Op-Ed: The rights of the self-determination (a case of Somaliland)

Somaliland flag photo credit Photographer Yusuf Dahir
The rights of the self-determination (a case of
What is the self-determination according to the international law?
The concept of self-determination is virtually as old as the concept of statehood itself, since its inception, self-determination has undergone dramatic alterations in many aspects, from an idea concept initially conservatively applied to issues such as decolonisation, to a justification for the break-up of multi-ethnic states. The concept may now extend towards indicating a right of self-determination for indigenous people. The purpose of this article is to identify the traditional approaches to self-determination, and to attempt to explain and analyze the changes this concept has undergone. 1
A general definition of the right of self-determination may be framed as
(I) Self-determination is a right of peoples who do not govern themselves;
(ii) The identity and desires of such peoples may be ascertained through various means, such as international commissions of inquiry, and facts, Such as the actual struggle of a people to assert its identity; and
(iii) While self-determination may take various forms, including continued Association with an existing state, a strong preference is placed on the Bestowal of statehood on the people in question. 2
Self-determination denotes the legal right of people to decide their destiny in the International order. Self-determination is a core principle of international law, arising from customary international law, but also recognized as a general principle of law, and Enshrined in several number of international treaties. For instance, self-determination is protected in the United Nations Charter and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as a right of “all peoples.” 3
  • Freedom
  • Authority
  • Support
  • Responsibility
  • Confirmation
The scope and purpose of the principle of self-determination has evolved significantly in the
20th century. In the early 1900s international support grew for the right of all people to self-determination. This led to successful secessionist movements during and after WWI, WWII and laid the groundwork for decolonization in the 1960s.
Contemporary notions of self-determination usually distinguish between internal” and “external;” self-determination, suggesting that; self-determination; exists on a spectrum. Internal self-determination may refer to various political and social rights; by contrast, External self-determination refers to full legal independence/secession for the given from the larger politico-legal state.
Somaliland is an ancient territory of Somalia located in the Horn of Africa. The international
Community does not recognize its self-declared independence in 1991 from Somalia and its
Constitution of 30 April 2000 (partly based on Sharia law) Ethiopia borders to the west and south, Djibouti to the northwest, Puntland to the east. It faces, Yemen On the other side of the Gulf of Aden. Its capital and principal city is Hargeisa.
Somaliland was an internationally-recognized internationally-recognised country for 5five days despite the local government declaration of independence in 1991, Somaliland is not an internationally recognized country. It is a self-declared republic that has been seeking recognition since..
What makes this most interesting is that, for a brief period of five days in 1960, when
Somaliland became independent from the UK, the country existed as an independent state.
However, it then agreed to join the rest of Somalia who had been under Italian rule until then To form a greater Somalia.
Constitutional promises made by the south were never fulfilled and the central government of Somalia proceeded to crush and oppress the Somaliland clans and Population, taking unfavourable decisions that benefited Mogadishu. Eventually, when Bare regime collapsed in 1991, Somaliland took the opportunity to grab Independence again. Despite the complete lack of international aid, World Bank support and budgets to manage a new country, Somaliland has managed to nurture its own government, parliament Constitution, elections, the rule of law and army. The last elections Took place in November 2017 and were considered democratic and peaceful. Because the country is not recognized, neither is its passport. The Somaliland Passport looks the part and has everything to be an official passport. However, you but you cannot have a passport from a country that does not exist. Somali landers travel with their passport together with Belgium, the UK, France, Kenya, South Africa, and South Sudan and, since early 2018, the UAE.
This convention is called Montevideo convention on the rights and duties of the state, and
Convention was signed at Montevideo, on 26 December 1933December1933 entered
Into force 26 December 1934.
Article 1 of explains the elements of the statehood
The state as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications
  1. a) A permanent population
  2. b) Defined territory
  3. c) Government
  4. d) Capacity enters into to relations with other states.
Does the Somaliland fulfil the requirements of statehood?
A permanent population
Does the Somaliland have a permanent population?
The country of Somaliland has a permanent population according to a 2017 survey, the
Somaliland population is estimated at 3.7 million peoples who live in all regions of the
Country. The Somaliland population is stable, as the society of the world grows, so does the
Somaliland population increases from time to time.
Defined territory
Does the Somaliland have defined territory?
Somaliland constitution article 2 sub (1, 2) which referendum of the Somalilanders in 2001
Define clearly the scope of the territory of the state.
  1. The territory of the Republic of Somaliland covers the same area as that of the former
Somaliland Protectorate. It is and is located between Latitude 8 39;’ to 11 39;’ 30 39;’ north of the equator and Longitude 42 39;’ 45 to 49 39;’ East; and consists of the land, islands, and territorial Waters above and below the surface, the airspace and the continental shelf.
  1. The Gulf of Aden borders the Republic of Somaliland is Bordered by the Gulf of Aden to the north; Somalia to the east; the Federal Republic of Ethiopia to the south and the west; and the Republic of Djibouti to the North West.
The third element of the statehood criteria is significant government the government
Consists of three branches which are:
  1. A) Executive
  2. B) Legislation
  1. c) Judiciary
The separation of the powers of these branches are as set out in the Constitution. Each branch
Exercises independently the exclusive powers accorded to it under the Constitution.
The state has an Executive Branch, which is separate and independent of the legislative and
The judicial branches.
  1. a) Executive
Somaliland Executive Branch (sometimes referred to as “the Government ;”), shall be Headed by the President and shall consist of:
  1. The President;
