Somaliland is former British somaliland protectorate, one of the first African countries to be independent, British naval fleets arrived somaliland in 1884, and somaliland protectorate was proclaimed in 1887, with agreement to local elders. After 73 years under protectorate, somaliland became independent in 26 June 1960. The newly formed republic is officially recognized by 35 UN member states including five permanent member states of UN security council. Five days after it independence, the people of somaliland chose to Unite with Somalia which became independent in July 1,1960 to form Somali Republic(not Somalia) and the Aim was to create Greater Somalia( bring all Somali territories together).
The union was not perfect,there were No act of union between the two countries as the Union itself was just emotional. After only one year, the People of Somaliland Voted #NO. on constitutional referendum of the Somali republic held on 20 June, 1961. In 1961 there were attempt of coup d’etat attempted by somalilanders to regain their independence,that attempt didn’t succeed.
1969 after assuming power in military coup , revolutionary part led by Said Barre come to power , despite military and economic achievements of first decade of his Rule, the Somali People not only faced brutal dictatorship but also massively silenced the Voice of somalilanders and marked wide spread of Human abuse, killing estimated 50,000 and displaced Half of million. Hargeisa,now the capital of somaliland ,is also shelled and Bombed by the Somali national military Aircraft’s. Somali national movement(SNM) from Somaliland bitterly struggled to save Their people and country, Lastly Somaliland regained its independence in 18 may , 1991.?
Since then, Despite not being a recognized as an independent state, Somaliland is considered to be one of East Africa’s most Peaceful(Al Shabaab, pirates, which comes into your mind when you heard Somalia Has there incidences in Somaliland), best-functioning and most stable democracies. The 2017 election was 3rd presidential election with one man one vote , and the first in the world to get employed iris-based bio-metric voter registration. Another example of Somaliland’s political maturity was seen on 19th October, 2017 when the three 5th presidential candidates engaged in a town hall-style debate.
The event, which was live-streamed from the capital Hargeisa, allowed the media and public to scrutinize each of the nominees’ policies and above all ,All parts accepted and peacefully transformed power to the winner, President Muse bihi Abdi. When compared to the election in Kenya and the non-election which took place in Somalia – not to mention the situation in the likes of Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti and the two Sudan – Somaliland can use this poll to further leverage its position as a democratic outpost in an ever-volatile neighborhood. Investment sector, Somaliland has been strengthened in its position thanks to a $442 million deal with DP World. The UAE-based company agreed to modernize Berbera port in conjunction with Somaliland and its landlocked neighbor, Ethiopia. This development could generate hundreds of millions of dollars in customs revenue for the Somaliland government, making it even more self-sufficient. Somaliland also struck an even more controversial deal with UAE . In the face of toothless objections from Mogadishu(Somalia), the UAE gained permission to build a military base and airport in Berbera.
Somaliland has had a chance to administer itself using customary norms, values, and relationships. In fact, its integration of traditional ways of governance within a modern democratic system, Somaliland; thus offers important lessons, both for its neighbors and for other postcolonial states in Africa. The African Union (AU) reviewed many of these issues during a fact-finding mission in 2005 and concluded that Somaliland’s case was “unique and self-justified in African political history” and that “the case should not be linked to the notion of ‘opening a Pandora’s box.’” It even admitted that a “plethora of problems confronting Somaliland [are in part] the legacy of a political union with Somalia, which malfunctioned. Rwanda, South Africa, Zambia, and several other African states support Somaliland’s independence, yet the AU has been paralyzed because of opposition from Somaliland’s neighbors(IGAD), each of which has a vested interest in the country not gaining recognition. Sir Tony Baldry MP, former UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office Under Secretary of State once said “The people of Somaliland have worked extremely hard to rebuild their country and community, and they deserve our help and support.” and again Somaliland’s success story needs support of African youth, who will be the coming African leaders In national, regional and African Union seats , unless we Africans appreciate each Other’s success.
The world will not Heard and Africa will always be in the dark.
Guled Mohamed Yousuf(medical student and social activist).