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The EU Should recognize Somaliland and Somalia as two separate countries
ISSUE 128
Front Page
Index

Headlines

- Abdiqasim Salad Hasan Says Somaliland’s Cities Deserved To Be Destroyed,
And Vows To Behead His Enemies

- Puntland Militia Still Holding Halo Trust Deminers

- EU Aid to Somalia Government Without Looking at Impact on Somaliland
- Somali Envoy Accuses UK Of Excluding Somaliland From Peace Talks

- Repatriation Of Rejected Asylum Seekers From Djibouti

- Food Distribution In Ethiopia's Hartisheik Camp

- Conference on Peace, Security and Development in the Horn of Africa, “The Somalialnd Experience”

Health

- Khat Plant 'Boosts Sperm Power'

- Major Boost For Malaria Programmes In Somalia

International News

- 11 Murdered In Somali Capital

- Muslim Reformers Condemn Saudi Wahhabism

- 'We Need Help' Say Somali Community

- Mennonite Pair Concerned With Somalia Plight

- Gunmen Kill Two People In Somalia Port Town Of Bosaso
- WFP Appeals For US $14m To Fund Humanitarian Operations

Peace Talks

- Warlords Told off

Editorial & Opinions

- The EU Should recognize Somaliland and Somalia as two separate countries

- Turning Assets into Usable Capital

- Educational Programme

- Celebrating 1st July In A New Light: A Somalilander’s Perspective
- Do You Have To Show Your Underwear?


EDITORIAL

The European Union has been playing an important and useful role in Somalia’s peace-making process that began in Kenya in October 2002. As the major contributor of funds required for running Somalia’s reconciliation conference underway at Mbagathi, Nairobi, for the last one year and eight months, the EU’s help has been instrumental in keeping the talks alive. On many occasions when bitter wrangling had put the talks in jeopardy, the EU came forward to help the IGAD mediators resolve disagreements by engaging Somali parties in dialogue with the aim of reaching consensus. And with the Kenyan hosted talks on Somalia already in the final stage, the EU is said to be seriously thinking of providing substantial support for the government to emerge from the process. EU recognition of the new government to be installed for Somalia is also most likely to happen once the talks are brought to a successful end.

If the past reconciliation conferences are any guide, the person who is selected as president of Somalia will then start claiming jurisdiction over Somaliland. Arab governments such as Egypt, Libya and Saudi Arabia are likely to provide money and arms to the former Italian colony of Somalia. Somaliland will most probably react by first retaking Las-Anod, then engaging in a military build-up along the border with Somalia to get ready for an inevitable showdown with Italian Somalia. Such a dreadful scenario can only be avoided if the EU and IGAD address Somaliland's security concerns by inserting safeguards in the peace process that ensure Somaliland's sovereignty.

The EU as the only major external power player in the Mbagathi talks, should publicly indicate its opposition to any claims of jurisdiction by any future government in Somalia over Somaliland. The EU and IGAD countries should also bear in mind that granting an immediate diplomatic recognition to the government anticipated to emerge from Mbagathi while withholding the same from Somaliland, would destroy any possibility for negotiations between the two countries on the status of their future relations.

It will be tragic indeed, if the EU, while trying to help resolve the conflicts in Somalia, actually ended up sowing the seeds of another deadlier conflict. The current Mbagathi talks provide a chance for the EU and IGAD to take a clear stand that recognizes Somaliland and Somalia as two separate sovereign countries. By recognizing Somalia and Somaliland as two sovereign nations, the international community would have helped in solving the current conflicts in Somalia and laid the basis for a peaceful future in the region.

 


 


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