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“It’s Not Right For Somaliland To Be Put Under The TFG”UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office
London, UK, September 15, 2007 (SL Times) – Lord Avebury wrote a letter dated 13/08/07 to the British minister of state in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), the Rt Hon Lord Malloch-Brown, asking the minister to express concern on behalf of the British government in a message addressed to the government of Somaliland regarding the detention of the Qaran party leaders.
Lord Avebury also asked Lord Malloch-Brown to explain the language used in the UN Security Council Resolutions on Somalia which often include the phrase “the territorial integrity and unity of Somalia”, and had also expressed concern about Somaliland being put under the control of the TFG.
Lord Malloch-Brown’s reply to Lord Avebury:-
“From The Minister of State"
Thank you for your letter of 13 August about the language in the forthcoming Security Council Resolution on Somalia and other issues relating to Somalia.
The language on the territorial integrity and unity of Somalia is standard language that is consistent with all recent United Nations Security Council (UNSC) communications on Somalia. It commands the unanimous support of all Security Council members, both the present ones and those ones from recent years who are no longer members. It would not be beneficial for the UNSC to drop this language now, as this could signal an interest by the UNSC in the break-up of Somalia which, at this present time, might-fuel tension and confrontation rather than build a sense of dialogue and compromise.
We currently do not recognize Somaliland as an independent state; neither does the rest of the international community. Nevertheless, the UK is aware of the position of the Somaliland authorities and of opinion within Somaliland. Our policy has long been that the Somali people themselves should determine their future relationship and that their neighbors and other African countries should take the lead in recognizing any new arrangements.
We have urged Somaliland and the Transitional Federal Government in Somalia to engage in dialogue so that a mutually acceptable solution for their future relationship can be agreed. We are also encouraging the African Union to explore the issue further with the parties and key players in the region.
We are of course encouraged by the very good progress that the Somaliland authorities have made with democracy. The UK is one of the leading donors in Somaliland. The UK contributes approximately 30-40% of its assistance to this country. The UK continues to engage with the Somaliland authorities to encourage further improvements in democratization and governance and to support the progress being made in establishing basic services. Somaliland should continue this progress, particularly in the area of democratization; we are currently concerned at recent events there which may result in the local or Presidential elections being delayed, which will not be in Somaliland's interests. Progress on democratization is a major asset to their ambitions and any regression will affect the international community's view of them.
We remain concerned at the continued violence and appalling humanitarian conditions in Mogadishu. The United Nations Security Council Resolution you refer to which the UNSC will consider on Monday is unequivocal in its demands on these issues. In 2006/7 the Government's framework for our Somalia programme was £15 million, increasing up to £21 million in 2007/8. Projects include those addressing health, education, democratization, employment and reconciliation.
We agree that it is not right for Somaliland to be "put under" the Transitional Federal Government (TFG). We have always urged both the TFG and the Somaliland authorities to discuss their own relationship. The political process, as envisaged in the Transitional Federal Charter, will include a Constitutional Process that will address how to deal with where power lies in Somalia, including with regards to Puntland and Somaliland.
The Rt Hon Lord Malloch-Brown
Source: Somaliland Times