Hargeisa, 6 July 2009 – I am a citizen of the country called “Somaliland” and I wish to communicate with you directly. My open letter to you, your highness, is a plea I wish to make and request your Government to engage my country. I have confidence in you and I know you are a unique to the Arab World. You are steadfast politician and someone who has charisma and far sighted.
My country needs your help at the International arena and at the same time from yourself as Emir of Qatar.
We [Somaliland] have achieved something alien to the African Continent. We have built our country from the grass root, after Siad Barre bombarded and leveled to the ground. We made piece with ourselves by negotiating even with those who were not with us, when we were fighting with the regime of Siad Barre.
Somaliland is proud of having produced a unique and workable democracy in Africa. It is unique because of its combination and modernity, in that, we have a House of Elders and a House of Representatives. It’s workable and unique, because, we put it to test, it gave us three free elections Municipal, Presidential & Legislative and the fourth “Presidential election is due 27th September, 2009.
What is more interesting about our democracy is that we have legislative elections that produced an opposition majority in parliament, and a minority that governs. It’s what the French call “la co-habitation”. Its remarkable achievement in the Horn of Africa, given that, the eventuality of such a process led to bloodshed at the time we did all these, in Ethiopia 2005, our next door neighbor, when Mr. Meles Zinawi smelled that he was going to loose the parliament to the opposition.
Somaliland has spent nearly two decades, trying to convince the international community, that it deserves recognition. Somaliland has overcome every internal and external political hurdle. We have confined ourselves and stayed within our colonial boundaries [recognized by 35 countries when we first got our independence from Britain in 1960]. Somaliland’s budget is minuscule [meager], yet my government manages to maintain peace, stability and progress. We have a Flag, Constitution, Currency, National Anthem, and Forces that are disciplined in every aspect, yet our brothers in Arab world are ignoring our achievements.
We have been subjected to wait Somalia, where there is no hope of stability in decades to come [I know you have tried to help them, but it takes a long way to achieve stability there]. Somaliland would like to live in peace with its neighbors in the region, including Somalia, but I hope that the international community does not expect us to throw everything away and re-enter the mayhem in Somalia.
Finally, I, would like to ask you as a citizen of Somaliland to engage my government, and break the artificial barrier between my people and of yours and the Arab world at large. I know you can do that without any reservations if you wish so. There are others who would like to keep us at bay, due to their hidden agenda, and need to keep us, the way they see & want Horn of Africa to burn. This is their interest it seems. Our people will cherish your wisdom, if you do engage us.
We [Somalilanders] have been and continue to be one of the first communities who came to Qatar in late 1940s and early 1950. Our people were the first you knew [I mean Qatari people], and we are a good part of the people who participated the development of Qatar. We contributed to raise the name of Qatar in different ways, yet we are not visible as we should have been!
I look forward to see and hear a positive gesture towards my country your Highness.
Omer Hussein Dualeh