By: Robleh M. Lafcanbe
You would think that the UK would know better than to cry wolf.
On Sunday, the UK government issued a warning urging their citizens to flee Somaliland. According to a statement released by the UK foreign office, there’s danger of “kidnapping for financial or political gain, motivated by criminality or terrorism”.
This bizarre warning has left us Somalilanders stunned and in a state of confusion. The Republic of Somaliland has never been known for danger and terrorism but rather for its peace and democracy.
Many other questions have risen since the warning was issued. How can Somaliland’s stability be compared to Libya’s and Syria’s? What do we have in common with these unstable countries?
Libya just went through a deadly civil war and is getting acquainted with terrorist attacks. Syria is still in a bitter power struggle and the fatalities are rising daily.
Clearly we do not share the same problems as these countries.
Our national security is incomparable considering the fact that we share a border with Somalia. Also, unlike Kenya – a country that has political and economic advantage over Somaliland – we have been virtually untouched by terrorist attacks.
But then again, Britain, like every other nation, has a right to assure the safety of their citizens abroad. Despite that, there should have been proper steps taken to address this matter. Britain should have teamed up with the Somaliland government on this matter and issued an investigation rather than put us in limbo. Our government should not be undermined nor downplayed. Our strength and peace should be aided and commended not ignored.
This attempt at crippling our image should not demoralize us nor put an end to our battle of self-determination.
It is vital that we remain united and continue to prosper and showcase our achievements over the past 22 years.
The truth is – we are not perfect. We might be Africa’s best kept secret, but there is still room for improvement.
We must put an end to the conflicts that were ignited by November’s election. We must put an end to our trivial tribal differences that still linger today. But most importantly, during times like this, we must put aside our political differences and put our nation first.
All these issues are minor compared to what’s going on around Africa, but since we are an unrecognized country, our flaws are magnified more than our achievements.
We are not a nation that hosts terrorism nor are we a country that is headed into political turmoil. We are the nation that shines bright like the moon that covers ours dark skies. And most importantly, we are – and always will be – the most peaceful and stable country in Africa, no matter what anyone says.