By: Mo Ali/medeshi
Somalilandsun – – The standing travel warning of the United Kingdom and the United States of America for its citizens to avoid visiting Somaliland on the ground of security threat is arm twisting.
It is a method designed by the International Community to persuade the Somaliland government and the wider public to accept negotiating with the Western installed government of Somalia on federal basis.
It is obvious on how the Western world has given much attention and media coverage on all of the actions of the weak Somali government. The Somali president was received on Feb 6 2013 by the British PM at No 10 Downing St. in London and the UK government immediately committed to £3 million aid to Somalia. The EU has also pledged to build the Somali institutions and to start their initiative by training the Somali parliament – which is a move that I see as positive.
While all of this was being given to the weak government of Somalia that only controls the Capital, Mogadishu and few kilometres beyond its vicinity with the help of thousands of Soldiers of the African Union , the West were issuing consecutive warning against any travel of its citizens to Somaliland , Puntland and parts all parts of Southern Somalia. But Somaliland is a peaceful enclave just north of Somalia that had a democratic government since its first presidential elections in 2002.
Somaliland , a sovereign state that is not recognized internationally, has since its secession from Somalia in 1991, conducted two presidential elections , two local government elections and one parliamentary election.
Both the public and the private sectors of Somaliland have significantly progressed for the last two decades with little support from the outside world. The country has one of the largest ports in the Horn of Africa and a large airport with the longest runway in Africa built by the soviet Union in the seventies at Berbera . Hundreds of thousands of tons of food and commercial materials are imported for Ethiopia through Berbera Port annually.
Hargeisa Airport has recently been rebuilt with tarmac runways and additional VIP lounge , in addition to an airport fence and surveillance cameras and other security equipment as well as night landing lights.
There are many westerners who work in the capital , Hargeisa and most of them move freely within the main streets of the capital without any security problems .
I , myself am a Somalilander and have worked in the capital of Somaliland from 2000-2004 as an officer in an International NGO and none of our visiting white westerners have never been threatened. I find it ridiculous that a security threat warning still stands in some parts of the country with the exception of Hargeisa and Berbera more than 11 years after I have left the country.
I therefore, believe that this security warning by the West is an arm twisting conspiracy to soften the secession stand of Somaliland and is intended to force our government to bring them to the negotiating table.
It was only in July 1st 1960 that Somaliland threw away its independence for the sake of greater Somalia. The experience of the failed union with Somalia and the massacres of the people of Somaliland by the then socialist regime of Somalia makes it impossible for the people of Somaliland to opt for another re-union with lawless Somalia.
The author Mo Ali is a British citizen of Somaliland origin, living and working in London where he also edits www.medeshivalley.com