Somaliland could be force for good in Horn of Africa

Published: February 23 2011 01:25 | Last updated: February 23 2011 01:41

From Charles Tannock MEP.

Sir, In your editorial “Pirates of the Gulf” (February 19) you rightly call for more support for the “autonomous” former British protectorate of Somaliland, which has been de facto independent from Mogadishu in the south since a brief civil war in 1991.

Somaliland is currently a good news story in contrast to the failed state of Somalia, whose transitional federal government, supported internationally, has totally failed to control the al-Shabab jihadi terrorists who brutally impose Sharia law on the people or to defeat the scourge of piracy based on its territory and neighbouring Puntland.

In support of independence, a 2005 African Union report pointed out that the union in 1960 between Somaliland and Somalia was never formally ratified. Excitingly on July 9 South Sudan will become an independent new state and the Juba government has already stated it will recognise a sovereign Somaliland. In all probability this will result in other AU countries following suit.

An independent Somaliland could be a force for stability and good governance in the Horn of Africa. It is high time the AU and western powers recognised the sovereignty of the republic of Somaliland, which has all-party support under the government of President Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo, which resulted from free and fair elections.

Charles Tannock,

European Parliament (London Region – Conservative),

Brussels, Belgium

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