Saturday, March 14, 2009

Brief History of Somaliland

Medeshi March 14, 2009

History of Somaliland
In 1991, after the collapse of the central government in Somalia, the main part of the territory asserted its independence as the Republic of Somaliland on May 18, 1991. It regarded itself as the successor state to the briefly independent State of Somaliland, but did not receive any international diplomatic recognition.
The economic and military infrastructure left behind by Somalia has been largely destroyed by war. The people of Somaliland had rebelled against the Siad Barre dictatorship in Mogadishu, which prompted a massive reaction by the government.
The late Abderahman Ahmed Ali Tuur was the first president of Somaliland. Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal was appointed his successor in 1993 by the Grand Conference of National Reconciliation in Boorama (Borama), which met for four months and led not only to a gradual improvement in security, but solidified the fledgling state. Egal was re-appointed in 1997, and remained in power until his death on May 3, 2002. The vice president, Dahir Riyale Kahin, was sworn in as president shortly afterwards, and in 2003 Kahin became the first Somaliland president to be elected in a free and fair election.
The 2006 War in Somalia between the Islamic Courts Union and the forces of Ethiopia and Somalia's transitional government has not directly affected Somaliland.
Politics and government
Politics and government of Somaliland
Somaliland has formed a hybrid system of governance under the Constitution of Somaliland, combining traditional and western institutions. In a series of inter-clan conferences, culminating in the Boorama Conference in 1993, a qabil (clan or community) system of government was constructed, which consisted of an Executive, with a President, Vice President, and Council of Ministers, a bicameral Legislature, and an independent judiciary. The traditional Somali council of elders (guurti) was incorporated into the governance structure and formed the upper house, responsible for selecting a President as well as managing internal conflicts. Government became in essence a "power-sharing coalition of Somaliland's main clans", with seats in the Upper and Lower houses proportionally allocated to clans according to a predetermined formula, although not all clans are satisfied with this formula of government. In 2002, after several extensions of this interim government, Somaliland finally made the transition to multi-party democracy, with district council elections contested by six parties.

Foreign relations
Foreign relations of Somaliland
Somaliland border dispute with Puntland. As of July 1, 2007, part of the disputed territory declared the state of Maakhir.
Somaliland has political contacts with the United Kingdom, Ethiopia, Belgium, Ghana,South Africa,Sweden and Djibouti. On January 17, 2007, the European Union sent a delegation for foreign affairs to discuss future cooperation.The African Union has also sent a foreign minister to discuss the future of international acknowledgment, and on January 29 and January 30, 2007, the ministers said that they would discuss acknowledgement with other member states In June 2007, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi held a conference with President Kahin during which he was referred to in an official communique by the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry as the President of Somaliland, the first time that Somaliland has been officially acknowledged as a sovereign state by another government. While this is not claimed as a move to official recognition by Ethiopia, it is seen as a possible step towards a unilateral declaration by Ethiopia in the event of the African Union failing to move its recognition of Somaliland forward.
A delegation led by the President of Somaliland was present at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2007 in Kampala, Uganda.
November 27, 2007, Annemie Neyts-Uyttebroeck of the ELDR, one of three main parties in EU, mailed a letter to Javier Solana (the High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the Secretary-General of both the Council of the European Union (EU)) and to Dahir Rayale Kahin the president of Somaliland, in which there is required an acknowledgment of Somaliland by EU. In December 2007 the Bush administration discussed whether to back the shaky transitional government in Somalia or to acknowledge and support the less volatile Somaliland secessionists.Politics plays a big part in the new independent Somaliland region with the highly respected university Amoud with the universities first donator Bashir Mohamud Yusuf.
Border disputes
Main article: Somaliland-Puntland dispute
The Republic of Somaliland continues to claim the entire area of the former British Somaliland. Somaliland is currently in control of the western half of the former British Somaliland, with northeastern Maakhir having declared a separate, unrecognized autonomous state within Somalia on July 1, 2007, and with the disputed southeastern Sool state under the control of neighboring Puntland since 2003. A separatist movement exists also in the westernmost Awdal province.

Tensions escalated into a violent clash between Puntland and Somaliland in October 2007, when Somaliland forces captured Las Anod, the capital of the disputed region of Sool.
The Somaliland Defence Forces took control of the town of Las Qorey in eastern Sanaag on 10 July 2008, along with positions five kilometres east of the town. The Somaliland Defence Forces completed their operations on 9 July 2008 after the Maakhir and Puntland militia in the area left their positions.
Military of Somaliland
The Somaliland Armed Forces are the main military system in the Somaliland region along with the Somaliland Police Force, all of whom are part of the internal security forces and are subordinate to the military. (Photo: A BM-21 used by the Somaliland armed forces) Currently around 30,000 personnel are active in Somaliland. The Somaliland Armed Forces takes the biggest share of the government's budget with the police and security forces. The current head of Somaliland's Armed Forces is the Minister of Defense Mudane Adan Mire Mohammed MP.
Some military facilities were bought during Egal's administration to assist the military's usual duties and the necessary movements.

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