France recognizes de facto Somaliland


I had various positions since Somaliland was created again. A national charter was adopted in 1993 in Borama and government structures came into existence. I became then a member of parliament representing my Sanaag region up to 1997 when late president Egal was elected.

Then I joined the government as minister of Foreign Affairs until 2001. When the political parties were created I became one of the founders of Kulmiye party. Lately I was chosen by president Riyale, taken into consideration my background, even though I belong to an opposition party and I did not leave my party. I was appointed as a representative in France.

And the Somaliland government has decided to open an office taken into consideration the position of France as one of the great powers. It is a force to reckon with in Europe and we have decided to introduce the French language into the educational system. Now French is beeing taught in the universities of Somaliland, both in Borama and Hargeisa. I just have arrived to open this office.

LNA. – It cannot be an official diplomatic representation because there is no recognition yet. What can be your status ?

MSN. – Recognition has got two aspects. You have de facto recognition and de jure recognition. What we have now is de facto recognition. France takes into consideration the fact that Somaliland has existed for 17 years and single-handedly was able to survive, has shown unbelievable resilience to survive on its own. To day without boast Somaliland is a force to reckon with in the region.

It has got the most democratic institutions, it has got the freest press, it has got a real functioning parliament and lot of things are controlled by the opposition. As you know we have separation of powers. The legislative, the judiciary and the executive. The parliament is controlled by the opposition which has got the majority. So it is something like cohabitation in a strange way on that part of the continent.

LNA. – You mentionned recognition de facto. Are you referring to the visits of French diplomats to Hargeisa last October and more recently ? Do you think this is a first step toward full recognition ?

MSN. – We think that there is a growing awareness worldwide that it is high time, it is overdue that the world has finally to grant Somaliland a legal, diplomatic recognition because the international community has realized that we have met all the conditions for a fully-fledged state, all the requirements as stipulated in the Montevideo Convention on recognition of states in the sense that we have fixed boundaries, permanent population with all the functional institutions of a state and we have legitimacy because we had several elections. We had presidential elections, we had parliamentary elections.

By the way we are unique in East Africa in the sense that we have a president who is there by the virtue of the fact that we had national elections with a thin majority of 80 votes. That has happened nowhere in the world.

And above all we are an oasis of peace and stability in the region. Thus number of people say this merits the respect of the international community.

LNA. – One strange thing is that while European countries like France and Great Britain have started to have relations, even if they are unofficial, inside the African Union they are waiting to do something. In your opinion will the African Union continue to wait and take no decision ?

MSN. – It is a very interesting question. In fact having officially made an application for membership in the African Union, a high level delegation was sent to Somaliland and finally a draft report was written, a very positive report about the situation which prevails in Somaliland.

It strongly recommends that Somaliland should be recognized and admitted into the African Union, that our country cannot be equated to Biafra or to any split state but that Somaliland is unique in the sense that it meets all the conditions for a fully-fledged state.

What Somaliland has done is fully in harmony with the charter of the African Union. This is now seriously debated by African countries and we think soon, inch’Allah, they will reach a positive decision.

LNA. – Beeing now in France do you plan to meet some personalities to inform them, in the ministry of Foreign Affairs for instance ?

MSN. – The Foreign Ministry has already agreed in February that Somaliland should be given the right to open an office to represent our country. Not fully diplomatic but a sort of ex officio.

LNA. – Like the Palestinian representation ?

MSN. – Something along that line. You call it officieux. The decision of recognition will be taken by France and by the European countries. France cannot take this decision alone but it will have to consult other European governments. France will be chairman of the European Union by the first of July.We think by then the Europeans will seriously debate the issue of the recognition of Somaliland and that depends on how much efforts we put in to convince and sell our gopel to Europeans.

LNA. – You have a lot of work ahead. Welcome to this country. We shall certainly meet again.

MSN. – Thank you


Source:les nouvelles