Editorial: Has Italy Declared A Diplomatic War On Somaliland?
The recent visit to the Republic of Guinea by the Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi not only caused mayhem in Mogadishu, but seems to have ruffled feathers in Rome, Italy.
Let us be clear, Italy, a former colonial power is a staunch ally of Mogadishu. Always has been and always will be. Successive Italian governments have carried the water for the regime of the late dictator, Siyad Barre, up until the day, ordinary Somalis were climbing the walls of villa Somalia on that fateful day in January, 1991.
During the thirty year union of the defunct Somali Republic, Italy never paid much attention to Somaliland. Hargeisa was Anglophile and Mogadishu was Italo centric.
In those thirty years, it is near impossible to recall a single project carried out in Somaliland by the various Italian governments. Every dollar went south. Every EU project spearheaded by Italy went south, even the Somali National University curriculum was taught in Italian!
Despite this kind of unbalanced treatment in an already unbalanced union, the people of Somaliland never had any ill feelings towards the Italian peoples, who are by nature very simpatico. Their various governments and their policies were a different kettle of fish.
The recent attempt to run interference for the ragtag and futile politicians in Mogadishu against the visit to Guinea by President Muse Bihi Abdi marks a new departure.
Not only did the attempt to exert pressure on the Guinean government to cancel the visit failed, but Italy lost face in the process, all for the sake of unelected and unrepresentative administration!
The moral of the story; what is right and the truth always prevail.
Italians will always receive a warm welcome in Somaliland, some even now work and support the local children’s hospital, but please don’t let the bankrupt entity in Mogadishu sully your good name. After more than three decades and billions of dollars spent, Somalia still remains a moral and political vacuum.
Somaliland, on the other hand is, however imperfect, a place of hope and aspirations.