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Published On: Sun, Jan 18th, 2015

Somaliland:The Political Formation of the Somali Republic

somalia independce day the lowering of the flag

The Scramble of Africa and the Neo-imperialism, which was the period of colonial expansion and the annexation of the territorial integrity of the African societies, produced that the continent became under the full control of Europe. Where only Abyssinia and Liberia remained free and independent. The reason why Abyssinia known as Ethiopia in today’s term persisted colony free was their history, which allowed the resistant against Italy. In spite of the fact that, the former slaves of African-Americans protected Liberia to fall under the European colonisers, because of their experience on the colonial concept. The other 50 plus African current states were rural uncivilised societies, mostly hunters, gatherers, fishers and a nomadic herders like Somalis. The way of governing and the government system itself, has never existed anywhere in Africa, except small autocratic kingdoms based on the rule of unlimited power that demands complete obedience from their people. This indicates that when it comes to the prevailing government systems in Africa, the bulk of the states born after the decolonisation of Africa. This means, Somaliland and Somalia had diverse colonial powers with a different independence epochs of history.

Although, the Somali people who were nomadic herders that had different tribal Sultanates before the partition of Africa such as Ajuran, Geledi, Issa, Warsangeli, Gadabuursi, Majeerteen and Eidagale Sultanates they never came under an inclusive umbrella of self-governing rule of their own, before the unity of the Somali Republic in 1960. Subsequently, the decolonisation of the UN trusteeship Somalia, previously under the Italian colony and the Independence self-rule state of Somaliland created the first Somali government on earth. When it comes to the world political framework or the international law system, Somaliland and Somalia were two different states with two diverse colonial systems (colonialism and a protectorate). The authenticity was the unity of the two regions under the sovereign name of the Somali Republic, the concept was to create a greater Somali territorial integrity under one independent central government. Therefore, the claim from the South Somali elites, which utters that Somalia has been divided by the colonial ancestors is nothing more than a fabrication thought, and it will always remain impractical. Because the name of Somalia itself, has never been included Somaliland British Protectorate, and it was not under the unification terms of the nation state, which was Somali Republic and later turned into a Somali Democratic Republic.

Nonetheless, what is very interesting is that, an Act of Union has never been signed, which shows us the marriage was illegal and the thirty one years of nuptial was nothing more than unlawful partners with an illegitimate child. This ‘’Illegitimate Child’’ refers if the nature or the formation of a country is not authorized within a law system, or in other words, not in accordance with accepted standards or rules, simply any government and the statehood itself has an illicit nature of political conciliation. In addition to that, the notion of a Greater Somali Republic respired its last breath, after when Somalia took every bit of governmental benefit from the newly established state. Somaliland realised that their concept deceased with the hands of the short-sighted politicians from the South of the amalgamated country. A sound of a peaceful revolution started in 1961 from the North (Somaliland) together with an attempted but unsuccessful coup de tat. For the reason that, until withdrawn the unkempt and mistreated independence of Somaliland, as the mistake of unification became conscious.

After a blood-spattered war, Somaliland reasserted its independence in 1991. Since then progression of peace and stability, economic growth and social self-determination based on the rule of law and a referendumly accepted constitution have taken place. This is where democracy and multi-party electoral system began. Unfortunately, Somalia remains a different status quo of inferno, even though the country received financial and technical assistance from the International Community for about a quarter of a century. The very International Community reiterated several times that they respect the sovereignty of Somalia. Even though, by the terms of the international law, the political history of Somalia and Somaliland is different as mentioned above. And at the same time, Somaliland declared its political withdrawal a long ago. The politico-legal interpretation of Somalia can been understood to the Somalia-Italia. In addition to this, the first announcement of Somalia as an independent sovereign state was 1960, and later declared Djibouti conference in 1991. With the intention of this, Somalia as the international legal terms dictate is the southern part of what was once known as the Somali Republic and now vanished.

The big question lies here how do the world want to combine peace with war into one basket. In our logic terms, you cannot keep a disagreed husband and a wife into matrimonial status. How can the world then unite people who politically have nothing in common? Language, culture and religion cannot formulate to share a common political state, it is always politics that combine different cultures, religions and nations into the common background of statehood. Arab and other homogenous sovereign individualistic countries, who never want to share political administrations are good examples.

In conclusion, the argument of Somaliland is more realistic and more accurate. Because, Somaliland and Somalia never shared same administration before 1960, which shows the world, if politics fails between amalgamated nations that the most realistic option is to be considered. A good example of the Scottish Referendum will be the customary international law to refer. Secondly, no Act of Union had ever been signed by the two nation states, which shows the world that the union itself was illegitimate. Finally, the world cannot combine endless war, severe corruption, ongoing political differences and insecure land, full of terrorism and piracy with peace, democracy, economic development and political stability into one basket.


Mohamed Hagi Mohamoud. Department of Politics and International Studies. The University of Warwick. Email:,


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