Is Somaliland an Independent Nation?

In 1991, a country was born of blood. It was built from the rubble of what
many consider to be Africa’s worst civil war. Driven from a genocide
the entire world ignored. It has three and a half million citizens. And its expats live in almost every
major nation on Earth. And yet, I wouldn’t be surprised if
you’d never even heard its name. After all, you won’t see it on your maps,
because your mapmaker doesn’t believe it exists. You won’t hear your government praise its successes,
or denounce its failures, because your government doesn’t
admit it exists either. You won’t learn about it in school,
or hear about it on the news, because nobody, absolutely nobody,
seems to admit that this country exists. And yet, here I am. Sitting on its roofs. Paying with its currency. Meeting its doctors. This is definitely a country. The real question is, why won’t we admit it? This episode is not about the history of Somalia,
or the civil war that destroyed the country. For more information on that, I’ll be releasing
a second video called the Hargeisa Holocaust. No, today’s video is just meant to answer
one simple question: Is Somaliland a country? Even asking the question alone
is a threat to my life. When I mentioned online I was visiting Hargeisa,
before I even said a single thing about the videos I intended to make,
I was sent death threats. Simply coming here was enough to have people
threaten to murder me and my family, because they suspected if I visited
I’d say things they didn’t want said. And honestly, they’re probably right. But what I found most interesting about it
was that those who’d claim to want me dead weren’t your typical extremist. They lived in Western countries, and were raised
predominately in North American school systems. They weren’t the uneducated masses. They weren’t Al Shabab. But my point in telling you that isn’t
to garner sympathy for myself. Getting threats in this line of work
is nothing new. I mention it because I want to make it clear
that an independent Somaliland isn’t a topic that people take lightly. You may have never heard of the country,
but to many people around the world, it’s worth dying for. Perhaps more, it’s worth killing for. And yet, even with that weighing on my mind,
I suspect that neither side of the conflict is going to be too happy with me
when I’m done. Because although I truly believe in an independent Somaliland, I’m not entirely supportive of what they’ve done with their independence. They’re a nation living in the doorstep
of legitimacy, and their survival is dependent on convincing the world they exist. But over the last few years, they’ve fallen
into the same traps of that dictatorship that led them to rebel. To explain what I mean, let me
take you back for a second. In 1960, the two newly independent states
of British and Italian Somaliland merged to become an ethnically driven super state. Their intention was to put aside clan differences
and create a country that could stand up to their larger, independent neighbours. In their grand vision, Djibouti, the Ogaden
and North Kenya would follow in turn. Once they saw the glory of a pan-Somali state,
how could they help but fight to join it? Yet, nothing is ever so simple. Agreements are only as good
as the people who create them. And the unity that was on everyone politician’s
tongue wasn’t exactly on their mind. Less than a decade after the two ex-colonies united,
a Southern-backed army murdered the president and took the entire country by force. While they claimed their intent was to stop clannism,
the reality is that they only intended to stop those who didn’t support them. Those clans that now found themselves outside
the inner circle would almost immediately feel the effects. Although they shared a single ethnicity, and had fought together against their neighbours for thousands of years, the reality is that
the Somali people had never really been united. The agreement of 1960 that had combined them
into a unified nation was a very ambitious test. A dream being forced to serve
as a foundation for reality. But for all the statecraft underway, the clans that dominated the nation had seen little cause to change. Power sharing only works if those
with power are intent to share. With their autonomy threatened,
once independent regions almost immediately began to reimagine themselves as autonomous. And in that clan division, the newly minted nation
of Somalia began to crumble almost as soon as it began. In the north, the Isaaq had ruled
for hundreds of years. They stretched from the Ogaden in Ethiopia
up into Djibouti and across Somaliland. Be it British imperialism, Somali unification
or an independent democracy, the heads of the Isaaq would always
expect to remain in power. They were the dominant group, they had
the historical ties, and it was their wealth that would keep things stable in their lands. Going against them, in effect, would be akin
to going against the entire north. Whether the smaller clans agreed
to it or not. Civil war was inevitable, and less than
thirty years after they’d come together, the country saw one of the worst in Africa’s history. As he had with all other clans in the country,
the dictator gave the Isaaq an ultimatum. Surrender or starve. But they had no intent to do either. The binary didn’t suit them. They decided to go with the silent
third option: resist. By the mid 1980’s, acting in parallel to a number of
other rebel groups across the nation, the north revolted in a way
that couldn’t be stopped. They would be independent again,
or they’d die trying. But the elites of the South weren’t
just going to let them go quietly. The dictator had to act or risk
