The Instigator
imabench
Pro (for)
Winning
5 Points
The Contender
PlagueDoctor
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Should the US and the world formally recognize 'Somaliland' as its own independent country?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
imabench
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/3/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 923 times Debate No: 77251
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (1)

 

imabench

Pro

Somaliland is a breakaway providence of the failed nation-state of Somalia that has attempted to claim autonomy for itself since 1991, in the same way the Kurdish people of northern Iraq have been trying to do for themselves in their fight against ISIS. Despite nearly 25 years of relative independence though, the nations of the world, including the United States, still do not recognize Somaliland as its own country independent from the rest of Somalia.

https://en.wikipedia.org...

I shall debate that the US and the rest of the world SHOULD recognize Somaliland as its own country.

1) Somaliland already contains all the signs of an independent country

Somaliland, despite being a relatively new country, already has its own political system, its own government institutions, its own police force, and it also has its own currency which differs from the currency of the rest of Somalia. Somaliland is not just a providence of Somalia that is claiming to be independent because a few local warlords say so, it has legitimately built itself and operated itself as its own country, independent from Somalia.

Because Somaliland already behaves and has the political systems of an independent country already established, there is good reason to go ahead and recognize the country as its own nation.

http://www.bbc.com...

2) Historically divided

When african nations were colonized by European powers in the scramble for Africa, Somalia and Somaliland were actually divided from each other. Somalia was governed by Italy, but Somaliland on the other hand was governed by the British, which you can see on the chart below.

Since Somaliland functions as an independent state, and now also has a historical claim to having been independent from the rest of Somalia, it is therefore that much more reasonable to recognize Somaliland as its own independent country.

http://www.zum.de...

3) Relative stability + Geographical location

Somaliland lies just to the north/west of Somalia, one of the most unstable and failed nation states in the entire world, lies just south of Yemen, which is the site of a deadly civil war being waged between the corrupt government and radical islamic fighters, and borders the tiny nation of Djibouti, which houses the ONLY permanent US military base in all of Africa.

http://www.cnic.navy.mil...

Somaliland is also relatively peaceful compared to its neighbors of Yemen and Somalia, which are deep in civil wars and are surrounded by seas that breed piracy. It has recieved massive recognition as an area of peace and stability in a region known for its instability:

http://www.iar-gwu.org...
http://www.npr.org...
http://www.un.org...

Somaliland, if recognized as an independent state, could afford the US and the rest of the world a far better footprint to more closely project influence into East Africa and serve as a base to counter the efforts of radical islamists in nearby countries, while also serve as a base for outside nations to provide economic and humanitarian assistance to nearby countries as well, which have a history of crippling famines and languishing economies.

Therefore, Somaliland should be recognized as its own independent country
PlagueDoctor

Con

Your argument states that "Somaliland" should be recognized as an independent country. As Con, it is my duty to prove you wrong, and prove you wrong I shall.
"1) Somaliland already contains all the signs of an independent country
Somaliland, despite being a relatively new country, already has its own political system, its own government institutions, its own police force, and it also has its own currency which differs from the currency of the rest of Somalia. Somaliland is not just a providence of Somalia that is claiming to be independent because a few local warlords say so, it has legitimately built itself and operated itself as its own country, independent from Somalia.

Because Somaliland already behaves and has the political systems of an independent country already established, there is good reason to go ahead and recognize the country as its own nation."
According to Wikipedia, in order to be recognized as a country, the state needs the following:
-A defined territory. About one-half of Somaliland's territory is disputed, according to a Wikipedia map.
-A permanent population. According to the Wikipedia page you provided, Somaliland's population is around 4 million. While this is quite small in country terms, it is still a permenant population, and so it meets this criteria.
-A government. Somaliland has a presidential constitutional republic not unlike that of the United States, led by its president, Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud. It meets this criteria as well.
-A capacity to enter into relations with other states. Somaliland meets this criteria too, as both the EU (European Union) and AU (African Union) have sent delegations and/or foreign ministers to discuss future cooperation and international acknowledgement. In addition, Somaliland has political and diplomatic contacts with Ethiopia, Djibouti, South Africa, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
While Somaliland meets most of the prerequisites needed to be an independent country, it does not have a defined territory, and thus cannot be recognized as a country.
"2) Historically divided

When african nations were colonized by European powers in the scramble for Africa, Somalia and Somaliland were actually divided from each other. Somalia was governed by Italy, but Somaliland on the other hand was governed by the British, which you can see on the chart below.

