The following statement was issued today by the Somaliland Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Government of the Republic of Somaliland is deeply alarmed and disheartened by the Government of Somalia’s widening campaign of aggression towards a growing list of African nations. At a moment when Africa’s leaders are converging upon Niamey to find common solutions to continental peace and security issues, and to promote further integration, the Somalia administration has instead chosen to ratchet up its policy of threat-based and divisive diplomacy, this time aiming its empty but provocative rhetoric against the proud nation and people of the Republic of Guinea, solely for engaging in routine bilateral relations with the counterpart state of the Republic of Somaliland. The Somaliland government, which has long maintained a track record of friendly and cooperative relations with all members of the international community, stands by its ally and partner, the Republic of Guinea, against such acts of aggression, in the name of African peace, stability and brotherhood.
The Somaliland Government would also like to express its deep regret regarding the Somalia’s Government deliberate and offensive mischaracterisation of the Republic of Somaliland as a ‘separatist movement’. The Republic of Somaliland holds a deep-rooted and storied place in African history. Somaliland came into being as a former British protectorate, established through treaties between 1884 and 1897. On 26 June, 1960, the population of this territory was granted independence as a sovereign state, making it one of the earliest free nations on the continent. Somaliland joined with the former Italian Somalia to form the United Somali Republic. Unfortunately, our counterpart (Somalia) would not honour this agreement, and instead subjected us to three decades of exclusion and oppression, culminating in a genocidal war against our people in which tens of thousands of lives were lost and nearly half of our population was displaced.
Since miraculously rising from the ashes of this destruction and devastation, Somaliland has matured through peace-building, reconciliation and institutional consolidation into one of the most credible and well-regarded governments in Africa, holding six nationwide, one-person one-vote elections since 2001, when its constitution was ratified by popular referendum. The arrogance with which a small, unelected and externally propped-up group of leaders would defame the Somaliland people’s three decades of hard-won self-determination and self-governance speaks volumes of lack of seriousness, and not focusing its attention inwards, towards meeting the many security, humanitarian and development challenges.
Somaliland Government has long engaged in foreign relations with other governments at the highest of levels, and, as an independent state, has the legally-enshrined right and privilege to do so without interference from any external actor, including the Government of Somalia. The Somaliland Government would also like to again remind its neighbour, Somalia, that any differences between our two countries can best be solved at the dialogue table supported by credible and robust international mediation effort, rather than through involving third-parties as targets of attack and abuse.
© Horn Diplomat 2019