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.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.