New countries in Africa

Southern Sudan is the latest country in Africa, after a referendum gave the result that 99 percent voted for secession from Sudan. I think this is good, I’m for self-government. The international community has also largely applauded the new state.

Southern Sudan has many problems, and it is not difficult to imagine that the country collapses. Yet the country is accepted in the international family. I am therefore rather surprised that Somaliland is not accepted in the same way. Somaliland seceded from Somalia in 1991. Since that time the country has been mainly in inner peace – as opposed to the rest of Somalia. It has conducted elections and peaceful changes of power. The state has control and prevent pirates to establish themselves in the area.

There have been border disputes with Puntland, another autonomous part of Somalia, and the boundaries are not completely accepted percentages. It can be a challenge for a new state.

However, I think it is time that Norway and others take Somaliland into the family of nations on line with others. Could we do it with Kosovo, South Sudan, and eventually with Palestine, it is about time and to do it with this democratic Muslim country? I think this is the community that need our support – and deserve it.

The counter-argument is that you open up a whole Pandora’s box of these processes if you start.  The borders in Africa are based on colonial boundaries and not always sensible from cultural or linguistic boundaries. I do not think there will be a big problem, mainly because current Somaliland was a separate colony – British Somaliland – and that, therefore, may well say that there is still the colonial era, boundaries that count.

What do you say Gahr Støre and Clinton?

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