HARGEISA, 20 February 2010 (Somalilandpress) – The opponents of Somaliland Republic sometimes raise insincere arguments about the legitimacy of its national borders and its quest for international diplomatic recognition calling its borders “Colonial Borders” to deny Somaliland sovereignty and diplomatic recognition. This hostile group is either ignorant of the historical origin of current borders of African States or purposefully engaged in misleading. The United Nations, African Union, and African States did not draw or make the current borders of African States. Similar to the borders of Somaliland, all the borders of African independent states had been drawn by the colonial powers of Europe in the 19th century, before or after The Partition of Africa in 1884, and the independence and diplomatic recognition of each African State depend upon its own colonial demarcations or borders. Likewise, all the borders of Asian and South American independent States also emerged from colonial borders drawn by Britain, France, and Spain.

It is hypocritical that these opponents recognize the legitimacy of the border between Somaliland and Djibouti but challenge the legitimacy of the border running between Somaliland and Somalia (running along Growe and Bosaso) knowing that both borders were drawn by colonial powers. The borders of Somalia, Somaliland, and Djibouti have the same status and legitimacy because they were all drawn by European Colonizers. Most of such opposing elements are easily overwhelmed by unattainable ambitions for tribal state with tribal borders that does not exist in Africa or elsewhere in the world. Their denial of the legitimacy of Somaliland borders and independence is completely in contrary to the historical realities of African borders. Anyone who opposes the legitimacy of Somaliland borders, its independence, and its diplomatic recognition is challenging the borders and sovereignty of all African independent states (54 states) whose borders rose from their colonial borders or demarcations. Djibouti, Somaliland and Somalia have the same legitimacy for independence and diplomatic recognition.

Somaliland was the first of the five-Somali territories to achieve independence from the British Empire on June 26, 1960 based on its existing borders and, before the merger with Somalia on July 1st, 1960, the first Somali country to be recognized by the United Nations and 35 member nations immediately after independence like the rest of African States. Independent Somaliland was also the first to pioneer the unification between Somaliland and Somalia in quest for Greater Somalia in the Horn of Africa. Somalia hijacked the governments of the union for the thirty years of its existence (1960-1990) and treated Somaliland as one of its own provinces like Mudug and Bay committing all kinds of injustices against it. When Somaliland people rebelled against injustices perpetrated by Somalia in the twenty years between 1960-1980, atrocities were committed against them in the decade of 1980s instead of addressing their justified grievances.

After all talks and negotiations between Somaliland leaders and Siad Barre`s regime to reverse the anti-Somaliland policies failed, the people of Somaliland had no choice but to challenge the unabated injustices of Somalia with armed resistance. Somali National Movement (SNM) was founded in April 1981. The military wing of SNM waged relentless attacks against Southern troops of atrocities, oppression, suppression, and repression for nearly a decade (1982-1990), and finally liberated Somaliland in January 1991. After the shaky union was hijacked again by self-styled Southern president, Ali Mahdi Mohamed, in February in 1991, the Somaliland people held National Congress in Burao on May 18, 1991 and unanimously proclaimed the withdrawal of Somaliland from the union with Somalia and reclaimed its independence of June 26, 1960 renaming itself Somaliland Republic. If Somalia had any respect for the unity of the doomed union, it would restrain itself from the atrocities that threatened the existence of the central clans of Somaliland. Somalia should not rally and cry now for unity it destroyed with its own hands. Injustices, atrocities, and arrogance were the major causes that forced Somaliland people to withdraw from the union with Somalia.

Some people confuse Somaliland with Puntland for either ignorance or for futile political reasons. Puntland is an integral part of Somalia because it is located within the colonial borders of Somalia (Italian-drawn borders) with which Somalia achieved independence on July 1st, 1960 and shares people and history with Somalia while Somaliland has the rightful claim of independence and recognition for having its own, unique colonial borders with which it achieved independence and diplomatic recognition on June 26, 1960. Tribal boundaries or tribal states are not recognized in Africa and that is why the Organization of African Unity solemnly declared in 1964 that all member states pledge themselves to respect the borders existing on their achievement of national independence. Here the borders existing on their achievement of national independence are the colonial borders on which Somaliland achieved independence on June 26, 1960. If tribal states or borders were recognized in Africa, the whole continent would collapse and be plunged into endless, devastating clan wars.

