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Somaliland, an unrecognized country, is making friends abroad

ON JULY IST 1960Five days after breaking the colonial ties, the former British Somaliland merged with the former Italian Somaliland to form a unified Somalia. That was a bad move. The dictatorship of Siadbare, who took office in 1969, downplayed and slaughtered Somali Lander. On May 18, 1991, five months after his fall, until then Somaliland simply declared independence. It was an expression of intent and a regret. The asylum seekers went home to rebuild their country. “Hargisa was destroyed by rubble,” recalls Souad Ibrahim Abdi, an activist for women’s rights. “There was no building or water.”

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What happened next is the story of the founding of Somaliland. At the confab under the stars of trees and deserts, the clans agreed to share power. The presidential election continued on a regular basis. The country is poor, but without much help it has developed somewhat. Hargeisa is not the most beautiful capital, but it offers great camel milkshakes. This is all in contrast to the Somali turmoil that foreigners have generously used money and guns.

This month, Somali Lander celebrates 30 years of peace. 4.5 million countries have made friends abroad. But that sovereignty remains unrecognized. When discussing it, the West leaves it to African countries, and Somalia opposes the concessions of the suzerain. “It’s a big problem,” says Abdi. But where do we go from here? “

One answer can be found in Berbera in the Gulf of Aden. “We call it our hope,” said Khalifa Ibrahim, the mayor’s adviser, pointing to the expanded port opened in 2018. DP world. Somaliland expects a $ 442 million (largest in history) investment by a Dubai-based port operator to catalyze its economy. Port charges and tariffs already account for 70-80% of government revenue. Alongside the new facility, plans are a free trade area, an airport, a hotel, an oil terminal, and a park that can accommodate 1,000 trucks. Land prices have skyrocketed tenfold.

Somaliland sees the port as a political advantage. “It has improved our position in the region,” claims Mayor Abdishakul Mohamoud Hassan. Ethiopia under Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration is approaching Somalia. His landlocked country relies on the port of Djibouti for most of its imports. Belvera’s new facility, in which Ethiopia holds a 19% stake, offers another option.

Belvera is also in the United Arab Emirates (United Arab Emirates) Regional alternative scaffolding.After a long controversy, Djibouti DP There are facilities around the world in 2018. The Somali government of Mogadishu has an alliance with Turkey and Qatar. United Arab Emirates, Became the first Arab country to send a permanent diplomat to Hargeisa in March.

It joined others to establish its presence. Kenya recently announced that it will establish a consulate in the capital. In August, Taiwan opened an East Africa office there, promising assistance to fellow sovereign countries. China tried to stop the move. However, Somaliland said it does not support the principle that Taiwan is part of China, which is the only one. “Somaliland has shown its backbone,” says Taiwanese representative Allen Chenfa Lu.

These diplomatic advances show how far Somaliland has progressed in 30 years. However, some locals are still worried about whether the stable, clan-based political system is still correct. “Somali landers always say we are a good model of the continent,” says Guleid Jama, a local human rights center. NGO.. “But I don’t think we are anymore.”

The constitution passed in 2001 aimed to loosen the clan’s grip on politics. It limits the number of political parties to three and encourages coalition. However, most voters still always vote by clan.

Mohammed Fadal, a local think tank at the Institute for Social Research and Development, claims that this is a system that “hinders our prosperity.” Jobs and contracts are distributed based on clans, not benefits. “The clan cannot be left behind,” explains Mo Farah of the Peace Development Academy, another think tank, as the founding principle of Somaliland’s politics. In some countries it may be a better model than winning all national politics, but many citizens find it hindering the development of true democracy.

Institutions intended to seek clarification from the government are weak. Judges rarely bow to executives and prosecute corruption. Congress is a rubber stamp. On May 31, Somaliland will hold a parliamentary election for the first time in 16 years. The media may be more free. Foreign journalists are treated gracefully and kindly, but local journalists can be arrested for upsetting the wrong person. Last year, a court ordered a local social media star to deport for a tea-drinking post from a mug with a picture of the Somali flag.

In the courtyard of the Hargeisa Cultural Center, young Somali landers dance and make music videos. The director of the center, Jama Musse Jama, points them through the windows of his office and states that 70% of the country is under the age of 30. “Peace is not enough for these young people,” he says. “They need jobs and opportunities.” An estimated 75% do not have jobs.

Women are also ignored. Sucaad Odowa spent 24 years in London before returning to Hargeisa. “But I didn’t count on the status of women in my country,” she said, saying that women lack the right to divorce and require the consent of their male relatives for a caesarean section. I quoted it. Women’s inequality led her to run for parliament against the wishes of the clan’s elders. There is only one woman in the 82 House of Representatives MP..

Islam is another conservative force. Last year, the women’s soccer tournament was canceled because it apparently defeated Shariah. In the city of Burco, the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Discipline has closed some women-owned businesses.

Some Somali landers personally admit that lack of international recognition is a convenient excuse for domestic shortcomings. However, unless it is recognized, it is difficult for governments to get aid and loans, and for businesses to sell things abroad. Traveling with a Somaliland passport that many countries are not aware of can be a nightmare.

Soon, Somaliland would have spent more time as a de facto independent state than as part of a unified Somalia. Most Somali landers are unaware of other stats. And they want their country to write their own story, even if it’s not always a fairy tale. ■■

This article was published in the printed Middle East and Africa section under the heading “30 years from the rubble.”

Somaliland, an unrecognized country, is making friends abroad

Source link Somaliland, an unrecognized country, is making friends abroad

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