Somaliland's Quest for International Recognition: A Closer Look at Recent Developments

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HARGEISA, Somalia - In a significant development for the breakaway region of Somaliland, President, Musa Bihi Abdi, announced last week that Ethiopia is set to recognize Somaliland as an independent nation.

The announcement was made during the celebrations of Somaliland's 33rd anniversary of its self-declared independence from Somalia.

So far, there has been no official statement from the Ethiopian government confirming the upgrade in diplomatic relations. However, in a recent round of appointments of Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassadors announced by Ethiopia's President Sahle-Work Zewde, Ethiopia's envoy to Hargeisa, Delil Kedir Bushra, was included among the newly appointed Ambassadors. Delil Kedir has served as Ethiopia's envoy to Somaliland since March last year.

The appointment did not specify if Ambassador Delil would remain in Hargeisa, leaving the question of Ethiopia's recognition of Somaliland's independence unanswered. This ambiguity has led to a state of anticipation and speculation in both Somaliland and Ethiopia.

Somaliland, a former British protectorate, declared its independence from Somalia in 1991 after a devastating civil war. Since then, it has been striving for international recognition, which would open doors to international aid and investment. However, despite having its own currency, legal system, and government, Somaliland's quest for recognition has been a long and challenging one.

The potential recognition from Ethiopia, a key regional player, would be a significant step forward for Somaliland. It would not only provide a much-needed boost to its economy but also set a precedent for other countries to follow suit.

However, the road to recognition is fraught with challenges. Somalia still considers Somaliland as part of its territory, and any move by Ethiopia could potentially strain its relations with Mogadishu.

Furthermore, the African Union and the United Nations have yet to recognize Somaliland, and any unilateral action by Ethiopia could be seen as a violation of these organizations' principles.

As the situation unfolds, the international community will be watching closely. The recognition of Somaliland by Ethiopia, if it happens, could have far-reaching implications for the region and beyond. It would not only redefine the geopolitical landscape of the Horn of Africa but also set a precedent for other regions seeking self-determination.

GAROWE ONLINE

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