The borders of Somalia, Somaliland, and Djibouti have the same international status and legiti macy because they were all drawn by European Colonial powers. Anyone who opposes the legitimacy of Somaliland borders, its statehood, its independence, and its diplomatic recognition is challenging the borders and sovereignty of all Africans, Arab World, Asian, and South Ame rican independent states whose borders rose from their colonial borders or demarcations.
Some people confuse Somaliland Republic with Puntland Region of Somalia for either not kno wing the history of Somalis or for irrational political reasons. Puntland is an integral, inseparable part of Somalia because it is located within Somalia historical borders with which Somalia achieved independence on July 1st, 1960 from Italy while Somaliland Republic emerged from British Somaliland Protectorate and achieved separately its independence from Britain on June 26, 1960. Somaliland Republic has undeniable rights to claim independence, statehood, and recognition based on its own unique borders while Puntland can not have such rights because it is part of Somalia and shares borders and nationhood with it.
Somaliland and Somalia are not the first two countries in this world whose union ceased to exist. The Soviet Union that had 15 Socialist Republics created by the Bolshevik Revolution led by Lenin in 1917 broke up after social upheavals and political discontent ended its existence peacefully in 1989 with new countries emerging from it such as Georgia, Ukraine, Armenia, Uzbekistan, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia etc. They are all recognized by the UN and international community on the basis of their original borders existing before the union. The federation of former Republic of Yugoslavia that had 8 countries broke up too after bloody civil wars between 1991-1995 and new countries such as Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Slovenia, Kosovo etc emerged from its ashes. All are recognized diplomatically too for their original borders existing before the federation.
Some Somalis believe that Somaliland can not withdraw from the union with Somalia claiming that Somalis share language, religion, color, and culture. If this claim were true for achieving union, the Arab World which has nearly 17 independent countries such as Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunis ia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, and Sudan and that also share language, religion, culture, and color would not have separate independent sates. They do not have any federal or union for disagreeing to share one. Only justice and fair power-sharing are the most important factors for a union to survive and that is what Somalia failed to understand in the years of the union.
Independent Republic of Somaliland was the first to pioneer the unification between Somalila nd and Somalia on July 1, 1960 in quest for Greater Somalia in the Horn of Africa. The union was doomed after Somalia hijacked the governments for the thirty years of its existence (1960-1990) and then committed atrocities against Somaliland people when they rebelled against injustices and humiliation perpetrated against them.
The idea of a Greater Somaliaâ€ emerged in the middle of the Second World War [1939-1945] and the main objective was to liberate the five Somali Territories and bring them toge ther under the same banner and government in the Horn of Africa. That idea of â Greater Somalia (Somaliweyn) is as elusive as a Greater Arabâ today and no one knows when it will come true.
The Somaliland Congress held in Burao on May 18, 1991 unanimously proclaimed the withdraw al of Somaliland from the union with Somalia and reclaimed its independence of June 26, 1960 naming itself Somaliland Republic. The referendum held in Somaliland on May 31st, 2001 reaffirmed Somaliland independence from Somalia with 97% in favor of Somaliland sovereignty. Somaliland, as any African state, has the right to be diplomatically recognized by the United Nations and international community for its own unique borders that rose from British Somaliland Protectorate borders.
Somaliland Republic will only discuss future relations with a government of Somalia (Former Italian Territory) which is democratically elected and which represents and controls the entire people and territory of Somalia. Somaliland will not meet with a government or parliament that includes individuals claiming to represent Somaliland. Any meeting or discussions with Somalia that does not fulfill these two conditions would violate the basics of Somaliland`s sovereignty.
The Arab World and the African Union must lead the diplomatic recognition of Somaliland for sharing same historical borders that all rose from colonial borders. It would be unfair to deny Somaliland of diplomatic recognition based on its own historical, colonial borders while the nationhood and statehood of their countries are based too on their own historical, colonial borders.
Ibrahim Hassan Gagale