Somaliland’s Minister of Finance Dr. Saad Ali Shire underlined recognition is not everything, but though a good thing we have the right to be recognized, in an interview with BNC discussed the country’s need for recognition for its independence from Somalia. “We haven’t been recognized yet and we think that’s wrong because that’s denying our people the rights that’s due to them.”
Marc Lamont Hill of Black News Channel (BNC), an American broadcast television news channel, targeting the African American demographic & based in Tallahassee, Florida, happened as follows:-
BNC- Somaliland, verbally doesn’t want to be Somalia, why?
Minister Dr Saad- Thank you, right, Somaliland is not Somalia, Somaliland has different history, and it was British protectorate since 1897 to 1960, June 26, when it got its independence. And then decided to join Somalia, as two states, and that is what we did, but union did not work, and in 1991, the people of Somaliland decided to leave the union, and since then, we have been able to develop and rebuild our country and establish democratic country system and today, which is unlike the news to hear from Somalia.
BNC- you make interesting distinction, and said we are not seceding from Somalia, but we simply separated, to some without difference, so when you decided to declare independence, were you not seceding, if not tell me, why distinction id important?
Dr Saad- Well, it is very important, we were two different states with international boundaries, when we joined, and the union were between two states, it wasn’t a country that was annexed with another country or part of another country, and that union didn’t worked, and if something doesn’t work, for example, it is like family, it can be divorced, exactly, we did the same and said, this was something that doesn’t helping us and you, so we go out way, and you go your way, that is how it happened.
BNC- You have your own government, functioning as a separate country for Somalia for thirty years, why it is so difficult then, given all of this distinction, to have recognition this recognition by the international community, what is at stake here?
Dr Saad- that is a question for international community! As you said, an independent state by any measure, we have an international boundaries, and we have elected government and a population and we can enter treaties, and agreements to foreign states, our officials and president is given full protocols, when they go outside the country, so by any measure, and description, we are in a full state! We haven’t been recognized yet, and we think that is wrong because, that is denial to our people’s rights due to them, and some people say, well, if Somaliland is recognized, then that might open to Pandora box, but that is not the case, because we had commission to the African Union, 2004, come to Somaliland, and they wrote a report which said, ‘Somaliland has absolutely nothing to do with Pandora box, and it has a very special cases.
BNC- Has Somalia been helpful for Somaliland struggle?
Dr Saad- Well, Somalia has not been helpful, particularly, the current President. We started a dialogue, along with Somaliland back 2012, and had up to ten meetings between us to discuss recognition issues and other issues, between us, as well, and we had some agreements to some issues, but, Somalia government never respected the agreements which we reached. In reality, we have some sort of difficulties, with current president, but we hope, there would be a new President soon, and we would be able to discuss the matter again with Somalia.
BNC- What does recognition looks like to you? It is a member status that adds to UN, or we are talking about being able to different levels of trade, particularly, nations trade specifically with Somaliland not Somalia? Or immune, or omitted Somaliland, if IC punish Somalia? What is does look like?
Dr Saad- Well, we want to be a member of the international community, and get all right, privileges and benefits being a full member, At the present time, unrecognition is a problematic, it is difficult to travel, it is difficult to access international funds, or to access aid, even though miraculously, not recognized for the last 31 years, we made enormous achievements, which have many countries which is recognized haven’t been made? Recognition is not everything, but still a good thing, & we have the right to be recognized.
BNC- many people are looking Shabaab relationship with ISIS, people speculate how Somaliland differ, can you give us comparison what Somaliland differ with Somalia?
Dr Saad- Somaliland is a beacon of peace and democracy, which is a rare thing for the Horn of Africa. We conducted elections of House of Representatives and local councils, which happened in a smooth way, with no interruption, and achieved a lot in Somaliland.