Ya’qub Ismail, a Somalilander student in Bristol, UK, wrote the letter copied below to the Ambassador of Turkey in the United Kingdom, Abdurrahman Bilgic, in protest of the Turkish political view of the Republic of Somaliland as aired by the Turkish Ambassador in Mogadishu, Olgen Bekar, on Saturday.
“I am writing concerning about the speech of the Turkish Ambassador to Mogadishu Olgan Bekar that was related about the Turkish view about Somaliland republic. This statement was released in a press conference in Mogadishu that your Ambassador Bekar was discussing about the future of schools and hospitals that was controlled by Nile Academy which the Somalia Government has closed last week. Your Ambassador in Mogadishu asserted that he doesn’t recognize that Somaliland has its own passport and therefore he recognize it as an identity card.
“The Somalis are large ethnic people scattered in the Horn of Africa especially Somaliland, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia and they haven’t become a state ever in the history.
“These people were divided and ruled by the European colonization that arrived in Africa in the 19th century, Somaliland was become a Protectorate for the British Empire though treaties with the local sultanates and was known as British Somaliland, and Somalia was colonized by the Italy and become Italian Somaliland, Finally 26 June 1960, Somaliland become an independent state from the British Empire, 4 Days after, Somaliland voluntarily joined with Somalia (Italian Somaliland) to form a Somali Republic. This was a theory to unite all the Somalis and to build a strong government known as Great Somalia but which failed a couple of years later.
“After Nine years, the Somali President Abdirashid Ali Sharmake was assassinated, his murder was quickly followed by a military coup on 21 October 1969, the Military seized the power without encountering armed opposition. The Putsch was spearheaded by Major General Mohamed Siad Barre who was at that time the commander of the army, the new military regime was leading the country for the next 21 years.
“The Moral authority of Barre’s government gradually eroded as many Somalis had become disillusioned with the life under military rule, By the mid of 80s, resistance movements supported by the Ethiopian Communist Derg administration had sprung up across the country, Barre responded by killing thousands and thousands of the Somaliland civilians, he ordered punitive measures against those he perceived as locally supported the Opposition resistance. The clampdown bombing included bombing of cities in the Somaliland in the 80s.
“Finally, in 1991, the Military government has fired also the union failed due to proxy wars fought which led the Somali Republic into the collapse and chaos. Somaliland then regained its independence by the Declaration of the Conference of the Somaliland communities held in Burao, Somaliland. Somaliland has rightly decided in 18th May 1991 to pursue its interest and abandon expansionist theory of Somali-weyn (Great Somali). The Somalilanders arecommitted to living peacefully with their neighbors.
“Somaliland is a sovereign, Peaceful, Democratic country, Our President and the Parliament are elected democratically, we also have a constitution approved by 97% of our people in a referendum that was internationally observed. We also have our own currency, an army, a passport, and a legal system. Unfortunately, Somaliland is not recognized and does not receive much help outside, but I’m happy that my people built itself up from zero to a beautiful country now. 18 May, this year, we were celebrated A quarter of a century for our self-declared independence day. Politically, Somaliland established a multi-party system. We have held more than 6 elections Presidential, Parliament and local government elections consecutively and now we are preparing for another Presidential and parliament elections in March 2017.
“Somalia was fully recognized by the international community and Billions of Dollars was spent for security issues and humanitarian aid. Many lives lost trying to restore the country devastated by more than quarter of a century of conflicts, due to the injustice, violence’s, insecurity, and lack of government, Somalia is topped on the failed state index. Somalia Citizens have never been asked for their own future, to be a centralized country, to be a federal country or what else they have to live on their future. The Somalia government has no mandate from the Somalia people, they are under protection for foreign troops supported by the international community. Turkey was a mediator of the negotiations of Somaliland and Somalia that was held several times in different places for the last four years and failed in Ankara March last year, the turkeys role of that negotiations was diplomatic arbitration role, how can Somaliland trust your mediation when your government is campaigning for another impossible union between Somaliland and Somalia after a quarter of century?
Finally, I’m urging you and your government to respect the wish of the People of Somaliland and instead embark peaceful engagement with the Horn of African countries by halting destabilization and divisive policies. You shall realize that in the 21st century Somaliland and Somalia can’t unite.”
A Somalilander Student in Bristol, UK.