London’s Tower Hamlets council have overwhelmingly approved a motion to endorse recognition of Somaliland during a special session at the borough’s city hall, following in the footsteps of Sheffield and Cardiff councils.
While the motion did get cross-party support and passed with 40 votes in favour, members of the ruling party of Conservative rejected the motion and expressed their disapproval of the motion calling for the recognition of Somaliland as an independent state.
The motion, proposed by Labour councillor and Somaliland origin, Amina Ahmed, called on the council to represent concerns of the borough’’s vast Somaliland community at both the UK government and the EU level.
The London’s east borough of Tower Hamlets is considered the first borough Somalilanders resettled in London’s 32 boroughs and the first Somaliland community was established in the borough in around 1907. The Somaliland immigrants influx in the UK has also increased the number of Somalilanders moved in the borough since 1990s.
The Wednesday’s vote for Somaliland’s recognition came after months of campaign by both Somalilanders in the borough and members of the councillors lead by the directly elected mayor John Biggs and councillor Amina Ahmed who pushed the motion to be tabled before the councillors.
For over 100 years Somalilanders have contributed to British society and today’s endorsement by Tower Hamlets council to recognise Somaliland Republic will help its international efforts to convince other nations and councils to do as councils of Cardiff, Sheffield and Tower Hamlets done.
Somaliland government has also sent a delegation consisting ministers and deputy ministers to attend the occasion and the Minister of National Resources And Energy is among the delegates attended Wednesday’s voting.
The London borough recognition for Somaliland Republic is greatly welcomed by all Somalilanders in the UK but warned that the small gain by Somaliland not to be used as personal gains by the government rewarding with huge tax cash to few individuals as happened in Sheffield and Cardiff where thousands of British Pounds were handed to certain individuals to celebrate with parties instead of pushing for more at higher levels in both Britain and elsewhere in Europe.
Reports say Somalilanders in Tower Hamlets and those in other parts of the UK will have celebration party to mark and show their appreciation of the council’s recognition for Somaliland. The party will take place in the borough’s Bethnal-Green area, where Somalilanders reside and the once again Somalilanders back home will foot the bill as the government pays all the cost of the party which is aimed to help government popularity.
Somaliland used to have more than 35 British all party group lobbying for Somaliland’s recognition in Whitehall but since Somaliland’s current government started to negotiate with Somalia’s weak government there has been reports saying that the all party group for Somaliland switched to Somalia and now lobby for Somalia instead of Somaliland, this is described as a result of lack of agenda and political strategy from the Somaliland government side.
However, the latest recognition of Somaliland by another British council emboldens Somaliland’s case in Britain and those who worked hard to secure the Tower Hamlets motion are thanked by all Somalilanders, wherever they are.