  2. The Vice-President;
III. Council of Ministers appointed by the President.
  1. b) Legislation
This branch consist
 House of Representatives
 House of elders
  1. C) Judicial Branch consist
  2. District Courts (first instance)
  3. Regional courts (second instance)
  4. The Appeal Courts (based on each region)
  5. The Supreme Court
Constitutional court
High court of justice
  1. Military Courts (which has its own structure) following accordance with the constitution Article “104;”
Capacity enter into relations with other states
Due to its status, the Republic of Somaliland currently has official contacts with only a few
Nations, such as Ethiopia, which has signed a strategic and infrastructure agreement and the
United Arab Emirates (UAE), which has signed a concession agreement to manage the Port
Of Berbera. International recognition as a sovereign state remains at the forefront of the
Government current foreign policy. Other key priorities include encouraging international aid and foreign direct investment.
Most multilateral organizations and countries in the international community support the territorial integrity (i.e. territorial unity) of Somalia and its central government, the Federal Government of Somalia during the ongoing civil war and oppose Somaliland.
A Right of Self-determination
International convention of civil, political rights; ‘’ICCPR;’’
In Part 1 (Article 1) recognizes the right of all peoples to self-determination, including the right to; freely determine their political status pursue their economic, social and cultural goals, and manage and dispose of their own resources. It recognizes the negative right of a people not to be deprived of its means of subsistence. It imposes, and imposes an obligation on those parties still responsible for non-self-governing and trust territories (colonies) to encourage and respect their self-determination.
The principle of self-determination is prominently embodied in Article I of the Charter of the
United Nations. Earlier it was explicitly embraced by US President Woodrow Wilson, by
Lenin and others, and became the guiding principle for the reconstruction of Europe Following World War I. The principle was incorporated into the 1941 Atlantic Charter and
The Dumbarton Oaks proposals which evolved into the United Nations Charter. Its inclusion
In the UN Charter marks the universal recognition of the principle as fundamental to the
Maintenance of friendly relations and peace among states. It is recognized as a Right of all peoples in the first article common to the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
Which both entered into force in 1976. 1 Paragraph 1 of this Article provides:  Following accordance with this article 1 of ICCPR convention and UN charter self-Determination is right, so Somaliland society has the right to determine its own destiny.
In particular, the principle allows a people to choose its own political status and to determine
Its own form of economic, cultural and social development.
UN charter article1 (2) to develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the
Principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other
Appropriate measures to strengthen universal people.
Purpose of this charter
  • to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime
Has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and
  • to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human
Person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and
  • to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from
Treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and
  • to promote social progress and better standards of life in more considerable
  • freedom
UN charter contains 111 articles and six6 chapters. Also, the UN charter respects the
Principles of self-determination following accordance article 55, paragraph 1.
This article emphasis on a right of self-determination in case of Somaliland during my Research I found many papers which lettering this topic and ICCPR conventions also UN
Charter, the most useful source I have found is Montevideo convention. This convention is all
About the duties and rights of the states I make a short comparison of the requirements of countries in case of Somaliland does it fulfils or not. This commentary also talked about the five principles of self-determination Also, I talk my article some facts about Somaliland is an ancient territory of Somalia located in the Horn of Africa. The international community does not recognize its Self-declared independence in 1991 from Somalia and its Constitution of 30 April 2000 (Partly based on Sharia law) Ethiopia borders to the west and south, Djibouti to the northwest, Puntland to the east. It faces, and faces Yemen on the other side of the Gulf of Aden. Its capital and principal city is Hargeisa.
Somaliland issues its own passports, recognized by individual nations. Once Somaliland achieves its goal of recognition, several number countries have stated that they will allow Somali landers to travel to their countries, subject to visa regulations.
Although the country is unrecognized, the Somaliland passport is surprisingly accepted by a few different countries, namely; the UAE, Belgium, the United Kingdom, France Saudi Arabia, Turkey, South Africa, Ethiopia, Djibouti, South Sudan and Kenya.
Once Somaliland achieves its goal of recognition, many number of other countries have
Stated that they will allow Somali landers to travel to their countries as well, subject to visa
Regulations. The Somaliland shilling (Somaliland shilling) is the official currency of the Republic of Somaliland the Somaliland shilling was introduced on 18 October 1994 at a rate of one new Somaliland shilling to 100 Somali shillings.
In September 1994, the Parliament of Somaliland endorsed President Egal plans to
Introduce a new form of currency to replace the Somali shilling. The Somali shilling ceased
To be accepted as legal tender in Somaliland on 31 January 1995.
Somaliland fulfilled the criteria of statehood perin accordance of Montevideo convention in
1933 this requirements is permanent population, government, capacity enter into to
Relations with other states, defined territory.
My Thesis statement of a recent article
‘’Somaliland has a right to get recognition;’’
  1. constitution of the republic of Somaliland
  2. Marija Batistich, Book published 2017.
  • Montevideo convention
  1. International covenant on civil and political rights
  2. Un charter
  3. African charter
  • Hibak Jama on her paper thesis
  • Self-determination and secessionism in Somaliland and South Sudan.
  1. sohttps://en.populationdata.net/countries/somaliland/maliland facts and

About the Author
Mahad Mohamed Hussein
Mahad Mohamed Hussein
Mahad Mohamed Hussein,is an independent lawyer, now working with Somaliland ministry of energy and minerals as Deputy Director of Legal affairs. 







The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Horndiplomat editorial policy.
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