Defending Somaliland’s Sovereignty: Refuting Somalia’s Unilateral Integration into the East African Community (EAC)

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The Government of the Republic of Somaliland expresses its deep concern regarding the recent accession of Somalia to the East African Community (EAC) block. We firmly believe that this decision is a clear violation of Somaliland’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Somaliland, formerly the British Somaliland Protectorate, gained independence from the United Kingdom on June 26, 1960, predating Somalia’s independence by five days. On July 1, 1960, Somaliland voluntarily merged with Somalia, forming the Somali Republic. However, this union was marred by decades of brutal oppression and marginalization of the Somaliland people under the Somali Republic’s dictatorial regime of Mohamed Siad Barre.

In 1991, as the Somali central government collapsed, the people of Somaliland reclaimed their sovereignty and independence. On May 18, 1991, Somaliland declared its independence, a decision endorsed by all clan elders in a unanimous declaration. Since 1991, Somaliland has functioned as an independent and sovereign state, with its own democratically elected government, distinct currency, and effective control over its territory. We have established a stable and peaceful society, fostering economic development and social progress.

Somalia’s claim to Somaliland’s territory is unfounded and contradicts the historical and legal realities. Somaliland has never been part of Somalia since 1991, and Somalia has no right to represent Somaliland in any international or regional forum. We urge the African Union (AU), the United Nations (UN), and EAC member states to recognize Somaliland’s distinct identity and sovereignty. Somalia’s accession to the EAC without Somaliland’s consent is a grave injustice and undermines the principles of international law.

The Republic of Somaliland is committed to peaceful and constructive engagement with the international community. We seek a just and equitable solution that recognizes our right to self-determination and our aspiration for international recognition. We sincerely hope that the AU, UN, and EAC member states uphold the aspirations of our people and their inherent right to self-determination.

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