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Unlike Puntland, Somaliland is not a secessionist or a breakaway region from Somalia as its opponents would like to portray it. Somaliland Republic just withdrew from the union with Somalia that it joined as an independent state on July 1st, 1960 after it failed in the hands of Somalia. Somaliland and Somalia are not the first two countries in this world whose union ceased to exist. The Soviet Union of 15 Socialist Republics and created by the Bolshevik Revolution led by Vladimir Lenin in 1917 broke up after social upheavals with deep political discontent and came to an end peacefully in 1989 with new countries emerging from it such as Georgia, Ukraine, Armenia, Uzbekistan, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia etc. They are all recognized by the UN and international community on the basis of their original borders existing before the union. The federation of former Yugoslavia that had 8 countries broke up after bloody civil wars (1991-1995) and new countries such as Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Slovenia, Kosovo etc emerged from its ashes. All are recognized diplomatically too for their original borders existing before the federation. This shows that the unity among countries in a union is not sacred if they disagree but the unity within a country like Somaliland, Djibouti, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda etc is sacred because each country is bound together by its own national borders inherited from colonial powers.

Some Somalis believe that Somaliland can not withdraw from the union with Somalia claiming that all Somalis share language, religion, color, and culture. If this claim were true, the Arab World which has nearly 17 independent countries such as Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, and Sudan with the same language, religion, color, and culture would have a union or a federal system today. They do not have any union or federal for disagreeing to share one. Over 14 South American countries such as Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Nicaragua, El Salvador etc also share religion (Catholic Church), language (Spanish), culture, and color but they do not share any union or federal system. Sharing language, religion, color, and culture is not convincing factors to share or remain in a union. Justice and fair power-sharing are the most important factors for a union to survive and that is what Somalia failed to understand in the years of the union. Islamic religion commends unity for enhancing strength and power but does not support that one side of the union brings death and destruction upon the other side like Somalia did to Somaliland, particularly in the years 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989m and 1990. “Greater Somalia” is like “Greater Arab World” or “Greater South America” which no one knows when such dreams will come true. Some other Somalis believe that only Somaliland and Somalia constitute “Greater Somalia” excluding Djibouti and the occupied territories for opportunistic reasons. Somaliland will not be red meat for all Somalis again.

The place is Africa where tribalism and localism are more important than nationalism and patriotism and where democracy, fair elections, and rule of law are not respected. Chronic tribalism, brutal dictatorships, and crippling corruptions are common and normal practice of the day in Africa. Any federal government can be easily overthrown at any time by military coups, just like General Siad Barre did in 1969, with the immediate dissolution of elected parliament and constitution. No one can guarantee that this will not happen again in restive Africa. Neither Somaliland people nor the people of Somalia can afford to have another risky union that leads them to another military brutal dictatorship or despotic president that plunges both peoples into other violent, atrocious civil wars again. Because of the past painful experiences, peoples of Somaliland and Somalia need to have separate, safe, prosperous sisterly states with mutual relations like the Arab World or South American countries. Both nations must reject blind patriotism for “Greater Somalia” which is not practically feasible today.

Somaliland Republic will only discuss future relations with a government of Somalia which is democratically elected and which represents and controls the entire people and territory of Somalia. Somaliland will not meet with a government or parliament that includes individuals claiming to represent Somaliland. Any meeting or discussions with Somalia without fulfilling these two conditions would violate the basics of Somaliland`s sovereignty.

