Is recognition for Somaliland near?

Somalilanders have jubilantly celebrated the 20th anniversary since the declaration of Somaliland as county that is no longer a part of the Somali Republic. It took Somaliland ten years to form political parties and another ten years to conduct two presidential elections successfully.

The success of Somaliland partly lies in the two policies that the late Somaliland president, Mohamed Haji Ibrahim Egal, implemented after he was elected a president in 1993. Unlike southern Somalia where the triumphant United Somali Congress embarked on a campaign to dispossess and displace people, president Egal promoted respect for property rights and use of traditional conflict resolution methods to diffuse tensions. He called for dissolution of Somali National Movement, an armed opposition group, and demobilisation of former fighters. Puntland has used a similar citizenship-based approach by encouraging internally displaced people from Somalia?s Southern regions to be settled in major cities such as Boosaaso.

Somaliland an Puntland have had territorial disputes since the latter came into existence in 1998 but now the two administrations maintain good relations. President Abdirahman Farole of Puntland told journalists in Boosaaso that Sool, Sanaag and Cayn leadership are funded by the Mogadishu-based Transitional Federal Government of Somalia to ? drive a wedge between Puntland and Somaliland.?

Federalism questioned

The establishment of Puntland in 1998 was welcomed by seasoned analysts as a development that was different from Somaliland?s search for secession and southern Somalia?s persistent clan warfare. The Kenya-sponsored reconciliation conference in 2004 gave Puntlad an advantage to sell federalism as the best alterative to reconstitute the Somali state. Nearly seven years after Transitional Federal Institutions were formed, federalism has been interpreted as a move to set up multiple regional administrations in southern Somalia

Mohamed Ibrahim Haabsade, a Mogadishu-based Somali MP and one-time co-leader of now defunct Rahanwein Resistance Army (RRA) has called for a war against the Somali Diaspora ? They ( the Diaspora) have formed more than four regional administrations while in exile. They are more dangerous than those operating under the cloak of religion.? Habsade said. Mr Habasde was referring to two presidents for South-western regional administration appointed in the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia.

Punltland funded the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia when the founding president of Puntland, Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, was TFG president (2004-2008) . President Farole aims to form political parties but he faces many challenges.

? The government?s time and resources are now expended on reconciling feuding clans,? Abdirashid Mohamed Hersi, Puntland Parliamentary Speaker told audience at a meeting in which Puntland Development and Research Centre presented the outcome of research into the Pillars of Peace and Democratisation.

Sool, Sanaag and Cayn Question

In April 2011 a consultative meeting was held in London to discuss the possibility of holding a meeting in Somalia for pro-union sub-clans in Sool, Sanaag and Cayn . Conference co-organiser, Ali Essa Abdi, told that no regional administration was formed at the meeting, apparently in response to a question about Saleebaan Isse Xaglatoosiye, chairman of Sool, Sanaag and Cayn Leadership Council who told BBC Somali Service that he ? is the president of Sool, Sanaag and Cayn regional administration ?.

Recognition for Somaliland will present unionists in Sool, Sanaag and Cayn with a difficult choice to join Somaliland or a wait for the emergence of an effective government in southern Somalia. ? We don?t know whether unionists outnumber secessionists in Sool. No one has ever asked people their views on this question,? said the late Garad Abdigani Garad Jama in an interview with BBC Somali Service stringer in Garowe in 2005. The moment of truth may be near for unionists in Sool, Sanaag and Cayn.

Liban Ahmad
[email protected]


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