Feb 05, 2007

Somaliland: Call for UN Special Envoy

Somalilanders have called for a process similar to that granted Kosova, in order to resolve the long-standing question of their international status.

Below is an article written by Ali Deria and published by Garowe Online;

There are 192 member states of the United Nations, and Somaliland may soon join the group to become the 193rd member. However, Somaliland has to overcome few obstacles to become the first country to join the UN since Montenegro has become the 192nd member state in 2006. 

The first step is to lobby to have a UN special envoy for Somaliland. If the UN could afford to provide four special envoys for the HIV/AIDS and one for the bird flu, then they can afford to have one for Somaliland.  

Because of the uncertainty of succeeding to have a lasting peace in Somalia, the UN special envoy for Somalia, Francois Fall, will have no time to broker a deal between Somaliland and Somalia. And there is no point for Somaliland to wait for the never-ending discussions of peacemaking in Somalia. Therefore, there is an urgent need for a UN peace envoy in Somaliland

For instance, the former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari, who is the UN special envoy for Kosovo, has just unveiled a draft plan that could lead Kosovo to independence and thus peace in the region. Soon, Kosovo will join the free world and become an independent state. 

Likewise, a special envoy for Somaliland could broker a deal between Somaliland and Somalia. And if a deal is not reached within a year, for example, the UN special envoy could forge a proposal and present it to the UN Security Council, which will have the final say.    

The second step is to solve the issue of Sool and Sanaag. One of the lessons that we’ve learned from the earlier peace reconciliations is the fact that demand for justice alone does not always lead to a lasting peace. It is the political reconciliation, not justice that was responsible for the stability we have today.  

We’ve succeeded creating a lasting peace in most of the country except the regions of Sool and Sanaag. So, let’s reach out to Harti and make peace with Majeerteen. Once we make peace with them, then political reconciliation with Dhulbahante and Warsengeli will most likely succeed.  

In addition, we need to tone down the criticism of the TFG’s president, Abdilahi Yusuf, and his government for the possibility of reaching a truce that paves the way for Somalia and Somaliland to recognize each other as independent states.  

In fact, Somaliland clans have more in common with Harti sub clan than Hawiye, and the success of Abdilahi Yusuf’s current government will mean that Somaliland will have lesser hindrance for international recognition than Hawiye lead government.  

The last challenge is to beat the Western Sahara, Taiwan, Kosovo, and the Vatican City for becoming the 193rd member state of the UN. Impressive list, isn’t it?  Well, the independent state of the Vatican City with a population of less than a thousand people is still considering for becoming a full member state of the UN. Since the creation of the Vatican in 1929, it has voted not to become a UN member, and is unlikely to join it very soon.  

It is also unlikely that either Taiwan or the Western Sahara will join the UN before Somaliland, because Taiwan has to overcome the Great Chinas resistance, and the Western Sahara issue is still stalled in the UN. 

Kosovo has the most potential to beat Somaliland for becoming the first one to join the group, and Somaliland may have to settle for second best after Kosovo to become the 194th member state of the UN.