Somaliland Watch Group (SWG) on Ahmed Silanyo’s foreign policy
Somalilanders have been intensely protesting against President Ahmed Silanyo’s foreign policy largely because of its strong association with the dubious Somaliland/TFG talks. Somalilanders criticize Silanyo and his ministers for presuming to take upon themselves the task of interpreting the Somaliland Constitution however they see fit. Furthermore, citizens believe that Silanyo’s administration is involved in a campaign of deceit that polarizes opinion in Somaliland, transforms the legislature into a rubber stamp and impedes coordination among parliamentarians by keeping the assembly divided.
Somaliland Watch Group (SWG) endorses a foreign policy that is firmly rooted in both national interests and democratic values. The crafting of Somaliland’s foreign policy should be based on Somaliland aspiration to sovereign statehood and the popular legitimacy of Somalilanders, and contribute to the nation’s political cohesion. Negotiation should be between Somaliland and Somalia proper, not between Somaliland and the toothless Transitional Federal Government (TFG) as proposed in the highly controversial and ambiguous London Conference Communiqué, which will certainly complicate further an already convoluted political deadlock. In order to achieve Somaliland’s quest for international recognition, Somaliland should make a concerted effort to design the country’s foreign policy. It should be neither the prerogatives of Silanyo and his inexperienced ministers, nor the result of hasty and fake consultations manipulated by the government.
Somaliland policy towards Somalia should
·Be consistent with Somaliland Constitution : the 2001 plebiscite showed beyond doubt that Somalilanders reclaimed their pre-unity sovereignty
· Put Somaliland sovereign statehood above the economic interest. The government’s foreign policy, as evidenced by the Istanbul Conference, is clearly driven by the financial interest of Silanyo and his cronies.
· Accept Somalilanders’ objection to the ill-conceived talks between Somaliland and the TFG
The government should
· Build upon the foreign policy of Somaliland’s previous governments
· Reestablish relations with Somaliland’s sympathetic countries during the country’s 20 years experience in patient diplomacy
· Explore patient diplomacy and craft a solid foreign policy, not rhetoric and slogans such as “getting out of the container” and “working on a reengagement policy,” as though Somaliland were absent from the international and regional scene
· Demand the two states solution – negotiations between Somaliland and Somalia, a southern government with a democratic legitimacy
· Consult experts and former Somaliland diplomats capable of articulating Somaliland’s statehood narrative
· Hire experienced staff and start the institutional building of the foreign department
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Somaliland Watch Group is a non-profit, non-partisan group committed to strengthening democracy in Somaliland
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