Somaliland stands out in several areas in foreign policy that attract the Biden’s administration and the Quad (Japan, Australia, India and US). These areas are China, Taiwan, the horn of Africa, Israel, defence and democracy.

Taiwan/China ( 🇦🇺 🇺🇸 🇯🇵 🇮🇳 )

  • Somaliland is one of the few African countries that established relations with Taiwan. This can make Somaliland subject to the US TAIPEI Act of 2019 which allows US to protect Taiwan allies.
  • On China’s influence on Africa, Somaliland held its ground against China’s tactics to cut ties with Taiwan.

Horn of Africa ( 🇺🇸 )

  • According to Freedom House, Somaliland is the only democracy in horn of Africa
  • The Tigray war has shown that the traditional US ally, Ethiopia, cannot be trusted to play a stabilising role in the horn of Africa. With the lack of a democratic ally, it is time for the US to engage in this region directly. Somaliland can be that country model not only for Somalia but the whole of the horn of Africa.

Israel ( 🇦🇺 🇺🇸 🇯🇵 🇮🇳 )

  • Somalia has become effectively a Turkish protectorate and it is against making a step towards peace with Israel. Somaliland on the other hand has shown interest by its members of parliament and senior diplomats.

Democracy ( 🇦🇺 🇺🇸 🇯🇵 🇮🇳 )

  • The events in Capitol Hill has damaged the image of the US in the eyes of Africans. Recognising a democracy within Africa can fix that perception (power of example)

Defence ( 🇦🇺 🇺🇸 🇯🇵 🇮🇳 )

  • The US pentagon and several defence advisors and senior diplomats have stressed how the Port of Berbera is best suited to be a navy military base instead of Djibouti and the Gulf. The former has already been invested heavily in by China while the latter does not have deep water and a great straticgic location.

Conclusion

As Somaliland’s 30 years anniversary is due in few months, it will be having longer independence history than its previous union with Somalia. As per an offical African Union fact-finding mission, Somaliland is a unique case that will not encourage secession movement in Africa. The Quad has a golden opportunity and the time is now to seize it.

References

Freedom House 2020 report
https://freedomhouse.org/explore-the-map?type=fiw&year=2020

Somaliland and Taiwan
https://www.economist.com/middle-east-and-africa/2020/10/03/somaliland-and-taiwan-establish-diplomatic-ties

Somaliland and Taiwan relation (video)
https://youtu.be/bqlQCkhci0A

Port of Berbera as a US military base
https://youtu.be/HQw8ZjfHuWY

Somaliland and Israel
https://menafn.com/1101040486/Republic-of-Somaliland-Could-Well-Be-Next-to-Sign-Relations-with-Israel

African Union fact-finding mission
https://unpo.org/article/3867

Source: Haadka

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