Dear Sir and or Madam,
Somaliland Society in Europe (SSE) is a network of organizations representing about 45 Somaliland Diaspora community organizations from 11 European countries.
We are writing to you to share with you our position on the upcoming London Conference.
We welcome that the British government by hosting this International Conference has bravely decided to actively engage in restoring peace and stability in Somalia. It is a noble act and a goodwill gesture on the part of the British government to help Somalia stand on its feet again. As SSE we welcome every genuine effort to end the anarchy and lawlessness in our neighboring country, Somalia, and help her emerge from the abyss of total failure.
We have closely studied the key objectives of the Conference and are startled to note that one of the key objectives of the Conference is to offer:
“The opportunity to reinforce the relative stability in areas of Somalia, such as Somaliland and Puntland and in the south”
This statement clearly indicates that the organization of the Conference is not carefully considered. It indicates a fundamental confusion and misrecognition on the part of the organizers of whose problem they want to address and whose interest they want to serve. The organizers intend to clumsily drag the peaceful and stable Republic of Somaliland into the lawless and chaotic Somalia. This is an ill-advised objective which at best will certainly fail to deliver any positive outcome, and at worst jeopardize the very peace and stability it very much seeks to establish. The organizers have failed to appreciate that the central themes of the Conference (peace and stability) are not relevant to the Republic of Somaliland anymore than they are to the neighboring countries of Ethiopia and Kenya and Yemen across the waters.
We want to draw your attention to your gross negligence of acknowledging the de jure status of the Republic of Somaliland and mentioning it in the same breath as Somalia’s regional state of Puntland casts doubt upon the genuineness of the Conference. The aspiring Republic of Somaliland may not have secured an international recognition, but one cannot deny what it has achieved over the past twenty years and what it wants to achieve: an international recognition for its sovereignty. It is certainly clear that the organizers of this Conference have on both of these two accounts committed serious miscalculation and misread the political dynamics and developments on the ground.
We fully acknowledge and trust you will agree that the Republic of Somaliland can play an instrumental role in restoring peace and stability to the Horn of Africa, in the fight against piracy and terrorism, and it can be a strategic partner in curbing the unpredictable and uncertain political situation unfolding in the Gulf of Aden. It can play a constructive role in the wider region because it has established effective and working institutions despite being unrecognized by the International Community and despite being surrounded by extremely violence, terrorism and piracy. However, the Republic of Somaliland will fulfill its role if, and only if, its aspiration to join the list of free nations is fully endorsed. SSE strongly believes that a recognition of the aspiring Republic of Somaliland as a sovereign state is in the interest of the International Community.
For this London Conference to have any chances of success one should consider the previous 16 failed internationally endorsed Somalia Conferences. They all had one thing in common: piecing the fractured former Somali Republic together. For this Conference not to join its predecessors in the dustbin of history its organizers should seriously consider the dynamics on the ground. Any attempt to revive the failed Somali nation state either federalized or centralized will be disastrous and dangerous; and any attempt to persuade the government of the Republic of Somaliland to participate in this ill-advised Conference will surely be counterproductive. We, therefore, call on the London Conference organizers, the UK government and the International Community to seriously consider a Two-State Solution to the Somali conundrum.
SSE fully endorses for representatives of the Republic of Somaliland to participate where there is a national interest for that emerging nation. We consider that this Conference is not serving the interest of Somaliland. On the contrary it undermines its aspiration to secure a de jure status. We, therefore, call on the government of the Republic of Somaliland to abstain from attending the Conference and strongly discourage our member organizations or individuals affiliated with us to participate.
We fully support and welcome the decision of the government of the Republic of Somaliland that it will not be taking part in the Conference. Any change to this position due to pressure from the International Community will be considered as a dangerous move and a historical mistake.
We sincerely hope that the organizers of the Conference will consider the concerns raised in the foregoing and correct it accordingly in order for the Conference to deliver positive outcome for all concerned.
SSE Executive Committee,
- The Presidency, the Republic of Somaliland
- The House of Representatives of the Republic of Somaliland
- The House of Elders of the Republic of Somaliland
- National Political Parties of the Republic of Somaliland
- Dr Augustine Mahiga, UN Special Representative for Somalia
- UK All Parliamentary Group for Republic of Somaliland
SSE is a network organisation for Somaliland Diaspora organisations from across Europe. Drawing on the Diaspora resources and expertise, SSE aims to contribute to the cultural, economic and social development in Somaliland as well as to raising the political awareness of its members.