US Congress urges Pentagon to deepen security partnership with Somaliland

By Julian Pecquet
Posted on Friday, 6 January 2023 12:29

A man with body paint in the colours of the national flag participates in a street parade to celebrate the 24th self-declared independence day for the breakaway Somaliland nation from Somalia in capital Hargeysa, May 18, 2015. REUTERS/Feisal Omar

Even as the White House denied Somaliland an invitation to last month’s US-Africa Leaders Summit, Congress was handing the de facto state a key diplomatic win in its annual Defence bill.

The dueling signals lay bare the dichotomy between an executive branch that remains officially wedded to a “One Somalia” policy and a legislature that increasingly views Somaliland as a rare reliable partner in an increasingly unstable region.

“The Horn of Africa faces an increasing number of complex challenges, yet the State Department continues to work off outdated policies and diplomatic frameworks that don’t meet today’s challenges,” James Risch, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement following the passage of the National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA).