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The Possibilities of Border Revisions in the Horn of Africa. A Comparative Study of Somalia and Sudan. Mgr. Kateřina Rudincová Department of Human Geography and Regional Development, University of Ostrava, Czech Republic. Methodology.

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The Possibilities of Border Revisions in the Horn of Africa. A Comparative Study of Somalia and Sudan.

Mgr. Kateřina Rudincová

Department of Human Geography and Regional Development, University of Ostrava, Czech Republic

  • Comparation of concepts of right to self-determination and uti possidetis
  • Application on the cases of Somalia (Somaliland) and Sudan (separation of South Sudan)
  • Semi-structured interviews at the Commission of AU, Addis Ababa 2010 and 2011
  • Interview with former foreign minister of Somaliland in 2010
right to self determination of peoples
Right to self-determination of peoples
  • Right to self-determination of peoples – 14 points of President Wilson, UN Charter
  • UN General Assembly – 1960 – Resolution 1514-XV: „all peoples have the right to self determination; by virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development“
  • Right to self-determination stressed by the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966) and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
  • Conceptof self-determination challenges the current state borders in Africa
uti possidetis
Uti possidetis
  • OAU Charter – 1963 – concept of inviolability of borders inherited from the colonial past
    • Paragraph 3, Article III: Member states declare their adherence to „Respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of each State and for its inalienable right to independence“
  • OAU supported emancipation of African territories within already existing borders
  • OAU Conference in Cairo – 1964 – Resolution 16(1): „all Member States pledge themselves to respect the borders existing on their achievement of national independence“
  • → principle of the right of African peoples to self-determination has been replaced by the doctrine of inviolability of African borders
border issues in the horn of africa
Border issues in the Horn of Africa
  • Different secessionist units in the Horn of Africa
  • Southern Sudan – recognized by AU and international community, even though its existence violates the principle of uti possidetis
  • De facto state of Somaliland – failed to achieve international recognition, althought it meets three Montevideo criteria for independent existence – population, territory and state power
southern sudan
Whole Sudan administered as British – Egyptian condominium

„Crises of national identity“ in Southern Sudan (F. Deng 2010)

British politics in Sudan: de facto separation of „African“ south from the „Arab“ north – barrier against the spread of Islam (Christian missions, English, indirect administration) → South Sudan went through different political and historical development

Southern Sudan
civil war in sudan
Civil War in Sudan
  • 1956 – independence of Sudan – inherited colonial boundaries, Arab – Islamic state, marginalization of southern Sudanese ethnics → civil war
  • 1972 – peace agreement in Addis Ababa, regional authonomy
  • 1983 – Jafar Nimairi declared Sudan an Islamic state, introduced Sharia
  • Opposition groups in Southern Sudan:
    • Demand of emancipation of Southern nations - SPLM
    • Demand of independence – Anyanya II, SSIM
  • Peace negotiations, significant role of the regional powers and organizations in peace process (Nigeria, IGAD)
  • Regional dimension: Kenya x Egypt, Ethiopia - ambivalent approach
  • 9.1.2005 – conclusion of the agreement between SPLM and Sudanese government - CPA
former British protectorate x Southern Somalia – Italian colony → different historical and political development

26th June 1960 – independence of Somaliland, recognized by 35 states

1st July 1960 – uniting with Southern Somalia

Since 1969 – oppresive regime of Siad Barre

Decalaration of independence – 18th May 1991

international recognition of somaliland
International Recognition of Somaliland?
  • Arguments of political reprezentation of Somaliland:
    • Territory of the Republic of Somaliland covers the same area as that of the former Somaliland Protectorate
    • Requires the preservation of principle of uti possidetis: „for Somaliland, independence was on 26 June 1960 and not on 1 July 1960 when it entered into a voluntary union with Somalia and the fact that the OAU Declaration was made in 1963 does not affect the application of the doctrine“
    • referendum of unity was manipulated; Atto di Unione differed from that adopted in Somaliland
    • The right to self-determination was not guaranteed fot northern clans, their human right have been violated
    • Independent existence would contribute to economic development and could possibly affect the development of whole region
au perspective
AU perspective
  • Somaliland has never challenged the act of unity with Southern Somalia
  • Recognize TFG as an representative of united Somalia
  • The agreement between Somaliland and Transitional Federal Government of Somalia has not been achieved
  • Unilateral secession is not acceptable
  • People of Somaliland perceived as a part of Somali nation
  • Observatory status at AU is not possible
  • Somaliland should try to gain support from the African states (but complicated regional politics)
somaliland vs southern sudan
Somaliland vs. Southern Sudan
  • Southern Sudan:
    • Turned on its side attention of international community – prolonged civil war
    • International Recognition of Southern Sudan – attempts to achieve stability in the region
  • Somaliland:
    • Long-term peace, creation of institutions, democratic elections, government successfully controls claimed territory
    • Clans of Somaliland are still perceived to be the part of Somali nation
    • Support of African states is crutial
  • → right to self-determination of the peoples and principle of uti possidetis are used ambivalently