Prof. Abdisalam Yassin Mohamed
Somalilandsun – In a recent article written in Somali, Mr. Saeed Mohamed Gees, a highly respectable Somaliland politician and scholar, compared the case of Scotland to decide its independence from the United Kingdom in a referendum that will be held in 2014 to that of Somaliland from Somalia. Mr. Gees has informed us,
“It is noteworthy to mention that the rules governing the referendum will be formulated by the Scottish Parliament. And this is one of the points in the agreement reached by the government of Scotland and the UK government to conduct this referendum.”
This is a glaring example of old unions in the process of separating, which is happening right in the heart of UK where our President and his Ministers regularly pay official and unofficial visits.
Although the present leaders of Somaliland appear to be totally unaware of it, the comparison of Scotland to Somaliland is relevant in many ways as Mr. Gees has clearly stated in his article. First of all, Scotland, like Somaliland, was once an independent kingdom separate from that of England and Wales. It united with England and Wales 300 years ago. This was a controversial union that was not approved of by many Scottish people.
As a result of the widespread disapproval, Scottish nationalism and the hope to regain Scotland’s independence and sovereignty has been kept alive by the Scottish nationalists who, embodied by the present Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP), have eventually gained the majority in the Scottish Parliament. After forming the government of Scotland, the SNP has begun to carry out its major electoral promise, which is to seek total independence from the UK. They have earnestly started the process until London and Edinburgh have agreed to hold a referendum for the independence of Scotland in 2014.
If the majority of the Scottish people vote “Yes” in the referendum, Scotland will be an independent and sovereign state – that is after being united with England and Wales for 300 years. Compare that to the short-lived union between Somaliland and Somalia, which lasted only 30 years.
The amazing thing is, as Mr. Gees mentions in his article, while this is happening in the UK, which wants to broker a deal to reconstruct the failed union of Somalia, our present leaders, who have chosen the policy to open talks with Somalia, seem to be unaware of this similar political interaction that is happening right in front them. And if they argue they are aware of it, their stance becomes worse because it has not been recorded up to now, officially or unofficially, that they have made any attempt to contact the Scottish government in order to compare notes and exchange ideas. This is regrettably a loss of precious opportunity.
Mr. Gees is stunned by the political and diplomatic ineptitude of our current leaders and he reproaches them for that by sadly mentioning what they do when they come to London for talks, which is to ‘waste precious time by having idle chats with members of the Somaliland immigrant community in the UK’. Alas! Compare Scotland to Somaliland!
Showing another contrast, do we have a leader to compare to Mr. Alex Salmond, the current Scottish leader, who is fiercely pushing for the Independence of Scotland? It pains me to ponder the answer.