Corsica’s road towards constitutional recognition / Somaliland’s progress in foreign policy

9 to 15 March

Talamoni (left) and Simeoni (right) in Matignon, 22 January.
Talamoni (left) and Simeoni (right) in Matignon, 22 January. Author: Twitter Gilles Simeoni
WEEKLY ROUNDUP. The pro-autonomy government of Corsica continues to press the French executive to grant some level of devolution to the island, seizing the opportunity of the upcoming recognition of Corsica in the Constitution, planned for 2018. Meanwhile, de facto independent Somaliland has been inking a deal with both the UAE and Ethiopia despite opposition from Somalia. In our weekly selection of stories, an article on Indigenous and Afro-descendant seats in the new Colombian Parliament and another one on pro-independence graffittis having appeared in the Chinese city of Canton can also be found.


Corsican government not giving up autonomy fight. After a meeting between French prime minister Édouard Philippe, Corsican government president Gilles Simeoni, and Corsican Assembly president Jean-Guy Talamoni, the French executive has confirmed that constitutional amendments that will be introduced in France later this year will include a new, specific article for Corsica. It will be the only metropolitan territory with that distinction, other territories mentioned in the Constitution being overseas territories.

Paris has not specified, however, whether certain specific powers for Corsica will be recognized seizing the opportunity ot the constitutional review. Even if Simeoni has said that “autonomy is underway,” he has also admitted that no specific commitment from the French government has been obtained. If French president Emmanuel Macron’s words in Corsica last month are to be taken into account, is does not seem that the French state is really willing to hand over much power to the island’s institutions of government.

According to Libération newspaper, the French government may be willing to negotiate that the Còrsega Collective be “enabled” to intervene in law-related matters related in a number of areas. Such “enabling” would not include law-making powers, which is one of the main demands of the Corsican government and of the island’s parliamentary majority.

In the meantime Core in Fronte —a pro-independence alliance led by Rinnovu party which fell short of taking a few seats in the Corsican Assembly in last year’s election— has again seized the opportunity to blame both the French and Corsican governments for a lack of progress, and to demand that Corsican citizens organize themselves into a “true common protest platform” aiming to achieve a statute of legislative autonomy in 2022 and a referendum on independence in 2032.


Somalia conducting own foreign policy despite opposition from Somalia. The Somaliland government has reached an agreement with United Arab Emirates-headquartered DP World company and Ethiopia to develop Somaliland’s port of Berbera. But the lower house of the Somali Parliament has declared the agreement to be “null and void,” arguing that Somaliland has no jurisdiction to ink such international agreements. In any case, Somalia has not controlled the territory of Somaliland for almost 30 years now. Somaliland, for almost all purposes, acts like a sovereign state. And despite Somalia’s opposition to the agreement, this week the government of the UAE has welcomed in Dubai a Somaliland delegation led by the African nation’s president. Both countries maintain close military cooperation.