The Liberal Democrat group have submitted a motion to be moved by Councillor Christian Martin (Clifton East) on the right of Somaliland to be recognised as a sovereign state, the motion is outlined below:
“This council believes that Somaliland – where more than 10,000 people now in Bristol originated – should be recognised as a sovereign state.
Somali-landers make a significant contribution to our city and the council notes that members of this community in Bristol would strongly urge us to support growing pressure to recognise their country as independent, allowing it a seat at the United Nations.
Somaliland declared independence from the Somali Republic in 1991 following a long war. However, it has never been recognised by the UN or the Africa Union, despite a campaign by its politicians, diplomats and prominent citizens.
This council recognises the strength of Somaliland’s cause and the fact that it is a stable democracy, where there have been four elections over the last two decades and where opposition parties are free to represent the interests of their supporters.
The Somaliland government, which does not receive international aid and keeps its waters free of piracy, believes recognition would help to entrench democracy in the Horn of Africa.
Recognition would also, it believes, help to strengthen international co-operation in the fight against terrorism and other major criminal activity, including the dumping of toxic waste. It would allow Somaliland to market itself as a safe destination for tourists and attract jobs and international banks.
This council, therefore, calls upon the British government to recognise Somaliland as an independent state and to encourage other governments around the world to do the same.”