The political history of the Somali living territories showed discrepancies in the olden times of its colony. The Horn of Africa has been a home for the Somali speaking society, and the Somali ethnic group themselves express their narrative and folklores about the inconsistency of the euphoric wisdoms, such as poems from one tribe to another. Hence, no agreed historical narrative has ever been made by the Somalis from their antecedent storylines. According to the British security archives, European colonialism firstly arrived the foothold of the Somali coast, which later renamed Djibouti in the early 1860s. The demarcations and the line of the rule of Djibouti was renowned after its independence of the French colony in 1977.
The political elites of Djibouti have chosen not to coalesce by offering their sovereignty to the Somali Republic, because they had witnessed the injustice of power sharing dilemma and how the governing system of the Somali Republic has been formed. The political decision resulted, Djibouti to remain politically stable, socially obliging and economically complaisant in conjunction with its region and the outside world. People of Djibouti and their cream of the crop grasped that the uncivilised arrogance, the political illiteracy and the lack of human capita of the Somali people will not take them anywhere prosperous, but will rather develop obscure and inimical to the political creativity and the socioeconomic expression of their newly born nation state. Djibouti’s political elites also acknowledged the recommendations of their colonial masters, unlike their fellow Somaliland elites who opposed the same recommendations from their protectorate empire before and after the independence.
On the other hand, Britain proclaimed protectorate over Somaliland in 1887, and as the Anglo-French Treaty shows, the biggest Somali territorial agreement was moulded by the two major colonial masters of the world. The treaty signed was based on an agreement, which has been defined the first Somali borderline between the Somali Possession of the two countries. These demarcations was not new to the world, because the history of the colonial system changed the map of the world downright.
Ill-advisedly, Somalis who were nomadic society have never formed a government system of their own before the colonialism, and there is always good prove and evidence that the Somalis have never come under one state prior to the unity of the two regions of Somalia and Somaliland on July the 1st in 1960. The reason was, they were powerless and incapable to control over their enormous territory of inhabitancy. Somalis, neither politically sophisticated enough to sustain a political state of their own, nor socially allied in terms of ideological harmony and civil mutual brotherhood, and this is why the Somali Republic failed. I disagreed that the tribal system made the Somali state to collapse into its knees, for the reason that the argument is very pathetic and impractical. But I agree that the Southern part of what was known Somali Republic is the boomerang state, which brought the harmful result, instead of the intended good one.
Nevertheless, Somaliland was the first Somali born state in the history of the Somali people after gained independence from Britain in 1960. It was only five days when Somaliland fully united with their brothers of Somalia who gained their independence from the UN Trust Territory under the Italian control. Although, both countries’ people were Somali ethnic societies who share the same religion, language and the skin colour, the reality of the political culture was indubitable.
Because of the dissimilar cultures of governance inherited from their colonial masters that influenced them, or in other words, assimilated and erupted their nomadic bylaws and traditional regulations of conflict resolution and peace building techniques. Mainly, the French and the Italian governing cultures impose chock-full authority of culture change to their colonies as the contemporary history revealed in the fields of researching society and culture. Most surprisingly, Somaliland has never been culturally damaged by their British Protectorate same as their fraternal Somalis of Djibouti and Somalia, who were hardly damaged by the colonial masters.
Unlike the other two Somali states, Djibouti has a social diverse and different ethnic communities, and here is the whys and wherefores, in which the state politically survived from any downfall. Even though, there are other major scenarios, which protected the state to have the same experience of nearing extinction of the Somali Republic. Firstly, the French colony has never made a leave of absence in terms of its military and political verdict, but remained protectorate by the name of any foreign intervention. In addition to that, the French also contributes and subsidises routinely to the country’s national budget of the internal public control system. These scenarios made Djibouti to become stable and semi-independent nation state.
Secondly, the state projected not to unite with the politically confused Somali Republic. Because, unity without civilisation, industrialisation, capitalisation, and democratisation was impossible in the mid 20s and the 21st centuries of the political epoch of the world. The best examples are the collapse of the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, as well as the separations and ruptures of India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Yemen, Syria Egypt and the Somali Republic itself. What torn-apart these countries, if deeply researched was not only their cultural differences, social and religious diversities, but it mainly based on unresolved economic and political glitches and the up in the air teething troubles as well?
Therefore, the 24 years of anarchy of Somalia and the current prolonged instability were mainly caused by the absence of political agreement among those who prefer the concept of the Somali unity, which obviously endangers the stability and security of the Horn of Africa in particular, as well as the domestic economic privations that pushed the entire nation’s people towards crime and insecurity. Because, the political concept of unity still lacks the measurement of justice of the self-governance. The fundamental basis of the Somali unity also squandered the political opportunity to create the unification of the five Somalis under one flag and one political territory, by strengthening the concept of one Federal or hypothetically decentralised unitary state. The concept is politically impossible to achieve as it sounds and smells, but in the hearts and the minds of some certain political and academic group of Somali diaspora who innovate these ideas, they believed that it is fairly possible and will be attained soon by utilising the pragmatic newly flourished democracy of Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya.
But the reality on the ground is far more different than the diasporic imaginations of the Somali unification proposal. Because, the project mission of the Somali Federalism is based on two regions by one Federal State. And as these political diaspora elites proposed, Federalism will succeed and function within a period of 25 years. And within this period, if Somaliland is unrecognised, it will self-destruct on its own into a regional and sub-regional states of a tribal political dogma. Therefore, the next mission of the political proposal will be achieved within another 25 years. This political mission is the idea of the first-time-born dream of the Greater Somali Republic, which has been inattentive for years from the authenticity of the Somali territorial integrity. Nonetheless, the idea rests the hearts and the minds of the majority of the Somali people from their colonial era in1860s up until now.
Somaliland has fully withdrawn the political concept of the Greater Somali Republic, because unity with Somalia has failed the country. And the people of Somaliland, completely believe that reunification between the South and the North will further disgrace the political stability and social cohesion of the Somalis. On the other hand, Djibouti currently not willing to unite with the 25 years failed state of its neighbour, and the Reserve Area completely followed different path of political survival, while NFD has never favoured unity as much as the Reserve Area once did. It is now obvious that NFD received twice its population size from Somalia after the Civil war, which broke out what was once called the Southern part of the Somali Republic in 1991, after the full collapse of the dictatorship regime of Siyad Barre.
It might be a good experience for the political lifetimes of the Somali people, but if regional, state, or political state of Somali governed has no interest whatsoever to seek a dream of unification in the future of the Somali people, why Somaliland? Because, the idea itself might be a risk to the entire region, it might truly be another holistic approach to a wider lawlessness and severe obliteration of rule of law. The psychotic idea of the diaspora, which secretly initiated to unite Somalis in the Horn of Africa without the knowledge of the regional governments and the International Community, can only result bloody civil and regional war.
In one way, this will turn to be the known unknowns, which means if the International Community insists on upkeep funding, it is obvious that the hidden agenda will be a potential hazard and the consequences will backfire and become unprecedented phenomenon. On the other hand, it will turn to be the unknown knowns, which means the conspiracy theory will be revealed, and Somaliland will be recognised to end the prolonged regional hostility, which currently function because of the support of the International Community.
Mohamed Hagi Mohamoud. Department of Politics and International Studies. The University of Warwick. Email:firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com.