African Borders Are Based On Land, Not On Clans
The tribalistic officials and surrogates of Puntland Administration of Somalia routinely claim in
the media that Somaliland Borders are “Colonial Borders”. This blind, habitual denial of
Somaliland Republic borders indicates that these individuals are either ignorant of the historical
origin of the current borders of African states or intentionally mislead listeners (For being
hypocrites) for obsessively pursuing unattainable clan-based statehood that does not exist in
Africa or elsewhere.
The United Nations, African Union, or African States did not draw or make the current borders of
African States. All the borders of African independent states had been drawn by the colonial
powers of Europe at the end of the 19th century, mainly during The Partition of Africa held in
Berlin in 1884. The statehood, independence, and diplomatic recognition of each African State
are based on its own colonial borders. Likewise, all the borders of the Arab World, Asia, and
South America also emerged from colonial borders drawn mainly by Britain , France and Spain.
Similarly, the statehood, independence, and the expected diplomatic recognition of Somaliland
Republic are based on its own colonial borders drawn during British Somaliland Protectorate
era. In the East, Somaliland border runs along Growe and Bosaso. In the West, it runs along
Lowya’addo. In the South, Somaliland shares border with Ethiopia, and in the North, Somaliland
border runs along the Red Sea.
The borders of Somalia, Somaliland, and Djibouti have the same international status and
legitimacy because they were all drawn by European Colonial powers. Anyone who opposes the
legitimacy of Somaliland borders, its statehood, its independence, and its diplomatic recognition
is challenging the borders and sovereignty of all African independent states (54 states) whose
borders rose from their colonial borders or demarcations.
African borders are not based on lineage or clans but are based on land only. There are no
tribal borders or tribal states in Africa or anywhere else in this world, and there will never be
one. There are only national borders of states whose nations make-up consists of many tribes
or clans that share common borders and sovereignty. The following African Tribes clearly show
of how same African clans are distributed over different countries. The inhabitance or residence
of some African clans is as follows:
– Fulani Tribe: This tribe inhabits in Mali, Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon etc.
– Tuareg Tribe : This tribe has inhabitance in Senegal, Nigeria, Mali, Niger etc.
– Lunda Tribe: This tribe inhabits in Congo, Zambia, and Angola.
– Yoruba Tribe: This tribe has inhabitance in Nigeria, Benin, and Togo.
– Maasai Tribe: This tribe resides in Kenya, and Tanzania.
– Afar Tribe: This tribe inhabits in Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Djibouti.
– Berber Tribe: This tribe has inhabitance in Morroco, Tunisia, Libya, Algeria.
– Isaaq Tribe: This tribe inhabits in Somaliland, Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti.
– Samaroon Tribe: This tribe inhabits in Somaliland, Ethiopia, and Djibouti.
– Hawiye Tribe: This tribe inhabits in Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia.
– Darood Tribe: This tribe inhabits in Somalia, Somaliland, Kenya, Ethiopia.
– Rahanwein Tribe: This tribe has inhabitance in Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya.
– Essa Tribe: This tribe inhabits in Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Somaliland.
– Gabooye Tribe: This tribe inhabits in Somaliland, Somalia, Ethiopia.
All other continents have also tribes and clans similar to Africa who have inhabitance in different
countries. The internal security and peace of Africa rest on respecting, recognizing, and
implementing its current borders that rose from colonial borders. If an African country would
claim the tribe and its land located in another African Country, the continent would fall to
endless devastating, bloody clan wars, violence and anarchy. The African continent would not
exist as we know it today. The peace and stability of African states (or Asia and South America)
depend on respecting and recognizing colonial borders.
Some people confuse Somaliland Republic with Puntland Region of Somalia for either not
knowing the history of Somalis or for irrational political reasons. Puntland is an integral,
inseparable part of Somalia because it is located within Somalia’s historical borders with which
Somalia achieved independence on July 1st, 1960 from Italy while Somaliland Republic
emerged from British Somaliland Protectorate and achieved separately its independence from
Britain on June 26, 1960. Somaliland Republic has undeniable rights to claim independence,
statehood, and diplomatic recognition based on its own unique colonial borders like any other
African country while Puntland can not have such rights because it is part of Somalia and
shares colonial borders and nationhood with it.
Somaliland and Somalia are not the first two countries in this world whose union ceased to
exist. The Soviet Union that had 15 Socialist Republics created by the Bolshevik Revolution led
by Lenin in 1917 broke up after social upheavals and political discontent ended its existence
peacefully in 1989 with new countries emerging from it such as Georgia, Ukraine, Armenia,
Uzbekistan, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia etc. They are all recognized by the UN and international
community on the basis of their original borders existing before the union. The federation of
former Republic of Yugoslavia that had 8 countries broke up too after bloody civil wars between
1991-1995 and new countries such as Serbia, Croatia , Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo etc
emerged from its ashes. All are recognized diplomatically too for their original borders existing
before the federation. This shows that the unity among countries that share a union is not
sacred anymore if they disagree.
Some Somalis believe that Somaliland can not withdraw from the union with Somalia or even be
recognized claiming that Somalis share same language, religion, color, and culture. If this claim
were true for achieving union, the Arab World which has nearly 17 independent countries such
as Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi
Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, and Sudan, and that also share same
language, religion, culture, and color would not have separate independent sates. They do not
have any federal or union for disagreeing to share one.
Independent Republic of Somaliland was the first to pioneer the unification between Somaliland
and Somalia on July 1, 1960 in quest for Greater Somalia in the Horn of Africa. The union was
doomed after Somalia hijacked the governments for the thirty years of its existence (1960-1990)
and then committed atrocities against Somaliland people when they rebelled against injustices
and humiliation perpetrated against them. Only justice and fair power-sharing are the most
important factors for a union to survive and that is what Somalia failed to understand in the
years of the union.
The idea of “Greater Somalia” emerged in the middle of the Second World War [1939-1945] and
the main objective was to liberate the five Somali Territories and bring them together under the
same banner and government in the Horn of Africa. That idea of “Greater Somalia”
(Somaliweyn) is as elusive as “Greater Arab” today and no one knows when it will come true.
Only Somaliland and Somalia do not constitute “Greater Somalia” while excluding the other
three ( 3 ) Somali territories. The tribalist dictatorial regime of Siyad Barre buried the hope for
“Greater Somalia” for committing unforeseen atrocities and human rights abuses in Somaliland
and turning native tribes against one another. Siyad’s brutal military tribalistic regime is solely
responsible for the pains and disasters that Somalis face in the Horn of Africa and around the
Many who were responsible for the atrocities in Somaliland are calling today for the restoration
of the failed union that they ruined just for opportunistic, tribalistic reasons. Somaliland people
will not be deceived again with false umbrella of “Greater Somalia” to restore the doomed union.
Non-existent “Greater Somalia” will not be used again to have Somaliland people victimized
again by refugees and Southerners who want to rule their land at expense of its own people.
Somaliland belongs to Somalilanders only and will remain so forever.
The Federal Government of Somalia and Puntland Administration of Somalia are strongly
advised that peace and good neighborly relations between Somaliland Republic and Somalia
will only depend on respecting, recognizing, and implementing the border between Somaliland
and Somalia. Somaliland will stay independent of Somalia, and Somaliland people will not throw
their destiny away again but will defend it. Somaliland Borders are unalterable as any African
Ibrahim Hassan Gagale