Somaliland: Is The New Deal a Deal or What Now?

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By: Dr Yusuf Dirir Ali

Somalilandsun – The Republic of Somaliland has better understanding of what goes on in Somalia than any other entity on this earth, but the International community has barely paid any attention to what Somaliland had to say about the way forward in solving the precarious problems in this region and specially in Somalia, where anarchy, terrorism, human trafficking and corruption and sea piracy make the daily newspaper headlines.

The International Community’s mistake of this decade was to hastily endorse the illegally selected regime of Mr. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud – Mr. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who had no experience of running a political institution was allowed to come to power in a sham and primitive clannish selection system.

To make a bad situation even worst and in the face of the opposition of the Republic of Somaliland, the International Community recognized the regime of Mr. Mohamud as the legitimate Somali government and dangerously came close to arming him to the teeth.

Based on the situation in Somalia, the Republic of Somaliland decided not to attend the London and Brussels conferences, but instead submitted its own development and reconstruction plan. Many countries and international organizations were not in favour of Somaliland’s non participation of these two conferences that were co-chaired by Mr. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and specifically held for Somalia.

Countries that were close friends of Somaliland became cynical to Somaliland’s initiative for presenting a development pathway different from what the international community had in mind for both Somaliland and Somalia.

Finally, after cumbersome and persuasive meetings with the Somaliland government, the International Community reluctantly accepted the home-made Somaliland development and reconstruction plan. The Somaliland plan was based on its development and reconstruction needs and was much different from what the International Community contemplated to be the right plan for both Somaliland and Somalia.

Divergent from its troubled neighbor to the South, Somaliland unilaterally annulled a 30 year-old failed union with Somalia. During those union years, Somaliland received the rough end of the Somalia-led corrupt, brutal and dictatorship.

Thus far, Somaliland experienced peace for more than two decades and opted for open-market economy and democratic multiparty systems. It held multiple free, fair and democratic elections. Somaliland has functioning government institutions and robust civil society institutions in place.

Somalia doesn’t even have anything that resembles rudimentary security or political institutions and it lacks anything with the similitude of a financial system. Furthermore, Somalia is tainted with one corruption scandal after another.

The latest corruption scandal is the UN allegation of Somalia regime’s illegally siphoning millions of dollars of aid money from the Central Bank of Somalia. That scandal led to the resignation of two Somalia Central Bank Governors on the trot and in less the two months.

In a surprise move, the Somalia regime discredited the UN compiled report through a contradicting report that was primed by what the Somalia regime called a reputable team from an international firms – that team was comprised of attorneys from American law firm Schulman, Rogers, Gandal, Porty & Ecker, and forensic accountants from global business advisory firm FTI Consultants, Inc. The two companies were retained and appointed by the Somali federal government.

Later on, Ms. Yusur Abraar, who resigned the Somalia Central Bank governorship in protest, revealed that these two companies were complacently working with Mr. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s regime on illegally putting their hands on the frozen assets belonging to the former Somali Republic – these assets are co-owned by Somaliland and Somalia. Subsequently, MS. Abraar fled Somalia “scared for her life and so unlikely to return to Somalia”

In foresight, it will take many decades before Somalia fulfills the Montevideo conditions for statehood, because it does not respect international agreements, does not control the territory it claims to be under its control and it is unable to protect its citizen.

Historically, Somaliland was the mother-country – it was a sovereign country, while Somalia was still an Italian colony, the two became united and formed the now disbanded former Somali Republic. In that case, Somaliland is morally and legally supposed to become the internationally recognized entity.

The International community must now better understand the reason behind Somaliland’s estrangement of itself from Somalia’s chaotic corruption and deficiency in security and credible institutions. Somaliland knows that any association with Somalia will ruin its hard-earned international reputation and does not want to throw away its hard-earned sovereignty into the lap of the terror-ridden Somalia.

Furthermore, the ball is now in the courtyard of the International Community – it has no deal but the Somaliland deal. The International community needs to listen carefully to what Somaliland has to say and fulfill its demand for sovereignty.

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