The futility of Somalia’s claimed mandate over Somaliland-UAE military deal

(Mohamed Farah Abdi)

Somalia’s government is reportedly planning to file a legal case against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for setting up a military base in the unrecognized breakaway republic of Somaliland.

Press TV reported that:

the Somali government’s Auditor General Nur Jimale Farah announced Mogadishu’s plans to file the complaint against the UAE on charges of violating international law for entering a deal with the Somaliland government to establish the military installation in the port of Berbera.

Somalia will fail any legal claims against Somaliland. The government of Somaliland has the strongest legal case in the international law and conventions as its sovereignty is based primarily legal instruments.

There has never been an Act of Union at all between Somaliland and Somalia, and Somalia cannot claim that Somaliland is part of them legally.

Somaliland’s independence reinstates the colonial borders of the former British Protectorate of Somaliland and its bonders adhere to the principle of maintaining African territories to be colonial borders as indicated in the Consultative Act of the African Union.

The unification of Somalia and Somaliland failed to match all international legal standards for state building and territorial settlements.

The government of Somalia will not succeed in its claims over Somaliland’s agreements with UAE and others. Before the auditor general files any claims, I hereby convey a reminder that Somaliland will win on the basis of the following legal documents:

1/ The Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States is a treaty signed at Montevideo, Uruguay, on December 26, 1933.

2/ The Constitutive Act of the African Union, signed on 11 July 2000 at Lomé, Togo.

3/ Protocol to the African Charter on Human And Peoples’ Rights on the Establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, June 10, 1998.

4/ The Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, also known as the “New York Arbitration Convention” or the “New York Convention 1958”.

5/ UN Resolution on United Nations Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples (Adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, 14 December 1960).

6/ UN Resolution on Recognition by the United Nations of the Representation of a Member State (Adopted by the 325th plenary session of General Assembly on 14 December 1950).

7/ Charter of the United Nations, Adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, 26 June 1945.

8/ Convention on the Law of Treaties: Vienna Convention on Succession of States in respect of Treaties (Signed at Vienna, 23 August 1978).

9/ Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (Signed at Vienna, 23 May 1969, Entered into Force, 27 January 1980).

10/ Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties between States and International Organizations or between International Organizations (Signed at Vienna, 21 March 1986).

Somaliland has the strongest justification over other 23 unrecognized states as it’s the only one with de facto control of its territory, obliged to principle of Consultative Act of the African Union plus regal territory in 1960.

The people of Somaliland voted their constitution, which clearly preserves sovereignty of Somaliland, that 97% of them determined their country’s self-determination.


*The author, Mohamed Farah Abdi, is a Project Manager at the Somaliland Development Fund (SDF) of the Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR), in Hargeisa, Somaliland. He can be reached at [email protected]

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