Somaliland, as any African state, has the right to be diplomatically recognized by the United Nations, African states, and other countries for its current borders that rose from colonial borders. If the African countries do not recognize Somaliland Republic for its own colonial borders as soon as possible, they should know that they put their statehood and sovereignty based on their colonial borders in question. Achieving independence on June 26, 1960 and basing that independence on its own colonial borders, as any other African independent country, Somaliland has CONVINCING CASE for international diplomatic recognition. For faster diplomatic recognition, Somaliland needs good governance and fair elections held on time. Somaliland independence is undeniable and its diplomatic recognition is unstoppable.

Written by:
Ibrahim Hassan Gagale
Email: ibrahim_hg@yahoo.com


  1. Whichever way you put it or phrase it, there is an impenetrable obstruction to this Somalia unionists so seek. The obstruction is the war and anarchy that has become Somalia's Siamese twin.
    Now the question is where the solution lies for Somaliland and Somalia, where do their futures lead them?
    First of all the Somalis claiming to be arguing the case of a unified Somalia has to renounce any prerequisites they may have, any ideas of how the solution will look. Let's start from ground zero. Only then can we see sense.
    What Somalilanders want is independence. Ask yourself, why do they want this? How were they treated by the so called previous Somali government? How fruitful for them, was the Union of 1960?

  2. So far, this new path they have chosen has brought them peace, prosperity and development. As any other developing country it is far from perfect, but then what country is? What alternative do they have? Joining ‘Somalia’?, what 'Somalia' may I ask you. Giving up the little, hard-won peace for a fallible concept of a nation.

    As it stands now, to ask or advice Somaliland to join Somalia would be nothing short of spiteful indifference. What difference would it make to anything if today Somaliland said, we are one with Somalia. Would the world stand still and in Somalia a magical peace break out? What exactly would be achieved? The government in Hargeisa (which has brought some sense of order) would be abolished and chaos and anarchy would truly be endemic.
    So Somaliland should remain independent, in charge of its own affairs.

  3. Then what some of you will say is; until a Somali government exists. Then let me ask, what exactly you mean by a 'Somali' government. A government that rules from Mogadishu? Would it suffice if the current Hargeisa government relocated to Mogadishu? Strip the flesh from your argument, at the bone, what do you really want? It seems to me, the southern Somali opinion is if “I’m going down your going down with me and when I climb up I’m satisfied knowing you’re not above me”
    For those who accuse Somaliland of being clan based. If not clan based, what then is Puntland? Also apparently Puntland is not and seeks not independence. Well I say if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck… then most like it is a …

  4. Somaliland future will depend on its citizen and the original border is gone since Somaliland itself give it away. Talo Waa Mar Aad Gaari Weydo iyo Mar Aad garanweydo. How international community will evaluate Somaliland how it treat it citizen including people have right to opinion does it respect human rights. Not all people in Somalia agaisnt Somaliland to become full nation and not all citizen of Somaliland like this idea. However, those in Somaliland and those who borned there are for the peace.

    Since Somaliland claim democracy then they have right to say and ask more questions. Why do we want to be nation? Do we fulfull all the requirements to be country? I persally respect Somalia and hope one day it will recover since they are our brothers and sisters same like Somaliland. It should be a time we help them to dig themselves out from the deep hole. If Somaliland asking international community to recognition, it should convince its citizen first.

  5. Never again, never again,
    The Failed States would be fail, even if they do whatever they can do, and somaliland will be somaliland even if its getting its recogntion or not.

    Who is crying?!! Who is talking about Unification? FFFFFFQQQQQSSSHHH

  6. Unfotunately we have to appeal to the concepts of state and soveriegtny to make the case that Somaliland should recognized asa country, but those concepts are not naturally occuring. The concept of the nation state emerged in 17th century, so we are not deficient in something if we don't meet lets say the consent of the rest of somalia as the AU demands.

  7. We will never be part of a tribal institution, you can bring any argument the fact is and stays that Somalia is one and if you are not happy the People from sool and sanaag will not join SomaliISaaqLand that is not in our interest but we will allow you to live in peace and prosperity in your own areas.

    We are Faaqshh so please leave us allone if unity is not what you seek !!

