For Immediate Release
Saturday, January 19, 2008
The leader of the secessionist Administration in Hargeisa, Col. Dahir Riyale Kahin, formerly of Siad Barre's dreaded 'National Security Service', paid a visit last week to Washington, D.C amid speculations and euphoria in Hargeisa that the United States was on the verge of finally extending diplomatic recognition to the breakaway region of our country. This provoked an angry response from pro-unity Somalis who demonstrated in front of the State Department protesting against presumed machinations to dismember their country; and they handed a protest note to the Department.
Yesterday, the State Department laid pro-unity fears to rest by announcing in clear and unequivocal terms that the United States Government stood by the UN Security Council resolutions which called for the respect of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political unity of the Somali Republic, and did not therefore recognize "Somaliland" as a state independent of Somalia. The announcement further said that the United States considered "Somaliland" as a regional administration which is an integral part of Somalia. The announcement was proffered orally by the Department's spokesman, Mr. Sean McCormack, disseminated in writing and broadcast loud and clear over the VOA and BBC in Somali in order for Somalis everywhere to hear it and to be assured.
In 2006 Mr. Tony Blair wrote to the secessionists in his capacity as British Prime Minister and in reply to a petition from them, that the UK Government did not and would not recognize "Somaliland" as an independent state, it being the policy of the European Union not to recognize it. The Arab League and the Organization of the Islamic Conference have both also turned deaf ears to secessionist petitions. But the secessionists have pinned their hopes on the African Union to recognize them and have been spreading the word that the African Union was considering their case. This also proved to be blatantly untrue.
On the contrary, Col. Riyale had been told by the Chairperson of the AU Commission, Mr. Konare, in a face-to-face meeting in 2004 "... that the concerns of Somaliland could be addressed within the federal framework agreed upon in Embgathi in the context of the unity of Somalia. I stressed the need to contribute to the success of the Reconciliation Conference and to make concrete proposals to that effect."(PSC/PR/2(V1), p.5,111 Situation in Somaliland).(Italics, ours)
In issuing this Press Release, it is not our intention to cock-a-hoop at Col. Riyale and his delegation. Our purpose is to make a plea for rationality so that the secessionists will face the realities staring them in the face with courage and, having seen the light, will forgo secession.
"Somaliland" has had a free rein for the last seventeen years and the huge efforts it deployed in pursuit of international recognition have been expensive in terms of energy, time and money. There was no central government to oppose and thwart those efforts, but the international community thought wisely that the Somali people should not be stabbed in the back at the hour of their greatest need. "Somaliland" has even made military forays into Sanaag and Sool regions which by choice are part and parcel of Puntland. It has captured Las Anod and occupied it in an attempt to advance its claim to independence. The invasion of Las Anod by “Somaliland” militias resulted in the death of over dozen innocent civilians and the displacement of over 50, 000 people mostly women and children. “Somaliland” is not only locked in a military conflict with Puntland but it also unwisely taunts the TFG in a bid to draw it into the conflict. We know from reliable sources that the European Union has recently told a "Somaliland ministerial delegation" visiting Addis Ababa that their military adventures were 'unacceptable'.
We believe that "Somaliland" has reached the end of the road. We wish to appeal therefore, in keeping with our previous press releases, to our fellow northerners who dream of secession to wake up to the national cause of helping in the rebirth of the Somali State and to contribute their knowledge, their skills, their enthusiasm and their dynamism to the building of a better Somalia within which we can all live as masters of our own home regions in peace, justice, democracy and true federalism.
For further information, please contact:
Gamal Hassan, Director, Communication and Public Relations Unit (NSPU)
5470 Merivale Rd. Ottawa, Ontario. K2C 3M1 Canada. Tel: 613-686-5466
E-mail: [email protected] website: www.somaliunity.org