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President Rayale’s visit: an opportunity for the US

Issue 311
Front Page

Rayale Leaves For The USA On A Private Visit

Somaliland Accuses Abdillahi Yusuf Of Agitating Tribal Feuds

Kulmiye & Qaran Form An Alliance Against Rayale

Dr. Ahmed Hussein Ise: America Is Ready To Establish Ties With Somaliland

A very African coup

Ethiopian Minister Details Relations With Neighboring Countries

Abdillahi Yusuf Back To Hospital

From Guinea To Somalia, Political Differences Taking A Bloody Shape

Operate Africa like the USA

The Impacts of Ethiopia’s Invasion of Somalia

Regional Affairs

Somali PM Names Most Of New Cabinet

ODM Uhuru Park Rally Aborts Again

Special Report

International News

Obama Wins Iowa As Candidate For Change

Genital Mutilation: A British Reality


Remembering those killed in 2007

The Year Gone By Jean-Jacques Cornish

The War On Terror In Africa: Assessment And Prospects For 2008

2007: The Year Of Assassinations


Food for thought


Did The Somali Canadian Alliance Start Off On The Wrong Foot?

What Prevents The Youth To Dare The Marriage

Year End Greetings

Las-Anoders Abroad To Abdillahi Yusuf Yey: Not in My Name

Benazir Bhutto: A champion of democracy

Terrorist V Terrorism

Somaliland elders never tire and retire


In May 18 2001 , NBC’s Dr Bob Arnot wrote an article entitled: “An oasis of stability in East Africa: Does Colin Powell have the courage to save Somaliland?” The oasis of stability that Dr Arnot was referring to is Somaliland. In that article, Dr Arnot also makes clear that although saving Somaliland from falling into the anarchy and lawless of Somalia is morally the right thing to do, it is also in the US interests to do so. Unfortunately, Colin Powell did not answer Dr Arnot’s call.

Six years later ( 21 November 2007), the Voice of America reported, “The chief U.S. diplomat for Africa, Jendayi Frazer, says it is time for Somali moderates to come forward and work to end chronic violence.”

Despite the six years that separates them (and six years is a very very long time in politics) what Colin Powell’s non-response to Bob Arnot and Frazer’s plea have in common, is that both of them have ignored Somaliland, which is the single biggest mistake in US policy toward the Horn of Africa. For if the United States listened to Bob Arnot or the many Western academics, ambassadors, journalists and other intellectuals who have been steadily calling on the Unites States to recognize Somaliland (or at least for the US to raise its engagement with Somaliland to the level of its allies Ethiopia and Britain), Frazer would not have been today searching for Somali moderates, instead, she would have Somaliland as a moderate, democratic ally of Somali ethnicity and with a wealth of experience in solving Somali problems.

Still, it is not too late, and the United States has an opportunity to correct these unfortunate mistakes during President Rayale’s visit to Washington this month. Although Somaliland’s long-term goal is to acquire diplomatic recognition from the United States, at minimum, Somalilanders expect from the President’s visit to Washington:

  • The raising of the US level of engagement with Somaliland from its current low level to a higher level that is commensurate with Somaliland’s status as a bulwark of stability, democracy and moderation in a dangerous part of the world.
  • Substantial bilateral assistance to Somaliland, especially in the fields of education, health, transportation and infrastructure.

US policymakers should realize (and there are indications that they are beginning to do so) that their failure to meet these modest expectations would undermine not only Somaliland, but all of those Somalis who have shown goodwill toward the United States, and would lend credence to those who argue the US may talk all it wants about a desire to engage Somali moderates, but in reality it has no intention of dealing seriously with Somali moderates. President Dahir Rayale Kahin’s visit is a unique opportunity to show Somali skeptics that the US does want to seriously engage with Somali moderates. Let’s see if the US passes the test.


Source: Somaliland Times

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