Members of the Somali community in Cardiff are calling the Somalilland to be recognised by the international community as a country in its own right. The east African country declared independence from the Republic of Somalia in 1991, but has not yet been recognised by the UN or the African Union.
Campaigners welcomed Cardiff council’s vote last year to recognise Somaliland and are pressing the UK and Welsh governments to do the same. They joined campaigners lobbying outside Whitehall as they celebrated its independence day on May 18.
Eid Ali Ahmed, a senior member of the community in Cardiff and Somaliland in Cardiff and Somaliland Societies in Europe Development Commissioner, said the country was “an oasis of relative peace and prosperity in a troubled region”. He said Somaliland needs international development to prosper. He said this would also help its young people to make lives at home rather than joining growing numbers of refugees coming to Europe.
“Thousands of young Somalis who are fleeing to Europe for opportunities will stay home as there would be opportunities for employment for them,” he said. “It is a tragedy that many of them perish in the rough seas and others are destitute in the middle of nowhere in places such as Libya. As many as 300 young Somalilanders have perished in the Mediterranean Sea trying to get to Europe. This flight of young Somalilanders is the main problem facing Somaliland and the solution is economic uplift, but this depends on international investment which is subject to the country being recognised.”