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The Misplaced Argument, “Challenges To Somali Unity And Sovereignty”
By Dalmar Kaahin
After reading the article entitled, “Challenges to Somali Unity and Sovereignty” posted on wardheer website, I am compelled to let the author Ali H. Abdulla know the weaknesses of his argument and why it doesn’t hold water.
See the article:
Evidently, as the Somaliland presidential elections approaches, hundreds of diplomats flock to Hargeysa, Somaliland capital. Even the well-informed magazine The Economist predicts that after a fair and transparent election takes place, Somaliland could get its recognition. The Economist states, “If coming elections there go well, with voters using biometric identity cards, it may slowly start to win recognition from some African countries and others farther afield. It is not clear what Mr Ahmed thinks about independence for Somaliland. But nationalists and jihadists are violently against it, as is Puntland, which disputes a border zone with it.”
For crying out loud, the Somali Minister of Information cannot talk to the average Somali on the streets of Mogadishu much less discuss Somaliland affairs with foreign countries—so perhaps you should help him crawling before he attempts walking. Also, maybe you should spend your energy on where it is needed—promoting peace and unity in Southern Somalia.
Second, Mr. Abdulla harped on the importance of unity, but he has conveniently avoided mentioning two important things: 1) what led to the break up of Somaliland and Somalia in the first place? 2) Somaliland and Somalia had been united for 30 years before Somaliland separated in 1991. Moreover, we have seen the results of unity, so why should Somaliland risk everything it has achieved and join Somalia again?
Just as there are no guarantees that unity won’t send us to an abyss again, Somaliland cannot risk joining Somalia—better safe than sorry.
As usual, sweeping everything under the carpet and pretending nothing has happened will not bring back Somaliland. Also, neither antagonising Somaliland nor belittling its leaders will expedite Somali unity.
Throughout his article, he repeatedly mentions the need for a dialogue between Somaliland and Somalia. And that is grunted. Also rather than give President Riyale Kahin, his title as a president, Mr. Abdulla sprinkles his article with “Riyale” this, “Riyale” that…
Mr. Abdulla, with all due respect, as it seems your contempt is matched by your hypocrisy. For instance, the very man, President Riyale Kahin that you need to sit down and negotiate with is the same man that you are belittling his status as head of State. On the other hand, you call upon the “Minister of Information of the new Federal Government” who despite having his entire regime parachuted into power barely controls few blocks in Mogadishu to silence the democratically elected President Riyale Kahin’s quest for Somaliland recognition. Interesting!
Worse yet, to undercut Somaliland’s efforts to stand as a sovereign nation, Mr. Abdulla advocates for the unthinkable. Again, he states, “The Federal Government and the resistance movements need to wake up to this danger and start waging a political war against the dangers looming in the horizon.” Please excuse my shameful ignorance and enlighten me. Who is this resistance of movement? Of course it is Alshabaab.
Possible interpretation of the preceding excerpt from Mr. Abdalle’s article could be: the current Somali regime (TFG) which doesn’t even control few neighbourhoods in Mogadishu and the terrorist organizations such as, Alshabaab should unite against Somaliland. The TFG—Alshabaab coalition should “start waging a destructive campaign against Somaliland people” for they have chosen self-determination.
Don’t be naïve. There is no such a thing called “waging a political war” in Somalia. The only war that Somalia knows is through the barrel of a gun, no need to read between the lines.
Meanwhile, the same “resistance” of movement—Alshabaab—that Mr. Abdalle wishes to use as the bulwark against Somaliland already has delivered a devastating suicide attacks against Somaliland people, in October 2008. http://tinyurl.com/c3a269
What about waging a political war against dumping toxic waste into Somalia’s waters? What about waging war against the 700 plus foreign fishing vessels scooping out Somalia’s rich marine resources? What about combating against the voyage of death: human trafficking which so far forced thousands of young Somalis to perish in high seas? What about helping the millions of Somalis suffering in refugee camps in Africa and elsewhere?
It is a mind-boggling how the so-called unionists appear in wilful oblivion of the real threat that both Somaliland and Somalia are facing while perceiving Somaliland recognition as a "danger" looming on the horizon. And this explains why Somalilanders are convinced that the so-called Somali unity is just another gimmick.
Oddly enough, for the past two decades, many Somali unionists put more efforts on antagonising Somaliland than helping Somalia stand on its feet. Also, in a desperate attempt to camouflage their multiple identities and portray themselves as an array of countless pro-unity groups, almost every unionist created his one-man organisation. Congratulations! See this article: http://www.awdalnews.com/wmprint.php?ArtID=10713
In fact, the only challenge that has been facing Somali unity seems to be none other than those who advocate for Somali unity. Dismembering Somaliland along tribal lines, rewriting history to bolster their stories, and twisting facts that led to the break up of Somaliland and Somalia, just to name few problems, have shattered any unity efforts.