Happy B-day, Somaliland

It’s May 18 and that means you’re 18 years old today, Somaliland! While your neighbors to the East and South are obliterating each other to the finish, your only problem today is when to hold your next elections. What a difference, eh? To rub it all on your face, every country in the world disses you by not recognizing your statehood, despite putting together a nice, functioning state (albeit with the usual problems associated with any young state). Yes, you had a little (well, bad choice of word) civil war right after you were born and took you a while to hold elections, but you eventually managed to secure law and order just as your neighbors continued to tear apart each other. So here’s to you a happy 18th birthday since your secession from Somalia, although I’m not sure if you will get your wish-present of international diplomatic recognition.

puntland_somaliland

Courtesy of Maakhir.wordpress.com

Now the ‘unpleasant’ part of the conversation. It is hard to get recognized in this globalized world. My guess is if you had oil or other ‘important’ raw materials (like say, natural gas or yellowcake even), you would’ve already become a recognized country. I know, Kosovo didn’t have anything to offer to the West either, but it did manage to piss-off Russia, didn’t it? It is also true that your people and Kosovars were bullied and in more than one occasion, massacred by your “fellow countrymen.” Double-standards do exist, so live with it.

If I may point out few things, please allow me to elaborate. For one, most people outside of Hargeysa do not understand why you want to secede from Somalia- after all, you share the same language, religion, and ethnicity (tribes and clans are not ethnicity – for example, see Sinhalese & Tamils in Sri Lanka) with the rest of Somalia. Secondly, as pointed out above, resource-wise you are limited to livestocks for the most part, which means obtaining foreign exchange to develop your economy depends on the mood of the Saudis and Emirates for the most part. Finally, again this is a fair question, what exactly does it mean to secede from Somalia and become a new country to you? A new identity? Self-pride?

Regardless of your unrecognized accomplishments, you deserve mad props! The fact that the South is exploding and has been so for the past 19 years means your quest for full secession is a legitimate self-preservation at the very least.

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Categories: Africa Related, East Africa | Tags: , , , | 11 Comments

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11 thoughts on “Happy B-day, Somaliland

  1. cigaal

    Thank you, Om. We had a street party here and celebrated 18th May. But you could do well with your post by using a proper map of Somaliland. It is sad to see how our brothers in the south and east continue the path of destruction. There’s much they can learn from the Somaliland experience. The history of Somaliland is very similar to the history of Norway, which was once united with Denmark and Sweden, and the similarities of language and culture. Norway has its national day on the 17th May, an independent nation that had bad experiences with her fellow scandinavian brethren, but decided to go it alone – and is today prosperous, and enjoys a good relationship with both Sweden and Denmark.

    Somalis need to mature, and in your next blog, you can use the scandinavian experience as an example for the somalis.

  2. Om

    You’re welcome Cigaal.

    Don’t you think it is a stretch to use the example of Norway with Somaliland? Come on, Cigaal! I understand what you are trying to point out but you are using a poor example with Norway and Denmark/Sweden. Really.

    I would like you to talk about the questions I posed in the post. I think if the Somaliland government put the question of secession to its population in the form of a referendum, it will most likely be recognized by at least some countries. But right now the secession is seen as the aspirations of the ruling elites, rather than the people of Somaliland (an inaccurate belief, I know). Thus my example of Kosovo is much close to what Somaliland has done – the Norwegians, if you remember, had an electoral referendum on its independence from Sweden after the parliament’s declaration of independence. Somaliland should go through the ‘full’ democratic route on its secession from Somalia if its government is a democratic one.

  3. cigaal

    Please move away from this faqash ideology. If you’re really interested in the welfare of the somali people you would be supporting Somaliland. The scandinavian countries are a good role model for somalis, but I am beginning to doubt your sensibilities to the welfare of ordinary people, particularly those suffering somalis.

    It helps to have a constructive view of the world. This is also known as the golden rule, and if you practice it, you’ll find happiness in your personal life too.

  4. Om

    Come on Cigaal. This is an intellectual exercise; there is no need for you to get mad. Do you really think I’m anti-Somaliland? Really? How can you get so upset over such simple questions? I’m giving you an opportunity to tell the rest of the world why you think Somaliland should be an independent country but instead you are throwing tantrums. Come on Cigaal!

    I’m asking you pointed questions, which by the way are a legitimate ones, but you are completely avoiding my questions which are intended to advance the conversation and help those people who do not know what Somaliland is and why it wants to be recognized. How do you expect to convince foreign ministries around the world if you avoid answering these simple questions. Again, I ask you to talk about the questions I have posed in the blog and please refrain from getting too emotional about it. It is an intellectual exercise. Just because I believe Somaliland should be a recognized independent state doesn’t mean I shouldn’t question it.

  5. cigaal

    “an intellectual exercise”….lol

    here’s Maryan Mursal:

  6. Om

    That’s it? An “lol” and a Maryan Mursal vid? And I wonder why Somalilanders can’t even convince their biggest allies, Ethiopia & Djibouti, to recognize them.

  7. suad

    there is nothing called somaliland , we all somali ppl
    we’ll see if they gonna be an independent country as u guys saying up

    peace

  8. Somaliland 4 live, talk about your problems inteed.

  9. somaliland… SNM

  10. Pavel Sladky

    Thanks for your opinions. I am going to prepare programme for Czech Radio about Somaliland and your point of view is helpful for me…

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