tackle any problems that arise between the tribes. For example, if a dispute happens between two tribes, the elders used to get together and look if there was a precedent for it before. If there was, then that used to become the norm/rule, which everyone had to adhere to and accept with no hesitation. So as you can see, there was some diluted egalitarianism in Somaliland in the sense that people had some tacit agreement that the word of the wise/elders was the ultimate and had to be accepted. And this is what saved Somaliland from the chaos that Somalia endures.
    After the colonial powers left Somalia and Somaliland, Somaliland people decided to join Somalia not because of an invitation from the people of Somalia but because of their desire to have the Somali speaking people under one state. Because it was such an emotional thing for them, they did not bother to have any contracts or written agreements with the South. The concept of signing agreements was not something people were very familiar with after all. So as one can see the experience of other countries in the African continent cannot be an example to Somalia/Somaliland experience in the sense there was no such thing of a partitioning of Somalia. The partition of Somalia is more about the people who happen to speak the same language then it is actual piece of land. It is not like the colonial powers came and partitioned a land that was wholly controlled by a state. There was no such thing as a state. It therefore follows from that, there is nothing can possibly bind Somaliland to Somalia. It is all about the people and the people decided to form a unity government with Somalia and that had failed them miserably. So they then decided to leave the union overwhelmingly. There was no force or oppression against any tribe when they all came together in the City of Burao to make that decision. There was no force involved in it when they voted overwhelmingly again in the referendum. If the voluntary union was good enough then surely a voluntary abdication of that union should be good enough this time as well (with the added benefit that people have been asked this time).




  • Comment number 47.

    There is one more thing I would like to add to my comment and that is there are things that one has to simply accept whether they like it or not and to say, it is just the way it is. Even if the problems of Somalia are solved and it becomes a functioning state again what can they possibly do to reverse the Somaliland course? It has become so well entrenched in all Somaliland people that the only option would be to go to war again. It has gone far that it is unthinkable for a Somalilander (yound or old) to reunite Somalia. Also what the world can possibly do if they do not recognise it? Eventually they have to as it would otherwise be another Thailand. But Somalia is not China so people from Somalia should keep that in mind too!

  • Comment number 48.

    Somaliland is currently the most successful part of the Somali-speaking Horn of Africa - Somalis have made it so. If the international community pumped in as much money to Somaliland as it does to the TFG in Mogadishu and the accompanying AU mission, Somaliland would stand a strong chance of becoming a pillar of stability and progress in the region. Recognising Somaliland's independence is a step in that direction.

  • Comment number 49.

    Recognition of Somaliland is long overdue, the problem of Somalia will cease quickly once they realise Somaliland is gone. Besides that Somaliland will help and mediate Somali groups once the people of Somaliland get rid of the fear of politicians trying to make deals behind their backs with Somalia. The people fo Somaliland are currently very vigilant and are keeping an eye on every move their leaders make. That is why it is not easy for Mr Silanyo to confidently engage in world gatherings for Somali affairs as he will be accused of betrayal. But if Somaliland is recognised, he will have the freedom of leading the nation the way he sees right.

    If the world wants to end the Somali dillema, they should recognise Somaliland. in addition to that, 20 years is a long time to keep a nation waiting for their rights, they have voted for reclaiming their independence, why the world is ignoring that?

    With strong Somaliland, sea piracy will also be controlled and disappear in a short period.

  • Comment number 50.

    I think the whole world knows what Somaliland has achieved with very little help from the world community, the people of this country are very determined to be recognised one day, they have been waiting for a long time. We should be ashamed of how the whole question of the horn of africa was handled for the past 20 years.
    The millions we spent on Somalia are adding fuel to the fire, surely Somalilnd understands the root causes better, but until Somaliland is recognised, their leaders will not dare to talk about Somalia as they will be acused of dishonesty to the cause of independence which is the single most important property the people feel they own.

    Rcognize Somaliland and the horn is trouble will cease. they deserve it.

  • Comment number 51.

