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Shadow Secretary of State for Environment Kerry McCarthy urges the international community to acknowledge, listen Somaliland’s case for recognition
For marking 18 may, the 25th anniversary of Somaliland reclaiming its independence and separating from Somalia, the MP for Bristol East said, “Despite its former history as an independent country before the two countries [Somaliland and Somalia] attempted union, and 25 years as a stable, peaceful democracy since separation, Somaliland is yet to be recognised as an independent state.” In a statement published on the Facebook page of Somaliland Community in Bristol, she stated: “Only with recognition can Somaliland achieve its full potential.”
Bristol MPs (Kerry McCarthy and Thangam Debbonaire with Edna Adan, former Somaliland Foreign Minister)
“Today, May 18th, marks the 25th anniversary of the former British colony, Somaliland, separating from the former Italian colony, Somalia. Despite its former history as an independent country before the two countries attempted union, and 25 years as a stable, peaceful democracy since separation, Somaliland is yet to be recognised as an independent state. Only with recognition can Somaliland achieve its full potential, and I believe it is time for the international community to acknowledge this, and listen to the case for recognition.
Somalilanders in Bristol are making an important contribution to community life, and I am proud that Hibaq Jama has been re-elected as a Labour councillor. Many still maintain close ties with Somaliland and I know how important it is to them that Britain, as the former colonial power, takes a leading role in this process. I will do all I can, working with my colleagues in the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Somaliland, to encourage the Government to do so. Today’s presentation of a letter to the UK Prime Minister from the President of Somaliland will, I hope, produce a serious response and will help Somaliland move one step closer to being recognised as the independent country that it clearly is.”
Amal Elmi - A poem dedicated to the recent death of 500 refugees and migrants – mainly young Somali and East African men and women – in the Mediterranean that did not even make news headlines.
I can hear mothers crying,
Fathers that are deep down mourning,
But are forced to be brave.
When did this happen?
Who neglected our children.
They clung onto hope for a better life.
Day after day. Night after night, time slowly passed.
Frosty and frightening, yearning for the comfort of
Their families and their homes.
Patiently waiting for the glorious moment
They would reach their dream destination. (more…)
Power is transferred peacefully through democratic elections. State institutions, including the police and armed forces, are in place. Terrorists find no safe haven within our territory. Nor do pirates operate off our coast.
Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud (Silanyo), President of Somaliland Republic – The African Union is proving exactly as far-sighted as its architects hoped; it is a tremendous force for good for our continent. Year by year, its authority and influence grow as it provides an indispensable platform for Africa to come together to address our many opportunities and challenges.
As we look around our continent today, the need for the AU’s intervention – both in response to terrible emergencies (as we have seen in Nigeria) and to accelerate wider progress – has rarely been greater. So I am genuinely reluctant, on behalf of my country, to add to an already packed agenda. But I believe the AU should no longer put off recognising Somaliland as an independent country and full member.
It is not the first time, of course, that our young country has asked the AU to take this momentous step. President Dahir Rayale Kahin, my predecessor, first applied in 2005. The result was an AU mission that looked at what our leaders and citizens had built together since we declared independence in 1991. It found that our progress was “unique” in African political history and recommended that the AU “should find a special method of dealing with this outstanding case”. Continue reading the full article
Kenya has legitimate fears and as a sovereign nation is entitled to take reasonable steps to protect its people, but much of what is taking place at present is worthy of a lament
Kenya–Somalophobia & the Heel of Insolent Might
Mark T Jones – The dramatic events surrounding the siege of the Westgate Shopping Mall, Nairobi that began on 21st September 2013 has become seared into the Kenyan psyche. The three day siege and the deaths and casualties that resulted ensured proved both shocking and yet strangely unifying at the same time. Just as the series of attacks in the US on 11th September 2001 caused convulsions and reverberations locally and internationally, the events at Westgate underscored the vulnerability of the East African powerhouse. For all the horrors and futility of it all the local media was determined to find heroism in the darkness and this it indeed managed to do, but equally whilst many sought solidarity in the face of danger further human frailty emerged in the form of bungling and looting on behalf of certain members of those forces sent in to ‘neutralise’ the attackers. Continue reading
Government, Donors Should Accelerate Justice Reforms
(Nairobi, May 22, 2014) Human Rights Watch – Somalia’s military courts since 2011 have tried hundreds of people beyond the courts’ legal mandate or in proceedings that fall short of international fair trial standards, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The government should urgently transfer civilian cases to the regular courts. International donors assisting in desperately needed improvements in Somalia’s justice system should not neglect reform of the military courts.
The 33-page report, “Courts of ‘Absolute Power’: Fair Trial Violations by Somalia’s Military Court,” documents violations of basic fair trial rights of defendants tried before military courts, including military personnel, suspected insurgents and supporters, police officers, and ordinary civilians. Human Rights Watch interviewed over 30 defendants and their relatives as well as military court officials, lawyers, and legal experts. They described how military court proceedings restrict defendants’ rights to obtain counsel of their choice, prepare and present a defense, receive a public hearing, not incriminate themselves, and appeal a conviction to a higher court. More than a dozen of those convicted over the last year have been sentenced to death and executed, magnifying the harm to basic rights. Continue reading
“Mobile money platform Zaad is booming in Somaliland, but there is concern its reliance on the dollar is damaging the economy,” writes Gianluca Iazzolino theguardian.com
Grasping his mobile phone, Abdirizak Yussuf Mahmoud prowls the Mohamud Haybe livestock market outside Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland. A camel catches his eye and the bargaining begins. He shakes the hand of the trader, haggling in a silent code. Pinching an index finger adds 1,000 dollars to the price; grabbing a hand means 5,000 more.
Once agreement is reached, the handshake is broken. A quick chat confirms the details, before the sale is completed by mobile phone. No cash changes hands, no papers are signed. Instead, Yussuf Mahmoud types into his handset, the seller’s phone chirps, and the deal is done.
Such scenes are commonplace in Somaliland, where innovation and technology are filling the void left by the absence of international commercial banks and formal banking infrastructure. Continue reading
AS regional and global leaders gather for the World Economic Forum in Nigeria – Africa’s most successful economy – to discuss the necessity of inclusive growth, it is the less fortunate, the forgotten and the disenfranchised, which will rightly be at the centre of the debate. I – and all my fellow citizens – hope that time will be found at the Forum to discuss the extraordinary position of Somaliland, a country which has been forgotten by the global community.
Next Sunday, (May 18) our country will celebrate the 23rd anniversary of its declaration of independence. Yet despite fulfilling all the legal requirements to be recognised by the international community and the African Union, our country is still officially treated as an autonomous region of Somalia. This ignores both history and reality.
Somaliland and Somalia existed separately until 1960 when a disastrous but voluntary decision was made to merge. The union, unhappy almost from the beginning, fractured permanently when the Somali regime of Mohamed Siad Barre waged a brutal war against Somaliland in which 50,000 civilians lost their lives. As Somalia disintegrated into chaos in 1991, Somaliland took the opportunity again to control its own future. Continue reading
A car bomb killed at least 12 people, including Somali soldiers and civilians, on Monday in a city that was once a stronghold of al Qaeda-linked rebels, police said.