Somaliland is a former British territory located in the northwest of Somalia, an area about 137,600 square kilometers. In 26 June 1960 Somaliland has gained its independence from the British colony with different currency and flag from Somalia that gained its independence after four days from Somaliland independence in July 1, 1960. After one week of the independence Somaliland clans realized the importance of unity with their brothers in south Somalia which Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia is located, and actually they have decided the unity with Somalia.
So in July 1960 at the same day of southern regions independence from the Italian colony, the two parties formed the great state of Somalia. From that time and Somalia was from among the countries that was indicated by the development and renaissance- I don’t want to talk more about the history of the rule in Somalia because closeness of the time-. But from coming the military strong man Siad barre that ruled the country in more than two decades and actually made tangible development in the various sides of the country, in economic, culture, army, education, and all the fields that Somali community needed, the issues have changed.
Because of that he was communist person influenced by the Russian communism in that time, he compelled the people to take the communism and in here the first opposition to the military rule has occurred, and because the Somali people are known by their Islamic trends and belief. Siad barre in that time deprived the Somali people at all from their freedom and rights.
And what is worthy of mentioned that the people of Somaliland particularly suffered from negligence and random targeting of the civilians- actually I don’t want to evoke fanaticism between my people so I try to avoid like these tales- . This has resulted the declaring of the northern people an independent state from Somalia in 18 may 1991. It contains six regions of Awdal, Sahil, Hargeisa, Togdheer, Sanag, and Sool.
After the independence declaring in the town of Burao, Abdurrahman Ahmed Ali was appointed as the first president of the newly reestablished republic of Somaliland. And after two years of his ruling the elders of Somaliland sought to replace him. In 1993 they gathered in the town of Borama to elect Mohammed Ibrahim Egal, former prime minister of Somalia, as president. President Egal moved to establish institutions in Somaliland where he succeeded to disarm the militias, building the public institutions, and basic or radical improvements to the state.
During this time, Somalia- the western regions- continued to be place of conflicts and the foreign intervention, where the people in Somaliland has agreed to build their country and to reconcile their disputes in the negotiation table. In 2001 Egal proposed a referendum on Somaliland’s independence so that the people voted for the independence by rate of 97%. While the international community took note of the referendum, it did not move forward to recognize Somaliland as an independent state.
Egal died on May 3, 2002, while undergoing treatment in South Africa. In a swift transfer of power Dahir Rayale Kahin, the vice president, was sworn in as Somaliland’s third president. President Rayale established a timetable for the local, legislative, and presidential elections. In December 2002 local elections resulted in the birth of the multiparty in Somaliland. Three parties received the highest number of votes to be the national parties of the state and they are:
1: Nation’s democracy party of UDUB, which was led by the former president of the country Dahir Rayale Kahin.
2: KULMIYE party, which was led by the Somali national movement veteran leader Ahmed Mohammed, the current president of Somaliland.
3: Justice and Welfare party of UCID, which is led by engineer Faisal Ali Hussein.
In April 2005, the government announced the legislative elections would be held on September 15, 2005, completing Somaliland’s transition to democracy, and actually it has been held in an existence and observing by the international supervisors.
Before two years from now Dahir Rayale Kahin held the presidential elections that deprived or descended him from the throne so that the current president, the former opposition party of Kulmiye leader Ahmed Silanyo, has got overwhelming or sweeping success in getting the most votes. And what I would like to mention the braveness of Dahir Rayale that handed over the throne in a peace way and also said: I will not destroy Somaliland by the hands that built it.
It is exactly rare event in a place of the world that is known by conflicts and wars, it is ideal example for all the Africans that are known by the sticking or clinging by the throne, especially in the east of Africa.
Somaliland as the Horn of Africa Legend
Somaliland has been country of peace, stability, equality, justice, and freedom and proved its tenacity, pragmatism, and concessionary governance during its independence in 1991. The people of Somaliland are suffering from the international community negligence which they see that it is disregarding the peace and Somaliland people decision.
However, Somaliland walked long walk to get the international recognition, but the international community justified this because of the critical conflicts in the south Somalia between the government and African troops that Somali people consider it as colony, on hand, and the radical movements on the other hand.
It will be after only 1 or 2 days the twenty one anniversary of the Somaliland independence or separation from Somalia that will be held in all over the world. The people of Somaliland say that this is memorial and historical day of their nation and always they seek for the recognition.
From here, I want to send message to all Arab and Islamic countries to pay more attention to Somaliland Issue and also to allow for Somaliland to attend the conferences of Arab and Islamic countries, this exactly may enhance the relations between Somaliland and this countries.
This small story that I have outlined about Somaliland is just to expose the reality of people that make their reconciliation by themselves. Finally, I want to thank especially all my comrades in the country and here in Sudan, particularly my classmates in University of Khartoum.
By Saed Sulub
(Saed Ahmed Sulub, student at University of Khartoum, school of management studies, Accounting and finance, and also writer in the Arabic and English).