Somalilandsun- The ministry of foreign affairs has released a book detailing the humanitarian aspects that ultimately led to the Somaliland withdrawal from union with Somalia and subsequent quest for international recognition.
The book titled 30 Years under the Reign of Terror, the Humanitarian Case was presented by the MOFA’s political director Abdiqani Ahmed Hasan during launch including the historical and legal aspects in Hargeisa
In his presentation Abdiqani said “This Book documents the political, social and economic oppression Somaliland’s people faced from the start of the failed union with Somalia, and the human rights abuses and crimes against humanity it suffered under Siad Barre’s military regime, which led to Somaliland re-declaring its independence in1991”
Somaliland: 30 Years under the Reign of Terror, the Humanitarian Case
PART I Establishment of British Somaliland 1884
• In the mid-16thcentury, the Ottoman Empire occupied the coastal region of Somaliland, which is located near Bab el Mandab Strait, in order to control the trade in and out of the Red Sea. For 300years, the Ottoman Empire controlled Zeila, Berbera, and the other Somaliland coastal cities on the Red Sea.
British Administrative Impact on Somaliland 1884 – 1960
• As the Ottoman Empire began to decline, the Ottoman Sultan transferred the rule of the Somaliland coastal cities to Egypt.
• After this smooth transition of authority in Somaliland passed from the Egyptians to the British, the British officials signed treaties of protection with the Somali clans. Consequently, the British Somaliland Protectorate was created.
Independence and Sovereignty in June 1960
• The British Somaliland Protectorate was granted independence from British colonial rule on 26 June, 1960 after receiving the Royal Proclamation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The State of Somaliland was formed, following the United Nation’s procedures for decolonization, and the documents establishing the transfer of sovereignty to the State of Somaliland were submitted to the United Nations.
PART II The Failed Union with Somalia 1960
1. The Illegal Act of Union
• The legislative assembly of the Trust Territory of Somaliland had instead approved the Atto di Unioni, a different act of union in principle,
• This Act of Union was significantly different from the one that had been drafted and signed by the State of Somaliland.
2.Unequal Distribution of Power in the New Union
• The first challenge to the union in 1960 was how political power would be shared in the Somali republic’s first government. Almost all of the key positions were given to Somalia’s representatives. Somaliland had only received three positions in agriculture, defense and education.
3.Failure to Integrate Somaliland and Somalia
• In 1960 Somaliland and Somalia were two very different countries historically, culturally and politically. Somaliland was a British Protectorate while Somalia was a former Italian colony.
• The two colonial powers left different legacies in terms of cultural assimilation, economic domination, and administrative structures. Somaliland was essentially a pastoralist country with pure pastoralist culture; Somalia had a strong agricultural, sedentary culture
4.Referendum on the New Somali Constitution
• Somaliland’s people expressed their feelings about the new nation. in the June 20, 1961 referendum on the constitution of the republic.
5.Coup d’Etat in Somaliland 1961
• In December 1961, a group of army officers from Somaliland attempted a coup with the intention of reinstating Somaliland’s sovereignty following growing grievances stemming from the disenfranchisement of Somaliland’s people.
PART III Somali Irredentism and the Ethio-Somali War of 1977-78
• By the mid-70s, Barre’s regime had flagging support among Somalis. To counter this, the dream of a united ‘Greater Somalia’ was revived in order to restore political support among all Somalis, and it culminated in the invasion of the Ethiopian region of the Ogaden in 1977.
PART IV: Human Rights Abuses Against Somaliland 1968-1987
• Lack of Respect for Human Rights
• Lack of Respect for Political Rights
• Ethnic, Political, and Ideological Executions
• Arbitrary Arrests and Detentions
• Denial of Fair Public Trial-Hargeisa Group 1982.
• Arbitrary Interference with Privacy-NSS
• Curtailing Religious Freedom- 1985, licenses on all mosques and Koranic schools.
PART V Crimes against Humanity
• Major human rights abuses occurred against Somaliland civilians when Barre’s government intensified its response to Somaliland’s liberation movement in late May 1988.
A. Massacres in Burao and Togdheer Region
• On December 1984, 43 men were massacred in Burao in the Togdheer region.
B. Massacres in Berbera and Sahil Region
• Massacres -1988
• Somaliland :After 26 years of successfully managing their affairs without outside assistance, Somaliland people are proud to be a positive example of a peaceful and stable country in the Horn of Africa.
The International community should, therefore, respect the wishes of Somaliland and recognize its independence sovereignty, on account of its historical and legal argument.
Read the complete Somaliland: 30 Years under the Reign of Terror, the Humanitarian Case