Since the colonial withdrew from Somalia in 1950s. Italian Somaliland (Southern Somalia) became “a UN trusted territory under Italian administration, and the country was granted internal autonomy for ten years till Somalis held presidential election after independent in 1960.
British Somaliland (Northern Somalia) wasn’t that lucky as Italian Somaliland and never had any formal administration or “internal autonomy” like the Southern Somalia, till Somaliland united with south Somalia under the name of Somali republic.
In 1991 after the collapse of Somali central government, Somaliland declared self imposed government and broke away from the rest of the country.
Since that, Somaliland had suffered a confusion of border issues, arguing there was international border between the North and Southern part of Somalia during British and Italian era. However Somaliland couldn’t understand the definition and the difference between “international and inter-state borders, borders define geographic boundaries of political entities such as governments and sovereign States, (remember as we mentioned above British Somaliland never had any political system, as Italian Somaliland had internal autonomy which could decide her political geographic boundaries), in most cases “International borders are territorial limits of the governments, which are fully controlled and crossed legally only at designated border checkpoints and border zones. Whereby inter-state borders are open, crossed freely and remain unguarded.
Both British and Italian colony never considered the inter-state borders between the two colony zones in Somalia as International borders, and Somalis used to cross freely. Former (OAU) Organization of African Unity known today (AU) African Union had adopted a border resolutions in OAU charter which says as follows.
(i)the principle of the respect of borders existing on achievement of national independence, as enshrined in the Charter of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), Resolution AHG/Res.16(I) on Border Disputes between African States adopted in Cairo in July 1964, and the Con- stitutive Act of the African Union,
Which means the borders of African Countries will remain as it was when they gained the independent. South and North Somalia had inter-state borders but never International borders.
SAID ABDI HIRSI
Los Angels, California.