Paper presented by the Somaliland Minister of State for Foreign
Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon, It is a privilege and excellent
opportunity for me to attend this important conference and share
thoughts and discussion with distinguished government experts, diplomats
and intellectuals representing varies fields of knowledge and work.
I would like to thank the sponsors and the organizers of this timely
conference, The Brethurst Foundation and the Konnard Adenauer Stiftung.
I would like to acknowledge and celebrate the independence of South
Sudan, represented here by his Excellency Paul Malong Akaro.
In Somaliland, our thought and hearts have been always with the people
of South Sudan, during their long struggle for freedom and independence
I hope for the people of South Sudan a success in all aspects of their
lives. Our President Mr. Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud, participated in the
Independence of South Sudan, and South Sudan is an inspiration for
In this context, Mr. Chairman, I would like to reflect briefly,
Somaliland quest for recognition.
Unlike, South Sudan Somaliland has been a different country from
Somalia. More than 75 years of British colonialism, Somaliland achieved
its independence in 1960 and made hastily Union with Somalia. The sole
reason of this decision was to bring all Somali speaking territories in
the Horn of Africa under one single state.
This project was rejected by the Organization of African Unity(OAU)
Present mother of African Union (AU). in their meeting in Cairo 1964, In
nine years of civilian rule and 20 years of military rule, Somaliland
was marginalized and reduced to one of the Regions of the country,
instead of seeing it as one of the components of the of the Republic, a
name coined to reflect the Union of the two countries, Somaliland and
After a long struggle, Somaliland withdrew from the Union and restored
its sovereignty and independence within the colonial boundaries, agreed
and endorsed by the AU.
In 2005, the African Union sent a fact finding Commission to Somaliland,
chaired by the former Deputy Chair of the African Union, Mr. Patric
Mazimhaka, the distinguished diplomat who was invited to this conference
but finally was not able to attend. The report clearly stated that the
quest for Somaliland recognition is justifiable looking at all aspects,
historical legal and above all it reflects the self-determination and
the aspirations of the Somaliland people. That Somaliland’s case is
unique and cannot be referred to the concept of Pandora Box, often
quoted, when cases like this emerge in the African continent, Somaliland
has not been the first country to withdraw from the country it united
before. We have the cases, Gambia and Senegal (1981), Eritrea and
Ethiopia (1992) and Egypt and Syria (1958).The dissolution of the former
soviet union into many states, as well as Yugoslavia is another case.
• How the International community will justify to recognize Kosovo and
• How Europe and the United States will justify to recognize the
political groups in Benqazi, as the government of Libya and not
Somaliland with 20 years of peace with two houses of parliament, free
press, thriving civil society and changed its presidents four times
through peaceful elections.
• A country that has brought together, traditional social formation,
moderate Islam and liberal democracy.
• A country that works effectively with the international community on
the fight of terrorism and piracy.
In May this year Somaliland celebrated its 20 years of Independence with
huge demonstration, exhibitions lectures and discussions.
The Somaliland diaspora, in particular Europe, North America and the
Arab World took an important role in these demonstrations.
The Independence of South Sudan gave Somaliland a tremendous
encouragement. Now, the general belief in Somaliland is that Somaliland
will be soon recognized. Secure its place in the community of Nations
and be the 55 member state of the UN.
Mr. Chairman, The international community and the AU remarkably failed
to give proper focus, attention and understanding the local history of
the African peoples, dynamism of this history has been used by the
African people to shape their lives and has helped to shape their
The history and the engagement with this history by the Somaliland
people, and the independence of South Sudan are good examples.
The history of Human race teaches us that suppression will never work.
Good example is what happened in Eastern Europe and today in the Arab
countries, the Arab uprising. In connection to the Arab spring
Somaliland was the first member of the Arab League that challenged
dictatorship and overthrew it.
While we respect and recognise the wishes, self determination and human
rights of every country and community in Africa we can also bring closer
together the existing African Countries, this already happening in
E.Africa and West Africa and through IGAD.
By following these two tracks and processes Africa can have a healthy
development and genuine democracy.
Paper presented by the Somaliland Minister of State for Foreign Affairs
Dr. Mohamed Rashid Sheikh Hassan,
Somaliland Minister of State for Foreign Affairs