by Goth Mohamed Goth
The City of Sheffield has become the first city in the world to officially recognize Somaliland as an independent nation this after members of the city council unanimously passed by 83 members,2 voted against and 1 abstention earlier today.
Wednesday 2 April, Sheffield City Council voted to pass a motion recognising Somaliland’s right to self-determination, and calling on “the British government to recognise Somaliland as an independent state and to encourage other governments around the world to do the same.”
The historic debate was tabled by Councillor Mohammad Maroof who yesterday received over 2,000 signatures from the Somaliland community in Sheffield, petitioning the council to support recognition.
The Foreign Minister of Somaliland, the country’s most senior statesman aside from the President, Mohamed Bihi Yonis spoke in the Council Chamber, “Somaliland is a peaceful, democratic nation, which has been striving to be recognised by the international community since declaring independence in 1991. Sheffield’s decision will help strengthen our campaign for recognition.”
Councillor Neale Gibson (Lab) noted that “Somaliland fulfils all the criteria for statehood required by international law. A permanent population. A defined territory. A government. And the capacity to enter into relations with other states.”
Councillor Ben Curran (Lab) said “We hope that Sheffield’s support is just the first step to helping Somaliland fulfil its right to self-determination.”
Councillor Julie Dore (Lab) said “We fundamentally believe in Somaliland’s right to self-determination.”
The Energy Minister of Somaliland Hussein Abdi Dualeh thanked local Labour MPs Paul Blomfield and Clive Betts as well as City Councillors for their support of Somaliland’s independence.
Somaliland sees this as an important, breakthrough moment for their campaign to be recognised as an independent nation by the international community. Their Independence Day will be celebrated around the world on 18 May.
This Friday, 4 April, Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield will be speaking at ISRAAC, the Somali Community and Cultural Association, in support of Somaliland’s case for recognition.