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Can Somaliland become a real state?

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XidigtaJSL
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Can Somaliland become a real state?

Postby XidigtaJSL » Fri Sep 30, 2005 7:38 pm

Breakaway Somaliland has impressed the Americans by hitting al-Qaeda

Breakaway Somaliland has impressed the Americans by hitting al-Qaeda

THE breakaway northern bit of Somalia, Somaliland, struck a blow for full independence last week by busting an al-Qaeda cell. Embracing perhaps 3.5m of Somalia's 11m or so people, the former British Somaliland has long been a lot more secure than the country's anarchic, formerly Italian, south. If multi-party elections due this week in Somaliland are reasonably fair and open, the outside world, including the African Union and the United Nations, may have to start seriously reconsidering its status, which has been fudged since the collapse of unitary Somali in 1991. All three of Somaliland's parties contesting the election are adamant about wanting outright independence.

A shoot-out on September 23rd in Hargeisa, Somaliland's capital, resulted in the arrest of seven men loyal to the al-Qaeda brand. Somaliland's president, Dahir Riyale Kahnin, said the men were mostly locals, trained at a camp outside Mogadishu, the still-chaotic capital of Somalia proper. Some had received training in Afghanistan; at least one was internationally known. Their aim, he said, was to destabilise Somaliland by killing leaders and foreign aid workers, four of whom have been murdered by Islamist radicals since 2003.

There was a heady whiff of convenience about the arrests. What better, the week before an election in such a fervently patriotic fief, than to demonstrate a threat to Somaliland? Some in Somalia's fragile transitional federal government, which still lays claim to Somaliland, privately say the raid was contrived. They are probably wrong. The timing may have owed something to Somaliland politics, where voters are softened up with gifts of narcotic qat leaves, and people's votes are divided along clan lines. But western worries about al-Qaeda's penetration into the Horn of Africa are nonetheless genuine.

Perfect for Osama?

American counter-terrorism work, mostly in collaboration with local militias and the Ethiopian secret service, has gone some way to identifying extreme Islamists inside Somalia. Catching them is harder. A few operational figures are thought to be hiding in and around lawless Mogadishu, which is mostly off-limits to diplomats, UN types and aid-workers. Though a transitional government for the whole of Somalia was set up last year in Kenya, it has failed to establish an effective presence in any part of the country, and has already broken into factions. One lot has been trying in vain to run the show from Jowhar, north of Mogadishu. To complicate matters further between north and south, a self-proclaimed breakaway government of Puntland, with its capital at Bossaso, has been demanding autonomy within a federal Somalia. And the Puntlanders claim bits of eastern Somaliland.

Some of the Islamists scattered around Somalia's various parts have roots in the Egyptian bit of Islamic Jihad, others are closer to al-Qaeda. Those caught in Hargeisa may have been connected to al-Itihaad al-Islami, a group that wants to create an emirate of Somalia along the lines of Saudi Arabia's austere Wahhabi sect. They sound particularly hostile to Ethiopia, with which Somaliland's fledgling government has been cultivating friendlier relations. In July, the Ethiopians agreed to ship some of their goods through the Somaliland port of Berbera, on a road improved with European Union funds.

Even if magnified for political effect, the arrests are a powerful signal to Islamist radicals that Somaliland is no longer a completely safe haven for them--a fact underlined by the expulsion of some foreign mullahs after the raid. That is especially notable since the Saudi government's own crackdown on radical preachers means that more of them had been looking to Somaliland as a handy refuge.

The efficiency of the locally organised swoop and the steady march of democracy in breakaway Somaliland have impressed the Americans, who have a regional military hub next door in less democratic Djibouti. Expect them to give a puff to Somaliland's chances of attaining statehood proper.

SOURCE: The Economist



Copyright © 2005 Economist Intelligence Unit

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Postby dhuusa_deer » Fri Sep 30, 2005 7:40 pm

You mean Isaaqland? Sure.

Just eschew 'somali' part and replace it with Isaaq. Wink

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Postby S_lander-boy » Fri Sep 30, 2005 7:45 pm

AS A SUCCESS STORY, SOMALILAND IS AFRICA'S BEST-KEPT SECRET

by Iqbal Jhazbhay (1)

Some major African players are taking a new look at Somaliland, that state on the strategic Horn of Africa that continues to pay the political and economic price for declaring independence twice (1960 and 1991).

Somaliland is labeled as a "breakaway state" by some analysts, while others describe its success as "the little country that could" (2).

In fact, Somaliland did nothing more than end a union it had entered into as a sovereign independent state, and has since pulled itself up by its own bootstraps.

Recently, Senegal, the European Union and Somaliland's neighbour Ethiopia have shown promising signs of wanting to end the impasse.

Ethiopia hosted Somaliland President Dahir Riyale Kahin on a state visit late last year and President Wade of Senegal hosted the Somaliland president recently.

