Horn of Africa: Islam, Clan and Democracy can be united ‘Somaliland’

Somalilanders voting to choose next president

To democratize the Muslim world is a fate of fate. The election in Somaliland on the Horn of Africa is a concern even for Sweden. Over one million refugees have returned thanks to peace and democracy.

 Somalia. Most people think of refugees and violence. A month ago, the worst terrorist attack occurred in the country’s history in the form of a massive bombing in the capital of Mogadishu. 276 people were killed. The authorities once again put the blame on the Islamist group al-Shabab. Despite the misery, history will still be written in Somalia on November 13, 2017.
Parallel with the chaos there is a region in the country that has managed to create lasting peace. In northern Somalia, the outbreak of Somaliland is unfortunately no country in the world yet recognized. Tired of the insanity of the war, a majority of the area’s population gave a free choice in support of a declaration of independence in 1991.

On November 13, this Muslim and clan-based society goes to the polls to re-elect president. The election provides hope and serves as an example of democracy functioning, even in war-torn parts of the Muslim part of the world. In dark times when millions of people fly wars and dictatorships in Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq and Iran, role models are needed. The current President Ahmed Mahamed Mahamoud Silanyo, a liberal economist educated in Britain, is self-employed by his office for seven years. In this part of the world voluntary power transfer does not belong to the vanities.

Three candidates from three parties compete for the presidential post. According to the constitution, the president and vice president may not come from the same clan and all parties must have local departments in the different clans to register a party. Everything to overcome contradictions. The intense electoral movement consists, inter alia, of broadcast broadcasts. You attack their political opponents with words, not weapons. 60 international election observers are invited and biometric equipment, recognizing registered voters’ eye iris, should be used in the polls to avoid electoral fraud.

To Somaliland, over one million refugees have returned, thanks to the peace and ambition that human rights will apply to all residents. For more than a quarter of a century, democracy has been built. A parliament, an independent judiciary, university, an army and coast guard to protect citizens against Islamist terrorism and pirates has been created. You are looking for free elementary education for both boys and girls. An authority works actively against female genital mutilation that is prohibited. All of this has been achieved on its own, almost without assistance and with the help of an engaged diaspora that lives all over the world. Not least in Sweden and in Gothenburg.

The crucial reason why democracy is possible in Somaliland is that fundamentalist Islam has not gained ground in society. But Saudi Arabia and Arab Emirates are waiting for the pants to fill the country with mosques and ministers. The democratic world must prevent it from happening.

The Somali politicians I met, including my two visits to the country, want to attract serious investors and create a functioning market economy. They want to continue to fight recruitment to Islamist al-Shabab. Not being an independent country in a conflicted region makes it difficult to attract investors even though Somaliland has natural resources like oil and fish. It is therefore unreasonable that Democracy Somaliland is in a forced marriage with the Somalia conflict.

The African Union (AU), which collects over 50 African states, has found Somaliland to meet the criteria for independence. Nevertheless, no country has yet recognized the Crime Republic. The EU, heavily influenced by its colonial past, has pointed out that the AU must take the first step. But several African countries, which themselves are dictatorships, are braking.

Sweden, which has acknowledged Palestine , should push the EU circle to Somaliland be considered independent. The EU is cofinancing the election, but the passivity about independence issues slowly drives Somaliland against radicalization. Democratization of the Muslim world is one of today’s destiny. The choice being held today, far away from Sweden, is therefore an issue for us as well. In a global world it concerns all democrats.

by: Jenny Sonesson

Source GP.SE

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