African Borders Are Based On Land, Not On Clans
By Ibrahim Hassan Gagale
The tribalistic officials and surrogates of Puntland Administration of Somalia routinely claim in the media that Somaliland Borders are “Colonial Borders”. This blind, habitual denial of Somaliland Republic borders indicates that these individuals are either ignorant of the historical origin of the current borders of African states or intentionally mislead listeners (For being hypocrites) for obsessively pursuing unattainable clan-based statehood that does not exist in Africa or elsewhere.
The United Nations, African Union, or African States did not draw or make the current borders of African States. All the borders of African independent states had been drawn by the colonial powers of Europe at the end of the 19th century, mainly during The Partition of Africa held in Berlin in 1884. The statehood, independence, and diplomatic recognition of each African State are based on its own colonial borders. Likewise, all the borders of the Arab World, Asia, and South America also emerged from colonial borders drawn mainly by Britain , France and Spain.
Similarly, the statehood, independence, and the expected diplomatic recognition of Somaliland Republic are based on its own colonial borders drawn during British Somaliland Protectorate era. In the East, Somaliland border runs along Growe and Bosaso. In the West, it runs along Lowya’addo. In the South, Somaliland shares border with Ethiopia, and in the North, Somaliland border runs along the Red Sea.
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 borders and sovereignty of all African independent states (54 states) whose borders rose from their colonial borders or demarcations.
African borders are not based on lineage or clans but are based on land only. There are no tribal borders or tribal states in Africa or anywhere else in this world, and there will never be one.
There are only national borders of states whose nations make-up consists of many tribes or clans that share common borders and sovereignty. The following African Tribes clearly show of how same African clans are distributed over different countries. The inhabitance or residence of some African clans is as follows:
– Fulani Tribe: This tribe inhabits in Mali, Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon etc.
– Tuareg Tribe : This tribe has inhabitance in Senegal, Nigeria, Mali, Niger etc.
– Lunda Tribe: This tribe inhabits in Congo, Zambia, and Angola.
– Yoruba Tribe: This tribe has inhabitance in Nigeria, Benin, and Togo.
– Maasai Tribe: This tribe resides in Kenya, and Tanzania.
– Afar Tribe: This tribe inhabits in Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Djibouti.
– Berber Tribe: This tribe has inhabitance in Morroco, Tunisia, Libya, Algeria.
– Isaaq Tribe: This tribe inhabits in Somaliland, Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti.
– Samaroon Tribe: This tribe inhabits in Somaliland, Ethiopia, and Djibouti.
– Hawiye Tribe: This tribe inhabits in Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia.
– Darood Tribe: This tribe inhabits in Somalia, Somaliland, Kenya, Ethiopia.
– Rahanwein Tribe: This tribe has inhabitance in Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya.
– Essa Tribe: This tribe inhabits in Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Somaliland.
– Gabooye Tribe: This tribe inhabits in Somaliland, Somalia, Ethiopia.
All other continents have also tribes and clans similar to Africa who have inhabitance in different countries. The internal security and peace of Africa rest on respecting, recognizing, and implementing its current borders that rose from colonial borders. If an African country would claim the tribe and its land located in another African Country, the continent would fall to endless devastating, bloody clan wars, violence and anarchy. The African continent would not exist as we know it today. The peace and stability of African states (or Asia and South America) depend on respecting and recognizing colonial borders.
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 on June 26, 1960. Somaliland Republic has undeniable rights to claim independence, statehood, and diplomatic recognition based on its own unique colonial borders like any other African country while Puntland cannot have such rights because it is part of Somalia and shares colonial borders and nationhood with it.
Somaliland and Somalia are not the first two countries in this world whose union ceased to exist. The Soviet Union that had 15 Socialist Republics created by the Bolshevik Revolution led by Lenin in 1917 broke up after social upheavals and political discontent ended its existence peacefully in 1989 with new countries emerging from it such as Georgia, Ukraine, Armenia, Uzbekistan, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia etc. They are all recognized by the UN and international community on the basis of their original borders existing before the union. The federation of former Republic of Yugoslavia that had 8 countries broke up too after bloody civil wars between 1991-1995 and new countries such as Serbia, Croatia , Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo etc emerged from its ashes. All are recognized diplomatically too for their original borders existing before the federation. This shows that the unity among countries that share a union is not sacred anymore if they disagree.
Some Somalis believe that Somaliland can not withdraw from the union with Somalia or even be recognized claiming that Somalis share same language, religion, color, and culture. If this claim were true for achieving union, the Arab World which has nearly 17 independent countries such as Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, and Sudan, and that also share same language, religion, culture, and color would not have separate independent sates. They do not have any federal or union for disagreeing to share one.
Independent Republic of Somaliland was the first to pioneer the unification between Somaliland and Somalia on July 1, 1960 in quest for Greater Somalia in the Horn of Africa. The union was doomed after Somalia hijacked the governments for the thirty years of its existence (1960-1990) and then committed atrocities against Somaliland people when they rebelled against injustices and humiliation perpetrated against them. Only justice and fair power-sharing are the most important factors for a union to survive and that is what Somalia failed to understand in the years of the union.
The idea of “Greater Somalia” emerged in the middle of the Second World War [1939-1945] and the main objective was to liberate the five Somali Territories and bring them together under the same banner and government in the Horn of Africa. That idea of “Greater Somalia” (Somaliweyn) is as elusive as “Greater Arab” today and no one knows when it will come true. Only Somaliland and Somalia do not constitute “Greater Somalia” while excluding the other three ( 3 ) Somali territories. The tribalist dictatorial regime of Siyad Barre buried the hope for “Greater Somalia” for committing unforeseen atrocities and human rights abuses in Somaliland and turning native tribes against one another. Siyad’s brutal military tribalistic regime is solely responsible for the pains and disasters that Somalis face in the Horn of Africa and around the world.
Many who were responsible for the atrocities in Somaliland are calling today for the restoration of the failed union that they ruined just for opportunistic, tribalistic reasons. Somaliland people will not be deceived again with false umbrella of “Greater Somalia” to restore the doomed union. Non-existent “Greater Somalia” will not be used again to have Somaliland people victimized again by refugees and Southerners who want to rule their land at expense of its own people. Somaliland belongs to Somalilanders only and will remain so forever.
The Federal Government of Somalia and Puntland Administration of Somalia are strongly advised that peace and good neighborly relations between Somaliland Republic and Somalia will only depend on respecting, recognizing, and implementing the border between Somaliland and Somalia. Somaliland will stay independent of Somalia, and Somaliland people will not throw their destiny away again but will defend it. Somaliland Borders are unalterable as any African Borders are.