Puntland Administration of Federal Somalia has been trying since 1998 to seize Eastern Sool Region of Somaliland Republic on the basis of tribal lineage claim to change the unchangeable colonial borders between Somaliland and Somalia in order to undermine Somaliland Republic sovereignty by dividing its territory. Majeerteenia’s local troops and armed militia engaged in wars and skirmishes with Somaliland Armed Forces many times and suffered unrecoverable losses of men and material, particularly in the current conflict in Las Anod city of Somaliland, and still pursues their blind whims to keep fighting against Somaliland hoping for Eastern Sool occupation. Puntland has two objectives in the conflict for Eastern Sool which are:
(I) To make Las-Anod city a buffer zone to stop Somaliland’s assault on Garowe city to punish Puntland’s continuous aggression against Somaliland territory.
(II) And to have land expansion for Majeerteenia into Dhulbahante’s land as Majeerteenia tried to seize Bo’ame several times before but each time repelled by Somaliland Armed Forces. But to cover up that malicious intentions, Puntland claims that it wants to unite Harti people which is impossible in Africa.
WHY IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO CHANGE AFRICAN COLONIAL BORDERS
The African Conference in 1964 of Reaffirming Colonial Borders issued declaration to recognize and protect African colonial borders as they are in order to prevent tribal secession wars seeking postcolonial reunifications that would plunge the whole continent of Africa into endless violence, anarchy and chaotic tribal wars bringing down African states and turning the continent into Stone Age situation.
If African colonial borders are denied or rejected and clans and tribes try to seek postcolonial reunifications based on their ethnicity or tribal lineage, the consequences in the continent of Africa would be dire and devastating as that would immediately lead to the eruption of endless, violent wars between countries defending their territorial integrity defined by colonial borders and clans or tribes seeking reunifications with their own ethnicity or tribal lineage.
African colonial borders, like Arab World, Asia and South American colonial borders, were unfortunately drawn all by European colonial powers and are based on land, not on ethnicity or clan lineage. Colonial borders define the territorial integrity, people, independence and recognition of each African country. Existence, peace and stability of Africa as well as Asia, Arab World and South America depend on respecting, recognizing and implementing colonial borders. Tribal armed factions driven by tribal emotions or tribalism, as it is happening now in Las Anod and Garowe, tried before to change African colonial borders by force to unite their clan or tribe after independence like Katanga of Congo did in 1963 and Biafara of Nigeria did in 1967 but all ended in failure because no country accepts to divide its territory as colonial borders are recognized and internationally legitimate.
Trying to change African colonial borders is like opening can of worms that would return Africa to Stone Age as subsequent results would lead to endless clan wars seeking postcolonial reunifications with gun point as no Africa state wants to lose part of its country and population. It is easy to oppose African colonial borders but it is difficult to change it or replace it. There is no single African country that made its own borders. Colonial borders of Africa as well as of Asia, Arab World and South America make nations exist and live safely and peacefully from destructive clan and territorial endless wars.
FEW EXAMPLES OF CLAN DISTRIBUTION IN AFRICA
In Africa, subclans of the same clan inhabit different African countries due to colonial demarcations without considering clan lineage or ethnicity. To mention few, Afar Clan inhabits Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Djabouti. Tuareg Clan inhabits Senegal, Nigeria, Mali and Niger. Fulani Clan inhabitis Mali, Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon. Lunda Clan inhabits Congo, Zambia and Angola. Yoruba Clan inhabits Nigeria, Benin and Togo, Somali Clan inhabits Djabouti, Somalia, Somaliland, Ethiopia and Kenya etc. It is rare to see an African country whose population is based on single ethnicity. No country or region in Africa has the right to claim the land of a subclan inhabiting another African country for reasons of tribal lineage or ethnicity.
If the politicians and traditional leaders of Fulani Clan decide to unite their clan in Mali, Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon after the independence of these countries, the governments of those countries would simultaneously attack and crush Fulani people in all the four countries to retain their territorial integrity and national unity. Recognizing and protecting African colonial borders would prevent such frightening massacre of Fulani people. That is the importance of keeping African colonial borders.
SOMALILAND TERRITORIAL BORDERS ARE UNCHANGEABLE
As colonial borders of Africa are unchangeable and all borders are based on land, so are Somaliland Republic borders. As each African country inherited its colonial borders from its colonizing power, Somaliland inherited its colonial borders from Somaliland British Protectorate, Somaliland territory and people cannot be divided, its colonial borders cannot be altered or changed and tribal borders cannot be drawn in Somaliland to divide its territorial integrity and national unity for the purpose of undermining Somaliland Sovereignty. Somaliland achieved independence before Somalia gaining international recognition on June 26, 1960. Trying to make tribal borders for Harti people by Puntland and some Dhulbahante grads will be an affront to African unchangeable Colonial Borders and will definitely be doomed to keep the continent safe and peaceful for all.
Ibrahim Hassan Gagale
May 1, 2023