    A non Somali reading these HYS comments will be struck by the overwhelming support for Somaliland's independence and recognition and wrongly conclude, on the basis of these pro- recognition comments that the majority of the people of Somalia, or in the NW region ( former British Somaliland), support the secession. Nothing could be far from the truth. All that these comments show is how well organised and mobilised are the secessionists who all hail from one clan.

    What the supporters of the secessionists (and that includes the BBC) overlook, conveniently or through ignorance, is that of the five clans in the NW region (Somaliland), only one clan, the Isaak, is behind the secession. All the other four are unionists, who have been occupied by the secessionist when their insurgent rebels, the Somali National Movement, laid their hands on the arsenal of the Somali army after the collapse of the state in 1991.

    Rather being part of the secession or "Somaliland", the unionist clans, have all established, or are in the process of establishing, their own regional administration within Somali. Makhir Land, and Awdal Land have both been proclaimed and Darweiishland is on the way.The Dhulbahante clan, inhabiting the regions of Sool, Sanaag and Cayn have been waging a war of liberation against their Isaak occupiers. Hundreds of people died. This struggle is on-going and its outcome is beyond doubt- that the secessionists will be thrown out from all the unionist regions and forced to return to their own region.

    The question that the international community has to bear in mind is whether it would be so foolhardy and going to recognise one clan? Lest some forget, such an action will open a Pandora box in the rest of Africa if not Somalia itself. Many of the other regional administrations in Somalia, such as Puntland, may also demand recognitions. In neighbouring countries, such as Ethiopia and Kenya, clans such as the Ogaden and the Oromo in Ethiopian and the NW region of Kenya will definitely be encouraged to secede and demand recognition. Secession is Africa's scourge. And the best thing is to keep the genie in its bottle.

  • Comment number 52.

    Ismail
    You said that even if a the Somali State is revived and a strong Somali government comes into being, it will not be able to take on the might of a well-entrenched Somaliland. This is a deliberate misleading statement meant to portray the secessionist enclave (Somaliland) as a cohesive inclusive nation ready to face any threats from the rest of Somalia. This is hogwash and does not impress anyone familiar with the realities in the region.

    The secessionists are so fond to talk of their "Somaliland" as if it is a nation, in which all its clans are united behind the secession from Somalia. As I commented elsewhere, only one clan, the Isaak, among the area's five clans in the area is pursuing the secession.

    The unionist clans, now occupied by the secessionists, are engaged in armed struggle to liberate themselves. The secessionists have been routed in places like Buuhoodle and the Makhir region. It is a matter of time before the secessionists are thrown out of all the four unionist regions and forced to their clan enclave.

    An Isaak enclave, barren and with no resources, is unsustainable. No government will be mad enough to recognise a one-clan enclave and trigger instability in the Horn and the wider Africa. The secessionist enclave will in the end be forced by reality to return to the union fold. There is no need for military intervention on the part of a future Somali government.

  • Comment number 53.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 54.

    This question should be rephrased differently, it shouldnt say " Does Somaliland deserve recognition" it should instead say "how come the international community is taking such a long to give Somaliland the Recognition it so rightly deserve. Historically speaking, Somaliland was an independent state and it independently chose to unit with Somalia. Now, such union didnt work for THE PEOPLE of Somaliland. After the Union with Somalia, Somaliland people rebuilt their country from the ground up without any international assistance. Somaliland, unlike many other African nations, enjoys peaceful state where democracy and respect for human rights are second to none. Somaliland should be celeberated worldwide as a true model of democracy. Somalia, and Somalis have to stop meddling into Somaliland internal affairs. Somaliland's faith as an independent nation is not decided by Somalis but by Somalilanders, who overwhelmingly with over 90% voted for independence from Somalia in an open and free elections. Somaliland's democracy, its vibrant and self sufficient economy, and its peacefulness surpass other nations. The West should recognize Somaliland and promote its success as model for other African nations to follow.

  • Comment number 55.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 56.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 57.

    Any one who objectvely analyzes the issue at hand will, sooner or later, come to the reality that Somaliland and all the ever mushruuming political entities that emerged after it are existentially interdependent- economically, politically, and indeed socially. And the international community is certainly not eager to see (at least) three mini states out of current day Somalia.

    The best outcome of the current day dilemma is for Somalis to reconcile and make space for one another.

