By: Ali Hussein Dajin

Mogadishu (Commentary) —   Thirty years ago the Somali state collapsed. The North — Somaliland — unilaterally seceded from Somalia in May 1991. The state failure was partly the justification for secession.

In this week’s edition The Economist makes the case for recognising Somaliland as a sovereign country.  The argument that Somalis need two separate countries has never been popular at the African Union whose charter puts premium on the national sovereignty of member states.

The case for breaking up Somalia into two countries is unconvincing.

Africa is witnessing the tragic situation in South Sudan,  where identity politics has torn apart the social fabric.

Several months ago Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi said that Somaliland embraced parliamentary democracy too early because the supporters of the opposition party, Waddani, characterised the party’s defeat as a win for a clan.

His honesty is a remarkable example of candour that animates politics in the North.

The North forged ahead after state collapse; a civil war that lasted two years had affected Somaliland during the 1990s, but in 2001, the former Somaliland President Mohammed Ibrahim Egal had put Somaliland on the path of parliamentary democracy.

State-building enabled  political elites to conduct three presidential elections since 2003, remembered for peaceful transfer of power.

The University College London report on 2017, Somaliland presidential elections, however, underscored the absence of institutions capable of shepherding Somaliland into a sovereign state.

Somaliland is “over-reliant on a customary system to solve problems, and with representative electoral institutions not yet fully capable of supporting the transition to a stronger nation-state the report stated.

Creating new countries in Africa out of existing countries has resulted in catastrophic political fallouts.

The Eritrea-Ethiopia war and South Sudan civil war come to mind.

Persuading Somaliland to accept that Mogadishu rules Hargeisa is a tall order given the fact that Mogadishu’s influential political leaders managed to organise clan militias against the Federal Government of Somalia over controversial mandate extension.

Neither South Somalia nor North Somalia can stand as  a separate sovereign state.

A return to trusteeship is far more plausible than a hasty break-up of Somalia into two states for homogeneous Somalis, as proposed a British magazine that campaigns against Scottish independence.

This article first appeared in the Puntland Post and is republished with permission

1 comment

Comments are closed.

You May Also Like

Chinese Troops Struggle With Low Quality Winter Clothing On Indian Border

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA)’s adventurism has started costing it heavily. Actions
Manny Ramirez in his stint in Taiwan: CC

TTT Interview: Manny Ramirez “baseball royalty”

Manny Ramirez is a baseball superstar.  In an MLB career that lasted

Taiwan – Somaliland Ties Drawing Attention From Egypt

According to sources speaking to the Somaliland Chronicle, and since independently confirmed

Calling China’s Bluff On Recent Provocations: Indian Style

Editor’s note: Dr Punit Saurabh is an Assistant Professor (Strategy area) at Nirma