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Somaliland: A Nation on the move
Somaliland has nothing to fear from the pen. A nation based on democracy welcomes free speech and thought. However, the ramblings of a person who has never been there, without a relationship to Somaliland cannot damage its reputation as "Africa's best kept secret" with lies and fabrication. I strongly believe that if one is to make a sound criticism of an ideal or a position, it is imperative to remain objective. A mark of a good journalism is objectivity not fabrication.
Somalilanders appreciate and defend the right of each to their opinion, however incorrect and misguided they seem. But, there are those whose writings and comments are riddled with lies and fabrications. Somaliland is not perfect, no nation on earth is perfect, but I don't think anyone believes that we have a "Red Sea Hitler" as its leader, not only is it incorrect, but it is an insult to all those who fought against and suffered at the hands of the real Hitler. Personally, I have no idea how anyone in their right mind can compare anyone to Hitler.
Somaliland: A brief background
Somaliland is a nation which had spent 31 years in futile union with Somalia. Its infrastructure, talent and assets stripped and finally its land mined, towns bombed to smithereens and its people murdered by the Barre regime, whose remnants appear to now control Somalia. Yet, some people would like to overlook all the success Somaliland and its people have achieved. The rebuilding of the country which has given work to skilled Somalilanders. The thriving economic and education sectors. The nascent progress of a society built again from the rubbles. The organization of our armed forces and finally, the potential of Somaliland and its future generations. All these things and more are overlooked by those who continue to remain ignorant of Somaliland.
Somaliland is a bastion of peace in which all differences are resolved with consultations, give-and-take negotiations, and respect for the other side, good neighborly relations, and peaceful co-existence. Somaliland has held a referendum on a national constitution based on democratic institutions like political parties, a parliament, municipal councils, a national election commission that enables qualified citizens to run for the highest position in a democratic fashion. Currently, it is preparing for the second phase of the elections. The international community is ready to help Somaliland to conduct a smooth and successful election.
Friend and foe alike are puzzled by the secrets of our successes. They ask themselves the reasons behind the ability of this poor country to escape from the conflicts afflicting the other parts of Somalia, and at its ability to manage achieving all these good deeds with such meager resources. The answer is the ability of Somalilanders to achieve all this through dialogue, discussion and consensus. The ability of this poor country to escape from other conflicts in the region is due to its citizens, their faith and lessons learnt from years of neglect and prosecution.
Somaliland and Somalia are two separate nations, divided by ideology and political tradition. Granted we all speak Somali and are Muslim, but politically and ideological Somaliland and Somalia have always been going different ways, democracy vs. dictatorship, inclusion vs. exclusion, collectivism vs. clannism.
Somaliland has never attempted to foster hate or resentment, its national premise is one of inclusion to safeguard the stability and peace required by the democratic process taking shape in the country.
The people of Somaliland are committed to the peace and progress of the nation. There are those who like to see the nation fail, but that will not happen. It is obvious that if the cause is just, and Somaliland's cause is just, then nothing can stand on its way.
The late civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King stated "that he had seen the promised land", and although he was addressing the civil rights struggle in the United States of America, I believe that his words apply to Somaliland.