Hargeisa (Somalilandsun) – When and if, Somaliland and Somalia resume their talks in Turkey, as has been proposed by both parties; it is hoped that, finally, after much dancing around the proverbial “elephant in the room matter” will be addressed, i.e., Somaliland’s de-facto independence and subsequent de-jure recognition.
Previous meetings have always tiptoed around this core issue, after all, it is a given that there will always be social, cultural and economic ties between the two countries, but no political ties.
So, it is right and proper to finally engage this crucial and sensitive subject. What will be the future relationship between Somaliland and Somalia?
As always, Somaliland is ready and eager to address this subject, not so much from the Somalia side. And that is understandable because whilst Somaliland’s claim has the support of the overwhelmingly support of its citizens, and its main argument is, we have all our institutions in place, and fulfil the criteria for an independent, who needs another union?
The Somalia side is not so keen to address the issue, because frankly, neither the current administration in Mogadishu nor its predecessor had the legitimacy to engage in such vital discussions. And sadly, this entity cannot engage in such discussions when it has no authority beyond the city limits.
However, this should be no excuse and even though such discussion may lead to short term strife, it is better in the long run for all concerned that Somaliland and Somalia remain two neighbouring nations.
Let us be clear, despite all the protestations from the UN, EU, AU and every other alphabetic soup ( who by the way are only interested in justifying their budgets, and in essence, their reason for being), it is up to the peoples of Somaliland and Somalia to determine the future relationship between the two countries.
Let us also understand; that we cannot turn back the clock. The past is the past; it is to be remembered, rued, and cherished and hopefully never to be repeated, if at all possible.
We must let go of the failed union and it’s still born child, “Greater Somalia.
Neither Turkey nor Djibouti can bring back the heady days of late June and early July 1960, when naivety and passion on one side and incredulity and wariness on the other overcame commonsense and launched a union destined to fail, and fail it did.
Somalis who had always competed but at the same time respected the “xeer” tradition set upon each other with such brutality beyond description.
We all know the cost of the implosion of the union; both the dead and among the living, and it is time to accept the reality on the ground.
There is no doubt that Somalis, both in the region and abroad will always share the same kinship, social and cultural ties, but let us accept, once and for all, there can never be a political ties between Somaliland and Somalia.
We have been down that road before and whether you want to call it “federal” or “confederation” it will never work. We are who we are. And there will come the day when the very brutality we have seen in the past few decades is once again at our door. No. It is much better for all parties and regions to develop at their own pace, and determine their own future.
Maybe someday in the near future, we shall see a Common Union of Somalis including Djibouti, Somaliland, Somalia and all the other Somali speaking areas in the region, but until such a day, we must accept the reality on the ground.
What is needed now is strong leadership from both sides to acknowledge the reality on the ground, engage in fruitful dialogue, with frank discussions on all issues and reach the inevitable consensus, that Somaliland and Somalia are destined to have social, cultural and economic ties, but never again, political ties.
You know it makes sense.
Allaa Mahad Leh