Since Somaliland functions as an independent state, and now also has a historical claim to having been independent from the rest of Somalia, it is therefore that much more reasonable to recognize Somaliland as its own independent country."
According to the Encyclopedia Brittanica, Somaliland was indeed seperated from its mother country-for almost 80 years. However, historical division is not a criterion for official country status. While Somaliland may claim that they were seperated from Italian-controlled Somalia, they were merged officially in 1960-plus, at first, the British formed Somaliland as a protectorate. Somaliland cannot claim historical division when they were protected by Britain. In addition, due to World Wars I and II, Somaliland was less of a country and more of a British-controlled zone in Africa. Somaliland is recognized as an autonomous region of Somalia-not its own country.
I cannot debate further, as I have reached the character limit. I look forward to seeing your argument for Round 2.
Debate Round No. 1
imabench

Pro

1) Defined territory

While Con concedes that Somaliland already meets 4 of the 5 demands met for being its own country according to the standards that he himself presented, the sole outlier of those criteria is that Somaliland does allegedly have a well-defined territory, and therefore shouldn't be recognized as its own country. Con bases this point off of the claims of another semi-autonomous region of Somalia called Puntland, which is the territory in the very eastern part of Somalia that jettisons the furthest out into the Indian Ocean from Africa, and has a border dispute with Somaliland.

First off, 'well-defined' is subject to opinion. Somaliland may have a disputed border, but the border is only disputed along its eastern border, with well over half of the country NOT being disputed territory.

Second and more imprtantly, while territory between Puntland/Somalia and Somaliland is disputed, the border dispute could easily be remedied through intervention from international diplomacy, since its been done before. Earlier in this very decade, the nation of South Sudan was recognized as independent from the former nation of Sudan even though for years there were conflicts over where the true border between both countries would be set if South Sudan gained its independence. There was even an instance of settling disputed claims over territory by allowing a referendum to take place so that the people of the disputed territory could vote on which nation they wanted to belong to. A similar solution could easily be applied to Somaliland and Puntland/Somalia.

This means that even though a border dispute does exist involving Somaliland, it isn't sufficient enough as a reason to it deny nation-status since other nations have had similar disputes and have been recognized as nations, and also because such border disputes can be easily remedied through diplomatic intervention.

https://en.wikipedia.org...

Even when the United States of America itself was recognized as an independent country, the US still had border disputes with territory still held by England and neighboring Indian tribes, namely along the border between the colonies and territory west of the Appalachian mountains.

https://en.wikipedia.org...

You could also point to the very tense border disputes between India and Pakistan regarding the Kashmir region as evidence that nations can be granted recognition as independent nations despite being involved in contested border disputes.

https://en.wikipedia.org...;

The existence of border disputes has not prevented nations from recieving recognition as independent nations in the past, and border disputes can also be resolved in a variety of ways through diplomatic intervention. This means that even though Somaliland has a sizeable border dispute with the rest of Somalia, that should not serve as a basis for denying Somaliland recognition as an independent nation


2) Historical division

"Historical division is not a criterion for official country status"

The point that Somaliland had been independent from the rest of modern day Somalia while it was colonized was done to illustrate just how much of a legitimate claim that Somaliland has to demand independence and recognition as its own country, since it previously actually was independent from Somalia. Somaliland historically has been governed separately from Somalia, governed differently from Somalia, and do not identify themselves as members of the rest of Somalia.

I extend all other arguments that were dropped or not disputed by con
PlagueDoctor

Con

I will keep my responses to your first two arguments short so that I might debate the others.
1.
Somalia's "disputed border" could be solved through intervention from international diplomacy, you say, but with a long civil war in its history and poverty, as well as shaky diplomatic connections (only 2 ongoing diplomatic missions in Somaliland-Denmark and Ethiopia) and one consulate, it does not look like there will be any international diplomacy intervention any time soon. Your example of South Sudan is an unstable one, as the aforementioned nation had to suffer through two civil wars and the "Heglig Crisis"-after which 98.83 percent of the South Sudanese voted for independence. It took over 2.5 million casualities to prompt independence-and Somaliland just isn't in this kind of crisis. The diplomatic eye rarely looks at Africa, and when it does it's usually due to disease, poverty, or massive wars that bring rampant death and destruction. While border disputes haven't prevented nations from recieving recognition as independent nations before, Somaliland is just too infrequently mentioned in the media-one of the only ways a struggling country like South Sudan would recieve diplomatic recognition in the Digital Age.
2.
Somaliland may have a legitimate claim to historical division, but the countries are merged now, and while Somaliland may be a self-declared republic, it does not have the diplomatic capacity to declare its own independence without international support.
3. (from Round 1)
Right off the bat, you say that Somaliland lies just northwest of Somalia, one of the most unstable and failed nation states in the entire world. And yet you say that is relative stability! And then you go on to say that it is just south of Yemen, site of a deadly civil war between the government and radical militants. The only counter you present in that first paragraph is that Somaliland borders Djibouti, site of the only permanent US military base in Africa. Somaliland is peaceful, yes, but it is being recognized as a region of peace and stability in a war-torn country, not as a country itself. Somaliland can't serve as a base to counter militants because it will lose its reputation as a peaceful nation, making it lose ground with the public. Finally, there just isn't enough public support to counter all the famine and languishing economy in Africa. Making a relatively peaceful region of East Africa a country isn't going to change that. Outside nations could easily "provide economic and humanitarian assitance" via Djibouti's American military base, but they choose not to because the public just isn't interested.

