Position of the Republic
On the Djibouti Peace Initiative on Somalia
July 1960 two separate and sovereign territories Ė Somaliland
(a former British Protectorate) and Somalia (the former Italian Somalia)
formed a political union that was officially
named the Somali Republic.
The Somali Republic, as such, became a member of the United Nations,
the OAU, and a host of other intergovernmental organizations and was
registered under that title.
official title of the union did not last long, as had been the case of
other constitutional arrangements that were intended to safeguard the
interests of Somaliland. Taking advantage of
their majority, the representatives
of Somalia lost little time in dropping the official nomenclature of the
union and replacing it with the name of their own territory Ė Somalia.
The change was entirely political. Its
objective was the complete absorption
of the territory and people of Somaliland into Somalia, and the subsequent
eradication of all traces of Somaliland from the map.
This move was not
publicized at the time, and it was done without the knowledge and consent
of the other party of the union, namely Somaliland.
and diplomatic ramifications of this unilateral change in nomenclature
did not become apparent until after Somaliland had successfully overthrown
the brutal rule of Siyad Barre in 1990, and declared a few months later Somalilandís
withdrawal from its union with Somalia. When
Somaliland representatives attempted to
establish contacts with the United Nations and other members of the international
community, they were told that their country was part and parcel of Somalia, and
that the United Nations could not accept any change that would affect the unity
and territorial integrity of the State of Somalia. The
resultant confusion that has
followed the misreading of Somaliaís true identity has been detrimental to the
inherent rights and interests of Somaliland and its people.
international community should be aware of a number of important historical
facts pertaining to Somalilandís political development, viz. The achievement of
independence on June 26, 1960, its subsequent union on July 1, 1960 with Somalia
(ex-Italian Somalia) as two equal partners, its long years of struggle for liberation from
the union, its eventual victory in December 1990 and its withdrawal from the union in
Somaliland has reverted to the status ante quo 26 June, 1960, and is determined to
that status until a more attractive political alternative acceptable to the people of
Somaliland can be found.
position on the Djibouti Initiative
appreciates that the Djibouti Initiative was inspired by the speech of the
UN Secretary General and that the Initiative was launched as a possible measure to
help Somalia recover from its current chaos and anarchy.
not opposed to the Djibouti Initiative despite its many shortcomings
which it could have helped to remedy had it been consulted adequately and sincerely.
Hasty and inadequate organizational arrangements for an extremely complex problem,
coupled with Djiboutiís quest for advance endorsement of its plan of implementation
even before the invitees from Somalia have even met to discuss the proposal outlined
therein, may well be a recipe for failure.
objections to the Djibouti Initiative arise from the fact that it ignores the
political status of the country. Moreover,
Somaliland is aware that some elements
ostensibly supporting the Initiative is attempting to draft Somaliland into a
conference which is of no direct concern to Somaliland, and in which Somaliland has no
role to play. There is no party or grouping
in Somalia to which Somaliland needs to be
aware that the same elements are mischievously exploiting the opportunity
given to them by the Djibouti Initiative to undermine the success that has attended
Somalilandís efforts at nation-building and at re-establishing a peaceful and stable
state. Somaliland will resist to the utmost
any attempt to drag it into the quagmire of the anarchy and chaos that characterizes
current conditions in Somalia.
will have a role to play when inhabitants themselves solve Somaliaís problems,
and some form of central authority has been firmly established in that country. Somaliland
would be prepared to make contact with the new Somalia authorities to discuss, as equal
partners, a future relationship appropriate for the welfare of the people of the two
has achieved through a series of nationwide conferences (Berbera and Burao in
1991, Sheikh in 1992 and Borama in 1993) peace, internal stability, a democratic system of
parliamentary government, an independent judiciary and the development of a private sector
where free enterprise reigns supreme. This
promising situation has been achieved without any help, aid or assistance from the
has already achieved for itself what the Djibouti Initiative is attempting to do for
Somalia, only that Somaliland has done it much better than what is being proposed and has
done it successfully.
has accomplished a lasting peace between all sections of the population; it has
established peaceful cooperation with its neighbors, and it has put in place a democratic
governance which is effectively running the country with the consent of the governed.
simply asks that its achievements should not be sabotaged or threatened by a
proposal which seeks to draft Somaliland into a scheme which runs contrary to its
and in which it will take no part.
summary, will not be involved with the Djibouti Initiative and, consequently,
will not participate in any of the deliberations outlined in its plan of implementation.
This position has been confirmed by Somalilandís House of Representatives and by the
public at large.
Republic Of Somaliland