World Eyes On Somaliland ‘A Quayside Independent State’ In A Hostile Environment.

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Following a four year development strategy and pragmatic foreign policy set up to guide the country forward and ensure that ongoing development efforts come with fruitful results that better satisfy the Somaliland citizens who have long been awaiting such a portrayal of development.

From 2010, the direction of foreign policy has been shifted and restructured that shaped the very political landscape of this nation as well as political and economic ties built with neighboring nations and the rest of countries and international organizations in the world.
Now a number of countries are behind the drape to prop up and lobby for Somaliland’s recognition as it has been acknowledged throughout the world as a beacon of peace and a template of progress, brilliant tasks being done are well-encouraged by the current government and are due to be followed by a number of nations whose flags are flying over the United Nations headquarters, lacking the human rights and democratic credentials.
Almost four years ago, Somaliland seemed a country which could go either way; its future was in the balance with both good and bad acting as a counterpoint to the other , but now, it seems a beacon of democracy in Africa with legitimacy to play a competitive role despite lacking membership in the regional and international organizations such as, IGAD, AU and the United Nations.
For many of human rights advocates and world nations that demand protection of human rights, Somaliland has been successful in all accounts as it managed to preserve international ethical standards for human rights preservation and became a model of democracy emerging from one of the most hostile environments in the world, the Horn of Africa.

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Somaliland stands at the apex of the Horn of Africa , a vital and potentially lucrative strategic location , Djibouti with its huge American base and home to international military bases is to the north west, to the west is Somaliland’s closest political partner ,Ethiopa ; to the east is Somalia’s semi-autonomous region of Puntland with its long coast now notorious for rampant piracy.
Somaliland has been operating as a quayside independent state for almost two decades unrecognized by the world but the eyes of the world turned to Somaliland once it successfully revealed how able it’s to hold peaceful and transparent elections rarely held in the whole continent.
The elections held at that time have been participated by political parties , one was the current ruling political party, Kulmiye , UCID and UDUB which for that moment had been in the cockpit with its leader, the former president Dahir Riyaale Kaahin.
People were casting the ballots secretly ,transparently and in unbiased manner giving their votes to someone whom they aim not to give them money nor promote corruption but someone whom they believed might bring more development and long sought-after issue, the recognition of Somaliland.
Ahmed Silanyo won the elections in a landslide victory and became president ; abruptly the ruling party at the time conceded defeat and congratulated Ahmed Silanyo for winning the elections.
At the inaugural ceremony of Ahmed Silanyo were present by international and regional diplomats who well encouraged the role that Somaliland’s people played in prompting peace and productivity ,Dahir Riyaale Kaahin was present at the inaugural ceremony with the current president who at that moment delighted by the peaceful and transparent approach he was coming to power.
It was memento for both leaders, the former leader was claiming he was all behind the work of holding nonviolent and see-through elections and his rival the current president was also claiming that he was the first president to elevate to the presidential office through such a democratic election with the largest turnouts and votes casted ever in elections held in Somaliland.
Since Ahmed Silanyo held office as the president-elect, a number of magnificent achievements have been portrayed by his government ranging from socio-economic fields to the political spectrum.
It first prioritized reviving the economy and narrowing the socio-economic gaps between the wealthy and the wanting, the Somaliland shilling has for the first time been used in Sanaag and Togdheer regions which its populace previously used the old Somali shilling left behind by the toppled military regime of Siad Barre.
Instantly, several development campaigns uniformly began in a number of regions in Somaliland which included renovation of roads, building hospitals, airports, public schools, stadiums, ports among many other efforts.
As part of the current leader’s package and pledges in the campaign era employment was one of the things he wished to portray progress, almost 10,000 new public sector workers have been employed piecemeal in four year as part of the five year term in office by the current president, Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud Silanyo.
Hundreds of roads were built up and until now, many of them are at the heart of the economical resources of Somaliland, still unexecuted are the roads between Oodweyne and Burao, Hargeisa and Beligubadled as well as the road linking Burao and Erigavo, an almost three hundred and fifty kilometer rough road that previously have been unable to construct by all the predecessor leaders of the current president Ahmed Silanyo.

