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The African Union has come under increased pressure from the breakaway Somaliland Republic to be accorded recognition.
#Somaliland is not begging for anything from its African brothers & #AUSummit2020. It is rather asking to be part and parcel of African solutions to African predicaments.https://t.co/hyIWnEdgQc via @Saxafi
— Saxafi Newspaper (@Saxafi) February 10, 2020
Wuxuu Ka Yimi Dal Iyo Dad Nabdoon Oo Uu Daadaheeyo Dabadiina Aan La Hadlin, Allow Mahadaa.
Madaxweyne Dabkay Doonto Ha Kulaashee Madaxda Afrika Oo Dhan Macsuumad U Samee.
Maal Waa La Heliye Magac Reeb pic.twitter.com/owPM9coJPv
— Eng Abdurisak Alinor (@eng_alin) February 10, 2020
In 2006, an AU fact-finding mission to Somaliland had expressed the opinion that Somaliland had been made a “pariah region” by default and strongly recommended the country’s recognition, saying that since its declaration of independence in 1991, Somaliland has been steadily laying the foundations of a democratic “modern state.”
“We will continue pushing for recognition by AU, but we will also engage African states individually to set up trade agreements and open opportunities for our people to work with different nations,” president Bihi has stated before.
Somaliland has been a self-governing region of Somalia for more than two decades, but its claim of independence is not recognized by Mogadishu or any foreign government.
While this has limited Somaliland’s access to international markets, it has not prevented the breakaway state from making steady democratic gains and attracting foreign investment.
The Somaliland government asserts that it meets most of the requirements of a sovereign democratic state: it holds free and fair elections, has its own currency and security forces, and issues its own passports.
The President of the Republic of Somaliland on State visit to Ethiopia. President Biihi and his delegation were recieved by Dr. Akilo HaileMecheal, Ethiopia's State Minister on Foreign Affairs. pic.twitter.com/UlBmI4KRzV
— Mohamed Abdilahi Duale (@MDuale1) February 9, 2020
— bhlub (@thebhlub) February 9, 2020
Ethiopia has played a role of neutrality in the Issues of Somaliland and Somalia since both presidents were received equally by the state ministers of Ethiopia. this shows a much respect to Somaliland.@mfaethiopia @AUC_MoussaFaki @musebiihi @NadiaMubarakPTI @realDonaldTrump. pic.twitter.com/ytw1Br0U8k
— Mohamed Biihi (MD) (@MBiihi) February 10, 2020
A weak economy and limited opportunities for foreign trade and investment have stifled the government’s capacity to provide services to its approximately four million residents.
Somaliland has a gross domestic product (GDP) of about $2 billion, most of which it receives in remittances from Somalilanders working abroad.
Its main export is livestock, which it ships to neighboring Djibouti and Ethiopia, as well as to Gulf States, such as Saudi Arabia and Oman. Its GDP per capita, in the hundreds of dollars, is one of the lowest in the world.
“These are the issues our leaders are going to share with other African leaders in Addis as we push for recognition,” an official of the ministry of foreign Affairs said.
“We are quite aware that should African leaders speak with one voice and give Somaliland recognition, the rest of the world will do so almost immediately,” the official added.
This year’s theme at the AU summit is “Silencing the Guns”, reflecting the continental body’s earlier aspirations to end conflicts and prevent genocide in Africa.
By Odindo Ayieko