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Published On: Mon, Jun 15th, 2015

Focus on Border Dispute between Somaliland and Puntland.

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mapThe political map of Africa that shows its independent countries had not been made by African nations, by the United Nations, or by the African Union. It is the result of the European Colonial Occupation that invaded African Continent and divided it up into territories with colonial borders for their own political sphere of influence. When leaving most of Africa in the years of 1950s and 1960s, the Europeans based the independence and diplomatic recognition of all African emerging countries on their own colonial borders including Somaliland. Thus, the colonial borders created current African States, and each country’s nationalism and patriotism depend on these borders.

Somaliland Republic was not a province or region that seceded or broke away from Somalia as Somalia claims blindly. Somaliland was independent nation when it shared union with Somalia in 1960 and withdrew from that union, after doomed in the hands of Somalia, in 1991. Somaliland was British Protectorate that achieved independence on June 26, 1960, on its own colonial borders while Somalia was Italian colony that achieved independence on July 1, 1960 on its own colonial borders too. Somaliland does not occupy land or people from Somalia and, for that reason, Somalia has no justification to scream or whine after Somaliland whose people have self-determination as a natural right.

The borders of Somalia, Somaliland, and Djibouti have the same international status and legitimacy because they were all drawn by European Colonial powers. Anyone who opposes the legitimacy of Somaliland borders, its statehood, its independence, and its diplomatic recognition is challenging the entire borders and sovereignty of all African independent states whose borders rose also from their colonial borders or demarcations.

Somaliland is situated in the Horn of Africa. It lies between the 08°00′ – 11°30′ parallel North of the Equator and between 42°30′ – 49°00′ Meridian East of Greenwich. It is bordered by the Red Sea to the North, Djibouti to the West, Ethiopia to the South, and Somalia to the East, with its border running along Garowe and Bosaso. Somaliland has a coastline with the majority lying along the Gulf of Aden (Red Sea). Somaliland has an area of 137 600 Km² (53,100 Sq. miles).

African borders are not based on clan or tribal demarcations but based only on land. There are no clan borders or tribal states in Africa.  There are only national borders of states whose make-up consists of many different clans or tribes that share common borders and sovereignty. The following African Clans clearly show of how same African clans are widely distributed over different African countries:

● Fulani Clan: This clan inhabits in Mali, Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon etc.

  • Tuareg Clan: This clan inhabits in Senegal, Nigeria, Mali, Niger etc.
  • Lunda Clan: This clan inhabits in Congo, Zambia, and Angola.
  • Yoruba Clan: This clan inhabits in Nigeria, Benin, and Togo.
  • Maasai Clan: This clan inhabits in Kenya, and Tanzania.
  • Afar Clan:  This clan inhabits in Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Djibouti.
  • Berber Clan: This clan inhabits in Morroco, Tunisia, Libya, and Algeria.
  • Isaaq Clan: This clan inhabits in Somaliland, Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti.
  • Samaroon Clan: This clan inhabits in Somaliland, Ethiopia, and Djibouti.
  • Hawiye Clan: This clan inhabits in Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia.
  • Darood Clan: This clan inhabits in Somalia, Somaliland, Kenya, and Ethiopia.
  • Rahanwein Clan: This clan inhabits in Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya.
  • Essa Clan: This clan inhabits in Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Somaliland.
  • Gabooye Clan: This clan inhabits in Somaliland, Somalia, Ethiopia.
  • And so on

The above distribution of African clans clearly indicates that the same clan with the same lineage is divided among different countries and each part belongs to the country that it inhabits in and shares nationhood and statehood with it. Then, the question is: Can Majeerteenia claim the Harti part that inhabits in Somaliland? The answer is NO. It is blind claim that will be self-doomed soon or later. If it cannot claim the Ethiopian Harti land and Kenyan Harti land, then it cannot claim the Somaliland Harti land. Asia and South America have also clans similar to Africa where the same clan lives in different countries. The security and peace of Africa rest on respecting, recognizing, and implementing its borders that rose from colonial borders. If an African country or region of a country like Puntland of Somalia would claim the part of clan and its land located in another African Country like Somaliland, the whole continent would fall to endless devastating, disastrous, bloody clan wars, and anarchy would reign in the continent, and Africa would not exist as we know it today.

Some people confuse Somaliland Republic with Puntland Region of Somalia for either not knowing the history of Somalis or for irrational political reasons. Puntland is an integral, inseparable part of Somalia because it is located within Somalia’s historical borders with which Somalia achieved independence on July 1st, 1960 from Italy while Somaliland Republic emerged from British Somaliland Protectorate and achieved separately its independence from Britain (United Kingdom) on June 26, 1960. Somaliland Republic has undeniable right to claim independence, statehood, and diplomatic recognition based on its own unique borders while Puntland cannot have such right because it is part of Somalia and shares borders and nationhood with it.

If Puntland Administration cannot claim the land inhabited by Harti in Ethiopia because of fear of reprisals, then they should fear Somaliland too for retaliation if it continues claiming Sool Region and Eastern Sanaag in Somaliland. If Puntland recognizes and respects the border between Somalia and Ethiopia as legitimate border, then it should also recognize and respect the border between Somaliland and Somalia as both borders had been drawn by colonial powers.

Due to the above historical facts of African borders, Western Leaders, United Nations, and African Union as well as the rest of the International Community are called upon to understand that the blame of the border dispute between Somaliland Republic and Puntland Region of Somalia falls squarely on the shoulders of Puntland for wrongfully claiming Sool Region and Eastern Sanaag Region of Somaliland which are within its own historical, colonial borders. The world must stop the blind aggression of Puntland before another bloodshed is spilled in the Horn of Africa. The intellectual society and traditional leaders of Puntland are also called upon to stop the unwarranted aggression of Puntland to avert war and prevent man-made disaster before things fall apart.

Somaliland National Leaders, both government and Political Parties, especially the president and the foreign minister, are urged to keep up explaining the blind territorial claim of Puntland Administration and those pushing it behind from Somalia to the world as this claim is contrary to the nature of African borders as well as threatening the stability in the Horn of Africa. They also have to urge Europe, as they do routinely, to recognize Somaliland Republic on its historical borders as they did for all African countries, so the rest of the world will recognize it too. Europe’s silence from Somaliland Recognition is unjustified and deafening. Union sharing is no viable option in Africa anymore because of tribalism, corruption, and dictatorships.

If Puntland Administration does not stop claiming Sool Region and Eastern Sanaag Region of Somaliland on the basis of clan lineage that has no place in Africa, and, because of that false claim, Puntland invades Somaliland, then Somaliland has legitimate right to invade Puntland and bring it to its knees until it recognizes officially the borders and independence of Somaliland. Somaliland has been patient for the aggression of Puntland for the last 18 years, but that patience is running out now and Somaliland has no choice but to defend itself with all costs.

From: Ibrahim Hassan Gagale
Email: ibrahim_hg@yahoo.com
Date: June 14, 2015

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