On the foreign policy, for the first ever Somaliland opened talks with its neighbor, Somalia since it stood as an independent state from the rest of what was previously known as Somalia, although these have no longer been ensuing laudable upshots but it almost brought Somaliland close to the eyes of the world.
Talks were first held in the UK hosted by the UK government, at that moment both sides met a technical level for preparatory talks since then series of face-to-face talks were held between the leaders of the two nations.
The Turkish government hosted a number of talks, trying to broker a deal that can have a lasting consequence and of major importance both strategically and economically for the two nations.
There were very challenging issues that both governments were standing opposite one another particularly on Somaliland’s nationhood which Somaliland was indicating it as non-negotiable and intact while on the other hand, Somalia was claiming Somaliland as part of its territory.
Eventually, the two nations agreed to the terms of participating in the talks as a two neighboring entities and states (Somaliland and Somalia), and avoiding whatever that may consequentially prove against the ongoing talks.
Talks came to an abrupt end , when the Somalia government was repeatedly accused of backing efforts by a group that called itself as Khatuumo state which the Somaliland government branded as an anti-peace and violent group, Somalia’s government was also accused of not fulfilling and not considering the terms both sides agreed to- in the preceding talks held in Stanbul and Ancara.
Somaliland’s government is now reconsidering the talks while Somalia is constantly blamed for supporting violent groups avowing destabilization and escalation of violence in the territory of Somaliland, all fields of society and political figures expressed outrage of the backward steps taken by the incumbent president of Somalia in propping up cruel and violent individuals with the only aim of creating social unrest and fragmentation of the Somaliland society.
Cultural leaders and members of the ruling political party stated their disapproval, but the biggest condemnation came from the cultural leaders of Somalia whose words were swift and unforgiving urging their government to work on narrowing the social and economic gaps left behind by civil war in its own nation and deal with the internal threats in the small swathes of land it controls, rather than fuelling resentment and violence among people of Somaliland, a nation that already stood side by side with its neighbors, successfully deescalated its zone and peacefully promoted a civilian ,democratic rule more willingly than a dictatorship or a single party rule.

How did Somaliland’s people achieve living peace with their own neighbors?
Somaliland, an East African Democratic Nation, acknowledged throughout the world as a beacon of peace and template of progress has based its form of governance on democratic principles. With an executive, judiciary and legislative branch; a democratically elected President and parliamentarians representing their respective constituents in an upper and lower house of parliament- the foundation of this nation continues to hold dear the belief that only through democracy can equality, transparency /and justice persevere.
In local governments throughout the nation; elections took place earlier this year. In which thousands of candidates ran for a few hundred seats. Since it had been quite some time since the last local government elections, due to a number of unforeseen circumstances, the general public became more involved in taking local government affairs into their own hands.
The thousands of candidates ran from various political associations; many of which conceded defeat later on during their race to transpire into political parties. Yet, throughout the capital cities in all regions of Somaliland, the message was quite clear: It would be a tough race for many who thought that it would be a shoe-in candidacy.
In other developing nations, or underdeveloped for that matter, even neighboring nations in the Horn of Africa; holding transparent, just and non-violent elections are unprecedented. There are always claims of illegitimate conduct or for the least, violence that shakes the very ground upon which ballot-boxes rest. Nonetheless, with over 50 international election observers in Somaliland; and, civil society organizations such as SONSAF and Progressio participating along the way- the international community conveyed their unanimous support for Somaliland’s largely democratic and peaceful elections.
The democratization process of Somaliland is derived from the constitution; and, citizens of this nation understand the difficulties and hardships occurring in neighboring nation Somalia-therefore, even those who opposed the results of local government elections made it clear to their supporters that illegal actions are not a resolve-but rather, a detriment to political development.

