African Union Delegation Visits Somaliland
The ex-British colony of Somaliland has been seeking international recognition for its return to independence from collapsed Somalia ever since 1991. Especially the African Union (AU), however, has so far been unwilling to discuss the reestablishment of a Somaliland state. Currently, however, a seven-member delegation from the AU is visiting Hargeisa, Somaliland's capital, to hear out the government.
Speaking to the AU delegation, Somaliland Lower House's first Deputy Speaker Abdulqadir Jirde, said "The wisdom that evaded the international community is to allow the more successful political entities that emerge from the death and decay of failed states to flourish and take their place in the society of states. Somaliland and Eritrea, qualify as prime examples of such successful political units."
In a speech he delivered during the delegation's meeting with the two houses, Mr Jirde said that unfortunately Somaliland - which had contributed to the stability and security of the Horn - had yet to win the acknowledgement it deserves from its peers.
- But the member states of the AU by ignoring the achievements of Somaliland and the sovereign rights of its people are unwittingly jeopardising the stability and security of the region, the Deputy Speaker said.
He further underlined that Somaliland's sovereignty and independence was irreversible and could not be forced into a reunion with Somalia. "Somaliland cannot be wished away by any stretch of the imagination, nor can it be bullied into a forced re-marriage with Somalia. Somaliland is here to stay," Mr Jirde said.
He expressed the hope that the AU delegation would help to dissipate the "ignorance and half truths" about the Somaliland project and would rectify "the jaundiced view some member states might have about our aspirations."
The Speaker of the Lower House (House of Elders), Mr Suleiman, also briefed the AU delegation about Somaliland's unflinching position on its sovereignty. He also cited Somaliland's readiness to open negotiations on the Sool region, part of which is currently occupied by troops from the semi-autonomous Somali region of Puntland.
Other members of the two Somaliland houses also aired their views to the AU delegation, all of them highlighting Somaliland's achievements and its deserved right to gain African and international recognition.
The AU delegation earlier toured the Somalilander cities of Burao and Berbera, the latter being one of the most important port cities in the Horn of Africa. Here, thousands of people poured to the streets welcoming the unprecedented visit of an African delegation and voicing Somaliland's yearning for recognition.
The delegation will tomorrow pay a visit to the Awdal region, north-west of Hargeisa, and it will stop over in the town of Gabiley, close to Hargeisa.
Source: afrol News