US versus UK

A cable on Britain’s Africa policy, sent on 6 February 2009 by the political counsellor Richard Mills at the US embassy in London, suggested  recognition of Somaliland should be considered to allow it access to international mechanisms for development and capacity support, as well as to support its democratic development in the face of increasing Islamic militant pressures.

The “U.S. VERSUS UK PRIORITIES”, LONDON THINK TANKS COMMENT ran thus:

Given the UK’s history, the large number of Somali Diaspora in the UK, and the real security threats that community may present to the UK, think tank security specialists thought Somalia should be more of a priority for HMG.

HMG, they argued, should be more innovative on Somalia policy, focusing on local community engagement and finding humanitarian and social initiatives where material benefit can be derived without deployment of an excessively large peacekeeping force.

The RUSI Africa specialist said HMG and the USG’s previous entry point to Somalia was through Ethiopia. With the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops, a new entry point should be found quickly.

He thought both IGAD and the AU could serve in this capacity. He also asserted that recognition of Somaliland should be considered to allow it access to international mechanisms for development and capacity support, as well as to support its democratic development in the face of increasing Islamic militant pressures.

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