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Issue 501/ 3rd - 9th Sept 2011
Tannock Renews Call For Somaliland Independence At Meeting With Ethiopian Prime Minister
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, September 3, 2011 -- Ethiopia should take the lead and declare Somaliland - the former British protectorate breakaway region within the state of Somalia - an independent sovereign state, Charles Tannock MEP, European Conservatives and Reformists group foreign affairs spokesman, said today at a meeting in Addis Ababa with Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.
Speaking after the meeting, Dr Tannock said: "Somaliland is a relatively peaceful, stable and economically growing polity. It is a world away from the failed state of Somalia where the TFG's remit barely reaches beyond Mogadishu and which still faces the brutality of the Al-Shabaab insurgency and the serious challenge of piracy.”
Dr Tannock said that a stable and sovereign Somaliland would act as a powerful moderate neighboring partner to Ethiopia both economically and politically.
"Somaliland can be a partner for peace and prosperity to the Ethiopian people in an unsettled region. I hope that Prime Minister Zenawi will seriously consider taking the first step towards granting re-recognition of its sovereignty and independence. Somaliland is already effectively a functioning country and we owe it now the right to independent statehood" he added.
He argued that many other major African nations, the EU and the USA, would also eventually support independence, but not until a major African Union nation makes the first move.
"Western governments rightly do not yet feel empowered to declare Somaliland a sovereign nation without a clear declaration from a leading African nation. As the major force for stability, security and growth in the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia has the ability to give a lead on re-recognizing Somaliland independence, and I strongly believe that many other AU nations, and the EU and USA, would follow suit” Dr. Tannock said.
It is also important to remind the newly independent Republic of South Sudan of its stated commitment to recognize Somaliland in exchange for the longstanding help it gave Juba in its liberation struggle from Khartoum.
Historically Somaliland was very briefly independent in 1960
so it is legally a case of re-recognition rather than recognition after
Hargeysa, much to its subsequent regret, joined the former Italian
Somalia in the south for an unhappy marriage which lasted until 1991.
Released by: Dr Charles Tannock MEP
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