Somaliland proceeds to  court on international recognition

by Abdulmumeen S. Yitta

Somaliland is exerting pressure on the international community to grant it well-deserved recognition as the country struggles for self-determination.

In a virtual speech at the country’s 29th anniversary since its secession from Somalia, President Muse Bihi said that despite the coronavirus pandemic, somalilanders in indifferent parts of the country celebrated their country’s independence.

The president emphasized that the country is determined and ready to take its case to the international court if dialogue fails to facilitate a realization of the country’s desire for self-determination.

Somaliland as a former British protectorate joined Somalia on July 1, 1960 five days after it gained independence from the British on June 26.

At the start of the civil war in Somalia, on May 19, 1991, Somaliland seceded from Somalia and declared itself independence.

Although the country is not recognized as an independent state by the international community but regards it as one of the regions of Somalia.

On 31 May 2001 a constitutional referendum was held in Somaliland which affirmed its independence from Somalia, but the referendum seems to have little or no impact on the country’s struggle for international recognition as the International community is yet to recognize it as a state.

As the dialogue seems ineffective in realization of self-determination, the president is determined to adopt a different approach to achieving international recognition.

“The only agenda that can bring Somaliland and Somalia to a negotiating table is one based on two countries talking mutual interests and good neighbourly relations,” said Bihi.

“Somalia and anybody else who wishes to mediate between the two of us should accept the inalienable, undeniable reality of a sovereign Somaliland talking with a sovereign Somalia on issues that foster brotherly relations, our people and the region.

“I repeat in a loud voice that unless Somalia accepts the reality of two independent nations talking on equal terms, it should forget a dialogue between the two,” he remarked.

“We will submit our case to an international court if Somalia continues to insist on a Somaliland it rules,” Bihi stated.

Several efforts have been made in the past by the international community to bring Somaliland and Somalia to an agreement in form of a dialogue between the leaders of the two countries.

Recently, Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Mohammed, made an effort to make the two leaders, Somaliland Muse Bihi and Somalia leader Abdullahi Farmajo come to term in Ethiopia. The meeting however yielded no positive result.

While speaking about international community giving aid to Somaliland, the President requested that any aid meant for Somaliland should be channeled directly to the country.

President Bihi further commended people’s solidarity and determination which he said would definitely help the country attain its desire for international recognition.

“This is not the first time we are celebrating our independence in a period of challenges, But our people’s determination and solidarity will not only see us overcoming the great test of Covid-19 but also gain international recognition,” he said.

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