The rapid political changes in the region could bring risks
to Somaliland rather than cooperation opportunities.
Preview quotes from the content:
“Somaliland should keep close observations over the multi- dimensional pressures aimed at it”
“Somaliland should pursue a foreign policy which is preemptive rather than being reactive”
“Somaliland should steer developments by taking initiatives rather than merely watching the political changes in the region unfold”
” The peaceful and constructive policy of Somaliland to its neighbors is now ever sought after and more needed”
Somaliland should not accept any envisaged policy not ensuring its sovereignty and fundamental statehood rights
Somaliland needs its neighbors and its neighbors need it; a same level needs with each other working together on peace & stability and to better the lives of the people of their countries.
In real terms, development and progress can be achieved in a lasting peace and stability environment. Somaliland aware of this fact placed this formula at the very center of its foreign policy visions. This approach is a natural reflection and continuation of the “Peace at Home, peace with neighbors, Peace in the Region” policy laid down by our Great Leader Mohamed Ibrahim Egal. Besides, it is a natural consequence of a Contemporary responsibility and a humanistic foreign policy vision. The peace and stability in Somaliland is founded on its early traditions based on negotiations under the tree; and takes its strength from Somaliland’s characteristics of being a democratic state governed by the rule of law
Furthermore, the most important characteristic of Somaliland foreign policy was being a visionary one. Security for all, political dialogue, economic interdependence and cultural harmony are the building blocks of this vision. Somaliland aspired eventually to reach a stage where all countries in the region live in a state of welfare and carry the integration among them to the most advanced level by creating a zone of peace and stability, starting from her neighbors. Somaliland while resolutely pursuing this policy should never put realism aside and does not forget that “zero problems” approach represents an objective and an ideal. We can understand that a web of relations free from problems does not exist anywhere in the world, due to the very nature of international relations.
Somaliland implementing her foreign policy of no problem with neighbors; it should be aware there are some intricate and deep problems that cannot be solved quickly in between the countries of the region; no matter how much they are willing to do so. It is not quite possible to envisage that all problems in our region which have deep-rooted history can be solved in a short period of time. Besides, Somaliland believes the need to take constructive steps in order to settle such problems and to exert active efforts in this direction. That is why Somaliland sees the ongoing efforts that the leaders of the three countries (Ethiopia, Eretria and Somalia) are acting as a political move towards peace and stability among these countries and the region.
Somaliland has covered great distance in this direction up until now, and already succeeded to eliminate all the problems from her relations with neighbors in the region namely Ethiopia and Djibouti to a remarkable level; at least to exempt Somalia. It has also developed her relations and cooperation with some other African countries, some Arab countries and some EU member countries; with an increasing momentum based on deepening mutual cooperation, sincere dialogue and balanced understanding. In this context, the discourse of “zero problem with neighbors” which was a slogan summarizing Somaliland’s expectations from the neighboring countries, with regards to her relations; and was receiving some positive and rewarding outcomes and responses from her immediate vicinity, that is to say from her neighbors. But nowadays, those previous rewarding outcomes are changing in to negative attitude, restrictions and political pressures.
Aforementioned developments in bilateral relations with neighbors and the policy of “zero problems” adopted by Somaliland shows clearly how sincere and determined she is on the way to peace and stability. But this political mode coming from some neighbors is telling us something hidden in their new goals. Because of this suspicion, Somaliland should have in mind that such rapid political developments and changes occurring in the region particularly in the neighbors could bring risks rather than cooperation opportunities. Therefore Somaliland should keep close observations over the multi-dimensional pressures aimed at it and the responsibilities emanating from them. And if compelled it should pursue a foreign policy which is pre-emptive rather than being reactive; and steer developments by taking initiatives rather than merely watching them unfold and determine a stance accordingly. That is because it’s anchoring peace, stability and security on firm foundations in such traditional based environment is now becoming ever more afraid to be threatened.