I await your arguments for Round 3.
Debate Round No. 2
imabench

Pro

1) Disputed Border

"While border disputes haven't prevented nations from receiving recognition as independent nations before, Somaliland is just too infrequently mentioned in the media....."

So just because the media doesn't care about Somaliland, thats somehow a basis for not recognizing it as an independent state? That's ridiculous, and you yourself just conceded that border disputes have not prevented nations from receiving recognition as an independent nation.



2) Historical Division

"Somaliland may have a legitimate claim to historical division, but the countries are merged now"

But thats IRRELEVANT..... The point that is being made here is that Somaliland USED to be independent from Somalia, WANTS to be independent from Somalia, and already functions and behaves as if it ALREADY IS independent from Somalia, which is why it should be recognized as an independent country.



3) Stability in a region of instability

"You say that Somaliland lies just northwest of Somalia, one of the most unstable and failed nation states in the entire world. And yet you say that is relative stability!"

Do you not know what the meaning of the word 'relative' is?.... I said that Somaliland is RELATIVELY stable, meaning that compared to Somalia and Yemen which lie close by, Somaliland is a stable territory.



"Somaliland is peaceful, yes, but it is being recognized as a region of peace and stability in a war-torn country, not as a country itself"

That's a completely irrelevant argument. Somaliland wouldn't somehow become just as terrible as other countries around it if it were to suddenly become it's own country.



"Somaliland can't serve as a base to counter militants because it will lose its reputation as a peaceful nation, making it lose ground with the public"

I dont even know where to begin with my response to this just because what you said is so unbelievably stupid and asinine. The point of countering militant activity in nearby areas isn't to show that you are peaceful nation, it's to try to help those nearby countries put themselves back together by getting your own hands a little dirty if that's what it takes. Somaliland can serve as a base to counter militant activity in East Africa because it is a relatively stable country that would allow outside nations to project greater influence into the area by operating out of Somaliland.



"Outside nations could easily "provide economic and humanitarian assistance" via Djibouti's American military base, but they choose not to because the public just isn't interested."

Newsflash con: Public interest doesn't dictate which nations are recognized as independent nations or not. Even your own standards for granting nation-status doesn't depend on whether or not the public cares about the place, so your argument here is irrelevant

=====================================================================================

Just to recap:

1 - Con drops the point that Somaliland already has its own functioning independent elected government
2 - Con drops the point that Somaliland already has its own functioning police force
2 - Con drops the point that Somaliland already has its own independent currency
3 - Con concedes that disputed borders does NOT stop countries from being recognized as independent nations
4 - Con concedes that Somaliland already meets almost all of the criteria needed for a nation to be an independent nation
5 - Con fails to dispute that Somaliland is more stable than Somalia or Yemen nearby
6 - Con fails to realize that public interest in Somaliland is not a sufficient reason for not recognizing it as an independent nation
7 - Con fails to understand that an independent Somaliland could serve as a base of operations for outside nations to better try to stabilize eastern Africa

And 8 - Con fails to provide substantial evidence for why Somaliland should not be recognized as an independent country

