Obviously thrown off by the burgeoning relationship between the Republic of Somaliland and Taiwan, the federal government of Somalia makes a number of factual and diplomatic errors in a protest statement it released, today, Tuesday.
First it kept repeating the ‘Federal Republic of Somalia’ in conjunction with reference to a Somaliland belonging to that entity when it never had.
“The Federal Government of Somalia condemns Taiwan’s reckless attempts to infringe on the Sovereignty of the Federal Republic of Somalia and violate its Territorial Integrity,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement began with.
The Republic of Somaliland was not a signatory to the federal system of Somalia, including the constitution that defined it.
Then it follows with another blunder with a thinly concealed threat that, again, the ‘Federal Republic of Somalia’ stood ‘to protect its Sovereignty, the Unity of its People and its Territorial Integrity’.
It did not explain how a thirty-year-old country that was better governed, more democratic and its own system of government, army, currency, passport, and parliament could be protected from pursuing its own interests.
Somaliland zealously joined Italian Somalia in 1960 in the hope that the three other Somali-inhabited territories of Djibouti, NFD (Kenya) and Hawd/Reserve Area of Ethiopia would join them to form a Greater Somalia. The two merged as the Somali Republic. That merger effectively ended in 1969 when the military took over the leadership and a formed a government it called the ‘Somali Democratic Republic’. That regime ruled the country for 21 more years and was deposed in 1991 with the help of the Somaliland fighting front the SNM. The Republic of Somaliland from the ashes of destruction of those thirty years the same year and has been on its own since then.
Ignoring history and the internationally witnessed march of events, Somalia that is only in existence by the race of an indulging, benign but over-exhausted international community, still insists that Somaliland was once part of a defunct Somalia.
‘The Federal Government of Somalia, therefore, calls on Taiwan to cease its misinformed ventures into any part of the territory of the Federal Republic of Somalia. These Principles are non-negotiable to the Federal Government of Somalia,” the Foreign Affairs statement said, repeating itself and its obsession with the word ‘federal’.
The word ‘Republic’ is a new addition to the country’s name, too. As of recent, it was only the ‘Federal Government of Somalia’ – and that is how the world still referred to it.
Then the statement lets go its last salvo taking heart, clearly, from all-around support it expected of a China which also so loudly made similar protestations today to offset repercussion and in the case it backfired.
‘The Federal Government of Somalia shall undertake necessary measures within international law to protect the country’s Unity, Sovereignty, Territorial Integrity and Political Independence,” it said.
Taiwan and Somaliland announced a relationship that took most of the world bu surprise on 1 July 2020, making the Republic of Somaliland the second country to grant Taiwan a full foothold in the continent. Tiny Eswatini preceded it.
Taiwan opened its Representative office in Somaliland on Monday.
A pre-recorded congratulatory message by President Tsai Ing-wen was played and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu delivered his remarks live via a video call during the opening ceremony which was attended by Professor Yassin Mohamoud Hiir, the Somaliland Foreign Minister and a phalanx of top government, the business community and diplomatic dignitaries.
An important milestone for the #Taiwan–#Somaliland partnership! Today we opened the Taiwan Representative Office in Somaliland. We are bound together by our shared values of freedom, democracy, justice & the rule of law, ideals that will guide our future cooperation. pic.twitter.com/upAcpnJGfp
— 蔡英文 Tsai Ing-wen (@iingwen) August 17, 2020
“We are confident about the mutually beneficial and friendly ties with Somaliland,” Taiwanese Ambassador to Somaliland, Lou Chen-Hwa, said at the opening ceremony.
Ambassador Chen-Hwa added that the two territories planned to cooperate on everything from health care to agriculture and security – areas the Somaliland Republic clearly needed a committed friend in. On the other hand, Somaliland’s myriad of untapped resources ranging from livestock to agriculture, fisheries, mining, tourism, petroleum and solar/wind energies pose a tremendous find to any enterprising government or multinational.
Foreign Minister Hiir welcomed the new office to the Republic of Somaliland, promising that Somaliland was ever true to its word and that the cooperation between the two countries could only augur well for the two peoples.
Foreign Minister Hiir expressed his delight in co-hosting the opening ceremony in a tweet later.
I am pleased to co-host together with Minister Joseph Wu, @MOFA_Taiwan, & the Government of Taiwan to officially open Taiwan Representative Office in #Somaliland. From Somaliland side, I would like to announce our Representative Office is due to open in the next few weeks. pic.twitter.com/yGFMOPUDYc
— Yasin Hagi Mohamoud (@HagiMohamoud) August 17, 2020
The director-General of the Presidency, Mohamed Ali Bileh, attending, also captured the momentous event.
Just witnessing the historic moment of opening of #Taiwan Representative office in Hargeisa, #Somaliland. Somaliland and Taiwan and its allies has a common principle and values of democracy, sovereignty, peace, human rights and aiming for a better tomorrow.@MOFA_Taiwan pic.twitter.com/jvCJwKRSPD
— Mohamed Ali Bile (@BilemohamedAli) August 17, 2020
Taiwan has diplomatic representation in 14 countries around the world, namely: Belize, Eswatini, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Holy See (Vatican), Marshal Islands, Nauru, Nicaragua, Palau, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sait Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Tuvalu.
The country, on the other hand, has over 50 representative and trade offices all over the world including the United States which further protects Taiwan (and its allies) with the Congress-endorsed Taipei Act.
The Taiwan diplomatic/representative office in Somaliland would be the seventh in the country on the heels of countries like Ethiopia, Djibouti and the UK.
The Somalia protestations against the opening of the Taiwan office has no weight or bearing whatsoever on Somaliland’s indestructible course towards a fully regained sovereignty. Greater feats still lay ahead and the country never failed to pleasantly surprise the forward-looking world since its inception as analysts have oft predicted.