The Somaliland community’s
hope of celebrating Somaliland independence day in Djibouti were dashed
when instructions reached them from Djibouti’s ministry of interior that
no such celebrations could take place in Djibouti. The news was a
serious blow to Somalilanders in Djibouti who thought they could join
their brethren around the world in celebrating the independence of their
country of origin.
The Djiboutian government’s prevention of Somaliland independence day
celebration is especially ironic given that only a few days earlier
parties were held in Hargeysa, Gabiley and Borama in support of
Djibouti’s government. Somaliland government’s role in promoting those
pro Djibouti celebrations were very visible and could be seen in the
participation of government ministers in those events as well as
statements of praise of Djibouti’s dictator, Ismail Omar Guelleh, issued
by Somaliland ministers.
The cancellation order is a big embarrassment for Somaliland's
government and the individuals who were leading the singing and dancing
for Djibouti. The Djibouti government's action has exposed the pro
Djibouti crowd as people who care more about currying favor with
Djibouti’s ruler, Ismail Omar Guelleh, than protecting the interests of
their own country.
It is noteworthy that Somaliland’s independence is celebrated all over
the world, even in countries such as Yemen where Somaliland had
supported the south in their conflict with the north. Moreover, the
Yemeni government has allowed Somaliland to have a liaison office in
Yemen despite Somaliland government's past stand against the current
Yemeni regime, whereas Somaliland's office in Djibouti remains closed
even though Somaliland stood with Djibouti in the Djibouti-Eritrean war.
Subservience to Djibouti, however, is not just limited to Somaliland's
government but can be found even among some in the opposition.
Since reciprocity is one of the fundamental principles of relations
between states, and since Djibouti has consistently refused to
reciprocate Somaliland's goodwill, this raises the question: why are
some people in Somaliland, including the Somaliland government and some
of the opposition, defending Djibouti? Are these Somalilanders more
loyal to Djibouti than Somaliland? Were they bought off? What’s in it
for them? These people owe the country an explanation.