An Open Letter to Johnnie Carson Ass. Secretary for African Affairs : Stirring Hornet’s Nest in “Somaliland”

Mr. Assistant Secretary

We are writing to you as the Northern Somalia Unionist Movement (NSUM), whose members are mainly from the regions of Sool, Sanaag and Cayn (SSC), in NW Somalia (former British Somaliland). The absence of a functioning Somali government since the collapse of the Somali State in 1991 has led to the formation of a plethora of organisations dealing with various burning issues that are of particular concern to the whole country or to specific regions or clans. Our movement, for its part, is dedicated to conflict prevention and resolution in our own region and above all the defence of Somalia’s unity in the face of one clan which, through its hegemony, occupation and use of force, is imposing its unilateral declaration of secession on all the other peace-loving unionist clans in the region.

All Somalis believe, other than the secessionists, that the only sustainable solution for Somalia’s long-standing conflict is one that seeks to bring about a united, democratic, federal state that could live at peace with itself and also with its neighbours. Any other policy pursued by outsiders, be it the USA or others, that is not consonant with these objectives, is bound to backfire as happened in the past, with detrimental consequences for Somalia as well as for outsiders, including the USA.

Turning to your vision for our country, we have learned- both with optimism and trepidation- of your briefing on Somalia on September 24th in which you enunciated your government’s two-track policy towards our country: one directed at the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), and the second aimed at the self-proclaimed self-administering northern regions of Puntland and “Somaliland”. It is the track towards “Somaliland” which is of particular interest or concern to those who of us who hail from the area. Before we air the pros and cons of your new initiative, it is essential that you are under no illusion about what this “Somaliland” you are about to engage actually constitutes.



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