19 May 2007 04:18

SOMALIA WATCH

 
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  • Title: [SW Column](SOMALILAND FORUM) Harking Back to Somali Irredentism is Not the Answer
  • From:[]
  • Date :[Sunday, May 28, 2000 4:35 PM EST ]

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Harking Back to Somali Irredentism is Not the Answer

Story Filed: Sunday, May 28, 2000 4:35 PM EST

Somali (SOMALILAND FORUM, May 28, 2000) - After several weeks of debate at the Djibouti Conference on Somalia, the conference participants issued in mid May, 2000, a communique harking back to the Greater Somalia Irredentism, while completely overlooking the reality in the Horn of Africa, in particular the Republic of Somaliland.

The conference participants asked the Somaliland Republic (referred to in this communique as the North West Region) and the Puntland Regional Administration (referred to as the North East Region) and others to join the conference. One might wonder why is the name of the Republic of Somaliland taboo to the attendees and their hosts. We must keep in mind that this conference is for Somalia, and not for Somaliland. The people of Somaliland have reasserted their independence in 1991 and welcome any initiative that would bring peace to their brethren in Somalia.

The communique starts with an intent to resurrect the failed Somali state on the basis of justice, equality, unity and Islamic law. It states that Somalis should forgive and forget the past. Nevertheless, the attempted genocide, torture and murder of civilians in the former Somalia cannot be forgotten nor forgiven and those responsible for crimes against humanity must be brought to justice. If the participants are proposing this for Somalia (not Somaliland), may we remind them, that in all the countries, which have gone through similar atrocities, there was never a question of asking the victims and survivors of those atrocities to simply forget the past.

They say that the unity of Somalis is sacrosanct because Somalis have the same language, culture and religion. This is harking back to Somali irredentism of the 1960s, and, if pursued, it will lead to war in the Horn. "The irony is that the hosts of the conference (the Republic of Djibouti) are Somalis who share the same language, culture and religion with all ethnic Somalis, but have, as is their right to self-determination, chosen to remain as an independent state", said Amina Malko, Chair of Somaliland Forum.

The communique is asking the international community to refrain from supporting those who are opposing the conference. It is clear that this conference is bent on recreating the former Somali State, which is an undisputable formula for failure. The Somaliland people have already decided their destiny and some of the people in Somalia are already working on the ground away from the Conference in creating peace.

We wish them luck, but we implore the international community not to be swayed by the utterances of this unrepresentative conference.

The Republic of Somaliland has already proven beyond doubt that it is a peaceful, democratic and separate nation, as it has been for three-quarters of the last century. "We urge the international community not to be duped by the conference's blatant attempts to undermine the peace and sovereignty of Somaliland. This will not lead to peace in the region; in contrast, it could lead to anarchy, political upheaval and war, which would be detrimental to the Horn at large", said Amina Malko, Chair of the Somaliland Forum.

For further information, please contact

Ms. Amina Malko, Canada, Chairperson, Somaliland Forum Email: chair@somalilandforum.com Telephone: (905) 707-7442 or (416) 879-9279

Mr. Mahdi A. Gabose, USA., Vice Chair, Somaliland Forum Email: gabose@msn.com Telephone: (703) 330-9502 or (703) 963-5156

Backgrounder:

The Somaliland Forum is an international organization that brings together more than 400 Somalilanders from all parts of the world through the medium of the Internet. The primary objective of the Forum is to work with the communities around the world in order to provide some lasting solutions to the problems and needs of Somaliland and its people. The Forum primarily sponsors public programs that benefit a wide array of needs such as Education, Health, and Infrastructure. It has, in the past, helped schools, universities, hospitals, and orphanages. In addition, the Forum closely follows the regional and local politics in Somaliland, and is active in responding to issues that the Forum finds important.

For more information, Please visit the forum's web site at: http://www.somalilandforum.com

Distributed via Africa News Online.

Copyright 2000, Africa News Service, all rights reserved.

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