Somaliland’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Rhoda J. Elmi, emphasizes the strategic importance of the Gulf of Aden for global trade, particularly for oil and gas shipments. She stresses Somaliland’s crucial role in safeguarding the waterway from piracy, terrorism, and other illicit activities despite limited resources.

In a post on her X account on Thursday, Ambassador Rhoda Elmi criticizes the “One Somalia” ideology, which she believes overlooks Somaliland’s peaceful and democratic aspirations and ignores its efforts to secure the Gulf of Aden. She argues that this ideology has failed to address piracy and terrorism effectively.

Ambassador Rhoda Elmi calls for international recognition of Somaliland’s sovereignty, arguing that this would strengthen the country’s ability to combat piracy and terrorism and contribute to regional stability. She warns that continued neglect of Somaliland could have negative consequences for the region.


Her statement reflects Somaliland’s desire for international recognition and its belief that it can play a significant role in ensuring the security of the Gulf of Aden.

The complete message of Ambassador Rhoda is provided below:

Somaliland's Crucial Role In Safeguarding The Gulf Of AdenRecent events have proven the immense strategic importance of the Gulf of Aden to world trade, serving as a vital conduit for international trade, particularly oil and gas shipments to and from the Persian Gulf, destined for markets in Africa, Europe, and beyond.

Somaliland’s recognized strategic position and its extensive 850km coastline covering the southern end of this important waterway, as well as the efforts it has made to ensure the smooth flow of goods and energy resources passing through it, protecting it against piracy, terrorism, and other illicit maritime activities, albeit with limited resources are, oftentimes overlooked, by some in the international community who are increasingly set on pursuing a dangerous and destabilizing One Somalia ideology, that’s rife with historical regional conflicts and political instability.

This ideology is also in direct conflict with the peaceful, sovereign aspirations of the people of Somaliland.

Recent events also lay bare its shortcomings, as evidenced by recent piracy attacks on Mogadishu’s doorstep as well as sustained failures, over the past 17 years to effectively combat Al Shabaab.

Simply put, this policy produced little progress, and its continuation, unsustainable as it is, rewards failure, inhibits progress, encourages complacency and corruption, and could fuel instability in an already volatile region.

Henceforth, it is imperative for the international community, particularly those reliant, directly or indirectly, on the Gulf of Aden for their trade and energy needs, to revise their approach, start fostering genuine engagements with Somaliland based on mutual respect and the overdue recognition of its people’s sovereign, democratic aspirations. Any further neglect of Somaliland is simply untenable and could have negative consequences for our region and beyond.

Ambassador Rhoda J ElmiAmbassador Rhoda J Elmi,

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Republic of Somaliland