By Ibrahim Hassan Gagale.
The political map of Africa that shows its independent countries had not
been made by African nations or by the African Union. It is the result
of the European Colonial Occupation that invaded African Continent at
the end of the 19th century
and divided it up into territories with
colonial borders for their own political sphere of influence. When
leaving Africa in the 1950s and 1960s, the Europeans based the
independence and diplomatic recognition of all African emerging
countries on their colonial borders. Thus, the colonial borders created
current African States.
Somaliland Republic was not a province or region that seceded or broke
away from Somalia as Somalia claims blindly. Somaliland was independent
nation when it shared the doomed union with Somalia in 1960 and, in
fact, it achieved independence before Somalia. Before Somaliland
independence of June 26, 1960, Somaliland was British Protectorate with
its own colonial borders while Somalia was Italian colony that achieved
independence on July 1, 1960 with on its own colonial borders.
Somaliland was recognized by the United Nations and many countries on
June 26, 1960 like the rest of African countries. Somaliland
independence and diplomatic recognition of 1960 were based on its own
colonial borders like the rest of Africa.
The West and the United Nations, which is influenced by the West too,
had been withholding Somaliland diplomatic recognition for 23 years.
When the Soviet Union broke up in 1989 and Federal Yugoslavia
disintegrated in 1995, the Western World recognized automatically all
the new countries emerging from these doomed unions while unfairly
requiring Somaliland to get Ok from Somalia and the African Union as a
condition for its recognition knowing that Somaliland had separate
independence in 1960 based on its own colonial borders and withdrew from
the doomed union with Somalia. This is ugly, deplorable double standard
from the Western World. Somaliland does not need approval from Somalia
or from the African Union. It just demands diplomatic recognition of the
international community like the new states emerging from the collapsed
Soviet Union and from the disintegrated Federal Yugoslavia. It wants to
be recognized on the basis of its own colonial borders with which all
African, Asian, and South American countries were recognized as
independent states and members of the United Nations.
The Republic of South Sudan used to be a region belonging to Sudan
Before 2011. Unlike Somaliland, it was not a separate protectorate or a
colony and never had colonial borders of its own that could justify its
independence and diplomatic recognition. It shared colonial borders and
independence with the Republic of Sudan. It was integral part of Sudan.
The Western World cut it off from Sudan in 2011 and recognized it
diplomatically as an independent country while denying Somaliland the
same diplomatic recognition that it deserves rightfully more than South
Sudan for having been separate Colonial Protectorate with its own
colonial borders. This denial is a gross injustice of the Western World
that has no grounds or reasons to support at all. It is just Western
deplorable double standard.
Somaliland Republic is located on the Red Sea which is strategic
position in Africa, especially in the Horn of Africa, and it is the Gate
Way to Africa, Arab World, and Europe. It is fortunate to have such
geopolitical strategic location in the world. The geopolitics of the
world will change soon. It is well predicted that China may over take
the United States in 2026 and assert itself soon as world super power.
China is already looking for strategic locations in Africa for future
military bases to challenge the West. Somaliland may take advantage of
this changing geopolitics of the world because of its geopolitical
location in the world and bargain with it in the future for its
diplomatic recognition, economic development as well as military
hardwSomaliland will either remain friendly to the Western interests in that
part of the world if the West grants diplomatic recognition to
Somaliland soon, which it deserves rightfully, or Somaliland
geopolitical location will pose serious threat to the Western interests
if Somaliland is denied of recognition and it moves to the East and
enters military and economic alliance with China offering it military
base at the strategic Seaport of Berbera. Somaliland could become a new
Twain in the Horn of Africa against the West but with diplomatic
recognition because of its historical status. This is a stern warning to
the double standard of the West opposing Somaliland recognition. The
West must make the right choice now for recognizing Somaliland before it
loses this strategic country to the East. East and West will never be on
the same side in this world because of their sharp political and
economic differences and because of the Western colonial occupation of
Unlike Somaliland, the Twain Island was part of China and broke away
from it in 1949 when Mao Tse Tung took over China with the Communist
Revolution. The King of China at that time fled to the Twain and
proclaimed independent state on the Island, and that is why it does not
have diplomatic recognition yet. The Twain Island is industrial country
today receiving huge economic and military support from the United
States to challenge China. Somaliland was not a part or province of
Somalia but Somaliland and Somalia were two independent countries which
shared the failed union in 1960 after achieving independence from Great
Britain and Italy respectively. Somalia was solely responsible for
dooming that union after committing atrocities against Somaliland people
in 1980s which forced Somaliland people to withdraw from the union and
reclaim its independence in 1991. Recently, Somalia admitted that it
committed atrocities against Somaliland.
The claim of Africa Union and some African leaders that if Somaliland is
recognized, it will be threat to the stability of the continent is false
and preposterous. These leaders know unequivocally that Somaliland has
the same historical status with all the African countries. They know
that Somaliland has the same colonial borders with which their countries
received independence and diplomatic recognition and that Somaliland
became independent country on June 26, 1960 as many of their countries.
May be some African leaders and others confuse Somaliland with Puntland.
Puntland is an integral part of Somalia and shares colonial borders and
history with Somalia. Those who are against Somaliland recognition, need
to read the history of the African continent.
Somaliland is situated in the Horn of Africa. It lies between the 08°00'
- 11°30' parallel North of the Equator and between 42°30' - 49°00'
Meridian East of Greenwich. It is bordered by the Red Sea to the North,
Djibouti to the West, Ethiopia to the South, and Somalia to the East.
Somaliland has a coastline with the majority lying along the Gulf of
Aden (Red Sea). The country is slightly larger than England, with an
area of 137 600 km² (53,100 sq miles).
Somaliland people have the right to self-determination and they will not
compromise their hard-won destiny with another union with Somalia.
Unions and federalism do not survive in Africa because of the chronic
tribalism and corruption that plunge the continent in endless civil wars
and economic setbacks. No one needs or wants to see devastating civil
wars between Somalia and Somaliland again. Fruits in one's pocket are
not thrown away for fruits on the top of a high tree. Somaliland chooses
the fruits in the pocket over fruits on a high tree because they are
sure and reliable to eat. Somaliland people choose its own independence
over unreliable union with Somalia that would have unpredictable future
that could lead to another civil war. Remember: Once won is not won
Written: Ibrahim Hassan Gagale.
Date: Feb. 4, 2014.