  8. De facto, Somaliland is independent and in remaining so inshallah will achieve great things for its people, with its people. In the future Somalis south of the border achieve peace, the two nations can become sister nations that co-operate at a very high level in terms of the economy and defence (and many other things). If unity is what they truly want, if countering Ethiopia is what they really want, this should suffice. Look at the E.U, look at The UNITED states of America (U.S), these are examples. But if to rule Somaliland is what they want, NEVER AGAIN.

  9. Very good article and I agree with all points discussed, Somaliland is solo, there is no such thing as 'Greater Somalia' that was a dream we created but we released its not a dream worth chasing.

    We gone solo, find your own place Mogadishu.

  10. If the last 20 years taught us anything it is that Somaliland is better off on its own. Recognised or not.

  11. @shakir
    What will you tell those many citizens of Somaliland who live in Sool and Sanaag and who reject the unworkable unity you are obsessed with? Force them to join Somalia?

  12. For you information, I don't know how Mr. Gagale is helpfull for Somaliland is cause. He wrote previous articles in Somali language and his view is very extre. Forexample, two of these articles tittle were HUUNO SEEXSEEXDA. He was picking on particular group in Somaliland. First, I was surprise soneone who want Somaliland would even write this kind of article, to be honest it was bloody, then it democracy and I do respect hem as good writer.

    Second article he recently wrote tittle it was a mistake Somaliland people elected somone like Riyale who wasn't part of somali national movement. I don't know how he care for Somaliland to excluded anyone that people pick regardless of were they were back then. Since he live in Canada, I was surprised what happend to Canadian and N.America values that promute excepting your neighbor. Last article could be find Maroodijeexnews.
    In his view, only specific should lead Somaliland. Mr. Please scale down your finger pointing at Awdal community and remember Canada is our home. I give you brotherly advise and Canadian advise.

  13. And those of you who don't trust my argument, just make research today nothing hides specially when you using your real name. I' happy and glad that I was as young as 12 years old in 1990 and I' don't carry all the bad experiences some of as carry. That sould be enought to tell you I'm part of the Somaliland Canadian, Somali Canadian and an Awdal Canadian that respect democracy and promuting simple peace and respecting whatever majority of Somaliland decide.

  14. This pullshit article at all and amazing enough this line of article is saying:"Unlike Puntland, Somaliland is not a secessionist or a breakaway region from Somalia as its opponents would like to portray it"

    I thought that Somaliland is a breakaway region, so where is the credebility of this article ?

    We somalis know our political sitiutions but for the Outsiders we telling u that there is no Somaliland land who can seperate but A Somaliland admin with lot of troubles inside them who can't even survive, let alone they keep DREAMS for high non possible values.

  15. The SNM clannish political elite, like USC, SPM, SSDF, RRA clannish Political elites, are manipulating the unfortunate clan division of our people. They are using the former British Somali territory as a basis for their Clannish Secessionism to negotiate a better position in any future Somali government or create their own government.

    Tribalism was and still is obstruction to Somali nationhood. It’s easier to solve the tribal problem than to create clan countries, why not address that in the national level instead of dividing the people? If Somalis cannot get along because of clan divisions, then for sure clans is the so called Somaliland will never get along? Therefore, why entertain the idea of secessionism?

    We, the Somali people everywhere need to wake up because our very existence is in peril. Clannish political elites and now the religious political elites are the source of this danger. We need to eradicate both to secure our survival. Think twice people before its too late.

  16. walaahi I feel so digusted when some So called SOmaliLanders try to convince us that SomaliaLand is a country hidding the fact that this is a tribal institiution brothers and sisters you may think I am from South I am from Burco and I am totally against this tribal minded so called SomaliLand this is what our enemy wants us to do and I am not playing allong.

    Some people try to convince me that people from sool and sanaag are our brothers and puntland is our enemy this is insane

    I am Somali and my country is SOmali.

  17. walaahi I feel so digusted when some So called SOmaliLanders try to convince us that SomaliaLand is a country hidding the fact that this is a tribal institiution brothers and sisters you may think I am from South I am from Burco and I am totally against this tribal minded so called SomaliLand this is what our enemy wants us to do and I am not playing allong.

