Tuesday, November 29, 2011

British Minister Says His Department Received No Correspondence About Somaliland Independence

London, UK, November 26, 2011 (SL Times) – In what is bound to be an embarrassing revelation for Somaliland's government and public, a member in the British government revealed that his department (the department of International Development), "has not received any ministerial correspondence concerning the recognition of independence of Somaliland" for a year.
This came in the context of a question by conservative parliamentarian Andrew Rosindell in which he asked the Minister of State for International Development Alan Duncan about how much correspondence he received regarding Somaliland's independence. The absence of any correspondence for 12 months reflects badly on Somaliland's government as well as on Somaliland's public, especially in the diaspora, and raises questions about how much is being done to secure Somaliland's recognition.
Here is the exchange between the MP and the minister:
Somaliland: Sovereignty
International Development
Written Answers on 22 Nov 2011
Andrew Rosindell (Romford, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many (a) letters and (b) emails his Department received concerning the recognition of the independence of Somaliland in the last 12 months for which figures are available.
Alan Duncan (Minister of State, International Development; Rutland and Melton, Conservative)
In the last 12 months, the Department for International Development has not received any ministerial correspondence concerning the recognition of independence of Somaliland.
Over the same time period we received 15 inquiries by e-mail to the Public Enquiry Point on this subject.
Source: http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2011-11-22b.77084.h#g77084.r0

Somaliland map

Somaliland is situated on the eastern horn of Africa and lies between the 08°00' - 11°30' parallel north of the equator and between 42°30' - 49°00' meridian east of the Greenwich.
It shares its borders with the following countries: Ethiopia to the west, Djibouti to the north and Somalia to the south. Somaliland has a coastal line to the north and east  of the country, which extends 460 miles along the Red Sea.


Somaliland is about the size of England and Wales with an area of 137,600km² (68,000 sq. miles).


  • Somaliland was a British protectorate for nearly 80 years, in 1886 British established a protectorate over the northern regions of Somalia on the coast of the Gulf of Aden.
  • Somaliland gained its independence from Britain at 26th of June 1960 and Somaliland entered an ill-starred union with the former Italian Somalia in 1st of July in 1960 in response to the dreams of Somali patriots who wished to unite the lands in which Somalis lived.
  • Over time, the people of the former British Somaliland became so hostile to the way in which the nation was being administered; with the allocation of resources being skewed in favour of the south and that they started an insurrection and eventually declared independence after the civil war and the collapse of Somali government. 
  • Somali National Movement (SNM) invaded northern Somalia (former British Somaliland) in May 1988, and the number of refugees swells quickly to more than 600,000 people in the refugees camps in Ethiopia.
  • The brutal ruler of Somalia deposed by the SNM from northern Somalia and later with the cooperation of the United Somali Congress (USC) from southern Somalia that unseated the horrific dictator from power in the end at early January 1991.
  • Somaliland declared the restoration of its independence and dissolution of its union with Italian Somalia in May 1991, under the leadership of the Somali National Movement (SNM).
  • A stable administration has been formed, though not internationally recognised; Somaliland has a working political system, government institutions, a police force and its own currency.
  • Civil war (1988-1991) had resulted in the deaths of nearly 60,000 people, massive population displacement and total destruction of infrastructures, communications and public services.
  • The country as whole is ruined and raised to ground level as resulting from the legacy of indiscriminate bombardment left by Barre's military junta since north Somalia (somaliland) was the priority target for them.
  • Consequently, no public services are available for the people of Somaliland owing mainly to the destruction of hospitals, schools, public residential areas, and the infrastructure as a whole.
  • Somaliland is desperately poor. The majority of the Somaliland people are pastoral nomads, raising camels, sheep, goats and some cattle for subsistence and trade.
  • An estimated 60% of the population depends on livestock and livestock products for its livelihood and there is very little farming.
  • The embargoes on livestock exports, imposed by Arabian Gulf countries to inhibit the confusion the spread of Rift Valley Fever, have seriously affected the Somaliland's revenues.
  • The economy is highly dependent on money sent home by members of the Diaspora.
  • In recent years, more than 600,000 refugees, out of a population about 3.5 million, have returned to Somaliland and they live appalling conditions. 
  • Somaliland is also in desperate need, having suffered from terrible droughts, the worst in decades, resulting in the death of hundred thousands of animals, affecting thousands of people already living on the very edge of survival.
  • Somaliland challenges remain daunting. Legacy of civil war, along with mines and unexploded ordnance, still affect some areas while the persistent drought has destroyed the lives of many farmers and livestock owners.
  • Thousands of Somaliland, many of them children, is still living in temporary camps or remote areas inaccessible by relief agencies and many of them are at risk of disease. 
Somaliland is a country with needs that must be addressed urgently. The situation is more complicated because of its recent history. It has problems with health, education, food insecurity, water supply, HIV/AIDS and infrastructures.
Although the war in Somaliland is over, the humanitarian crisis is not. Hence, this brought about the establishment of the Somaliland Community Development (UHUBSO) in line with the International community feeling to respond to the plight and the urgency need and assistance for the Somalilanders to rebuild their country. Subsequently, the British Somalis and others decided to take the initiates to cooperate with International community, NGOS, UN agencies and others who are striving to raise funds intended to enable the Somaliland people to rebuild their own country, after having established this charity organisation.

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