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Somaliland Leader on Reason for Non-recognition of Somaliland


January 04, 1994


M. Ibrahim Egal


 The president of the republic of Somaliland, Mr Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal, today [25th December 1993] addressed a public rally at Kheyriah Stadium in Hargeisa, the capital of the republic. The president discussed in his public address the obstacles facing the recognition of Somaliland [by the world community]. He said that among the issues which had impeded recognition were the peace process, which had not been completed, and outside pressures, especially from Unosom-2 [UN Operation in Somalia-2].


The president of the republic of Somaliland, Mr Egal, mentioned a recent invitation he had received from the president of Kenya to attend the National Day [30th anniversary of independence celebrations] of the government of Kenya, but said that he had been unable to attend as a result of pressure on him from the UN.


President Egal also mentioned in his public address the various delegations of the government of the republic of Somaliland who were currently visiting many countries throughout the world in order to deliver messages on the republic of Somaliland. The delegations from the Council of Ministers of the republic of Somaliland had delivered a detailed report to the prime minister of Great Britain, Mr John Major. In the report, the representative of the Council of Ministers of the republic of Somaliland criticized the UK government's failure to give an explicit report on Somaliland to the rest of the world because the UK government was the key to world recognition.


The president of the republic of Somaliland, Mr Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal, in his public address called on all the regions that constituted this country of the republic of Somaliland to form their own regional administration. The president added that there was a need for the people [of Somaliland] to discard their ethnic fiefdoms. He also said that tribalism was the greatest obstacle to nationhood and for that reason it was imperative to face this issue [tribalism] with a united front, do away with clannism and become a nation that could be recognized by the world.


Source: Radio Hargeisa in Somali 1200 gmt 25 Dec 93

  1994 The British Broadcasting Corporation




Somaliland Leader Looks for Foreign Recognition

The secessionist north jumps into the peace process in southern Somalia in attempt to find support for its cause


Robert M. Press

January 05, 1994

The Christian Science Monitor


WHILE southern and central Somalia have endured civil war and famine during much of the past three years, the self-declared independent northwest has been relatively calm.


Taking the name "Somaliland" nearly three years ago, the region today has a central government, an elected president, courts, more than 1,500 police, and has demobilized thousands of its soldiers.


But with the world's attention focused on the south, and particularly warlord Gen. Mohamed Farah Aideed, not a single country has given diplomatic recognition to Somaliland. The province's leader, Moha-med Ibrahim Egal, would like more people to pay attention to the accomplishments of the north, and has therefore made peace in the south a priority.


In a flurry of meetings here this week, Mr. Egal and some of his top aides are seeking international recognition and trying to nudge forward the slow peace process in the south. For Somaliland to be recognized internationally, the aides argue, it must be recognized by Somalia first. And that requires a stable government in the south, which so far has eluded all international efforts.


Some Somaliland supporters had hoped to win a statement of support for the north's secession from General Aideed, who was reelected chairman of the powerful Somali National Alliance at a party congress on Tuesday. But such a declaration would be political suicide for any Somali leader outside of Somaliland, given the strong anti-secessionist sentiment in Somalia. The north fought a decade-long war against longtime Somali dictator Maj. Gen. Mohamed Siad Barre, who was ousted in January 1991. The south slid into civil war, and the north claimed its independence.


Aideed has "never given his blessing to secession," says Abdul Latif, the warlord's spokesman here.


Somali military leader Abdullahi Yussef Ahmed, whose militia has fought Aideed's, says bluntly: "We don't recognize Somaliland Republic." Recognition could only come if a majority of voters in all parts of Somalia supported independence in a referendum, he says. "Otherwise it {secession} will be illegal."


Egal, a former prime minister of Somalia, has met on three occasions for a total of 12 hours with Aideed, but "we couldn't agree on anything," he said.


