Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Somaliland offers hope to the Horn of Africa

Financial Times - May 3rd 2009

Sir

Your otherwise prescient editorial about the hopelessness of Somalia (“Tackling pirates the hard way”, April 29) omitted one of the few options that could actually bring some stability to the Horn of Africa: greater international engagement with Somaliland.

Having enjoyed a brief period of independence in 1960, this former British protectorate broke away from the Somali Republic in 1991 and since then has constructed a relatively peaceful, democratic and secular society that could scarcely be more different from the chaos and oppression elsewhere in Somalia. Presidential elections later this year will mark another chapter in Somaliland’s political maturity.

Somaliland’s achievements need to be acknowledged and rewarded, not necessarily by the granting of full statehood, although the rush to recognise Kosovo as an independent country exposes a certain international double standard in this regard.

Charles Tannock
Conservative, London
European Parliament