Monday, January 08, 2007

Why the US should recognise Somaliland's independence

I came across an interesting article on the web, through searching on the blogger bar above. Again it refers to Somaliland, discussing why the US should recognise Somaliland. My response was as follows (not published as I was not able to log on to that site):

"Thank you Professor Schraeder for this excellent article. Time has moved on a bit with regards to the situation in the south, with reports this morning that the US has launched an air strike, following the sweeping away of the UIC by joint TFG and Ethiopian troops.

The US is taking an active role now in the affairs of Somalia and the timing would seem to be perfect to push for recognition of Somaliland, either through the AU or unilaterally (hopefully with support of the EU, or EU minus Italy). Taking Somaliland out of the Somalia equation, not only rewards Somaliland for its efforts, but simplfies the task of the Somalis in the south.

Not only this, but at a time of what one hopes will be national reconciliation within Somalia, the example of Somaliland can be used as an illustration of how a democratic and pluralist nation can be formed in the context of Somali traditions.

One other practical way the US could help Somaliland would be to put pressure on its arch-ally, Saudi Arabia to lift the ban on import of livestock from Somaliland, the ban being politically motivated, not backed by any scientific or medical evidence that there is anything wrong with Somaliland's livestock. This would help kick-start Somaliland's improverished economy.

In addition, maybe a strong word in the Somaliland Government's ear that arresting and imprisoning journalists is not good democracy."

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