One of the rare common denominators of many countries, which have significant agreements and deep-rooted relations between them, is their confidence with each other to keep that friendly relations being sustainable. Somaliland foreign policy should be conducted in the center of geography (in the Horn where these political changes are occurring in the most intensive way). Somaliland’s efforts geared towards launching the Horn stability and Cooperation Platform and creating an environment of respect and trust in the region are clear signs of its peace loving approach. But as changes insignificant to Somaliland are engulfing the region; it is thus incumbent on Somaliland to assume more responsibilities in preserving its statehood interests.
Furthermore, Somaliland tried a lot to solve the fundamental problems with Somalia, and strives hard to find a solution for its vision that Somaliland and Somalia states living side by side and develop their relations in accordance with the “zero problems” approach policy; but the later is always in an unrealistic vision to bring back the unification that vanished before 27 years. Unfortunately, our relations with Somalia have entered into a new phase due to the relentless military attacks from punt land to Somaliland within its own territory. This is not due to a failure or inconsistency of Somaliland’s zero problems approach, but the approach of Somalia’s current regime, which through its actions, made it impossible to Continue good neighborly relations.
As a matter of fact, Somaliland is ready to open dialogue process with Somalia; in order to develop relations through significant mechanisms such as confidence-building measures, cooperation level meetings; that can lead high level talks on Somaliland’s statehood issue. Somaliland upholds the aim of exerting active efforts to solve problems in line with a logical approach through peaceful means. Somaliland is of the view that if a positive atmosphere and bilateral relations prevail between the two countries; it will further facilitate the solution of that dominant problem in the future. If some steps are taken in this direction, even if the problem is not solved immediately, favorable conditions for its eventual solution can finally be created.
Despite these major efforts, developing relations with Somalia seems like a weak link in Somaliland’s endeavors towards fostering relations with neighbors. Furthermore, Somaliland does not lose faith in the fact that this normalization process can be lasting and sustainable if concrete steps are taken for a comprehensive peace between the two countries. Such two neighboring brother states dialogue, with the advantage of close and special ties between our peoples will consolidate the ground for Somaliland–Somalia problem solving initiatives. Somaliland needs its neighbors and its neighbors need it; a same level needs with each other working together on peace & stability and to better the lives of the people of their countries. But Somaliland would not accept any envisaged political stand that would not ensure the fundamental rights of Somaliland’s sovereignty as a separate state from Somalia irrespective of who the believer is.
On the other hand, Somaliland should become conscious of the crucial importance of preserving the political and economic stability and territorial integrity of its country. It should pursue a policy with a view to secure its borders through peaceful means; and if it becomes enviable through military might. According to Somaliland’s constitutional foreign policy vision, its sovereignty as an independent state is not negotiable. Our policy vis-à-vis with Ethiopia, Djibouti and other EGAD countries should support the shaping of the future of our country in line with the legitimate aspirations of its people and maintenance of its Sovereignty. That is each of these governments including Somaliland should have a full right and power and be respected to govern over its territory independently, without any interference from the others.
Somaliland needs its neighbors and its neighbors need it; a same level needs with each other working together on peace & stability, to better the lives of the people of our countries; and to develop the social services, the economic growth, the commercial interdependence, and the political interactions of our respective countries. However, Somaliland should know that this objective bears a much deeper meaning for her that goes beyond settling problems with each of its neighbors. With this understanding, Somaliland should not accept if its good relations with the neighbors are redirected by her neighbors in to uncertainty and not giving the importance it deserves; trying to take advantage over its status as an unrecognized state.
Somaliland carried out intense endeavors in bilateral fora, becoming a beacon of peace in the Horn with successive democratization processes, so that it can establish its own political unity and territorial integrity and integrate fully with the international community without any help from neighbors. If political hegemony exists in this region Somaliland should know that it has its share. Accordingly Somaliland should be against any political theory indorsed by its neighbors diminishing its sovereignty and designating theirs with supreme authority. Why the level reached by Somaliland in the field of peace building and democracy should broaden her foreign policy outreach and increase her power of impact in this domain and in this region; while the neighbors are giving their dearly considerations to Somalia which is in the mid of daily terrorist acts ? Somaliland should show that its peaceful and constructive policy aimed to its neighbors is now ever sought after and more needed in the region with high quality
Adam Ali Younis E-mail – firstname.lastname@example.org