January 3 1, 2022
To: House of Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
From: Awdalland State
Subject: January 18, 2022 Motion to Recognize Somaliland
MP’s look at Somaliland through various lenses. Some have studied Somaliland’s colonial history and its historical ties to Britain. Others have given special attention to the accomplishments of Somaliland since seceding from Somalia. Still others have considered how Somaliland might further advance Britain’s interests in Africa, especially in regard to trade competition with China and Russia in the Horn of Africa. These issues make it clear that various Somali tribal and foreign interests can merge or diverge and create competition over Somaliland’s future. It is worth noting what issues were discussed in the motion; and how removed the debate was from what is actually happening in Somaliland at this point in time.
The politics of Somaliland are not monolithic. There are competing views regarding Somaliland’s secession. Various Isak clans disagree with Somaliland’s decision to secede from the rest of Somalia. The hardliners believe that secession is the way to go. Others have opted to be part of Somalia. In fact, the dissenting groups have the lion’s share of positions in the current federal government of Somalia. The Isak alone have 26 members in the lower house of parliament and 8 in the Upper House of Parliament in the Federal Republic of Somalia. In addition, the Speaker of the Upper House of Parliament is from this clan. The Deputy Prime Minister of the Federal Somali government is from this clan. The Minister of Constitution and Communication position is also held by this clan. A large number of people from this clan have made Southern Somalia (primarily Mogadishu) their home.
Another significant faction of the clan, collectively known as Garhajis, have organized under the umbrella of Unity Again to convince their fellow clansmen that secession is not the answer to a political settlement between the north and south. Heavyweight figures are leading this group, several of which have served in previous Somali governments. They have been reasoning with their own clans to change course after thirty years of limbo in the process of seeking statehood.
Prominent money remittance agencies such as Dahab Shiil, and business tycoons from the clan such as Indha Deero, Omar Company, and Harbi (Xarbi) have been investing in Southern Somalia, especially in real estate in Mogadishu. Southern Somalia and Northern Somalia have become more integrated in finance, trade, air transport, land transport, all of which have led to greater and freer movement of people and goods. Young men from the north are going in droves to the South to seek employment. Many are joining government institutions in the military, police and other organs of the state.
Other non-Isak clans in the north such as the Gadabursi, Dhulbahanta, Warsangeli and Isse have always been unionist. All these groups have been left out of the political processes of the north in any meaningful way. There are individuals from these clans who are part of the system but who do not have the blessings and direction of the tribe. The political organs in the north have become unattainable among these groups. The northern administration is structured as a tribal hegemony or fiefdom. All prominent positions are held by the Isak tribe. The political structure of the northern administration is designed to never give significant leverage to any of these groups. The power structures within Somaliland are not reflective of democracy, multi-party systems, or respect for human rights. They do not honestly reflect conditions on the ground.
The Dhulbahanta are in an armed conflict with the Isaak, as part of their territory is controlled by the militias from the Isak administration. Dhulbahanta control several towns in the north including the town of Buuhoodle, which is entirely administered by them. The Warsangeli and the Isse completely disapprove of the system. Warsangeli have formed their own state and are working closely with the federal government of Somali. The Gadabursi continue to identify with the federal system of Somalia. Like the rest of Somalis, they have a share in the state organ within the Federal Republic of Somalia.
This is a synopsis of what is happening in the Northern Somalia (Somaliland). The twenty members of parliament have given a very biased assessment of the situation because they are not well grounded in the Somali political scene. The other Somalis mentioned above who live in in the north also have a stake in the system. Their views cannot be overlooked. They will not acquiesce to the agenda of Gaven Williamson and his cohorts in the Lower House of Parliament. Their constituencies do not govern Somalia; neither can they determine its fate. The Lower House of the British Parliament would need a much more balanced view of all the issues relevant to prospective recognition for Somaliland.
I note that your own government officials, including Minister for Europe Chris Heaton-Harris present in the motion and speaking on behalf of the Minister for Africa-the Under Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Develoment Affairs, Vicky Ford, presented the British government’s position on the subject of recognition. These officials do not recognize Somaliland as an independent state. We value this position and we hope that this body will not interfere in the political affairs of the Somali Federal Republic.
The people of Awdalland State reiterate and agree with the official position of the British government not to recognize Somaliland. We also request that Gaven Williamson cease and desist from bringing forth motions in the Lower House of the British Parliament regarding this issue. He is in effect taking the lead in an effort to dismember Somalia. It is vital for him to know that his constituency is a collection of different groups from the north. Giving preference to one group over others is a disservice to British nationals of Somali origin. Finally, we hope the rest of the other MP’s will give a balance hearing to all the issues instead of acting as a mouthpiece for a select group of individuals from the North that is pushing for Britain to recognize Somaliland.
Secretary of Awdalland State Jaafar M Sh Jama