By: Rashid Nur (Somaliland Mission in the US)
This is a question that I have been asked for many times. I have also seen other people answer it in their own way. Today, I want to share my answer to this question with you in this note in the hope that (a) it will give an answer to those who are asking this question themselves (b) encourage other Somalilanders to think about how best to answer this question and (c) define clear narrative to educate those who do not know Somaliland about it.
In my mind the best way to answer this question is also to consider answering another question that feels and sounds the same; why should Somaliland exist?. I consider these two questions are basically asking the same thing in the sense that both of them are fundamentally questioning the existence of Somaliland. My shortest answer to both of these questions is the following:
[Somaliland is the will of the people. It is; identity, self-determination, freedom, & liberty for the people to live in a sovereign nation].
Here is my attempt to elaborate on the above statement and what it means for the people of Somaliland.
- Identity: Somaliland is our identity, it is who we are and it is who we have always been, and it is who we’ll always be.
- Self-determination: Somaliland is our self-determination (our own God-given right) to make a choice and define who we are, who we choose to be.
- Freedom: Somaliland represents the ultimate freedom for the people; to live in freedom and to have the freedom to determine who we are or want to be
- Liberty: Somaliland represents liberty and the fundamental desire to live independently and freedom from external control
Why should Somaliland exist?
Somaliland is our identity and it is our self determination and we want the International community to respect our God given right and self determination to choose our identity and who we are. Somaliland is our freedom and our liberty which we have sacrificed the lives of more than 100,000 people and the destruction of the entire property of the Somaliland people. Surely the alternative to Somaliland recognition is a long new conflict in the region that will cause more destruction of property and the loss of more human lives than have already been lost. The reality in the ground such as the peace and stability achieved in Somaliland, the successful democratic process and elections conducted for all levels of government, and the establishment of open society that respects the rule of law and that is willing to protect their freedom and liberty is more evidence to show that Somaliland represents the will and the hopes of the people for their nation and that it is here to stay the same course.
Why Should Somaliland be recognized?
Somaliland should be recognized because it is the will of the people. Somaliland have met all the international requirements to gain recognition for a sovereign nation such as controlling its territory and maintaining the colonial borders as required by African Union. Somaliland has clearly demonstrated it can positively make contributions to the region and to the International community by playing a role of peaceful and stable nation, by establishing strong security and economic relationships with its neighbors, and by working with the International community both in fighting piracy and terrorism in the region, and by providing supply routes for the United Nations to transport food to Somalia.