As the relationship between the Republic of Kenya and the federal entity in Mogadishu takes a turn for the worse, the powers that be in Nairobi are gradually turning their heads towards Somaliland.
Kenyan citizens live and work in Somaliland. Kenyan business people have large investments in Somaliland, and more to come, Insha’Allah.
The Somaliland authorities regularly work with the Kenyan colleagues on education, health, security, agriculture, fishing, transports and so on. Kenyan parliamentarians were present at the recent 18th May celebrations in Hargeisa. So, the economical, social and cultural ties are firm and lasting.
Some commentators, Yusuf Garad, for example, ex-BBC Somali honcho, currently unemployed and frustrated, want to blame Somaliland. They say, “Somaliland is exploiting the friction between Mogadishu and Nairobi?’..Not really, but if we were, that is politics.
The ties between Somaliland and Kenya go back centuries. The recent migration from Somalia into Kenya as the result of the conflict in defunct Somali Republic, doesn’t compare with the fact that Somalilanders were trading with Nairobi two centuries ago.
Don’t blame Somaliland for the failure of leadership in the weak federal entity in Mogadishu. We welcome all those who wish to work with and co-exist with Somaliland.
It is expected that Kenya will finally open an office in Hargeisa. It is about time. Although, the AMISON protected folks in Mogadishu say that “they gave permission for Kenya to open such an office”. Talk about delusions of grandeur!
Look, we know Somaliland doesn’t currently enjoy de-jure recognition, but it is a de-facto state. We will bide our time, work with our friends and opponents alike. We will work with those who understand the reality on the ground. We will make friends were we can and interact with our opponents to bring about peace and progress.
Here is a startling fact, On May 18th, 2021, Insha’Allah, the Republic of Somaliland will be out of the defunct union with the Somali Republic, just as long as it was in that union. 30 years!
What is there to go back to? There will always be social, economic and cultural ties with Somalia, but there can’t and never will be another political union.
Wa Bilaahi Towfiiq
By Ahmed Khayre