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THE REPUBLIC OF SOMALILAND: THE SHINING LIGHT OVER THE HORIZON OF HORN OF AFRICA

The geographical location of the Republic of Somaliland is one of the world’s most strategically important areas. Yet the powerful influence of China, Turkey, and Russia have built in the region (for the last two decades), particularly in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia threatens the U.S.A/West’s ability to defend their geopolitical, security, and economic interests in whole East Africa region.

Somaliland perfectly fits the criteria of being America’s overseas strategic strongpoint to counterbalance the Chinese ever-growing economic and security influence in the Horn of Africa region. By establishing naval bases and commercial ports with special strategic & economic value along Somaliland’s long coast, America can secure its regional interests through trade routes and commercial zones that interconnect in all East African countries, jointly operated by Somaliland and American firms.

One daring political move that the U.S. government could make is starting to deal directly with the government of Somaliland, instead of going via a country (Somalia) that had exemplified as the world’s most failed state for more than three decades. The government of the U.S.A should follow examples set by other countries such as the United Kingdom, Ethiopia, Kenya, Taiwan, and the UAE in opening diplomatic and trade representative offices in Somaliland.

SOMALILAND IS THE ONLY FUNCTIONING DEMOCRACY IN THE HORN OF AFRICA!

The government of the United States of America should not ignore Somaliland’s case, hence Somaliland is the only functioning democracy in the region. By doing so it would mean undermining U.S. interests in the region and that would be a grave strategic miscalculation. It also puts the United States at a strategic disadvantage as China could leverage the United States military out of Djibouti at any time.

It is also noteworthy that the Republic of Somaliland is the only country in the region that has convincingly rejected China’s enticement. Instead, Somaliland has embraced Taiwan since it represents shared aspirations and mutual democratic values.

The U.S. government must not ignore the historical argument and plea of the people of Somaliland. America needs to assist a country that has succeeded in strengthening peace and security, democracy, respect for human rights, good governance, justice, and the rule of law for more than three decades. Hence these principles are common aspirations for both countries, Somaliland and the United States of America.

The government of the U.S.A should not turn its back on this brave, resilient and promising nation of Somaliland. The U.S.A government and other Western powers need to prevent that Somaliland feels forced into rebuilding relations with the side of the equation, in particular Moscow, Beijing, Tehran, and Ankara. Should this happen and if Somaliland slips into the hands of opponents, it would essentially mean surrendering the U.S.A/Western’s influence in this strategically important Horn of Africa region.

Further, America needs to understand that dealing with and pouring money into an undemocratic and failed state (Somalia) is counterproductive diplomatic malpractice of the 21st century. Instead, the U.S. government should reward a country (Somaliland) that has daringly rejected to be lured in China’s predatory financial enticement as well as its power display of the region.

WHY RECOGNIZING SOMALILAND COULD BE A GAME-CHANGER IN THE CURRENT GEOPOLITICAL DYNAMICS IN THE HORN OF AFRICA?

  1. Recognizing Somaliland would let the U.S.A. build a partnership with the government of Somaliland that would give Washington a protection against further deterioration and out-maneuvering of America’s position and interests in Horn of Africa region;
  2. Somaliland perfectly fits the criteria of being America’s overseas strategic strongpoint to counterbalance the Chinese predatory policy and its ever growing economic and security influence in Horn of Africa region;
  3. By establishing naval bases and commercial ports with special strategic and economic value along Somaliland’s long coast, America can secure its regional interests through trade routes and commercial zones that interconnects in all East African countries;
  4. Recognizing Somaliland would affirm American support for democratic principles and good governance by rewarding Somaliland’s meticulous and tenacious 30-year-old homegrown peace, stability, governance and democratic endeavour.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Eng. Hussein Adan Igeh (Deyr) is the Former Minister of Trade & Investment and Former Presidential Spokesman.

Disclaimer: The viewpoints expressed by the authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions, viewpoints of the Somaliland Chronicle and its staff. 

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Notice: This article by Somaliland Chronicle is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. Under this license, all reprints and non-commercial distribution of this work is permitted.

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