By Sidhant Sibal
Somaliland, a full-fledged functioning de facto independent country in the horn of Africa, has established ties with Taiwan. What is significant is that Somaliland borders Djibouti that hosts many foreign bases including the only base foreign base of China.
Chinese People’s Liberation Army Support Base in Djibouti was established in 2017 and gives the Chinese navy an oversight from Suez canal to the western Indian ocean.
The Taiwanese foreign ministry said, “We’ve signed an agreement with Somaliland to establish good relations.”
A Taiwan Representative Office will be set up in this “independent country on the Horn of Africa” and “We’re thousands of miles apart, but share a deep-seated love of freedom and democracy” the statement from Taipei.
The Somaliland FM Yasin Hagi Mohamoud was himself in the Taiwan to sign the agreement and establishment of diplomatic ties, welcomed by both Tsai Ing-wen President of Taiwan and Muse Bihi Abdi President of Somaliland.
Remember Somaliland in northwestern Somalia, while is a fully functioning country, but is not recognized globally. Few engagements with foreign govts have happened including with South Africa, UK, Djibouti, Sweden.
Eswatini is the only country to have diplomatic ties with Taiwan so far in Africa. Burkina Faso in 2018 broke official ties with Taiwan. Taiwan has formal ties with 15 countries and substantial relationships with most countries in the world.
Its passport is officially accepted by more than 150 countries and enjoys a high-level of visa exemption or facilitation treatment due to its people’s 20 million outbound visits every year.