Somaliland is a victim of its own success in promoting democracy and peace in the region and establishing ties with Taiwan and the United States.
Somaliland is a victim of its own success in maintaining peace in the region by providing free border security for neighboring countries, offering protection for ships traveling through its sea, and not allowing piracy and terrorist organizations to establish bases in Somaliland.
Despite these accomplishments, Somaliland has not received the recognition it deserves, and has instead become a victim
Somalia, Al-Shabaab, and the Sool Militia have representatives in the UN who can accuse Somaliland of wrongdoing, The Somalia Ambassador in the UN, while Somaliland, the victim, does not have a representative in the UN to defend its success, aggression, and assault against it. This creates an unfair dynamic that allows those who wish to do harm to Somaliland to spread misinformation, while not giving Somaliland the chance to set the record straight.
The campaign to destabilize Somaliland began during the presidency of President Farmajo, the former President of Somalia, and has been a source of increasing tension in the region. Despite these attacks, Somaliland has continued to advocate for peace and stability in the region.
Though we cannot ignore the grievances of the community of Las Anod and their claims of marginalization, the evidence suggests that the current unrest in Las Anod is being fueled by three different groups that are profiting from it: the Sool Militia, Al-Shabaab, and Puntland. These three groups are currently being used by both foreign countries and Somalia to destabilize Somaliland.
China openly expressed its displeasure shortly after Somaliland and Taiwan formalized their relationship. China then sent a high-level delegation to Somaliland to discuss ending its relationship with Taiwan. However, Somaliland refused to end the relationship with Taiwan and instead offered China the opportunity to open its own office in Somaliland.
Mr. Qin Jian, the Chinese Ambassador to Somalia, stated during an interview with the Somali National News Agency on April 15, 2019, that China respects Somalia’s sovereignty, independence, unity, and territorial integrity. On the afternoon of December 9, 2022, President Xi Jinping met with Somalia President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in Riyadh. China has provided both financial and other support to Somalia.
Somaliland has consistently maintained a neutral stance on numerous international conflicts and events. However, this neutrality has had both benefits and drawbacks. On the one hand, it has contributed to internal stability within the country. On the other hand, it has limited Somaliland’s participation in regional and global affairs, preventing the world from fully appreciating the distinctive challenges and opportunities that exist within this significant region. In short, Somaliland’s neutral position on world conflicts and events has been a double-edged sword.
It is believed that Somaliland is the victim of a global conspiracy. Eritrea’s leadership was extremely supportive of the Somalia regime because they suspected that Somaliland was siding with Djibouti.
This was due to the fact that both Eritrea and Djibouti were at war and had issues of territorial dispute. This narrative was built against Somaliland by Somalia politicians who were friends with the President of Eritrea and in return for Somalia supporting Eritrea to get its arms embargo lifted, President Isias Aferweky of Eritrea has trained the Somalia army and provided arms to Somalia. The same soldiers are fighting against Somaliland in Las Anod.
Somalia’s leaders and politicians informed Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and other Ethiopian officials of a different story, claiming that Somaliland had been close friends with the former TPLF leadership. Then PM Abiy became too close to Farmajo, forming the Triangle Political Block between Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Somalia. The Block was almost parallel to IGAD, and President Famajo’s aim was to form an alliance against Somaliland and gain support and training for his hand-picked soldiers who would later wage war against Somaliland.
Despite Somaliland’s long-standing self-identification as a valuable ally of Ethiopia, providing free border security, PM Abiy has shown a preference for President Farmajo and Somalia.
Somalia’s leaders and politicians have blamed Somaliland for siding with the UAE and Saudi Arabia. In return, the Qatari government has offered significant support to Somalia and its president, Farmajo, in an attempt to counter the influence of the UAE and Saudi Arabia in the region, with the support of Qatar. Farmajo has been able to strengthen his regional alliances and military forces, positioning himself for a possible war against Somaliland. Currently, the government of Somalia is enjoying good diplomatic and economic support.
On August 19, 2011, President Erdogan, who considers himself a leader in the Muslim world, visited Somalia. However, he was unaware of the ongoing dispute between Somalia and Somaliland. During a meeting in Somalia, Somalia politicians informed President Erdogan that Somaliland was similar to Kurdish separatists, and was seeking to break away from the greater Somali Republic. President Erdogan, seeking to gain popularity among other African nations, chose to support Somalia and sideline Somaliland.
China has vowed to seek revenge since the establishment of the new relationship between Somaliland and Taiwan. However, the extent of that revenge is unknown.
A neighboring country that shares cultural and community ties with Somaliland has taken a “Do no harm” approach due to Somaliland’s failure to leverage these ties and its unwillingness to ask for Djibouti’s help. Somaliland’s actions have undermined Djibouti’s influence in the international arena, leading Djibouti to take a neutral position on the ongoing dispute between Somaliland and Somalia. Recently, President Bihi has increased diplomatic relations with Djibouti, which will foster good neighborly relations between the two countries.
A significant ally of Somaliland, which had contributed to its development, has recently scaled back its support. According to sources, the relationship was not maintained due to minor misunderstandings. However, the UAE continues to be a friend and development partner of Somaliland, and the Freezone and Berbera Corridor projects continue to be developed. Somaliland continues to rely on the UAE for both development and humanitarian support.
Europe, the UN, and the United States
Western diplomats and UN diplomats have provided financial support to Somalia and offered training to its army under the pretext of fighting terrorism. However, this same army and funding are now being used to destabilize Somaliland.
In conclusion, Somaliland has been a victim of its own success in maintaining peace in the region, providing free border security for neighboring countries, offering protection for ships traveling through its sea, and not allowing piracy and terrorist organizations to establish bases in Somaliland. Despite these accomplishments, Somaliland has not received the recognition it deserves and has instead become a victim.
Land and border disputes are complicated, and other communities in Somaliland are not involved in the conflict in Las Anod. However, if the sovereignty and stability of Somaliland were to be threatened, a tribal war might erupt, leading to instability in the region. This could potentially escalate to a war between Somaliland and Somalia, similar to the conflict in 1988.
Though the tribal leaders in Las Anod and Al-Shabaab have asked the city’s population to evacuate before launching attacks against Somaliland, they continue to accuse Somaliland of wrongdoing and killing children and women, despite the fact that the city is empty, and only Al-Shabaab and the militia remain. This was pre-planned, and some experts have suggested the UN and AMISOM want to extend the mandate.
It has been long argued that the issues between Somaliland and Somalia need to be resolved, as this could disturb peace in the region, including Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Kenya. It could also encourage the return of piracy in the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean and provide more sanctuary for international terrorists, even those running from Yemen or Somalia.
Somaliland Intellectuals Institute