Somaliland: Is there a Strain in SL / UK Relations?

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IMG_0039By Hassan Ali

Speculations are rife nowadays that the existing diplomatic ties between the Somaliland and UK government our long time ally are at a long time low although the reason behind this new development is still clear or the change of heart.

The UK government has made a tradition for the last 10 years to invite ministerial level delegation to the annual 19th of June Queen’s birthday commemoration which is held in the British Ambassador residence in Addis Ababa but thats not the case with this years commemoration after the British embassy failed to invite Somaliland officials this year instead the embassy will be hosted Somalia’s President Hassan Sheik Mahmoud and ministers to take part in the event which was held last Thursday.

The failure on the part of the British officials to ignore Somaliland while marking such a landmark occasion to us as a nation which has a shared with Queen elizabeth and Britain shows how the growing rift in our relations.

The growing gap in our relations with the UK government can be seen in the recent demands made by the UK,EU and USA for Somaliland to withdraw its troops from the contested areas in Sanaag and Sool regions and which prompted a strong response from our government and the fact that the British government decided to sent a low level diplomatic official to discuss with us matter of national importance proves the downgrading of our long time relations.

Although the British government has in the past downgraded the travel warning for two of the major cities in Somaliland most notably Hargeisa and Berbera this doesn’t deny the fact the same British government was responsible for labelling this country as being unsecured in the Global map with their constant terrorism alerts which never materialize.

On the part of Somaliland government lots need to be done to win the confidence of our long time ally even better than before Somaliland rejected the invitation extended to us attend last years Somalia’s conference in London which was organized and hosted by the UK government led by the current Prime minister David Cameron.

3 COMMENTS

  1. We keep going. No matter what. No one is going back to Somalia. The Brits or anyone else can have a hissy fit if they want and we will not withdraw from our borders.

    But this time also Somaliland needs to look at itself. Are we projecting a secular democratic, strong image or are we only a mild African version of failed Islamic states. If we are going to be successful and taken seriously we need to take ourselves and our cause seriously. We have to put Somaliland above everything else.

    We have to give people a reason to support us without the shadow of a doubt, make it impossible for them to even consider the other side. All the while doing our bit. What are they going to say, we didnt support a secular elected democratic state and left if for the Islamist nut jobs that surround it?

    We have to live up to the hype!

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