Today, at the Maansoor Hotel, Hargeisa, Republic of Somaliland, His Excellency the President attended a function in which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that 1.021.000 Somalilanders put their signature to a petition decrying the absence of diplomatic recognition for the de facto republic, and how Somaliland has a case to present to the international community.
The signatures on the petition grant Somaliland the right to put the world to task on why its sovereignty and self-determination is a subject for deliberation by the very aggressor from whose ill-fated union the country was extricating itself from. The petition clarifies a number of points to the world among which is the fact that Somaliland gained its independence 5 good days ahead of Italian Somalia and that it joined Somalia an internationally recognized, independent country – a fact that makes Somalia a junior partner that cannot legally decide the fate of its elder partner.
The President summarized the points raised in the petition, delivering it from his perspective as a president, dwelling on all the salient facts defending his country’s right to sovereignty very powerfully.
The President called upon the international community to acknowledge and recognize Somaliland’s right to self-determination and a rightful place among independent nations of the world.
The President underlined how so adequately the Republic of Somaliland has fulfilled all prerequisites, tenets and conditions requisite for an independent, diplomatically recognizable sovereign nation.
All three national, political parties and a number of dignitaries representing the cabinet of ministers, the bi-cameral parliament, members of the national recognition committee and the Chief Justice were present adding their support to the initiative. The two opposition parties, namely UCID and Waddani, showed their undivided solidarity with the government, congratulating it on the successful initiative.
H.E. Minister Saad Ali Shirreh, Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, gave participants a synopsis of the background activities leading to the petition, essence of the petition and invaluable ramifications it has for the republic.
The Ministry, later, posted the statement copied below on the launching occasion of the diplomatic offensive which the country was undertaking, using the petition as a launching point on its official Facebook page.
A #petition calling for the recognition of #Somaliland has surpassed its target of one million signatures. The petition which notes that “ Somaliland’s people have forged an oasis of stability, democracy and progress since declaring independence from Somalia in 1991” called on the international community to formally recognise Somaliland as a sovereign nation-state.
The collection of over one million signatures in a country of 4 million people is a remarkable feat and to mark the milestone occasion President Silanyo held an announcement ceremony today, August 23rd, at the Mansoor Hotel. Opening the event, President “I hope this petition will send a strong signal and very clear message to the international community that it is past time Somaliland was recognised”. Many high-profile figures including Ministers, political leaders and civil society representatives were present at the event. .
The petition offered a way for the people of #Somaliland to show the world that they are proud of Somaliland’s achievements over the last 25 years and wanted to join the global community of nations. Somaliland is a place of vibrant political debate, with a keenly contested democratic election set to take place in March 2017, but the issue of recognition is one on which almost all Somalilanders can agree.
The strength of the campaign rested on a bottom-up strategy, in which ordinary people took efforts to make their communities aware of the petition and how it could help to raise international awareness about Somaliland. The petition activists relied on a face-to-face approach to raise awareness among the Somaliland public. Many of the campaign activists were enthusiastic students who began by collecting signatures from their friends and family, but then decided to bring the petition to the streets, schools, stalls and public spaces. They would explain to those they met about the nature of the petition and the negative consequences that Somaliland suffered due to a lack of recognition.
Abdifatah M Abdirahman, who works for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and who helped organise the collection of signatures noted that it had been an exciting way for citizens to get involved in supporting the cause of Somaliland, adding: “we have spent 25 years patiently building a peaceful, stable and prosperous country. Now is the time for the world to recognise our achievements”.
The campaign involved extensive networking at local, national, and international levels to gather the one million signatures. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs hope to shortly submit the collected signatures to the United Nation’s authorities and representatives of major international powers.