The United States’ Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Tibor Nagy, appeared in the ‘Live At State’ program recently.

A Somali listener, Saed Ibrahim, put a question to him.

The moderator read out the question: “The U.S. has announced almost a billion dollars in aid to Somalia despite rampant corruption and deteriorating security. In contrast, Somaliland has been peaceful and democratic for 27 years. Why hasn’t the U.S. engaged Somaliland in a more meaningful way? “

Mr. Nagy answered, appearing somewhat discomfited: “Yeah, the Somaliland question comes up constantly when I speak or when I do these programs. Here’s the thing: Somaliland does have a legal argument it makes. Of course, that has to be treated in the appropriate fora. And, the United States normally when it comes to recognizing states in Africa will consult with the African Union, and the integrity of the state of Somalia is an important precept for the African Union. So the United States of America is dealing with the government in Mogadishu. We are doing our best to strengthen that government, both in its economic development, but also in the security environment.”

Like many of his compatriots of the Western world, Mr. Nagy, is a past master in the interpretation of terms such as ‘democracy’, ‘self-determination’, ‘freedom to choose one’s destiny’, ‘human rights’, and the like.

The shades of definitions given to those words, to nouveau politicians, must always political, economic and security interests of their countries. They must also completely follow the lead of whoever leads the countries represented.

Double standards.

The United States pumps nearly a billion Dollars into a Somalia that has not accounted for billions more previously injected into it by the US and other Western nations. Portions of that money is presently a contentious issue at the Federal Parliament in Mogadishu. A subcommittee of that House discovered the loss of more than 42 Million Dollars. Some of them had even put the figure to as much as US$92 million.

And, yet, the US is still pumping more and more ‘baldies’ into the pot of corruption and unaccountability.

Contrasting that scenario, Somaliland, next door has proven how democracy can be practiced in a country nearly, totally ignored by the international community and pampered silly by a myopic world. For 28 years – come next May, it had emerged as an ‘oasis of peace’ in an otherwise volatile region – the ‘best kept secret of Africa’.

The United States’ Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Tibor Nagy, recently concluded a visit he made to Eastern and Horn of Africa countries. He did not even look sideways at Somaliland.