losing his status. But I suspect few realized just how
atrocious his response would be. Barre’s answer to their rebellion was so vile it has been
appropriately nicknamed the forgotten genocide. The second and third largest cities in the
country were bombed to near total destruction. Prisons were emptied
so they could make way
for innocent civilians whose only crime was
to the wrong clan. Tens, if not hundreds of thousands of innocent
people were murdered in cold blood. But just because one side is evil
doesn’t make the other side pure. To their great discredit, the rebels of Somaliland
attempted to return the favour. This was war, after all. But despite being unable to act on the
same scale as those they opposed, atrocities were felt on both sides. Those that still preached unification in the lands
they claimed as theirs would see their wells poisoned and their families executed. The ends were always intended
to justify the means. In 1991, the dictator was in exile
and Somaliland declared itself independent. They returned to the borders that the British
had carved out hundreds of years before, and began setting up the trappings
of a modern state. Today, their independence is undeniable. The freedom index rates them higher than
any of their neighbours, including Ethiopia. They’ve instilled democracy and accepted
peaceful transitions between elected officials. They’ve centralized a bank
and created a currency. They’ve taken part in international diplomatic organizations, and entered legal contracts with multi-national corporations. They’ve created an independent military,
judicial system, and modern constitution. They even have a tourism industry. They’ve done virtually everything it takes
to call one’s self a country. The only thing they lack is recognition. So for over twenty five years, Somaliland
has been waiting for a nation, any nation, to call them free. And for twenty five years, the governments
of the world have turned a blind eye. With virtually no money on the table, superpowers
simply aren’t willing to stick out their necks. And why would they? Despite what Western politicians claim, freedom
is not in and of itself a sound political theory. If they publicly supported the people of Somaliland
in choosing their own fate, how would that reflect in their own countries? There are many reasons the world rejects
the obvious independence of these people. Canada, for example, will never support a breakaway
region so long as they have a Quebec. A Spanish politician may hear Somaliland,
but they think Catalonia. China punishes any nation that speaks of
Tibet or Xinjiang as anything but Han land. And on the continent, the African Union,
under an Ethiopian eye, would much prefer Greater Somalia
remain unstable. If their separatists can form unique nations,
what stops Ethiopia from dividing into its many disparate parts? And of course there’s always the money. The companies that have immorally wrestled
control of Somalia’s wealth would prefer not to have a second government to bribe
into submission, thanks. The reality is that nobody cares enough about
3 million Somalis to fight for their freedom. We sit at home and watch Blackhawk Down
and pretend that it’s all a lost cause. But that’s just our ignorance. The reality is that there’s simply
nothing in it for us. Freedom ain’t free. But as I said in the beginning, I don’t
think this video is going to please anyone. Because although I’m willing to stand here
and say that Somaliland is an independent nation, it isn’t what it claims to be. It claims to be a functioning democracy. A nation with a constitution, founded
on the principles of freedom from oppression, and independence for those who desire it. But for many of the minority groups
locked within their borders, this isn’t a reality they would recognize. Calling for reunification with Somalia
is enough to get a prison sentence. Poets and journalists sit in cells today,
simply for expressing their political opinion. Massacres of smaller clans have taken place
in both Eastern and Western regions, and will no doubt continue in the absence
of international pressure. The principles that drove the Somalilanders
to rebel are being repeated by the Somalilanders. No matter what else I say,
that can’t be ignored. So yes, Somaliland is a country. It deserves to be able to make its own choices
about how to govern its land. We, as the international community, should recognize
the incredible feats it took to get them here. We should understand what it means
when we leave them out in the dark. Oppressing minorities, no matter
how awful it is, doesn’t negate statehood. Locking up journalists, as much as it pains me
to say, doesn’t negate statehood. Many states oppress their minorities and
many states have no true freedom of expression. But as I’m sure that many of their citizens
will be watching this video, I want to speak to the country directly. If you’re a citizen of Somaliland,
I want you to take a look in the mirror. You deserve statehood as much as anybody. You don’t have to be a perfect nation
to be a nation. But if when you do look in that mirror, you even
for a second see a hint of the ghost of Siad Barre, I want you to realize that there’s more
to a nation than independence alone. You know what it’s like to be oppressed. You know what it’s like to have your voice silenced. To be put in jail for your opinion. To be killed for your clan. So take a look at those in Adwal,
in Sool, and Sanaag. Those crying out for justice in your own lands. And remember what it was like for you. Don’t just be a nation, Somaliland. Be a nation worth supporting. This is Rare Earth. But for the many…
Just gonna wait for him to slap by.