A South African delegation, paid a fact-finding visit to Somaliland in January 2003 and declared it to be "a challenge rather than a problem for the African Union".(3)

"The country has shown the African renaissance spirit of self-reliance and resilience and has produced a sustainable government and constitution."

"They have got their act together while in the south (Somalia) the Transitional National Government (TNG) has been unable to do so."

"The international community must take notice of this. It cannot remain ostrich-like with its head in the sand", said Fatima Ismail, a human rights activist. (4)

The energy that the international community has put into the process that led to the installation of the southern TNG has not produced the desired result. (5)

The Kenyan government earlier appointed a new mediator to take over the Somalia peace talks in Eldoret, Kenya, which have been bogged down since they began in October 2002.

Bethwell Kiplagat, a senior Kenyan diplomat, will replace Elijah W. Mwangale, who was blamed by Somali warlords and Western diplomats alike for not properly managing the talks.

"Warlords continue to hold sway in Somalia and violence has resumed to a disturbing degree. The international community should be looking at the reality on the ground," said Ismail.

"If the international community plans to apply the principal of territorial unity and the fiction of a "sovereign Somalia" without understanding the history, facts on the ground and the genocide experienced, it would be planting the seeds for conflict more deadly than previously seen in Africa", said Professor Hussein Bulhan, head of the Somaliland Academy for Peace and Development and former head of the Anti-Apartheid Movement at Boston University.

"The expectation of the Somaliland people has rightly been raised by the success of their democratic and modest economic development. To frustrate this expectation and to force a union with the South, against the will of the people, is also to court a deadly conflict," he said.

Supporting peace in Somaliland where it only prevails, providing an incentive to it and extending it, is a worthwhile and realistic target.

Ethiopia, which makes increasing use of the Somaliland port of Berbera, has opened a diplomatic trade-liaison office in the capital of Hargeisa along with numerous EU and UN agencies.

The United States and other Western powers, mindful of the strategic importance of the Horn, continue to investigate establishing an interest office in Somaliland - something that would be impossible in the ungovernable Somalia.

Somaliland's major problem is that is too small to wield any muscle against the international organisations that ignore it.

But as the African focus moves increasingly off the Great Lakes and onto the Horn of Africa, this country of 3,5-million people will become an example of stability, good governance and economic discipline.

Geographically Somaliland, an area of 137 600 square kilometres forms the top of the figure seven made by the Horn of Africa. It is roughly the size of England and Wales. It was formerly British Somaliland while Somalia, the bottom of the 7 - was an Italian colony. Both colonies gained independence in 1960. Somaliland decided shortly after independence to form a union with the south. Before taking this step, however, it had already been recognised by 35 countries. The partnership was decidedly biased in favour of the south.

When southerner Siad Barre took power in a coup he brutally crushed northern opposition. This included flattening the Somaliland capital of Hargeisa, using a combination of artillery, South African mercenaries and bomber aircraft that took off from the airport on the outskirts of the city. On the outskirts of the capital, lie a number of UN acknowledged mass graves as testimony to southern brutality.

After Barre's fall in 1991, the Somalilanders wasted no time in ending the union with the south. After months of deliberations attended by many sectors of society, the grand conference of Burco as well as the second conference at Borama, a sort of South African Codesa, revoked the act of union and reinstated the independence that their territory enjoyed.

This action raised hackles in the then Organisation of African Unity, ever nervous about secession and determined, for better or worse, to maintain colonial boundaries.In fact, Somaliland's declaration of independence transgressed neither of these. The country was not breaking some pre-independence bond with the south. It was merely breaking a union that it had entered into as an independent state, for which there are numerous African precedents.

Somaliland has not violated colonial boundaries. It has occupied no more than that territory once occupied by the British and recognised as independent in 1960 by the international community.

Not only are Somaliland disenchanted with the uneven arrangement and traumatised by the civil war that killed more than 50 000 of their compatriots and 500 000 displaced, but they see no inducement to return to formal ties with what is to all intents and purposes an anarchic state.

The TNG of Somalia - that carries the seat at the United Nations, the Arab League and the African Union, cannot pretend to control anything more than a few blocks of Mogadishu. What caused this rush towards recognising a government with no territory nor administration, after having ignored arguably real and effective government in Somaliland?

The remainder of the country remains ungovernably in the hands of warlords.

Following the withdrawal of United Nations peacekeeping troops from Somalia in 1995 the international community, and particularly the United States that pulled out a year earlier, wanted nothing to do with anything bearing the label "Somali".

However security considerations post September 11 2001 have reinforced the strategic importance of the Horn that is now being patrolled by a German led European force.

The rebuilding of Hargeisa, which Barre reduced to rubble and turned into a minefield, has happened without assistance from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

The economic development has been largely supported by Somalilanders in the diaspora. Proven oil reserves, coal and gemstone mining, livestock and fisheries production, remain untapped. (6)

More importantly Somaliland has built a strong democratic society that seamlessly passed the test last year with the death of President Mohamed Egal.