African heads of state have long opposed the "breaking up" of nations, says a US official, who adds that the United States tends to follow the consensus of African states. But, the official adds, Somaliland has "avoided a fair amount of anguish and violence" by maintaining peace in the north, and the idea of recognition may gain support if the rest of Somalia falls back into civil war and famine after most Western troops leave in March.


The Charter of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) does not endorse the principal of recognizing break-away states. Eritrea, which fought Ethiopia for 30 years for the right to secede, became a de facto independent state when rebels in both Ethiopia and Eritrea won the war in mid-1991. The new Ethiopian government quickly endorsed Eritrea's right to hold a referendum which, last year, passed almost unanimously, resulting in quick international recognition.


If necessary, Somaliland is ready to hold an internationally supervised referendum "as long as someone foots the bill," Egal says. But the West is using a double standard on diplomatic recognition in Africa, he says, citing international recognition of former Soviet and Yugoslav republics.


Not all Somalis in the north back secession. Some members of minority clans in Somaliland, where the Issaq is dominant, oppose the idea, according to Hussein Ali Dualeh, a foreign affairs adviser to Egal. Egal is an Issaq.


Egal says he is in Kenya at the invitation of Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi, but one Kenyan spokesman says the government's policy is "not to encourage disintegration of a country." Egal was recently in Ethiopia and met here with several senior Ugandan officials in other bids for recognition of Somalialand.


An official with the US Agency for International Development says Somaliland is well on its way to recovering from the war it fought against General Siad Barre. "There's a lot of private business going on, a lot of things going in and out of the port" at Berbera.


Last May, after meeting for several months, 150 elders elected Egal as Somaliland's president, and endorsed a National Charter setting up a judiciary and a two-chamber legislature. The Charter also names Islam as the state religion, and adopts a flag with the words, "There is no God but Allah and Mohammed is his Prophet."


Northern Somali gained independence from Britain on June 26, 1960, but four days later joined with the south, which gained its independence from Italy.


1994 Christian Science Monitor



Somaliland Seeks Recognition and Aid


January 08, 1994

APS Diplomat Recorder Arab Press Service Organisation

Vol. 40, No. 2


The leader of the breakaway Somaliland Republic, "President" Mohammed Egal, appeals for global recognition and aid, saying: "Without recognition we cannot have access to international financial institutions". Stressing Ethiopia's former province of Eritrea had won recognition, like many former Soviet republics and other east European states, Egal says: "We have more right to recognition than any of those east European states". He appeals for more than $35m to rebuild Somaliland's institutions and demobilise the guerrilla fighters who fought a bush war against forces of former Somali president Siad Barre. Egal, a Somali premier before the 1969 coup that brought Barre to power, adds: "It is a double standard if we are denied recognition just because our brothers in the south have not been able to establish a viable government with whom we could negotiate like the Eritreans negotiated with the Ethiopian government". He says: "There are no factions and no warlords in Somaliland.


Through the sagacity of its religious leaders and politicians we were able to stop the chaos before it went too far". He says Somaliland has a "lot of oil reserves" and is "strategically important" because of its proximity to the Gulf oil producers. He says the UN has so far refused to recognise Somaliland despite repeated requests. Egal met Kenyan President Daniel Arap Moi last week together with Somali faction leader Gen. Aideed and has since been staying in the same luxury hotel as Aideed. Somali sources say Egal had rejected Aideed's overtures for him to accept a key post in a new interim government in Mogadishu in return for bringing Somaliland back to Somalia. Egal says he had lengthy talks with Aideed, but had told him that the secession of Somaliland was "final and irrevocable". He also says the UN had blundered in putting a price on Aideed's head, claiming: "Aideed is one of the factional leaders and a very important one at that".


Copyright 1994 Public Domain





Somaliland Flag






A Somali trader Shukri Ismail, 46 (R) sells her wares at a big trade fair in the centre of Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland


Women line up to vote in Hargeisa during first multiparty parliamentary elections in breakaway Somaliland


U.N. emergency relief coordinator Egeland meets Somaliland President Dahir Ryale Kahin in Hargeisa.





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