I was listening to the BBC World this morning and a piece about Somaliland came on. I didn't listen to the whole thing, but the next time it was on, I did.... For those who don't know where Somaliland is, it is part of Somalia, which is as far east in Africa as you can go. On the horn bit on the left side, looking at a map of the world. It is interesting in that they run their own affairs, separately from the rest of Somalia and actually is one of the few democratic African territories. The rest of Somalia is in a real state. Completely overrun by warlords and if there is a government there, they are probably finding it hard to govern their own families, let alone a whole country.
So, here a some forward thinking people who want a stable state where people can live in peace. What could be better than that? Unfortunately, no one in the world is willing to recognise them as an independent nation. This seems to be because by recognition, it may be giving the green light to other regions of Africa to fight for independence. One thing on Somaliland's side is that they were a British protectorate during the colonial era and therefore can compare themselves to Eritrea, which won independence from Ethiopia in 1993. Italy, the former colonial master of the Somalia seem to be against independence also, maybe because they don't want to piss off the government of Somalia? Wow, that would be a mistake.... not!
Now, for the record, I am not a particular fan of Democracy. I am sure most people in this world would rather have food, shelter and safety over freedom. Ask the thousands of dead Iraqis and their families if they are happier after Operation Iraqi Freedom. I think you will find that they are not. If everything is great, then the opportunity to take active part in your own governing should be a right, but only if everything else a human needs is there first. However, in this case, we have a state (or territory if you like) which is actually making things for its' people better, while the rest of the nation continues to go to hell. I reckon they deserve a chance to be recognised by other nations. This can only be good for the 3 million or so residents of this part of the world? Maybe Taiwan could get involved. I hear they are looking for nations to recognise them as the legitimate government of China. Taiwan could recognise Somaliland and provide aid, and in return Somaliland could send a diplomatic mission to Taiwan and lay a wreath at Jiang Jie She's (Chiang Kai Shek) tomb in downtown Taipei. That's a good trade I reckon!
San Nakji for President!