Within hours of confirmation of his death at 1 Military Hospital in Pretoria, vice president Kahin was sworn in as national leader. Both Egal and Kahin had been nominated by a council of elders in 1993 that re-elected Egal in 1997.

Kahin faced a full electorate in the country's first presidential elections on April 14 this year. International observers, including South Africans, declared the presidential elections as "peaceful, orderly and transparent". (7)

Somalilanders had their first taste of democracy in May 2001 when an internationally observed referendum confirmed their wish to remain apart from Somalia and endorsed a new constitution.

Highly successful municipal elections - also internationally observed and the first since 1969 - were held on December 15, 2002.

Somaliland is undergoing a full house of democratic procedures with parliamentary elections due to follow shortly on the presidential ballot.

Relations with northern neighbour Djibouti were chilled by that French dominated enclave hosting a conference that parachuted the Transitional National Government into power in Mogadishu.

By all credible accounts, the President of Djibouti, considerably interfered in this process and some conclude hijacked the process driven by his specific interests.

Observers have rightly questioned: where in history has a president enjoyed the right of nominating delegates to a parliament of a neighbouring country? In addition the election of a long-standing minister of interior in the scorned Barre regime as TNG president was received with shock in Somaliland.

This gut-wrenching shock is captured by a Somali refugee in Kenya who said "Mogadishu has fallen into the clutch of thugs, no better than hyenas, who have no idea what honour is, what trust is, what political responsibility means".

Asked whether he would go back to Mogadishu. He went on, "Would you ask a hyena to watch over your beef stew? Because you would be a fool if you trusted a hyena, wouldn't you?" (8)

By contrast, a recent UN 2002 review declared Somaliland as "the exception to the violence" and the prevailing anarchy in Somalia.(9)

Clearly, Somaliland's extraordinary indigenous conflict-resolution methods may provide an example to the southern Somalis. But, now the international community and notably South African agents of peace, cannot be delicately silent on supporting Somaliland's success story and its emerging democracy. Are we ready for this critical Nepad imperative?

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Postby dhuusa_deer » Fri Sep 30, 2005 7:49 pm

Once again, I'm for 'somaliland' just not the hypocracy and lies that comes with it. Lets face it, its ISAAQ LAND. So why call it 'somali'?

I don't get it.

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Postby XidigtaJSL » Fri Sep 30, 2005 7:51 pm

[quote="dhuusa_deer"]You mean Isaaqland? Sure.

Just eschew 'somali' part and replace it with Isaaq. Wink[/quote] What do you care, dhuuso qadhmuun fooqal dhuuso qadhmuun uuuuuuuuuuf qadhmuuna bahasho ma bulaacadbaa

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Postby dhuusa_deer » Fri Sep 30, 2005 7:53 pm

[quote="XidigtaJSL"][quote="dhuusa_deer"]You mean Isaaqland? Sure.

Just eschew 'somali' part and replace it with Isaaq. Wink[/quote] What do you care, dhuuso qadhmuun fooqal dhuuso qadhmuun uuuuuuuuuuf qadhmuuna bahasho ma bulaacadbaa[/quote]

Sorry, but I unable to read cow dung...try again simpleton.

Somaliland = Isaaqland and I'm for it.

Do you support somaliland?

Please answer...I'll put on you on the list.

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Postby S_lander-boy » Fri Sep 30, 2005 7:54 pm

dhuusa_deer Somaliland is not based on Qabilniimo in Somaliland there live all kind of tribes dhuloz heck the president is not even isaaq he is gadabursii they live also in Somaliland so your the liar here buddy

Laughing

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Postby XidigtaJSL » Fri Sep 30, 2005 7:56 pm

Dhuuso. Two words for you "YOU STINK"]

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Postby Ceelgabo » Fri Sep 30, 2005 7:56 pm

"Breakaway Somaliland has impressed the Americans by hitting al-Qaeda "


Laughing Laughing

http://www.cawte.nildram.co.uk/D30/Parrot.jpg

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Postby dhuusa_deer » Fri Sep 30, 2005 7:58 pm

[quote="S_lander-boy"]dhuusa_deer Somaliland is not based on Qabilniimo in Somaliland there live all kind of tribes dhuloz heck the president is not even isaaq he is gadabursii they live also in Somaliland so your the liar here buddy

Laughing[/quote]

Somaliland was founded, fought for and proposed by ISAAQS. Anything else is historical revisionism.

I don't give a hoot if isaaqs want to have their own land. Just don't call it a 'state' when what it really is is qabiil based state. Once again, I understand and sympathise with what the Isaaqs went through but don't lie to yourself and don't insult our intelligence by saying somaliland is not about qabiil based. Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeze.


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