MEP: UKIP's James Carver laying a wreath at the Hargeisa Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in Somaliland.

By Tom Edwards

A WORCESTER-BASED UKIP politician has spoken of his visit to Somaliland speaking to desperate people.

James Carver, an MEP representing the West Midlands, visited the autonomous region of Somaliland earlier this month to help reignite its bid for “re-recognition”.

Mr Carver, UKIP’s Commonwealth spokesman, has used his position in the European Parliament to try and lobby for the region to be recognised as a “state in its own right” by the international community.

During his stay he met with Somaliland’s foreign minister, went to a Commonwealth war grave cemetery, addressed a standing committee of its parliament and spoke in a cultural centre.

He also had armed guards with him, which was paid for privately with no cost to the taxpayer.

Mr Carver is a long-standing critic of the international community’s attitude to Somaliland, calling it “extraordinary” that Britain has not attempted to get it included as part of the Commonwealth despite allowing countries with no historic British links in, like Mozambique.

The Republic of Somaliland, as it is officially known, has a population of 3.5 million people and its own currency, but is suffering from desperate poverty.

Mr Carver said: “It was a really good, interesting trip and what struck me was the young people – they are so engaging.

“This is a big issue of mine, I’ve done a lot of work on it in the European Parliament.

“They want to be an independent state, and we can help them with that.

“They don’t have an internationally recognised banking system and it’s putting a stop on investment, that’s how we end up with so many young people risking their lives trying to get across the Mediterranean to Europe.

“Lots of kids over there end up in countries like Germany and France and have a bad life, getting into crime.

“They are really bright kids, all they want is a chance in life.”

Source: worcesternews

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  1. These are the type of opinion shapers that the people of Somaliland and its authorities need to welcome.

    As a patriotic citizen I am happy to see Mr Carver taking the time and trouble to visit my homeland. Most Europeans and Englishmen for that matter are so ignorant of history and geography. At least these genrleman took the initiative to come here.

    If I were the Somaliland president I would have given him an honorary Somaliland citizenship just for his effort of visiting us and lobby for our recognition. I hope the concerned Minister is hearing this as well as the president.

    I like Mr Carvers argument re Mozambiques recognition by the commonwealth. Rwanda is also part of it despite its obvious Francophone links. Very unfair to Somaliland which is English-speaking and contributed to the defense of the defunct empire during its exploits in Burma. My own grandfather was a decorated camel corps veteran who was proud to fight alongside other Africans there. He was buried in the same cemetry where this gentleman visited. Surely, this is a betrayal of the highest order!

    Finally, a small bit of correction on the banking system here. Yes, we do not have an internationally recognised banking regime. But what we have here is even better. An almost paperless mobile technology platform that is as advanced as any in the developed world. I should know because my own people work at TELESOM and their ZAAD mobile platform is the best in the region and beyond. Even Bill Gates reckons its that good. Believe you me!!!

    Despite little international recognition, Somalilanders have had to improvise and innovate to suit their local circumstances. Its most important assets are its people, mostly from the diaspora who send $$00000 back home in the form of remittances.

    Like they say, necessity is the mother of all inventions. Non-recognition has forced us to devise clever ways and means to survive on our own unlike our brothers across in Mogadishu who are forever dependent on the International.Community yet seem to develop in reverse towards anarchy and lawlessness!

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