Somaliland announced on Tuesday that it had suspended BBC news broadcasts in the country after the media corporation’s alleged failure to recognize the break-away region’s 30-year long independence and to stay neutral between Somali speaking communities in the Horn of Africa.
In a press conference held in the Capital Hargeisa, Somaliland Minister of Information, Saleban Ali Kore said the BBC has lost credibility and neutrality after more than 60 years of uninterrupted news broadcasts to the Somali people.
“From today July 19 2020, I decided that BBC operations in Somaliland will be completely suspended,” the Minister said.
“There have been ever-increasing complaints from the citizens of the self-proclaimed state that the BBC introduced bias in its coverage of stories for its Somali-speaking audience and aired reports violating Somaliland’s sovereignty, he added.
The decision comes on five days after BBC aired The Real Mo Farah documentary, in which he said “I was born in Somaliland, north of Somalia”.
According to veteran Somali analyst, Yusuf Gabobe, the suspension stemed from the strong grievances by the Somaliland government with regard to BBC Somali service programs’ broadcasting of news and commentary promoting religious extremism and terrorism including an interview in March with a wanted Alshabab fugitive Sheikh Adan Sune.
Somaliland, arguably the most democratic and politically stable nation, Somaliland was the 12th African nation to become independent from the colonial with an official Royal Proclamation of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
The country became became independent before 42 African countries.
Soon after the Somaliland independence from the British rule, 34 countries recognized it as an independent state, including members of the Security Council, but after only 5 days, the people of Somaliland decided to voluntarily unite with the next door, Somalia when they received independence from Italy to create the Somali Republic.
The dream was to have a greater Somali Republic in the Horn of Africa, waiting for other Somali inhabited territories including Djibouti, North Eastern Province of Kenya and Somali region of Ethiopia to join the Union and that’s the reason the Somalia Flag still have the White star at the middle with Five edges, each edge represents the 5 territories that Somali people permanently inhabit.
Unfortunately, the first marriage between the first two Somali states failed. Although it was never legal and there was no union Act ratified by joint parliament, the union was entirely turbulent and unsatisfactory.
After 31 years of difficulties, injustice, inequalities, and prejudice, that union ended horribly with 11 years of War against Somalia’s military regime which claimed the lives of a quarter of a million of the Somaliland people after civilians were shelled and cities were bombed and leveled to the ground by the military.
Victory at last and road to democratic rule
In 1991, Somalilanders defeated and destroyed the military deployed to their land by the military government, declaring their withdrawal from the failed union they had been part of, for more than 3 decades.
This is where the miraculous and phenomenal African success story starts, and the most democratic country in east Africa begins its extraordinary journey.
Somaliland has had series of democratic election, since 1991, which international observers termed as Free, fair and credible elections.
Five different presidents have been elected since 1991 where sometimes an incumbent president lost the race and transferred power peacefully.
Despite Somaliland having geographical and political boundaries, a President, issues visa to incoming visitors through its consulates, own flag, own number plates to motor vehicles and all other trappings of countryhood, the country’s remains unrecognized as an independent nation by the international community.