Somaliland:The Pre-Modern Style of Tribalism against the Modern Style of Democracy

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mapThe political history of the flora and fauna exposes that around 95.13% of the 248 dependent territories and independent states have been colonised by the Western countries, mostly in Britain, which invaded more than 90% of the world countries, although not fully colonised. Britain conquered 223 territories, but officially colonised more than 80 countries in the biosphere.

France was the second largest Colonial Empire in the world behind the British Empire. The rest was under the other European Colonial Empires and the colonial Empire of Japan, which I can refer its colonial footprints from the countries of Taiwan and Korea. The decolonisation of the current independent sovereign states emerged from the resolution of 1514 adopted by the General Assembly in 1960.

A United Nations Special Committee on Decolonisation, was created in 1961 by the General Assembly. The perseverance was to monitor in order to put into practice the applications of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, which was the process of the decolonisation of the political resolution voted by 89 out of 99 member states. In this article, I will illustrate how the international states of the world were formed, whilst demonstrating the nature of the colonial system and how the imported democracy assimilated the indigenous cultures and norms of those countries. But mainly I will focus, the only 12 countries that partly or never colonised by the European Empires in 18th and 19th centuries. And finally, whether Somaliland will survive from the repercussions of undigested instrumental democracy.

The Winners or Colony Free States

The State of Japan was formed in 660 BC, and it has never been colonised by any other state, in its history, Japan was considered as a colonial empire itself. The main reason that Japan was free from any colonial system was because of its power and resistance. Iran was colony free as its first official empire established in 550 BC, it was also a powerful empire and the country was able to maintain its independence to the present day so as Thailand.  The other never colonised countries were Bhutan and Liberia. The latter, was ruled by the free black and former slaves from the US to Liberia in 1820, where Bhutan fought wars against the British, even though it lost some territory and its political influence, it succeeded to keep its autonomy.

The Rather Doubtful Winners

The countries of Nepal, China, Tonga and Ethiopia were believed to be disputed or doubtful winners. For instance, although Nepal was never became under British colony as their empire fought against any invasion. However, Nepal ceded and compromised a third of its territory and that is why I considered the dubious category. The fact that part of mainland China was a colony (such as Hong Kong and Macao) and the reality that politically, economically and socially interference by various Western Powers and Japan made China a disputed winner, which means not officially colonised but rather politically and militarily screwed by other different ways. Tonga was itself as a territorial integrity under British Protectorate for years like Somaliland once was, but the country’s indigenous monarchy was fully independent politically up to the present. While, Ethiopia was once invaded by Italy in 1936, when Mussolini was expanding his New Roman Empire. But fortunately, with the help of the British ejection in 1941 Ethiopia regained its independence in 1944, which is why Ethiopia moved back 8 years from its national calendar.

The Ineligibles

Finally, by referring the global political science, the other three was called the ineligible countries; they are Mongolia, North Korea and South Korea. Although the latter countries once were not two different countries, they both resisted the West as a one nation. What made them to fall under the category of ineligible countries was Japan’s 35 year rule. Meanwhile, Mongolia was ruled by China, the reality was they both escaped the Western Colonial System. Therefore, the nature and the political formation of these countries were collective bottom up political approach, which is more productive and wealthier than the imposed political philosophy of economic liberty and partisan democracy that ends up violent and political uncertainty.

It is obvious that the economy and the living standard of China and South Korea are nearly similar to the first world economy, whereas, Japan is similar to Germany and the UK. On the other hand, the economic growth of Iran, Thailand, Mongolia, Ethiopia, Nepal, Bhutan, and Liberia are ‘’between 3.6% to 10.5% of the real GDP growth’’, apart from Tonga, which is a little bit behind its fellow above mentioned countries. According to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. As these nations are all having one thing in common ‘’colony free’’ their internal structure of conflict is hard to transpire, even if it occurs when politics fail. External intervention is unlikely as their leaders and political culture is an indigenous bottom up approach, and that is one of the main causes of economic growth and political maturity. Where every other decolonised state failed to cope their political strategy as their leaders and political culture is imported and external made approach, and that is one of the main causes of economic uncertainty and political failure of all other colonised nations of the world, which Somaliland is part and among, in terms of the colonial period itself and the currently imported democracy, without omitting its political culture of tribal ideology.

Democracy and Somaliland

Although, Somaliland was not a member of the above 12 countries, the main question lies, whether Somaliland, which is a former British protectorate will survive from a foreign intervention if it fails to practice the imported instrumental democracy? The people of Somaliland had never adopted the Western Culture, and this is one of the reasons that their culture, which based on tribal influential system determines their political life. The political confusion of democracy in Somaliland is the mismatch of the background culture of its indigenous citizens and politics. Because the very basic instrumental democracy, which is to form political parties, national electoral commission, election laws and free and fair elections ruled by majority vote, and the tribal influence is controverting.

If we revisit and retrace our steps, the formation of Somaliland State shows that the political culture of its existence at the very first stage was the indigenous philosophical tradition on the tribal political accommodation. This was the fundamental basis of the armistice of Somaliland. But at this instant, the case is very different, the country’s political culture is multi-party system and the instrumental democracy variegated with the foundations of tribal linkage of metaphysical approach. These two pre-modern (tribal ideology) and modern (democracy) political cultures and behaviours cannot able to work together any longer, because their basic principles never match each other, one should exterminate the other as tribalism opposes democracy far beyond its existence. Inappropriately, the subsequent governments and political elites of Somaliland never tried to do so. In this article I would like to glimpse these scenario, but it will be a scientific research question for me, in which I proposed to conduct inside Somaliland in the near future.

In conclusion, timely elections are the most appropriate factor of peace, development and the social stability of the nation state. The 12 colony free nation states showed how their internal politics and cultural life opposed Western Colonial Empires. If Somaliland accomplishes a permanent solution against the irregularities of democracy and the tribalism argumentativeness, which is the only two problematic cases that the country adopted, it can be assured a lengthy solid peace as well as a viable economic development to the people of the country.

 

Mohamed Hagi Mohamoud. Department of Politics and International Studies. The University of Warwick. Email:m.hagi-mohamoud@warwick.ac.uk, mohamedomar1@hotmail.com.

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