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Issue 394

Front Page

News Headlines

Weapons Supplied To Somalia Government By The US Are Sold In Mogadishu Markets

The Shortest Man In Somaliland Leaves For Norway

Somaliland Parliament Says Suspension Of Voter Registration Illegal

Tostan Holds Conference On Women’s Genital Mutilation

UN Agencies Launch Next Round Of Child Health Initiative In Somaliland

An Interview With Ambassador Marika Fahlen, Sweden’s Special Envoy For The Horn Of Africa

Somalia Tells All Visitors To Seek Government Approval

Somaliland Government Controlled Media Used To Incite Extremism

Local and Regional Affairs

A CALL FOR DIALOGUE: To Hold A Free, Fair And Peaceful Presidential Election

East Africa: Ethiopia Takes Part in First East African Independent Producers Forum

Somalia Mosque Victims Belonged To Southern Punjab

Kenyan Court Drops Charges, Clears Way For Canadian Woman To Return Home

Al Shabaab Reportedly Beheads 4 Christians, Rips Gold Teeth From Locals' Mouths

2 Somali Women, Children Die In Fire

3rd Man Pleads Guilty In Missing Somalis Case

Man Gets 23 Years In Killing Of Somali Restaurant Cook

Athens Police Attack Somali Protesters

Libyans Kill 20 Somali Prisoners

Somalia: The Trouble with Puntland

Somali Insurgents Reject Government’s Olive Branch

Amnesty International Calls For Accountability And Safeguards On Arms Transfers To Somalia’s TFG

Eastern Africa Standby Force To Be Ready Next Year

Somali Islamists Pull Teeth From "Sinners": Residents

Communiqué: Conference With Former Senior Somali Military And Police Officers

Clinton And South African Discuss Somalia

Tribute To Ali Marshal


Western Countries Encourage Piracy By Paying Ransom

Features & Commentary

Somalia: The Center Cannot Hold

Incredible Journey of Somali Human Right Activist Waris Dirie – The Movie

Escape From Somaliland

Without Free Movement, East Africa Will Keep Marking Time

Clinton's Africa Trip Highlights Importance US Attaches To The Continent

What Was Siyad Barre's Relation To A Fundamentalist Christian Group?

Legal Brief On The Suspension Of The Voter Registration List

Mandela – Poem

AT THE MERCY OF SOMALI PIRATES: Hansa Stavanger Crew Describe Hostage Ordeal

Where Camels Once Trod, A Train Crosses Australia

Update: Independent Diplomat Responds

US Misguided In Moving To Arm Somalia, Say Analysts

President Isaias's Encounter With The Financial Times

Somalia: The Trouble With Puntland – Report

International News


Woman Who Tried To Kill Ford Released From Prison

A Short Guide To Tools For Citizen Journalists

Australian Camels Facing Slaughter

UN Human Rights Expert Sounds Alarm On Draft Media Laws In Venezuela

Poll Shows Afghan Vote Headed For Second Round

Bristol's World Cup Bid Brings Communities Together . . . On The Football Field


A Crucial Week For Somaliland: A Time For Action

Building Bridges For Somaliland University Student Outside And Inside The Country

Why I Fear For Somalia

Africa’s Best-Kept Secret “Somaliland” Is In Need For A Change!

Lost Faith In The System

Somalilanders Around The Globe: Vote For Change

Where There Is No Donor

Al-Shabaab: “The” Number One Enemy Of Islam And Somali People

President Riyale And The Election Commission Are The Reason Of The Election’s Bone Of Contention

Where There Is No Donor

By Ugbaad Ahmed

From militia disarmament, through reconciliations, building a national army, government institutions, to holding free and fair election for presidency, parliamentarian and local councils, Somaliland did all these in the absence of external donors. One thing that is attributable to this success was, unlike many African countries, the protection of its traditional democratic values and process from the domination of western liberal democracy. During the colonial period, Britain wasn’t only refused to rule directly but British children were not allowed to be born in Somaliland as well.

The principles of democracy and democratic values are neither novel nor alien but rather indigenous to the African nations in general and Somaliland in particular. Indeed, the desire for representation, inclusion, and participation in public affairs—essential elements of democracy—are universal to all humans; the difference rests in the methods of attaining these goals. To what extent a society “democratizes” is incontestably dependent on its socio-cultural milieu, whether it is African, European, American, Asian, or even Islamic societies.

In Somaliland’s history, no election was more problematic than the upcoming presidential election which, after many delays, is to be held on September this year. This is due to the degree of donor involvement and their mindset. As a precondition for funding, donors demanded certain requirement to be fulfilled. These requirements are based on their definition of democracy and completely ignored the type of democracy already in place. Intentionally or unintentionally, it seems that Western democracy benchmarks are being used to evaluate ours. It is quite auspicious to ask: what do the Donors desire for Somaliland? Democracy! What type of democracy and for whose benefit?

To some extend, Somaliland’s failure for international recognition was a bless in disguise. In its two decades of existence, unknown to the outside world, it prospered economically, politically and socially. I feel that there is a strong link between the involvement of donors in our internal affairs and the wind of political uncertainty blowing. Much of Somalia’s trouble, for instance, is external rather than internal. Should anyone asked me the after-before-donor Somaliland, I’d surely choose before-donor Somaliland where life was easy and simple.

Ugbaad Ahmed, Hargeysa, Somaliland




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