  • Comment number 58.


    In my opinion, Somaliland doesnt deserve to be recognised as a separate state from the rest of Somalia. The first point is, If you go back to the history of Somalia Every tribe used to control their territories and the near areas. If you take Somaliland regions as an example now , they used to consist of four major tribes namely Dhulbahante, Isaaq, Samaroon and Warsangali . The reality of today is that the other three tribes donot accept to separate their regions from the rest of their beloved other Somalia regions. They beleive in Unity, One Somalia, and One Nation. And as we all can see there is only one tribe " Isaaq" that is not willing to be a part of the other rest of Somalia. So, the question is , Can one tribe be a Nation? If so, Why are they forcing the rest?

    For the last couple of years, the authorities who are in control in the main city of Hargeisa has done criminal acts against the humanity by attacking and torturing the rural population in the regions of Sool, Sanaag and Cayn " SSC".

    As we all can see now, we can get back a great Somalia by encouraging regional autonomous adminsitrations such as Awdal State, Gal Mudug , SSC, Puntland and Somaliland. So, I believe Somaliland deserves to be recognised as another autonomous Somali region and in future they can be a part of Federal Somali Government.

  • Comment number 59.


    In my opinion, Somaliland doesnt deserve to be recognised as a separate state from the rest of Somalia. The first point is, If you go back to the history of Somalia Every tribe used to control their territories and the near areas. If you take Somaliland regions as an example now , they used to consist of four major tribes namely Dhulbahante, Isaaq, Samaroon and Warsangali . The reality of today is that the other three tribes donot accept to separate their regions from the rest of their beloved other Somalia regions. They beleive in Unity, One Somalia, and One Nation.

    And as we all can see there is only one tribe " Isaaq" that is not willing to be a part of the other rest of Somalia. So, the question is , Can one tribe be a Nation? If so, Why are they forcing the rest?

    For the last couple of years, the authorities who are in control in the main city of Hargeisa has done criminal acts against the humanity by continously attacking and torturing the rural population in the regions of Sool, Sanaag and Cayn " SSC".

    As we all can see now, we can get back a great Somalia by encouraging regional autonomous adminsitrations such as Awdal State, Gal Mudug , SSC, Puntland and also Somaliland.

    So, I believe Somaliland deserves to be recognised as another autonomous Somali region and in future they can be a part of a Federal Somali Government.

    In short, Let them be like the other regions and not as a separate state. Economically, Socially and Intellectually they need the other part of Somalia that is the truth.

    Ahmed Dirie
    Kalshale, SSC

  • Comment number 60.

    hello BBC world Have your say, I'm Somali man, and I know more About Somali drama,but first question which needs to ask the world's big goverments like Uk, which is and who is Somaliland, the Name of Somaliland is same as greater Somalia, and the Name show us the territory which Somalis inhabitanted like Ogadenia,NFD Djibouti and The Republic Of Somali,in other hand this name cames from when Britain has attacked Northern Area in the case of partion of Africa,UK uses the Name of british Somaliland where Dervishes nationalists used for the Land is Somalia (Somaliland) but the Name has been stolen by SNM who packed by the anemy of Somali unity.





    As you know So called Somaliland Adminitration is a clan enclave or intity, how can the world gives recognition to one clan inside Somalia,and how many clan and subclan in Somalia, Hargeisa Adiministration is not consists all the Northern clan like Harti( dhulbahante and Warsangali) Samaroon and Isse of Awlad region in North west of British protectorates. This Secesessionist is up to only Isaaq people, even I cann’t say all Isaaqi but only small people, can you know some of reputable polician from Isaaq clan who are opposing the breakway Idea these are Osman Jama, Jama M, Ghaalib prof, Ismail Buubaa, Dr. Aideed Abdulaahi ( head of suprime court of TFG) and many other peoples in hargeisa and Burco.

