Friday, March 23, 2007

Ubique - remembering Somaliland

Illustrating the point I made yesterday about Somaliland deserving our support, here is a quote from a debate in The House of Commons in 2004:

The people of Somaliland have worked extremely hard to rebuild their country and community, and they deserve our help and support. Somaliland supported this country during the Second World War. It is worth recalling that 91,000 Italian troops, together with 200,000 local troops raised by the Italians, confronted 9,000 soldiers, mainly from the Somaliland Scouts and the Somaliland Camel Corps. The BBC documentary, "The Second World War", reported that the Italians

"were held at bay for four days"

and that our troops had

"inflicted over 2,000 casualties at a cost of around 250 men."

The documentary concluded:

"Furthermore, the impression that their defence left on the Italians would greatly influence future actions."

The people of Somaliland stood shoulder to shoulder with us in the past and, as the hon. Member for Clydebank and Milngavie said, they have done everything asked of them. They have had free and fair presidential and municipal elections. When we addressed both their Houses of Parliament and said that they would need parliamentary elections, there was no dissent. They said that they had to address some issues to achieve that, but that they want to do so. If ever a community deserved long-term development assistance, it is the people of Somaliland.


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