- Mohamed Sheikh Hassan, the head of Somalia's provisional government has managed to achieve something that has eluded successive "leaders" in Somalia; after two decades the United States of America has agreed to renew its ties with that beleaguered country.
Unelected and undemocratic it may be, but the provisional government has made a step in the right direction to relieve the suffering people of Somalia. However, for those who are under the impression that the US recognition of the entity in Mogadishu will have a huge impact on Somaliland; Sorry, to disappoint you, but Somaliland is here to stay. The people of Somaliland remain united, come what may.
Somaliland preceded Somalia . Somaliland is a democratic country and its leaders are elected by its people, one person, and one vote. Somaliland has in place the institutions to survive and thrive and it will continue to do so, as de-facto state awaiting de-jure recognition. And even more importantly, the people of Somaliland have no desire or need to revive the defunct union.
The United States of America is a sovereign state and can go into any agreement with any nation on the face of the earth. If the United States have decided to renew its ties with Somalia, then that is all well and good. It is good for the region and good for the suffering people in Somalia who will now received much needed aid.
But, don't expect the United States to get too involved with Somalia. The images of 1993 and "Black Hawk Down" syndrome still reverberate in America. Americans have a long memory, as do, Somalis, for that matter. So, if you are expecting the United States to force Somaliland and Somalia to rejoin, don't hold your breath.
Furthermore, with the exception of terrorism, piracy and few oil concessions, the United States does not have a long term strategic goal in the region. The cold war is over. The conflicts of political ideologies which had sustained the dictatorship of Somalia are in the past. Today, it is all about what are our interests? And are they compatible with yours?
There, is in the interest of Somaliland and Somalia to meet, to talk and to find a way to cement a future relationship based on two neighbouring and friendly countries.
Somaliland's sovereignty is sacrosanct.
The other side, the pro-unionist, will also argue the defunct union of the "Somali Republic" is also sacrosanct. So, what is next? Since neither side is willing give up their basic belief, what is the next step forward?
It is in everyone's interest that Somaliland and Somalia find a solution to go their separate ways and exits as two independent countries. All issues should be on the table in any future discussions.
It is time to address the issue that the union has failed, and the people of Somaliland have no desire to repeat the same mistakes of the last thirty years. The world has moved on, and so has Somaliland .
The people of Somaliland have spent the last two decades rising from the ashes of the destructions brought upon them by the failed union with Somalia. They have moved from civil war, to internal strife, to democracy, through dialogue, discussion and consensus.
The people of Somaliland see no new paradigm emerging from Somalia, and have no desire to give up their hard won independence. So, it all comes down to talking. Somaliland and Somalia must be open and honest with each other.
They must acknowledge each other's beliefs, hopes and needs, and move forward from there. Otherwise, the matter will once again be settled with weapons instead talking, and no one in their right mind wants that.
By: Ahmed Kheyre