To: The Secretariat of The African Commission of Human and Peoples’ Rights
5 Palm Tree Court, Factory Lane,
P.O. Box 673 Banjul Gambia.
Re: Complaint Against Human Rights Violations By The African Union (AU).
Relevant Historical Back ground.
I am an Ethnic African Somali from Somaliland who sought an asylum in the U.K in 1988, after most of family and/or relatives were killed, and homes destroyed in bombardment by the then existed government of Somalia. I lived in Britain ever after.
- I thoroughly read “The Banjul Charter” on human and people’s rights – which is to protect human rights, dignity and basic freedoms of the African Continent.
- Reading Article 2 of Human and People’s Charter which recognizes fundamental human rights stem, taking into consideration the virtues of historical facts, traditions and values of the African people.
- I also acknowledge Article 20 of Human and People’s Rights that affirms all people shall have the right to existence. They shall have the UNQUESTIONABLE AND INAALIANABLE RIGHT TO SELF-DETERMINATION. They shall freely determine their political status and shall pursue their ECONOMIC and SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT according to the policy they have freely chosen.
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I similarly read Article 2 of the A.U. and it’s pledge to intensify efforts to achieve a better life for the peoples of Africa – having due regard to the Charter of the United Nations and Universal Declaration of Human Rights which stresses the right of Self-Determination.
My Country, Somaliland
Somaliland had been a self-governing entity for nearly three decades and since 1991, sought International re-recognition. No foreign government recognize its sovereignty, though the world acknowledge her as a separate entity from troubled Somalia.
Somaliland asserts its’ sovereignty and independence to the A.U. and International Community not for recognition but rather for RE-RECOGNITION since it was granted Independence as a British colony in 26th June 1960, five days before it voluntarily agreed to merge with Somalia.
Somaliland wants the A.U. to recognize its decision to end that voluntary union with Somalia – in line with other African precedent and accordingly with A.U’s principle of respecting the borders existing on (…) achievement of independence. (Charter of OAU Resolution AHG/RES 16(1), July 1964).
Despite the A.U. fact finding Mission recommendations that Somaliland be treated as special case, it is unfortunate the simple argument of the then Transitional Federal Government of Somalia that was not “RIPE” was rather accepted in 2007. The A.U. has not looked the matter ever since.
Between the period of 30th April-4 May 2005, a top African Union Fact Finding Mission sent by then Head of the A.U Mr. Alpha Oumar (Former President Of Mali) and headed by his Vice- Chair Mr. Mr. Patrick Mazimanka arrived Somaliland. The Commission exercised a good use of Article 46 of the A.U, allowing them to use all appropriate methods of investigation and they concluded the following brief points in their report:
- Somaliland has steadily laid the foundations of a modern state.
- Somaliland’s search for recognition is historically unique and justified in African Political history and as such the A.U. should find a special method of dealing with Somaliland’s outstanding case.
- Lack of recognition ties the hands of the Authorities of people of Somaliland in pursuit of reconstruction and development goals.
- We recommend the acute humanitarian situation in prevailing in Somaliland, The A.U. should mobilize finances, resume to help alleviate the plight of people especially internally displaced people and returning missions.
- You. should be disposed to judge the case of Somaliland from an objective and historical view point, moral angle and aspirations of the people Somaliland.
Reason for Seeking Justice
- For Over three decades, I (As Ethnic African Individual), have to grow old and stay in foreign lands, as my ethnic people are living in a state of indignity, lack of necessary services and denial of National Pride as a nation and as a country due to the continuous rejection of the basic rights of individual freedom and self-determination.
- My people are subjected to high levels of unemployment, lack of basic health provisions, poor education, and recently I lost a valued family member due to lack of medical help and now his children are scattered to neighbors and themselves facing similar dilemma that took parents.
- Thousands of our young brethren – the pride of our nation and Africa in general hopelessly migrated the country for Europe and died in the high seas of the Mediterranean. (Among all nations, Somaliland youth is the highest among those lost their lives by way of migrating illegally to Europe. This is because their fundamental right of liberty is being denied/ignored for three decades.
A known Journalist reporter from Ghana –Elizabeth Oheane once reported to the BBC “African Nations and organizations had been indifferent to the plight and death of their youth. Before they are able find solutions of saving lives, they should refrain in talking International issues and crises by which they got little knowledge of”.
- The attitude of A.U. towards Somaliland, demonstrate an impending danger to Somali/African lives and an irreparable harm to individuals in contrast to article 98(1) of the Commissions Rule.
- The Indignity and the suffering of the Somaliland people is apparent as:
- Commercial sector suffers, lacking internationally recognised Central Bank.
- The general health of the people also suffer – as De facto entity is denied direct use of World Health Organization (W.H.O).
- It is apparent that Safety risking exists to conduct Air traffic Control in another country.
- On International level, security and crime should be of grave concern as Somaliland is painstakingly part of the fight against terrorism and Piracy in East Africa.
- It is the highest point of indignity, for a whole nation who do not have a national identification document and/or any passport to travel outside their territory, which hinders both public and private sector provisions.
- The sentiments and desire of my population of 3.5 million has not been taken into account by the A.U. as my 96.5% of my people voted to recall their Independence of the 1960.
- In a Similar situation the threshold laid down by the European Union for Montenegro of was only 55%, the public voting was only 55.5%, and the country is a member of International community today.
- The fear that a successful recognition of Somaliland could be Quested as precedent by other continent’s secessionist movements has no tangible grounds as Somaliland is not a secessionist but rather a country that being and recalling only to be a country again.
- Lack of International recognition continues to present hurdles, seriously hindering economic development, discouraging and burgeoning private sector and eroding public trust in country’s future. If this continues longer, for sure it will lead to political down-turn, resulting in social anarchy and lawlessness.
- The painstakingly built peace and stability will no longer be their – if the failed Federal Government of Somalia drags Somaliland into its unnecessary wars (As the F.G.S already started war in the eastern territories of Somaliland) and the stability that continued for three decades ends in bloodshed, and surely the instability will eventually spill-over effects of regional insecurity.
To sum up, the positive ruling of the Court and the acceptance of the A.U. to look the issues again will bring the recognition of Somaliland‘s much desired sovereignty – which eventually would permit the country to develop economic ties with countries and the world institutions, bring in international investment and will lead direct humanitarian aid for cases such as droughts, famine and recent Sounami floods which have frequently hit this resilient nations in the past.
I, the applicant, an ethnic African- a sufferer of the above in-human settings, humbly begs that this Court and the Commission restore justice where the A.U. without any tangible grounds over-looked the fundamental right of my people’s self-determination and squashed their own findings and reports – imposing people to live in handouts that led thousands to die due to the lack of basic needs and others existing in the highest point of indignity and hopelessness.
Rasheed A Meigag
Tel: +44 7904125596