Somaliland: President Silanyo,The Mastermind of Somaliland’s New Direction

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H.E Ahmed Mahmoud Silanyo The 2030 visionary President of SomalilandBy: Ahmed Ali Aden

Diplomacy is a cunning profession and dangerously double edged.

For Somaliland, two days (22, 28 June 2012) have been a very moving days, because the past is always here. It never goes away. Somalilanders always believe that you can select what is best from the past to help you go forward to the future. For many years we bore the burden of international isolation, but we have displayed patience and endurance to a degree not easily imagined.

Somaliland experienced itself as being received, welcomed and understood as it is by the TGF and the international community. The end of the two days of talks in London on Somaliland and Somalia provided a framework and an end to the metaphors from both sides of the talks. Somaliland is reassured that talks will go on until the two sides reach an agreement regardless of the time.

This means that talks are phased out to be in a sequential order. The negotiators tried to sketch the talks in a crude and preliminary manner. Talks on this level are usually like this particularly when countries like Norway – which has a substantial experience on conflict negotiations- is involved.

There have been similar act of international level negotiations where countries receded their parent country or troubled union as in the case of Somaliland. Countries like, Eat Timor, Eretria, South Sudan claimed or reclaimed their independence after long intense talks with their old partner. These talks/negotiations take years to reach a fruitful result whereby both sides are content with the outcome.

But it took 21 years for Somaliland to bring its issue of independence and recognition to an international level. One will wander why this has happened. Why now and not before. What was preventing us to do this before? Was it that previous Somaliland administrations had no confidence to sell our case, or was it that they were shy to make their voice heard in an international level? Or did they believe that the world would come to their doorstep and speak for them. Were they waiting that Somalia will one day announce our independence without political courtship? I think the answers are self-explanatory. We were wrong to believe whatever we believed before and we were wrong to hang on such a political self- isolation attitude for that long. But the most interesting question is that who and what have changed our attitude now. The following may answer some of the above questions.

President Silanyo is strengthened by the aspiration of his people to go forward and give of his very best in meeting the new challenges that lie ahead. Because he knows that Somaliland is expecting the best of his own. Somaliland is facing political and socio-economic hurdles which require a change of attitude from politicians and the public alike. These obstacles need political and socio-cultural skills in order to circumvent the issues at hand. President Silanyo and his administration know that the road ahead is not going to be easy if it is not faced with unity and with consultation at a national level. I believe Silanyo is highly an intelligent person, who is planning and directing a complex and difficult project – Somaliland. He is the mastermind of this young nation’s new direction.

It is a surprise move for Somaliland and Somalia and it shows that both are in the direction of political maturity. They both showed that they are coming of age by behaving in adulthood manner. We, Somalilanders have to acknowledge and thank for the Somali interim administration (TFG) for attending such a sensitive meeting for the first time in 21 years. Nelson Mandela once said; if the former South African president – F.W. de-Klarke – did not pave the way for new democratic South Africa, the country would have been different today and I would still have been in jail.

For that reason, if the TFG or its replacement does not work with Somaliland in the hope of finding a lasting solution to our future relationship, Somaliland will still be in a legal limbo. Some international observers are asking themselves whether the Somali authority will bring any legal challenge against the Somaliland government, forcing it to remain in the union. I think it is difficult to see how they can do that but they may try to drag out the negotiations and buy more time out in detriment to Somaliland. It is therefore, good to see that the British government, Norway and the European Union are making interventions on behalf of Somaliland and Somalia.

Some leading global investment banks with largest client bases in the world are watching these talks. The World Bank, the IMF and the European Unions have all courteously welcomed the Somalia and Somaliland talks.

Ahmed Ali Aden

Birmingham

UK

By: Ahmed Ali Aden

Diplomacy is a cunning profession and dangerously double edged.

For Somaliland, two days (22, 28 June 2012) have been a very moving days, because the past is always here. It never goes away. Somalilanders always believe that you can select what is best from the past to help you go forward to the future. For many years we bore the burden of international isolation, but we have displayed patience and endurance to a degree not easily imagined.

Somaliland experienced itself as being received, welcomed and understood as it is by the TGF and the international community. The end of the two days of talks in London on Somaliland and Somalia provided a framework and an end to the metaphors from both sides of the talks. Somaliland is reassured that talks will go on until the two sides reach an agreement regardless of the time. This means that talks are phased out to be in a sequential order. The negotiators tried to sketch the talks in a crude and preliminary manner. Talks on this level are usually like this particularly when countries like Norway – which has a substantial experience on conflict negotiations- is involved.

There have been similar act of international level negotiations where countries receded their parent country or troubled union as in the case of Somaliland. Countries like, Eat Timor, Eretria, South Sudan claimed or reclaimed their independence after long intense talks with their old partner. These talks/negotiations take years to reach a fruitful result whereby both sides are content with the outcome.

But it took 21 years for Somaliland to bring its issue of independence and recognition to an international level. One will wander why this has happened. Why now and not before. What was preventing us to do this before? Was it that previous Somaliland administrations had no confidence to sell our case, or was it that they were shy to make their voice heard in an international level? Or did they believe that the world would come to their doorstep and speak for them. Were they waiting that Somalia will one day announce our independence without political courtship? I think the answers are self-explanatory. We were wrong to believe whatever we believed before and we were wrong to hang on such a political self- isolation attitude for that long. But the most interesting question is that who and what have changed our attitude now. The following may answer some of the above questions.

President Silanyo is strengthened by the aspiration of his people to go forward and give of his very best in meeting the new challenges that lie ahead. Because he knows that Somaliland is expecting the best of his own. Somaliland is facing political and socio-economic hurdles which require a change of attitude from politicians and the public alike. These obstacles need political and socio-cultural skills in order to circumvent the issues at hand. President Silanyo and his administration know that the road ahead is not going to be easy if it is not faced with unity and with consultation at a national level. I believe Silanyo is highly an intelligent person, who is planning and directing a complex and difficult project – Somaliland. He is the mastermind of this young nation’s new direction.

It is a surprise move for Somaliland and Somalia and it shows that both are in the direction of political maturity. They both showed that they are coming of age by behaving in adulthood manner. We, Somalilanders have to acknowledge and thank for the Somali interim administration (TFG) for attending such a sensitive meeting for the first time in 21 years. Nelson Mandela once said; if the former South African president – F.W. de-Klarke – did not pave the way for new democratic South Africa, the country would have been different today and I would still have been in jail.

For that reason, if the TFG or its replacement does not work with Somaliland in the hope of finding a lasting solution to our future relationship, Somaliland will still be in a legal limbo. Some international observers are asking themselves whether the Somali authority will bring any legal challenge against the Somaliland government, forcing it to remain in the union. I think it is difficult to see how they can do that but they may try to drag out the negotiations and buy more time out in detriment to Somaliland. It is therefore, good to see that the British government, Norway and the European Union are making interventions on behalf of Somaliland and Somalia.

Some leading global investment banks with largest client bases in the world are watching these talks. The World Bank, the IMF and the European Unions have all courteously welcomed the Somalia and Somaliland talks.

Ahmed Ali Aden

Birmingham

UK

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