    In 18 may there is many uprising against that in Borame or awdal region and Sool ,sanaag Ayn 18 may was a day of sanitation, if uk Israel and Ethiopia want to give a recognition to Isaaq clan is not easy task bu other clans need to get they clanish nationoodh,you hear SSC land (Dhulbahante state) Awdal, land ( Samaroon Land) Galmugud State (Sa’ad Habr gidir Land) Himan and Heeb land ( Sulaman HBr gidir land) and many other clan states. But Hargaysa admininistration is not defer from that clan state although there is many propaganda making true vision. these clan administration is only disorderized the possiblity of fuctioning government and the government who fostering this clanish state ia only Somalilanisation or bolkanizing the Somali unity, Somalinisation means the process of breaking for Somalia into small sub tribe states, uk and Israel wedding procession of Hargeisa sate is a Bolbanisation agaisnt Somalia unity , or Somalinisation anarchy.



    by Abdirahman Xaad



  • Comment number 61.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 62.

    no somaliland is self-declare one tribe of somalia community so how can we call them a country with agovernment they are better to say we have peace if we are northern somalia.....

  • Comment number 63.

    What a strange question. Does Chad deserve recognition? Does Congo deserve recognition?

  • Comment number 64.

    Somaliland is already autonomous and a functioning state. International recognition will only stengthen the moral, determination, economic and social development of the poeple. In the long run, however, unrecognised Somaliland can bring disaster for the whole region. This is because, people of Somaliland had fought a brutal dictator for 10 years untill they had to bring the regime down. They will not accept any union with Southern Somalia in any form or shape. Southern Somalia, as we speak, is even sinking more into lawlessness as the term of the govenment and the pairlaimant comes so close and no transition or compromise is in place.

    While the West advocate 'democracy' and the rule of law and invest in acheiving that with billions of pounds both militarily and devlopmental aide, Somaliland is offering and succeeded to show such value in a region marred by conflict and chaos and hunger for power.

    Britain, as the former colonial power has a lot to do with the grave mistake that people of Somaliland had to do in joining Somalia in the 1960. Whereas it was right for the UK government to grant independence to Somaliland 1960, they did very little to prepare the country both in terms of economic and sociopolitical developent, while Southern Somalia had 10 years of trusteeship under the Italians with a UN mandate. It is time to correct that mistake and the UK to be the first country to recognise Somaliland.

  • Comment number 65.

    Somalilanders/Secessionists have really misrepresented the legality of the north and south union. The LEGALITY is clearly documented officially and anyone who truly wants to confirm this argument and that of the Secessionists should and must do their homework by reading history documented by the formal colonial powers, UN as well as the Somalis from north and the south. The Secessionists should read this and kindly stop distorting history as it is not good for any of us, be it the north or the south.

    “The decision to form the union was reached at conference of Northern and Southern Somali leaders held in Mogadiscio between April 16 and 22, 1960. On June 27, the day after the north’s independence, Somaliland’s Legislative Assembly passed ‘The Union of Somaliland and Somalia Law No, 1 of 1960’.”

    “On June 30, the Legislative Assembly of the Trust Territory met. After prolonged debate, in the evening of June 30, the Assembly approved the Atto di Unione (Act of Union).

    “At midnight of June 30, the Trusteeship Agreement ceased to be in force, and the President of the Legislative Assembly, acting in his capacity as provisional President of the Republic proclaimed the independence of the State of Somalia. During the same night he promulgated the Constitution, which came into force immediately.

    “In the morning of July 1, the members of the Legislative Assemblies of Somaliland and Somalia met in joint session as the first National Assembly. The President of the Assembly proclaimed the union and the members sealed it by standing ovation. As of that moment the Constitution was deemed to apply to both parts of the Somali Republic.”

    The former colonial boundary between the two Somali territories ceased to exist as from July 1, 1960, the date of the proclamation of the reunification. In spit of that, the secessionist entity still claims that former boundary as being consistent with the then OAU (now AU) resolution about the sanctity of boundaries inherited from the former colonial powers.

    The then OAU resolution, which was adopted by its second Summit, held in Cairo in 1964, more than four years later since the Somali reunification and long after that boundary in question had ceased to exist, was neither retrospective nor was it designed to unravel already established institutions of its member states.

    Thank you,
    Cawrala

  • Comment number 66.