100 thoughts on “Is Somaliland an Independent Nation?

  1. Somaliland is irreversible. Somali unity is unrepairable and our statehood is irrevocable ..Horaa loo soconayaa

  2. I really can’t believe it. A white guy from the other side of the world dares to come to my peaceful city!! You do not need to have fear in your mind or heart while you are in Somaliland. We are not Somalia with the terror group named Al-Shabaab
    We have restaurants where only people from Europe, America or Asia like to eat from, a place from them to get to know each other and more…

    What happened to u? Absolutely nothing! So those people who read, talk, listen to what Media says can suck their ass. People like you have to travel before they spread false rumors.

    I don’t like ignorant people. It’s so much of ignorant people in this 🌎

    Thank you for showing the world Somaliland ❤️ They will trust a white tourist but never people who originally come from that country.

    You Represent or represented our peaceful country❣️ And I will thank u for that sooooo much

  3. You shouldn't be talking about this Somalia and Somaliland. Somali is one and you seem like you want to divide a nation. Don't do that it is not okay

    I am from Somalia

  4. somaliland is apart of somliya .
    we know that they are having "a peace and stability" but south and north must remain together that is the best option of all somalis ..
    and i on the behalf of the rest of somaliya we love northern people of somaliland !!
    there fore let us stay together and solve our problem !!
    abdulaahi xeef
    south africa

  5. Not every body in Somaliland want independence, it's mixed over half of the people is fighting for United Somalia. Somali people is one , same language, religion, cultures. Somaliland is the land of Somalis and Somalia is for all Somalis in the world. Your statement is far way from the true .

  6. I’m always fascinated by Somaliland. They created a stable democracy while we (horners) were busy fighting our inner demons. Congratulations! Cheers from Ethiopia. 💚💛❤️

  7. No it's not. Stop this bullshit dude. No country was born in 1991 and especially not out of genocide. All Somali people fought a civil war that affected them alike. Seriously all these people want to do is divide more African countries and control them separately. And the saddest part is these Africans believe these people are on their side. Shame on you.

  8. Thank you sir for this great video about my country Somaliland, I subscribed your channel and I will be following you starting from today.

  9. They had 30 years of semi independence and the place still looks like the rest of somalia. These people shouldnt be taken seriously how much did they pay for this video? They spend millions on propaganda and forget actually developing anything bunch of retards.

  10. Who told u they have 3.5 milion fuck your blood ass isaaq can not be 3.5milion samaroon dhulbahante warsangali all those tribes they are not somaliland is only one tribe that's idoor

  11. Heey what are doing Somaliland and somaliya is brothers and one country do you want to divided no no that's not impossible fuck you beach

  12. Well, i mean you can't blame em for leaving Regular Somalia. Somalia is a mess. Btw, must be really awkward if the unrecognisted breakaway region does better then the recognised mothernation.

  13. Yes indeed Somaliland is a an independent nation, since 1999 and people are just hating on us, and don’t want to admit our existence cuz they feels threaten by us if we get our recognition or freedom, I believe Somaliland is the only safe place in Africa&the only country that don’t receive help from anywhere else in the world, for that reason, they don’t want to admit that we are our own country. It’s ok tho we will continue to fight for us.#wewillnevergiveup……….🙅‍♀️🙏
    Thanks for ur help!!!!!

  14. My nation Israel recognized it and has relations with it … of course Ignore the Hebrews as usual and our good work ! the world wants to recognized terrorist al shabab gov in somalia proper so thats why somaliland isnt on a map !!

  15. Somaliland is the British somaliland and the north Somalia they hate somaliland and they kill many people of somaliland almost one million and we will never forget that viva somaliland for life forever and thank you so much for this

  16. Somaliland is one of the safest countries in Africa it’s funny because the only people that show my country hate is other Somalis….

  17. Wow powerful video. Ethiopia stand with Somaliland and know soon enough we will recognise the fact that you're independent.