The President of Somaliland, during his annual address to both houses of parliament, also pointed out the significance of local government elections held in Somaliland. He commended the hard-work, dedication and commitment of citizens, government and non-governmental organizations in playing their role in maintaining the peace, stability and promoting good-governance through an unbiased monitoring of local government elections.
The President of Somaliland, during his annual address to both houses of parliament, also pointed out the significance of local government elections held in Somaliland. He commended the hard-work, dedication and commitment of citizens, government and non-governmental organizations in playing their role in maintaining the peace, stability and promoting good-governance through an unbiased monitoring of local government elections.
Hence, after the completion of local government elections; with millions of dollars spent on posters, ads, mass text messages as well as other forms of electoral-marketing- the results came in, the nation remained calm and although unrecognized, Somaliland portrayed composure resembling the very nations it continues to lobby for support of its international recognition.

It was the former President of Somaliland, Ibrahim Igaal, that announced the acceptance of a multi-party political system in which he described as a key fundamental to the formation of a good-governing platform for Somaliland.
President Igal, at that time, also played an instrumental role in instituting a number of reforms that later-on became a catalyst for peaceful coexistence. In regards to the political arena, the late President believed that a multi-party system-at that time, and currently still unknown in many nations throughout the world-would transpire to become the checks-and-balances system needed to ensure the government always remained at the whim of its citizens.
Decentralisation of administration and political party races in regions.
However, after the multi-party system came into effect: it remained as such until President Ahmed Silanyo took office. The same three political parties, Kulimeye, UCID and UDUB that won during the initial race remained as the only three political parties. During his days as an opposition political party figure, and immediately after his election-win in becoming President of Somaliland; Ahmed Silanyo pledged to fulfill campaign promises and provide assistance and support to the establishment of a multi-party electoral race.
The news sent waves of jubilation across party-lines; supporters and opposition of the government all welcomed the decision and expressed optimism towards the race.
The administrative body for administering national associations are known as the political association registration committee. It was their job to provide the 15 or more political associations with a clear, concise and agreeable mandate to follow in order to figure out which political association would later on fill one of the nation’s three available political party positions.
Week after week, city to city, district to district, village to village; in every region of this nation, political associations were racing against the clock to mobilize supporters by any means necessary to withstand an elimination from the political arena.
UDUB and Nasiiiye did not qualify into the rounds; UDUB, a former political party that held one of the three available party positions now out of the race began to give morale to the political associations that perhaps these giants, or established parties, were actually obstacles that they could overcome.
However, time and time again; political associations were incapable of surviving the difficult criteria; whereas, other political associations began to persevere and even cause political experts to predict a definite change of landscape for the three available party positions.
In particular, Waddani Political Association, in its nationwide campaign; and, unheard of execution of public awareness and media initiatives- began to transcend into the top ranks of the competition.
Chairman of Waddani Political Association, Abdirahman Abdillahi Cirro, who was also the Speaker of Somaliland’s House of Representatives, began travelling to other nations to further mobilize support from the Somaliland diaspora communities elsewhere.
In the final days of the race, as ballot boxes were being collected, and citizen voices were being counted: the general public view varied immensely on exactly who took the three party positions; which association would become a party and who got eliminated in the final round.
With no acts of violence, no deaths, no looting or ransacking of public shops; the results were accepted. The people of Somaliland accepted the outcome of the their trusted registration committee, the national electoral commission, the international election observers, the number of civil society organizations who attended the monitoring groups and the voice of their fellow citizens.
Two political parties; UCID and Kulmiye remained. Whereas, Waddani Political Association became Waddani Political Party and transpired to become the third political party represented in the national political arena concurrent with the national constitution.

Promoting local food production and increasing self-sufficiency by Somaliland citizens to create free of hunger environment.

The government also prioritized increasing local food production as well as sustaining self-sufficiency by Somaliland and to try to narrow the gap between the wealthy and the wanting the government gave major priority on paramount issues including the agriculture, a key and major factor of economical maturity.
It also prioritized livestock production and export, now almost 2 million livestock are exported at the international sea port of Berbera where a large money flows in both for the government and the society, it has also been widely seen as a significant earner for Somaliland.
Fish production and consumption by Somaliland citizens have also been crucial to the ministry of fisheries and marine resources that stepped up a high-level campaign to lead the society into a direction where they can provide more opportunities to grasp for the future generations to come.

Somaliland Today Media Group : Monitoring Center.