Somaliland is upping its pressure on the international community to grant it recognition in her for self-determination.
President Muse Bihi in his virtual speech to the nation during the 29th anniversary since separating with Somalia said not even the coronavirus could stop Somalilanders in different countries from celebrating the country’s “independence”.
Bihi said Somaliland is ready to take its case to the international court if the dialogue will not achieve the desired result.
Somaliland, a former British Protectorate joined with Somalia on July 1, 1960, five days after gaining independence from the British on June 26.
But on May 19, 1991, Somaliland seceded from the union after the start of civil war and declared its independence from Somalia.
This independence is not recognized by the international community who continue to refer to Somaliland as a region of Somalia.
A constitutional referendum was held in Somaliland on 31 May 2001 that affirmed the country’s independence from Somalia as a separate state has done little to convince the international community to work with it as a state.
And on Monday, President Bihi said Somaliland will now take a different approach in the quest for self-determination if dialogue with its erstwhile partner flops.
“The only agenda that can bring Somaliland and Somalia to a negotiating table is one based on two countries talking mutual interests and good neighbourly relations,” Bihi said.
“Somalia and anybody else who wishes to mediate between the two of us should accept the inalienable, undeniable reality of a sovereign Somaliland talking with a sovereign Somalia on issues that foster brotherly relations, our people and the region,” he added.
“I repeat in a loud voice that unless Somalia accepts the reality of two independent nations talking on equal terms, it should forget a dialogue between the two,” he reiterated.
“We will submit our case to an international court if Somalia continues to insist on a Somaliland it rules.”
There has been some effort by the international community to bring Somaliland president Muse Bihi and Somalia leader Abdullahi Farmajo to a dialogue table.
The most recent attempt was by the Ethiopia Prime Minister Abiy Mohammed who managed to have the two leaders shake hands during a meeting in Ethiopia but nothing tangible came out of the brief meeting.
President Bihi further asked the international community to channel aid meant for Somaliland directly to Hargeisa.
“This is not the first time we are celebrating our independence in a period of challenges, But our people’s determination and solidarity will not only see us overcoming the great test of Covid-19 but also gain international recognition,” Bihi said.
BY ODINDO AYIEKO