By Ibrahim Hassan Gagale
Date: Feb. 4, 2014.
The political map of Africa that shows its independent countries had not been made by African nations or by the African Union. It is the result of the European Colonial Occupation that invaded African Continent at the end of the 19th century and divided it up into territories with colonial borders for their own political sphere of influence. When leaving Africa in the 1950s and 1960s, the Europeans based the independence and diplomatic recognition of all African emerging countries on their colonial borders. Thus, the colonial borders created current African States.
Somaliland Republic was not a province or region that seceded or broke away from Somalia as Somalia claims blindly. Somaliland was independent nation when it shared the doomed union with Somalia in 1960 and, in fact, it achieved independence before Somalia. Before Somaliland independence of June 26, 1960, Somaliland was British Protectorate with its own colonial borders while Somalia was Italian colony that achieved independence on July 1, 1960 with on its own colonial borders.
Somaliland was recognized by the United Nations and many countries on June 26, 1960 like the rest of African countries. Somaliland independence and diplomatic recognition of 1960 were based on its own colonial borders like the rest of Africa.
The West and the United Nations, which is influenced by the West too, had been withholding Somaliland diplomatic recognition for 23 years. When the Soviet Union broke up in 1989 and Federal Yugoslavia disintegrated in 1995, the Western World recognized automatically all the new countries emerging from these doomed unions while unfairly requiring Somaliland to get Ok from Somalia and the African Union as a condition for its recognition knowing that Somaliland had separate independence in 1960 based on its own colonial borders and withdrew from the doomed union with Somalia. This is ugly, deplorable double standard from the Western World. Somaliland does not need approval from Somalia or from the African Union. It just demands diplomatic recognition of the international community like the new states emerging from the collapsed Soviet Union and from the disintegrated Federal Yugoslavia. It wants to be recognized on the basis of its own colonial borders with which all African, Asian, and South American countries were recognized as independent states and members of the United Nations.
The Republic of South Sudan used to be a region belonging to Sudan Before 2011. Unlike Somaliland, it was not a separate protectorate or a colony and never had colonial borders of its own that could justify its independence and diplomatic recognition. It shared colonial borders and independence with the Republic of Sudan. It was integral part of Sudan.
The Western World cut it off from Sudan in 2011 and recognized it diplomatically as an independent country while denying Somaliland the same diplomatic recognition that it deserves rightfully more than South Sudan for having been separate Colonial Protectorate with its own colonial borders. This denial is a gross injustice of the Western World that has no grounds or reasons to support at all. It is just Western deplorable double standard.
Somaliland Republic is located on the Red Sea which is strategic position in Africa, especially in the Horn of Africa, and it is the Gate Way to Africa, Arab World, and Europe. It is fortunate to have such geopolitical strategic location in the world. The geopolitics of the world will change soon. It is well predicted that China may over take the United States in 2026 and assert itself soon as world super power.
China is already looking for strategic locations in Africa for future military bases to challenge the West. Somaliland may take advantage of this changing geopolitics of the world because of its geopolitical location in the world and bargain with it in the future for its diplomatic recognition, economic development as well as military hardware Somaliland will either remain friendly to the Western interests in that part of the world if the West grants diplomatic recognition to
Somaliland soon, which it deserves rightfully, or Somaliland geopolitical location will pose serious threat to the Western interests if Somaliland is denied of recognition and it moves to the East and enters military and economic alliance with China offering it military base at the strategic Seaport of Berbera. Somaliland could become a new
Taiwan in the Horn of Africa against the West but with diplomatic recognition because of its historical status. This is a stern warning to the double standard of the West opposing Somaliland recognition. The West must make the right choice now for recognizing Somaliland before it loses this strategic country to the East. East and West will never be on the same side in this world because of their sharp political and economic differences and because of the Western colonial occupation of the East.
Unlike Somaliland, the Tawain Island was part of China and broke away from it in 1949 when Mao Tse Tung took over China with the Communist Revolution. The King of China at that time fled to the Twain and proclaimed independent state on the Island, and that is why it does not have diplomatic recognition yet. The Twain Island is industrial country today receiving huge economic and military support from the United States to challenge China. Somaliland was not a part or province of Somalia but Somaliland and Somalia were two independent countries which shared the failed union in 1960 after achieving independence from Great
Britain and Italy respectively. Somalia was solely responsible for
dooming that union after committing atrocities against Somaliland people
in 1980s which forced Somaliland people to withdraw from the union and
reclaim its independence in 1991. Recently, Somalia admitted that it
committed atrocities against Somaliland.
The claim of Africa Union and some African leaders that if Somaliland is recognized, it will be threat to the stability of the continent is false and preposterous. These leaders know unequivocally that Somaliland has the same historical status with all the African countries. They know that Somaliland has the same colonial borders with which their countries received independence and diplomatic recognition and that Somaliland became independent country on June 26, 1960 as many of their countries.May be some African leaders and others confuse Somaliland with Puntland.
Puntland is an integral part of Somalia and shares colonial borders and history with Somalia. Those who are against Somaliland recognition, needto read the history of the African continent.
Somaliland is situated in the Horn of Africa. It lies between the 08°00′- 11°30′ parallel North of the Equator and between 42°30′ – 49°00′ Meridian East of Greenwich. It is bordered by the Red Sea to the North, Djibouti to the West, Ethiopia to the South, and Somalia to the East.
Somaliland has a coastline with the majority lying along the Gulf of Aden (Red Sea). The country is slightly larger than England, with an area of 137 600 km² (53,100 sq miles).
Somaliland people have the right to self-determination and they will not compromise their hard-won destiny with another union with Somalia. Unions and federalism do not survive in Africa because of the chronic tribalism and corruption that plunge the continent in endless civil wars and economic setbacks. No one needs or wants to see devastating civil wars between Somalia and Somaliland again. Fruits in one’s pocket are not thrown away for fruits on the top of a high tree. Somaliland chooses the fruits in the pocket over fruits on a high tree because they are sure and reliable to eat. Somaliland people choose its own independence over unreliable union with Somalia that would have unpredictable future that could lead to another civil war. Remember: Once won is not won twice.
Written: Ibrahim Hassan Gagale.