Somaliland Diaspora Role in the Recognition Seeking Campaign:
Somaliland Diaspora has since the regaining of Somaliland Independence 18 May 1991 had active role in the lobby and advocacy of Somaliland Recognition Case in the host countries they are resident particularly more in Europe, North America and Australia. It has been through the efforts and sacrifice of the industrious and capable volunteers of Somaliland Diaspora that has drawn the attention of many people, councilors, MPs, authors, journalists, political parties, government institutions, diplomats, humanitarian charity organizations, donors and more other from the international community who joined the friends of Somaliland and added their voice to the appeal of Somaliland for international recognition. The recognitions of Somaliland by Sheffield and Cardiff Municipal Councils in 2014 and 2015 respectively have been remarkable noteworthy achievements of Somaliland Diaspora in UK.
In recognition of this, Somaliland government has encouraged more integration of the Diaspora in the public diplomacy as in line with the Foreign Policy & Public Diplomacy Strategies under the leadership of Somaliland Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation. This aims to facilitate all lobbying efforts and campaigns, rallies, conferences and petitions by the Diaspora in contribution to the Somaliland’s case or quest of international recognition and host governments’ awareness upon Somaliland.
As part of this, Somaliland government established Somaliland Diaspora Recognition Committees In various key host countries. Functions of these committees are laid in the Constitution of the Diaspora Recognition Committee drafted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation.
Main objectives of the Diaspora Recognition Committees include:-
- Educating the host country public about Somaliland
- Promoting Somaliland and its image
- Lobbying politicians in councils, parliament, government and political parties in the host country
- Lobbying opinion makers and influential people in academia, media, business and civil societies
- Making appeals and petitions
- Organizing demonstrations
- Networking with similar organizations
- Working with Somaliland grass root groups and organizations
- Working closely with Somaliland mission in the host country
- Raising funds and receiving contributions where appropriate to finance the work
- Making by-laws and rules as might be required
- Taking any action that is lawful, which would help to fulfill the aims of Somaliland
Diaspora Recognition Committees
Somaliland Government established the 1st Diaspora Recognition Committee selected on basis of the selection criteria of the related charter in January 2016 and so far Somaliland has Diaspora Recognition Committees in the most Western Europe countries including UK, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway. It is underway activity led by SLDA and MoFA&C to continue formation of similar committees in North America, Middle East and Africa within 2016.
Since formed, some of the established committees in different countries acted well or ensured significant achievements in collaboration with the Somaliland Liaison Offices/Ambassadors where available, Somaliland friends as well as the established Somaliland communities associations.
These new committees’ need more capacity enhancement in relation to their roles but it is also expected that the National Recognition Seeking Roadmap which is draft in the hands of the National Recognition Committee of Somaliland will boost more and promote work of the newly formed Diaspora Recognition Committees abroad.