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|Why Somaliland Is Seeking Recognition|
Somaliland is not soliciting recognition from the international community for the sake of acquiring the "prestige" of belonging to the so-called club of internationally recognized nations. Neither is it pursuing the issue of recognition for the sake of becoming eligible for IMF loans or obtaining international aid from rich world governments. International recognition is sought by Somaliland out of tangible necessities.
In the absence of recognition, Somalilanders are simply unable to do business normally with the rest of the world in many basic spheres such as trade and investment, not to mention the vitally important fields of health, education, sports and culture. Somaliland's businessmen cannot initiate international banking transactions in their own country. To do that they have to go to other countries where internationally accredited banks operate, thereby incurring additional costs and financial risks. Bank of Somaliland or privately owned remittance firms are barred from establishing international banking relations by virtue of Somaliland’s lack of recognition.
It is a problem that also places restrictions on the ability of Somalilanders to travel abroad on business or for participation in international gatherings dealing with important global issues such as HIV/AIDS, the environment or development. Though the new Somaliland passport is issued by an identifiable and accountable authority, yet most governments and organizations do not accept it as a document good enough for traveling. Ironically, these governments and organizations favor the old Somalia passport which was printed under Barre’s regime but can be nowadays literally purchased by anyone, Somali or non-Somali alike, from the nearest Kiosk in Mogadishu or from the TNG embassies in Arab countries. Even the derogatory term of "North Western Somalia" is kept in use by the UN when denoting Somaliland.
The list of humiliations encountered by Somalilanders in consequence of their sticking to their soverignty is too long to mention. So why then Somaliland still insists on being staying independent? Actually there are good reasons for this persistence on independence. Following the recent but tragic past that they have gone through during 30 years of unification with the former Italian colony of Somalia, Somalilanders opted for independence, in 1991, as the only way in which they could protect their security.
Unfortunately the UN and Arab governments have neither tried to understand Somaliland's sense of insecurity or its case for independence. Consequently the UN and Arab governments have not stopped since 1991 from trying to force Somaliland once more into a union with Somalia. After more than 10 years of following this wrong-headed policy, the results are now in, and it's clear this approach has failed.
Fortunately, some important European, African, and other countries have discarded the previous policy of pressuring Somaliland into union with the failed state of Somalia. Even if peace was to be restored to Somalia, Somalilanders would under no circumstances accept reunification with that country. And now that Somaliland has reached a stage where it can conduct free and fair municipal and presidential elections, the international community has no other option except to grant this country full diplomatic recognition.