By Ibrahim Hassan Gagale
European Colonial Borders define the statehood and diplomatic recognition of each African country. Somaliland inherited its Internationally recognised borders from Somaliland British Protectorate as any other African Country did from its colonising power. There is no disputed land in Somaliland as there is no disputed land in any African country inhabited by different tribes kept together by European colonial borders. borders are based on land, not on lineage or tribal origin.
The internal security, stability, and peace of the continent of Africa rest on respecting, recognizing, and implementing its current borders that rose from colonial borders. If an African country would claim the tribe and its land located in another African country, the whole continent would fall to endless devastating, bloody clan wars, violence and anarchy. The African continent would not exist as we know it today if tribes were allowed to dismember African countries, rejecting land-based colonial borders. The peace and stability of African states as well as Arab World states and Asian countries depend on respecting and recognizing colonial borders.
Even though Somaliland is not recognized yet, it does not mean that it’s colonial borders is subject to change. Any tribe or group of people who try to dismember Somaliland territory or people commits treason and must pay price for such attempt. Organization of African unity and African countries must reject any claim of Somalia over parts of Somaliland for reasons of tribal origin or lineage in such a way violating its colonial borders unless they want to have their countries broken up by tribal secessionists encouraging borders based on tribal linage and discarding colonial borders that define their territory and national unity. Violating Somaliland Colonial Borders Is violating African Charter on Colonial Borders
The declaration of Organization of African Unity (O.A.U) in 1964 on African Borders was the formal acceptance of the existing colonial borders inherited from colonial powers on which independence and recognition of each African country were based including Somaliland. That declaration had nothing to do with unifications, federations, and unions between two or more African countries like the failed union between Somaliland and Somalia formed with chauvinism and haste in 1960.
A union or federation could be dissolved anytime if the sides disagree each restoring and retaining its original independence and borders. That declaration reinforces the rightful claim of Somaliland to be recognized as independent nation based on its colonial borders inherited from Somaliland British Protectorate on June 26, 1960. That declaration does not prevent Somaliland from withdrawing from the union with Somalia and restoring its independence and diplomatic recognition achieved on June 26, 1960 without the need of Somalia approval. If Uganda and Kenya share union today and after some time they disagree and dissolve that union, each country would still be independent, recognized nation on its own colonial borders. Senegal and Gambia founded federation or union in February 1982 calling it Senegambia. That union was dissolved in September 1989 after disagreement and each country retained its original independence and diplomatic recognition without changing the borders of Africa. So, why denying Somaliland of retaining that independence and recognition it had before the union with Somalia?
Somaliland is not a secessionist or breakaway region from Somalia but Somaliland just withdrew from the union with Somalia after Somalia grossly violated the union with injustices and atrocities against humanity in Somaliland (1960-1991). If Nyanza Province of Kenya, or Arusha Region of Tanzania, or Puntland province of Somalia break away from their own respective countries, that would make them secessionists, separatists, or breakaways and that would change or shift the colonial borders of Africa inherited from colonial powers and that would create instability and political unrest in the continent of Africa because these provinces share history and colonial borders with their own countries.
Violating Somaliland Colonial Borders is violating African Colonial Borders. So, African leaders and OAU must recognize Somaliland with its own colonial borders inherited from Somaliland British Protectorate to save African colonial borders from tribal secessionists who want to create tribal-based borders instead of respecting colonially inherited land-based borders on which the peace and stability of the continent depend. Somaliland does not need approval from Somalia for its recognition as no African country needed approval of its independence and recognition from another African country. Abandoning colonial borders in Africa would destroy current African states and lead to endless tribal wars of catastrophic proportions.
Ibrahim Hassan Gagale