Somaliland Foreign Policy in Djibouti is the right Strategy;- Opinion

Somaliland wants to be recognized by the international community, and that requires short term and long term strategy to make more and close friends, including (1) determining opportunities where Somaliland can contribute to the interest of the international community particularly in the Horn, (2) showing compassion or making emotional connection with the people of those nations during difficult times, and most importantly (3) finding opportunities that will help to improve the standard of living for Somaliland people, (4) demonstrating that Somaliland recognition will be for the best interest of the international community as much as the interest of Somaliland. The Somaliland foreign policy must be based on a solid and calculated strategy that will help to make close diplomatic relationship that benefits our people with government in Africa, Middle East , and the Western world. 

Somaliland is a young nation, which is mature and capable of handling complicated relationship with its neighbors; Somaliland can have serious disagreements with Djibouti on certain matters, while forging close relationship with Djibouti on other matters, that is what Diplomatic relationship means, unlike personal relationship where you can either have someone as a friend or not, in diplomatic relationship, nations have strong disagreements
on one or more issues, while building close relationships on other unrelated matters.

 I believe Kulmiye Party and its leadership, being the first to announce its Foreign Policy position on the Djibouti-Eritrea conflict, made the right policy decision and demonstrated skills necessary to articulate policy that states to the people in Djibouti and their government that Somaliland will stand with them against the attacks from Eritrea, despite the current position the Djibouti government about Somaliland recognition. This policy articulated by Kulmiye Party and supported by Somaliland governments will touch the hearts and minds of the people in Djibouti, and it will certainly plant the seed that Somaliland cares about the people of Djibouti today, and will induce them to imagine if Somaliland were a recognized nation, it would have been able to support Djibouti much more effectively in the Horn of Africa.  

Somaliland government has taken similar policy position in this case, and it also supported the Ethiopian government regarding its policy towards Somalia in the past, which had similar effect and made Somaliland closer to Ethiopian government and people. Also, Ethiopia has a long conflict with Eritrea and appreciates Somaliland policy to support Djibouti against Eritrea . Kenya is very closely watching Somaliland actions and foreign policy positions to determine its future policy course towards Somaliland . In a nutshell current Somaliland policy towards Djibouti has shown the governments in the region that Somaliland will help them to protect their interest on regional matters like this one, despite their existing position on recognition. Significant progress in democracy has also earned good reputation for Somaliland in the Western world and this policy towards Eritrea will please them too, and will further support the notion that the international community will be better off to have recognized Somaliland in the region, instead.


Chairman Faysal and The Somaliland Times editorial supported the policy that Somaliland leaders and government should be against the people and government of Djibouti and rather support Eritrea to punish Djibouti for its position about Somaliland recognition and the multiple times it has opened and closed the Somaliland office in Djibouti. This policy is short-sighted and is based on punishment strategy, which is consistent with how an individual behaves rather than a young nation like Somaliland . Somaliland is not in a position to punish any country on the contrary Somaliland desperately needs close friends in the region and in the international community. It appears to me Kulmiye’s policy position is the right policy and it is based on long term strategic thinking to protect the interest of the Republic of Somaliland and I congratulate Kulmiye for providing leadership in formulating this foreign policy and I congratulate Somaliland government for aggressively adopting this policy as the national policy. The strategy proposed by Kulmiye will help to make close and more friends for Somaliland and will help international government to see Somaliland recognition as a policy that will protect their interest in the region.


Rashid Nur

Somaliland American Council