European Colonial Borders define patriotism, nationalism, independence, statehood, and diplomatic recognition of each country in Africa, Asia, and Arab World. Somaliland is not an exception. It inherited its Internationally recognised colonial borders from Somaliland British Protectorate as any other African Country did from its colonising power. The borders of Djibouti, Somaliland and Somalia have internationally the same legitimacy and status for being all colonially-drawn borders defining their independence, territory and nation as the rest of Africa.
There is no disputed land or area in Somaliland as there is no disputed land or area in any other African country inhabited by different tribes kept together by European colonial borders and sharing colonial history and Independence Day. There are no clan or tribal borders in Africa but there are state borders. Borders of countries are based on land, not on clan lineage or tribal origin. Any tribe or entity which tries to claim parts of Somaliland on the basis of tribal lineage or tries to dismember Somaliland territory for aggression must pay price for such attempt. Any foreign enemy that tries to violate Somaliland borders in order to seize a span or a part of Somaliland territory must face humiliating defeat. The unity of Somaliland nation and territory are sacred and inviolable.
The internal security, stability, and peace of the continent of Africa depend upon respecting, recognizing, and implementing its current borders that rose from colonial borders. If an African country would claim the tribe and its area located in another African country, the whole continent would fall to endless devastating, bloody clan wars, violence and anarchy. The African continent would not exist as we know it today if tribes were allowed to dismember African countries by rejecting land-based colonial borders. The peace and stability of African states as well as Arab World states and Asian countries depend on respecting and recognizing colonial borders.
Somaliland does not need approval from Somalia for its recognition as no African country needed approval of its independence and recognition from another African country. Similarly, Somaliland does not need to hold referendum for its independence and recognition as there are no African countries that needed to hold referendum for the approval of their independence and recognition. Somaliland calls on the UN and International Community to recognize it for its colonial borders and independence dated June 26, 1960. Abandoning colonial borders in Africa on which the independence and recognition of each African country depend upon would bring destruction to current African states and lead to endless tribal wars of catastrophic proportions.
The declaration of Organization of African Unity (O.A.U) in 1964 on African Borders was the formal acceptance of the existing colonial borders inherited from colonial powers on which independence and recognition of each African country were based including Somaliland. That declaration had nothing to do with unifications, federations, and unions between two or more African countries like the failed union between Somaliland and Somalia formed with chauvinism and haste in 1960.
A union or federation could be dissolved anytime if the sides disagree each restoring and retaining its original independence and borders. That declaration reinforces the rightful claim of Somaliland to be recognized as independent nation based on its colonial borders inherited from Somaliland British Protectorate on June 26, 1960. That declaration does not prevent Somaliland from withdrawing from the union with Somalia and restoring its independence and diplomatic recognition achieved on June 26, 1960 without the need of approval from Somalia.
If Uganda and Kenya share union or federation today and after some time they disagree and dissolve that union or federation, each country would still be independent, recognized nation on its own colonial borders. Senegal and Gambia founded federation or union in February 1982 calling it Senegambia. That union was dissolved in September 1989 after disagreement and each country retained its original independence and diplomatic recognition without changing the borders of Africa. So, why denying Somaliland of retaining that independence and recognition it had before the union with Somalia 1960?
Somaliland is not a secessionist or separatist or breakaway region from Somalia but Somaliland just withdrew from the union with Somalia after Somalia breached the emotionally-driven union with injustices and atrocities against Somaliland people(1960-1991). If Nyanza Province of Kenya, or Arusha Region of Tanzania, or Puntland province of Somalia break away from their own respective countries, that would make them secessionists, separatists, or breakaways and that would change or shift the colonial borders of Africa inherited from colonial powers and that would create instability and political unrest in the continent of Africa because these provinces share history and colonial borders with their own countries.
There is no doubt that Somaliland Republic will be recongnized soon or later for its colonial borders from Somaliland British Protectorate and for its independence achieved on June 26, 1960; two conditions necessary for the diplomatic recognition of each African country. So, People of Somalia are urged to focus on their interests and needs instead of chasing an unattainable unity. Both Somaliland and Djibouti locked their gates permanently from unity with Somalia, not for bilateral relations. Somaliland people don’t hate people of Somalia but the nightmares of the hijacked thirty-year old virtual union by Somalia dismiss any chance of restoring it. Somaliland people do not need to be convinced to come back to Somalia or get apology from Somalia for the atrocities committed against them. They just want to have their country back with respect and dignity.
Ibrahim Hassan Gagale
July 10, 2021