Ref: SSE/DK-85/07072019 7/7/2019
An open letter to the Security Council, the African Union, the European Union and IGAD
Somalia’s claim over Somaliland carries grave consequence for the security and stability in the Horn of Africa
We, concerned Somaliland communities in Europe, want to draw your attention to the escalating tension between Somaliland and Somalia. We are concerned because the fledgling authority of Somalia has recently upped its expansionist policy to forcefully bring Somaliland back into the fold of the questionable union as it did in 1977 when it invaded Ethiopia or threatened to do the same to Kenya. Somalia poses threat to the security and stability in the Horn of Africa and beyond. It is frustrating the political stability in Somaliland. We are confident that you, as one of the key stakeholders involved in the peace-making and peace-keeping efforts in the region, are familiar with the different historical trajectories of the two countries. Somaliland has never been part of Somalia, and never will be. The 1st July 1960 dubious union between the two states was never ratified. A few points to bear in mind:
1. Somaliland historical case
Somaliland’s claim for independence is based primarily on historical title – its separate colonial history, a brief period of independence in 1960, the fact that it voluntarily entered into its disastrous union with Somalia and the questionable legitimacy of the 1960 Act of Union. Somaliland’s independence as a sovereign state was acknowledged by over 30 countries (in the case of the United Kingdom through entry into international agreements with Somaliland as two states, which were (and are still) registered with UN under Article 102 of the UN Charter. These Agreements were specifically confirmed in both versions18 of the Act/law of Union of Somaliland and Somalia which both confirm Somaliland and Somalia as independent states.
2. Somaliland territory
Somaliland’s independence restores the colonial borders of the former British Protectorate of
Somaliland and therefore does not violate the principle of uti possidetis – that former colonial borders should be maintained upon independence – which is enshrined in the Consultative Act of the African Union (Session in Cairo, UAR, from 17 to 21 July 1964).
3. Somaliland statehood
Somaliland fulfils all the criteria for statehood as those set by the 1933 Montevideo Convention, “The State as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications”:
- a permanent population;
- a defined territory;
- government; and
- capacity to enter into relations with the other states..
4. Somalia: a failed state
Somalia is a classic example of a failed state. It effectively has had no reasonably working state structures since 1991, but its cosmetic existence has from 1992 been practically subject to the Security Council’s 1992 Resolution of 733, adopted again in 2019 as 2472. With billions of dollars wasted in establishing governance, the international community has nothing to show for that all those resources other than securing a few miles around Mogadishu. Somalia still struggles to stand on its feet and the chances it will do so in the foreseeable future is dim. It is dim because instead of coming to terms with the factuality that Somaliland has left the 1960 dubious union, Somalia continues to put ratifying its draft constitution and completing its state institution building on the back burner.
5. Our message to the international stakeholders
- We call upon the international community to accept the factuality that Somalia has no de facto jurisdiction, no legal basis for its claim on Somaliland and no relevance on the political processes in Somaliland.
- We express our concerns that if Somalia continues with its sinister plans to spoil the peace and stability Somaliland has achieved without support from the international community by pitting Somaliland communities against one an other, or by derailing our economic progress, the security of the wider region of the Horn of Africa and the Gulf of Aden will be comprised. Yours Sincerely,
Somaliland Society in Europe (SSE)
Contact email: email@example.com