    Mr Geeleh,

    First of all, I did not mention Somaliland power in my comments. When I used the word ‘well-entrenched’ I was referring to how the idea of Somaliland is embedded in every Somaliland person’s heart (young and old) and how it is impossible to reverse it. Therefore, my argument is that there is nothing Somalia or even the world can do to force Somaliland people to form a unity government with Somalia and you must drill that into your head! Somaliland wishes to live in peace within herself and with her neighbours.

    Secondly, it will be helpful if you do not make up the facts but debate in a way that reflects on the realities on the ground. Somaliland is built on consensus and on the wishes of all her tribes. That is why when individuals (however prominent and highly regarded they are among Somalilanders) decide to advocate for reunification, they walk alone but Somaliland does not walk with them.

    Somaliland is not something that can be derailed by a group like SSC whose main purpose is to import the chaos that exists in Somalia and is used by Puntland to destabilise the country. Also it has been discovered that the group has links to Alshabab and that is why the USA authorities are investigating its founder. For the benefit of establishing facts, it would be unwise not to mention that the group is funded by piracy.

    Because people in Sool do not want their region to become a hub for extremists and want enjoy peace and rebuild their lives, they rejected the SSC and told them to leave their villages and cities. SSC has no grass root support within any tribe so why not better drop the guns and instead of working for the destruction of the schools and hospitals, conduct your views through the democratic process. Somaliland does not imprison people for supporting Somaliland-Somalia reunification. Just because there is no support for your views in Somaliland, does not mean you have to resort to violence. After all, forcing people by the peril of the gun is what is destroying Somalia.

    As we are discussing this issue, the Somaliland tribes in Sool/Sanaag whom you claim that you speak for, are having conference in Somaliland and have just released a statement underlining their commitment to Somaliland. They have announced the following four decisions:

    1. That they are and will always be part of Somaliland
    2. That they will heed the call of the Somaliland president to safeguard the peace and will participate the development and the progress of Somaliland
    3. That they will encourage all Somaliland tribes to protect the country and the peace that they enjoy
    4. That they will seek their rights of political participation and regional development from the Somaliland government as indispensible part of Somaliland.

    Economically, Somaliland is bigger than United Kingdom and has larger population than many recognised countries in the world. Her people have a very entrepreneurial sprit and are well capable of making the country self-sufficient. Currently, goods and people flow between Somalia and Somaliland, so having an independent Somaliland will not stop the economic relations between Somalia and Somaliland and this will always be the case. In fact, the world is so interconnected and the free market between the countries is ever becoming important, Somaliland does not only tie herself to Somalia but also have economic interests and relations with her neighbours, including Ethiopia and Djibouti. So this notion that Somaliland as an independent country will not survive against the economic realties is a fantasy.

    Finally, as always when people cannot find a rational argument for their opinions, they resort to blaming others for their failures. The BBC provided us with a platform to air our apposing views and we should all be grateful for it.

  • Comment number 67.

    There is no question as to whether or not Somaliland meets the criteria for what makes a state according to international law. It meets not only the basic criteria for statehood (i.e. government, defined territory, population, as well as the capacity to enter into relations with other states), but it also meets other normative criteria often requested by international organizations and states: it is peaceful, democratic, economically viable and determined, adheres to international agreements etc. Somaliland has gone far beyond what has been required of it for recognition. It has even surpassed several African states in achieving real democracy and peace. In addition, Somaliland also fulfills its legal and historical obligation by having already existed as a recognized and separate state. So, these are the facts.
    Now, when Somaliland receives its long overdue recognition it can then finally share in the benefits too often taken for granted by other states, such as economic aid.
    It is time to TRULY give the people of Somaliland their deserved respect for their achievements.
    Lastly, recognizing Somaliland does not do anything to Somalia. Somalia as it once existed has been gone a long time ago. Somalia should receive real humanitarian assistance and support from the international community as well. However, recognition of Somaliland should not be held down by the plague that its former partner is suffering from. Frankly, there is just no legitimate argument against recognition, anyway you try to look at it. Unfortunately, recognition from corrupt states (that don't match up to Somaliland's integrity and commitment to development and democracy) wield the power to grant recognition.

  • Comment number 68.

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