I would like take this opportunity to thank the Ethiopian Prime Minister for his support and solidarity to our country as he spelled out in his eloquent speech to the Ethiopian Parliament on the 18th May 2013. His speech coincided on the 22nd anniversary Independence Day encompassed with a stark warning to the international community that the horn of Africa can manage to deal with its own affairs. Poignantly, the Prime Minister was elucidating that Somaliland has unacceptably waited too long for the world to resolve its status; and he vehemently demystified the regional leaders and the world remains stubborn to resolve the status of Somaliland. This will serve victory to terrorism and piracy in the horn of Africa with serious regional and international security implications.
For the Somalilanders, the support of the Prime Minister was a fresh impetus for the dream of the internationally recognised Somaliland ebbing closer after twenty two years of long wait. Furthermore, the speech was a vindication that Ethiopia should not be betwixt and between to recognising Somaliland. In addition to that, his speech was aimed at the international community in action to resolve the status of region is a time bomb that will not only engulf Somaliland but Ethiopia and beyond afield. The message of his Excellency Hailemariam Daselegn was that Ethiopia should not or could not be complacent to castrating Somaliland to its rightful existence as a nation. In coinciding his speech on the day of Somaliland’s independence, his excellence, Ato Deselegn, the message to international community meant that the region of the horn of Africa has now got the capacity to deal with its own affair, and prescribing policies and imposition of decision have for long gone. In short, the speech explicates, Ethiopia as the super power of the region, will step in and take ownership and bring in a regional solution to the case of the long outstanding Somaliland quest for independence. With this regards, it means Ethiopia should not be deluded into believing that the international inference is a panacea to the region problem. If Somaliland failed to exist, it would insinuate insecurity in the region where evil forces have been trying to get afoot. Regional solution to the regional issues with Ethiopia taking a lead role will pre-empty the insecurity adversaries that threaten the stability and the security of the region.
Furthermore, the speech of the Ethiopian Prime minster was a call upon international community to resolve the status of the Somaliland. As over twenty years, Somaliland has produced thousands of youths of school leavers and university graduates who have ended up unemployed and with no opportunities. In denying opportunities to Somaliland youths to fulfil their dream by withholding international recognition bound to constructing them to destitution, hopelessness and violation of their basic human rights to live in decent live. This is a critical conjecture for the region as whole that if our diligent hard work are not rewarded in return for full international recognition, it will in turn be paid at a hefty price missing this opportunity and handing in to terrorism and piracy. Today, in streets of all major towns, thousands of Somaliland trained and educated youths are unemployed. In escaping from poverty and hopelessness, Somaliland’s youth have started risking their lives to seas to reach Europe to escape poverty and those who remained in the country are being exploited by those with terrorism agendas. The prime minister of Ethiopian was cognisant of the situation of Somaliland and his speech coincided with the 22nd anniversary of Somaliland was a dire warning to the international community to be ashamed of predisposing Somaliland to fail.
His Excellency, the Prime Minister, Ato Deseleigm, as a progressive leader committed to trying to finding regional solutions to regional problems. With this in mind, international recognition will mean Somaliland get access to international financial assistance for loans to develop and to have the legal contractual capacity requirements to form contracts to tape in its natural resources. With this, thousands of Somalilanders should have the opportunity to fulfil their dreams to work in their country and contribute the development and economic growth of their country and to the wider region.
Nevertheless, the Ethiopian Prime Ministers support to Somaliland came a time when it was needed; a friend’s help at most. Somaliland has always seen Ethiopia as their closest friend in the region and indebt to Ethiopia people for welcoming into their country when the late Somalia’s dictator bombarded all the major towns and massacred tens of thousands of civilians. And thousands succumbed to diseases and hundreds of thousands are being forced fleeing into Ethiopia. Equally, Somaliland has always seen Ethiopian, as their brethren, and when the late Ethiopian Prime minister, Ato Meles Zenawi passed away, Somalilanders were shocked and sent their condolences to Ethiopian government to have shown that they were shoulder to shoulder with Ethiopians at difficult time. At the time, I wrote letters below to the Ethiopian authority expressing my deepest shock at the loss of a great leader:
Finally, I will kindly request the Ethiopian prime minster and his government to recognise Somaliland with immediate effect as a local solution will spare Ethiopia and Somaliland into economic and security crisis. Both countries could not avoid the hard work of economic growth and prosperity reversed back into the dark ages. I am sure regional solution by far will emulate than seeking a hand out solutions from the outside world, and the Ethiopian Prime Minster understands fully the region has come to stage to resolve the Somaliland status. Somalilanders are pleased with the Prime Minister’s concern and support he has shown to Somaliland and will request from him to go further than words and recognise Somaliland for the sake of our regional stability and prosperity. In doing so, his name will forever be remembered by Somaliland and will bring the relationship between Ethiopia and Somaliland closer than ever before.
Ahmed Abdi Isse, BSc (hons) and Msc in Social Science
NB: This letter was sent to:
Somaliland president via Somaliland mission to London;
Ethiopian Prime Minister via Ethiopian Embassy in London; and
Somaliland general public via Somaliland media.