Safiirka Somaliland ee dalka Belgium u joogga oo Shir Caalamiya ka qayb galay
September 16, 2018 - Written by admin

Statement to UNPO Extraordinary General Assembly
September 14–15, 2018
Saint- Gervais- Les- Bains, Savoy.
Somaliland achievements towards freedom and independence
First of all, I would like to express thanks to the
UNPO Secretariat for organizing this important
conference and for its invitation, as well as to
this august Assembly for its support and
solidarity. As the representative of Somaliland , I
have the privilege to extend to you greetings and
best wishes from the government and the people
of Somaliland. We highly appreciate UNPO’s rôle
to champion the cause and aspirations of all its
members who seek freedom, justice and human
rights. On this occasion my statement will deal
with the remarkable achievements made by
Somaliland within the last three decades towards
its freedom and independence.
Somaliland as you are aware of, is situated in the
Horn of Africa . Historically, it had existed as a
separate country. It has a population estimated
( in 2011 ) at more than four million people.
It has an an approximate area of almost 140,000 km with a coastline of 850 km across the Gulf of
Aden. It became a British protectorate in 1884. It has boundaries demarcated by the former British
protectorate government at the end of the nineteenth century which are defined within the
framework of international treaties.
After its independence from Britain on June 26, 1960, it became the 10th independent state in
Africa, recognized by more than 35 member states of the United Nations including the five
permanent members of the Security Council of the United Nations. However, on July 1st, 1960,
Somaliland voluntarily merged with Somalila which became independent from Italy. And the two
countries established a Union of the now defunct Somalil Republic. Somaliland had sacrificed its
independence and sovereignty and decided to unite with Somalia at that time in an attempt to pave
the way for the unification of all Somali territories in the Horn of Africa.
However, this Union had dismally and disastrously failed . Somaliland’s experience during this
union was characterized by dictatorship and war crimes against the civilians, with great loss of life
and massive destruction of property, all documented by international humanitarian organizations.
Following the collapse of the former Somali Republic at the beginning of 1991 and subsequent
spread of war and chaos in the country, the political leaders and traditional chiefs of all Somaliland
communities met in Burao City and decided with popular support, to revoked the 1960 Union
with Somalia. The Somaliland people proclaimed the independence of Somaliland within its the

pre- existing British Somaliland Protectorate boundaries.
At present, Somaliland exists as a De facto independent country for almost three decades. It fulfils
all the necessary conditions for de jure recognition under customary international law. As a
peaceful, economically thriving and a functioning democracy as well as a trustworthy partner in
international cooperation, Somaliland is a success story. It provides all forms of public services to
its people including free- primary education, healthcare and water supply to urban and rural areas.
Somaliland and its hardworking and law-abiding people have become renown for moderation,
peace , stability and good governance. Somaliland has been successful in establishing modern
system of democratic institutions. Its constitution provides for a multiparty democracy, two Houses
of Parliament, independent judiciary and a council of ministers under the leadership of the
president. Elections are held every five years to select a president, parliamentarians and local
gevernments for each region in the country. Since the declaration of its independence at the
beginning of 1991, peaceful changes of governments were carried out, the last of which took place
at the end of last year. A professional civil service, security system, banking, customs, postal and
telecommunications are other government institutions. Somaliland has its own currency and
passports as well as all other state paraphernalia.
The successful reconstruction of Somaliland from complete destruction and creation of a
functioning government were achieved without much assistance from outside, as pointed out by
Kaplan, S. in his seminal article : The Remarkable story of Somaliland , Journal of
Democracy, 2008,19 (3):143-157.
Somaliland seeks the right to self- determination. As article 1 ( 2 ) of the Charter of United Nations
makes clear, self-determination is an important principle in international affairs as strongly
established in international law. Self-determination allows people to play a rôle in international
affairs and calls for respect for their aspirations. This principle is restated in different UN
The principle of self-determination has been carried out in many countries including ; Bangladesh,
East Timore, Eritrea, the former Yugoslavia and Soviet Union Republics. These precedents of
international law should be applied to Somaliland in its claim to independence from Somalia, which
is still in a state of anarchy and lawlessness.
Somaliland’s right to self-determination was strongly expressed in the 2001 referendum, supervised
by the Washington – based Republican Initiative Institute, in which 97 % of Somalilanders
approved the new constitution that affirms the country’s independence and sovereignty ( Briefing
Paper, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hargeisa, 2001 ). The right to self-determination was in addition
expressed in peace conferences held in Burao city from April to May 1991 and in Borama city from
January to May 1993, in which all Somaliland communities unanimously approved the country’s
Somaliland’s claim to independence is further strengthened by the use of the principle of uti
possedetis , a principle in international law that requires the maintenance and acceptance of
colonially inherited boundaries. Somaliland has made it clear that it accepts the boundaries in Africa
as promulgated by the former Organization of African Unity ( OAU ) in its Cairo Summit
Conference in 1964. This OAU principle has been successfully used in the dissolution of failed
unions in Africa including ; Senegal and Gambia, United Arab Republic of Egypt and Syria,

Ethiopia and Eritrea, Sudan and South Sudan. Somaliland’s case is a matter of dessolution of a
voluntary union between two countries and not an act of secession.
In addition,Somaliland’s claim to independence is based on its earlier existence as a juridically
recognized state with demarcated boundaries. There is strong belief that recogntion of Somaliland
should be objectively established on those historical precedends mentioned above, rather on false
assumptions.. International law firmly supports the view that when an entity ( Somaliland being
formerly a colonial territory, ‘italics added’ ) succeeds in establishing itself as a state and has
ability to fulfil international obligations, the international community has an obligation to give it
recognition ( H. Lauterpacht, Oppenheim’s International Law, Eight Edition Vol.1. pp 124-154,
( New York, 1954 ).

In conclusion, it is important to point out that at the international level, there is a growing support,
among the international community, for Somaliland’s independence and freedom. As an
independent, democratic, a reliable partner, situated in a strategic location, Somaliland could make
more contribution in terms of cooperation, with the international communiy in the fight against the
evils of piracy, terrorism and human trafficking that plague the Horn of Africa and towards the
stabilization of the region.
Submitted by, Mohamoud Abdi Daar,
Somaliland Representative to the EU. Sept.12,2018.


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