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Embracing Balkanization: A Path to Peace and Prosperity in the Somali Region

The recent developments in the Somali region, including Puntland’s decision to assert autonomy and Somaliland’s longstanding pursuit of independence, present an opportunity to reshape the regional landscape positively. Far from signaling the “crumble” of greater Somalia, these developments underscore the resilience and agency of Somali communities in shaping their own destinies. Embracing diversity and recognizing the unique aspirations of each region can pave the way for a more peaceful, secure, and prosperous future for all.

Puntland’s move towards greater autonomy reflects a desire among its people to assert their identity and govern themselves effectively. By withdrawing recognition of the Federal Government of Somalia and seeking to engage directly with the international community, Puntland is taking steps towards greater self-determination and independence. This shift can be a catalyst for stronger governance structures, enhance local decision-making, and empower communities to address their own needs and challenges.

Similarly, Somaliland’s pursuit of independence, spanning over three decades, demonstrates the resilience and determination of its people to chart their own course. Despite facing numerous obstacles and enduring years of unrecognized statehood, Somaliland has maintained stability, built democratic institutions, and fostered economic development. The recent proposal for an Ethiopian naval base in Somaliland in reciprocal to its statehood recognition presents an opportunity to strengthen regional cooperation, enhance maritime security, and bolster economic ties.

By embracing the diversity of the Somalis in horn of Africa region and recognizing the legitimacy of diverse governance structures, regional actors can unlock the full potential of the Somali people. Djibouti, Somaliland, Puntland, and South Somalia each have unique strengths, resources, and contributions to offer. By fostering dialogue, cooperation, and mutual respect among these entities, the Somali region can harness its collective potential to address shared challenges, promote economic growth, and build a more stable and prosperous future.

Regional and international stakeholders play a crucial role in supporting the positive trajectory of the Somali region. By respecting the sovereignty and autonomy of each entity, supporting inclusive dialogue, and facilitating cooperation, the international community can contribute to peace, security, and development in the region. Moreover, investments in infrastructure, education, and economic development can create opportunities for all Somali communities, promoting shared prosperity and reducing the drivers of conflict and instability.

As greater Somali region navigates its path towards peace, stability, and prosperity, there is much to be gleaned from the success story of the Gulf countries. The Gulf region, encompassing nations such as the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia, stands as a shining example of how diversity, cooperation, and visionary leadership can transform societies and propel them towards unprecedented growth and development. By embracing the Gulf model, greater Somalia has the opportunity to chart a course towards a brighter future, characterized by economic prosperity, social progress, and regional cooperation.

At the heart of the Gulf model lies a commitment to unity amidst diversity. Despite being comprised of distinct nations with varying cultures, traditions, and governance structures, the Gulf countries have forged strong bonds of cooperation and collaboration. This unity has been instrumental in driving economic diversification, attracting foreign investment, and fostering innovation across sectors such as finance, technology, and infrastructure. Similarly, greater Somalia, with its diverse countries and communities, can harness the power of unity to overcome historical divisions and build a more inclusive and cohesive society.

Lastly, the recent developments in the Somali region offer a unique opportunity to redefine the narrative from one of fragmentation and discord to one of unity, resilience, and progress. By embracing diversity, respecting the rights and aspirations of all Somali communities, and fostering cooperation and dialogue, the region can overcome its challenges and build a future of peace, security, and prosperity for generations to come.


About the Author

Mr. Mohamed Aideed, co-founder of the BARWAAQO Party in Somaliland and the founder of Somaliland Youth Development and Voluntary Organization (SOYDAVO). Mr. Aideed holds a Master of Arts degree in Diplomacy and International Relations from Kampala University. Mr. Aideed is a commentator on on East and Horn of Africa politics, he has published notable work on the Somaliland-Somalia Talks.


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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