Somaliland has, however, struggled to be internationally recognised, something that is still lacking.It is strange to see that the international community – countries in Africa and the West are not opening up to a country that has shown respect for her people and managed to keep peace for this long. Somaliland must be recognised internationally and the people of that country be accorded the respect it deserves by all peace-loving nations of the world.
African leaders should lead the way in officially recognizing Somaliland as an independent nation, to be followed by Europe, and America. The country’s official language is Somali. English and Arabic is also considered official languages. Arabic and English are the other official languages. The main religion practised is Islam – Sunni.
The serving President of the Republic is His Excellency Ahmed Mohamed Mohamud, with H.E Abdirihman Abdillahi Ismail as the vice president, elected on July 2010 for a five-year term.
The government of Somaliland regards itself as the successor state to the British Somaliland protectorate, which was independent on June 26, 1960 as the State of Somaliland,before uniting with the Trust Territory of Somalia (the former Italian Somaliland) on July 1, 1960 to form the Somali Republic.
Somaliland is bordered by Ethiopia in the south and west, Djibouti in the northwest, the Gulf of Aden in the north, and the autonomous Puntland region of Somalia to the east. The country has a coastal line which extends 460 miles along the Red Sea.
In 1988, the Siad Barre regime committed massacres against the people of Somaliland, which were among the events that led to the Somali Civil War. The war left the economic and military infrastructure severely damaged.
After the collapse of the central government in 1991, the local government, led by the Somali National Movement (SNM), declared independence from the rest of Somalia on May 18 of the same year.
Since then, the territory has been governed by an administration that seeks self-determination as the Republic of Somaliland. The local government maintains informal ties with some foreign governments, who have sent delegations to Hargeisa.
Ethiopia also maintains a trade office in the region. However, Somaliland’s self-proclaimed independence remains unrecognised by any country or international organisation
By Kip-korir, Chief editor – African Press International (API)