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|The EU Should recognize Somaliland and Somalia as two separate countries|
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.