Somaliland: Seeking a Deserved Recognition.
Dr. Mohamed-Rashiid Shiekh Hassan, from the Office of International Affairs and Recognition of Somaliland, makes an encouraging call to work together and focus on the future for a better Somaliland.
Beginning from the restoration of the Somaliland state in 1991, Somaliland has been working hard to prove to the world its ability to bring about fundamental structures and policies of a modern state. Somaliland gave first priority to peace and security. This peace and security has provided Somaliland population to enjoy law and order, uninterrupted democratic elections and freedom of expression, and above all deepening democratic culture which attracted the attention of the international community.
Somaliland put in place a system of government based on presidential model of governance with all its branches of legislative and executive. One of the main factors of the legitimacy of a modern state is the self-determination of the people. Therefore, testing the legitimacy of the Somaliland statehood, the Somaliland governments held a free and a fair referendum in 2001.
The people of Somaliland opted for the independence of Somaliland with an absolute majority of 97%. This has been followed by holding series of democratic elections, starting with 2002-municipal election 2003-presidential election, 2005-parliamentary election and 2010-second presidential election. These processes have strengthened the democratic institutions and policies of the modern state where at the same time it reduced the negative aspect of the clan systems and clan structures of the society.
Other aspect of the strength of the Somaliland modern state is the viable non-state actors ( civil society) and the Diaspora who have been playing a crucial role in the democratic process and policy-making of the country. Having all these dimensions and strengths, this nation has overcome many challenges. One of the biggest challenges was the last presidential election – the June 2010 election. The way in which the voters behaved during the election and election was implemented has shown the world the maturity and the magnanimity of the Somaliland emerging democracy. International observers witnessing the election validated the results of the election and praised the Somaliland electoral commission and the public in adopting international standards.
The winner of the 2010 election Mr. Ahmed M. M. Silanyo, the candidate of the Kulmiye Party is one of the most experienced politician in Africa. Mr Silanyo has been involved in global and African politics and development in the last forty years and a former freedom fighter who was the chairman of the Somali National Movement (SNM) in most its difficult times.
In connection to the above mentioned factors, Somaliland deserves to be recognized and take its rightful place in the community of nations, sooner than later.
On the other hand, adversaries of Somaliland have been engaged in all sorts of activities to undermine the prospect of a stable Somaliland. The conflict in some spots of the eastern parts of the country is one of these evil designs, which I am sure Somaliland will overcome. There are also ill-informed politicians who have been recently creating confusion and deliberately making misleading statements of the current situation of the country and even surprisingly revisiting the June presidential elections that President Ahmed Silanyo won with a slide majority– raising doubts about the results.
We would like to say to these politicians, this democratically-elected President and his government have worked out a vision, goal and objective to reach this vision during its mandate. This vision was mentioned in detail in the annual speech that the president made to the parliament (the House of Representatives and the Council of Elders). We would like to say to these politicians, let us work together and concentrate on the future for a better Somaliland.
The government together with the non-state actors, the Diaspora and other friends of Somaliland, is organizing an international conference in Hargeisa in July on the issue of international recognition. Influential international personalities from the mass media, international lawyers and development agents, who are friends of Somaliland will attend the conference. The conference will also focus on peace, security and the democratic process of Somaliland; issues that important for the recognition. We are expecting that the conference will produce a workable strategic recognition roadmap.