  18. Somaliland is just part of somalia, we as Somali people we can't afford to be divided right and left and torn apart

  19. You are a lier, how much they paid you ??
    Who The hell you are ??
    You are calling a Somali land, this part of Somalia,..yes, this is a Somali land, and it belongs to all Somalia, …
    Isaac clans have not government ever, but they was, a weak people, British colonial, used as the same dogs.. other Somalies liberated them, from colony's… .. you're wrong gust…
    Look, you are a lier, trying to, make, Isac clans, as a majority, in northern Somalia

  20. You are, a bastard, trying to divide, Somalia, ???l
    Do you know, Sool, Sanaag, and Awdal, is not, a Isaac clans land, these regions belongs to, Harti and Gadabursey Clans, and they want, to be a Somali nationalist, they don't want Again Colonies to return our land,..? And someone like you, whose trying to divide and rule…. Fuck you…liers

  21. Just look at all these fools who are happy to divide their nation. That is what our enemy wants to see yet my brothers and sisters don't see it. I know the greater Somalia is struggling right now and our enemies are laughing at us. Instead of focusing and looking for away to rebuild our nation some of us are looking for away to split it up. We shouldn't be loosing ground but gaining ground from Ethiopia and Kenya…or did u all forget about that? I am 22 and I know the history of this nation. People of Hargeisa and likewise,stop using what our government did back in the day as an excuse to split up. Almost every government has done horrible and shady stuff to its people. It's unfortunate that it happened and I am shocked about it. Please,stop with this. I would love to see us become strong again and be a successful nation again. We are so luck but yet so unfortunate. We speak the same language and most of us have the same religion too but still we are fighting amongst each other for almost 30yrs now. Look at us now,still fighting and still trying to split up. We have to ask ourself. What is wrong with us?🤔🤔

  22. Its funny how its almost always the north american somalis ( who by the way, have either never been to somalia, or are to scared to return there) , who are the quickest to play down the somalilands independent case…….

  23. The thing is that you don't understand is that somaliland is not more stable than somalia plus if somaliland becomes a country there would be conflict and the autnomous region in somalia will aslo seperate from somalia such as puntland there will be no more somalia

  24. Why don't you also mention the other 5 states in somalia like somaliland im from somaliland not everyone wants to be independent in certain areas which they force to remove the blue flag and jail you for it.

  25. Somaliland is part of Somalia and it is one of the sixth state of Somali Federal republic. No division any more by white man. Go and divide Northern Ireland from UK or Spain.

  26. It is sour subject it's all about clans I was born and raised in moqadishu and I wouldn't want my neighbours to be burned In their homes if they gained peace then i hope it remains forever

  27. I have a master's degree and consider myself well informed on international issues. I learned quite a bit. I was aware of Somaliland but since it was unrecognized believed it was not legitimate. You have broadened my understanding. Thanks.

  28. Imagine the alternate history….a United States of Africa…..its beautiful. it could be just like America, but we only took six wars to figure it out. sorry I still called you British Somaliland at the beginning

  29. People from issaq clan pray for somalia's destruction so they can have their fake nation somaliland aka issaqland recognised in their little issaqland if your not from their issaq clan you will be treated as a second class citizen and especially if you are from the darod clan. I am from darod clan and issaq clan are mentally ill people they have soo much hate for somalia and somali people from darod clan but darod are true somali patriots and never give up on somalia somalia hanoolato

  30. Thanks for this video and yes you are hitting the Nail on the Head.
    My ancestry are mixed and from the North and I respect the stabilization of Somaliland. They should strive to make it a country and not based on clansman-ship but every Northerner!

  31. maxeey kenya iyo ethopia iyagoo ka kooban dhowr qowmiyadood u midesan yihin . somali oo hal qomiyad ah ne qabil qabil ugu so kala tagayaan.

  32. I'm from and live in Somaliland and I'm against it being an independent country. We and Somalia are 1 people, 1 culture, 1 religion and 1 history. We rise together or we fall together. Clanism and so on will just stop us. If Somaliland decides to become independent whats stopping other parts of Somalia from splitting away? What happened in the past was wrong but the Isaaq weren't the only people who had bad shit happen to them. It's best we stay together

  33. I hooked up with a girl from Somaliland for a lil bit. She was there till she was 8 n then she moved to Canada. She was super chill n would tell me about Somaliland. Her family was really nice but super strict when it came to certain things.

  34. When it comes to recognizing a nation, I don't really feel the need to look at what they did in the past. If atrocities make one ineligible, then we couldn't recognize Germany or Russia or Turkey or China or Japan or nearly any other country. Most have done terrible things to become what they are now. That's not what matters. Remember the past and learn from it, but look forward, move forward.
    Every nation that wants to break away from a larger entity should have that option. Most people in Quebec would rather stay in Canada, and they prove this every time. If they voted to leave, then I'd be willing to let them. But they haven't, and so they shouldn't force that on the majority who don't want to leave.
    Catalonia is not Quebec. Artsakh is not Quebec. Somaliland is not Quebec. And the same goes for so many others, ones that most people have never heard of. When the people want to be free, they should be. When the people don't want to be free, they should at least have that choice.

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