By: Latifa Yusuf Masai
Somalilandsun- This is the third narration of the History of British Somaliland From documents obtained from the National Archives – Kew – West London by Mo Ali showing the various stages that Somaliland has gone through during the colonial era. :
Due to the document being lengthily the writer has extracted a few paragraphs which reflect on the main content of the archived document while attaching the complete PDF publications and the correspondence between the British Cabinet and their representatives in the Horn of Africa for perusal by interested readers.
History of British Somaliland and Hawd Grazing issues – 15th February, 1957
By: Mo Ali
This is a British Protectorate, which we are entitled to occupy and to administer indefinitely. But it presents a serious political and economic problem, in that the livelihood of its nomadic inhabitants depends substantially on their enjoying access to the Haud and the Reserved Area, which were recognised by -the 1897 Treaty as forming part of Ethiopia. At present about half of the Protectorate^ total population of some 600,000 spend a large part of each year in these areas. The rights of the tribes to graze and water in Ethiopia were established and recognised by the 1897 Anglo-Ethiopian Treaty. By the 1954 Agreement the sovereignty of Ethiopia over the Haud and Reserved Area was reaffirmed, while at the same time the tribes”1 grazing rights were confirmed, and the Ethiopian Government agreed that the tribal organisation set up by the Protectorate Government should continue to function when the tribes are in the Haud and Reserved Area, a liaison organisation being established to preserve the link between the tribes and the Protectorate Government and to transmit to the tribes the instructions of that Government on internal tribal matters.
In contravention of this Agreement, however, the Ethiopian authorities have put pressure on, and have interfered with, the tribes from the Protectorate, This process, if continued, are liable to lead to the subversion of the allegiance of those tribes to the British Government. If this happened, the Ethiopians would be able (under the ” reciprocal rights ” article of the 1954 Agreement) to penetrate the Protectorate by claiming, in regard to the subverted tribes, the same rights which the Agreement gives to us over our tribes in the Haud and the Reserved Area.
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The writer Mo Ali is a Somalilander based in Britain and the editor of www.medeshivalley.com