The International Community Is Al-Shabaab’s Best Ally In Somaliland

HARGEISA, 1 March 2010 (Somalilandpress) – Since the international community often proclaims its opposition to terrorism in general, and al-Shabaab in particular, some readers may find the title of this editorial surprising, even counterintuitive. But we think the facts bear out our thesis. What are these facts? Well, it is true that the international community ritually makes statements against al-Shabaab and terrorism but their actual policies hurt Somaliland and help al-Shabaab.

How so? For one thing, the international community’s stance of not recognizing Somaliland has led to Somaliland’s diplomatic isolation and put Somaliland in a position where it has to fend for itself against terrorist activities without the benefit of the material and moral support that internationally recognized states receive to defend themselves from terrorism. Rather than helping Somaliland which is facing a serious terrorist threat, the international community has poured aid on Somaliland’s next door neighbor, Djibouti, which is using that aid to subvert and strangle Somaliland (the latest example of Djibouti’s anti-Somaliland activities is the article in the Saudi Arabian newspaper al-Riyadh, which has Djibouti’s fingerprints all over it, and which criticized the Saudi ministry of agriculture for importing livestock from Somaliland).

Second, the international community’s refusal to provide development aid to Somaliland has prevented Somaliland from accessing international grants and loans to re-build infrastructures such as roads and bridges. The international neglect validates the terrorist message that the international community in general, and Western countries in particular, want Muslims to live in miserable and intolerable conditions.

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Third, not only has the international community refused to extend development aid to Somaliland but even the efforts of Somalilanders to help themselves are being blocked by the international community. A salient example is the fact that Somaliland’s entrepreneurs are prevented from establishing a banking system in Somaliland because of the country’s unrecognized status which has led many businesses to locate their headquarters in other countries.

The international community has had two decades to correct its diplomatic, political, and economic abuse of Somaliland. Unfortunately, no such correction took place. Even the issue of piracy is being used by the international community to further isolate Somaliland and put it under Djibouti’s mercy. No wonder so many Somalilanders are fed up with the international community’s duplicity and double standards. This burgeoning and justified rage at the international community is making al-Shabaab’s message resonate with Somalilanders. The international community’s wrong-headed policies have already contributed to al-Shabaab’s control of most of the south. Similarly, the international community’s abusive policies toward Somaliland are increasing the appeal of al-Shabaab’s message in Somaliland. That’s what we meant when we said the international community is al-Shabaab’s best ally in Somaliland.

Source: The Somaliland Times


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