Vote Pro on all counts
PlagueDoctor

Con

1.
Think for a moment. The most oppressed people in the world are mentioned in the media. Starving children, or victims of the Ebolavirus epidemic. NOT a region "known for its relative peace and stability". If there's some tribal region in, let's say, Angola, and they send the UN pictures of their malnourished children, they will get help almost overnight. Somaliland has waited 55 years since 7/1/1960 (the date when it was formed) and it hasn't recieved official country status-partly because you don't hear about it a lot. And yes, border disputes have not stopped nations from recieving official status, but this is more than a Somaliland-Puntland quarrel. Somaliland does not have the diplomatic capacity to claim its country status.
2.
The countries are MERGED. That's the point. America and the United Kingdom were merged once, they split, and they won't come back together again. It's the same with Somaliland. They like to think of themselves as a country, but they're not. It functions and behaves as if it already is independent, but it's not-and that's final.
3.
So you're conceding that Somaliland is unstable, putting it further away from gaining country status? Mind you, Somalia and Yemen are both embroiled in brutal wars. This does not make Somaliland stable in any way compared to Somalia and Yemen.
4.
Somaliland ISN'T BEING RECOGNIZED AS A COUNTRY. I thought I stated that. If Somaliland were to somehow become a country, it wouldn't become terrible. It's being recognized as a region of Somalia.
5.
THINK. The public doesn't like to see images of war and violence. And even if Somaliland became a military base, Djibouti is right next to it. I don't know what is wrong with using Djibouti instead of Somaliland. Using Djibouti as a staging point, armies can expand deeper into Africa to combat militants. Furthermore, due to its proximity to the sea, it can easily deploy naval troops to fight pirates. It has all the benefits of Somaliland's hypothetical military base, if not more, because it has the guaranteed backing of a world superpower. Remember that Somaliland only has 2 ongoing diplomatic missions-Denmark and Ethiopia-and those countries aren't exactly known for their huge military and advanced technology.
6.
Do you know where I grabbed those standards? Wikipedia. The same site that you grabbed 99 percent of your information from. Wikipedia is a site of shaky reliability-so maybe the information you have may not be correct? Anyway, public interest holds some sway over whether aspiring countries get noticed or not-and if they're noticed they get diplomatic contacts. It's simple as that.

Finally, it doesn't matter if Somaliland has its own currency, police force, or a functioning government. It's NOT a country. It's an autonomous region-a subdivision with its own government. I have provided plenty of evidence, and I understand that it doesn't matter if Somaliland is independent or not-it can still be used as a base of operations. I have also disputed that Somaliland is more stable-in this round, in fact. It meets almost all the criteria, but it doesn't meet them all-which means Somaliland fails to be a country, and that ultimately it will remain a region of Somalia for the foreseeable future.

Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by salam.morcos 1 year ago
salam.morcos
I'll vote on this on Monday or Tuesday. Remind me if I forget :).
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 1 year ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
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>Reported vote: SlovakiaKentros// Mod action: Removed<

2 points to Pro (Sources), 4 points to Con (Arguments, Conduct). Reasons for voting decision: Pro, drop your keenness about this debate. You claim things about Con, especially in round 3, that aren't true. I agreed with pro, but eventually faded to Con due to some claims about Claimed Territory. The claimed territory rebuttals about how they have a defined territory just weren't true and only were for other pre-existing cultures and countries. CONDUCT, PRO, CONDUCT. Titles do not require underlines. Your paragraphs do require indents, (Which neither of you did) Spelling was the same. Con made more convincing arguments, that were more practical than theoretical. The sources have to go to pro, because they were actually there.

[*Reason for removal*] (1) Using arguments not mentioned in the debate. It isn't up to the voter to declare that certain statements aren't "true" because the debater can't predict the judge's thought process and can only refute what was brought up in the debate by his opponent. (2) Invalid justification for awarding Conduct. Paragraph indents and underlines fall into the S&G category and even then, the voter needs to explain how this had an impact on readability before awarding the S&G points. And if neither debater indented their paragraphs, why does Pro get conduct? (3) No explanation for sources beyond repeating the point category. (4) Lack of specifics on arguments. Saying that a certain side's arguements were practical doesn't explain why they outweighed their opponent's.
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Posted by UtherPenguin 1 year ago
UtherPenguin
*DDO mentions Somalia*

*Swells with pride*
Posted by UtherPenguin 1 year ago
UtherPenguin
Somaliland is like the Quebec of Somalia.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by 64bithuman 1 year ago
64bithuman
imabenchPlagueDoctorTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro gives plenty of valid reasons for Somaliland to be a sovereign nation and they are all sourced. Con then replies to this challenge by setting up a five point standard - and then himself admitting that according to the very standard he sets up, Somaliland scores an 80%, that is, 4/5. Con then essentially concedes on the one point that he disputed (historical claim: "Somaliland may have a legitimate claim to historical division...") and ends the debate by declaring he has proven that Somaliland isn't currently a recognized state ("It's NOT a country..."), which of course isn't what the debate resolution was about. Con's defense mostly doesn't fit the resolution. Instead of showing why the nation "shouldn't" Con spends a great deal of energy trying to find ways it "can't", and there is a difference.