A divided Somalia?

# A divided Somalia?


Rune Aale-Hansen, Secretary General of Negotia, and Local Politician (H)


Free, but not independent: Somaliland declared independence in 1991, but is still not recognized by the international community. In the photo: The Arch of Freedom in the capital Hargeisa.
Photo: Flickr

Could there be a solution to more stability in this part of Africa?

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In 1960, the former British protectorate Somaliland was merged with the former Italian colony of Puntland / Somalia into what we know today as Somalia. Until then, Somaliland had been under Egyptian and then British rule for almost a hundred years. The marriage between the two former colonies has not been successful, and with rising unrest in Somalia and a weak central government in Mogadishu, Somaliland declared independence in 1991.

Not recognized
Since then, there has been a separate parliament and governing body in the “country”, a constitution has been adopted and democratic elections have been held. Despite much positive feedback from neighboring countries, the African Union, the EU, the UN and others, there are still no countries or international organizations that recognize Somaliland as an independent nation. There are still certain conditions that must be met, is the message from the international community.

Discrimination The main reason for not recognizing the desire for secession is the fear that an independent Somaliland will be like opening a Pandora’s box - which will trigger a landslide of demands for secession in a number of other countries in Africa. Is this fear a good enough reason to not accept secession and new boundaries? How wrong is this really, given the dissolution of the former Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia? There was also land founded on somewhat artificially adopted borders.

When the map of Europe is allowed to change, why should not the same be the case for Africa?

Democratic elections
So far, Somaliland has had two parliamentary elections and a presidential election since 2003. International observers describe the elections as peaceful and democratic, which in turn guarantees positive development in this part of the Horn of Africa, and may be an inspiration for democratic development elsewhere in Africa. .

Then there is the question of how we dare to support development, not least the question remains of what other African countries think about an independent Somali country.