Hon. John Bercow MP
Honourable Bercow MP,
How delighted I am to see a man I know personally to be elected to the chair of the mother of all Parliaments. As a Somalilander, I first met you participating a debate on Somaliland in Westminster Hall sometimes on Feb. 2004. I was heartened how passionate you were of my country. A country that has all its institutions and what ever needed for a statehood, and yet to get a single country to recognise its sovereignty and independence for the last two decades.
To remind you, but rather to introduce you to Somalilanders here is your statement in that debate:
” I join colleagues in congratulating the hon. Member for Clydebank and Milngavie (Tony Worthington) on securing the debate and on his contribution to it. He has vast experience of the area and spoke with knowledge, sincerity and passion. He was followed by the distinguished Chairman of the International Development Committee, my hon. Friend the Member for Banbury (Tony Baldry), who spoke in a similar vein, and then by the hon. Member for Putney (Mr. Colman), my hon. Friends the Members for Blaby (Mr. Robathan) and for Grantham and Stamford (Mr. Davies) and the hon. Member for Edinburgh, West (John Barrett).
In opening the debate, the hon. Member for Clydebank and Milngavie set out the historical background, which is the cause of many of the problems that are endemic in the area today and which the international community must address. Specifically, he pithily characterised the unhappy merging of Somaliland into the united republic of Somalia, and Somaliland’s subsequent, understandable wish to secede or—I use my language carefully—withdraw from it. All sorts of problems have been spawned by the historical background.
Mention has been made of the large and enduring refugee phenomenon, which was created by the civil war. As Somaliland became relatively safe, there is no doubt that those refugees thought it reasonable and timely to return to their homes. However, the emergency and humanitarian aid that is trickling into Somaliland is meagre compared with what the rest of Somalia and other countries in the horn of Africa receive. With zero or negligible help from the international community, Somaliland inevitably continues to absorb, although with the greatest difficulty and strain, tens of thousands of refugees from Ethiopia’s refugee camps.
The country’s social problems have been compounded by the return of those hundreds of thousands of refugees through the UNHCR’s assisted.”
I am sure you will accept my whole hearted congratulations and I hope you will continue your interest in Somaliland. Building strong democratic institutions, need empowerment of the masses. That can be ascertained with free and fair timed elections. Your contribution to these pillars of democracy which I am sure are your own core principles, are essential to be planted and nurtured in my country. You will get from me, Somaliland Focus and Somaliland All Party Parliamentary Group any developments of concern.
We are proud to be associated with you as person and as the speaker of the U.K Parliament.
Looking forward for your continuous help to my country, please do accept my best regards.
Somaliland Democracy Shield