  18. walaahi I feel so digusted when some So called SOmaliLanders try to convince us that SomaliaLand is a country hidding the fact that this is a tribal institiution brothers and sisters you may think I am from South I am from Burco and I am totally against this tribal minded so called SomaliLand this is what our enemy wants us to do and I am not playing allong.

  19. walaahi I feel so digusted when some So called SOmaliLanders try to convince us that SomaliaLand is a country hidding the fact that this is a tribal institiution brothers and sisters you may think I am from South I am from Burco and I am totally against this tribaal minded so called SomaliLand this is what our enemy wants us to do and I am not playing allong.

  20. walaahi I feel so digusdted when some So called SOmaliLanders try to convince us that SomaliaLand is a country hidding the fact that this is a tribal institiution brothers and sisters you may think I am from South I am from Burco and I am totally against this tribal minded so called SomaliLand this is what our enemy wants us to do and I am not playing allong.

  21. walaahi I feel so diguusted when some So called SOmaliLanders try to convince us that SomaliaLand is a country hidding the fact that this is a tribaal institiution brothers and sisters you may think I am from South I am from Burco and I am totally against this tribaal minded so called SomaliLand this is what our enemy wants us to do and I am not playing allong.

    • You call yourself from Burao. I can asure you that people of Burao will be greatly disappointed in you. They don't produce traitors in this great city. If you really are from Burao then I can tell you that the only reason behind your blunder here is weed or Qat…How many chains you had your crack-head. Eitherway, no one will give monkeys about your tiny little brain's hard thought nonsense.
      I dare you come here again and talk shit like you did before.
      P.S no wonder you are a traitor, you share a name with traitors fore you. UFF

  22. I fully reconize somalilinad and its people, but please change the name Somaliland means the land of all somalis. name your country north somalia or something else

    • Somaliland is our original name and we are going to keep it. You are forgetting that we were fully Independent Country before we joined the ill-fated Union that put Country 50 years backward and killed thousans of people indiscriminately. Easy for you to say, mohamed!

  23. Its better for you to say isaaq land rather then somaliland you don't want me drop may name which is somali the beatifull

    • If we were a clans-based like you majeerteenia, we would have written in our constitution like you that one would be a President or hold a higher position other than an Isaaq. Unlike you Majeeteenia, we share power with all Somalilanders no matter which tribe they affiliated to. And everybody knows that our sitting president is not Isaaq, but rather from Awdal. So that discredits any false accusation you and others like you who are making.

      “Sour grapes” the saying goes, and envy is eating your hearts. But who gives a s++t, not us. You can bark as loud as you wish

  24. This must be the longest article in the history of writen peices. There is no way I'll look in to the screen that long to read it, so, would someone kindly summarise it for me? 🙂

  25. For those who're saying and still believe Somaliland was a part of Somalia, I would tell them its been 19 Years and you're asking this Question that you neglected your own people, one could ask where is the Conscience in the Southerns where their sisters been humilated by Al Shabab Zealots, where thier Morals Values where they awarded the Young boy I know who finished the Koran a GUN.. it's time guys to wake up from that deeep dream, forget about Somaliland for once because the Nation that has wrote a new Chapter in Africa surely it doesnt belong to SOMALIA.

  26. 1960 Somaliland concieved and created ''Somalia''. It was the people of British-somaliland that argued for the united somali-regions. By 1969 Abdirashid Ali Shermarke was assassinated and this brought the uninion to an END where after Somaliland reliasing their mistake began to work their way out of the relationship. This lead to their humiliation, genocide, rape and total infrastructural destruction.

    Somaliland+Somalia in a relationship for 9YEARS.

    1991 Somaliland declared independence once again after a long struggle.

    Somaliland independent for 19YEARS.

    The world needs to recognise Somaliland and Somalia can never co-exist due to their history just as Somalia and Ethiopia cannot be asked to co-exist as a single country.