A small formerly independent east African country, Somaliland Republic, joined their brethren in the South, formerly Italian colony in an emotionally charged, patriotic, and unconditional union in 1960. What happened during this unfortunate union is marked in the history books today. The failed union eventually led to the genocide of almost the entire population. Today, random discoveries of mass graves in unsuspected places in major cities are evidence of the atrocities committed by the former dictator Siad Bare. The entire Somaliland population was uprooted, infrastructures and buildings were leveled to the ground, lives of young and old were taken and so many orphans and widows were created. Eventually, the dictator was defeated and humiliated by ill-equipped, overnumbered but brave men and women under the leadership of the Somali National Movement (SNM). Somaliland regained its independence by dissolving the failed union with Somalia on May 18, 1991.
On May 31, 2021, democracy in Somaliland has taken a quantum leap forward transcending tribal representation to that of merit and qualification-based. This is a new phenomenon in the entire African continent. It was a peaceful, free, and fair election with all parties involved including stakeholders and candidates fully satisfied with the outcome. All international observers confirmed that the election met all election standards and exceeded expectations.
Three decades of self-reliance, resilience, and focused leadership to better the lives of their constituents led to today’s unparalleled achievements in holding a successful election in Somaliland, instead of becoming the wast basket of billions of dollars of donor nations in Somalia with nothing to show for it. The election was flawless, well-coordinated, on-schedule and on-budget as was promised by the National Election Commission to launch and hold the election in ninety days on May 31, 2021, and this was a promise kept.
It is time for the international community and world-leading democracies to start rewarding success and fulfill their global policies of promoting and supporting emerging democracies such as the Somaliland Republic.
Mohamed A Samatar
East African Political analyst