Africa Minister Henry Bellingham, dismissed the issue at the London Somalia Conference this afternoon at the Chatham House. Bloom said, “For 15 years the people of Somaliland have shown that a stable multi-party democracy can exist in the Horn of Africa. We owe them the decency of recognition for their toil.
“The country is characterised by regularly contested pluralist elections. It has a decent and trustworthy legal system. It is free trading and peaceful.
“For goodness sake,” he said, “it even locks up pirates when it gets hold of them. If we believe in self determination, which this government swears it does in the case of the Falklands and Gibraltar, then why on earth do we not accept the clear and present desire of the Somaliland people for self determination?
“The Commonwealth now accepts countries with no links to the UK, yet Somaliland was a British protectorate and isn’t allowed even to be an observer at the tables of the Commonwealth. It is a sick charade.
“If we are serious about helping the peoples of the Horn of Africa to develop, and live in peace with each other and the rest of the world, then maybe, just maybe our Government should have the courage an, honour and gumption to admit Somaliland into the ranks of the nations of the world.”