Somaliland:Open letter to the Egyptian Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry
We, the undersigned citizens of the Republic of Somaliland, are dismayed by defamatory and ill-informed remarks issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs published in your official website on 6th April 2016. The statement was released after Egyptian delegation led by your Assistant Foreign Minister for African Affairs visited in Somaliland and received warm welcome. In the statement you downgraded Somaliland’s status, ignored realities on the ground and proved your ill-intentions in destabilizing the region of the Horn of Africa for your short-sighted interest based on greedy objectives of solely benefiting the Nile River waters at the expense of the upstream states.
The Somalis are large ethnic people scattered in the Horn of African countries of Somaliland, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia. The Somali people have long ago sadly learnt Egypt’s trick in using Somali inspirations of unity to protect its self-serving interest in the Nile River not to mention Egyptian obsession in recreating a militaristic, unitary Somali state used as a pressure point to prevent Ethiopia from implementing its Nile dam projects
Somaliland has rightly decided in 1991 to pursue its interest and abandon expansionist theory of Soomaaliwayn (greater Somali Republic). The Somalilanders are committed in living peacefully with their neighbours. We vehemently support fair share of natural resources and peaceful conflict resolution based on the international law and the right to development of all peoples.
You asserted in your announcement that your delegation met leaders of Somaliland “region” and that you “support Somali people’s choices and the Federal Government of Somalia”.
The Republic of Somaliland gained independence from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on 26th June 1960 and was known as the Somaliland Protectorate. Somaliland voluntarily joined Somalia on 1st July 1960 so as to form the Somali Republic. The union failed party due to proxy wars fought on your behalf which led Somali Republic into the collapse and chaos. Somaliland then regained its independence by the Declaration of the Conference of the Somaliland communities held in Burao between 27th April 1991 and 15th May 1991.
Somaliland is a sovereign country with democratically elected president and Parliament. We have a constitution approved by the people of Somaliland on 97% in a referendum observed and praised by the international community. Our constitution upholds fundamental human rights and freedoms and we always have sympathy for victims of human rights violations wherever it happens to be including Egypt.
Somalia citizens have never made a choice to form a Federal Government of Somalia. The current government based in Mogadishu was formed under the auspice and protection of foreign troops. It does not have a mandate from Somali people, and it cannot have.
We urge you to respect the wish of the People of Somaliland and instead embark peaceful engagement with the Horn of African countries by halting destabilization and divisive policies. You shall realize that in 21st century Somalis will not die for your cause.
Mohamed Abdilahi Duale
Guleid Ahmed Jama