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Somaliland overrides 17 years of underestimation

Issue 330
Front Page

Riyale Forced To Talk With The Opposition But Unwilling To Accept He Is No Longer President

National Union Of Somaliland Journalists Proclaimed

Somaliland Foreign Minister receives French diplomats

From Africa to West Papua, unrecognized nations push for self-determination

Islamist leader says Somalia talks waste of time

Security Council Express Strong Support For Secretary-General's Integrated Strategy For Peace In Somalia

Declaration Opening the World Order to De facto States

Somaliland overrides 17 years of underestimation

Policy Failures In Somalia Conflict

Regional Affairs

Meeting Between The Government & Opposition Leaders In Hargeysa

Clan militias in Kismayo feel pressure again

Special Report

International News

Bush presses Arab leaders on reform

Moldova And Transdniester Parliament Leaders Meet In Brussels For EU-Led Talks



Different Kind Of World Cup

What Vietnam taught McCain about war

Campaign to establish a radical Islamic state

Somaliland - Setting aside the political differences for Common Goals

Egypt Con Man Gets 1,000 Years

Collaboration requires a strong home base

Food for thought


Both in Puntland and Somaliland, Siyad's goons are in charge

The Past Haunts Me


Time Is Up Mister

Together We Shall Overcome The Crisis

Is There A Problem Between Opposition Parties And Dahir Riyale

Peace In Somaliland Is At The Fork Of Ephemerality And Endurance


By Bashiir Goth

Come 15th of May and they have sworn on hell breaking lose; the naysayers. They trumpeted, with weird satisfaction, the imminent death of the Somaliland’s dream; the doom prophets. They misjudged our people’s wisdom, derided our nation’s resolve and underestimated their history; hired spin doctors. They used all kinds of scare tactics: tribal cards, myopic and jaundiced geopolitical theories, and marshaled all slander expletives in the book; the fifth columnists. They tried to rubbish our peace and stability and our homegrown democratic process as a child’s play before ensuing tantrums; blog pundits. They mistook our political debates as gathering death clouds over our skies; the hate mongers. They predicted doom, death and disarray; all Somaliland enemies.

But to their great disappointment 15th of May has come and gone and they saw Somaliland still standing as peaceful as ever, as stable as ever, as resolved as ever, as ambitious as ever and as wise as ever to put their house in order and to forge ahead with even greater tenacity to sustain their democracy, strengthen their institutions and maintain the international image they have earned as “Africa’s Best Kept Secret.”

With their government, their opposition leaders, their elders and the whole people, Somaliland has again proved wrong those who misread its democratic debate as political crisis and sang for the collapse of what they had sworn to be another myth of a much hyped bubble of an African success story.

Somaliland has once more set a brilliant example of how a small and unrecognized African country can resolve its conflicts; maintain its peace and stability and hold a robust democratic debate with all its labor pains without any foreign help, without Security Council decisions, without foreign mediation efforts, without regional reconciliation conferences and without expensive peacekeeping forces.

It is true that as a young democracy we are still taking baby steps. We have shaky institutions due to lack of recognition which deprives us of much needed international financial aid and foreign investment. This in turn denies our government to develop our infrastructure, provide better health and educational services to our people and generate employment. Our constitution has black holes that need to be seamlessly patched to prevent evil monsters to thrive in its gray areas.

But there are things we have in plenty that give us the drive to keep pushing the frontiers. We have great optimism for a better tomorrow; we have a firm faith in the rightness and legitimacy of our cause, we have resilient people who know how to quickly get up when they trip, people who do not dwell on their past miseries but always build for the future; we have women who are experts in making something out of nothing, who bind us like glue and build bridges for us across clans lines; we have elders who draw magic tricks from their conventional wisdom hats and rescue us whenever politicians push us into a yawning precipice.

This is how we overrode 17 years of political alienation, of international ignorance, of world underestimation of our ability and our resolve to survive and continue the march.

This is why the 15th of May, the day the incumbent president’s term ended and sparked a constitutional standoff between the President’s claim of getting an extension from the Upper House and the opposition challenging the legitimacy of the extension, seemed an insurmountable crisis to armchair observers who were quick to draw parallels with crisis-prone African states such Kenya, Zimbabwe and beyond without making an indepth analysis of Somaliland’s unique cultural set up and its centuries-old conflict resolution tradition. With their ossified mindsets about Africa and blanket stereotyping of the continent as a hopeless case where the least tribal conflicts flare up into devastating wars and genocides, several foreign pens were quick to sign the death certificate for our short and successful experience. But fortunately we always had on our side those genuine foot researchers who studied our experience on the field. They include respected think tanks such as the Senlis Council and the International Crisis Group as well as numerous serious scholars and reputable reporters in Africa and elsewhere who praise Somaliland’s example and scorn the international community for holding it back from its well deserved place in the comity of nations.

It is to the delight of such scholars and our friends in Africa and around the world who believe in our ability to rise to challenges and get over our temporary setbacks, that Somaliland celebrates the 17th anniversary since it reclaimed its sovereignty and unilaterally annulled its union with Somalia on 18th of May 1991. Seventeen years of peace, stability and rebuilding of lives, properties and institutions ruined by carpet bombing of a ruthless dictator and ensuing civil wars is indeed a rare feat to commend and commemorate.

17 May 2008

Source: Awdal News 


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