Understanding War, Nationalism and State Trajectories as Processes Part 3


Understanding War, Nationalism and State Trajectories as Processes of Institutional and Socio-Cognitive Standardization, PhD Thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science 14250 International Journal of Development Research, Vol. 07, Issue, 08, pp. 14248-14259, August, 2017

conflict and peacemaking agenda setting. The first crucial task the elders picked was reconciliation and confidence buildingbetween communities whose relations has been damaged by the war.

23 “Somaliland peacemaking and peace- building process were all decided by the communities’ elders, not the state each clan has an elder or elders who may decide either
war or peace.

24” The grass-roots thus actively participated in the quest of peace-building and conflict transformation. Such efforts included the reduction of widespread insecurity and
outbreak of civil wars, the Guurti peacemaking and peacebuilding interventions were all fundamental and durable.

Reflections on Somaliland’s perspective on peace and development in the last 20 years show that the traditional elders played the central and legitimate role in creation of
peace in Somaliland.

25 Background The Somali Republic was born in 1960 with the mergerbetween the Somaliland British Protectorate and Italian Somalia. It is inescapable to mention that the problem of
Somalia started in the beginning of the attempted union.

The nationalist fervour with which the North rushed into union with the South in 1960 quickly turned to disappointment and dissatisfaction when it became apparent that their voice in the government of the Republic was marginal.

26 Somalipoliticians, scholars and traditional elders argue that the
integration of the two states was not appropriately managed. They further argue that the merger failed in its inception and it led to the political disintegration and social polarization of the

The administrative apparatus was also characterized by discrepancies between north and south. 27 During the establishment of the merger of the two states, there had been strong political and social emotions of Somali irredentism attached with Pan Africanism concept which pushed for the people of Somaliland to advocate enthusiastically the merger
and the establishment of the greater Somali Republic in the
Horn of Africa.

As observed earlier, the roots of the Somali culture of conflict should be sought in colonial history and troubled state which obtained in the immediate postindependence period.

28 The idea of a Greater Somalia had a uniquely emotional interest for Somaliland following a shock announcement early in 1955 that British Government had signed an agreement with Ethiopia to cease administering 25,000 square miles (65, 000 kilometres) of Somaliland
grazing lands to the south and southwest to Somaliland’s
border with Ethiopia.

29 Unfortunately, the anticipated union between Somaliland and Somalia had not succeeded to create a viable state of the Somali Republic. The people of Somaliland
boycotted the provisional constitution of the Somali Republic as spelt out in the 1961 national referendum.

In 1969, the coup of Mohamed Siyad Barre further contributed to the political
23 Gedamu Kalewongel Minale, How did Somaliland emerge as a stable and peaceful polity, International Commentary, 2013 24 Interview with Yusuf Osman Abdille (Sharci) poet and independent intellectual 201725 Adam Haji- Ali Ahmed, Internal and External challenges to peace for Somaliland, International Commentary, 2013 26 Ahmed M I Egal, Briefing Paper on Somaliland and Somalia,2002 27 Dominik Balthasar,

SOMALILAND Understanding War, Nationalism and State Trajectories as Processes of Institutional and Socio-Cognitive Standardization, PhD Thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science 28 Dr. KINFE ABRAHAM, SOMALIA CALLING – Crisis of Statehood and the Quest for Peace, 2000, Ethiopian International Institute for Peace and Development
29 Ministry of Information, Somaliland: Demand for International Recognition – A Policy Document of the Government of the Republic of Somaliland, www.Somalilandlaw.com

disintegration in the Somali Republic where people from Somaliland particularly faced more oppression, atrocities, injustice and economic segregation. During the failed union the people of Somaliland not only encountered political marginalization but complete isolation, they became the second class of citizens and finally experienced ethnic

30 The social equality and citizenship replaced by nepotism and favoritism. In the meantime, it is irrefutable that Somali Republic had not collapsed in 1991 but the political disintegration rooted since the formation of the Somali Republic.

Its flag has five stars, meaning that all Somali territories will have a one nation state and this concept of statehood did not take into account that European colonial partition in the Horn of Africa was totally irrevocable legally.

Indeed, the choice of a five pointed white star on a light blue background as the national flag was a reference to the five countries among which the Somali people and their lands had
been divided.

31The colonial legacy has contributed to a political identity crisis across the Somali-speaking communities because it is difficult to differentiate Somalis that live in Kenya, Somaliland, Somalia, Djibouti and Ethiopia since they share kingship,religion, language, and clan.

They also share some cultural and historical ties and the intermarriage factors establish more social linkages and supportive environment to each other. Therefore, seeking unification was merely difficult and
obscured the regional stability and economic development.

In view of this imposed partition, it was hardly surprising that the Somali was born to be irredentist, i.e. with the ambition of unifying the entire Somali nation into one nation state.

32 But the reality was that the Somali Republic faced tremendous challenges to implement in this notion of statehood that has intimidated the colonial decision of partition.

This Somali nationalism also undermined the merger between Somaliland British protectorate and Italian Trust territory of Somalia. These were the only two states that accepted the unification aimed at attracting the rest of the three regions of Djibouti Somaliland, Somaliland Ethiopia and Kenya Somali region.

Somalia’s irredentist agenda, which first emerged in the late
1950s, acquired a new momentum with the coming to power
of Mohamed Siad Barre in 1969.33. History also portrays that
the Somali Republic was born alongside the Cold War era. It is suggested that during this period, international politics exploited underdeveloped countries located in the strategic military sites.

This bipolar international politics between competing Soviet Union and USA had enormous impact on the Somali Republic. Ironically, the 1977-8 Somalia-Ethiopian War, enabled by Soviet support, was the severing point in the friendship between the Cold War nations.

34 The Horn of Africa and in particular Somalia became a match – ball between the United States and the Soviet Union.35 Moreover, the Somali region as a whole is also often subject to proxy war between
Ethiopia and Egypt over utilization of the Nile waters continues…


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