Op-Ed: Somaliland must learn how to play by the global geopolitical rules!

UK-based Somalilanders waving Somaliland flag at a rally near Downing Street in London, United Kingdom, in 2012. Ben Stansall / AFP / Getty
UK-based Somalilanders waving Somaliland flag at a rally near Downing Street in London, United Kingdom, in 2012. Ben Stansall / AFP / Getty

(A note to the newly appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation of the Republic of Somaliland.)
Written by Hussein Adan Igeh (Deyr),

In a rapidly changing geo-political dynamics as well as security, political and economic challenges in the Horn of Africa Region, where Somaliland is part and parcel of it, the Republic of Somaliland CAN’T ABSOLUTELY AFFORD FINDING ITSELF IN AN ANONYMOUS AND IRRELEVANT
DIPLOMATIC STANCE towards major political, security and economic developments currently taking place in Horn of Africa and beyond.

From strategical point of view, the Horn of Africa Region is an important location and the gateway for many countries establishing their own military bases in the Horn of Africa. USA, EU countries, UK, GCC Arab countries and Turkey are stepping up to establish their own bases in the region where they try to exert their political ideology and strategic & economic interest in the region. An emerging new world-power is China being the latecomer in the region in doing so!


There are great advantages to be derived from geostrategic significance of our country. Somaliland’s geopolitical position can be a blessing and huge asset if our government is capable to overlay the contours and terrain of its foreign policy and regional politics within the nexus of the geopolitical landscape.

At the current unpredictable and ever shifting global geopolitical dynamics in Horn of Africa and beyond, Somaliland needs to have a credible, flexible, far-sighted and pro-active foreign policy and international diplomacy.

I fully acknowledge that Somaliland’s status quo as an unrecognized country is a major stumbling block that virtually prevents from realizing all nationally desired development and prosperity for the advancement of our young nation.

However, a poor, small and yet unrecognized country such as Somaliland cannot and should not expect that the rest of the world shall come to it and will play within its rigid local rules and way of thinking. Somaliland must learn how to play by the global geopolitical rules.

Unfortunately we are where we are today, because of Somaliland’s shortcomings to play by the rules of global public and geopolitical diplomacy.

No doubt the Western Powers do not pertinently appreciate strong African governments, and in particularly African leaders who aspire to national sovereignty and are determined to move their countries forward. Nonetheless the Republic of Somaliland does not necessarily have to agree with the policy view point or strategic, political and economic agenda pursued by the Global powers.

All what Somaliland needs to do is standing firm where it to be, but constantly seeking common ground, showcasing its strategic viability and showing flexibility where necessary on issues of mutual benefit that are not detrimental to our sovereignty and existence. Somaliland needs to leverage
smartly its strategic geopolitical advantage in onder to be able to make new and reliable friends and gain access to billions of aid and development funds.


I believe the time has come when the Government of the Republic of Somaliland should carry out a thorough and far-reaching review of the existing Somaliland’s Foreign Policy Strategy. We need a vigorous and comprehensive analysis of our domestic situation, our national and international interests looked at a regional and international political, economic and strategic context.

Based on this presumption, it is very essential that the Government of Somaliland has to focus onto details of HOW THE GUIDING PRINCIPLES of our country’s foreign policy for the past two decades had effectively responded to our country’s pressing priorities on political, diplomatically, strategic and economic level.

To put in a net-shell, Somaliland’s new Foreign Policy Strategy should be:

1) A foreign policy that provides new perspectives and in-depth insight on world political dynamics to regional and international challenges and opportunities translated into our country’s economic, security and strategic interest;

2) A foreign policy based on a proactive diplomacy and strong national identity which increases Somaliland’s outreach and influence on regional and international scale;

3) A foreign policy that puts our county’s geo-political and economic significance and viability on the global focus;

4) A new foreign policy in kind that corrects the past mistakes and a departure from the Foreign Policy Approach of the past two decades.

About Author

Hussein Adan Igeh (Deyr)

Hussein Adan Igeh (Deyr)
Former-Presidential Spokesman & ex-Minister of Trade and Investment,


Former Somaliland Presidential Spokesman & ex-Minister of Trade and Investment





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