|Home | Contact us | Links | Archives|
|British Parliamentarians' visit to Somaliland|
British Parliamentarians' visit to Somaliland
The scheduled arrival in Hargeisa today by a group of British Parliamentarians on a one-day and half visit to Somaliland, is expected to arouse unusual interest amongst the Somaliland public.
Ever since declaring their independence in 1991, Somalilanders could never fathom the indifference that at best characterized the British governmentís position toward Somalilandís quest for international recognition. Given the historical ties between Somalilad and the United Kingdom, and the fact that Somalilanders had fought and died for Great Britain in several wars in the last century, many people in Somaliland thought the British government would help Somaliland in its hour of need.
Somalilanders cannot comprehend why the international community, and more specifically the British government, would attach any value to the opinions of Siyad Barre's henchmen on Somaliland's independence. It is one thing to spend British taxpayer's money on trying to bring peace among the warring warlords in Italian Somalia, but it is altogether a different matter to give these murderous thugs even a hint that they might have a say on Somaliland's independence.
Instead of indulging the Somali warlords and Siyad Barre's associates many of whom live in western countries, the international community should help the Somaliland government's efforts to bring these criminals to justice.
Aside from peopleís frustration with the world's reluctance to recognize Somaliland, the British Parliamentarians will come to a peaceful country where people after many years of repression, wars, destruction and underdevelopment, are successfully rebuilding new lives under a new home-grown political system. Despite being poor and having a long way to go in the path of reconstruction and development, Somalilandís achievements stand in sharp contrast to the repeated failures of former Italian Somalia (recipient of one of the most expensive humanitarian interventions in history 1992 Ė 1995). Also, Somalilandís multi-party system has been nothing short of a revolution in the practice of democracy in Africa and the Muslim World.
Somalilanders view the visit of the British parliamentarians as an affirmation of the historic relationship between Somaliland and the United Kingdom. Many Somalilanders are convinced that once the delegation sees what Somaliland's people have achieved through their own efforts, they would decide it is only fair and logical to help those who are helping themselves.