Friday, February 04, 2011

Doing the right thing in Somaliland

I was pleased to see that Andrew Mitchell- the UK International Development Secretary- has increased the aid that the UK will be giving to Somaliland.

As I have noted in previous blogs, Somaliland deserves success in its quest for international recognition, and I believe that the UK should be leading the way so that its former colony can at last take its place as a fully recognised member of the international community.

As the impact of Piracy in neighbouring Puntland increases, it is more important than ever that the UK gives its support to the government in Hergeisa- and the visit by Andrew Mitchell is an extremely positive sign. Somaliland is a force for stability amid the wreckage of the former Somalia, and as the situation continues to be so unstable across the horn of Africa, giving both practical and -just as important- moral support to the freely elected government of Somaliland is a most welcome step.

As an old colleague of Andrew's from my days at Lazard, I am pleased indeed that he has taken a decision on a point of principle: the government of Somaliland is legitimate and fully supported by its people. I hope that he will take it further and ensure that the UK will now put its weight behind the process of international recognition -which in my view is long overdue.

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