US State Department Itself Dithers over Commitment to Peace and Democracy in Somaliland

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State Department of the United States, which prides itself as the protector and uncontested champion in the promotion of peace and democracy around the world dismally failed to deliver on its commitments to the Republic of Somaliland at a time it so direly needed the support of what it thought was a democratic ally.

The United States, through its State Department, instead, struck the only truly democratic nation in the Horn of Africa in the back in a statement that did not only smite it badly but which that also fully supported an amalgam of terrorists, Puntland of Somalia forces and a motley of militias most of whom crossing over from border with Somalia to take over Las Anod of Somaliland’s Sool region forcefully.  These forces, using the city as a big war trench, have been waging relentless attacks against Somaliland army positions surrounding the city but not engaging them in it to spare city structures that were not yet demolished by the marauding forces to blame them on Somaliland shelling.

Both the heading and the content shocked not only Somalilanders everywhere but Americans themselves as well as more informed political analysts and diplomats in the region.

The statement touched on a non-existent ceasefire that has long been broken on a number of occasions by the invaders.

To make matters worse, it cited a statement by so-called peace envoys comprising staunch supporters (above) of Somalia’s former President, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, who is widely recognized as the mastermind behind the attempted takeover of Las Anod.

“The United States is increasingly concerned by the continuing violence in Lascanood and joins other international partners and neighbors in calling for de-escalation, adherence to the agreed ceasefire, unhindered humanitarian access, and resumption of constructive dialogue towards peaceful resolution. Continued violence will increase the potential for extremist groups to sow broader instability and further exacerbate the ongoing humanitarian crisis,” the statement said.

In at least one paragraph, the State Department completely sided with the invaders making it appear like Somaliland was open for multiple splits geographically and politically.

“We call on Somaliland to pull back its security forces as a demonstration of its commitment to these principles,” it began in one paragraph, continuing to bestow undeserved praise on the Somalia Federal Government – an avowed foe of Somaliland’s restored sovereignty and a false contender for jurisdiction and its re-domination.

“We support the Federal Government of Somalia’s constructive engagement and deployment of a clan elders’ delegation and welcome Somaliland President Bihi’s commitment to meet with the delegation in Hargeisa,” the State Department said revealing its poor grasp of facts and figures on the ground in another testimony to why the United States was losing its grip on world politics and informed diplomacy.

The statement addressed forces that are equally led by known terrorist commanders and generals in the pay of the varied security and army forces of Somalia as an equal party to the government of the Republic of Somaliland and the only confirmed, loyal ally to the United States in the Horn of Africa with other states so deeply indebted to China.

“We call on the militias in Lascanood (Las Anod) to refrain from any offensive actions against Somaliland forces,” it said.

Compounding its obtuseness and insensitivity to a Somaliland struggling under a predicament its enemies have been building up for the past 15 years, the statement goes on to reprimand the government for not setting a timeline for elections as it can ignore the looming threat of terrorism taking over its country and its wider implications on both national and regional security.

“We also note with concern that Somaliland’s presidential elections have been delayed since November 2022, well beyond the timing set forth in Somaliland’s constitution. We call on the Somaliland authorities to set a clear timeline and complete the elections as soon as possible. The United States stands ready to use authorities under Section 212(a)(3)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act to restrict the issuance of visas to current or former Somali officials or other individuals who are believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic process in Somalia, including in Somaliland,” the statement blandly puts on ink.

the government of Somaliland showed its consternation in a statement the foreign ministry released Friday clearly projecting frustration in the State Department not obviously heeding earlier explanations of the Las Anod conspiracy or reading the telltale signs correctly.

In a good faith effort and to contain the violence and restore stability, the Somaliland government pulled back its security forces from Las’anod, declared a unilateral ceasefire and encouraged all other parties to join. The government also supported a Peace Mission by Somaliland’s clan elders to initiate dialogue, and welcomed the initiative taken by neighboring governments to mediate an end to hostilities,” the statement said.

However, those who provoked this conflict have rejected all these efforts. Instead, they have continued to engage in incitement, violence, and misinformation to further destabilize the region and challenge the Republic of Somaliland’s sovereignty. Over the last two months, Somaliland’s military has been under constant, unprovoked attacks whilst they have been striving to contain the instability and avoid further military escalation to prevent harm to civilians,” it added.

The government pointed out that the same as any other free country in the world, including the United States, Somaliland had every right to defend its territorial interity and the safety of its subjects nationwide.

Like all other governments, the Republic of Somaliland has the right to defend its territorial integrity, and our Armed Forces have been doing so with restraint and professionalism,” the MOFA statement underlined.

The government repeated calls to the United States, the African Union, the European Commission and the rest of the international community to help douse out the Las Anod hostility that is fanned to life from without.

One of the solutions leading to lasting peace and stability in the country and the region, the government urged, was the diplomatic recognition of the republic of Somaliland.

The Government of the Republic of Somaliland once again urges the United States, the African Union, and the International Community to work in solidarity with our people to restore security in Las’anod and support a long-lasting solution that includes recognition of Somaliland’s sovereignty,” it said.

On the election issue, the government put the setting of timelines on the line of the national electoral commission.

In accordance with our laws, the National Electoral Commission is mandated to organize elections in our country. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the National Electoral Commission to develop the roadmap for the elections,” the Ministry statement emphasized.

The State Department statement comes out at a time the very existence of Somaliland is at risk. That democracy and the principles of peace, stability, regional co-existence and the spirit of freedom are under threat seems to have completely eluded the State Department.

The statement adversely contradicts suggestions in the United States National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which proposed heightened political and security engagement with Somaliland rightly seeing it as it was a viable partner and a nation that has for more than 32 years warded off all kinds of daunting challenges in a region characterized with conflict and extremism.

Condemnation of the State Department statement, sampled below, was swift and deservedly scathing on social media, especially Twitter, coming from all corners of the world.

https://twitter.com/DrJPPham/status/1641593100903563266?s=20

 

https://twitter.com/GulfOfBerbera/status/1641963014072025091?s=20

 

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